Tag: The Second Coming of Christ

We Can Be Certain Of The Return Of Jesus Christ

The Certainty Of Christ’s Return To Earth

Book of Luke 21

Although many believe in different details, the doctrine of the return of Jesus Christ is something all Christians have in common.

The return of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 300 times in the Scriptures of the New Testament.

Entire chapters in Matthew and Mark and Luke teach us of the return of Jesus Christ.

The biggest part of First and Second Thessalonians and the Book of Revelation are all about the return of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ taught that His return would be literal and according to the Scriptures.

Jesus Christ taught that His return would be a physical event and not some spirit happening.

In fact the Book of Acts says Jesus would return in the very same way that He departed.

Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Those that look for Jesus to return in any other way are wrong.

Jesus’ return will first be felt by all those He has promised to take to His Father’s home, as we will meet Him in the clouds before He sets foot on Gethsemane.

All those who have been strangers and pilgrims on this earth will finally return to Heaven the place of our true citizenship with our new glorified bodies.

If we did not believe these things we could not have true peace on this earth.

Those that believe in less than this do not believe the Scriptures!

We cannot know the exact time of the Lord’s return but when He comes He will be quick to get here.

Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

These things should encourage us all to be busy about the work of the Lord.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But 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, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

The passage we look at today is now known as the Olivet Discourse.

This passage deals with the destruction of Jerusalem. the return of Christ, and the end of the world.

Let’s begin:

*****Luk 21:5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,
Luk 21:6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

As Jesus spends His last days before He faces the cross, He never stopped teaching His disciples. If these were so important then, they surely remain important now to us that know Him.

The most important job for these disciples lay ahead after Christ had given His life and after He had risen and then after He had ascended back to Heaven.

After what some would describe as a shaky start, the 12 Apostles when we include the Apostle Paul, turned this world upside down, began the Church of Jesus Christ, and this world has not been the same since.

What is the purpose of the Holy Ghost filled Church?

In the words of Jesus:

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Joh 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

We can see how far the church has drifted away from this, because the church is no longer filled with Holy Ghost power.

The Apostles of Jesus Christ faced some terrible times and many in the church still do today!

Jesus Christ gave these men a glimpse into the future.

These men would face things they never realized until they were all martyrs, except John who died of old age, the only one.

When Jesus speaks of the “last days” in most cases He speaks of the “last days of the Church”, before the rapture of the saints.

Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

**By explaining these certain things to these men, they would know that God is never caught off guard.

Someone uses this phrase “Has it dawned on you that nothing has ever dawned on Christ”.

Our God is still “Omniscient”, which means He has a universal knowledge of all things that have happened, that are happening, and that will happen, and He knows all these things at the same time.

Nothing happens in this world that God does not know about.

Nothing happens in this world that God could not stop if He so chose to do so.

BUT, God does not ever do evil!

EVEN, the wrath of God is justified!

God will never go against His Written Word!

By knowing all these things, these Apostles would not be caught off guard living in this cruel world.

By having the complete Word of God, we should never be caught off guard by what is happening in our world at any time.

These disciples would realize that their strength would have to come from the Lord.

They could not do as Jesus instructed, if their hope had not been in God!

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

**Now lets see how Jesus dealt with these two questions.

We must not forget there is only one thing that brings the “judgment of God” and “it is sin”.

It is the same for every person and it is the same for every nation!

It was certain that the Temple would be destroyed. We know this as fact.

It was certain that the Jews would be dispersed throughout this world. We know this as fact.

It is certain that the Church Age will come to an end when Jesus meets the Church in the clouds.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

It is certain that the Tribulation period will then begin and it will come to an end seven years later at the Second Coming of Christ.

Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

What will happen during that time? We get a preview of the future of our world by what happened to the Temple and to Jerusalem.

It would pay for this world to clearly understood, that the institutions and systems that govern this world, will be destroyed by the coming of the Lord.

And it should also be very clear that the institutions and the systems of religion that are opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter how splendid, nor how strong, are doomed for destruction at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The disciples really only had two concerns, WHEN, and What Will Be The Warning Signs!

*****Luk 21:7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?

All of Israel was expecting to see the glory of Israel when the Messiah came, yet Jesus, The Messiah was speaking of utter destruction.

They could hardly believe what they were hearing.

We to must listen carefully to the words of the Lord, because there is so much deception in this world.

Satan is dedicated to the downfall of Christianity and will use every method available to him.

*****Luk 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

The first sign will be false messiahs.

Jesus said that there would be many false messiahs who declared that they could save this world.

We should also consider that there will be many false Christians.

Jesus said they would come in His name. If you walk in the name of Christ then you are Christian.

There is a great danger in deception! Jesus said to take heed. To watch for these things very carefully.

There message would be that the end time is near.

We should consider that this is the message of all those predicting the “Climate Change” in our world today.

The wars in the Middle East have a lot to do with the promise of a false messiah.

There are those who claim to be Jesus, who has returned.

And of course there are those claiming to be Christian and are deceivers.

There may also be others.

The Lord Jesus said “go not after them”. Pay no attention to the things they say, because they are all deceivers.

Jesus was teaching His disciples and if you love the Lord, He is speaking to you!

Disciples can be misled by false preachers and false teachers and the lies of this world.

Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

This sign is evident in many ways in our world today, just as Jesus said, “there will be many”.

*****Luk 21:9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
Luk 21:10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

The next sign is the conflicts that go on between nations.

Everyone knows the meaning of wars and our world has never seen one day of world-wide peace since the days of Adam.

That word “commotions”, means these are uproars, riots, terrorism, insurrection, treasons, and confusions of governments.

If there is anyone who cannot say that these things have not increased already and continue to increase, then are already deceived.

There are uprisings within governments. Even in America we are more divided politically than we have ever been.

There are governments over thrown in our world almost everyday.

It is a fact that to see all these things on the news constantlym, even true believers can become disturbed.

The truth is Jesus said to not be terrified by these things.

We are to not let our hearts be troubled.

Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

If we remain centered upon God, we can trust in His presence, trust in His care, and we certainly can trust in His eternal security.

If this world is destroyed, “it was not our home to begin with”!

We will be in our new home before this world is destroyed!

Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

World wide violence must come to pass, until it reaches it’s peak.

It is not God that brings these things about though He gets most of the blame.

These things come about because they come from the hearts of evil men.

It is a fact, that we would destroy our own world if God gave us the chance.

It is passion, lust, greed, and evil that dominates this world today.

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Not only these signs but there will be great signs in nature.

