A Christian’s Excitement in the Midst of Great Chaos
October 18, 2020 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Matthew 16:1-3)
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him [JESUS] that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
A. With all the things going on today simultaneously all over the world, what is really happening?
1. On again, off again lockdowns… probably until Spring of next year!
2. Some scientists saying this will last at least three years
3. Loads of people are in absolute fear – of the disease, of the lockdowns, of the duration, of being alone, of the next wave
4. But more than those things, I am noticing a cooling off spiritually by Christians – very few people now have any problem giving up on:
a. Being at church – love being at home instead of gathering together with other believers
b. Serving the Lord and serving other people besides their own families
d. Reading and studying how to live as Christians
5. Probably because they weren’t doing any of it to begin with! They just live as comfortably as they feel like
6. But it is still, very concerning to me as a pastor of God’s people!
B. But what is going on?
1. Can WE not discern the signs of our times?
2. Does the Bible believer have anything more to go on that could be better than all the doctors and politicians and “scientists” on the TV every evening at 6pm?
a. Nothing is making sense – at least on the surface
b. It all is just very discouraging
3. But we do have something that clears out all the fog
4. It is called the word of God! The Bible!
a. From Genesis 1 to Revelation 21, everything going on TODAY in 2020 is laid out, and warned about, and exciting to learn about as believers!
b. I could take a month of Sundays and still not even barely begin to talk about all the stuff going on just under the surface of the politics, the economics, the pandemic, and the path that this world is heading!
5. So, I am going to talk to you this morning about the one subject that can encourage you more than most anything else
C. But first, in case your head HAS been under a rock, there are some important signs/signals of something big coming
A. The External Signs – signs visible to everyone (Luke 21:5-28)
1. The Jewish Temple destroyed (21:6, already happened in 70 AD)
2. Constant flow of false Messiahs and religious leaders who will deceive so many (21:8)
a. False prophets – foretelling future events that never quite get it right
b. False and wicked religious leaders who promise prosperity, but are the only ones prospering
c. Cults are exploding in popularity (1Timothy 4:1-3)
1) 1Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
2) Not just believing different things, but demonic things
3) Doctrines of devils!
4) The world is not filling up with born again Christians – people are following more and more youtube “teachers” and talking heads and demonic voices on the internet
5) Be VERY careful of all the conspiracy speakers, as well as the accepted authorities
3. World wide disasters – not local, but world-wide (21:9-11)
a. Wars and rumours of wars throughout history – only recently have we gotten used to there not being some major war going on in the world
1) A serious Famine creeping is in.
2) Right now there is a massive food shortage in Australia. No one wants to talk about it.
3) Massive crops and harvests all over the world have been abandoned and left to rot because of the lack of workers and supply chains breaking down across the globe
4) The size of the Locust plagues in Africa and Middle East are out of control. They devour everything in their path, and they cover an area the size of Munster as they travel!
5) This year there was Flooding in SAUDI ARABIA.
6) And everyone thinks it all is due to Climate Change
1) Diseases Plural, that affect the entire planet – it means that there are more and more things in our world that are killing us!
2) Resperatory diseases like the Flu, and Brochitus and Pneumonia, SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, and so on… “Up to 650 000 people die world-wide of respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu each year.” WHO headline, 13 December 2017
4) HIV Aids
8) These are just some of the major diseases that infect millions every year now
d. Earthquakes everywhere – “diverse places” (11).
e. Astronomical terrors – mountains falling out of the sky (11)
f. Wide spread Genetic Tampering (Genesis 6 describes demonic messing with human genes and creating monsters)
g. These things are not science fiction – they are all said to be signs of something big coming
h. And there is something about to happen that is meant to encourage every believer in spite of all of the above!
4. Severe Persecution of Mainly Christians (21:12,16,17)
a. Not only by the world, But by your own family
b. Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, will be intensely HATED by all men
c. Yet, we don’t get discouraged! God is about to do something that is meant to encourage every believer being persecuted!
5. The Jews are back home in their land (21:20,21) – Jerusalem rebuilt
a. THAT is meant to encourage every believer!
b. It is a miracle! It excites the Bible believer!
