July 21, 2019 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Matthew 24:27)
A. What a thought! That Someone named Jesus is coming BACK to this world of ours, and that He is coming back SOON!
B. Does it SEEM like Jesus is coming back to you?
1. It seems like people are more and more comfortable with ignoring the facts surrounding Jesus’ FIRST coming. Living like Jesus never came at all!
2. So that they have almost no concern about His soon SECOND Coming
3. As a matter of fact, if you looked at our world and all that is going on, you might realize that to 99.9% of the world’s population, Jesus and His SOON RETURN is irrelevant, unimpressive, unimportant, and unworthy of any consideration
4. No modern, sophisticated, highly educated homo-sapien would EVER believe that someone named Jesus was actually alive again after being so brutally crucified, and that He is about to return to this world!
5. Do you know what is more sad? The fact that the soon coming of Jesus is not on the minds of most Christians – we have cooled off in our anticipation of His return!
C. But He is still coming back!
D. And there may be some people in this room who will live to see it!
E. How do I know?
F. And what difference does it make whether we believe it or not? What possible difference could believing in the Second Coming make?
G. I want to answer those questions and more this morning!
H. Because the Kingdom of God, that Jesus spoke so much about, is about to get REALLY real one of these days, and whether you are Ready or Not, He’s coming!
A. The Promise of Christ’s SECOND Coming (Matthew 24:1-3,27)
1. The promise of a SECOND Coming of Jesus is not something new, or something that anyone just came up with one day... It was predicted and promised from the very beginning of time!
2. Jesus HIMSELF promised He would come again!
a. Matt 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
b. Matt 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
c. Ummm. Jesus is standing right there in front of His disciples and telling them He would come BACK to this world in a flash like lightning!
d. Mar 14:60-62 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of [GOD’S] power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
e. Matthew 16:24-28
1) 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
2) 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
3) 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
4) 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
5) 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
f. But there are hundreds more promises
1) As a matter of fact, there are about 900 Prophecies in the Bible that point to a “Messiah” coming – a perfect Ruler, a Deliverer, Saviour, Liberator, Defender
2) And over 100 of them were fulfilled already at His first coming 2,000 years ago into Bethlehem when God became a baby and grew up in Israel!
3) That leaves about 800 more that are YET to happen! EIGHT HUNDRED!
3. Jesus’ SECOND Coming was Prophesied by so many others
Prophesied by angels
Act 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Prophesied by John in Revelation
Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh [AGAIN] with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. This was written about 60 years AFTER Jesus ascended!
Prophesied by Daniel (Dan 7:13,14)
Dan 7:13,14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [MESSIAH] came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days [GOD], and they brought him near before him. And there was given him [THE MESSIAH] dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Prophesied by Isaiah – what we refer to as a Christmas Scripture is also
a Second Coming Scripture!
Isa 9:6,7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Prophesied by Micah
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
4. Funny thing – most everyone expected that when the Messiah came the first time, that He would fulfil all of those prophecies right then – but they weren’t! Only the prophesies that pointed to the Messiah being rejected and pierced, and killed were fulfilled!
5. So, obviously there are many prophesies YET to be fulfilled
6. And THAT is why we Bible believers get excited! There is so much more to come!
B. The Purpose of the Second Coming – A Lot of Unfinished Business
1. Evidently, not even 1/10th of all the prophecies about the Messiah were accomplished when Jesus came the first time!
2. So, they have YET to be fulfilled – and they WILL be fulfilled dear friend!
3. What are those prophesies all about?
a. They are specific promises by God…
1) To His people the Jewish nation that He would save them
2) To the Gentiles, that a light would come to THEM and save them too
3) And to the devil – that God was going to dethrone him one day, and make every wrong turn out for good
4) Thank God for His promises!
b. God promised that Someone would come to this world to fix everything
1) The first time Jesus came, He did NOT come to fix politics, or healthcare, or banking, or taxation, or social issues.
2) He didn’t come to fix the weather, or get rid of all diseases
3) He came to take our place under the wrath of Almighty God
a) He came to save us from our sins!
b) Matt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
c) Matt 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
4) But there is still more than our sins that needs fixing!
a) Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks [OF YEARS] are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city [WHERE IS THAT?],
(i) to finish the transgression,
(ii) and to make an end of sins [HAS THAT HAPPENED YET?],
(iii) and to make reconciliation for iniquity,
(iv) and to bring in everlasting righteousness,
(v) and to seal up the vision and prophecy,
(vi) and to anoint the most Holy.
b) Look at that list of needs…
(i) Someone needs to finally get rid of the devil – and He will!
(ii) Someone needs to bring in everlasting righteousness – AMEN!
(iii) And Someone needs to fulfil ALL the visions and prophecies of the entire Bible – all of them that have yet to be fulfilled
(iv) And Someone needs to be anointed as the most Holy One
c) Daniel 9:25,26 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah [THERE IS THAT WORD] the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off [KILLED], but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
5) That Someone can only be Jesus of Nazareth!
