The Last Days
I have been speaking much about personal holiness and the need for us to be bold witnesses to the world concerning the one and only truth about the state of their souls and the coming of Jesus Christ “because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Ac 17:31 And we know that if left to themselves, sinful men will not receive the message of the Cross “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1Co 1:18 And yet for all this we are called to bear witness of the truth.
And the days are growing darker in a hurry! Barack Obama and the Democommies have begun to flex their muscles and not in a good way. Remember that they can go only as far as God will allow “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” 2Th 2:7 We as Christians must pray for our nation and our leaders.
We must pray that God will restrain the hands of wicked men and women, who would, if left unchecked, drag the United States of America down to destruction. Indeed this is their stated goal. They and their minions are preaching a message of hatred for the country which has given them the freedoms they enjoy. But this is not good enough. They would have us regress into a 3rd World country with disease and devastation and human bombs in the streets. In their minds we must be punished for our ‘sins’ specifically the sin of prosperity and peace. Yes we must be punished for helping people and for improving the lives of millions around the world.
You can see how upside down all this is but in this line of reasoning you can see the evidence of a fallen, darkened mind. We read in Isa 5:20 of the condemnation under which they live and move and have their being. God says: ‘Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!’ And we read in Mic 2:1 “Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands.”
In our own land we have those who are calling homosexuality a good thing, who propose laws that will allow pedophiles to practice their iniquity in the open; all in the name of free speech! At the same time there is a law that is once again being proposed by our new president himself; a law that will quite literally muzzle the preaching of the whole council of God. It will outlaw any declaration of the scriptural condemnation of homosexuality and will declare that any such preaching is hate speech and punishable by imprisonment, fines and whatever else they can dream up. If this is not calling evil good and good evil I don’t know what is.
Now this has happened in other countries. Indeed the very reason that this nation exists is because of the laws against free speech and the freedom to worship the One and Only True God rather than bow the knee to idols. Our forefathers left England and the antichristian standards that were enforced and came here to be free to worship God according the dictates of the Bible. Our founding fathers were men of God for the most part. But even those who were not Christians were far more truthful and moral than the most moral men of our day.
Today we stand at the crossroads. Our nation has been literally captured by godless men and women who think that Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany were good things. Just last week an attorney for human rights was gunned down in the streets just after a news conference in Russia. He stood for freedom and was executed for it. Don’t think we are safe here in America. We are just about there in our nation! There are very few men and women in our nation who love Jesus and probably just a few more who think that biblical morality is a good thing. We were once a Christian Nation but today we are an ecumenical nation where there are many ‘truths’ and many ‘ways’ to God (with all of these ways having their own version of God.) Today so-called “Christians” will say “there is no such thing as hell and if there is, my god would never send anyone there.” And this is true. Their version of God wouldn’t send anyone to hell. He can’t because he doesn’t exist. The common version of God is nothing but a fig Newton of someone’s imagination. On the other hand, the True God, the God of the Bible is the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent LORD of the Universe and every man, woman and child that exists on this planet is here by His decree and to serve His purposes.
But we live in a land where absolute truth is denied and a variable form of ‘truth’ is preached even in pulpits across our land. You’ve heard the statement; “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Well the homosexuals and the communists have been squeaking for decades and finally, because they were able to over the educational system in our land they have been able to indoctrinate our children into believing the lie that America is bad and communism is good.
Dr. D. James Kennedy preached a sermon once titled “The Janissaries are coming.” The gist of the message dealt with the Muslims who had captured British children, indoctrinated them into the ways of Islam, and then sent them to kill their parents. The communists have done the same thing.
And speaking of Islam, they are at work in our land as well, doing what they do best, indoctrinating children and the down and out of our nation. It will not be long before they are sent to ‘kill the infidel.’ And that is us! Anyone who is not a Muslim is an infidel who needs to be exterminated in the name of Allah and his prophet Mohammad. They are merely biding their time but with the climate having changed so drastically since January 20th, we are ripe for attack. Barack Obama and his democratic allies are even now stripping away our defenses and we will be attacked. It is only a matter of when and where it will happen. And Obama and his minions think this is a good thing.
Remember what I have already stated. The Democommies along with their compatriots such as the environmentalists and others think that America is evil and needs to be punished. In their minds we deserved the attack on September 11 2001. And we need to be attacked again. We must be punished for our crimes against the American Indians and for the slaves who were brought here against their wills.
Now let me say something about these ‘crimes.’ Yes our ancestors drove the Indians off of their land and did many nasty things. But the democrats led the way to putting Indians on reservations and making them completely dependent upon the ‘white father in Washington.’ Today the Indians are living in a welfare state where they don’t work and they get government checks every month. They are slaves to the democratic party who keeps them liquored up and placated with ‘free’ money.
