In this final episode in our series on the End Times, Robert reviews the things we learned and appeals to us to be ready for that coming Day of Judgment.

ROBERT >> Thank you for joining us this week on The Truth In Love. For the last many weeks we have been studying Bible Prophecy and the Last Days, examining popular end time teachings with the Bible. This Sunday we want to review those teachings, and we want to summarize what the Bible really says about the end times. I hope you’ll stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> What have we learned about Bible prophecy and the last days?

Well, let’s remember that the last days of Bible prophecy refer to the last period of history. This began with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts chapter 2, and it will continue until Christ comes again on the last day of the last days at the end of the world.

We also learned that there will be no signs of Christ’s coming at the end of the world. The signs that so many talk about mentioned in Matthew chapter 24 would precede the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. They had nothing to do with the end of the world when Jesus comes again. Only God knows when Christ will come at the end of the world. He will come suddenly and unexpectedly like a thief in the night. And therefore, we must always be ready for his coming.

We learned that Christ will not come secretly to rapture just the church, leaving all others behind, no; but rather, when Jesus comes, every eye will see him. The dead will be raised, all will be judged, and this world will be destroyed. There’ll be no great tribulation led by the antichrist destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the world. There have been many antichrists in the world since the first century, and there always will be, according to the scriptures, those who are against Christ.

The world and the church have suffered great tribulation many times, including the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Battle of Armageddon that we read about in the book of Revelation is a symbol, but it’s a symbol for the fall of Rome, the enemy and persecutor who brought great tribulation upon the church in the first centuries. And the many prophecies concerning the restoration of Israel and Judah back to Palestine to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, those were fulfilled in their return from captivity in Babylon long before Christ ever came, and they were fulfilled in the first coming of Christ and the building of his church.

Christ will not come again to the earth to establish the kingdom of God and reign on David’s throne for a thousand years. His kingdom is not an earthly, military, or political kingdom, but a heavenly, spiritual kingdom.

He established his kingdom upon his first coming, after his crucifixion and resurrection when he ascended into heaven to sit on David’s throne at God’s right hand, ruling over his kingdom, the church; and he will continue to reign until the last enemy, death, is put under his feet at his coming and the resurrection of the dead. Then he’ll turn the kingdom over to his Father.

The vision of Gog and Magog in Revelation does not refer to a great military war launched against Christ’s kingdom at the end of the world. It refers to the spiritual battle between Satan and the church. And it assures us that no matter how great an attack Satan may bring against God’s people, he will not be successful.

So let us summarize for just a moment what the Bible really says about the end times. And let’s notice that most of the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled before or with the first coming of Christ and the establishment of his kingdom, the church. This is what Jesus was trying to teach his apostles when he was with them here on the earth after his resurrection.

Read with me in Luke chapter 24 beginning in verse 44. Here it says, “Then He said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the scriptures. Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you’re endued with power from on high.”

Yes, the Old Testament prophets were speaking of Christ and his first coming, his suffering, his resurrection, and the establishment of his kingdom on this earth, the church, with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts the 2nd chapter.

Something else we need to notice: The last book of the New Testament, the book of Revelation. It is especially concerned not with things at the end times, the very end of this world, but things that are going on in the first centuries after Christ.

Notice what we read about it in Revelation 1:1-3. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

So John said at the very beginning of his book that these are things which must shortly take place. These are things which are near, they’re at hand, they’re close by. And you read the book of Revelation, and you see indeed it was about the persecution of the church by the Roman empire in the first centuries after Christ. And not only that, but it assures the fall of that enemy and the victory of the faithful.

In Revelation 1:4 it says, “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia.”

This book was originally written and directed toward those churches of the first century that were then being persecuted.

Look what he said in Revelation 1:9. “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, who was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

It’s clear from this passage that the kingdom of Christ had already been established, that John and those to whom he was writing were fellow companions in this kingdom, and they were going to share in the tribulation of that day.

In Revelation 2:10, notice this promise from Christ: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

Jesus was promising victory to those who would be faithful in the face of the persecution that they were then experiencing and that was only going to get worse.”

We read in Revelation chapter 17 and 18 and 19 and 20 about that great persecutor, Rome, and how that great empire would fall into the dust of the earth, totally and completely defeated; but how that God’s people, who were faithful through all of this persecution and tribulation, would be victorious and share in the reign of Jesus Christ from heaven. I especially want you to notice Revelation chapter 22, and look at verse 6 as John closes out this great story of victory over the enemy of Christ’s church.

He says in Revelation 22:6, “Then he said to me, These words are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.”

Just as at the beginning John made it clear the things he was writing about were shortly to take place, so now having gone through the entire message, he comes to the end and emphasizes that very same point.

We read it also in chapter 22 and verse 10: “And he said to me, Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.”

It was not to be sealed up for some future generations. It was needed for that first-century church and those who would follow soon, suffering the persecution of the Roman empire. It was at hand. It was close by. Something else that we need to emphasize today, and that is that many New Testament passages make reference to the final coming of Christ.

Let’s notice some of those and what they clearly teach us about the second coming of Christ.

Notice John the 14th chapter and the first three verses, where Jesus is with his apostles, and he wants to comfort them, encourage them, and assure them as he is about to go to the cross, and ultimately having died and been raised, to ascend back into heaven and leave them here on the earth. And so this is what he told them before they faced seeing him being tortured and put upon the cross.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also

It’s clear, yes, Jesus Christ is coming again, and he is going to receive us so we can be where he went, into that heavenly realm; not upon this earth, but to live with him forever in that place called heaven.

