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August 27, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Nathan Crockett continues a doctrinal series entitled, “Return of the King” and the scripture is Matthew 24.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927.
The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today.
That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled return of the King which is a study of the second coming of Christ. Today's message will be preached by Dr. Nathan Crockett, director of ministry training at Bob Jones University. The title of his sermon is the sign of the times from Matthew 24. Please turn to Matthew 24 Matthew 24 in the series return of the King.
I've been asked to speak on the signs of the times and some people have jokingly asked for minute tell when the Lord in return or something like that but obviously Mark 1332, says of that day and that our know with no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither is the Son of Man, but the father and yet, to the history of the church.
Hundreds of people have actually made false predictions saying they know the time of Christ's return. There's a website that tracks these abstract over 260 of them. Many of them by the Jehovah's Witnesses actually show you some pictures on the screen of various booklets and pamphlets and billboards and signs through the years of people saying they knew when Christ would return a couple of the more famous of these predictions in recent history were 88 reasons why the rapture will be in 1988.
This booklet actually sold 4 1/2 million copies in more than 300,000 copies were distributed to churches across the nation I remember is an eight-year-old boy.
My dad getting a copy of that and preaching a message that Christ would not return on those three days since no one knows the day or the hour of his return, the author of that, but I could actually work for NASA at one point made bold predictions only if the Bible is in error or am I wrong and I say that to every preacher in town. He actually said he would be willing to risk his life on that prediction when it didn't come true. The next year as Dr. Horn mentioned in his sermon, this author came out with 89 reasons why the rapture will be in 1989.
That book is not nearly as well received as he already proved himself to be fraudulent. He continued to make predictions of the 1997 and one in more recent memory that probably many of you remember was Harold camping, the famous doomsday preacher who had for years.
Run a radio ministry out of California family radio and is an 89-year-old man started making predictions he made earlier predictions of Christ's return. But this time he raised millions of dollars rented more than 3000 billboards all around the world and made a really big deal about the supposed date of Christ's return. May 21, 2011. He actually got buses and RVs and they wrapped them and had several dozen people that quit their jobs and went around the country predicting the time of the Lord's return. There was a countdown on their website and people took screenshots of it when it got to the final day other people and you can see all kinds of memes on the Internet of various things because he made multiple predictions of Christ's return with the phrase the Bible guarantees it, and obviously the Bible did not guarantee it. There were tragic results from this not only did people give away their homes and possessions and so on. As they waited for Christ's return. But with three days left to go a mother in Palmdale, California, stabbed her daughters 11 and 14 years old. Cut her own throat with a box cutter telling people she didn't want her family to go through this crisis. A man in Taiwan, fearing the earthquake and judgment to come, jumped from a multistory building and killed himself nine months after this did not materialize. Of course, again, he tried to say will maybe it's going to be in October and so on.
But finally he and his group issued an apology and camping actually said we now realize that those people who are calling our attention to the Bible statement that of that day in our know is no man they were right in their understanding of those verses and family radio was wrong. One Christian magazine conducted a poll asking do you forgive Harold camping at 31% of people said yes we all make mistakes 25% said no.
I don't consider his apology genuine and 44% said I might forgive them. If you give back the money hundreds of millions of dollars through the years by the account of some of the people that work with him the tax auction thing.
I think show somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 million that people gave that was wasted in many ways gave Christianity a black eye. There've been scoffers since the times of Christ and second Peter three we read knowing this first, there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lust and saying where's the promise of his coming for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation and people like camping and others have made false predictions of given ammunition to the scoffers. So today were to talk about the biblical viewpoint of signs of the times. No radical predictions, no doom and gloom. If you have young children. You know that sometimes they use doom and gloom to try to get a point across. Might get two youngest sons.
I have five kids three boys and two daughters.
You can see a shepherd.
There is in the back. The Christian whose foreign IV is to there's a recent picture of them.
