Faithlife Sermons

The Beginning Of Sorrows

Matthew 24  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:00
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1.)Click on "The Beginning Of Sorrows" above to go to the page with the Study Notes. 2.)Then scroll down past the "Files" to view the Study Notes. 3.) To repeat the song heard at the end of the sermon click on "Music - One More River To Cross - Southern Cross" under "Files".

AUGUST 9, 2020 STUDY NOTES MATTHEW 24:4-8 BIBLE TEACHER: CLIFTON JONES THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS INTRODUCTION I want to present to you an overview of Matthew 24:4-8 before we study the verses Beginning with the 4th verse Jesus is going to answer the disciples questions, Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? He does not answer them in the order in which they ask them His answer begins in a surprising way to the disciples, He first gives them a warning Jesus tells us that many things are going to happen before we will witness the sign of His coming Some believe that in verses 4-8 Jesus is describing life upon this earth since the fall of man Humanity has experienced sorrow and difficulty ever since the fall of man But Jesus is not describing natural events that will occur throughout the centuries Jesus is not describing events of the past 2,000 years that every generation has witnessed Jesus is telling us of the events that will occur in the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel Events which will occur in the future leading into the consummation of the age The time will come when “all these things” will occur as a warning to us, Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. “All these things” are the things that Jesus has warned us about beginning with verse 5 And Jesus promises that all-of “these things” will be fulfilled, Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. There will be a generation that will see all-of “these things” in their time-period Keep in mind that we could be that generation as we study Matthew 24 Scripture identifies the last days as the days between the first and second coming of Jesus Jesus identifies the days of verses 5-7 as the beginning of birth pangs (vs. 8) I think we can call them the last days of the last days Many different things will happen in this world, in many-different ways, at the same time The followers of Jesus must not be disturbed or alarmed when these things happen There will be things that will happen in the realm of religion There will be false messiahs, false Christs, and false teachings (vs. 5) There will be things that will happen in the realm of governmental authority There will be wars and rumors of wars, but the end is not yet (vs. 6) There will be things that will happen in the realm of nature such as earthquakes (vs. 7) Things will happen that will be difficult for people to live in and through them (vs. 7) Jesus compares these events to birth pangs which have a beginning and then begin to increase As birth pangs increase, they also become closer together and increase in intensity All-of the things identified by Jesus in verses 4-8 will begin to be seen at one time And even when these things begin to take place, they are only the beginning of sorrows The days of the birth pangs will be deceiving and will not be without pain and sorrow DON’T BE FOOLED Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. “Take heed” is a warning found in all three synoptic Gospel accounts (Mk 13:5; Lk. 21:8) The meaning is to see or look at closely, to observe, to discern, keep your eyes open So that you will not be deceived, exactly why we must give full attention to Jesus’ words “Take heed” is a strong statement, warning them not to be fooled concerning the future The word “deceive” warns us against being led astray, we must not wander from the truth To be led astray is something that can very easily happen in a study of eschatology (2nd coming) Especially in our day when there are so many different views on the subject Over time there have been many false predictions concerning the events of the return of Christ Through the years there have been many false identifications of the future Antichrist (Be careful) Paul told Timothy that man can and will deceive you, 2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (The context is the last days, 2 Tim 3:1) Verse 13 is found in the context of the truth of God’s Word, 2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: God’s Word is the truth and the place we must go for the answers to all-of our questions Jesus is telling us to pay attention to what He is telling us, we must study the scriptures Jesus is not telling us things to confuse us or to frighten us, but to instruct us and encourage us The main emphasis of the NT teaching concerning the return of Christ is “Live for Jesus today” Live for Jesus today and you are ready for Him to come again any day (Matthew 24:36; 25:13) Jesus begins the Olivet Discourse by saying, be spiritually alert and don’t be deceived Keep your eyes open and pay attention to what is happening throughout the world Keep your eyes on the world but don’t interpret the Bible by watching the national news Interpret the news by keeping your mind on the Bible, don’t be blind to Biblical truth To be sure that you will not be fooled, take a close look at the Bible, study it for yourself And don’t turn away from what you learn, prepare for the future according-to what you learn Jesus’ warning to pay attention is continued throughout his message of Matthew 24 & 25 Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. Mat 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. It is easy to understand why Jesus begins to answer their questions with His warning He warns them “do not be deceived” and then Jesus begins to tell them how they can be deceived He also shows that there will be a series of events that could confuse them and us Jesus is going to tell us that false Christ’s will come and lead many astray (5) Jesus speaks of events that will take place and then He says, “but the end is not yet” (6) In verse seven Jesus identifies events that are going to occur, then He says, Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. Remember that the words of man may deceive you, but God’s Word will never deceive you Jesus tells us to look at “these things” that are going to happen with your eyes on the Bible There will be things that will happen in the realm of religion--FALSE CHRIST Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. In