*****Luk 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Most of us don’t realize it, but there may be at least 1 million earthquakes each year with 130 or more of them strong and 20 of them being called major earthquakes.

There are about 600 deaths each year attributed to earthquakes and 67,000 people were killed in China in 2014 due to just one earthquake.

Earthquakes occur along the fault lines throughout our globe constantly.

Earthquakes are one of the most feared and destructive things, in what is referred to as natural disasters.

Jesus mentions earthquakes but He also mentions 4 more disasters that happen in the natural world.

Earthquakes will occur in many places and many at the same time during the last days.

**Famines.

It could be said that famines are sometimes sent as an effect of God’s anger against a guilty people.

Jer 42:17 So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.

Psa 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.

There will be terrible famine in the last days!

In fact the Black Horse of the Book of Revelation indicates terrible famine.

Terrible things happen in a time of famine.

Lam 4:9 They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.
Lam 4:10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Even God says it is better to die by the sword, than to starve to death and who can imagine eating their own children.

The last days on this earth will be a terrible thing but these days can be missed be accepting the Lord Jesus Christ before the end of the Church Age.

But that is not all that will happen in the last days.

The result of earthquakes and famine is the onslaught of disease (pestilence).

Not only do earthquakes and famine bring disease and pestilences, but so does war.

Pestilence shows no partiality!

The rich may be able to buy food to survive a famine, but they cannot buy their way out of an epidemic of disease.

Part of the results of the Pale Horse of the Book of Revelation includes pestilences.

Rev 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

But that is not all.

**There will be great astronomical happenings.

There will be fearful sights and great signs that can be seen in the skies.

There will a darkening from all the ash of volcanos, the wind storms, the smoke from the many land fires.

Whatever darkens the Sun also will also distort the night sky and the Moon will disappear or change colors.

And we should not forget the untold number of UFO sightings and things associated with those things.

Even our own government spends untold millions of dollars in search of such things.

There will be meteorites that fall to earth at an ever increasing rate.

Astronomical happenings will be world-wide.

Mar 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
Mar 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

Jesus says that these are sure signs of His return to this earth.

Mar 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

It is obvious that the worst lies ahead for this world.

Because man will continue to be more evil.

2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

We are still in that period that is before those days and Jesus says in this period, it is the Church that will suffer persecution.

*****Luk 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
Luk 21:13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

It is obvious that Jesus was answering a direct question of those chosen disciples but many of these same things pertain to each and every disciple since that day.

It is true that Christians have been persecuted since the founding of the Church. The truth is persecution will become greatly intensified before the Church Age comes to an end.

It is obvious that Jesus has separated the Church Age from the 7 year Tribulation Period that begins at the end of the Church Age.

Persecution will not only come from the less than civil society, but also from the religious system and also the governments of this world and we have already seen these things increase dramatically in just the last few years.

It had already began in the time of Paul.

Act 28:22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.

And why will such persecution take place?

*****Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Luk 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
Luk 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

It is only those that know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior that will be persecuted to such an extent.

This world we live in will continue to try to stamp out all references to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why? Because Jesus Christ reminds them just how sinful they really are!

Jesus Christ is the standard of true godliness!

The Christian has Jesus as his standard.

Those that have already rejected Jesus Christ will also reject those that have accepted Jesus Christ!

Those that reject the standards of Jesus Christ and accept the standards of the world, will reject everything Christian.

God says therefore:

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Why? Because Jesus lived a life of purity and those that follow the Lord Jesus Christ will seek a life of moral purity, while the world lives by immoral standards.

This world lives to fulfill all the lust of their flesh!

This world is driven to be materialistic even if that takes away from others.

There is no natural affection shown to fellow human beings!

There is no message of repentance in our world today.

There is no message of denial of the flesh in our world today.

Though there be millions of people in need throughout our world, very few people are willing to give up there own things to help them.

Therefore the Lord said He would also send a famine of the Word of God.

Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Why? Because persecution is a glorious witness for the Lord.

There is increasing persecution as this world tries to silence the Word of God.

Even in America the Word of God is being considered to be “hate speech”.

There is hardly a day goes by, that we do not see this prophecy of the Lord being fulfilled and we wonder if we are in the “last days”.

If you take a stand on the Word of God you will suffer persecution!

Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

**There is one marvelous thing that Christians do not have to worry about.

*****Luk 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

When the believer has to stand in defence of his or her beliefs, God will fill our hearts and our mouths with a reply.

Jesus did not promise that we would be made free.

Jesus did not even promise that we would not die, there are already many martyrs for Christ everyday.

Jesus promised we could have no fear!

Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

We live in a world where all non-believers are beginning to hate the Christian.

In fact more and more of the Church are going against the Word of God, in order to please those of the world in an attempt to survive.

These things cause strife in the Church and the Church forgets it’s purpose, which is to reach out to the lost without compromising on the Word of God.

There can be only one truth!

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Joh 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

If we truly trust the Lord with our eternal soul, why then do we not trust Him with our lives!

If we allow God to be in control of our lives we will certainly have “Spiritual Security”.

1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

God says we must be patient in these end times!

We must not fear persecution, we must absorb it!

When we are already in the arms of Jesus, death just puts us there a moment quicker.

Life on this earth is just too short in comparison to an eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Then Jesus returns to the coming destruction of Jerusalem of 70 AD but we should not forget that this Scripture also points toward the last days.

*****Luk 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

History tells us of the terrible destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of God’s people Israel.

The key to understanding this passage is that we are to be prepared at all times for the judgment of God!

Except for peace with Egypt, Jerusalem is now today already surrounded by the enemy armies of evil.

When Jerusalem is totally surrounded near the very end it will be time to flee just as it was for the remaining Apostles in 70 AD.

*****Luk 21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
Luk 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

The truth is that most Christians did flee before Titus destroyed Jerusalem.

Many of them fled to Pelia(Pella) a city in Decapolis.

Matthew wrote to forget all the comforts of home and personal belongings, because the danger was just to close and too terrible.

We should never be so attached to our personal belongings so much that we forget about the coming judgment!

We have only one place to flee to, and that is to Jesus Christ!

We must also remember that the destruction of Jerusalem was due to sin.

The future destruction of Jerusalem will also be due to sin.

Sin results in total destruction!

The only sin that cannot be forgiven is to reject the Lord Jesus Christ, and this sin requires payment and the wages of sin is still death!

It will be a terrible time.

*****Luk 21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
Luk 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Those women with young children, especially those without husbands will find it very difficult to flee.

