Matthew 16: 24 – 28 Self Denial is linked to the importance of the return of Jesus.
When is Jesus coming back? this is a question that was asked back by the disciples (Matthew 24: 3, Acts 1: 6)
What will be the signs of the end of the age?
1. The End of All Things
The return of Christ is mentioned in the Bible as the great and terrible day of the Lord (See Joel 2: 11, 31) The term Rapture is not found in the Bible, but was a name given to this event. The Bible says it will come like…
- A Thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5: 2, Matthew 24: 42 – 44; 2 Peter 3: 10)
- At a time when people are consumed with other things in life. (Matthew 24: 37 – 39
It will not come like a thief in the night for those who love Jesus, they are going to be aware of what is happening. (1 Thessalonians 5: 4, 5)
2. When is this going to happen?
The Bible tells us clues about what is going to happen in many books. (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Matthew, Thessalonians, Timothy, Peter, and Revelation to name a few) so you can see that it is an important subject.
the Bible says one of the signs that the end of the world is coming is the rise of man as being his own god.
Matthew 24: 5 states that man calls himself the Messiah which is the word EGO.
2 Timothy 3: 1 – 5 shows that Ego will have a huge impact on the people in the church as we strive for our own recognition.
Since Ego is going to rise up and we are headed for hard times, how should we live? 2 Peter 3: 11 shows us the answer to this question.
3. How do we live in these days?
2 Peter states we are to live holy and godly lives. Why would Peter be concerned with attitude and ignore the important questions about where to put our money, how to store up food, should we move tothe mountains and hide?
Peter knew from personal experience what Matthew 6: 33 meant in his life. He had learned to seek God first and let the other things fall into place.
- Sent out to do ministry and not allowed to take anything with him (Matthew 10: 9, 10)
- Pay taxes by fishing (Matthew 17: 27)
Peter knew God would take care of him during the hard times, so he challenges us to focus on inner qualities during these last days.
1 Peter 4: 7 – 10 tells us to live lives of forgiveness and self denial.
Why was forgivenes such an important issue? Unforgiveness will stop our ability to receive forgiveness from the father. (Luke 6: 37)
We are also called to use our spiritual gifts to help each other. (1 Peter 4: 10) These are not options. The Bible gives us three huge warnings for not serving others with our spiritual gifts in Matthew 25.
- The parable of the 10 virgins shows that not everyone will be ready for the return of Jesus Christ and the result will be some are left behind. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where people are given a second chance when it comes to salvation. We need to look at the Bible rather than movies and books. Revelation states that people refuse to repent (Revelation 9: 20, 21; 16: 9, 11) Any believers you do find in the Bible after the Rapture are Jewish in origin.
- The parable of the talents shows that there is a cost for not using your spiritual gifts.
- The parable of the sheep and the goats shows that when we use our gifts,we are ministering to Jesus. If we do not minister to Jesus, we are cast out.
These are strong warnings, but they are worth meditating on and we cannot ignore them because they don’t feel good.
2 Peter 3: 12 – 15 Look forward to the day (not with fear and trembling) and make every effort to live peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in His sight. Be patient because patience means more people are being saved.