It’s Time to Talk About the End – Part 2 | Luke 21:20-38

It’s Time to Talk About the End – Part 2 | Luke 21:20-38

Lords Prayer

Before we begin today’s sermon would you join me in praying the words our Lord taught us to pray?

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: Amen

Introduction

Please stand for the reading of God’s Word.

Luke 21:20-38 ESV  “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.  (21)  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it,  (22)  for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.  (23)  Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.  (24)  They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.  (25)  “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,  (26)  people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  (27)  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  (28)  Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  (29)  And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.  (30)  As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near.  (31)  So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.  (32)  Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.  (33)  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.  (34)  “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.  (35)  For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.  (36)  But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”  (37)  And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet.  (38)  And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

You may be seated

  • How many of y’all know that God’s Word never fails? Not then, not now, not ever.
    • God’s Word never fails.
    • This is why we can boldly say that Biblical Prophecy is Pre-Written history!
      • Remember the Biblical definition of faith?

Hebrews 11:1 ESV  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 KJV  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  • This means that anything that gives us assurance or convection about the invisible things of God… any evidence, and substance, that points to God and His promises being true… Those are the things that give us faith.
    • Faith is not “Believe just to believe”
    • Faith is not “Believing in the unknowable”.
    • Faith is substantial and Evidential.
  • Have you ever ridden on an airplane, and right before take off thought to yourself “How can a plan this heavy fly through the air on wings that small?”
    • I know I have.
    • I also know the basic idea of how flight works…
    • But just knowing the basic principles of flight does not give me enough faith to put my life in the hands of a giant aluminum tube hurling through the air at 100 miles per hour…
    • The reason I put my faith in an airplane is not because I can see the forces of lift and drag and angle of attack… I can’t see those forces, they are invisible…
    • But I know they are there and working… because I can sit in the airport watching plans come and go.
    • Every plane that I watch take off…
    • Every plane that I see land…
    • Every passenger that I see getting off a plane after a successful trip…
      • These are the things that build my faith in aerodynamics.
      • I trust the laws of aerodynamics because while I cant see them directly, I can the evidence and the substance of them working time and time and time again…
    • Therefore I have faith in them.
  • And the beautiful thing about God’s Word is that it never fails… therefore we can look back at things that were once prophecy and see how they became history… we can look at things that were written before they happened, and without fail, we can see these things happening…
    • And what that should do for us is build our faith.
    • Why do I have faith in Biblical Prophecy? Because I have seen it be true time and time and time again.
  • So it is with the introduction of our scriptures this morning.

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

Point One – End Times Prophecy Has Already Started to Be Fulfilled, and that Should Build Our Faith

  • Do y’all remember this verse from last week?

Luke 21:12 ESV  But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.

  • This was our “You are here” section of scripture… defining the persecution and promises therein of the church of Christ before the end of the world as we know it.
    • We can find our lives placed squarely in this section of the “Before all this”.
  • But those listening to Jesus as He was speaking… they did not know when the “before all this” was going to happen… So Jesus gives a prophetic sign that clearly marks the times, that people may know what time, or what season they live in…
  • So to give them a timeline of the End, Jesus starts by prophesying the fall of Jerusalem:

Luke 21:20-24 ESV  “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.  (21)  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it,  (22)  for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.  (23)  Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.  (24)  They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

  • Jesus makes it clear, that sometime in the future Jerusalem will be destroyed, and that will start what He call’s the age of the Gentiles.
    • And remember what we said about faith? The more evidence and substance we have, the greater our faith grows…
    • So check this out, many of the people listening to Jesus preach this in about AD 33 would have lived to see this prophecy be fulfilled, exactly as Jesus prophesied…
  • It happened in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was completely surrounded by Roman armies…
    • Jesus gave those listening instruction… “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies flee to the mountains, depart the city don’t come back”.
  • And remember God’s word never fails…
    • The siege of Jerusalem was temporarily put on hold when Rome called it’s soldiers back for just a couple of days…
    • When this happened, history records thousands of Believing Jews fleeing the city…
    • Why did they flee when it looked like the Roman’s were retreating… because Jesus told them… when you see Jerusalem surrounded, FLEE!
    • So the believers did, then Rome came back and completely destroyed the city and the Temple.
  • It all happened EXACTLY as Jesus said it would.
  • What does that mean for us today? It means that we can trust Prophecy because we have already seen some of it come true! Just like trusting an airplane because you have already seen it fly so many times!
  • So Jesus, in this section of End Time Biblical Prophecy, starts off the timeline with the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • He then describes the age of Gentiles…

