As I mentioned in my previous sermon also the four cardinal doctrines of the Assemblies of God are Salvation, Divine Healing, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the Second Coming of Christ. Erroneous date-setters have inhibited many Pastors from preaching on this subject lest they are grouped with those fanatics. But, he is still coming! The recent worldwide revival plays into this picture; it is one of the signs of the imminent return of Christ. But there are many others, equally significant. In the next few weeks, we will examine several. [A sermon by Dr. Arnold Lastinger. Used with permission]
Read John 14:1-3
1. The re-birth of the Nation of Israel
- The dispersion was God’s Promised Punishment: In Leviticus 26:14, 33 he promised it if his chosen people ignored his commandments. In Deuteronomy 4:27-28 he wowed to scatter them among the many nations of the world. In Deuteronomy 28:64-68 God wowed their lot will be unpleasant and it was so.
- The Dispersion didn’t Catch Israel by Surprise: In Ezekiel 37:11-12; 14; 21-25 God promised the re-gathering of his people as a nation. Jeremiah also prophesied the same in Jeremiah 23:3 when he said God himself will gather the remnant of his flock out of all the world. All the end-time prophecies were contingent upon Israel’s return to the Promised Land
- How did this happen: Arabs occupied Palestine prior to World War I. Then in 1918 England took possession & Jews started home. During World War II the Jews running from Hitler fled to Israel for protection. In the last days, the Age of the Messiah has come. We are starting the Messianic era now. We are accomplishing it according to the Bible. The signs are 3 fold. (I) The acquisition of the Holy Land (1948). (II) The establishing of a Jewish government. (III) The ingathering of exiles. (Col. Shlomo Goren – Former Chief Rabbi of Israel).
By 1948 they were strong enough to declare Independence from Great Britain. In April 1948 a group of men met under the sanction of the United Nations to form a nation for the millions of Jews pouring into the Middle East. When asked what would be the name of the new nation, one replied, “She shall be called Israel!” And so it was! One month later the nation of Israel was born.Encyclopedia Britannica
- The Reconstruction of the Third Temple: Because of the many references to the Temple in Revelation, many believe it will be reconstructed in the end-time. If Israel is God’s barometer of time, the pressure is falling fast, something earth-shaking is about to happen!
2. The increasing rate of Natural Disasters
- Famines, Pestilence, and Calamities: Consider Somalia, Angola, Sri Lanka, and Haiti. The AIDS epidemic is sweeping the world!
- Natural disasters and plagues: Tsunami, Dengue, Swine flu. The deterioration of the ozone layer. Earthquakes in various places. Like increasing birth pangs, we can see that the earth is groaning to be released
3. Wars and Nemurous Rumours of Wars
- Availability of Nuclear Power: Matthew 24:29, 30 ” . . . sun-darkened . . .” 2 Peter 3:10-12 “. . . the earth . . . laid bare. . .” Can these be references to a nuclear war?
- It was bad enough when Russia alone had that capability, now they have sold it to the highest bidder. You can find a recipe for an atomic bomb on the Internet. The flow of information has made things very easy
- It’s not a matter of “If” some fanatic terrorist will detonate a nuclear bomb somewhere in the world, but “When?” and “Where?”
4. Increase in Knowledge and Travel
- The Revolution of Technology: In Daniel 12:4 God said travel will increase as many will go here and there in search of knowledge
- In one long lifetime, man has developed Travel, Communication, food, and lifestyle
- Media & Information technology. (I can carry in my pocket one gigantic library)
5. The Revival of the Cult and the Occult
- The Bible warns us of Them: In 2 Timothy 4:3, Paul said a time will come when people will reject sound doctrine and embrace false teachings. The Cult and the Occult can be defined as “counterfeit spirituality”; Satan’s substitute. Hillary Clinton’s recent consultation with fortune-tellers. (Republicans, don’t shout too loud; remember Mrs. Reagan?)
- Our educational system has expunged Christianity from our academics and replaced it with Secular Humanism and New Age thought. Examine the latest catalog of course offerings from Santa Fe Community College and find out how many New Age and Occult courses are being offered. Quite a few!
- Believe it or not, Like it or not, Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world today!
6. Moral Corruption in the Church/World
- The Bible warns us of Such Times: In 2 Timothy 3:1-6 Paul warned Timothy, that in the last days, people will become much more corrupted
- Too few moral restraints in our society. The lyrics to the rock songs are too filthy to repeat. Nudity, illicit sex, and vile language punctuate nearly every movie in the local Cinema Halls
- Primetime sitcoms make a mockery of morality and Christianity. Homosexuality, living together, and prostitution have become a part of life. The abortion rate has reached its peak!
- Worse yet! The morality of the world has infiltrated the Church. (Like a mullet from a muddy river, the taste of the mud is in the fish)
7. Parallel Apostasy and Revival in Church
- The Bible Warns Us of Such Times Also: In 2 Timothy 3:5, Paul said the majority of those who call themselves Christian today have only a form
- However, in keeping with Joel 2:28 & Acts 2:17 God’s genuine revival is also sweeping the world
8. The Antichrist and the New World Order
- The Bible Foretells the Coming of the Anti Christ: In Daniel 7:12; Matthew 24:15; and Revelation 13:1-18 the Bible speaks of the rise of a government ruling most of the world under the Anti-Christ
- Computers, Satellite Technology and Global Travel have made this inevitable
- The EEU (European Economic Union) and NAFTA are, steps in this direction
- What would You do about This: Be sure you’re ready: Do you know Christ personally? Do you have a relationship with him?
- Live in the light of His soon return. Look forward to that glorious day when we will go to be at home with him
- Hasten to bring your loved ones in. Preach the good news as often as possible
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