They were in the bathroom a couple weeks ago were trying to teach Bobby had use the bathroom throughout the paper diapers anymore. And Christian was kind of help and about and I overheard the two of them in there talking and I heard Christian say you don't eat that will that kinda perked my attention on next door in the bedroom you know and and he said you can't eat that candy cane with the wrapper on it. They found the leftover candy cane for Christmas time and he was trying to eat it without unwrapping it and Christian said if you eat a candy cane wrapper you could die and and dad will have to take you to the hospital and to try to keep you from dying.
There have to cut open your tummy to get the candy cane wrapper out and then he starts describing it in more detail.
I don't know how he had this detail, but he said they're going to use either a knife a really sharp knife. I'll be not like a little butter knife.
Use a really sharp knife or they might use scissors. Some doctors use scissors to cut your tummy open and obvious.
Is there like okay will NOT all trying to figure all this out and Christian goes on. He says a hobby. I don't want you to die.
You don't even know Jesus.
Yes, you're not going to go to heaven when you die, and in his mind goes back to the scissors versus the knife is like I really I don't know if I'll use the sharp knife for the scissors hobby which do you want them to use when they cut your tummy open and pretty soon I hear this little voice that he open my candy cane for the purpose of Scripture in the signs of the times is not to scare us into something or some doomsday prediction, I think, as in so many theological issues. We see this pendulum swing that if you would talk to people in your grandparents a generation. They were almost, I think obsessed with prophecy. There were prophecy conferences all over the place.
Their prophecy experts.
People were drawing diagrams and their Bible is like people were memorizing the book of Revelation before they memorize the book of Romans prophecy prophecy prophecy and if they had an obsession with prophecy.
Perhaps the generation. Your generation has just basically ignored it. You don't you don't really know if your preacher admit to post trip or email Postma Miller, like I'm up.
I don't care mill know that that's the, the attitude towards many students I talk to about this and I think we need to be careful that we don't ignore prophecy and yet we realize that particularly in the nuances of prophecy were not overly dogmatic is one theologians is where the Bible shouts we should shout where the Bible whispers we should whisper, and when we get to the fine nuances of prophecy. Oftentimes the Bible is not shouting. There is this divine tension that there are many passages that tell us very clearly. We cannot know the time of Christ's return. And yet there are many other passages that tell us that we are expected to be ready for his return. We should be waiting for his return.
We should be anticipating it. John MacArthur points out that of the hundreds of Old Testament messianic prophecies and there are hundreds approximately one third of them deal with Christ's first coming in about two thirds deal with his second coming and the important point. There is all those prophecies that deal with Christ's first coming are fulfilled literally and so our expectation should be that those prophecies dealing with the second coming would also be fulfilled literally. I've had to turn to Matthew 24 the Olivet discourse and let me set the context for you of the sermon. First, want to Matthew 24 and Jesus went out and departed from the temple and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.
And Jesus said in them.
See not all these things, verily, I say, and you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the Mount Mount of olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming in of the end of the world. They ask when's it going to happen and what are going to be the signs and Jesus responds for sake of time this morning rather than reading the text of bullet points verse five false messiahs.
This can be wars and rumors of wars and fighting verse six is can be famines and earthquakes and natural disasters. Verse seven there will be martyrdom of Christ people. Verse nine in verse 11 we see false teachers and false prophets we see defection of false believers. People who said that they were really Christ children, they fall away all these different issues and problems when you get to verse 14 the worldwide spread of the gospel that there's a really good thing that's going to happen, particularly as we got to the year 2000. Many different groups were predicting. If we can evangelize the world. Jesus will come back in the year 2000. And that's based on this verse. Verse 24 false prophets working signs and wonders probably demonically or satanically inspired miracles. Verse 29 earth shattering events earth shattering events listen to verse 29 immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be dark and the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall from heaven. The powers of heaven shall be shaken and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn one of the key things we need to realize when that key New Testament teachings about Christ's return is what we sometimes called the doctrine of immanence that Jesus could come at any moment. This is throughout many of the prophetic passages Jesus could come back before the services over or Jesus may not come back for another 2000 years. We don't know but were said to be ready were told to be ready in three quick applications of that the Bible itself gives us very specific, concrete applications of eminence. The first is patient faithfulness. The second prayerful anticipation and the third holy conduct me show you this quickly.