Luke 21:24 ESV  They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

  • So we have a starting time: When Jerusalem and the Temple is destroyed.
  • And we have an end time “Until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”
    • So what are the time of the Gentiles, what is the age of the gentile…
    • Simply put, it is the time period that started in 70AD when Jerusalem was destroyed just as Jesus prophesied, and ends when the Hebrew nation reclaims Jerusalem…
  • But wait pastor, hasn’t Israel been restored? Yes, but Jesus didn’t say “When Israel isn’t trampled underfoot by gentiles”…. Jesus said “When Jerusalem isn’t trampled underfoot by gentiles”.
  • Guess what… Israel doesn’t control Jerusalem.

Show Jerusalem Map.jpg

  • Notice where Jerusalem is? Right on the border! Half is in Israel, half is in Palestine… and the temple is on the Palestinian side, the Muslim side of the map!
  • The closest that Jews or Christians can get to the site of the Ancient temple is an ancient retaining wall called the Wailing wall.
    • But the site of God’s Holy temple in Jerusalem, to this day, is still trampled underfoot by heathens! And until that stops, the end can not come.
    • Jesus was very clear about this is was black and white!

Luke 21:24 ESV  They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

  • Now remember, God’s word never fails… and historic fulfillment of Biblical prophecy should build our faith, amen?
    • There was an Emperor of Rome called Julian the Apostate who reigned over Rome from AD 331-363.
    • He was called Julian the Apostate because he hated God and wanted to undo all of the advancements Constantine made for Christianity…
    • So, he had scripture searched for a prophecy that he could break… something he could do to prove prophecy wasn’t true…
      • And he settled on Luke 21:24…
      • After all, he controlled Jerusalem… so he could easily give it back to the Jews and rebuild the temple… then, if the end didn’t come, then Jesus was wrong…
      • Pretty easy right?
      • Well, He gathered a huge group of Jewish builders, gave them silver tools and extravagant wealth to rebuild the temple…
      • And what happened? Well according to local historians of the time, FIRE CAME FROM THE EARTH AND STOPPED THE WORK!
      • I am not saying biblical sources, this happened after the Bible was written…
      • Non-Christian sources said “Fire came from the ground and stopped the work”.
    •  Ammianus Marcellinus, a good friend of Julius the Apostate, wrote this about the event that he himself witnessed:

Julian thought to rebuild at an extravagant expense the proud Temple once at Jerusalem, and committed this task to Alypius of Antioch. Alypius set vigorously to work, and was seconded by the governor of the province; when fearful balls of fire, breaking out near the foundations, continued their attacks, till the workmen, after repeated scorchings, could approach no more: and he gave up the attempt.

-Ammianus Marcellinus, 363AD

  • God’s word NEVER FAILS! To Julian the Apostate I say the same thing that David said of Goliath “Who is this uncircumcised philistine that comes against the armies of the living God?”
    • And you can say that of anyone who comes against the Word of God… it has PROVEN itself true time and time again.
    • Therefore I have more faith in Scripture that has never failed then I do in even an airplane that almost never fails…
    • Amen?!

Luke 21:29-33 ESV  And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.  (30)  As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near.  (31)  So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.  (32)  Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.  (33)  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

  • What is this saying?
    • it is saying that because God’s word never fails that we cancan read what Jesus says here in Luke 21 and we can use that to help us disirn what time we are living in.
    • So, I created a simple timeline of the past, present, and future of the world just based on this chapter of scripture…
      • You know sometimes we get bogged down by trying to balance every single biblical prophecy of the end times at once, but if we just read what Jesus said here we can get an accurate picture of the future history of the world without having to talk about prophecies from other books of Scripture… just from what Jesus says here we get this timeline…

Show “Luke 21 Time Line.jpg”

Point Two – Instructions for Living in the Pre-End Times: Watch Yourselves

  • So now we know what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen.
    • What do we do with this knowledge?
    • Well Jesus gives us instructions for living as we live in the Pre-End times… whether Jesus comes back in our lifetime or not, Jesus gives us instructions for this time period.
    • Your Instructions for Living in the Pre-End Times are this church: Watch Yourselves! Watch yourselves… That’s my second point this morning. Watch Yourselves.

