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Aug 18, 2019

Signs of the Times

Signs of the Times

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Series: Other

Category: Sunday Morning

The second coming is a reality so hear this encouragement to become people of substance to a world that is spiritually starved.

Matthew 24:37-39  For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

In Noah’s day, life had become so full of just living life that they missed the signs of the time like the boat being built. In the same way today, we are so busy that we can miss the signs of the times. This is a great place to start as well as a great wake up call for all whose lives have become consumed with these world issues of political battles, amazing prosperity, lightning-fast communication, and information overload. We don’t want to miss the signs of the time. 

Jesus gives both an encouragement and a warning at the end of this chapter concerning this second coming. Verse 45-46 Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 

Our responsibility as kingdom saints and servants of the Lord is to give food in its proper time. The second coming is going to be the revelation of those in the church who are doing what we should do as well as those who are not doing what we should be doing. The second coming is a reality - we will give a report to Jesus.

This is an encouragement to become a people of substance to a world that is spiritually starved.

Ezekiel 9:3 Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. 10:18 Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple. 11:23 The glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city.

There is a pattern to religion that runs true to course through the centuries. God has feelings -  Ezekiel 6:9 . . . I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols . . .  Religion always turns to self-effort to relate to God, which allows a heart to drift towards both the worship of self and the gathering of idols. Religion is man’s effort to get to God. Christianity is God’s way to reach man. Every generation of Christianity is challenged to this kind of relevancy - to staying true to the course of Biblical living and thinking and being not just light in a dark room but being relevant – salty – to a decaying world around.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Relevant to reckless. It’s the same as Ezekiel talked about – adulterous hearts, idols of self, idols of worldly pursuit. Ezekiel 8 describes a terrifying series of events. They wanted a new day and a new way. 9:3; 10:18-19; 11:23 These verses describe the heart-breaking vision of God departing.

Think of our more current history: The Welks Revival, The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, the abolition of slavery, The Great Reversal. What began as a response to biblical thinking became man’s effort to change society's woes. The church turns to a rational theology and right behavior and away from being an agent of change in societies. 

Godly faith:

  • reaches up and obeys the Father’s commands,
  • reaches out and serves others with joy (especially the least of these),
  • reaches down and teaches others the way.

Transformation, the practical demonstration of a personal relationship with Christ:

  • is demonstrated by loving others the way Jesus loves me,
  • is instantly removed from personal gain and comfort,
  • fulfills the gospel by going into the world to preach the gospel.

Instead, faith has been turned into a catchphrase for personal comfort and gain and the church has become a consumer of religion instead of a conduit of grace.

James 1:27 tells us to care for the poor, to care for orphans and widows, to keep ourselves unstained by the world. James 2:17 Faith, if it has no works, is dead. Faith transforms belief into action and points action in the direction of serving those who do not know Christ.

Think of what people want today: happiness, freedom, peace, joy, fulfillment, passion for life. The church should be the demonstration to the community around of people to have both obtained these and are growing in these and know how to reproduce them in others. It is a faith whose focus is loving others the way Jesus loves instead of consuming God’s grace for personal satisfaction. So, how do we do that?

  • Repent
  • Become salty again – love our community
  • Demonstrate through changed lives, changed families, and changed relationships but not by telling people how to think or act.

Talk about the feelings of God. Can you think of other verses that describe His feelings?

How is Matthew 24 and Ezekiel a wakeup call to those consumed with world issues?

What is the encouragement and warning at the end of Matthew 24?

Is your faith a “catchphrase” or a conduit of grace?