Sunday , January 26
I'll be for some time and have been for some time. We've fast forward it into the prophetic passages of Matthew primarily because as we begin the new season and we're looking at having a 20/20 vision, it's really important to know some things about what the Bible speaks about in a prophetic futuristic sense so that we know that God is faithful to his promises. That's the bottom line. That's the absolute bottom line and the contacts and kind of review of where we were last week in Matthew 23. Jesus is at the Mount of Olives. It just outside of Jerusalem, and it's a very significant historic place. It's where Jesus is betrayed. It's where Jesus ascended into heaven and it's where Jesus is coming back a second time to that very spot for the Mount of Olives just outside of Jerusalem. And that's where this thing is being conducted. And so that's the context of of this whole story. We look last week at the last verse and chapter 23 and Jesus said for I say to you from now on you will not see me until you say blessed. Is he who comes in the name of the Lord? God's chosen people is Cyril. He wanted a draw them like a mother hen wood drawer chicks to protect and Jesus is pictured here and Matthew and Luke's account of weeping and crying over the city because it's been left to you desolate until you say blessed. Is he who comes in the name of the Lord this series we're doing is going to take us right up to Easter. In fact, right up to Palm Sunday. You know that Sunday is where Jesus came in riding a donkey into Jerusalem and they're cutting down the palm branches and throwing them at his feet and taking their coats off and throwing them at his feet and crying Hosanna, which means savior blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord? They were quoting from Psalm 118, which is a prophetic passage. Where by God's people will it recognize him as Messiah Savior and King? But they rejected him and now their house has been left of them desolate and it's kind of what we looked at last week. But with that in mind that verse says they're going to come to accept him. They're going to come to the point of saying blessed. Is he who comes in the name of the Lord?
We looked at last week. Paul said there a people in blindness today, but one day all Israel will be safe. And Paul goes on to say it's because God's promises are irrevocable. They cannot be changed. And he's going to bring them to himself. And we also said last week these this involves a number of events in the end days. And that's why we're going through this. I've really prayed hard and a covenant with God as I go through this series. That I don't go so deep. That I lose some of you were some of you said I've never heard of this before. I don't want to confuse you or discourage you so I'm praying that the purposes that God has will come across with that. It's interesting that since this is the promise of God one day is going to dry his family together from all over the world. By the way. This is for all the Jews are scattered all over the world today. What do you be faithful to his promise all the way back to the Covenant to the Old Testament to be able to fulfill those? And because he's doing that he's going to gather his people together again. But it's interesting that God is doing some things today among the Jewish people. That's pretty amazing. I looked it up this week. There are 200,000 Jewish Christians in the United States allow an amazing people with Jewish Heritage who have accepted Jesus as Messiah. There are 15000 Jewish Christians in Israel alone today. So God's at work. It's probably a precursor to the fact that he's getting ready. the drives people to himself and it's all connected with the second coming of Jesus Christ. I was invited some years ago. Do you speak to a Mainline church group younger families? And along with me there was a Lutheran Pastor that was invited and a Jewish rabbi and we each shared something they wanted us to talk about they wanted me to talk about what it means to be born again. And I was very happy to do that. No problem chance to share the gospel. What is the end of our questions and the question they gave to the rabbi and he was not an orthodox Rabbi. He was a very liberal Rabbi. May I say this a Quantified? It's a little bit this morning many of the Jewish people are very liberal theologically and politically it's a puzzle but it's a part of this whole thing that their house was left of them desolate. They did a lot of them are atheists in Israel on there a lot of atheists. And so there's a deadness is Ezekiel says, they're a bunch of dry bones and God's going to raise them up. It's going to be an act of God to do this, but I was invited to speak in and at the end of this the question to this non Orthodox Jewish. Rabbi was why don't you accept Jesus as Messiah? He said well, we have rejected him. We don't believe that the Messiah and listen to this that the Messiah is going to be a spiritual leader. We believe he's going to be a political leader. We believe that he's going to be one who's going to come and solve the economic problems of the world. And when we will follow him. And I sat there absolutely stunts. Because what he described is the end days picture of the Antichrist, not the Christ. Not the picture of revelation of the coming Christ. but the coming anti-christ I was just overwhelmed what he said and so this darkness that Pervaded. His