They may even move to slow to escape.

Not only will the people be in great distress but the lands will also be in great distress.

This is the truth of 70 AD and it will be the truth in the future.

In 70 AD the wrath of Rome and the wrath of God fell on Jerusalem!

We can see the growing wrath of this world toward Israel and God will still punish sin.

Over 1 million died in Jerusalem in 70 AD and there will be even more in the judgment of God.

It is a fact that during the Tribulation Period, this world will experience great tribulations especially in the last 3 and 1/2 years of that 7 year period.

The Book of Revelation is full of this truth.

What is the “time of the Gentiles”?

We should immediately see that it is God who is in control of all the times of this earth.

God is in control of written history, but God does not cause the evil that goes on in this world, He just allows people the freedom to choose.

The time of the Gentiles means “that there will come a time when the Gentiles can no longer cause harm to Jerusalem”.

There is coming a time when the Jews will no longer be persecuted because God will simply not allow it!

There is coming a time when God will rule this world from the city of Jerusalem and there is nothing this world can do to stop these things from happening!

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

It’s important that we believe these things.

And yet there will be more signs of the coming judgment of God and the greatest sign of all, the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****Luk 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Luk 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

We have already discussed the great signs in the heavens but another thing should be considered.

Our world hovers on the brink of Nuclear War everyday.

World-wide atomic warfare could cause all this distress on this earth and completely hide the Sun for a long period of time.

These are just facts!

But even these things cannot affect the heavens.

The logical conclusion then, is that God who created all the heavenly-host will then cause these things to happen.

It is the wrath of God, that in just a moment, or just a breath, or just with His Word, He can change what goes on in His created world!

We must accept the Word of God as the literal truth!

Every part of God’s creation will be affected that day the Lord Jesus Christ appears!

Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

We can just imagine the governments of this world gathering to see if there is anything that can be done to stop the return of Our Lord.

But for the believer it will be a grand and glorious day!

*****Luk 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

The first thing we see in the return of Christ is that it is the Son of Man who will return, “God in the flesh”.

This world will have no doubt who He is!

Next we see, that all those that have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ will see Him with their own eyes and they will acknowledge that He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Then we see that the Lord Jesus is coming in the clouds in all His glory.

Once again the Shekinah Glory of God will appear on this earth.

We know that true believers know this truth of the Lord.

We also know that Hell is full of believers who now know the truth.

On that day everyone who has ever lived will know the truth of God.

There will be no more mysteries for anyone to discuss and ridicule!

So as we see, the signs that Jesus has taught us to look for, we should not discard nor devalue them, we need to look up, lift our heads, because our redemption draws nearer than it has ever been before!

Nations will be perplexed, we do not have to be.

Mankind will be full of fear, enough that many hearts will just fail, we should have no fear at all.

How should we spend our time?

Telling someone about Jesus and looking for that Blessed Hope!

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

We are going home one day soon.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

A Faithful Walk With The Lord

Following Faithfully

2 Thessalonians 3:1-18

We have reached the end of our study of the two books to the Thessalonians. These letters were written to the Church at Thessalonica but the Apostle Paul insisted that they be circulated throughout to every church as they are today.

God has now given us the complete canon of the Bible.

There are 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament that are considered to be the Inspired Word of God.

In 303 AD the Emperor Diocletian demanded that all sacred books to be burned. It was at this time that the books that were considered the Inspired Word of God, including the New Testament, some called the Apostles Doctrine, were collected into what we now call the Bible and are the preserved Word of God.

What did God say?

Isa 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: “but the word of our God shall stand for ever”.

What did Jesus say?

Luk 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: “but my words shall not pass away”.

What did Peter say to the Church?

1Pe 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And “this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”.

We have God’s complete Word to us and this not a book of suggestions, This Is A Book Of Commandments!

Let’s begin:

*****2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

Finally after everything we learned in 1 Thessalonians and everything we have learned so far in 2 Thessalonians, Paul said to use our greatest weapon and that is prayer.

I hope that everyone realizes the importance of prayer.

Heb 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost “that come unto God by him”, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

We would lose our salvation without Christ Jesus interceding between us and a Holy God!

Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

We would have no payment for our sin and therefore no Advocate in Heaven without Christ Jesus interceding for us and in our behalf!

1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.

We could have no contact with our Father in Heaven without Christ Jesus!

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you”.

And we are all one “Body Of Christ”.

1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

We must pray for each other and especially for those, like our own Pastor!

But, we see that Paul did not say to pray for his personal needs.

Paul asked for prayer that the Word of God have “free course”.

We should pray this same prayer every day!

Paul desired that his preaching be accepted and applied to all those that heard God’s Word wherever God sent him.

In last weeks lesson we learned that it the Holy Ghost filled Church that does not allow the “Man of Sin” to show himself in the Church Age.

The most important weapon we have are our prayers!

Paul asked for prayer that the Word of God be glorified where he preached the “Gospel”.

Paul sought nothing for himself and no glory for himself for his work for the Lord.

2Co 12:6 For though I would desire to glory, “I shall not be a fool”; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

In everything we do we need to give God the glory!

Paul also knew that wherever he preached the “Gospel” he would meet with resistance.

The “gospel” still meets resistance everywhere it is preached and believed.

When the entire truth of God is preached and taught, there will be opposition from the religious, and even from many that call themselves Christians.

People do not want to hear the truth because the truth points out sin that should cause a change.

Most people love their sin to much to change and this is even more evident in the days we live right now!

Those that hate Jesus, those that do not care to hear the truth, and the carnal hearts of evil people all try to hinder the work of the “Gospel”.

Paul also requested for deliverance from such people.

*****2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

These unreasonable men would be those who opposed the truth and had absurd principles.

These are those who are opposed to truth even when common sense, and sound judgment dictates the reality of that truth.

Today these are those who absolutely reject creation and honor evolution though there is absolutely no proof of evolution.

At least God describes His Own Creation through means that cannot be denied by true science.

These are those who reject the common sense of God’s Word.

These are those who strive to have their own way, regardless of the truth and regardless of the consequences.

These are those that practice evil and evil principles which is everything contrary to the moral law of the Bible.

These are usually those that are dissatisfied with there own miserable lives and want everyone else to be miserable just like they are, such as Stephen Hawking!

Those that say they have faith in only themselves are liars because “true faith” is a gift that can only come from God!

Any faith they claim is only temporary and changes with the circumstances in their lives.

But not that of the Lord!

