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March 26, 2012
By: John Barnett
Read, print or listen to this resource on our website
Are you living each day in light of the seven step plan God has for this world that stretches from Now to Eternity?
We have just completed our look at the plan God left for us.
Those are what I call the:
*Seven Steps: Now to Eternity*
The last place we see in the end of the book is Heaven (#7); immediately preceding Heaven is the Final Judgment known as the Great White Throne (#6); that is right after the Millennium (#5); and that starts right after the Second Coming (#4); and that ends the Tribulation (#3); and that is preceded by the Rapture and Bema Seat finish line for the saints (#1 & 2).
4 BE READY – Christ is Coming
5 BE HOLY – Christ will test our lives.
6-19 BE THANKFUL – Christ will keep us from the hour.
19 BE PATIENT – Christ will right all wrongs.
20 BE FOCUSED – Christ will perfect the earth
20 BE FAITHFUL – Point people to Christ.
21-22 BE INVESTING – Lay up treasure in Heaven.
Now as we open to Matthew 24 again remember what started this whole study.
The disciples asked Jesus to explain the SIGNS of His Coming.
Jesus explained to us in Matthew 24, verses 8 and 33-34—that these events would begin at the same time, run concurrently, and crescendo like the pains of a woman giving birth—the closer we get to His Second coming.
Matthew 24:8, 33-34 *All these are the beginning of sorrows.*
33 So you also, *when you see all these things*, know that it is near—at the doors!
34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of *sorrows*.
The Greek word odin, often translated as sorrows in Matthew 24:8, literally means birth pangs.
The list of Biblical Signs of Christ's Return will not actually be full blown until the Tribulation time.
Each of these signs were captured by the apostles and prophets between 2,000 and 3,500 years ago.
Now they are happening in our lifetime!
So, the Bible contains many specific events that would signal the end of days for life on planet earth as it has been for the past several thousand years.
The list of Biblical Signs of Christ's Return will not actually be full blown until the time of the Great Tribulation.
Each of the signs of Christ's Return He said--are trends.
These trends are speeding up—the last seconds of the countdown clock of Christ's return are clicking down.
Each day the prophetic picture Christ painted grows clearer.
But, in all of history--ONLY our generation has seen EVERY ONE of these events starting to unfold.
Jesus said these signs would not suddenly appear.
He said that they would rather become a trend that amplified and strengthened until it became overwhelming like “birth pangs”.
Now that we have surveyed the seven major events to get each one clear in our mind, let me give you just a handful of the precise, clear, specific predictions that Christ's Words in this Book give us.
You may be startled.
Every one of the signs Christ gave are present in your world today.
You are the first generation in all of history to experience these trends, these signs—all at once!
*The Signs of the End of Days*
There are more apes of the Old Testament devoted to the End of Days than the New so we begin in the great Old Testament prophet Daniel’s inspired record of the “time of the end” as God called it.
*#1: The Sign of Global Travel*
Daniel was overwhelmed when he caught a glimpse of the number and speed at which people were moving about the planet.
Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
The Bible says that there would be many involved in travel, and today the transportation industry is one of the largest segments of the global economy.
Prior to the industrial revolution, few individuals traveled beyond their community.
Until recently, horse, foot, and boat were the only modes of transportation.
Yet, in our day millions travel to and fro great distances every year.
When God who has written the future wants us to know when the end is here He says this event will be noticeable.
"many shall run to and fro"
Running to and fro speaks of traveling.
How has travel changed on this planet?
Unless you take a long view, someone living today has no idea how close we are to the end.
The pace of change is staggering.
Think how much the world remained the same from Daniel's day to your great grandfather's day, consider this.
• *Five thousand years ago* NOAH built a boat and drifted around during the global flood.
• *Three thousand years ago* DAVID hired wooden boats, powered by wind to help bring special wood for the Temple.
His son SOLOMON actually built and operated a fleet of wooden ships that sailed by wind power to carry on extensive trade with Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia.
JONAH walked by foot to a port in Israel 2800 years ago and bought a ticket to sail to what is today Spain.
• *Two thousand years ago,* the APOSTLE PAUL traveled around the Roman World on mapped out highways by foot, by horse and chariot, or aboard a wooden ship moved along by wind power caught in the sails.
• *Five hundred years ago, *CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS embarked for a journey across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a sea route to China.
He also probably went to the dock on foot, and boarded a wooden ship not unlike that of David, Solomon, Jonah, and Paul's.
• *Two hundred years ago,* BENJAMIN FRANKLIN walked to a dock in America to board a wooden sailing vessel for his trip to France.
• *Just over one hundred years ago* things began to change abruptly.
With the advent of steam man was no longer tied to animal power and wind power.
With the steamship, the locomotive, the automobile, the airplane and so on—in just one generation the entire world changed!
• *Today* anyone can travel at 60 MPH (car), most at 600 mph (plane), some at 1000 mph (military) and few at 25,000 mph (space).
There are routine, scheduled flights of airliners that make the trip from any of the six inhabited continents to another continent in a few hours.
Many shall run to and fro, and so we do without hardly even thinking about it.
No one in the history of this planet ever traveled like we who are alive today can travel.
This is the time of the end of the world!
*# 2: The Sign of a Global Explosion of Knowledge/Information *
Now the last half of that phrase "knowledge shall increase".
That is almost an understatement when you think about life today.
Informational knowledge is really increasing.
Each month we see some new advancement in information technologies.
Each generation has basically doubled the processing speed and power.
One IBM chip called the “Cell” doesn’t double—it multiplies everything that the computer does by sixty times.
Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, *and knowledge shall increase.
• *Five thousand years ago *JOB cried for his words to be written on stone like the stone tablets God would later use to inscribe the Ten Commandments upon.
• *Four Thousand years ago* ABRAHAM lived and worked in Ur where commerce and literature was recorded on clay tablets by cuneiform.
• *Thirty-five hundred years ago* MOSES used scrolls to record the first five books of the Bible, most likely on papyri from Egypt.
• *Two Thousand years ago* PAUL sat and a scribe wrote his words on scrolls of parchment, animal skin and papyri.
• *One thousand years ago* PAPER appeared in China.
• *Five Hundred years ago* the PRINTING PRESS arrived.
• *Just over 50 years ago* the COMPUTER arrived—and nothing will ever be the same!
For all of history up until our times individuals could only look at one book at a time, find what they needed and go on.
• *Today *we can search all the combined and collected storehouse of knowledge contained in 19,100,000,000 pages indexed and archived by Google in .42
seconds; and see the results of all of them on our screen where ever we are in the world at that moment.
Today my daughter was tracking where we drove on a map on the screen of her phone and placing electronic push pins in that map so she could take our family back to those places.
Today, we sit atop a database containing what is arguably the sum total of the world's accumulated knowledge every time we sit down to browse the internet.
From wooden boats with sails to MP3's and DVD's that I can watch or create on the personal computer that can also be my phone, television, radio, stereo, workstation, word processor, electronic document file, movie studio, sound studio, telephone answering service, fax machine, copy machine and printer—and a million other things.
[Our] generation is unique in all human history.
Never has humanity been forced to come to terms with so many issues simultaneously -- issues for which we have no historical precedent to use as a guide.
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