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Be Ready for the End of the Age

Mar 10, 2019 | Randy Gunter

Be Ready for the End of the Age, Part 3

Matthew 24:32-35

Be Ready for the End of the Age, Part 3

32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, thisgeneration will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not passaway. (Matthew 24:32-35 ESV)

As followers of Jesus Christ,there are two points of reference that we contemplate regularly.  One is the day or season of our redemption andthe other is a time in the future when we will meet Jesus face to face.  The significantpoints of reference for every genuine Christianarethe beginning and completion of salvation. What we think about those two days has much to do with how we live out the reality of our faith. Matthew 24 helps us to focus on the second coming of Jesus Christ and the completion of our salvation.

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.(2 Peter 3:11-13 ESV)

We’re encouraged to have the right perspective by remembering our salvation, what we were savedfrom, and by anticipating the coming of Christ, what we are savedto. Those perspectives ground us for living gloriously with honor before God and others.

“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and ofthe end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3b ESV)

Jesus’ response is 20% “Watch forthis,”and 80% “Be faithful and be ready.”

Learn the fig tree lesson:

When the leaves appear andthe limbs are tender, then you know that summer is near.  Summer is the time of harvest, a time of separating the badfruitfrom the good fruit.  Thisis a common theme throughout the Gospels.  (Matthew 13:24-30, Matthew 13:47-50, and Luke 13:6-9)

Before Jesus’ second coming, the world will experience intense pain—false teachers and people falsely claiming to be Christ, great wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, tribulations, persecution, betrayal, false teaching, the rise of lawlessness and the waning love of many.  Those pains will intensify through the latter part of the 7-year Tribulation, when the Antichrist expands his evil power, and he demands that the world worships him, desolating the temple.  People will flee from Jerusalem because of the intense persecution and warring and rampant corruption and evil.  The earth will grow dark because the sun, moon, and stars will give it no light.  The stellar makeup will break apart.

When all these things occur, they are like leaves appearing on a fig tree, andyou know that the harvest is soon to come.  “When you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near”(Luke 21:31 ESV).

Jesus insists that we all be filledwith anticipation and that we’re readyfor his coming.

He gives four illustrations:

  1. Like in the days of Noah(Matthew 24:37-39)
  2. Two men in the field and two women at the mill(Matthew 24:40-41)
  3. A homeownerwouldbe alert if he knewa thief was coming… (Matthew 24:42-43)
  4. Servants who prove to be faithful or wicked(Matthew 24:45-51).

Are you ready?

Is your readiness marked with anticipation?

Is readiness evident in how you redeemtime, steward resources, disciplepeople, live gloriouslybefore God and others, and love unconditionally?

Series Information

Other sermons in the series