About 20% of Bible is Prophecy: 16 1/2 books or 1/2 of N.T.
Prophecy assures us that God has a plan.
The Rapture is the next event on God’s calendar.
1) It is imminent (no signs)
2) It is secret (Christ coming for His people).
3) It is that "Blessed Hope" (Tit. 2:13).
Tribulation Follows (Rev. 6-19).
1) Called Daniel’s 70th Week: "Time of Jacob’s trouble"
2) Begins with Anti-Christ’s treaty with Israel (Dan.9:27)
3) God’s wrath poured out: war, famine, pestilence, death.
4) Ends with Armageddon & defeat of Anti-christ.
Question: How long between Rapture & Tribulation?
Matt. 24 is a Key Prophetic Chapter
Mt. 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?"
I. THE JEWISH SIGN
A. Israel became a nation state in May, 1948.
B. It has been miraculously preserved through 5 wars with Arabs.
C. Now preparations being made-to rebuild the temple and reinstitute the temple worship & sacrifices.
D. Jewish people are going home from every nation in the world.
E. Present peace process...read the newspaper and watch the news... Israel is in the center of the world’s attention.
II. THE EUROPEAN SIGN
A. Daniel 2 prophesied a revived Roman Empire in last days.
B. Dan. 9 prophesies that Anti-Christ will arise out of the people of the ancient Roman Empire.
C. Thus, Europe will be (and is being) reunited again.
III. THE RUSSIAN SIGN
A. Russia will continue to be a world power and invade Israel.
B. Do not be deceived into thinking that communism is dead.
C. Although there has been great political upheaval in what used to be known as the Soviet Union, most of the ‘new’ leaders are simply ‘old’ communists.
D. The Scriptures still speak of the ‘land of Magog’. cf Ez. 38:1-3
1. Bible scholars have taken note for hundreds of years that these references are to people of the Soviet Union or Russia.
2. Whether in the form as we recognize it today or in some new alliance, God’s Word will not fail!
IV. THE RELIGIOUS SIGN.
A. 1 Timothy 4:1, "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;"
1. "Apostasy" (falling away) trend of denying God’s Word.
2. Bible prophesies a time of moral and spiritual decay.
3. Many today have exchanged the "cutting edge" of evangelism for the soft butter of social reform.
B. 2 Tim. 3:1-5 describes the "last days.
1. As a time of "no values."
2. Haven’t we always had this?
3. Yes, but not in the church-not among believers.
C. In Rev. 13:1-9 we Prophecy of a "One-World Church."
1. Bible refers to it as "Mystery Babylon" (Rev. 17)
2. Ecumenicalism: Christian, pagan, occult, etc.
3. Climaxes with worship of Anti- Christ, the devil.
4. All the world will be united in this to have peace.
5. The most dangerous movement toward this one world church is the Charismatic movement.
V. THE OCCULT SIGN.
1 TIM. 4:1 "...giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils."
A. What is called "New Age" isn’t new at all, it is just a new way of describing occultic practice.
B. Witchcraft and Satanism is on the rise, and is gaining widespread acceptance.
VI. THE ECONOMIC SIGN (Rev. 13:16-18)
A. Prophecy of a one-world economic and monetary system that will control all buying and selling.
B. This is now possible with latest technology: computers, optic fibers, microchips, satellite communication.
C. There is a move toward a "one world" economy as trade barriers fall, economic agreements are made.
D. In this, every country becomes more dependent on others for goods and services.
VII. THE MORAL AND SOCIAL SIGN (Luke 17: 26-30)
A. Jesus compared society at His coming with Noah’s age:
1. Corrupt (Gen. 6: "every imagination of thought...evil.")
B. He also compared it to Lot’s age:
VIII. THE TRAVEL SIGN (Dan. 12:4, "Many shall run to and fro.")
IX. THE KNOWLEDGE SIGN (Dan. 12:4, "Knowledge shall be increased.")
X. THE CONFLICT SIGN (Mt. 24:6 "wars and rumors of wars.")
XI. THE FAMINE SIGN (Matt. 24:7)
XII. THE EARTHQUAKE SIGN (Mt. 24:7)
XIII. THE PESTILENCE SIGN (Mt. 24:7)
A. The Plagues of the world
B. AIDS ... politically protected.
C. It is almost frightening to realize how often our efforts fail because diseases mutate and become resistant.
XIV. THE SIMULTANEOUS SIGN (Mt. 24:33)
A. Hasn’t every generation thought that Christ would come?
B. Yes-but there’s a difference: When you shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, even at the door.