In Acts 1:9-11, you read where they were gathered with Jesus after his resurrection, and he gave them his last words, and they saw him go up into the clouds. And having seen him disappear into the clouds in the air, the angels standing by told the apostles that he would come again in that very same manner. And so we look for that day when Jesus will return again in the clouds to receive us home to glory.

Read about it with me in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Yes, Jesus will come again, and he’ll come himself. He’s not going to send a chauffeur to pick us up. But he himself will descend from heaven, and he’ll take us back home to glory.”

All of these passages we’ve been looking at remind us that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophets, and that having done so and made a way of salvation for us through the cross, being raised again that third day, that he will come again to receive us home. But the Bible also clearly teaches us that no one but God will know when Christ will come again.

In fact, Jesus explicitly said so in Matthew 24:36. He had just said in verse 35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” And then he says in verse 36 concerning this day, the end of the world when he comes again, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”

It is true that his coming will be sudden and unexpected without any signs, as he went on to explain in verse 37 of Matthew 24, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

That’s right. Everything will be normal, just like it would be any other day when our Lord comes and takes us away.

In 1 Thessalonians the 5th chapter, notice with me verses 1 through 3, where again the apostle Paul emphasizes this suddenness and unexpectedness of the return of Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians chapter 5, “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”

That’s right. Jesus Christ will come suddenly, he will come unexpectedly. Nobody knows when he’s going to come again.

I want you to notice what’s going to happen when he does on that last day, according to 1 Corinthians chapter 15.

Notice what it says here in verses 23 and 24. And this, by the way, is Paul’s chapter concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resurrection at the last day.

In 1 Corinthians 15:23, “But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. Jesus will come, and it’ll be on the last day when we’ll all be raised, and he’ll then turn the kingdom over to the Father.”

It’s not when he begins ruling and reigning. He began ruling and reigning in Acts chapter 2 when he was seated at God’s right hand. And he’ll continue to reign until he comes again and all are raised, he defeats the last enemy, death, he turns the kingdom over to the Father.

Look at verse 52 of 1 Corinthians chapter 15, where Paul says, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

It’s the last trumpet. It’s the last day. 2 Peter 3:10, Peter speaks of the fact that Jesus will come and put an end to this old world.

And here in this second letter of Peter in chapter 3 and verse 10, we have those words: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

Just as this physical universe had a beginning long ago, so it will come to an end when our Lord returns. And all the dead are going to be raised. Look what John says very clearly in John 5:28-29, as he speaks of that last day of the last days, the very end of this world.

In John 5:28-29, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

So Jesus will come and put this world to an end, and all the dead will be raised, both the just and the unjust. And that having been accomplished, all will be judged, sent to heaven or hell for eternity.

Let me read Matthew 25 as we look at the parable of Jesus concerning his coming again at the end of the world.

In Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.”

And you’ll notice as you go on down in the parable how they’ll be separated. In verse 41, “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

And at the end of that chapter, in verse 46, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

When Jesus comes and all are raised and all are judged, sent to heaven or hell for eternity, at the same time, this world will be completely destroyed, as we read in 2 Peter 3:10. It’ll be no more.

Heaven and earth will pass away, Matthew 24:35. And according to Revelation chapter 20, it will cease to exist.

Look in Revelation chapter 20, where we read about God on the great throne of judgment. And this is what it says here in verse 11. Notice verse 11 with me. “Then I saw a great white throne, and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.”

And there was found no place for them. And finally, in Revelation 21:1, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”

Yes, all of this world will be gone someday, and God will have for us a new habitation, a heavenly one for all of eternity if we’re ready and if we’re prepared for his coming again.

If all of this world is going to be gone one day, doesn’t that make a difference in how we live our lives today?

What are you living for?

Is ti for this world, the things of this world, or are you living for Jesus Christ? Put your trust in him today, the one who died for you, the one who rose again, and the one who wants to come and take you home. Let us know how we here at The Truth In Love can help you towards heaven today.

singing>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name,
let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.
Oh that with yonder sacred throng we at his feet may fall.
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.

ROBERT >> I’d like to thank you for watching our program today. Our interest in our viewers with regard to our program is about eternal salvation. It’s not about money. It’s not about anything like that. We’re interested in your soul. The Bible says that for a person to be saved, they have to first of all believe in Jesus Christ; but not just believe in him generally, you must believe that he is indeed the Son of God.

He said, Except you believe that I am He, you’ll die in your sins,” John 8:24.

But he also said that a person must repent of sins. That means to change your mind about your sinful past, to decide to change your action and live for God. “Except you repent, you will perish,” Jesus said in Luke 13:3.

Paul said that, “God commands all men everywhere to repent,” Acts 17:30.

But the Bible also teaches us that in order to be saved, we have to be willing to verbally confess to others our faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 10:10, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

But even that’s not enough, because the Bible also teaches that a person must be immersed in water to have their sins washed away by the blood of Christ.

Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those who asked what they must do to be saved, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” Acts 2:38.

Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” Mark 16:16.

When a person does that, they don’t earn their salvation. That’s just the moment at which the blood of Christ washes sins.

Revelation 1:5 tells us that it is the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins.

And so Acts 22:16 tells us when that blood washes. “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

I hope you’ll study these things for yourself to see if they be so, and I hope and pray that if you’ve not obeyed the gospel, that you will before it’s eternally too late. If you have questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like information about the lesson today or like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

Or e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

You may call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site, www.ttil.tv.

All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

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