Sunday, October 12, 2014

Paul's Epistles Part 35 – Paul's Warning of the End Times

Paul's Epistles
Part 35 – Paul's Warning of the End Times
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
Over the last couple of months, Paul has shown us in his epistle to the Romans, the fact that we, as people are all the same.

There is no Jew or Gentile, no male or female, but one people. He tells us that we need to be sure not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

Paul tells us that we, those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, are engrafted into the vine, as if we were always there. Adopted into the family of God, but looked upon as full blooded children.

Paul also warns us, that the Jews were natural branches of the vine who rejected Christ and were cut off, we too can be cut off if we reject the Lord or His Word.

Paul reminds us to be living sacrifices, to put the Lord before us in all things we say, think and do, with the love of others in mind. To love others is to put them before ourselves. I Corinthians 13, and always be watching for opportunities to share the gospel of salvation with others, because that is the Great Commission and instruction of Christ.

At the end of Chapter 13, Paul tells us to do these things because the end is near. We see this in the news daily!

Today's message will take a short break from the Epistle of Romans, and look at scripture to back up Paul's Warning of this being the End Times.

I will read some of the biblical warnings describing what the End Times will look like, and you will know for yourselves whether or not they sound like today.

This is not to scare you or put fear in your heart, because if we are in a right-standing relationship with Jesus, we have nothing to fear. Paul says this to us in Romans 13 because he does not want us to become idle, and he is trying to encourage us to share our faith with anyone who will listen.





SCRIPTURE REFERENCE Romans 13:8-14
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.


                   I.            UNDERSTANDING THE PRESENT TIME, THE HOUR HAS ALREADY COME FOR YOU TO WAKE UP FROM YOUR SLUMBER, BECAUSE SALVATION IS NEARER NOW THAN WHEN WE FIRST BELIEVED
a.      How do we understand the present time?
                                                                         i.      Easy, read scripture.

                                                                      ii.      The New Covenant is full of descriptions of what to watch for to recognize that the time is getting closer.

                                                                   iii.      The beginning of the End has already begun


b.     The time has already come!
                                                                         i.      Paul tells us, this dispensation is also called the "Church Age"

                                                                      ii.      This began after the Crucifixion, and will continue until the next dispensation begins.

                                                                   iii.      What is the next dispensation? Tribulation.


c.      Wake up from your slumber!
                                                                         i.      A call to those who are in a spiritual sleep.

                                                                      ii.      Some because they have not been awakened by Salvation and the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

                                                                   iii.      Some sleep because they are spiritually lazy.
1.      Unwilling to spend time in the Word
2.      Unwilling to spend time with other believers as commanded
3.      Unwilling to spend time in prayer
4.      Unwilling to grow spiritually, becoming mature in Christ through these steps.
5.      They are WILLFULLY ignorant of the Word and what is expected of them to be in a healthy relationship with the Lord.
6.      It is time to WAKE UP!



               II.            THE NIGHT IS NEARLY OVER; THE DAY IS ALMOST HERE.
a.      End time descriptions in scripture
                                                                         i.      2 Peter 2:1-3 False Bible teachers will be money hungry.

                                                                      ii.      2 Timothy 3:1-7 "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of moneyboastful, proudabusivedisobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholywithout love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the goodtreacherousrash, conceitedlovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

                                            iii.    Jesus says in Matthew 24:4-14 "Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 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. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“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.

                                                                     iv.      2 Timothy 4:3-4 "...the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."

                                                                        v.      2 Peter 3:3-7 "Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly."

                                                                     vi.      1 Timothy 4:1-5 "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer."

                                                                  vii.      Zechariah 12:2-5 "“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’

                                                               viii.      Matthew 24:9-11 "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. ..."

b.     7 Signs of the Apocalypse
                                                                         i.      First Seal is opened...The False Prophet Appears...Revelation 6:1 "I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest."

                                                                      ii.      The second seal...WARS and rumors of wars...Revelation 6:3-4 "When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword."

                                                                   iii.      The third seal...FAMINE...Revelation 6:5-6 "When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages (currently $24), and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (These plants, olives and grapes, grow without cultivation, therefore could be used without high cost for living. They would become staples because of the cost of food.)

                                                                     iv.      The fourth seal...PLAGUE...Revelation 6:7-8 "When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth."

                                                                        v.      The fifth seal...JUDGMENT...Revelation 6:9-11 "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters,[e] were killed just as they had been."

                                                                     vi.      The sixth seal...CHAOS...Revelation 6:12-17 "I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[f] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

                                                                  vii.      The seventh seal will be opened in Revelation 8, which will be the rebirth of heaven, Jerusalem and a new earth.


c.      It is clear, this IS the End Time
                                                                         i.      So what are we to do?



            III.            SO DO THIS...
a.      Paul says to love your neighbor as yourself
                                                                         i.      If you were going to perish, wouldn't you try to escape?
                                                                      ii.      Show others who are perishing the way out.


b.     Jesus instructed us with the Great Commission
                                                                         i.      Go into ALL the world and preach the Gospel message of Salvation
                                                                      ii.      Baptize them in the name of the father, son and holy spirit
                                                                   iii.      THEN teach them to obey all that Christ commands.


c.      Do this as an individual
                                                                         i.      Not the "church" responsibility, yours!
                                                                      ii.      You want to see more people in church, BRING THEM
                                                                   iii.      You want to see your loved ones saved, share the gospel with them
                                                                     iv.      You want your children to grow up knowing the Lord, bring them up in the way!
                                                                        v.      Stop putting your responsibilities on others



CONCLUSION

Because the End Times are here, we must live in LOVE, preaching the Gospel message to ALL, regardless of nationality, creed, religion or beliefs.

We will be hated because of our faith, and persecuted because of it.

However, if we live our lives following Christ and His instruction, we will be lights in this dark world.

We need to recognize the time, wake from slumber, and fill ourselves with the Word of God, surround ourselves with other believers, and be a living sacrifice unto the Lord in this dark time.




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