thinking is a Darkness that's there today among the chosen people of the Lord and yet he's at work. Wonderfully there their organizations like Jews for Jesus and the chosen people groups. They are passionate about sharing to their own people and that's exactly what I hated by most everybody and now he's loved by God and he's sharing his passion to communicate through his own people. And Matthew teaches a lot of the teachings of Jesus and at this historic Point Jesus is teaching about future dates that involve what God is going to do for his people which directly relates to you and eyes Christians as well. So the Bible teaches a tribulation will bring Israel to Christ. Tribulation is two purposes. It's a seven-year period of time still to come a time of great trouble but a time when God is working and is going to bring Israel to himself and also will be at time of Judgment of the Nations who have rejected the Lord this morning and Matthew chapter 24, we're going to look at the first 8 verses and I'll read one of the time and kind of impact them. But again Jesus at the Mount of Olives interesting point Luke when he reports the same thing and you know Luke was a doctor not a tax collector. He was a medical doctor and is he reports this story go to the temple? And there he would teach. And in the evening Luke says that Jesus would return to the Mount of Olives.
Now some people believe he returns to the Mount of Olives because he needed a place to sleep in the Bible says the son of man has no place to lay his head. So some people think that Jesus kind of slept out under the stars. He didn't have a home to go to. But he spent a lot of time with a family and it's not Joseph and Mary it's Mary and Martha and Lazarus and we're told that they live at the Mount of Olives. That's where they lived until maybe Jesus after teaching at the temple all day would go back to the Mount of Olives to be with them. And so part of that stew setting where we're at. So let's look at verse 1. Jesus came out of the front of the temple and was going away. And when is the seiples came up to point out to Temple buildings to him? Okay this fascinating and amazing. So what's going on here? This is the third Temple. It's being built you had Solomon's Temple and then you had a temple that was connected to zerubbabel when they came back. And now Herod who is not a Believer is the one who's trying to kill Jesus is building a temple and it's magnificent with gold and all kinds of a 2080. It was completed at 6480 and so the temples not completed until when the disciples 2.2 Jesus in the temple as he's been teaching there all day and then hook adverse to what he said to them. Do you see all these things truly? I say to you not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down. That must have blown them away Jesus. Did you see it? Beautiful words doing you see Herod was an imposter you supposedly was a convert to Judaism but it didn't show until he's making this beautiful Temple because Herod love to build things. He's got buildings going on all over that's his legacy. He's going to leave a legacy that says
look at that Jesus and that beautiful. Jesus said, let me tell you there's coming a day when not one stone is left fun another.
Well in 70-80 under Titus that happened the temple was totally destroyed. And I wasn't one stone left on the other. They tell us when Titus destroyed the temple he set it on fire. Reminder was set on fire all of the gold in the temple melted. And went down into the cracks. And the soldiers saw an opportunity, they saw an opportunity of good fortune. And so they fulfill Jesus is prophecy. So that not one stone would be on top of another because if they dug down in the cracks, they had to move those Stone. We're told that they Stone sometimes were 10 to 12 ft long and probably a Wade. Couple of times there was no small feat for them to put it together. That's why the temple took 46 years to build took a lot of Manpower in a lot of time looking out the gold so they can make a small fortune because of this tragedy. Very fascinating. Jesus said it's going to be destroyed in 70 AD with the Romans destroyed the temple the Third Temple. Jesus didn't fulfill his privacy to drive people to himself until what Jesus is talking about happening is still coming. It has not happened as yet. And then verse 3 and he was sitting on the Mount of Olives. So he's back at the Mount of Olives disciples came to him privately saying tell us when will these things happen and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age? It's interesting here that they ask him three specific questions. When will this be? What will be your the sign and when will be the End of the Age 3 questions that Jesus pretty well unravels hear some of it is unraveled more clearly and Luke account. So, when will it be already seen the Fulfillment of that and 70 80 work not one stone was left upon the other and we've not had a temple. During this time, but that's going to be significant. We'll talk about that a little bit more in a moment Christ did not restore them at that time because they were scattered people and they still are today over the world. They're scattered all over in the picture is when the Lord calls him back and restores them. He's going to call them from all the four corners of the Earth are going to come from all over. To meet their savior that they will accept as their lord of