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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Mar. 1, 2008

  • 2008 Mar 01
  • COMMENTS
 

How Should I Prepare Myself for the End?

The dangers Jesus warned of in Luke 21:8-19 are what His church has faced from the beginning. There have always been deceiving teachers, persecution, and disasters. But what He says is that each of these areas will increase and intensify as Christ's Coming draws near.

  • There will be religious deception (Luke 21:8).   “Be not deceived!” is Christ's admonition to us, and we must take it to heart.   Jesus is warning that even God’s people will be in danger of being deceived. Satan has always been a counterfeiter. He has led people astray for centuries. His plan is to deceive minds and blind hearts (2 Cor. 4:1–6; 11:1–4, 13–15).  Deception

Of course it includes the originators or propagators of all the false cults which have arisen throughout the course of the age, beginning with the first century. We have witnessed the rise of many in the last hundred years, especially those with the label, "Made in America," like Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Christian Science, and others. These are outwardly Christian in language and activity but their basic message is anti-christian, rejecting the true Christ. Any person or organization which purports to be Christian in its outward aspects, but whose message is actually opposed to Christian faith is an antichrist. It is the rise of these groups our Lord predicts. What a peril to faith they have proved to be .

  • There will also be global distress (Luke 21:9–11). “Be not anxious!” is Christ's admonition to us, and we must take it to heart. Sometimes you find people keeping track of the earthquakes that have occurred in recent years. Others list all the wars and attempted invasions. They seem to overlook the fact that Jesus said that wars, earthquakes, pestilences, and famines by themselves are not signs of His soon return. These things have been going on throughout the history of the world. The disasters will just get closer and stronger as His coming draws near.
  • There will be religious persecution, public (Luke 21:12–15) and personal (Luke 21:16–19). “Be not afraid!” is Christ's admonition to us, and we must take it to heart. Jesus always promised that His children would suffer (John 15:18–16:4, 32–33), and Paul said it is part of being a believer (2 Tim. 3:12). But the persecution in the end times will be part of a final holocaust and countless multitudes (Revelation 7:9-14) will give their lives for Christ.
  • There are no signs for Christ's Coming for His Bride, the Church . The events Jesus describes in Luke 21 are not signs of His soon return. All of these problems have been going on for centuries. However, as the coming of the Lord draws near, these things will multiply and intensify.
    • All believers, no matter what their position may be on the timing of Christ's coming--need to heed His three admonitions:
    • “Don’t be deceived! Don’t be afraid! Don’t worry!”
    • And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.

How Should I Prepare Myself?

I WILL—Know God's Word so I won’t be deceived.

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

9 But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”

I WILL—Trust God’s Promises so I won’t live a fearful life.

2 Timothy 1:12-14 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

 

10 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom

11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences (Grk. limoi kai loimoi this is the literary devise called paronomasia ~words with similar sounds); and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.

14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer;

I WILL—Speak for Jesus in any circumstance.

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 5:20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”

 

15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.

I WILL—Purpose to never quit even when those closest to me fail me.

Mark 13:13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

True believers are “are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation” (1 Pet. 1:5). The guarantee of our perseverance is built into the New Covenant promise. God says: “I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me” (Jer. 32:40). Those who do fall away from Christ give conclusive proof that they were never truly believers to begin with (1 John 2:19).

 

17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.

I WILL—Expect that life will be hard and full of trials.

2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

The dangers Jesus warned of are what His church has faced from the beginning. There have always been deceiving teachers, persecution, and disasters. But what He says is that each of these areas will increase and intensify as Christ's Coming draws near.

 

Would you like to own all 31 messages in this series plus a 275 page study guide? Order your copy of the "What's Next for Planet Earth?" MP3 CD today!

 

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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