*****2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

Faith on the part of man answers to the faithfulness of God!

For this reason the Word of God will never change!

Those that try to change and modernize the Word of God show their lack of faith!

When we walk by faith and not by sight, God will help us through all the events in our life because God is faithful!

When we fail Him, God will forgive us immediately when we repent because God is faithful.

When temptations overwhelm us, God will provide a way out because God is faithful.

When we are discouraged, God will comfort and encourage us because God is faithful.

Since God is faithful then the Word of God shows His faithfulness to us.

Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

This is why we can be so confident in the Inspired Word of God.

*****2Th 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

Where is our confidence?

If we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved!

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

It is a fact of the Gospel, when we place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved!

The fact that the Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in each believer is good reason for our confidence.

What commandments was Paul referring to?

1Th 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

Our walk with God “after salvation” is our most important witnessing tool!

And this walk can only begin with our “faith”!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

And with that faith we will be looking for that “Blessed Hope”, the return of Christ Jesus to take us home.

*****2Th 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

Paul has given us the 5 things that we need in our walk with God.

1) Prayerfulness. Our greatest weapon.
2) Preservation. Deliverance from sin.
3) Protection. God is faithful to His promises.
4) Perseverance. If we trust the Lord, He will save us.
5) Patience.

Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

In order to have patience we must “be set” in our hope of a better future.

This takes confidence, hope, and belief in our still future but perfect redemption!

But we must also be obedient to the Word of God and be humble in the things of God.

It is a privilege to be given such an opportunity to serve God!

Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

And notice that we are to be waiting on the appearance of Jesus Christ and not be waiting to see when the Antichrist will show his ugly face!

Since we know all these things we must protect our ability to witness to the world and be examples of Christ Jesus to others.

*****2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
2Th 3:7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
2Th 3:8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

What are the two greatest threats to the Church in our age? The same as it was in the days of Paul.

A disorderly walk with God and idleness!

Disorderly means confused. We cannot allow false teaching in the House of God because it will only bring confusion.

We must avoid those that cause confusion!

Disorderly means lawless. We must obey the Word of God. We must take God’s Word literal. God does not offer suggestions, God gives commandments.

We must avoid those that do not walk the walk of Jesus Christ!

Disorderly means unruly. We are sheep who know the true Shepherd, not a bunch of cattle on a cattle drive.

We must avoid those that are unruly!

There must be discipline in the House of God!

Notice this is also a command and not a suggestion.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy had presented themselves as examples of how to walk the Christian walk.

Were they perfect? No.

But they did not preach confusion, they taught the entire Word of God.
They preached the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” and not some other gospel.
They live holily.
They lived justly.
They lived unblamably.
They behaved themselves and they were never disorderly among those of the Church.
And they did not live an idle and inactive life among them!

They were always busy about the things God gave them to do!

These things were very important to the Apostle Paul and these things should be just as important to each believer.

1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Paul even gave up his right to expect financial help from this young Church so that he could be an example to these young believers.

In the synagogues of the Jews, the people were expected to support the preacher but these new Gentile Churches knew nothing of these things and they were very poor to begin with.

A truly dedicated leader will use his rights to build up the people and not try to build up himself!

The greatest influence we can offer is that personal sacrifice to the Lord.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

*****2Th 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

From the beginning, God has ordained that men should work for their own food.

Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

This became even more necessary when sin entered this picture.

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

We will even continue to work serving the Lord after we move into our mansion in Heaven.

Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and “his servants shall serve him”:

It is inexcusable for Christians, when they are no longer children, to expect others to provide the things that sustain physical life, while they stand idle and have the ability to provide for themselves.

In fact it is inexcusable for anyone not to try to provide for their own selves in a legal and moral manner.

There is no spiritual excuse for this type of thinking.

But our government’s policies influences this type of behavior.

All of us may need some help sometimes, I can attest to that myself.

But God says those that refuse to work, when they able, then neither should they eat.

Again liberals refuse this Word of God!

Why? Idleness causes problems in society but especially in the Church.

Why are there so many protesters when something happens?

Most of those people do not have a job to go to.

They are idle and refuse to work!

*****2Th 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

What is a busybody? This is someone who does not look to their own business but they are overdoing in the business of others.

They are real busy about everyone’s business but their own!

The word disorderly is used 4 times in the letters to these Thessalonians.

The disorderly are those who refuse to obey civil laws and in this case also the laws of God!

In America today, we see a government that will not obey it’s own laws. This shows up in it’s people!

More than one fourth of people who call themselves Americans are perfectly willing to live off the backs of the taxpayer, those willing to work!

These same busybodies are those that refuse the truth of the Word of God.

Not only this, but they refused to work but they were perfectly willing to eat at the hands of the Church.

In verse 6 the Church, each believer, is commanded to withdraw from all such people.

We as the Church are not to entertain such people!

We of the Church should not get discouraged by the conduct of those that do not obey the Word of God!

Sin in the life of any believer will always affect the work of the Church!

These are some that are a plague to the Church and also to their own nation.

1Ti 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

*****2Th 3:12 Now “them” that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

These busybodies were now the “Them” of the Church.

Every Church has a “them”.

Every nation has a “them” and a “they”!

As always, these people know who they are and what they are doing!

Remember they have rejected the truth and have made up in their own mind what the Word of God says.

God’s Word is settled whether It is believed or not!

What does God say?

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

When God inspired the writers of the Bible, He did not expect them to completely understand what they were writing.

So even when we do not completely understand the reason for God’s commands, we are still to obey God’s commands!

It was “those” who did obey by faith the Word of God that were to give “them” who did not obey the Word of God, this message and to all busybodies.

In other words, “here is God’s command to you (the them) and we will not have any part with you until you repent”.

1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

It “is not” our job to feed those that refuse to work and are able!

I saw a picture of a shoe store in Ferguson, Missouri that had been looted and not one pair of work shoes had been stolen but most all other shoes were completely missing.

It “is” our job to help those that have a real need!

Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

We just cannot allow these things to wear us down in our labor for the work of the Lord.

*****2Th 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

Not to the “them” but to the rest of “those that gather”, not forsaking the assembling for the Lord, we need to be busy about the work of God.

In contrast to those “disorderly busybodies” who only God can fix, we are to give “our” very best to God.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

When we are able to help others, the first priority is to be given to those that are poor within the Church and then those in the world, as we are able.

But suppose these busybodies still reject the Word of God after they have received the warning from God’s people, what then?

*****2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

These are those who have rejected the preaching of the “Gospel”.

