How Do We Know You're Coming Back For Us?
How do we know you are coming back for us? (Matthew 24.9-14)
What is the main point of this part of the discourse, the thing we have to keep in mind whenever we talk about the Last Times?
Jesus is coming back for us--his teachings about the Last Times are part of his Gospel (good news!) proclamation to us for our comfort and security.
What is at risk if we are deceived about the Last Times?
Our soul's salvation if we follow false Christ's.
Can you give some recent (within the past 20 years) examples?
David Kouresh at Waco claimed to be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and led his followers to death in the ATF raids (and it appears his own people shot some of his own followers who were trying to desert).
The Heavens' Gate cult in San Diego believed that a mothership was coming to take them home (or to Paradise) behind the Hale-Bopp comet. When no mothership was found, they killed themselves.
The Moonies believe that their leader, Dr. Moon, is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior for families.
By my count, there are 11 signs that Jesus is really coming back for us. List them and explain them.
1. false Christs--people who claim to be Jesus Christ returning at the end of the world.
2. wars--whenever we read of wars it should remind us Jesus is coming back for us again
3. rumors of wars--there are even more of these than actual wars
4. nations against nations--strife and fighting between nations in trade wars, wars of words which fall short of armed conflict remind us Jesus is returning
5. famines--Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Biafra, Somalia, the list is endless
6. earthquakes--when has there not been these?
7. persecution--when enemies of the Church persecute Jesus' believers it is a sign he is returning for us. Even today persecution takes place
8. mass apostasy--many will fall away from the faith and either believe in nothing or believe in a non-Christian religion
9. false prophets--false teaching will abound inside and outside the Church
10. love of most grows cold--many Christians will become luke-warm in their faith
11. Gospel reaches the whole world--the Word of God will literally be carried to the ends of the earth
When were signs 1-10 fulfilled?
Almost as soon as Jesus spoke them!
So, is Jesus coming back or not? How can you be sure?
Yes! The headlines tell us every day. Every time we read about these things in the paper, the byline should be ("And Jesus IS coming back for his believers again!")
Why would Jesus give signs of his coming that are good for every generation?
So that every generation would be ready for his return. This would protect them from despair, having it so difficult that they thought all was lost and Jesus was not going to come back for them again, so why keep on believing and getting clobbered? This would also protect them from false security, thinking that Jesus' return was a long way off so they could lead an ungodly life now and, towards the end, "get religion."
How does Jesus show the world-wide spread of the Gospel is different from the other signs?
"And then the end will come." It is the final sign.
What will happen to the believers when Jesus returns?
They will go to heaven, body and soul together again in the resurrection unto life.
Why is it important to always be ready for Jesus’ return?
So that we are always found in the faith, not fallen away, thinking that we can return to Jesus in old age when we've enjoyed the sins of our teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s...(get the point?)
How would you describe the days when these signs were being fulfilled?