Sunday, May 29, 2011

THE END TIMES - Part 2: Broken Faith


The End Times
Part 2 - Broken Faith
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

SCRIPTURE READING

Matthew 24:1-14

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

 1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

  9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.










INTRODUCTION

“Tell us, when will this happen?”

Jesus answered, “Watch that no one deceives you…”

Many will come calling themselves the savior, and will deceive many.

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…but do not be alarmed; all of this must take place.

Nation will rise against nation.

Kingdom against kingdom.

Famines, earthquakes (natural disasters) in various places.

“All of these are the beginnings of birth pains.”

What is being “born”?   Judgment (The End)

After these “birth pains”, Jesus tells us what the beginning of the end times will look like.  Listen to the words of Jesus, and think about the world today.



I.                   HANDED OVER AND HATED

a.      Matthew 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death…”
                                                             i.      Believers are being handed over at this very minute, all over the world, and being put to death because of their belief in Jesus Christ.

                                                          ii.      I was speaking with a friend in Jakarta who had converted to Christianity, but kept it hidden because of the Muslim violence against believers there.  One day while chatting with her, a group of Muslims took a woman from the building across from the bank she worked at, and killed her because they found out she was a Christian.


b.     “…and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”
                                                             i.      Many are being killed all over the world for their belief in Jesus Christ.

                                                          ii.      We, as a nation and a people, are hated because of faith.

                                                       iii.      We are slowly being divided and separated from our country, because of our faith.

                                                         iv.      In 2009 at a press conference in Turkey (One of the largest Muslim countries in the world – 99.8%), Obama made it clear where he stands when he said, “we (speaking of the United States), do not consider ourselves a Christian nation…” this pleases all of the countries who hate us, because of Christ.  Especially the Muslims.

1.      Unfortunately, Obama was right, and we are no longer the same nation that our founding father’s built, where even our court systems were designed around and built upon the Word of God.

                                                            v.      We are not only hated by other nations…but by our own countrymen because of Christ and the Word of God.

                                                         vi.      We are pressured by others to “change” our beliefs because of offense.

                                                      vii.      We are condemned for our beliefs, and told we cannot hold to our faith, and they call us intolerant and hateful.

                                                   viii.      We now live in a country where there is freedom of religion for all, except those who believe in Christ and His teaching…then, we are restricted.
1.      Do not pray in public
2.      Do not witness in schools
3.      Do not share your faith….

a.      While each year,  Ramadan (the greatest of Muslim holy days) is celebrated in the White House.

b.     In 2007, a Hindu opened our US congress with prayer

                                                         ix.      Hated, because of Jesus.


c.      Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will turn away from the faith…”
                                                             i.      Many have turned from the faith.

                                                          ii.      Considering at one time nearly 100% of our government claimed to be a follower of Christ, now is a fraction of that.

                                                       iii.      Families used to attend church services faithfully, now, we have churches on every corner, but such a small number attending.

                                                         iv.      We see more and more “turning” away from the faith in our youth, which is our next generation.

d.     “…and will betray and hate each other”
                                                             i.      Even those who claim faith, betray and hate each other.

                                                          ii.      Protestant and catholic feud has been burning for generations, and many have died over it.



II.               MORE FALSE PROPHETS
a.      Matthew 24:11 “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”
                                                             i.      Heaven’s Gate, Jim Jones, David Koresh, and many others…

b.     Many claim to “know” what the future holds, what’s in the stars, tarot cards, horoscopes, end times…but Jesus has told us, and the Word of God has spoken, and all of these things must take place.
III.            INCREASE OF WICKEDNESS
a.      Matthew 24:12 “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…”
                                                             i.      Jesus tells us, during this time, the love for Him that most had, will grow cold.  This is the turning away from the truth that we see today, where the love of Christ, and the Word of God is taught to be a hateful, intolerant offensive way of thinking.  And many will turn to “new” teachings and systems of belief.

b.     Matthew 24:13 “but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
                                                             i.      How do we stand firm?

                                                          ii.      Be holding to these truths in the Word, regardless of what society, government and others say.

c.      When Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter implying the separation of church and state, he spoke of a country where the government would never tell the people how to worship God.
                                                             i.      Yet, the government is at this time trying to tell us how, when and where we are allowed to display our faith.

                                                          ii.      To those crying “foul” against anyone who shares or displays their faith, let us remind them that we are Americans, and in America we not only have the right to worship God wherever, however and whenever we want, but for them to tell us we “can’t” is not only un-American, but illegal, because it is taking away OUR freedom!

                                                       iii.      If someone is offended by my faith, that is their problem, not mine. 


d.     Matthew 24:14 “…And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations”
                                                             i.      How is this to take place if we stop preaching what we believe?  It can’t.

                                                          ii.      We need to stand for our faith, regardless of consequence.

                                                       iii.      The Apostles were not only willing to face punishment, torture, and imprisonment, but death itself for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Are you?

e.      “…and then the end will come.”


CONCLUSION

The signs that Jesus gives us in the Word of God are easy to recognize. 

Those who follow Christ, and the Word of God will be hated by all because of Jesus’ teachings.

Before “The End”, there will be a turning away from the faith.

False prophets will appear and deceive many.

There will be an increase of wickedness, and the love of most will grow cold.

But during this time, just before “The End”, the ones who “Stand Firm” through this will be saved.

This gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations.

…And THEN the end will come, and with it, dreadful things this world has never suffered before