Luke 21:34-36 ESV  “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.  (35)  For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.  (36)  But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

  • So last week we spent a good deal of time talking about not following after people who claim to have extra-Biblical end time prophecy…
    • That is, Jesus warns us not to follow preachers who prophecy that the end of the World is near for one reason or another… if you missed that go listen to the sermon online…
  • But on the flip side, we SHOULD live knowing that the end MIGHT be near.
  • No the temple is not rebuilt.
  • Yes Jerusalem is still split and trampled underfoot by gentiles…
  • BUT we certainly can see history marching forward to a completion of this prophecy, and we know that one day Jerusalem will be restored and then the end will come…
  • Therefore we ought to live life building a foundation of faithfulness and godliness, that we might be prepared when that day comes…
  • What do I mean?
    • Well first I ask “Will you deny Christ” when this day comes?
    • You may think that you will not… Peter thought the same thing.

Matthew 26:31-34 ESV  Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  (32)  But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”  (33)  Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”  (34)  Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

  • Now if Peter, who WALKED ON WATER with Jesus could deny Him… what makes you think you will do better?
    • I tell you the truth church, if you don’t live every second of your life for Christ, YOU WILL DENY HIM WHEN THE END COMES.
    • How do I know? Because if you can’t continually confess Him now when it is easy, then you certainly wont be able to when it is hard.
    • Listen, if you can’t bench press 100 pounds, then I KNOW YOU CANT BENCH PRESS 500 pounds.
    • If you can’t live fully for Christ now, you won’t when the time comes either.
    • So if you have a double life… one that is holy sometimes, and at other timesone that lives in drunkenness and sin, and fornication, and whatever…
      • If you are living a double life… then I beg you to KILL the sinful life now, because when this time comes it will be to late.

Luke 21:34 ESV  “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.

  • Next I ask:
    • Do you pray continually?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV  pray without ceasing,

Ephesians 6:18 ESV  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Romans 12:12 ESV  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

  • Listen church… please get this… PRAYER IS A DISCIPLINE.
    • It is like a muscle that needs exercise to grow.
    • If praying continually seems like an impossible task… that is because you have not experienced what happens when you start disciplining yourself to pray.
    • A marathon seems impossible to someone who never runs…
    • But the more you run the more possible a marathon seems.
      • So it is with prayer… I remember when I thought the song “Sweet Hour Of Prayer” was written by an insane person.
      • Praying for an hour?! HOW CAN THAT BE SWEET?! That sounds painful…
      • BUT NOW I LOVE TO PRAY! I even wake up at 5:30 AM on Fridays just so I can be here to pray in morning prayer, and I love it!

Luke 21:36 ESV  But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

  • If you can’t pray continually now, when it is comfortable, you won’t be able to when things get hard.
    • `Get on your knees now, that you might be able to stand before Christ then!

Conclusion

  • Let me conclude with this…
    • I don’t know the day or the hour when Jesus will come, no man does…
      • But what I can know is this… I know I will be ready, because I am ready now!
        • And if you need help with discipline… sign up for Bible in 90 days.
        • Chose a day of the week to come to morning prayer.
        • Make sure to be here for Wednesday services.
        • Don’t go to be at night without praying… if you are married, don’t go to bed without first praying with your spouse and family.
        • Read the Bible daily.
        • You can’t work out one day a week and expect to be fit…
        • And you can’t be a Christian one day a week and expect to stand in that day.
  • Gospel Call

Aaronic Blessing


יאר יהוה פניו אליך ויחנך
ישא יהוה פניו אליך וישם לך שׁלום

“May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD shine his face upon you and be gracious to you;
May the LORD lift up his face upon you and give you his peace.”

You are dismissed from this place but not from His Presence

ye·va·re’·khe·kha’ · Adonai · ve·yeesh’·me·re’·kha

ya·eir · Adonai · pa·nav · e·ley’·kha · vee·khoon·ne’·kah

ees·sa · Adonai · pa·nav · e·ley’·kha · ve·ya·seim · le·kha · sha·lom


“May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD shine his face upon you and be gracious to you;
May the LORD lift up his face upon you and give you his peace.”

You are dismissed from this place but not from His Presence

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