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October 11, 2021 7:05 am
None of us truly knows what tomorrow will bring. Gratefully, the Bible offers a sneak preview. These details were written not to satisfy our curiosity but to shape the way we live today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll teaches from Matthew 24. In this chapter, Jesus gave his listeners facts about the end times.
It's sobering to hear Jesus describe horrific events and realize we're watching many of these stories unfold right before our eyes. Chuck titled today's message first glimpses of the last day to begin with prayer we pray on our walk. You may relive these years Lord with our eyes open with our years, attuned to what you were saying with our hearts ready for what you have planned provide that sense of peace that only Christ can give as we rely on you, not a passive way, but in a confident manner, knowing that you are in sovereign control and you do all things well soften the soil of our hearts today as we hear what you have to say to us from what Jesus taught his disciples may not handle this passage correctly, and may we hear these words well may we not soon forget them for you always mean what you say except our thanks for our occupation.
The privilege of earning a living in the way were able to make that living, which includes the money we are provided we get from that source today, recognizing that you are the one who's made it all possible, and we thank you deeply for that except our gifts and accept these words which we offer in the name of Jesus and for his sake alone.
Everyone said amen study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures by going to inside world.org/study and now we resume the message from Chuck that he titled first glimpses of the last day where in Matthew chapter 24 so we read in verse three he sat on the Mount of olives, his disciples came to him and they privately asked two questions. One is a question regarding time. The other is a question regarding events.
The time question verse three is disciples came to him privately and they asked tell us when will all this happened and now they asked even beyond that, about the events. What will be the sign that will signal your return and the end of the world. What Jesus lays out before them is a survey of the events that will take place that lead to the end of the earth as we know it today. So what will be the signs I want to suggest the six that appear in verses four through 14. By the way he uses an interesting word picture for all of this uses it in verse eight in all, this is only the first of the birth pains with more to come. So these are birth pain signs that will be going over number one versus four and five. Don't let anyone mislead you. For many will come in my name, claiming, I am the Messiah, they will deceive many.
One reliable scholar, writes as the number of deceivers grows so will the number of vulnerable people who desperately looked for answers to the overwhelming calamities that torment them. He continues the world will begin to disintegrate. Suffering will become unbearable, and soon will reach its maximum potential. The moral and spiritual influence of the church will be gone. Remember were taken up were removed will be gone even more significantly, the restraining power of the Holy Spirit will be removed.
So when these false Messiah show up with their their their phony messages. They'll be believed by many because many going through this will be longing for someone who is answered.
There will be widespread deception.
Second, versus six and the early part of verse seven. You will hear of wars and rumors or threats of wars, but don't panic.
Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately.
Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom in the future before Christ returns to the earth as the judge.
There will be and this is second international disputes and warfare which will intensify among nations and kingdoms from the way this reads no group of people will be spared from war or the threat of war, like birth pangs international hostilities will intensify real aggression, along with rumored conflicts will interrupt the peace of every nation worldwide. The future clash will be warfare of mind-boggling magnitude, according to what Jesus is teaching now the third. If that isn't enough, look at this third characteristic or sign of his return versus seven the end of verse seven and eight. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.
But all this is only the first of the birth pangs with more to come. Third, there will be famines, earthquakes and other natural disasters that will proliferate, they will occur not in one part of the world, but the worrying over geological disturbances will coincide with the current religious deception and error, adding further confusion and wide range panic if you've never been through an earthquake. You can only imagine you can only imagine if you've ever been through a friend never been through a famine you can only imagine starvation will spread disease in place will be added to the misery, crops, and other vegetations will be devastated.
Since the streams and the rivers and the wells and the reservoirs will dry up and listen. Anyone think it will soon be over. Don't miss that last comment. This is only the first of the birth pains. There will be more to come in the dreadful natural disasters that will create an enormous feelings of panic the world over number four, there will be severe persecution of believers by those who hate Christ. Verse nine, then you will be arrested, persecuted and killed will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. Those who are our left on this earth that the rapture will suddenly realize what they have missed some believe at that moment son shortly thereafter will believe in Christ. Most will not.
