You Asked For It – Are We Living In The End Times?

Introduction:
Earthquakes. Famine. Wars. Moving away from God. We have all heard the signs that occur during the time the Bible calls “the last days.” Well guess what—we could be living in them right now. The Bible prophesies of many events that will occur in the end times. These events can be categorized as natural signs, spiritual signs, sociological signs, and political signs. We can look to what the Bible says about these things.  Just about every generation since the New Testament was written has been fascinated by the mysteries and symbols found in Revelation and have tried to unravel their secrets. What should our position be on the subject of the end times? What should we know about the end times, and what, if anything, should we do to live out our faith in the midst of these turbulent times? My prayer and my hope is that the message on Sunday will increase your understanding of this important topic and will help you apply the solid truths of the Bible in your life.

Something To Talk About:
What do we need to do during the end times? On Sunday, I listed five things to work on in preparation for the Lord Jesus Christ coming again:.

  1. I should stay focused: The world is a busy and hectic place. There is so much going on today it often seems difficult to focus on what is important in life. What is important to every believer in Jesus Christ, is to stay focused on God. We are made for eternity, so while we may enjoy our lives here on earth, we should focus more of our energies on eternity because what matters today will not matter 50 years from now.
  2. I should be self controlled: 1 Peter 4:7 says, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” People will be out of control. There will be skepticism, greed, pride scoffing, hypocrisy, rebellion to name a few. We cannot chase after the things of this world. We must have self-control.
  3. I should pray: Pray about everything. Prayer helps us focus on what is important. Pray for the lost, friends, and those far from the heart of God. Luke 21:36 says, “But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (NASB).
  4. I should invest in relationships: Often times when we think about investing, we thing about investing in assets, like stocks or bonds, but today I want you to think about investing in your relationships.1 Peter 4:8-9 says, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Relationships are the only thing we are going to carry into eternity. Your relationship with God and your relationship with others. Invest in relationships by doing life with others in a Northstar Group.
  5. I should make an impact with my life: As C. S. Lewis once put it, “We are to live like commandos behind the enemy lines, preparing the way for the coming of the Commander-in-Chief.” In other words, we are to live yearning for the day when Jesus will burst from the heavens to bring peace, righteousness, and justice to the earth. Until that day comes we should be using our gifts and talents to further His kingdom.

Questions:

  1. Often times in the news you’ll hear about the “end of the world” predictions. Y2K, the Mayan calendar, and many other such predictions have come and gone. Read Mark 13:31-33: What can we learn in these verses about the end of the world?
  2. Mark 13:33 finishes by saying “Stay alert!” What does that mean? Does that mean we should worry about when the end will come? How can we as Christians stay alert?
  3. The Bible says that no person knows the date for the end of the world. Our job as believers is to remain faithful till the end, not try to predict it. What do you think God wants us to be focused on between now and the end of the world?
  4. Why do you think this subject is so interesting to everybody? For lots of people, thinking about the end times is really scary. Why do you think it frightens so many people? Does it frighten you? Why?
  5. Read Revelation 21:1-5. What thoughts come to mind when you read this description of the new heaven and earth?

Take One Thing Home with You
The end times may well be here, yet many Christians overlook it because they are preoccupied with the incessant demands of daily living. Preoccupied with our problems, absorbed in our daily routines, focused on our own plans for the future, even immersed in ministry–we can easily lose sight of what the Bible calls “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)  As a result, we seldom think about the angels’ promise after Jesus’ ascension: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11).

Instead of relegating Christ’s return to a forgotten corner of our minds and only dusting it off occasionally when we happen to think of it, the Bible urges us to keep it’s truth before us every day. Jesus told us in Matthew 24:42: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

I hope you will never forget that all the problems and conflicts that rip our world apart will be over. For the Christian there is hope–because of Christ and His return. No matter what we face, no matter what sorrows or heartaches come our way, some day they will all be over because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will return to reign. Let the knowledge and truth of His return fill you with joy, peace, thankfulness and hope every day. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58).