Sunday, June 19, 2011

THE END TIMES - Part 5: Destruction of the Wicked


The End Times
Part 5 – The Destruction of the Wicked
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

SCRIPTURE READING

Matthew 24:36-44
  36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
   
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.


  INTRODUCTION

This discussion in Matthew 24 taking place between Jesus and the disciples, began when the disciples asked Jesus in private when the end would come.

Jesus tells them to be careful not to be deceived, because many will come claiming to be the Savior.

Jesus tells them the signs of the end, wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, as well as speaking of the persecution of Jesus’ followers, even to the point of death.

All of the signs Jesus speaks of are taking place now.  The end is truly at the door.

Jesus then speaks of the prophecies written over 500 years earlier, which describe Jesus’ birth, and His death, as well as the rise of the anti-christ.

It is at this point in the conversation that Jesus explains that the Jews are in danger of being deceived when the anti-christ comes, because many of them will be waiting for the messiah, because they do not accept Jesus.

Jesus explains to them that no one but the Father in Heaven knows the exact day and hour of the Rapture and the Second coming.  However, there are signs to know it is near.

Jesus tells the disciples, just like you can watch the fig tree, and know when it is time for fruit to appear, you can look for these signs and know that the tribulation is also near.

All of the signs Jesus described have come, with the exception of the rapture.  Are we ready?

I.                   DESTRUCTION OF THE WICKED
a.      vs 36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”


b.     vs 37 “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
                                                             i.      “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.”

1.      This shows the absolute lack of concern respecting Noah’s message.

2.      Do we see this same lack of concern today with the message of Christ’s coming?

                                                          ii.      Vs 39 “That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”


c.      The people of Noah’s day were insensible to the prophecies of the coming flood…as they will be to the prophecies of the coming of the Lord.


II.                LEFT BEHIND
a.      What will the Rapture look like?
                                                             i.      vs 40 “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”


b.     Jesus tells us that when the Rapture takes place, no one will be expecting it.  Life will be going on as usual.


c.      Although it was not expected (or the people would not have been working at the time), those who belong to the Kingdom of God were still taken.


d.     Jesus warns us about cults, false prophets and messiahs, and this is a good measure for them.  Anyone who tells you that you have to “do” something special to go when its time should be a warning to you.
                                                             i.      Heaven’s Gate cult leader, Marshall Applewhite, told followers that they had to disfigure themselves, dress a certain way and wait for a UFO to pick up their disembodied spirits.

1.      Of course, they had to leave their bodies for this to take place, so they committed mass suicide.

                                                          ii.      Jim Jones convinced his followers to commit suicide as well to achieve their goals.


e.      The ONLY thing you have to do to go to heaven, according to scripture, is belong to the Lord.
                                                             i.      We “belong” to the Kingdom of God simply by believing that Jesus IS the Savior, and that He died to pay for sin, so that those who believe He rose again could belong to the Lord.

                                                          ii.      We confess the fact that we are sinners.
1.      Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
                                                       iii.      And we repent (or turn from) our sin to live pleasing lives for the Lord so that we may continue to be part of the Kingdom of God.  When we repent, we are forgiven.

III.            THEREFORE
a.      “..keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

b.     vs 43 “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.”

c.      “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

CONCLUSION

Jesus gives the disciples a parable, usually called the Parable of the Unfaithful Servant

 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?
(Jesus speaking to the disciples about believers being called to the ministry)

46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.  (Faithfulness until the rapture)

47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
(Refers to the resurrected saints being made “rulers” in the coming Kingdom)

48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’
(Exactly what many in the modern church are now saying)
49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.
(One who is not just IN the world, but OF the world)

 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.
(He is not ready for the rapture…this represents most of the modern church)

51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, (Despite his profession of faith)

where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
(he will lose his soul, and go to an eternal hell; most in the modern church fall in to this category, they are religious but lost…)



We need to remember that the Lord wants us to be with Him eternally.  The scriptures tell us that it is His will that ALL are saved…

We MUST confess that we are sinners, accept Jesus as the sacrifice for our sin, and repent, or turn away, from our sin so that we may be counted among the Children of God.

Jesus warns that on the day and hour of His coming, there will be many who are not ready, not looking, not expecting…we must examine ourselves, and be sure that we are in a right standing with the Lord, so when that day comes, we will spend eternity by His side.