But there will be those who will trust in Christ and they will become the targets of persecution and prejudice because those believers will be identified with Jesus the hatred of the unsaved world will rise up against them, resulting in their being hunted down, pointed out, tortured, arrested, tried and killed. Martyrdom will intensify during this time, we've only seen a little of it, though there are countries where there is been much in our estimation in the future it will be wholesale it will be all over.
I want to show you a scene out of Revelation 7 which is the other side of the martyrdom. Revelation chapter 7. Please look ahead.
Last book of the Bible we move quickly now into the scene beyond earth. Now that these believers have been killed while on earth. The Saints have been taken to heaven, and John writes the revelation picks up the story in chapter 7. Beginning in verse nine, are you with me. Revelation 7 verse nine after this I saw a vast crowd too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people, and language.
That's a reference to the.
The whole world course standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb, that would be the throne of God, the Lamb being the risen Christ who is seated in the heavens. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands and they were shouting with great roar. Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the land. You see, they were taken in full belief and they still believe after they are taken to heaven and they make their testimony known right here in the in the words of verse 10. Look at verse 13. It's a very moving scene. One of the 24 elders asked me, who were these who were clothed in white for the come from just the answer. I said to him, Sir, you're the one who knows, he said to me, these are the ones who died in the great tribulation that washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and it made them white. Those are words that refer symbolically to coming to know Christ. That is why they stand in front of God's throne and serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will give them shelter. They will never again be hungry or thirsty, they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun for the Lamb on the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
It's the very familiar scene of heaven.
These are reported on this earth will be taken from the earth, and they will appear before the Lord completely refreshed and renewed in their glorified state now for will go back to Matthew 24.
As we move verses 10 through 13 here's the fifth sign.
Many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. Many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.
So this sign will be many supposed Christians will defect the masks will come all persecution has a way of bringing out the true as a consequence of persecution.
Those who acted as if they were believers. Followers of Jesus will quickly show that they are not as they unmask and fall away. Look at the vivid description in verse 10, many will turn away betray and hate each other so it will be a free-for-all among humanity.
Miserable time because persecution weeds out the phony followers they will be on display and they will turn against one another as pain brings out the true image of something in verse 13, lest you be misled. It says the one who endures to the end will be saved. It sounds like salvation by works if you endure to the end and you have earned your salvation.
That is one way to take it, but I think rather it means that the endurance will be proof of their salvation. Endurance will be a Spirit empowered product of their salvation. Proving that the person is already born again is what I believe that statement means six and last there will be worldwide declaration of the gospel. Most people don't know this but not read far enough along to remember that Jesus promises a magnificent evangelistic effort at the very end of time looking at 14 verse.
The good news about the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world so that all nations will hear it and then the end will come. It doesn't say all nations will believe it. Who will be doing the proclamation of so many are our unmask unbelievers. I think it could very well be the Angels, the angelic host has the ability to become as humans or their voices can be heard as human voices around the world and know all the languages in all the cultures and I suggest that they are dispatched worldwide to make a final public proclamation of the good news of Christ announcing all who will turn their lives over to Christ will be born into God's family and ultimately preserved for eternity. The proclamation will be made known and all the nations will hear though they will not all believe ultimately we will read later and elsewhere.
Christ will return to this earth and will judge this earth as he separates the sheep and the goats as though those are words for believers from unbelievers and then will begin the ultimate millennial kingdom that is been promised the Jews, since the Jews history began the promises he had made to the Jews will be fulfilled. As he takes them into a time of earthly peace. A thousand year reign when Christ serves as King over all who would call themselves King and Lord above all, who would call themselves Lord after this we go back to the end of verse 14 then the end will come.
Life as it has been known all of these centuries on earth will in earth will change from the way it has been for centuries. All of that ends with the arrival of Christ. The Armageddon campaign and the setting up of his kingdom on this earth. It's not a falsehood. It's not folklore. This is not an imagination or exaggeration. I don't deal in those things.
This is neither a lie nor a scare tactic I read you the words of Jesus and explain them just probably pretty much as you would explain the if you would give them time to think through them.
There will be no second chance. There is no purgatory taught in the New Testament or the old.