this verse, Jesus begins to describe things that are going to occur in the “last days” The events that are going to occur in the final 7 years of the 490-year prophecy given to Daniel The 70th week of Daniel begins with the signing of the covenant between Antichrist and Israel Only God can write history in advance, which is known as prophecy Only God can tell us of the things that have not happened yet, but will take place The news media of today can only tell us of the events that have already happened They can interview people who have an opinion of what might happen next But they are often wrong, there are no guarantees when it comes to the predictions of man It is important to see that Jesus is not describing the Day of the Lord, the day of God’s wrath In verse 5 we have the first example God does not send forth false Christs to deceive many It is the work of Satan, Satan knows what time it is, he knows that his time is short, Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. He knows that Christ will soon appear, so he sends forth many false messiahs or false Christs Listen to Mark’s account, 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 warning of Jesus is plain, do not go after them, take heed they will deceive you--saying, I am Christ; There will be many false Christs, counterfeit Christs, those claiming to be the “True Christ” They will claim to be the one who has been promised, claiming to fulfill the Messianic promises They will claim to be able to fulfill all-of the world’s expectations of the coming Christ Claiming to be the true Christ they will promise the things that people will eagerly want They will promise to deliver man from his problems, trials, troubles, and tribulations They will not represent the “True Church” and they will not deceive the “True Church” But cults and religions that deny the Person and Work of Jesus will follow them The False Gospels of those cults of today are preparing the way for the False Christs And the work of the False Christs will prepare the way for the coming of 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. Jesus said many antichrists are going to come, John said that tells us “the Antichrist” is coming John goes on to identify the meaning of antichrist, 1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. The “spirit of antichrist” is certainly present today, 1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. And just as Jesus promised, those false Christs are going to come and deceive many, 2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Throughout the ages false Christs and antichrists will come forth until the time of the Antichrist False Christs and antichrists all have the same purpose, they come to deceive The number of false Christs will increase, and their influence will become more powerful and shall deceive many. To “deceive” means to lead people away from God and God’s Word Exactly what the False Christs, False Teachers, False Prophets, and antichrists will attempt to do They will deceive others by their teaching and their way of life, Peter tells us about them, 2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. Peter said they “bring in damnable heresies,” they will secretly introduce their false doctrines They slip in their false teaching alongside the truth of God’s Word They add their falsehood to a truth or take away from a truth which makes it an untruth They use only enough truth to make it sound like a whole truth But any half-truth is a “whole lie,” they do not stand up and say, “I am a false teacher” They are not going to tell you, “I am here to lead you astray,” to turn you from the truth The prophecy of the false prophet is “heresy,” the teaching of the false teacher is “heresy” And heresy is destructive, it has nothing to offer that is worthwhile to life, it takes away from life Their heresy is, they deny the Lord, they contradict the truths of Christ They reject and turn others away from the Person and Work of Jesus Christ They refuse to recognize Jesus Christ as who He is, Peter said, they “deny the Lord” The greatest error of the false teacher is the teaching of another way of salvation They deny the salvation of Jesus, the most fundamental doctrine of the NT The substitutionary death of Jesus is the only way a person can be saved Any so-called plan of salvation apart from the blood of the cross of Jesus is “HERESY” To believe in some other way of salvation is a denial of the truth of Christ Peter said they “bring upon themselves swift destruction” “Destruction” is the opposite of salvation destruction is eternal separation from God Salvation is eternal life and an eternal relationship with God Many are going to be deceived into following them, 2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. THE DAILY NEWS Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. The news of wars and rumors of war have been going on for a long time Throughout the ages there have been wars and rumors of wars But again, Jesus is not referring to history, He speaks of the days of the 70th week of Daniel The world has never seen such an intense warfare between nations as will be in those future days Within the time of the 70th week of Daniel wars will increase in number and severity Worldwide warfare will increase in magnitude and intensity near the end of this age Today it is easier to hear of the news of the world than it has ever been, news can now travel fast News-media reporting will lead to the rumors of war and then there will be the increase of wars The lost world will be looking for a leader, he will be present but unidentified at the time The Antichrist will be known at that time as a mighty military leader, a conqueror of nations Those who are saved should be able to recognize that prophecy is being fulfilled Christians must hear what Jesus said, “see that you be not troubled” Luke’s account says, “be not terrified” (21:9) Mark says, “be not troubled” (13:7) Jesus said, “these things must take place,” the state of our world today is just the beginning The fact that they “must come to pass” is not limited to God’s predetermined decree These events are the inevitable consequences of a world turning away from God What is happening in America today is a good example of what Jesus is telling us God did not plan evil, but God has a plan in spite-of the evil, and it will come to pass That plan includes the judgment of all evil and the deliverance of all of God’s people God’s has planned the redemption of all of God’s original creation