Scoffers of God
Monday we looked at perilous times. Today we are looking at the Scoffers of God and some of the signs. This is going to be a little longer than I like because I'm always afraid that people will skip over it if it's too long. But take five minutes or so and read this second part of this mini sermon. Hopefully it will be a blessing, encouragement, challenge and salvation for someone.
When someone scoffs at the idea of there being a God they ridicule believers even more when they say that people have been talking about Jesus’ coming for hundreds of years. This persecution has not been helped by the many false prophets who have claimed to have special revelations from God and set dates for Jesus’ return. Not one of them of course has been right because no one knows the date of Christ’s Second Advent (Matt 24:36). The Benny Hinns of this world have only aggravated the idea of Jesus’ certain coming as being a myth and they have helped to create a world of skeptics.
The longer the period of time of Christ’s return is, the more skepticism will increase, but Peter warned us of this in 2 Peter 3:3-4,3 "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." Peter is saying that people have been saying this ever since his ancestors were around. It is much like in the days of Noah, prior to the flood, in which Noah spent 120 years warning people of an impending flood of judgment to come. If they laughed at Noah, they will laugh at believers. But believe God, judgment is coming as Peter warned by the comparison of Noah’s time saying, “By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (2 Pet 3:6-7). Just as God's Word came true in Noah's day, it will come true in the last days. They mocked Noah when he preached that judgement was coming and they are mocking us when we warn of the coming judgement.
Jesus gave the greatest list of the signs of the times that would be occurring prior to His return to the earth. The Olivet Discourse given on the Mount of Olives is known as the single, longest and greatest prophecy of the end of the age in the Bible and since Jesus Himself gives it, we can certainly know that it is accurate. His disciples had just come out of the temple with Christ and they had commented on the majesty of the temple, but Jesus instead turned their attention to the end time events that would occur just prior to His return. In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked Jesus a very pointed question of “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Some of these prophecies have already been fulfilled.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gives us these signs that we are living in the last days. “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many” (v 4-5). There have been no shortages of fanatics claiming to be Jesus, even in the 1st Century. Then He says, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not to fear or be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains or like a woman going into labor as to how the pains increase as it gets closer.” (v 6-8). Once more, these have been already occurring and at an ever increasing rate. The twentieth century saw the first two world wars. The number of wars, earthquakes and famines that follow war are growing by leaps and bounds, but a sober warning from Jesus is that He says that “these are just the beginning.”
Jesus continues by prophesying in Matthew 24, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many or most will grow cold” (v 10-12). Many have turned their back on God, on believing in a God, on church attendance, and have begun to hate one another instead of Christ’s command to love one another and become lukewarm not only for Christ but for other people. The turning away or falling away from the faith can also mean turning from sound doctrine which we see at an alarming rate. Many churches are full of people on Sunday morning but their doctrine or teachings are false. Fewer and fewer Christians even in church!!
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (v -37-39). Peter may have used the days of Noah from the reference given by Jesus (2 Pet 3:3-4). People will be going on as if everything were normal; marrying, eating dinner, drinking at parties, like it would go on forever, but suddenly, just like the flood came, so too will be “the coming of the Son of Man” but it will then be too late.
Just as it will be too late for those in Noah’s day to escape death from the flood, the unsaved will face judgment from Jesus Christ. The people in Noah’s day pounded on the door of the Ark, but it was God Himself that sealed the door shut and it was too late (Gen 7:16). God had given those 120 years to repent but they only laughed at Noah. Just when people see the Son of Man coming, they will realize that it is too late. Jesus said, “And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory” (Matt 24:30). What mourning it will be for the lost for they will be eternally separated from God and be judged, but for those who are Christ’s own, “he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matt 24:31). These are they who have already placed their faith in Christ and trusted Him with their eternal salvation. What a time of rejoicing for them but what a time of terrible grief for those who will not ever be with their departed loved ones who are believers in Christ.
Time and space won't allow me to tell about the days of Lot that Jesus warned us about either. The sexual perversion of homosexuality and how God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Here is a summary of the signs in the world that precede Jesus Christ’s second coming: Skepticism, Greed, Pride, Scoffing, Sexual immorality, Boastfulness Hypocrisy, Unforgiving, Slander, Abusive, Rebellious, Wars increasing, Earthquakes increasing, Increasing famines, Increase of false prophets, Increase of false prophecies of Jesus’ Second Coming, Drinking parties.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ, today you can have the saving faith that comes only in believing in Him. There is no other way to escape judgment (Acts 4:12). If you want to be saved from the wrath of God and receive eternal life and you're not sure what you have to do, message me and I can help you and you can be saved today. God is patient but He will not wait forever (2 Pet 3:9). Today is the day of salvation because no one has any guarantee that they will live beyond today (2 Cor 6:2). God Bless!!