There will be no opportunity later when one realizes what one is missed anymore than there will be when you breathe your last and your time on this earth in its brain waves flat heart stops beating, and you are that moment a corpse life doesn't end because life continues since the soul within us is eternal. The body ends its functioning in the organs of the body and but there is a future of judgment and there is a dreadful future for those without Christ.
I known that rather heartbreaking note because I would love to be able to tell you that there's a verse that will provide you a way out of that there there isn't. There is an escape clause from the end will come anymore than your last breath will offer you another last breath lead wrong it's over.
It's the end it is appointed unto humanity wants to die and after death.
The judgment according to God's word.
My responsibility is to tell you the truth I believe the decision with you the most important decision you could ever make which will rescue you.
Not only from such times as this, but so many other things would not even mention you will know what joy that is impossible to describe and a peace that passes understanding if you will give your heart, your life to Christ with your bow with me please not linger on just asking about with me if there is never been a time in your life right for your sitting there.
You look back over your life and you cannot remember a time when you gave your heart to Christ. When you said yes to the Lord Jesus Christ and you told him he wanted him to live in your life to forgive your sins, and to provide you with a clean slate for eternity. That was the time to take care believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be rescued.
You will be delivered. You will be saved now and forever you will be secured in Christ. If that's your decision today for the very first time we would love to talk with you to help you in your journey as you make your way into the Christian life to learn what's involved in it. My only reason in hoping that these things have disturbed you is to move you toward that to state that decision. For if you are in Christ. There's nothing to worry about. These are things that will not touch you.
But if you are without Christ, you are among those who will be left when he comes to receive his own trust him now, dear father, thank you for the privilege of declaring your word. May it have its full impact as you would desire, when you wrote it and having preserved.
It maybe not leave as we entered this building, but may we be reminded there is hope, there was a future there was the privilege of knowing you on earth and walking with you may not one soul leave unprepared for what may lie ahead, and we trust you with that decision.
Their lives in the name of Christ. We pray everyone said amen.
It's possible you took your first steps toward Jesus Christ today and make a life-changing decision to receive him and follow him.
Let me be among the first to welcome you into the family of God, and to help you get started in this new journey inside for living is prepared to send your check swindles daily devotional by email. By receiving these inspirational emails you have God's Word, the Bible fresh on your mind throughout the day to sign up. Just follow the simple firstname.lastname@example.org/devotional and for those who are ready to dig deeply into the Bible on your own mind you, every sermon Chuck delivers is complemented by searching the Scriptures study notes like a devotional email. This resource is also free and you can easily download the PDF and print copies for your small group Bible study as well. To access the searching the Scriptures guide for Chuck's daily teaching go to insight.org/studies your fellow listeners often right to tell us how God uses these resources and the daily program to help them grow while a listener from Alabama said Chuck. My husband and I were married a little over 30 years ago. Both of us were raised in the church and were Christians. Sadly, we knew very little about the Scripture how to live biblically, but thanks to insight for living. We have learned and grown together. Just wanted to thank you for a lifetime of blessings we receive from insight for living your continually in our prayers well in reading this note, my hope is that our monthly companions are encouraged. Your faithful month by month generosity is making an impact on those who rely Chuck's teaching every day you're prepared to become a monthly companions. Just give us a call listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 or go to insight.org/monthly companions. In March, 20, 22 insight for living ministries is hosting an unforgettable journey to Israel carefully planned to deepen your understanding of the Bible and draw you closer to God. Chuck Swindoll for thousands of years. No place is been more meaning to God's children in the land of Israel. The rugged landscape reminds us to find refuge in God alone. The fertile valleys invite us to follow our ship Jerusalem's position at the very center of the world announces the good news of Christ's every nation and now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll insight for living ministries March 6-17, 2022. Every time I visited the holy land of returned home with a refreshed heart for God and a renewed vision for the world, really. I read it every time. So I want you to have the same life-changing experience to learn more, go to insight.org/events call this number 1-888-447-0444 insight for living ministries tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Dave Speicher. Be sure to join us again Tuesday to hear insight for living with Chuck Swindoll the preceding message first glimpses of the last day was copyrighted in 2017 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited