Luke 21: 25-28 (NLT) There will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. 26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”
General Overview of eschatological events:
Amillennialists believe that God's promises regarding the end times are figurative and will not be literally fulfilled, particularly the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth.
Pre-millennialists(Orthodox) Believe that Jesus Christ will return to the earth prior to His literal reign on the earth for 1000 years.
The Return of Christ:(I Cor 15 & I Thes 4)
Three groups of pre-millennialists:
1- Pre-tribulation 2- Mid-tribulation 3- Post-tribulation
Matthew 24:21 (NKJV) For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Readiness in waiting
1. Grow in Awareness
The Spirit of the age:
The antichrist spirit precedes the antichrist .
1 John 4:3 (NIV) Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
B. The seasons and times
Study: Daniel, Revelation, Luke 21, Matthew 24.
Matthew 24:36 (NIV) "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 (NLT) 1 Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape. 4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. 6 So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.
2. Prepare your heart
“The return of Christ is not a funeral its wedding!”
Revelation 19:6-8 (NIV) 6 I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
Spirit of Offense/Bitterness/Coldness of heart
Matthew 24:12-13 (NIV) 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
3. Renounce Fear
THE END IS NOT THE END, ITS THE BEGINNING!
Rejecting fear means growing in Love:
1 John 4:18 (NIV) There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
4. Embrace faithfulness
Titus 2:12-14 (NLT) 12 We are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
Luke 18:15-17 (NLT) 15 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. 16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.
Luke 19:1-10 (NIV) 1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'" 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
What we know about Zacchaeus:
1- A chief tax collector(A despised sinner)
2- He was rich
3- He was vertically challenged
A Childlike heart…
The Childlikeness of Zacchaeus- He Ran & He climbed a tree.
“Remaining curious about God is something we must maintain lest we become bored spiritually.”
Embrace mystery as an invitation.
Things that squelch curiosity:
1- Making excuses
2-Being a know it all
3- Looking elsewhere
“So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.”
Joy reciprocates: joy carries joy, the joy of Jesus.
Luke 12:32 (NLT) It gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
Romans 14:17 (NIV) The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
“The lasting impact of our encounters will determined by how much of the joy of the Lord is present to carry them forward.”
He gladly gave up everything…..
Holiness that isn't happy isn't holiness.
1. Position Yourself
2. Respond to the invitation
“JESUS IS INVITING HIMSELF INTO OUT LIFE.”
Psalm 36:7-8 (NLT) 7 How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. 8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights.
3- Posture Yourself
John 8:2-11 (NIV) 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11 "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
Jesus provides freedom from….
Revelation 12:10, John 8: 44
The spirit of accusation…
Focusses on individuals not issues.
Labels and values people according to their weakness, failures & sins.
“One can be right in their assessment yet wrong in their assertion.”
Ephesians 4:15 (NLT) We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ.
Romans 8:1-4 (NLT) 1 There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Condemnation &. Conviction= can feel the same.
Condemnation: Drives us away from Gods presence.
Conviction: (from Godly sorrow) Drives us into Gods presence. Invites us to share in holiness.
Shame is an identity issue.
“Go and sin no more” Not just forgiveness but Freedom!
Walking in Freedom: freedom & fellowship
1. Focus(not on our sins or the sins of others, not on the past)
Psalm 34:5 (NIV) Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
1 John 2:28 (NLT) Dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
John 3:17-18 (NIV) 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
John 5:1-5 (NLT) 1 Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” 8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” 9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
The Urban legend Verse 4- An angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.
Excuses of the Victim-
Verse 7: “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
1. People- “I have no one….”
We will all deal with let down and disappointment but we control the condition of our hearts.
2. Methods- “into the pool”
“We need to make sure don't look for our encounter in a way that will keep us from receiving it!”
Psalm 20:6-7 (NIV) 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
3. Timing- “When the water bubbles up.”
We don't live from season to season we live from Glory to Glory!
“We are not waiting for a event to happen we are living from an event that already happened.”
4. Resources- “Gets there ahead of me.”
Isaiah 59:1 (NIV) Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
Ephesians 3:16 (NLT) I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Living in Victory
Verse 8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
1. Stand up
Arise from your circumstance up)
“Jesus puts an end of our excuses by providing a solution for our issues.”
2. Take up your Mat
The excuse you have been lying on. Pick it up and “move along.”
3. And walk.
Move forward…. into your destiny.
Bethesda: The house of mercy.