They have been observed in their wrong doing and have been warned by the Church.

They have even rejected that warning and also rejecting the written Word of God, which is full of God’s truth.

Now the entire Church is to have no part with that person!

Each individual child of God will have to decide if they will obey the Word of God or remain in the company of this disorderly walking busybody!

We are to mark him in our mind as one to be avoided!

We are not to be busybodies ourselves!

Why?

That he may be ashamed. Sometimes when these people are shunned by godly brethren, they will come to their senses.

This person may have already been talked to by the Pastor or the Church Elders but the body of Christ must also be obedient to the Word of God and this verse exists just as all those that teach us about salvation.

But thank goodness we have a God of the second chance!

*****2Th 3:15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

We must still go to this person and explain why we can have no part with him or her!

Church discipline to the church member must be administered as a family would discipline a child!

Church discipline is not the pastor and some official board acting like God’s policemen to trap a sinning saint of God and kicking him out of the Church.

When the Church disciplines a “Born Again” child of God who has made a serious mistake and living in sin, “we are not to be like a judge punishing a criminal” but only as a father may punish his own children.

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Only if that person refuses to settle the matter should any other saint of God be involved.

Php 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

When we can help each other, especially in these latter days, the Church can remain strong until the Lord returns.

Only God knows whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

And only the Lord is the “Lord of Peace” within the Church.

*****2Th 3:16 Now the “Lord of peace” himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

This is the only place in the New Testament that Jesus is called the “Lord of peace”.

He is called the “God of peace” in 5 other places, this next verse being just one of them.

Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

It is the Lord Jesus who “creates” peace.

It is the Lord Jesus who “sustains” peace in each believer.

How?

He is not just the “Lord of Peace” and the God of Peace but He is also the “Prince of Peace”!

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

He is also the Author of Peace.

1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

He is also the King of Peace.

Heb 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

Jesus Christ is our only means of true peace!

Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

And one day in the not so distant future after the Rapture of the Church, Jesus will “speak peace” to all the heathen.

Zec 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

And in the very end of time, as we know it, and our own new beginning, there will be complete peace!

Isa 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end”, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

True peace can only come through God, the Lord Jesus Christ!

*****2Th 3:17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.
2Th 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Possibly because of bad eyesight, Paul normally would dictate his letters to be written by those that traveled with him such as Luke but also others and maybe Silas or Timothy in this case.

Many times Paul was behind bars and had to dictate his letters.

Paul would place his personal signature on these documents but he may not have always mentioned this.

To these Thessalonians, Paul wanted them to be sure to know that this letter was from him and they were to always look for his personal signature.

They had already been deceived by someone writing to them, claiming to be Paul.

And Paul always reminded the Church that if not for God’s “Grace” there could be no Church!

Grace comes by the Lord Jesus Christ!

This will end our brief study of the Letters to the Thessalonians and next week we will begin in the Book of Psalms.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Believing The Bible

Believing Biblically

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

From the moment we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we should be looking for one thing.

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

This is believing Biblically!

In our lessons we have been seeing ways to improve our walk with the Lord.

Many places in the Bible will teach us how to better serve the Lord but the bottom line is that looking for Jesus Christ to return to take us home is our greatest encouragement to living a life dedicated to Him.

We need to live our lives with the expectation of seeing our Lord.

We should be filled with joy continuously with this thought and the reality of it.

This is the medicine we need when we are having that bad day.

There is nothing wrong with this being the topic of our conversation!

Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

It is only after the Rapture of the Church that it will be the “time of Jacob’s trouble”.

Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

Jesus is coming and we will be going and only then will the Lord begin again to deal with Israel.

Israel will go through the 7 year tribulation period but not the Church!

So Paul continues:

*****2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

Paul is writing this epistle to erase any doubts and any confusion this church may have had about the return of Christ in the two separate events. (The Rapture and The Second Coming)

Paul will go further to explain the time of Christ’s return and place it in it’s proper light.

Paul is not referring to the day Christ came as a babe born in Bethlehem.

Paul is not referring to the day of the Lord when Christ will sit on His throne in Jerusalem.

Paul is referring to the day Christ will gather His Saints in the clouds!

Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in “the day of Christ”, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

The “day of Christ” is the day of the Rapture.

The “day of the Lord” is the day the Lord returns to this Earth at least 7 years after the Rapture.

This also the “time of Jacob’s trouble” and Israel will be saved out of this tribulation to begin the 1000 year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

Paul is speaking to saved people as these things only concern saved people.

It is these saved people who gather together unto the Lord and have been commanded to gather more often as they see the day of the Lord approaching.

Paul said we must consider and learn all these things before we get so shook up worrying about God’s day of wrath.

Let the world concentrate on the day of God’s wrath and we concentrate on the day Christ Jesus will gather His Church!

For the Church, we should be looking for that “Blessed Hope” and not the “wrath of God”!

The Bible teaches us these things for a specific reason.

*****2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

We sometimes have poor memories. Paul had tried to make himself clear in his first epistle but through false teaching or a letter from some other source than Paul, these people had gotten confused and were shaken in their minds.

When they found themselves going through such bitter persecution and in their many troubles they felt that they had missed the Rapture and were already in the “day of the Lord”.

They had lost sight of the truth!

When we lose sight of the truth of the Word of God, we will get confused!

The Lord will definitely return with His mighty angels but not till the Church has been removed from this Earth!

We must not be deceived.

*****2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for “that day” shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The “day of the Lord” cannot begin until the Church has been gathered to the Lord!

There are some things that must take place before the Second Coming of Christ!

Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

What is the “falling away”?

A “falling away” is a defection from the truth. A falling away is a turning away from the teaching the sound principles of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Not one soul that believes on the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ can be lost but much teaching today denies the fundamental doctrine of the “Gospel”.

This was occurring even at the time of these Thessalonians and this was the reason Paul was writing this second epistle.

Many who claim to be saved today do not know what to believe in and to doubt in the truth is to remain lost!

In the Book of Revelation this is called the doctrine of the Laodicean Church.

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

When this teaching reaches it’s full fruition the Lord will return.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When the Lord Jesus cannot enter any doors He will call His Church out of this world!

Jesus said:

Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

That “falling away” actually means “standing away” and on the day of the Rapture, the Church will stand before Christ at the “Bema Seat”.

Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

The 7 year tribulation period cannot begin until after the Church has been removed and it is only then that the “Man of Sin”, the “son of perdition” can be revealed!

This a fact of the Scriptures!