6. Economic disasters that are affecting the entire world
a. Luke says men’s hearts failing them because of fear/terror (21:26)
b. But NOT Christian men’s hearts! We have something that keeps us encouraged!
7. Iniquity abounding
a. Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
b. Abound means, become abundant, overflow into every area of society and culture, no matter the race, or age, or religion – sin is like a cancer everywhere now!
1) The elevation of homosexuality and bestiality and paedophilia as NORMAL!
2) And Protection from speaking that it is still SIN, and must be repented of and forgiven
c. Just know, that Christians should NOT be cooling off and growing cold in our love in our homes, amongst believers, for the lost, and even for our enemies…
d. We should be more and more excited and fervent and thrilled than ever!
e. Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
f. We Bible believers SEE something approaching that keeps us encouraged!
8. Technology explosion
a. Since the 1930’s governments have been NUMBERING the entire world, and controlling the entire world through that numbering system that we all call computers
b. Artificial intelligence is no longer the stuff of star trek
c. Big Data knows all about every one of us from birth to death
d. The entire world is being connected from 200 miles above our heads by 12,000 satellites known as StarLink.
e. €400 drones can be used to follow and record your every move whether in a car, or out for a walk, or which side of your house you are sitting in at the moment.
f. Google, Facebook, Amazon record everything you look at, everything you like, everything that upsets you, everything you want, and everyone you follow!
9. Oh, this is just the beginning (21:9). All these events happening right before our eyes and are bringing this world face to face with the coming wrath of God in the time called the Tribulation
10. But it does NOT scare the Bible believer!
Nope! I keep my eyes on something coming that is much bigger!
B. Then there are Internal Signs - Spiritual Signs happening right now
1. We are living in “perilous times” (2Timothy 3:1-6)
a. People have been lulled into thinking these are great days
1) Again, just look at the power in our hands - used to fill gymnasiums. Kids think it has always been like this, with a new iPhone, a new Samsung, a new Huwai every year
2) The money in our pockets from the government make us feel wealthy
3) The safety we feel locked inside our homes
4) The socialised education we all are getting in our schools
5) The happiness we have being entertained 24/7 by Netflix, Hulu, Sky, and Youtube!
b. Yet, these are Perilous, Dangerous, deadly times – causing the ruin of everything good
c. Look at the attitudes predicted, that have now become the norm!
1) Men ARE lovers of their own selves – world wide narcissism
2) Covetous – always having to have more – western world is obsessed with “things”
3) Boasters – boasting is a way of life almost all over the world – used to have humble cultures, but NOT ANY MORE!
4) Proud – unable to ever say Sorry, I was wrong, always blaming, thinking don’t need God
5) Blasphemers – making God the blame for everything wrong in life
6) Disobedient to parents – unheard of 50 years ago!!!
7) Unthankful – most people never think of this as a sin
8) Unholy – in mind and heart and hands
9) Without natural affection – unable to love their husbands, or their wives, or their children, but instead only loving their work, their friends, their hobbies, and themselves
10) Trucebreakers – never keep promises
11) False accusers – lie about everything
12) Incontinent – out of control
13) Fierce – super angry, explosive
14) Despisers of those that are good
15) Traitors – betray their best friends if it gets them ahead
16) Heady - impulsive
17) Highminded – looking down on others
18) Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God – love entertainment
19) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof – everyone today is “religious”, but they deny it any power over their lives. Almost no one lives like they say they believe!
d. From such turn away!
2. The world is filling up with anti-christs, in preparation for the coming Anti-Christ (1John 2:18)
a. Not anti-religion, but anti-CHRIST! People who hate the Jesus of the Bible
b. From Universities professors, to Big name talk show hosts, to your own family members
c. Just try and speak to someone plainly about Jesus, and watch how they respond!
3. Such hatred and violence (Matthew 24:10)
a. Matthew 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
b. Everyone is offended by everything
c. Even amongst Christians!!!
d. THAT is a sign that something BIG is about to happen in the world
4. Strong Delusion is upon the world (2Thessalonians 2:1, 8-12)
a. 2Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
b. 2Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
c. 2Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
d. 2Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
e. 2Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
f. 2Thessalonians 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
g. Have YOU noticed that people seem completely numb to sin?
h. They have no sense of guilt or shame in how they live, talk, act
i. Have no desire for God? That is not normal! Not for Ireland!
j. Deluded into thinking that they are the good guys and Christians and moral people and Christians people are the problem
k. Read about them in Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
l. Well, THAT is a sign that something BIG is about to happen in the world!
