And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matthew 24:3)
The disciples asked what would the sign of His coming, but we could begin to give all the signs of the coming of Christ is a single message. We will only give you a few at this time.
I. FALSE CHRIST.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:5)
- Beware of counterfeit religious operators who use the name of Jesus to attain their own selfish purposes.
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) (Philippians 3:17-19)
II. INCREASED FURY OF WAR.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.(Matthew 24:6-8)For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (I Thessalonians 5:3)
III. ABOUNDING INIQUITY.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.(Matthew 24:12)
- Sin and evil have existed throughout the centuries, but never has iniquity abounded in greater intensity than now.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (Romans 1:26-27)
IV. THE PREVALENCE OF APOSTASY.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:12)
- Who can deny that this is a day of spiritual coldness.
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)
(A rhetorical question.)
- At the end of the Tribulation Period how much faith will be left?
V. THE JEWISH SIGN.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.(Matthew 24:32-33)
(The fig tree is symbolic of Israel.)
Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with promises of the Second Coming of Christ. There are 1,845 references to it in the O.T. and a total of 17 O.T. books give it prominence.
Of the 216 chapters in the entire N.T., there are 318 references to the Second Coming, or one out of 30 verses. 23 of the 27 N.T. books refer to this great event. The 4 missing books include 3 which are single chapter letters written to individual persons on a particular subject and the 4th is Galatians which does imply Christ’s coming again.
ILL> A traveler is Switzerland came upon a beautiful villa on the shores of a lake, far from the beaten track of tourists. An aged gardener caring for the beautiful villa seemed glad to have visitors. He had lived alone here for some years.
“How often does the owner of the villa come to see you?”, asked the traveler.
“He does not come often. Indeed it has been several years since his last visit,” said the caretaker.
“But,” exclaimed the traveler, “you have everything is such perfect order. Everything is so clean and beautiful and flourishing. It looks as if you were expecting your master to come to tomorrow!”
“Oh, no,” said the old man. “I am expecting him to come today, sir! He may come today, so I must have everything in order!”
This is the way we should be looking for the Lord to catch away the children of God today! He could come today for the redeemed!