That “man of sin” is called the “son of perdition” because of his being fully energized and control by Satan and can be said to be the “son of the Devil”.

When we look back we have one example who was named Judas.

Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and “one of you is a devil”?

Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the “son of perdition”; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Mar 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: “but woe to that man” by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

This same person is called the “Antichrist”.

1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Just as Judas was antichrist there were many others but the true Antichrist will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church.

This is the same prince that shall come in the Book of Daniel.

Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of “the prince that shall come” shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

This is the Beast of the Book of Revelation.

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

His true identity will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church and soon after that the first half (3 and one half years) tribulation period on this Earth will be begin.

This is the 70th week that is mentioned in the Book of Daniel.

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The second half of the tribulation period (The Great Tribulation) will begin when this Antichrist sits on the throne in the rebuilt Temple of God.

*****2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The Apostle Paul clearly understood all these things and he was trying to keep the “Gospel” simple for these Thessalonians.

This Antichrist, the son of Satan, will be the leader of a worldwide global religion that is against all the Word of God.

This will consist of all false religion that is left behind after the true Church has been removed!

This is the false king of the Book of Daniel.

Dan 11:38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

This evil son of the Devil will take this opportunity to speak to all those that are left behind by speaking great words against the Most High God.

He will win many over with his “God given” powers.

Dan 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

He will proclaim himself to be God to all those that are left behind.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.

We must remember the things that are taught in the Word of God and not from those that teach a false doctrine.

*****2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

Wherever Paul preached he declared the whole counsel of God.

Just like these Thessalonians, we listen to others who only preach what we want to hear or just tickle our ears when we truly need to the truth of God in it’s entirety over and over again.

As faithful as these Thessalonians were they did not study the Bible as they should have and none of us do!

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

There are no secrets in the Bible “that we need” during the Church Age that are hidden! Everything we need to know is in the written Word of God!

Luk 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

The Word of God is perfect now.

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

So what restrains the man of sin from being revealed?

It is not in the power of governments that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is not in the power of social structures that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is not in the power of man-made laws that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is only by the work of the Church that follows the whole counsel of God that can hold back this evil Antichrist!

The true Church would point this man out immediately and he would lose some of his power!

Evil in our world is growing because so many places of worship avoid teaching the whole counsel of God as the truth!

It is the influence of Christians in this world who, not only win others to Christ Jesus but who are the salt of this Earth and the light of this world!

This only happens because each Christian is indwelt and guided by God’s Holy Spirit.

It is the presence of the Holy Spirit within the Church that prevents the revelation of the Antichrist!

*****2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

The “mystery of iniquity” is the exact opposite of the “mystery of godliness”.

What is the mystery of the godliness?

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The “mystery of godliness” is the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Holy Spirit indwells each believer and delays and hinders the “mystery of iniquity” which is the Antichrist, the “Man of Sin”.

That word “let” means the Holy Spirit will “make late” and will not “permit” the Antichrist to reveal himself until He (The Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way.

When will the Holy Spirit be taken out of the way?

Paul has been teaching the Rapture of the Church. The Church has no power without the Holy Spirit.

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

When the Church is removed from the Earth there will be no one left on this Earth who will have the power of the Holy Spirit to resist evil.

There will be no one left to witness for Jesus until God begins dealing with Israel.

The Holy Spirit is not removed, it is His influence on evil in the world through the human beings that follow the Word of God, that will be removed. It is the Church that has been removed.

The Holy Spirit will not be restraining the forces of evil as He is today through true Christians!

This is when the “son of perdition”, the “man of sin”, the Antichrist will be revealed.

*****2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

This evil man will have 7 years to claim to be triumphant!

He will be lawless. He will set himself above the laws of God and also the laws of man.

He will have certain powers given to him by God.

Rev 13:5 And “there was given unto him” a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and “power was given unto him” to continue forty and two months.

Rev 13:7 And “it was given unto him” to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and “power was given him” over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

After these 7 years the Lord will destroy him with the “sword of the Spirit” from His mouth.

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

In our day and for many years, many Christians have sought for “signs and wonders” to increase their faith.

Jesus preached against these things.

Joh 4:48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

It is obvious that the danger is very real of being led into a false doctrine and not in the “Saving Grace” of God.

It already estimated that 80% of those that say they are Christian will slide off the pews into Hell.

Satan and his false prophets are also able to shew “great signs and wonders” but these are “lying wonders” intended to mankind into a false worship of this “Man of Sin”.

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, “they shall deceive” the very elect.

How are these things avoided? By receiving and accepting the truth of God.

*****2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

What is the truth of the “Gospel” and the entire Word of God?

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Those that refuse this truth before the “Rapture” of the Church, will “perish” into eternal damnation under the rule of the “Man of Sin”.

There will be no second chance after the Church has been taken out of this world for anyone who has had the opportunity to receive the truth of the Word of God.

God is sending His Word around the world as time goes forward and with the technology of today surely the Word of God can reach into all places.

Behold, now, today is the day to believe!

2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, “now is the accepted time”; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Now, before the Rapture of the Church, is the accepted time to to be guaranteed to miss eternal damnation.

Christ Jesus has made this to be such a simple thing.

2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted “from the simplicity that is in Christ”.

Because they have rejected the truth of the Word of God they will have missed their opportunity to be saved when the Church is taken out!

*****2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

A merciful God will withdraw His mercy from these that have rejected Him because they received not the love of the “truth”.

The “truth” is still the “truth” even when no one believes it!

Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

What is strong delusion?

“Delusion” is the misleading of the mind.

What is the lie that Satan has told from the beginning of sin?

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and “ye shall be as gods”, knowing good and evil.

That “lie” is the idea that man is his own god and can do whatever he pleases without any judgment!

Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and “worshipped and served the creature” more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

All those who have refused the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be given strong delusion by God Himself when the “man of sin” is revealed and they will believe Satan’s lies.

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Now we are foolish to believe that the Holy Spirit will not convict souls to be saved after the Rapture of the Church.

There will be those that never had the opportunity to understand and receive the “Gospel”.

There will also be those Jews who will then see the “light of the Gospel” once the Church has been removed!

Souls will be saved during the tribulation period!

Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Most of them will have died as martyr’s!

Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

**And there will be a great many saved BUT not one individual who has rejected the Lord Jesus during the Church Age and is alive during the 7 years of tribulation will get another opportunity to be saved because they will believe the lies of the Antichrist, the lies of Satan!

All those that did not believe the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be damned to eternal damnation.