Patient faithfulness James 58 be ye also patient, establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord drawl is not a Hebrews 1024 and 25 talks about exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching prayerful anticipation. First Peter 47 says the end of all things is at hand, be therefore sober and watch unto prayer.
Have you ever prayed about the Lord's return.
Holy conduct second Peter 310 and 11, the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat years also and all the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness in the King James were conversation means conduct holy conduct. How many of you.
You have ever before been a babysitter may be for your siblings and would now know why we use that term because it's usually not a baby that you're watching and you hope they don't sit on them, but I guess child water sounds kind of weird but maybe even a nanny you know you been a nanny before, and the fact that that people presumably are paying you for this, maybe not. If it was your parents as to got your siblings what you're getting paid to watch other people's kids motivates you and the fact that they're coming back to control the way those kids act. You probably don't let them have a spaghetti food fight in the living room with white carpet or let them swing from the chandeliers. Why because their parents are coming back. And Jesus says the fact that he's coming back should motivate us to holy conduct. You think about that particular besetting sin of yours that you may be continually struggle with.
You fall flat on your face, you feel so ashamed when you do it you would be horrified if the person sitting next to you right now found out about it. What if you're doing that when Jesus comes right.
The fact that Christ is coming back should motivate us to prayerful anticipation of faithful steadfastness and also a holy conduct, listen to first John three, two and three beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him or we shall see him as he is in every man that hath this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
Now the teaching of Scripture about the signs of the times is that it gets worse before it gets better and I want to focus in on the fact that it does get better. In verse eight of Matthew 24 a compares it to birth pains.
King James is beginning of sorrow. Most translations say the beginning of birth pains and anyone who's been particularly those women and the congregation who had a child.
They know that when when you're expecting it gets worse before it gets better. But when your child is born. It's totally worth it.
More than 200 years ago.
Philosopher noted that often the night seems darkest just before the dawn, and recent superhero movies they've they've really taken off on this almost any superhero movie you can think of things are at the absolute worst of the villains are in total control and then enters the superhero and there is this theme that runs through Scripture that often gets darkest just before the dawn.
If you think about that the biblical worldview the metanarrative.
The overarching big story of God's plan. We oftentimes talk about creation, fall, redemption, and I wish I had more time to just walk us through what God says about that in his word creation fall redemption by I really think I agree with many of the theologians and say we really need to add 1/4 thing that that that the Bible is about creation fall redemption and re-creation that the Bible begins and ends in a perfect garden think God's going to make all things new. Listen to the first five verses of Revelation 21 I love this and I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea and I saw and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband and I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God and guide God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away and he that sat upon the throne said, behold I make all things new. And he said in the me right for these words are true and faithful are God makes all things new.
Realize the Bible says a lot about the beauty and the wonder of God's creation in Psalm 19 we read that the heavens declare in the sky proclaims in the days speak in the nights revealed in first Chronicles 16 the heavens are glad and the earth rejoices in the seas roar in the fields, exalt in the trees sing for joy and Nehemiah 96, the host of heaven worship God. In Psalm 93 the floods lift their voice in Psalm 96, the heavens rejoice in the earth is glad in the sea roars in the fields are joyful, and all the trees of the forest.
Rejoice in Psalm 98, the rivers clap in the mountains saying in Isaiah 55.
The mountains and the hills burst forth in the song and the trees clap their hands and in Luke 1940.
The triumphal entry of Jesus as if these people didn't praise me the very stones would cry out creation has been called God's first missionary when God chose to reveal something to us about his nature, his design is love. His power, his attention to detail.
He took this galaxy in this blue planet any fashion. The masterpiece God writes in capital letters through his creation. But listen to what Paul says in Romans 818 through 23 as I wrap this up. He writes this for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us for the earnest expectation of the creature in Greek. That's the creation waited for the manifestation of the sons of God for the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected the same in hope because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation Kronos and travail with and pain until now, and he talks about the fact that God will redeem all of creation and you stop and think about that.