That all these things will happen is the evidence that God is on the throne, God is in control The days of sorrow are going to increase “but the end is not yet” The “end” will be according-to the plan of God, the way God has planned to bring it about When we see these things begin to happen don’t be troubled, listen to Luke (21:28) WORLD NEWS Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. “Nations” represent countries with a form of democracy There will be internal warfare as well as International warfare That is exactly what is taking place in the middle east today and even in America War taking place within nations will be the beginning, people going against their own nation People that should be living together in peace will be at war against one another Nations are going to be out of control, individual nations will go against other nations Nations will unite-together to go against other nations The “kingdoms” are countries under a dictatorship, under the dominion of a king The conflicts could be racial, ethnic, cultural, political, or religious These conflicts will lead to the final 10 nation empire ruled by the Antichrist “Famine” is a “want of food,” it refers to “extreme hunger” because of the scarcity of food There are many concerns today related to the possibility of famine throughout the world Some of those concerns include the population explosion and the decrease in farmlands But there is also concern because of natural disasters and contamination of water and food Famine will be one of the results of world-wide conflict, the most widespread famine of all time There is a major concern today concerning the possibility of famine in America “Pestilences” refers to a plague, or an epidemic of a deadly disease, notice it is plural Which suggests many different epidemics in many different places at the same time “Pestilence” can be spread through plants, food, animals, or humans The same things that can lead to famine will also cause these epidemics There are physical diseases of today because of the sinful lifestyle of mankind (sexual diseases) There have been many deadly plagues throughout history, but the worst is yet to come Coronavirus tells us that what Jesus says can literally take place on a worldwide scale Plagues, famine, and earthquakes such as have never occurred before will literally take place When people are afraid and hungry, they will be looking for a leader who will provide for them The world will be ready to submit to the Antichrist and follow his demand to worship him Let’s take a closer look at the earthquakes in “divers places,” (many will occur simultaneously) Earthquakes are found at the time of many well-known events in the Bible Those Earthquakes were a sign of God’s divine intervention in the affairs of his people They were used to demonstrate His displeasure and wrath because of sinful people God used earthquakes to remind the people of His awesome power and holiness Earthquakes have been used as a powerful identification of God’s presence and purpose At the time of the crucifixion there was an earthquake (Mt. 27:54) And another at the time of the resurrection of Christ (Mt. 28:2) There will be earthquakes during the time known as the “beginning of sorrows” But they are only the beginning of the catastrophic disasters of the last days At the time of the Second Coming of Christ there will be several gigantic earthquakes Earthquakes will be one of the signs that will characterize the last days before the return of Christ They will be future indicators of the divine judgment of God upon the earth There will be an earthquake associated with the cosmic disturbance (Rev 6:12-17) There will be an earthquake with the judgment of the Seven Trumpets (Rev 8:5-6) And at the time of the resurrection and ascension of the two prophets (Rev 11:13) The earth will again shake when the Temple of God is opened in Heaven (Rev. 11:19) The 7th bowl judgment will be the most severe judgment of God that will come upon the earth At that time, the worst earthquake known to man, will occur (Rev. 16:18) There will be natural disasters in many different places and of unbelievable magnitude Disasters will be widespread and will probably occur simultaneously We have had many warnings in the last few years, record natural disasters throughout the world But Jesus said the events that will occur at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel are--JUST THE BEGINNING Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. “All” the things that Jesus has already mentioned, the false Christs who come to deceive The wars, nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom The famine and pestilence that will follow the wars The earthquakes of great magnitude throughout the world We find all-of the above present today to a certain degree and they are events of sorrow But that which is happening today is only a dim picture of future sorrow yet to come The beginning of a process that will bring about the final events of the end time There is much more to come, and the worse conditions are in the future The meaning of the word “sorrows” is “Birth Pangs,” referring to the pain of childbirth “Birth pangs” are the pains that accompany the physical birth of a child When they begin to occur, the mother knows that the time of birth is approaching They occur with increasing frequency until the baby is born Jesus compares the things He has mentioned to the pains of childbirth, what is the comparison? Birth pains are the assurance that there will be a birth The closer together the pains come, the sooner the birth The time between the pains becomes shorter and shorter The pains also become sharper and more severe The events that Jesus has described will increase in frequency and intensity Once an event begins it will continue to the end The events are described as “birth pangs’’ Pains that will continue and will increase in number and intensity The pains resulting from the signs will become more severe as we approach the end of the age Jesus said there will be a generation that will see all-of the signs at one time Things that have happened throughout the history of man, since the fall of man Those things will all come together as a sign which one generation of people will witness We could be that generation we could be the “then” generation The generation that will witness “the beginning of sorrows” Whatever the path of tomorrow holds we must hold to the nail-scarred hand Listen to the song
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