Even during the tribulation period salvation can still only come by Jesus Christ!

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The names of those that die before accepting the Lord Jesus Christ are not in this book of life.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life”, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

The names of all that worship the Antichrist are not written on this book of life.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life” of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Why should we be so thankful? Because from the beginning this has been God’s plan.

God has never had to piece meal a plan together, God has always had this plan!

*****2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God has had this plan from the beginning to save every soul He created!

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

The means of salvation was decided before God spoke His first words of Creation in Genesis 1:1.

Those that are saved are called when they hear the “Gospel”, believe the truth of the “Gospel” and are then sanctified by the Holy Spirit or set apart by walking in the “Gospel” by the Holy Spirit.

It is only these who have believed who will one day be “Glorified”!

How was this plan accomplished for these Thessalonians?

Act 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

And there are always those that will reject the “Gospel”.

Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
Act 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

Jesus said:

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

God will provide this opportunity to every human being that has been born on this Earth!

God already knows because God knows the beginning and the ending of us all!

Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Therefore because these things are true.

*****2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Traditions can be either valuable or they can cause harm depending on whether they follow the Word of God!

The New Testament Church was barely 20 years old at this time and there were only a few books of the New Testament written.

The Word of God was taught according to the Doctrine of the Apostles.

Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

These teachings are the “oral traditions” that Paul was referring to.

To deviate from this “Doctrine of the Apostles” caused confusion in the early church, until all the books of the New Testament were written and then there would be no more “oral traditions” of the Doctrine of the Apostles it was this doctrine that has now been written down for them and us all.

We now have the complete Word of God and Jesus has these words as John last Apostle has written.

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

We can be established if we adhere to the Word of God!

*****2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and “good hope” through grace,
2Th 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

All these things have been provided for us by the “Grace” of God and by God’s salvation plan, and they all come through Jesus Christ!

We must go through Jesus Christ to reach God, Our Father.

Why?

Because He has given us everlasting comfort, and not just hope but “good hope” because He loves us.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Don’t you just love the Word of God and the Truth of it?

God’s Word is not confusing!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

The Promise Of God’s Servant

The Promise Of God’s Servant

"He Will Return"

Book of Mark Chapter 13:24-37

In our last lesson Jesus tells us many things that cannot be denied and have already come to pass. There are those that say anyone could have said these things and they be true, but this is not the message of the world nor of false science.

The message of the false science is that, the world is evolving into something better when the truth is, the world is decaying and dying.

Rom 8:21  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The message of the world is that, because of technology, things are getting better all the time, when the truth is, these same things are causing death and decay and the world is being deceived.

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

The pure fact is that Jesus said in our last lesson these words:

Mar 13:23  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

So let’s continue Chapter 13 as Jesus continues to answer the disciples.

That question was:

Mar 13:4  Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

*****Mar 13:24  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
Mar 13:25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

There should little doubt that there was a great deal of tribulation after the ascension of Jesus Christ back to Heaven.

The work on Herod’s Temple was completed in 64 AD.

By 66 AD Israel had rebelled against the tyranny of Rome. Nero who was Caesar at this time, dispatched Vespasian to stop this rebellion.

By 68 AD the resistance had been put down and Vespasian turned his attention to Jerusalem. This same year Nero committed suicide and Vespasian returned to Rome as ruler and Titus his own son became General of the Roman army.

In 70 AD the walls of Jerusalem fell and the city was destroyed and the Temple ransacked and burned. Not only that but most all the residents of Jerusalem, innocent men, women, and children were ruthlessly slaughtered.

Those that remained, upon seeing these things rebelled again and it was not until 73 AD that the Jews were completely defeated when Masada fell. Those left at Masada would not allow the Roman Army the pleasure of another slaughter and they robbed them by killing themselves.

When Jesus said "those days" and "after that tribulation" we can be sure He was referring to this time period.

But God has already said this:

Mat 23:35  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

This is the generation that was destroyed by Titus, except for a small remnant, that Jesus was making reference to!

But Jesus is also speaking of another time period. Jesus was quoting from the Book of Isaiah.

Isa 13:9  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Isa 13:10  For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Isa 13:11  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Only the Jew was punished in the day of Titus. The Lord says He will punish the world and that has not taken place yet, so there is coming another period of Tribulation and even Greater Tribulation to the entire world!

These are the days "yet to come" when the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give of her light!

And the stars will fall from heaven and the powers in heaven shall be shaken.

In 73 AD any remaining Jews were driven off their own land by Rome and many made slaves and scattered throughout the Roman empire.

But that was not the end of the Jews then and their troubles are not yet over!

Jer 30:10  Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; "and Jacob shall return", and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.
Jer 30:11  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations "whither I have scattered thee", yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

Jer 30:7  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: "it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble"; but he shall be saved out of it.

It is this future time when The Lord Jesus says He will return and it is the Lord Jesus Christ who will save Jacob, "the deceiver", out of the troubles of the Antichrist, at this future time!

The Lord will sit as King then, not only of Israel, but the entire world!

*****Mar 13:26  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

There is a great judgment coming to this world we live in.

It is by the Lord Jesus Christ that the world was made:

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

It is by the Lord Jesus Christ that "Salvation came" to this world:

Act 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Act 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

It will be by the Lord Jesus Christ that "Judgment" will fall on this world:

Psa 96:13  Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Act 17:30  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Act 17:31  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

The Lord Jesus will return "to be the climax and the conclusion" of the Great Tribulation Period.

Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

There will be "unmistakable" signs from on high.

What the Devil is doing at that time will be seen as only a deception because he is only a deceiver but he will have caused the murder and mayhem and slaughter to many of the innocent.

But it is not that remnant that will rebel at this time, because there is coming the Savior!

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Then, what will the Lord do?

*****Mar 13:27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

These elect are not the Church because the Church is already in Heaven and will return with the Lord at His second coming!

Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be "caught up" together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Those two words, "caught up"(snatched out) are the meaning of the word "rapture" and this is the victory of the Church!

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church will not see those 7 years of tribulation!

Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Through Jesus Christ and He alone, the Church will come in fullness of joy to Heaven being saved from the wrath of God.

This is what is called the Rapture of the Church.

The Church is the is the object of God’s love, "and not His wrath".

It would be a contradiction of Christ’s relationship with His Church, His Bride, for the Church to go through the punishments of the seven year tribulation period.

1Th 5:9  "For God hath not appointed us to wrath", but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

2Th 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath "from the beginning" chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

And there is no greater proof than this verse that the Church will not see the tribulation period:

Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth".