4. Let’s compare the First Coming of Jesus with His SOON Second Coming
Jesus’ First Coming
Jesus’ Second Coming
1. As a BABY
2. In the night, in Bethlehem, to only some shepherds
3. Meek and lowly like a LAMB
4. As a Suffering Servant (Isa 52,53)
5. To accept God’s wrath on Himself for sinners
6. To suffer, and
die, and rise again
7. To bring in the perfect Kingdom of God into hearts!
1. As a Man of War
2. In broad daylight,
seen by everybody
3. Bold, and full of fury like a LION
4. As a Sovereign King of all kings
5. To judge and bring vengeance upon all sinners
6. Will never die
7. To bring in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth
5. There is so much more to the Second Coming than the First!
C. The Predictions / Signs of the Second Coming (JUST A BRIEF SAMPLING)
1. When Jesus came the first time, He rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for their failure to recognize the signs of the times (Matthew 16:1-3). Why?
a. Because the Old Testament prophets foretold His Coming.
b. In fact, the prophet Daniel foretold the exact year of His arrival!
c. And the prophets revealed incredible details about the Messiah’s birth, His ministry, His miracles, and ultimate death and resurrection.
d. Jesus scolded these religious leaders saying, “You know how to predict the weather by looking at the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times!”
e. The Pharisees and Sadducees knew these prophecies better than anyone else, but they chose to ignore them.
f. In the same way, Jesus will hold us accountable for our failure to recognize the signs of His Second Coming.
2. Some undeniable signs pointing to something BIG about to happen (Matthew 24:3-12)
a. False Messiah’s (5) – people claiming to be God’s chosen one
1) Like Mohammed claimed to be superior to Jesus
2) Like a thousand other men and women throughout history who have claimed to be God’s saviour of the world
3) Like Mary is now worshipped by most catholics as Saviour
b. Wars and rumours
of wars (6,7)
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
c. Famines (7)
d. Diseases/Pestilences (7)
e. Earthquakes (7) – ALL OVER THE WORLD, not just in hot spots
of Christians (9)
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you
and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
g. Being Offended
(9) – upset enough to QUIT
And then shall many be offended
h. Betrayals of
each other (9)
and shall betray one another
one another even though brethren and believers (9)
and shall hate one another
1) In marriages
2) Children and teenagers HATING their parents – unheard of 100 years ago
False prophets deceiving so many (11)
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many
1) The saddest part of this prophecy is not that there will be so many false messiahs and false prophets
2) But that they will deceive so many, and damn so many!
Iniquity abounding (12) – beyond measure
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
1) Same-sex marriage was never on the radar until just 10 years ago
2) Living together as husband and wife but unmarried
l. And THAT is just a few of the signs
m. According to Jesus…
1) Mat 24:6 … see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
2) Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
3) Note that word SORROW – it is talking about the sorrow and pain of a woman who is about to give birth to a child!
3. These aren’t just general things that the world will experience like it always has
a. Obviously the world has always had wars
b. And always battled diseases, and earthquakes and famines
c. And that is why so many people constantly scoff at Jesus’ words
d. But Jesus is saying MUCH more than just a list of normal troubles and disasters…
e. What is so different about today?
4. Jesus is saying that these and about 100 more specific events will grow in number EXPONENTIALLY – like the pains leading up to a birth!
a. Go back to Matthew 24:3 and notice the disciples asked Jesus point blank, “What will be the signs of your return and the end of the age?”
b. Jesus responded by mentioning many signs – some spiritual, some natural, societal, and political.
c. And THEN He said these signs would appear in a distinct way – like birth pains (Matthew 24:3-8).
d. Some of you do not know that birth pains, or labour contractions, are sharp pains which INCREASE in intensity and frequency in the moments leading up to birth.
e. They become MORE frequent and have greater strength leading up to the big moment
1) False Messiahs / Christs – more than ever, there are people claiming to be the only hope for mankind
a) Right now there are 5 big named religious leaders who all claim to be the Messiah, and have thousands and one guy has 100,000 people following him
b) Half of the politicians in America act like a Messiah who has come to save the planet, and save the poor
c) People are looking to Jim Jones’ and Sung Yung Moon’s to lead them into paradise
d) And thanks to the internet, there are countless NEW “Saviours” gathering new followers every day!
2) Wars and rumours of wars – there have been more wars in the past century than in all of history combined
a) At the end of the last century there were just six wars and major conflicts per year between 1870 and 1913. But that rose to 17 per year in the period of the two World Wars, then 31 per year during the Cold War era, and 36 per year during the 1990s.
b) We are so overwhelmed by information and fake news today, we are totally unaware of how much of our world is at war TODAY!
