Are You Concerned About The Future?

Part1 Matthew 24


Intro: Where were you when you heard the News about Sept. 11th

A)I will never forget where I was for as long as I live !!!


B) I had just showed up at the morning Prayer watch on that Tues morning

1)   I hadn’t heard the news – or listened to the radio on the way over – It was a normal Tues meeting w/ Bros & Sisters – Seek God


C) The Mood was Somber – One of our Elders clued me in –

1)   We sought the Lord


D) Afterwards I raced home –Watched in horror the video clips of planes crashing into the Twin Towers

1)   I Knew that day – that Life in America was about to Change


E) One step closer to the return of the Lord


Tonight we are Beginning an 8-week series on one of the most Fascinating portions of the entire Bible – Matt.24 &25

A)    Where Jesus Disciples ask Him the Question what will be the sign of your coming & the end of the Age


B)    This prompted Jesus to give an answer that was the longest answer He ever gave to any question that He was ever asked/ 2 Whole Chapters


C) It is obvious to see that the Disciples were concerned about the future

   Many people today are as well


A)   Popular Question even today : ( over 20,000 Web sites– on the End of the World / over 4,000 for Christ Return


B)   Ann Landers- 10,000 letters a day/ / 280,000 a month  / 3 Million 360,000  a Yr. - mostly from burdened people

      #1 burden is fear of the future

As Believers We shouldn’t be burdened about the Future –

A)Jer. 29: 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.


B) Future & a Hope … don’t know what the future holds but we know Him who holds the Future

  1) We shouldn’t be burdened about the Future -


C)  But we should be interested in the Future / because the Choices we make now are going to affect our Future –

1)  Purpose of this Series


D) Understand that in many ways the future is now – Make a difference


Let's read v.1-8  Begin to Consider Jesus response to that Question


the scene – Passover week – Triumphal Entry – Hosanna

    SAVE NOW !!!!! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord

A)   Now it was Wed. & Jesus had spent all day in the temple, giving His last public teachings
B) Now He was going away to the Mount of Olives to be alone w/  His disciples.

1)   As they were leaving Jerusalem, the disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Jesus.


C) Mark & Luke  report that they were pointing to the temple in admiration, saying,

“Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings


By earthly standards Herod’s temple was a Beautiful building 

A)    The Roman historian Tacitus reported that it was a place of immense wealth, and the Babylonian Historian Talmud said,

1)   “He that never saw a Finer looking Building than the Temple of Herod


B)   Some of the stones measured 40 feet long  by 12 wide & 12 feet High and weighed up to a hundred tons,

1)   They were quarried as a single piece and transported many miles to the building site!!!



So the Disciples were marveling – Look at this Building – Jesus says v.2

"Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."


A)    The disciples’ jaws must have dropped when they heard those words.


B)    They could not imagine how the Temple could be destroyed or why God would allow such a thing to happen.

1)   Yet that is exactly what God allowed to happen less than forty years later.


C)    When the Romans Led by Titus ran sacked Jerusalem in a.d. 70

1)   Don’t destroy the Temple -  (Drunken Soldier Fire Arrow – gold melted seeped into cracks – Greed turned one stone upon another


D)   So Jesus prophesied that day – the events that would take place 37 yrs later when the Romans invaded – the temple would be destroyed



Now an important thing to note when studying Bible Prophecy is that the Focus is always on Israel & the Jews

A)These were Jewish men asking – a Question in light of a Jewish view of Eschatology !!!


C)Jesus response : very Jewish : Jesus talked about Landscape  Judea (v. 16), Rituals the  Sabbath (Matt. 24:20),

1)   and the prophecies of Daniel concerning the Jewish people  .V.15).

70 weeks determined YOUR PEOPLE / YOUR HOLY CITY


D) So many problems in Scripture solved if applied to immediate context of 

      First century Judaism - before applying 20th century America

1)   Big problem we face in America – we look at scripture thru the lens

      of our Country -


E) The Atmosphere is Jewish,  not Baptist, Pres, Dispensationalist

not Pentecostal or Fundamentalist - it's Jewish

 1) These were Jewish people asking a question in light of the expectation that every Jew had at that time/ Messiah was COMING



Israel's prophets - predicted a coming kingdom, coming age -of

      righteousness and peace brought on by Messiah

A)Every Jew looked forward to coming of Messiah


B)They believed a King was coming – set up an EVERLASTING KINGDOM!!!!! At this point they thought they were on the verge

1)   Triumphal entry - excited.  HOSSANNA – Save Now – they were

     thinking this is it !!!!!


C)  So when they asked Jesus this Question they were expecting Him to respond – (TOMMORROW) or FRIDAY -  Soon!!!

1)   Instead Jesus gave them some signs to watching out for / Signs that would signal that the time of His return was Near !!!!


 Purpose of a Sign – tell you what is up ahead

A)Traveling I-5 to Oregon – Favorite sign – Food / 50 miles


B)Start watching the Tachometer /  40 miles to go -#5 Barbecue – Crisp fries – Strawberry shake Chocolate Chip cookie for desert

C) 30 Miles to go Driving a little faster NEXT EXIT !!!! –  CLOSED !!!!!!