They have done the same thing to the descendents of the black slaves of the south. The Democrats led the charge to keep blacks segregated; illustrated most clearly by the stand that Governor George Wallace took on the steps of the college where he stated that blacks should not be integrated with whites. The Democrats have worked hard to keep their black slaves by promising them money and provisions in return for votes. But if you look at where the black people live it is terrible. They have been put on welfare to keep them placated and at one of Obama’s campaign stops he said something that led a young woman to come out and say “He’s gonna pay for my mortgage and my gas. I’m not gonna have to do anything anymore. He’s gonna take care of me!” Now this woman is stating what the black community has come to expect. They believe they are due a living because ‘whitey’ enslaved them and they are owed.
But let me point out that it was the Republican President Abraham Lincoln who issued the Emancipation Proclamation which declared that all black slaves were free. Indeed they are free and those who choose to use their freedom to better themselves are a testimony to what America is all about. But the vast majority would rather be subsidized by the government, not knowing that they are still enslaved: this time to the Democratic Party. Is this a good thing? I think not.
But this is all a lead-in to the days when men and women will blindly follow the coming antichrist as he leads them down the road to destruction. Barack Obama’s following is a perfect illustration of what blind allegiance is. Nobody cares what he stands for; “Boy he gives a great speech doesn’t he.” If you were to ask what he said, they wouldn’t know other than ‘he’s gonna take care of me.’
This is all part of the lie. It is a lead-in to the last days when men will be lovers of themselves and will kill all who oppose their god.
Jesus is coming again! I’m not saying how soon because I don’t know. But the time of the harvest is coming when His wheat will be gathered into the barn and the weeds will be burned in unquenchable fire. Many would say; “I don’t believe in the Day of Judgment.” I would say ‘what you believe is irrelevant for the truth is that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ because it is appointed unto man to die once and after this comes judgment.
In our text for this morning we will see a glimpse of what this will be like. Our text is found in Lu 17:20-37
We begin in verse 20 where we read thus; “Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” The Pharisees were basically saying the same thing that we read in 2Pe 3:4 where the scoffers were coming, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”
These religious scoffers were basically saying; “Hey Jesus, you’re talking about the coming of the kingdom of God so when is it going to happen. I think J.C. Ryle really hits the nail on the head here with his answer. “The expression which our Lord here uses describes exactly the beginning of His spiritual kingdom. It began in a manger at Bethlehem, without the knowledge of the great, the rich, and the wise. It appeared suddenly in the temple at Jerusalem, and no one but Simeon and Anna recognized its King. It was received thirty years after by none but a few fishermen and publicans in Galilee. The rulers and Pharisees had no eyes to see it. The King came to His own, and His own received Him not. All this time the Jews professed to be waiting for the kingdom. But they were looking in the wrong direction. They were waiting for signs which they had no warrant for expecting. The kingdom of God was actually in the midst of them! Yet they could not see it!”
I think that is fascinating. The kingdom of God had arrived, not with the tooting of horns or the banging of drums. Instead it came exactly as God had declared that it would come. And those who claimed to know the scriptures couldn’t see it. In fact Jesus laid this indictment on the religious leader in Joh 5:39-40 saying “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. Eternal life stood before them and they wanted nothing of it. The Kingdom of God had arrived and they were too blind to see it. We read in 1st Corinthians 2:14 “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
Then too there is not going to be any such thing as a ‘secret coming of Christ in the air’ followed by what would actually be a third coming of Christ to judge the earth. But before His return the world is going to become a very dark place. We have had some dark times before but Jesus said that if the days were not shortened no flesh would be saved. In other words everyone would be slaughtered. And we aren’t talking about the ‘battle of Armegeddon’ which we have seen to be a myth. I’m not saying that the armies of the antichrist will not gather in the valley of Megiddo. What I am saying is that we’re talking about God here and there can be no ‘battle’ when God enters the equation. We have seen from Revelation 19 that the ‘battle’ consists in the beast and the false prophet being captured and thrown into the lake of fire and the rest of their followers being slaughtered by the sword that comes out of the mouth of Jesus Christ! He will speak and men will die!
No, we are talking about the reign of antichrist with its accompanying misery and death. It will be so bad that, as we read in verse 22 And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. Men will wish for the day of the Lord. Amos said “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.” Am 8:11 I’m here to tell you that there is very little of the words of the Lord being heard in our land today. I would venture to say that only a remnant of the churches in our land hear the preaching of the pure unadulterated word of God. The rest have turned aside to myths or have embraced programs or have turned from the God ordained manner in which Church is to be organized into something that is a reflection of the world; in a word it is upside down!
And because many have turned away from the truth they are looking for a ‘messiah’ who will never come. Remember that the Jews of Jesus day had been teaching that a ‘messiah’ was coming who would destroy the Romans and set up a kingdom in Jerusalem with them (the Pharisees of course) as his co-regents. They had ignored the whole council of God and had instead taken passages out of context to create a ‘messiah’ who could be manipulated and coerced into doing what they wanted.
Such people can be observed today. They are looking for ‘signs’ all the time. When I was in high school I remember the foursquare people were always looking for signs. One day there was a ‘sign’ that to them signaled the end of the world. This sign was a ring around the sun which, much like a ring around the moon means that there is going to be a change in the weather. But according to these guys, it was the end. When I told one of them what it meant (a change in the weather) he was stunned.
