Six Critical Signs, pt.2

The Second Coming of Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:34
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Intro; Last week we looked at the first three of the “Six Critical Signs” that are mentioned in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse concerning His Second Coming.
Deception of false Christs [v. 4-5]
Wars and rumors of war among the nations [v.6-7a]
‌Famines, pestilences and earthquakes worldwide [v. 7b-8]
Tonight we’re going to look at the last three Critical Signs that are mentioned in these verses.
Tribulation and the killing of believers [v.9]
‌Falling away of false believers [v.10-13]
‌Proclaiming of the Gospel to the world [v. 14]
Text; Mt. 24:9-14
Matthew 24:9–14 (NKJV)
9Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Remember the context that Jesus is describing is the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation after the Rapture of the church. Chaos is running rampant, but one comes on the scene that seems to settle things down and bring a peace to all. That person is the Antichrist, and he makes a protective peace pact with the nation of Israel during this time and brings about a world calm.

1. Tribulation and Death of Believers; 9

It doesn’t look well for believers during the Tribulation time heading towards the Second Coming of Christ. It says they will have tribulation and be killed.
Tribulation- great suffering
Do you remember who will be the focus of faith during the Tribulation? Jews
Even though the Jews are the focus of faith, it doesn’t mean that Gentiles can’t be saved.
I believe there is a duel meaning from Jesus here.
First, I believe Jesus is making a direct statement concerning His disciples
We know that all of the disciples of Christ were killed for their faith. John the Apostle was the only one exiled for his faith.
Right after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter and John were arrested for preaching in the name of Jesus [Acts 4]
Secondly, I believe Jesus is speaking pointedly towards Jewish believers in the Tribulation time as well.
Mark 13:9 (NKJV)
9But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.
Luke 21:12 (NKJV)
12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.
Remember that both the Gospels of Mark and Luke are written to Roman and Gentile audiences. Again they add the Jewish culture for them to understand.
So in the tribulation time, Jews coming to faith in Christ will be brought before the council in the synagogues and the gentile courts!
The reason they will face tribulation and death is for the Name of Jesus!
They would suffer from the Jewish council for being traitors of Judaism and blasphemy against God as they turned to faith in Christ. [Jesus was condemned of the same thing]
Matthew 26:65 NKJV
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!
They would be put to death by Gentiles because the world hates godliness, purity and the truth!
John 15:18–20 (NKJV)
18If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
Even today we are seeing a rise in persecution of Christians all around the world.
On average, more than 13 Christians are killed each day for their faith. That means almost every two hours, a believer is killed. And it's roughly 5,000 people each year.[ Opendoors.org Jan 30, 2024]
There have been more christians killed for the name of Jesus in the last 100 years than all the christians killed in the previous 2000 years!

2. Falling Away of False Believers; 10-13

This falling away is known as “apostasy”.
Apostasy- The act of abandoning or renouncing one's previously held religious beliefs or faith, often in favor of a different set of beliefs or non-belief.
Only a fool would leave a faith in Christ and return to worldly living. Therefore I have to believe that these people who fall away were never saved to start with, just religious people.
Jesus gives three reasons why this apostasy takes place.
[10] The cost will be too high to follow Jesus. Persecution will be so harsh that many will betray others to save their own skin.
1 John 2:19 NKJV
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
[11] False prophets will deceive many. False prophets teach doctrines that seem true and godly, but are false and satanic.
1 Timothy 4:1–2 NKJV
1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
2 Timothy 2:16–18 NKJV
16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
[12] Love of lawlessness. Love of SIN! People will flaunt their sin openly, enjoying it so much that so called “professed believers”, will follow after the lie.
2 Timothy 3:1–5 NKJV
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
[13] Endure shall be saved; this is not endure to be saved in salvation, but this faithful person will be delivered from tribulation into God’s eternal kingdom of righteousness.

3. Preaching of the Gospel; 14

Despite all the chaos, persecution, killing, false teachers and lawlessness, the increase of the spread of the Gospel around the world is a sign of the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus will not be without a witness!
[Rev. 7] In the Tribulation time, 144,000 Jews will be set aside and sealed as messengers of the gospel to the nations. Look what it says immediately following that;
Revelation 7:9–17 NKJV
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” 13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
The spread of the Gospel continues to increase through various methods now that were not available then when Jesus spoke these words. And will continue to increase until He comes again, despite what men, satan, false prophets and the Antichrist do to stop it.
Close;
These Six Critical signs that we looked at are signs that are increasing with intensity in our days, pointing to the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ.
But one sign of the true believer is that these tribulations will not stop him/her from standing firm in faith and living for Jesus.
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