3) Famines – continue to increase
a) The 1921 famine in Russia (over 5 million dead)
b) The 1928-1929 famine in China (over 3 million dead)
c) The 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine (over 7 million dead)
d) The 1932-1933 famine in Kazakhstan (over 1 million dead)
e) The 1936 famine in China (over 5 million dead)
f) The 1942-1943 famine in China (over 1 million dead)
g) The 1943 famine in Bengal, India (over 2 million dead)
h) The 1946-1947 famine in the Soviet Union (over 1 million dead)
i) The 1959-1961 famine in China (over 36 million dead)
j) That's more than 61 million people who perished from famine in just 40 years! Does this sound like business as usual? Are things the same today as they’ve always been? Of course not. The world has seen a dramatic increase in both the frequency and intensity of famines since Jesus first answered His disciples' questions.
a) In 1962 Sir McFarland Burnett, a Nobel prize-winning virologist stated, ‘By the end of the Second World War it was possible to say that almost all of the major practical problems of dealing with infectious disease had been solved.’
b) He was WRONG!
c) Mankind is battling MORE diseases than ever – only for vaccines and antibiotics, the human population would have been wiped out by now
d) More resilient diseases then ever
e) More diseases to come!
5) Earthquakes – ALL OVER THE WORLD, not just in hot spots (USGS)
a) Resulting in Tsunami’s, massive causalities
b) There were 147 earthquakes of 6+ in 2016
c) There were 111 in 2017
d) There were 135 in 2018
e) There have been 87 so far just in 2019 alone – projected to be 180 for the year
f) These numbers will only go up!
6) Persecution of Christians - the most persecuted people group today – and it is going to get worse
a) Everyone else is absolutely protected, except Christians
b) No country is safe for Christians
c) Just to be a believer in Jesus is getting more and more dangerous
d) Nigerian Christians and churches are being slaughtered
e) East Timor has seen over 20,000 slaughtered in the last 10 years
f) Christianity is forbidden of heavily restricted and punished throughout the middle east
g) Canada has steadily been enacting strict laws against Christians
h) Even “Christian” nations are known for heavily persecuting Christians that are not catholic, or not protestant
i) And it is only going to get worse
7) Being Offended
a) This generation is THE most hyper critical of just about everything, especially Christians who are supposed to overlook things and have grace!
b) Yet, in this room there are people who only notice when I say something off, or weird and never grow and never help anyone else grow!
c) I had never expected to see such a falling away of “Christians” like I have watched people that I have personally discipled, and taught, and prayed with and prayed for!
d) This church should total over 2,000 in attendance
e) And we should have started at least two dozen other churches in the past 25 years, IF Christians were not so easily “offended”
8) AND THE LIST GOES ON!
9) Betrayals of each other – people only caring about themselves
10) Hating one another even though brethren and believers
11) False prophets deceiving so many – youtube is a sewer of false teachings and false prophets and false doctrines! And they are only GROWING!
12) Finally… Iniquity abounding – beyond measure
a) No one here would want to be a movie classifier – use to be called censers
b) The amount of unmentionable filth that makes up movies today is
c) And then, what about judges? They have to face the people who are actually doing such unmentionable filth in their homes, to people and to animals
d) Listening to two people in divorce court would drive anyone to drink!
e) What you can access on your PHONE is HELL
f. And Jesus is telling us this same pattern will precede His coming.
5. But don’t freak out too much
a. Jesus said when you see these signs starting to increase like never before, you should look up, because “your redemption [your Saviour] is nigh” (Luke 21:28).
b. Whew! Thank God!
c. In other words, you should expect His return SOON.
d. How soon? Jesus says soon enough that the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before His return (Matthew 24:34).
A. There will be much more to learn about over the next few weeks
1. More Predictions and Signs
a. The world moving to a one world government
b. The mark of the beast being WELCOMED by everybody IN their hands
c. The collapse of the value of money
d. A build up to World War III
e. Technology exploding exponentially
g. World-wide Travel
2. The Parts of the Second Coming
a. The Tribulation
b. The Rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem
c. The Crowning of the anti-christ
d. The disasters that will flood this world
e. The gathering of the entire world to fight in the Valley of Megiddo
f. And Armageddon itself
3. The Present Day Rejection of the Second Coming
4. And the Place of the Christian at the Second Coming
B. But YOU need to take this very seriously
1. If I was warning you that an armed man has just stopped right outside, and was getting ready to enter this building and was armed and dangerous… would you take the warning serious? I would hope so!
2. Well, I am warning that the SON of GOD ALMIGHTY is preparing to return to this planet of ours and he is NOT coming soft and sweet and gentle. He will judge the secrets of all men! (Rom 2:16) God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ
3. Your secrets, my secrets
4. All laid out for everyone to see
5. No hope ladies and gentlemen unless a Saviour can be found who can COVER all our sins
C. Because what you DON’T know CAN and WILL hurt you!