In the same way there are those today who are looking for signs and are reading into anything they see that the end is near or that Jesus has returned. 23 “They will say to you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go away, and do not run after them. 24 This is wise council. How many times have you heard that ‘Mary has appeared in a piece of toast’ or ‘Jesus’ face was seen in a water fountain’ or ‘there is a tortilla on the Reservation with Jesus’ face on it and the lady who lives in this place has oil running out of her and off of her tree.’ Who cares that she had to keep going into the house to get more ‘oil’.
There are many today who are embracing Barack Obama as their messiah. He is going to save America and the world. You ask how and they can’t tell you. Men are telling you to look to Obama and I say, do not go away and do not run after them. He is not the Messiah. Indeed he is a false messiah and you will not find the salvation of your soul or of your country. Instead you will find heartache and misery and emptiness.
In contrast to this is the coming of the True Messiah Jesus Christ who will come suddenly! Openly! Visibly! You won’t be able to miss his coming “For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day. Even more importantly there will be no guessing whether or not He is the Messiah. Everyone will know this and will either run to embrace Him or run to get away from Him. There will be no neutral parties on the day that Jesus returns to put an end to this sinful world.
25 “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Jesus here clearly declares the purpose for His coming. He has come to die as a substitute for the sins of the world. He declares that many will reject him and will cry for His blood. And then, returning to the time of His second coming He tells us what the world will be like. He says, 26 “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Life was going on as usual with the usual things happening. People were getting married. Possibly (and this is clearly speculation on my part) they had same sex marriages in the days of Noah. Remember the indictment that God laid on this generation; the thoughts and intents of the heart of man were only evil continually. And even after the flood when God was giving Noah the sign of the rainbow we read in Ge 8:21 The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
Now we must understand that Noah was a preacher of righteousness and he declared that judgment was coming and that only those who came with him into the ark would be saved. But there were no takers. And destruction came upon them suddenly while they were going about their business. Suddenly they were gone.
The next example Jesus gives comes from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plains. We know from the scriptures that homosexuality was practiced by young and old. It was the norm. Perhaps (and I am speculating again) same sex marriages were being practiced in Sodom and Gomorrah. And 28 “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; 29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. When they were saying peace and safety: when they were ‘enjoying the freedom to live their own lives’ sudden death rained down upon them.
Geologists who have studied the area have said that the entire floor of the valley rose up and then collapsed. This brings to mind the walls of Jericho which, also according to scientists were actually lifted up out of their footings and thrown down the hill foe Jericho is set on a mound. This coupled with the rain of fire and brimstone from heaven makes for a terrifying hideous death. And it was sudden destruction that befell them for they weren’t looking for it. One moment they were living in a prosperous land with very fertile fields and the next moment they were all dead and the land today is uninhabitable. They don’t call it the dead sea for nothing.
Now remember that these are pictures, illustrations of what the coming day of the Lord is going to be like. Jesus says in verse 30 “It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. Everyone will be going about their normal, daily lives. Sinners will be working, sinning and rejecting God while Christians will be praying and preaching and serving God. And then He will return. 31 “On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. There is nothing here that is worth your life. Indeed to turn back is to declare your love of the things of this world and friendship with the world is enmity against God. You want to see what happens to those who look back. 32 “Remember Lot’s wife. 33 “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
As to the suddenness of His return Jesus says in Mt 24:44 “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” And we read in Th 5:2 “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. Notice what it says in verse 34 “I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 “There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. 36 “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.” I call your attention to the parable of the darnel seed. The wheat and the tares are allowed to grow up together until the harvest when the sickle will be thrust in and the wheat is gathered into the barn and the tares will be rooted up and cast into hell there to be burned with unquenchable fire.
The meaning of these expressions is clear and plain. The day of Christ’s second advent shall be the day when good and evil, converted and unconverted, shall at length be divided into two distinct bodies. The visible Church shall no longer be a mixed body. The wheat and the tares shall no longer grow side by side. The good fish and the bad shall at length be sorted into two bodies. The angels shall come forth, and gather together the godly, that they may be rewarded; and leave the wicked behind to be punished.
“Converted or unconverted?” will be the only subject of enquiry. It will matter nothing that people have worked together, and slept together, and lived together for many years. They will be dealt with at last according to their religion. Those members of the family who have loved Christ, will be taken up to heaven; and those who have loved the world, will be cast down to hell. Converted and unconverted shall be separated for evermore when Jesus comes again.
Let us lay these things to heart. He that loves his relatives and friends is specially bound to consider them. If those whom he loves are true servants of Christ, let him know that he must cast in his lot with them, if he would not one day be parted from them forever. If those whom he loves are yet dead in trespasses and sins, let him know that he must work and pray for their conversion, lest he should be separated from them by and bye to all eternity. Life is the only time for such work. Life is fast ebbing away from us all. Partings, and separations, and the breaking up of families are at all times painful things. But all the separations that we see now are nothing compared to those which will ha seen when Christ comes again.