Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
Posted on: 2008-10-05
Series: Signs of the End Times
Scripture: Matthew 24
Introduction: One day there is going to be a great exodus from planet Earth. Millions will disappear on that day. In the Bible it is called as rapture. Rapture is the second coming the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are all waiting for that blessed day. Bible says Jesus is coming back very soon. Matthew 16:1-3 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. We need to interpret the signs of the times. When we study the Bible, we understand Jesus will come twice into this world. First is his birth at Bethlehem. In the second coming Jesus comes twice: Secret coming (rapture) & Public coming after tribulation. In rapture, Jesus comes for his saints. It is very secretive and only those who are ready will meet him in the sky. In the public coming, Jesus will coming with his saints.
The Bible gave signs to the Jews of the first coming or the birth of Jesus. Micah 5:2 is a prophecy about Jesus that He would be born in Bethlehem. Psalm 22:16 says the Messiah’s hands and legs would be pierced. The prophetic books gave the Jews a lot of prophesies about the birth, life, and death of Jesus but they missed the signs and missed the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Similarly, we have signs that foretell the rapture and the public coming of Jesus. What are the signs we are looking for? When will the rapture take place? I would like to go a little detail into this today.
Matthew 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” The Bible clearly says no one knows the exact time of his coming, not even Jesus. Only God the Father knows the time of rapture. Therefore, it would be a futile effort on our part if we try to interpret the Bible and come up with dates of rapture. The Bible gives us some clearcut signs regarding His coming. If we study the Bible carefully, we can see the fulfillment of many of those signs and we will come to know how close we are to rapture. Let us study some of the signs that are mentioned in the Bible.
Signs for Rapture
1. Spiritual Signs. Matthew 24:5; 24:10-14.
The Bible says the spiritual world or the church will be affected before the rapture.
False Christs - When we look into history many have come and are still living who claim themselves to be Christ. Backsliders – Nowadays many people come to Christ but are not able to keep their faith. This is the reality in present day churches. False prophets – Not all who proclaim themselves as prophets are prophets. I personally know a handful of them. We need greater discernment these days to know the false prophets. Love grows cold – If you look into the churches you will find many churches have lost their first love. People do not love spiritual things any longer. Great evangelism – If you believe it or not the word of God is spreading to all the parts of the world like never before. Many TV networks are entering the homes of unreached people and there are millions of secret believes in the Arab countries and regions where the Bible is banned.
2. Physical signs. Genesis 1:14, Joel 2:31, Luke 21:25.
Physical signs are the signs that happen in the Earth and universe.
Sun will turn into darkness - Data from the Ulysses spacecraft, a joint NASA-European Space Agency mission, shows the sun has reduced its output of solar wind to the lowest levels since accurate readings became available. The sun's current state could reduce the natural shielding that envelops our solar system. "The sun's million mile-per-hour solar wind inflates a protective bubble, or heliosphere, around the solar system. It influences how things work here on Earth and even out at the boundary of our solar system where it meets the galaxy," said Dave McComas, Ulysses' solar wind instrument principal investigator and senior executive director at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. "Ulysses data indicate the solar wind's global pressure is the lowest we have seen since the beginning of the space age." Extracted from Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, released on September 23, 2008. This shows the sun has lost its brightness and life.
Moon will turn into blood – Psalm 89:37 calls the moon the “faithful witness in the sky”; in Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and then in Psalm 8:3-4, we can see that considering the moon makes us wonder why God is mindful of man. God had not only placed the stars and the sun and the moon in the heavens for light and for seasons and days and years…but also for signs. Peter quotes Joel in Acts 2:19-20 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. In Revelations 6, when the sixth seal is opened, we are told that the “whole moon turned blood red.” Red blood moon has been spotted by many and it occurs mainly at total lunar eclipse. When the moon is low on the horizon the sunlight reflecting from it must pass through a lot more of the atmosphere before it reaches our eyes than it does when it is further up in the sky, or right overhead. Pollution, dust, and even humidity makes the air act like a filter blocking out some of the light. What reaches us are the longer wavelengths that are in the red and orange parts of the spectrum. It is the same effect that makes a sunrise, or sunset glow with a red, or orange hue.
Roaring of the sea - Tsunami disaster brought "distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves."
Famine – There is a great shortage of food grains across the world. Many people in Asia and Africa go to bed hungry.
Earthquakes – Terrible earthquakes have hit Earth in the recent years.
3. Intellectual Signs. Daniel 12:4.
Rapid transport is a reality now. Man can go anywhere in the world in a very short time. Science and technology has advanced greatly over the past decade. Internet makes knowledge available at fingertips of man.
4. Political Signs. Matthew 24:6-8.
The Bible says nation will rise against nation. Nation in Greek - Ethnos – ethnic groups. All over the world there is fight going on between different ethnic groups. Take for example Sri Lanka, India etc. Kingdom will rise against kingdom. Kingdom in Greek – Basielia – One that has marked borders. We have seen so many wars between countries and there are still some going on at the present time. Everyday we hear about war and rumors of wars.
5. Persecution to the church. Matthew 24:9.
Presently the church is facing persecution in India, China, Arab countries, Nepal etc. Many are giving their life for the Lord’s sake. We need not be afraid of these persecutions but we must understand that the prophesies of the Bible are being fulfilled.
Conclusion: Dear friends. Almost all signs given in the Bible with regard to rapture has been fulfilled. Jesus can come at any time. Are you ready? He will come like the bridegroom, according to the parable said by Jesus. He will come suddenly, unexpectedly, and specifically only for the followers of Christ. The biblical prophesies are being fulfilled. He will come anytime. Let us not be like the foolish virgins who missed the coming but like the wise virgins who were alert and prepared to meet the bridegroom. Maranatha!