the Fulfillment of that is a future promise Kingdom call the Millennium a thousand year reign of Christ. Internet time another Temple is made the Forest Temple will be constructed and we'll look into that a little bit more as we go into this this morning. So they're actually going to be a 4th Temple. It's a part of God's plan for restoring his people to himself. And so that was the explanation of this question then what will be the sign The Bible tells us a Jews seek after signed Gentiles seek after wisdom. So the Jewish people by very nature of their makeup always want to sign a sign give us give us a sign and that's the question. They have asked Jesus said he would take a breath here if along the way we raised some questions and we hope we do one of the best ways to ask for to communicate with me is my email that's why it's in the bulletin for you to be able to do that. I'd love to interact with you whatever it may be on your heart. So that's a wonderful way to communicate if you have questions about this text. We want to go through it slowly. So what will be the sign? And it explains us one day. I had an atheist in my office and he looked me right in the eye and he said, you know, I would be able to leave if God gave me a personal sign. They said I don't believe because I don't think God can do that. I said my friend is already giving you a sign is what do you mean? I said he gave you one sign in the Bible says that's the only sign he's going to give you that sign was the sign of Jonah which was the sign of Jesus rising from the dead and I said the evidence that points to God being real to his promises is the fact that Jesus rose from the dead that's God sign to you and he gave it to you personally now, it's up to you to do what you want with it. I'll never believe that's a personal sign to me any less my office. The reality here is these people who God brought the prophets and the law and all the things has benefits to their life had spurned the prophets had rejected them. And had rejected Christ is Messiah and now Jesus said their house had been left to them desolate. The last question. They ask is when will be the end of the age and that will be answer to as we go through this how it all unfolds as I've mentioned to you that the return of Christ one of the main events of it is gathering his own people together that ends at the end of the tribulation. We'll talk about that in a moment where he literally comes back than amount of mileage that there's another part that God has promised to the church will talk about that just a little bit as well. So there are a number of events that are involved in these last days and he will enfold some of that. Look at verse that for now and Jesus answered and said to them see to it that no one misleads you for many will come in my name saying I am the Christ and will mislead many now what Jesus told him to watch out for so they will not be to see the first one verse 5 so they don't become scam by those who claim to be the Christ. That's where people can be deceived where there will be people. Jesus said coming on the scene who claimed to be Christ come back their fulfilling the fact that they are the Messiah. They are false Messiahs. Some of you might remember Jim Jones. Jim Jones was a man who didn't believe in Jesus, but he thought he was some kind of a prophet he had hundreds of people in California that were following him many of these were hurting people who just needed to be loved. And then when things got hot for him, he took that old group to Ghana.
And in an apocalyptic kind of Ativan, he had a small drink poison in the old i700 of them. And at the end Jim Jones thought he was a messiah you remember David koresh and Waco, Texas. That's a little bit more current. He was the Messiah type of figure and he cries all of his followers to die in those buildings in a tragic tragic scene. And there are many others like that in Europe. There was a woman to be Jesus come back and she had thousands of people following in Europe than they are in the United States false Messiahs. People are saying I'm the answer and I could go on and on with Jesus warned about that. So they aren't scammed. I want you to look at verse 23 and 24 what you notice what it says then if anyone says to you behold here is the Christ or they were he is do not believe him for false christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders. That's a miracle. So as to mislead it possible that Rosen people of God or the elect. They are so powerful with signs and wonders and miracles that they can do they could deceive people. And he said if somebody tells you that the Messiah has come back and he's in such a such a place don't believe. Oh, yeah, Jesus is over New York City Ellis Island. That's where he's at don't believe that. Why because when Jesus Christ comes back the whole world will see him back. The Bible says when he returns through the clouds the whole world because it will see Jesus as he gets those even who have rejected him. So when he comes he will come like lightning from east to west he will come suddenly and quickly. He will not just end up at some place though. He's coming to the Mount of Olives when he comes he will come instantly and the world will know it. And so don't believe false Christ who say oh Jesus came back. In fact, I wonder if that's how the Antichrist actually gets people's attention that he claims. She's Christ.