1)   The Purpose of a Sign is to let you Know that something is up ahead – and when you are getting Closer to it !!!!


D) Jesus says these are the signs that let you know that my return is up ahead & that you are getting closer to it : False Christ – spiritual deception

1)   Wars & rumors of wars / Famines & deadly Diseases / earthquakes & Persecution


Now at first glance  these signs, might seem like No big deal !!!!

A)  Always been earthquakes, famines, wars, disease- why would these things be an indication of time was near?


B)  Key found in verse 8  "All these are the beginning of sorrows. actually birth pains!


C)  Now this is a Key insight – these signs are going to be like Contractions

1) Meaning they are going to Start Slow – One here – another one an hour later 


D) But what happens as you enter start getting closer to the Due date ? Those Contractions start to grow

1)   Grow in their Frequency & their Intensity


E)  Doctor said, “Learn to time contractions when get to certain point, call me.”

1.)   Pain itself was not the indicator, but the intensity and frequency of the pain was the indicator that it was time for baby to pop out


I remember When My wife was giving birth to our Son- She didn’t like me much Ice Chips – breathing thing – Just get out of my face & let me do this


I am thinking :This is not the woman I married – I don’t know this woman


So The signs we read about in verse 4 to 8-  in themselves, are not any big phenomena. 

A) But when they become intensified, more frequent in an escalating form-watch out!


C)   Now one other thing we need to make not of before we start looking at these signs –


The thing that we know now that the Jews failed to see is that is that the Bible speaks of 2 comings of Jesus to this earth

A)First – Came to be a Sacrifice & die for the sins of the world


B)   In the 2nd He comes – as Conquering King to set up His Kingdom


C)   What we need to see is that in between His first coming for our sins & His 2nd coming – King – is an event known as the rapture

1)   Jesus comes not to the earth but to the clouds –


D) 7 Yrs of Wedding feast in Heaven / 7 Yrs of Tribulation on the earth



So we see these things occurring right now in our World – we would say that the World is experiencing – CONTRACTIONS

A)    In the Tribulation time after the Church is Gone – these things are going to be growing in their Intensity – World will be in full blown Labor !!!


B)    But since the Rapture is going to happen before the Tribulation begins /every Contraction / indication that it might be today!!!


C) Tonight I want to consider the first 2 signs -

       1st – Spiritual Deception v. 4,5,11

4  And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.5  "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. " v.11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

So first sign is spiritual deception.  There will be an increasing number of deceivers, False Christ  false prophets, false teachers/ false religions

A)  Has there been a increase in the number & the Intensity of false religions & Christ in the world today


B)Consider that in the last 50 years 1,100 people have made claims to be Christ-Messiah-Savior of the world 1,100 

1)   David Koresh / Marshal Apple white ( Heavens gate Cult – claimed to be a Reincarnation of Christ


C)    Consider that some researchers estimate that the # of New religions & cults in the last 200yrs has increased 2000%

1)   The American Family Federation estimates that there are close to 5,000 active groups world wide


D)   Conservative estimates state that 185,000 Americans join a destructive cult every year – 25% suffer damaging results


E)One thing that has helped birth new beliefs & religions is the internet

 1) There are over 200 million pages on the Internet – dedicated to religion



There definitely a growing interest in spiritual things today – People are being primed for the Antichrist – not just against – Instead of

A)There is going to be a spiritual side to this man – intriguing


B) So there has definitely been an increase in False religions in the last century

1)   But what is more Alarming is the subtle Deceptions that are invading the Church


C) Especially since Jesus begins by saying Take heed – that No one Deceives you – ( Take heed means – Stay alert – be on Guard )

1)   Be Watching – Exactly what a lot the Church today is not doing


EXAMPLE Quote: World Council of Churches. “Because Christians can not claim to have a monopoly on truth.- We need to meet men of other faiths and ideologies in obedience to Christ.


A)That sounds nice & sweet - All coming together! Getting peaceful setting aside our religious differences they say,


B)Truth is being attacked – age of No absolutes


Result recent survey : question Do You believe in the virgin Birth

A)   60% of Methodist – No / 44% of Episcopalians no/ 49% Pres. –No

34% of Baptist –No / 19% of American Lutherans No


B)   Question Scriptures are Inspired Inherent – w/out error

1)     87% Methodists No / 95% Episc. No / 82% Pres. No / 67% of American

    Baptist said No / 77% of American Lutherans No


C)   Rez. Of Christ : 51% Meth. No / 35% PRES. No/ 30% Episco. No/ 33% of American Baptist no / 13% of American Lutherans –no

1)   No wonder the Church is in the Mess that it is in !!!!



So we see and increase in spiritual deception in our society- And that increase should be a warning to us in the church. Why?

