Whenever Christ followers think of end times, our hearts often quicken—partly out of joy, yet also out of fear. The hard part is that we won’t know when we are at the end until we are at the end. But the uncertainty of dates isn’t what troubles us most. It’s the wondering about what to expect right before His return AND what comes after.
Last week we took a closer look at Jesus’ specific answer to the questions about what to expect before His return. Here are the main points we considered.
Jesus Warns that the Darkest Period of Human History Comes Before His Return.
Matt. 24:21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
It will be an intensification of what has been happening already. The Bible calls it many things including “the great tribulation” Daniel’s 70th week, Revelations final spiritual battle and outpouring of wrath. Wars, disasters, & persecutions will be at their worst. The trouble will be so bad none could survive without God’s intervention.
Jesus tells us this so that we don’t misread what is happening. He has not forgotten or abandoned his own. He is not a hoax. He can still be trusted with our lives.
SO… Don’t be startled if this happens in our time. For those who find themselves still on earth at this time he instructs that we should:
- Pray for God’s help
- Get out of the core battle zone as quickly as you can. Don’t bother protecting your stuff. AND
- Ditch your condo in Judea!
The Time of Greatest Suffering Begins with the Greatest Idolatry!
Matt. 24:15-16 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains
The worst period of hardship for humanity will begin with arrogant idolatry in God’s chair. A world leader intentionally dishonors true God by taking His place and leading in unholy worship. There have been examples of this attitude in the Bible and human history. Think Nero or Hitler. “Hail Caesar,” “Hail Hitler,” who’s next?! Satan was the first to seek God’s chair. His spirit lies behind other arrogant world dictators.
SO… Make sure your heart is anchored in the true Jesus. It is good to gut check your soul periodically by asking, “What am I looking for to save me?”
Jesus Return will Bring the Greatest Light into the World at its Worst Darkness.
Matt. 24:29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Jesus will interrupt the world’s greatest suffering. His coming will be immediately obvious to all when it happens. He will leave no doubt. He comes in our darkest hour literally. Sun, moon and stars are blacked out. The light of the world will finally fully break the darkness.
Jesus’ return will be like Gandalph’s appearing at the darkest moment of the battle of Helm’s deep in the Two towers. But a thousand times greater for those who have trusted him during that season.
SO… Trust the glory of His coming no matter how dark things become AND Trust Jesus’ to gather all who have true faith in Him at His return.
One day everyone will know the truth. Only those who humbly admit their sin and trust him before the end will have eternal life in His kingdom. All will experience darkness. Some will move through it to Jesus’ light. I hope you will choose to be among them by trusting your life to Jesus.
For the full message go to www.parkviewfamily.com. Join us this coming weekend as we continue looking at what Jesus taught about the end of the age.