Signposts On The Road To Rapture

SIGNPOSTS ON THE ROAD TO RAPTURE
Luke 21:25-28


INTRO. This is a very important doctrine and yet it is not believed by many church members. [Dad used to tell of a woman who told him that she did not believe all this business about Jesus coming so soon. She asked, "What do you think about that?" Dad replied, "Your attitude just helps to make my point." (II Pet. 3:3-4) "...there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,...saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?..."]
While we may not be able to tell the day or hour, Jesus gave us many signs whereby we can tell the time is near at hand. Over 300 scriptures in the N.T. alone point to his return. [If there were 300 signposts in 27 miles saying "Dallas Ahead", you’d be a fool not to believe it was getting near.]
Many signposts, pointing to the return of Christ, have already passed and even now mankind is passing signposts left by Jesus that indicate His return for His children is near.


I. SIGNPOSTS PASSED.
A. Many things Jesus told His disciples to look for, have already come to pass.
B. Luke 21:20-24
1. (Mk. 13:2) -- "Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
2. Jesus is talking of the destruction of Jerusalem in the near future. The city was leveled to the ground by the armies of Rome under Titus in 70 A.D. (Describe the destruction of the Temple.)
C. Matt. 24:14.
1. The gospel was to be preached to all nations. The end would not come until this was done.
2. It was the last command of Jesus before He went back to Heaven.
a. (Mk. 16:15) -- "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
b. (Matt. 28:19-20) -- "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:..."
c. Acts 1:8-9
3. But the people settled down and got comfortable. Then came the murder of the deacon, Stephen and the persecution by Saul. This prompted the dispersion of Jerusalem Christians throughout the world. Acts 8:1-4. This was the beginning of the Christian missionary movement.
4. Now, between individual missionaries and all the electronic ministries, we can safely say that the gospel has been preached in every nation on earth.
5. In 597 A.D., Pope Gregory I sent a monk, named Austin, to Britain to make Catholic converts of the Anglos.
a. When Austin arrived he found that almost 200 years earlier Ireland and Scotland had been introduced to the Gospel by a Christian named Patrick (who demanded repentance of sin toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour - and practiced baptism by immersion). [in other words -- Baptist]
b. Upon further investigation, he found documented evidence that Lucius - King of the Anglos in 180 A.D., had made a public profession in Christ and had been baptized which sparked an evangelistic movement in Southern Britain.
c. After this, he discovered that Baptists had been in Wales since, at least, 62 A.D.
d. In fact, the religious historian, Eusebius, writes that Simon Zelotes (the apostle- (Lk. 6:15), "passed beyond the Ocean to the isles called the Britannia Isles."
D. Deut. 4:27 --- Ezek. 11:17
1. In early 1918, in the middle of WW I, the city of Jerusalem was under the control of the Ottoman Turks. The British Commander in charge of Middle East Forces was General Allenby. He had been working in conjunction with Lawrence of Arabia to dispel the Turks from Jerusalem. While Lawrence and his forces surrounded the city, Allenby sent 3 sopwith camels (remember, the Turks had never seen an airplane) over the city dropping leaflets that said, "Surrender Jerusalem Immediately". He signed it simply Allenby. When the Turks read this they misinterpreted the name Allenby as Allah bay (messenger of God). The city was turned over to the British forces without a single shot being fired. Isa. 31:5
2. In Ezekiel 37 -- the valley of dry bones and the two sticks.
3. Later that same year, the Balfour Declaration was passed that allowed Jews the freedom to return to Palestine. But the issue was not pressed and it was, for the most part, lost in the bureaucracy.
4. Then came WW II and the subsequent holocaust.
5. On May 15, 1948 the U.N. made Israel a nation after almost 2,000 years and gave the Jews a small portion of the Arab nation of Palestine. The surrounding Arab countries declared war against Israel at 12:01 am, May 16.
6. Then on June 6, 1967, as a result of the Six Day War, the Jews captured Jerusalem. Luke 21:24b was fulfilled.
E. Look at Isa. 14:29-32. All the peace initiatives of the U.N., the U.S., or Russia, or anybody else will not get the Jews to give back control of the West Bank. God said so!