So don't be scammed by that looking for 6. You'll be hearing of wars and rumors of wars see that no one is frightened for those things must take place, but that's not the end. So the second thing you said don't be deceived into thinking or alarm by Wars that are in the world and their been a lots of wars that have come after Jesus. I don't have a total number of all those words but they're multiple and he says Wars that'll be Nation against nation and rumors of wars and all those kinds of things that will be going on. Don't be alarmed by that. That's not the end. That's not the end. The final battle is a battle of all battles the battle of Armageddon that will be the end will end all wars. But don't be alarmed by that don't be deceived by that. We'll talk about that more in the moment looking for 7. Nation will rise against Nation Kingdom against Kingdom in various places. There will be famines and earthquakes. So don't be alarmed by catastrophic events that are happening in the world hurricanes and all kinds of things like tornadoes and hail storms and all the kinds of catastrophic events that we hear about every day. Cuz the news media tells us everything is that don't be alarmed by catastrophic events. In an interesting Hutchinson, Kansas had an earthquake here on the plains. I saw a little clip of the pastor was preaching right in the midst of the earthquake in his screen was floating around.
There's all kinds of things happening in strange places.
What does he say? These are only the beginning of the labor pains? These are only a precursor of things to come. What are you talkin about? There's a day coming. That is going to be very catastrophic these things are not to be worried about their just a natural phenomenon that's going to be happening, but it's not the end. So why would these things to see believers? These events could cause them to say you can't trust God's promises cuz look at the mess in the world. Some people that rather agnostic say there can't be a god of love because there so much evil in the world. That's not true. God is always at work in our world and we know that God wants us to trust his promises not to look at all of the things that are going on that are crazy and all the things that are catastrophic and all the things that are difficult in our world including Wars and famine and all of this. God still on the throne he still going to fulfill his promises. And so it's easy to come to that conclusion to say. I don't think God's really at work and we can get discouraged. up on the screen will come a text a similar text to Christians in 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 Now we request you brothers. And so we know this is Christian's and not the nation of Israel e starting to with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together. He's at he's going to gather Israel together, but he's also going to gather us together.
That ye be not quickly shaking from your composure or be disturbed by any Spirit or message or a letter as if it was from us to the effect that the day of the Lord has already come some people were saying that you know the day of the Lord over all of this has happened. Let no one in any way to see you. It will not come Lotus this unless apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed.
It's interesting who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called God or object of worship so that he is taking his seat on the temple of God displaying himself as being God not notice that there was a temple right? He said these things will not happen. Is this kind of the answer to when these things will happen in the end of the age until a man of lawlessness. Who comes along sets himself up in the temple of God and says I'm God and you have to worship me your Bibles very well. That is a description. What we know is the Antichrist. He's the opposite of Jesus Christ. He parades himself as religious and then it causes a whole world almost like past Emperor worship to worship him as God. He said these things will not happen until he comes on the scene. We know where that happens. It happens and I'll talk about that in the moment and the time called the time of tribulation. There's some teaching today. That's that all of these things that I'm talking about. This morning can be explained historically. They were already happened there done. They're over. Is it teaching also that says the promises that God has given his chosen people that's not about them. It's about his glory. All of those promises won't be fulfilled because God gave up on them a long time ago. And all the promises that are given to them are rolled over to the church. And when Jesus Christ comes back, there won't be a millennium. There won't be a time of tribulation only be a perfect time of Peace. He's going to come back when things are really good and he's going to establish his kingdom on Earth for the church. She's not going to fulfill that which is Promised Israel. I don't hear to that. Early on in my life as a pastor when I was teaching through the scripture. I'd come across these passages. And if I didn't believe that God was faithful to his promises. To his own chosen people. I would not been able to make much sense out of scripture there many of those places if you take the scripture for its normal interpretation.