The hills are alive with the sound of music, but there singing in a minor key when you think of the beautiful creation that we see around us and I know many of you like me you love hiking you love all the different things you seen creation.
I think of a time that I stood on the maid of the mist boat and I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of Niagara Falls. You look up 167 feet and you watch the Horseshoe Falls 2200 feet wide, 450,000 gallons of water a second and the roar of the water so loud you can hardly hear yourself think. I remember flying past Mount Rainier in route to Seattle and having my breath taken away as I saw that mountain peeking up through the clouds.
I think about the middle salute a river that meanders through Jones gap State Parkway love to take my kids hiking. I think about a life-changing 10 day rafting trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and you think about series like blue planet or planet dear Bertha, just show all these incredible scenes of God's creation. When you think about sunsets and waterfalls in nature trails and starry nights and majestic oak oceans. Do you realize that the exquisite beauty that we see all around us is just a shadow of what's coming. Revelation 21 describes the new heaven and the new earth.
And the fact that our God loves us so much he makes all things new. If you think about it and you look around you at the gorgeous beautiful creation God has made and you think if this is what creation looks like when it's groaning.
What will it be like when it shouts on the close with this a couple months ago I was at the funeral.
My 95-year-old grandfather. He was the last of my grandparents to enter glory and I was reminded of about five years ago when I preached my father's funeral. The Lord took my dad is a 59-year-old pastor was the hardest sermon I've ever preached. Shortly after my dad's funeral I was rocking to bed to sleep. My three-year-old son Shepherd is three at the time and we were singing songs together in one of her favorite songs to sing was give me Jesus and we sing that last verse, and when I come to die. And when I come to die. Give me Jesus you can have all this world, but give me Jesus in my three-year-old son looked up at me and he said daddy's granddaddy really dead and I said yes Shepherd. He is he's in heaven someday you come to know Christ.
You'll see him again. My dad would read pop-up books to my son Shepherd and he loved my son love that Shepherd looked at me said daddy mommy told me that everybody dies.
Is that true and I said yes unless the Lord comes back. Everybody dies said daddy does that mean you're gonna die one day and I said yes Shepherd and less Christ comes back to get me one day your data skin and die said he was going to take me swimming and go wrestling with me, so someone else will have to do that daddy is mommy and I yes Shepherd and must Lord comes back.
Mom is going to die. Who's gonna make Shepherd cookies is thinking through all the stuff they kind of pauses and he looks up at me and says that he is Shepherd and Hyundai and I said yes Shepherd is your dad. I hope I never see that day unless Christ comes back every body dies. Even Shepherd don't want to have. You can eat all the candy and there's another pause and I don't know if it was kind of a a stroke of God-given brilliance, or if he didn't even know what he was saying, but my three-year-old son looked up at me and he said daddy not everybody dies can't die because then you would save us, and it hit me like maybe it never had quite that specifically. Before that the God who created us became the Lamb who would die for us, who would conquer death so that someday he could save us and in this series we are talking about the return of the King and were talking about a God who so great that he doesn't leave us in our misery, but he does.
The thing that only God could do. He comes back to save us.
Let's pray father your glory fills the earth.
You are incomparable and all your ways. There is none like you and when we read the prophetic portions of Scripture.
If we take the Bible literally. There's a part of our heart that is prone to fear as we think about anguish and struggle in battle and destruction, but we realize that the overarching message even of a book like Revelation is that Christ wins that your son is victorious that you are sovereign that you've never made a mistake that you have everything under your control that you're coming back for us someday and father. We praise you for that. We what we pray that we live in light of this, that we would love you and love others as the great command tells us we pray these things in Christ's name. Amen.
You've been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Nathan Crockett, director of ministry training at Bob Jones University. If you appreciate this program and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word would you consider sending us a special financial gift.
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This sermon was part of the study series about the second coming of Christ.
Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series here on The Daily Platform