5. The worst part – do you know what the worst part of it all is?
a. A general falling away by Christians (2Thessalonians 2:2,3)
1) 2Thessalonians 2:2,3 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition [THE ANTICHRIST]
2) THAT is a sign that something BIG is about to happen in the world
b. Less and less actual strong faith and worship (Luke 18:8) instead of growing stronger
1) Weaker and weaker Christianity – hiding, ashamed of Jesus and the Bible
2) A general cooling off by almost every Christian
3) More interested in paint drying than in reading and obeying their Bible
4) Have never won a soul to repentance and faith in Christ
5) To most, going to and serving in their Church is a bother
6) Churches, and Christians look, smell, talk, sing, and pray like there is no God in heaven
7) THAT is a sign that something BIG is about to happen in the world
6. Never before have ALL the above been common and normal in almost every society across this planet of ours – THANKS to Hollywood and the Internet!
7. But THAT is a sign that something BIG is about to happen in the world
C. For 40 years now I’ve pondered how the totalitarian government of Antichrist would take over the entire world. Well, THIS one year has clarified a lot for me.
1. A worldwide lock down in our homes, with EVERYONE on this planet glued to their internet devices!!! Waiting, watching, hoping something happens!
2. A Mandatory vaccine and proof of vaccination before being permitted to travel.
3. A coming GLOBAL economic crash forcing almost everyone to use an electronic tag to buy and sell, and everyone having government funded universal basic income.
4. Parents are terrified of their children being alone – and these days they should be
5. Free speech is considered dangerous
6. Isn’t it amazing how suddenly EVERYTHING CAN CHANGE?
7. What has happened?
D. We Need Some Hope!
1. What could possibly be good about any of this going on in our generation?
2. We are supposed to be aware of all of this – not hiding under a rock, or denying any of it
3. But none of it is what we are to be looking for
4. It is NOT Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, or Michale Martin!
a. Even if the economy collapsed…
b. Even if a world war broke out tomorrow…
c. Even if another even worse disease began to spread throughout the world…
d. Even if it became illegal for Christians to gather together…
e. None of that should affect our joy, our assurance, our excitement!
5. Our attention is upward, outward, beyond the clouds, the stars, the galaxies
a. I preach a lot about the Son of God coming into this world to die for sinners 2,000 years ago
b. But the same Son of God is getting ready to come back again!
c. And THAT is our blessed hope, our joy, our thrill, our excitement, our drive, our assurance, our expectation
d. Even though the whole world collapses before our eyes!
E. That hope is… Jesus is Coming Again!
1. Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ
2. Jesus is coming BACK!
3. And THAT is Our Blessed Hope! It has ALL our attention!
III. Next Week!
A. What will it be like when Jesus comes for His people?
B. There are some big events about to happen, and you had better be ready for them NOW
A. Are You Ready? Are you even CONCERNED about what all is happening?
1. The world is going crazy
2. But something amazing is about to happen any moment now… in the twinkling of an eye
3. So, Are you Saved, Born again, part of God’s family?
4. Or will you stay numb, blind, not interested?
5. If you are NOT ready for the soon rapture… You will face the coming wrath of the God who made this world and is coming back to clean it up
6. That’s why the Bible says in 2Corinthians 6:2 For he [GOD] saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured [HELPED] thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
b. Not when you feel like it, or, when it gets really rough – it will be too late
B. What about YOU Dear Christian… Will YOU be Ashamed?
1. 1John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
2. Ashamed of living like you have all the time in the world
3. Ashamed that you thought it didn’t matter HOW you lived now that you are saved
4. Ashamed of ignoring the new life Jesus saved you to live
5. Ashamed of nothing to show for the new life that Jesus bought for you
6. Ashamed that you brought no one with you? None of your children? None of your friends? None of your co-workers?