A)   Guys this is exactly what Paul Predicted would be going on in the Last days    2 Tim. 4:1-5

2 Tim. 4:1  I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

2  Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

4       and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Heap up or set up teachers after their own desires – turn the ears away from the Truth

A)   Problem w/ the Church today – too focused on this Life

Has left us unconcerned about the next life


B)   So focused on Happiness that we have Forgot about Holiness

1)   So in the name of Happiness we have allowed Heresies to invade the church !!!!


1 Tim. 4:1,2 /   Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,


Example: Many but here is one Robert  Schuller – Hour of Power – Philosophy is Power of Possibility Thinking ( His Gospel )

A)   He is on  181 stations in the United States and Canada. It is also seen in

      154 different stations  around the world, / Over 20 million viewers


B)   Largest TV ministry in the World – Extremely Popular / Profitable

1) But the Guy is a Heretic – Preaches a Different Gospel


C)     Paul said let them be accursed !!!!


2nd Sign : Wars & Rumors of Wars v. 6,7

When consider the sign of war – Yes – war has been around forever.

A)Only 8% of time since recorded history has the entire world been at peace.


A.)    Several  years ago, 2 Soviets Generals other Sociologist did a study of war, & conflicts at Harvard

1.)   In the 12th century record 2,678 conflicts – but in the 1st 25 years of this century – 13,835 conflicts


C)There have been 100 million killed in such conflicts since turn of the Cent.

Been more victims of War in 20th century than all other centuries combined

Wars & Rumors of Wars in Frequency? Definitely –But the  Intensity is growing as well especially w/ the stock pile of Nuclear weapons /

A)The estimated number of global Nuclear stockpile of weapons is 33,307 weapons { Nuclear files .org


B) Russia & the United States have the biggest number of nuclear weapons

1) But Countries like China / France & the UK have a fair amount as well


C)  And Countries like India / Israel / Pakistan / North Korea also have a decent supply

1)  And countries like Iraq / Iran/ Libya are working on their arsenal


D) It has been said that Iraq – has developed suitcase nuclear device – that could do incredible Damage

1)  Been said that there are enough Nuclear weapons to blow up the world 17 times over – ONCE IS ENOUGH


E)  Playing golf – retired Nuclear engineer – Think someone will use a Nuclear weapon – Definitely –never been bomb made wasn’t used !!!

1)  Reading in Rev. – Some of what is described that happens during the Tribulation – sounds like the results of Nuclear weapons


Intensity – New kind of war: Terrorism – Those who can’t afford to develop a Nuclear Bomb – Highjack airplanes / Suicide Bombers

A)There are 49 known Terrorist organizations in the World today


B)19 of the 49 are located in the region of the Middle East surrounding Israel

1)   In the last 2 yrs there have been 322 attacks in Israel – includes the Gaza strip & the West bank


C)The next closest in number of attacks was Columbia w/ 81 / then Pakistan w/ 54



The tension is growing in Israel daily – Suicide bombers attacks

A)Israel has retaliated against Arafat & the PLO


B)As the tension grows Ezk 38 Scenario is being set up – Arab nations around Israel are going to be joined by Russia in a major attack

     1) But God is going to fight for Israel -


C)Ezk 38 is a Battle that could take place before the Rapture if not soon after  Watch Iraq / watch Russia

1) Watch who sides w/ Israel – who against


It happened in 1989 – A major Earthquake struck Armenia – it needed only 4 minutes to flatten the nation & kill 30,000 people

A)Moments after the earthquake ceased a FATHER  raced to an elementary school – where he saw the Building had been leveled


B)Looking at the Rubble he remembered a promise that he had made to his son What ever happened I’ll always be there for You”

1)   Driven by His own promise the man began to dig thru the rubble in the area where his sons class was located !!!


C) Others parents arrived & began sobbing too late their all dead – But the man continued to dig /8hrs / 16 hrs / his hands raw exhausted refused to quit

1)   Finally after 38 wrenching hrs he pulled back a Boulder & heard his sons Voice


D)He called his sons voice Arman Arman / the boy answered back w/ these priceless words I told the other kids not to worry I told them if you were alive you would save me & when you saved me they would be saved too


Because you promised No matter what I will be always be there for You




Listen Jesus made a promise to I will be back & the signs signify that it is getting closer – Are you ready?

A)Close w/ this – most unusual stories of tragedy associated w/ Sept 11


B)Two friends were planning a Trip to Calif /  Page Hackel & her Best friend Ruth McCourt 

1) Ruth was taking along her 4 yr daughter Juliana /Page was god mother


C)  Ruth & Julianna spent the night at Page’s house so they could ride to the airport together

1)  Ruth & Julianna were flying on Frequent flyer miles w/ united they were on Flight 175 that crashed into Tower 2


D) Page flew separately because she found a good fare on American – she was on Flight 11 that crashed into Tower 1


What were the Chances the odds – Went to the airport that day neither was thinking it was going to be their last – what about you




Christian – One chance – Tomorrow may be your last day to make an impact for Christ – Cymbala – one lady in his Church led all her co workers to Christ -