II. SIGNPOSTS PASSING.
A. Now we will look at events taking place in our everyday lives. I know you have heard of some of these many times so we will just touch on a few of them.
1. Wars and rumors of wars. Mark 13:7-8a
a. Consider the number of wars going on in the world right now and add to that the number of terrorists groups that will go on killing no matter who is in charge.
b. There are 16 different religious and political groups warring in tiny Lebanon. War in Ireland has slowed for the moment. Nicaragua, Honduras, Cambodia, North and South Korea, Bosnia, Albania, Colombia, Herzegovina, and the list goes on.
c. But the greatest war is still on the horizon - The battle of Gog and Magog against Israel, found in Ezekiel 38-39.
2. Mark 13:8 -- we are also to recognize natural disasters (floods, volcanos, earthquakes), famines (15 million a year die of starvation), and disease (AIDS, Ebola, bubonic plague, hantavirus, Lyme disease, TB, etc.) as signposts leading us to the rapture.
3. One other important sign. Luke 21:25-26. "...The powers of heaven..." See also Matt. 24:29
a. In Eph. 2:2, Paul refers to Satan as, "The prince of the power of the air."
b. Eph. 6:10-13
c. (Haggai 2:6-7) -- "Yet...a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come."
d. Space shuttles, satellites, space station, depletion of the ozone.
B. The last sign I want to point you to is the sign of Lot.
1. Matt. 24:12.
a. Sin abounds but God’s people do not seem to care. Our love for lost souls seems to have died. It is true that this is the age of scoffers (II Pet. 3:3-4 -- remember the woman in the introduction?) Even many Christians jeer, laugh at, and do not take seriously the idea of the immanent return of Jesus.
b. It is the Laodicean age of materially wealthy churches that are spiritually poverty stricken.
2. Luke 17:28-29.
a. Remember Lot and his uncle Abraham? Their problem, why they parted ways.
b. In Gen. 13:10, Lot looked toward Sodom and saw the material advantages of living there.
c. Then in Gen. 13:12, we see him as he pitches his tent toward Sodom. It wasn’t long before he had moved into the city and living as one of them.
d. Now Lot wasn’t happy with the situation in Sodom but his sinful nature and his fleshly desires would not let him leave.
e. This is why Peter said of him, "For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds."

CONCLU. Consider the rise in homosexuality;
the breakdown of the home;
crime;
the rise in poverty and the welfare program;
the demon worship of the new age cults;
the teaching of humanism in the public schools;
these and more are all prophesied in the Bible as signs of the end time. We are to be prepared for the return of Jesus at any moment.

Comments

EuroYank said…
we are only living in the beginning of the end days, and you and I will be long dead until we get to the middle. - the end -
The Mad Perseid said…
I think this blog has helped me to finally understand Christianity. It's adherents are filled from birth with images of death and torture and wanton destruction, and even their Churches are filled to the brim with images of brutal murder. They live their lives expecting it to happen any day now, and actually look forward to it. If the return of Jesus is going to be accompanied by so much horror and death, you'd think they wouldn't want him to return.

Wars? Always been with us, before and after Christ, and if memory serves, Christians caused quite a few of them themselves.

Poverty? Always been with us, before and after Christ, and if memory serves, the Church is one of the richest institutions in the world.

Demon warship? Always been with us, before and after Christ.

Diseases? How many diseases has modern medical science eradicated?

Teaching humanities? They used to burn people at the stake for suggesting the world wasn't flat and the sun didn't revolve around the world.

Homosexuality? Shall we talk of certain priests?

The other post about the Book of Revelations sounds like every religious nutbar's secret dream, the dream that dare not speak its own name.

Let's also not discuss the meeting in the clouds business, 'cause it sounds too much like punch and commets to me.

If this is really Christian orthodoxy and this agenda is being pushed, then I will never believe any Christian who claims Christians believe in peace and love towards all Men. There's no love here, and there's no peace. All there is hatred, vengeful destruction of one's enemies in the most horrible way possible, and the desire for a dictatorship of religious hate.

A thousand year reign of Jesus? Fine. What comes afterwards?
EuroYank said…
just pick the right religion or none. and you will find out.

just don't pick the wrong religion. you may die to regret it.

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