The signs of the Lord’s coming were given to Israel and should not be a concern of the Church!

It is "the remnant" of Israel that will be gathered by the Holy Angels.

Dan 12:1  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

And Jesus explains:

*****Mar 13:28  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

We already know that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel!

On May 14, 1948 a strange thing happened.

Isa 66:8  Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

Having been nearly destroyed by the horrors of the Holocaust(6 million Jews slaughtered by Hitler), still facing persecution around the world(another 6 million in Russia), and being constantly surrounded by their enemies(Jews persecuted around the world), the Jewish people gathered together in Israel and declared themselves a nation in a single day.

The United States recognized Israel as a nation on that same day, and Israel’s victories in the wars since have solidified their place among the nations of the world!

That fig tree that God owns, was replanted back onto their land promised to Abraham and it has budded and blossomed ever since but has still not produced spiritual fruit up till today.

"Her branch is yet tender"!

It has not been an easy road for the reborn nation of Israel.

Zec 12:2  Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:3  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

The rebirth of Israel has brought about constant war and conflict with surrounding Muslim nations. Israel attempts to live in peace but those around her want her destroyed!

There seems to be not a day go by that Israel and or the Middle East is not in the world news. It seems the main focus of world’s attention today, concerns Israel’s relationship with its neighbors.

The other atrocities in the world are ignored for the most part!

Just as God foretold, Israel has become a "burdensome stone" for the world’s political leaders.

The majority of the Islamic countries surrounding Israel have made it clear, "their primary goal is the destruction of Israel".

However, God has made it clear that Israel is here to stay!

Israel has had to defend herself from annihilation since her rebirth.

In 1967 Israel did not wake up one morning and decide to go to war – she woke up one morning and found she had to defend herself.

A war between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria that began on June 5, 1967 and ended on June 10 1967.

In this war, Israel regained, by the hand of God, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

It seems the world wants to still punish Israel for trying to hold on to what God has given to them. Israel has made many concessions and each time those concessions have not brought peace but just more turmoil.

Israel cannot be forced to concede this land to the so called Palestinians!

It is those foreign governments that were defeated by Israel that have ceded these lands to the Palestinians knowing that they never owned them to begin with.

Not many Palestinians that are on these lands now were ever raised on these lands in 1967!

But this fig tree, "Israel", will still not produce fruit until the Great Tribulation period.

This is when 144,000 Jewish men will evangelize the world. There will 144,000 men similar to the Apostle Paul that will preach the "Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and many will be saved.

Remember what Paul said:

1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, "as of one born out of due time".

God says:

Rev 7:3  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, "till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads".

Satan will have his seal 666 but God will also have His seal, the blood of Christ Jesus!

Rev 7:13  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white "in the blood of the Lamb".

ALL these things can only happen after the Church is already in Heaven.

When Israel was re-birthed, it was then we should realize that "summer is near" and we could go home to be with the Lord any day now.

So what does Jesus say to His Church?

*****Mar 13:29  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
Mar 13:30  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

As Israel and the world is watching the signs of the Second Coming of Christ, the Church needs to watch the fig tree, Israel!

So what have we already seen so far?

1) Increasing religious apostasy.
2) Wars and rumors of wars.
3) Kingdoms against kingdoms.
4) Earthquakes, famines, and troubles.
5) The Gospel published and available to all nations.
6) Disregard for the moral laws.
7) Persecution toward the Gospel and those who preach and teach it.
8) The rebirth of the Nation of Israel.

What should we remember as we watch for the coming of the Lord to take us home?

A) Unbelievers will always act like unbelievers.
B) This world we live in needs Jesus.
C) When Jesus Christ returns, He will bring with Him, Justice first and then Peace!

The job of the Church is still to tell the world about Jesus!

This last age of the Church and at least seven years before the Second Coming of Christ will culminate in a time of trouble such as the world has never seen.

Then Jesus says we can depend on the Word of God to be true!

*****Mar 13:31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Psa 19:7  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psa 19:8  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psa 19:9  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psa 19:10  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psa 19:11  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

God’s Word is the foundation of life and God gives life eternal!

Jesus said, God is not the God of the dead!

All those that have gone before us to Heaven are still alive!

*****Mar 13:32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

God knows exactly when He will return, but only in the limits of of human flesh did Jesus say he did not know when He would return for His Church. Jesus says "we must watch the fig tree"!

The date of the Rapture is concealed from the Church!

BUT, Israel and the world can see the signs, if they look, and know that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is very near!

So, what else does the Church know?

There will be a "judgment seat of Christ"!

Paul wrote to the Church:

Rom 14:10  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

This day of judgment is for rewarding the Church Age believers.

These rewards are for deeds, good or bad, that we have done after we came to know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

We can know that this rewarding takes place before Jesus returns to this earth because the "Bride of Christ" has already been rewarded when returning with Christ Jesus:

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The marriage of the Lamb takes place in Heaven, the marriage supper of the Lamb makes reference to Israel and takes place to begin the Millennial Kingdom.

Rev 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed "are they which are called" unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

It is Israel who is called to attend this marriage supper. The Church is already the wife of Christ at this time!

So what other command does Christ give to the Church?

*****Mar 13:33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Not only are we to watch the fig tree but we are to pray, for we will never know the exact time the Lord returns for His bride until the day it happens.

Christ Jesus has already told us His plan for us:

Joh 14:2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

And Jesus has already told us how to know we will be ready for this day.

Joh 14:4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

And Jesus has already told us we would miss out on His day of wrath to the world:

Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Rev 3:11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

We are to live righteously and patiently:

Jas 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

And we are to pray:

Rev 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus".
Rev 22:21  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

When Jesus comes the things He does will be very quick. The Rapture of the Church will be a very quick thing!

*****Mar 13:34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. Mar 13:34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

What did Jesus say?

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

We are to watch the fig tree!

We are not to try to set dates of Christ’s return!

We are not to try to say to say that the Lord cannot come until certain prophecies are fulfilled because we cannot know these things!

We are not to concern ourselves with looking for the appearing of the Antichrist!

We are not to look for some great revival!

We are not even to look for some great apostasy!

We are not to look for some revival of the Roman Empire!

We are not to concern ourselves with a one world monetary system, we have our own perfect provider!

It would be pointless to occupy our time watching for signs, when we are to focus our thoughts on the things of the Lord and "watch" for His imminent coming!

Our job is to watch and be about the Master’s business!

Tit 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

These are the things that we of the Church must do!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!