You have to accept the guys are going to be faithful to the promises he made and it's not about the Jewish people. It's about God's promises. He's a faithful God and it was the only way that I could make sense out of it. So early on in my life deep deep passion. The God is faithful to his promises and when it talks about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, which involves us, it's also so fulfillment of his promises that go back for filling all of the covenants, but also his plan to draw this hardened darken drive on people back to himself all for God's glory. Ezekiel is so interesting a pile of dry bones that are going to be resurrected and made strong. What's the picture these are red dead people as as as as a people that they have not responded to their Messiah, which the Lord has made obvious to them through the prophets. But one day he's going to draw them to himself. So why are they sings Just labor pains? They happened just before a Time called tribulation Great Tribulation. Look at verse 9. One of the reasons I'm reaching from The New American Standard this morning is because a new American Standard translates this word tribulation, and that's what we understand it to be looking for tonight. And then they will deliver you to tribulation and will kill you and you will be hated by All Nations because of my name. There's a Time coming of tribulation. It's also stated in verse 21 for them. There will be a Great Tribulation such as not occurred since the beginning of the world until now and ever will. This word the Greek word translated tribulation here in the NIV is translated distress. It's really water down to me. I don't know why the translators did that there be a time of great distress. It sounds like maybe you're having a bad hair day or something. It's a whole lot more than that. Jesus said, it's the Great Tribulation Revelation 7 for teen talks about it as a Great Tribulation again the same word as use a time of great distress doesn't explain it to me. But when you go through this time, he said this is a time. That's never been at 4 on the earth and never will be repeated again.
So why are they the beginning of labor? Because they're pain but not like the suffering it's going to be held in the tribulation and some of that will be looking at next week. If there's hardly anybody here next week. I know I scared you to death.
There's no need to be scared. Because the passages are written to us about these last days and Thessalonians and other places are to bring Comfort to us or to encourage its not to frighten us and that is very clear. Here you see and we'll look at this text probably next week Daniel who is a prophet who Jesus quotes in this text gave us a picture of a seven-year period of time the last phase in which the Lord does draws people together. We call that the tribulation at 7 week. The first part is a world peace. The last half is a world evancredible turmoil during that time. There is judgement coming against the nation's who rejected the Lord but more than anything else God is drawing his people to himself during that time the gospel be preached all over the world and masses masses of God's people. I'll come to know him as their savior. Now this is interesting and I need to stop your moment. the church those people who know the Lord is our personal Lord and Savior called the church church is not a building church is the family of God everyone who's born again and knows the Lord is a part of his church. It's the Greek word. Ekklesia, which means Those who are gathered the the gathered ones the church the family of God. We've been talkin about that. And the Bible calls that his pride and there's a marriage supper of the Lamb described. There is a picture in the Bible also of what God is going to do with those people have come to Christ from the time of the day of Pentecost until the time that Christ comes back this church and in 1st Thessalonians that talks about that not being laid out for the wrath of God Listen to listen to this. I want to help you understand that. It says we are not appointed to wrath, but we are looking forward to the Glorious return and blessed. Hope of Jesus Christ. You see the church. The bride of Christ many of us believe will be taken to be with the Lord because the Bible says are going to rule and reign with him a thousand years. We are going to be taken out not because we won't face tribulation because this event of tribulation is never spoken of in conjunction with the church. Let me get sent back again the gospel preached everywhere in the world possibly can be Acts chapter 1 verse 8. That's the church. Those are the called out once they're called Jews and Gentiles were all been made into one in the gospels going all over the place and one day the Lord is going to draw those people to meet him in the air. And this is an event that most of us believe it's separate from the very moment that he comes back to fulfill his promises to Israel.
In this event, we often have called it the Rapture or some people have said the great snatch. We're God snatches up to be with him. Now they're many good and godly people who don't believe that who teach different things about the scripture, but that's where I am and you're stuck with me for a while. Sorry about that. Really. I don't love to talk about this because the tribulation is never mentioned in conjunction with a church and the promise of the church is that we're looking forward not to the wrath of God, but the Blessed hope of Jesus Christ, and so those events will still happen and believe it's all about God's faithfulness and promised to so the question is what should be our attitude about these things. I want you to look at verse 42
Therefore be on the alert for you. Do not know which day the Lord is coming. And that's a message is always giving his church for these two thousand years be alert be prepared and that's the way we ought to respond. I don't think any of this was given us so we got more knowledge and everybody else. Or that mistakenly some people to try to set days cuz they can figure out the Bible better than others and all of those have egg on their face because of all the day save said have not come true, but that doesn't make God unfaithful to his promise. In fact, he says no one knows but the father until we don't know when he comes back.
answer the question is if you are ready as a Christian today, two, things are true.
Number one, you know, I'm as your personal savior. so that if your hello Jesus moment is today, you know, you're going to be
Couple weeks ago there was a pastor in Nigeria, very strong Christian put on video and they was to deny the faith and he would not end from prison. He was praising God. It was not afraid.
And they executed him just here recently. You still up for the Lord? He became a martyr he was strong. You know why he didn't Flinch at dying? He totally confident God's promises. God says if I died today and what to learn and if if you're alert and waiting and you don't have to understand all of this stuff perfectly. None of this will totally but if you're ready to meet the Lord, you know, I'm as your savior you have the Assurance of your salvation. Are you ready? No doubt in your life. You're in the family of God. Number two, if you are a growing Christian. You're studying the word of God. You're you're growing in your face. You're not just kind of coming and going you're really growing in your face and you're prospering you're learning that God has given us all kinds of promises. And that's the way he wants us to live. He doesn't want us to live by experience as he wants us to live by promises. And if you're in the word and you're studying and growing and praying everyday and God's doing some stuff in your life, you're ready. You don't have to have all the knowledge of the world you just growing and that's a wonderful thing. I don't think it ever ever ever ever ever. Stop growing as a Christian. I don't think I'd ever intended that. When he figures we stop growing it's time to take us home. So the journey that we go through in life is a journey that always says a man. That's something I just learned. And we never get to the point where we are learning and growing and prospering on our walk with God if those two things are true in your life. You're ready if you're here this morning, and you're not really sure what would happen to minute after you died. I want you to pick up a little pamphlets written by Urban Luther who's the pastor of the historic Moody Church called one minute after you die. And he points out where you going to be one minute after you die. If you know the Lord, you know exactly what that is. I made a supply of these available in the back tables and you can pick one up if there's some uncertainty in your life is a little prayer at the back that allows you to express inviting the Lord in your life making sure without a question in your mind. You're ready, cuz you settled the question you've decided for Jesus. You got him in your life, and there's no doubt. You're not a perfect person. You have a perfect Savior and you know without a doubt that if your Day today is your hello Jesus moment. No problem. Just like that Pastor. So if you don't know the Lord or you're uncertain whether you do maybe maybe you said well, I asked Jesus into my life a couple of times and I'm still uncertain will read that pamphlet. You don't have to do it over and over again just invite the Lord in your life once you Give him a chance. He said I will no wise cast you out. You're always part of God's family. So it's been good. I hope today. We didn't give you too much information that you feel like you were standing in front of a hydrant this morning and trying to get a drink. Hopefully that wasn't the case. Hopefully it was helpful to you to understand that the faithful Promises of God that involve us as Christians also involved God drawing his own people together, and it's all about his faithfulness father God. Thank you. Thank you for your word. Thank you that we can trust it. Help us to grow everyday. Help us to learn help us to be Learners. You know, that's what a disciple of Jesus is. He's a follower and a learner help us want to desire to learn more about you and be ready to be a light in our world. But I have The Confident hope and if there's anybody here, it's uncertain about their eternity today. I prayed today. They will take some time. How do you Fray bite you into their life? They have that assurance that they're ready. Play the store Hearts today.