1 A CHURCH READY FOR CHRIST’S RETURN

Rev 22:20 “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus”

Last days – we are living in the last days and these last days have lasted over 2000 years already! Heb 1:1,2 “In the past God has spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” Christ’s first coming to earth was the start of the Last Days in God’s purposes for mankind. The Last Days has lasted just over 2008 years to this day. I am told earth’s humanity (since God created Adam and Eve) just spans a history of some 6500 years more or less. If that is so, how long more will Christ delay His Second coming? I really think we are so much NEARER to Christ’s return than we think! Terrorism is the order of the day in our times. It was unthinkable and unheard of in the 60s and 80s. I now get so sick and tired of hearing again and again of suicide bombers exploding themselves and causing the deaths of numerous innocent people and spreading untold misery and pain to those who survive. I ask myself will it ever go away? And then I realize when I read God’s Word about the end times, it will not go away.. at least until a one world order is set up. Terrorism I think starts this chain of events leading to a one world order. Because of terrorism, citizens of many countries today are willing to give up many of their civil liberties and grant governments in our world ever more control over their lives. We are quickly heading towards a society where even how we buy and sell will be controlled by one central authority. With this in place, how easily it is for the AntiChrist to launch his dreaded economic persecution against Christians. Christ’s return is nearer than we think! The economic and financial turmoil of our day is the latest of signs that Christ’s return is sooner than we think. All the business news I have heard over television and articles I have read in our newspapers speak ominously of a continuing unprecedented worldwide financial meltdown. Things in our financial world are not going to get better. It will only get worse I am told. Amidst this depressing outlook, I am already hearing voices clamouring for a change in the way our world does business. Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown is already talking of a new world order of doing business. Things just can’t go on the way they are. Is this but a step to the formation of a one world government? Formation of Israel as a nation Even with the above signs in our world today, I was reminded just recently through a book (entitled ‘Israel in Crisis’) I read, there’s one sign in our world today that brings Christ return even closer than we think! It’s the sign of the miraculous formation of Israel as a nation on earth again after a passage of 19 centuries! It happened back in 1948 and if we understand fully God’s prophecy regarding the reestablishment of Israel as a nation again against all odds, we would realize that Christ’s second coming is sooner than we think. To quote David Dolan, the author of the book ‘Israel in Crisis’: “However we reckon a biblical generation, Psalm 102 seems to foretell the following: At a certain point in history there would exist a group of people who would witness the Holocaust, the restoration of Jerusalem as a

Pray that with the Lord’s help He will make us ever ready for His return as a church and that we as His children will live daily mindful always of His soon return. "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. when you see all these things happening. In my humble opinion. may the Promised Messiah come speedily in our day!” In the same vein. not even the angels of heaven. Illinois on December 9. nor the Son.2 thriving Jewish center. In the same way. in a sermon delivered at Immanuel Baptist Church of Elgin. 2001. The disciples asked Jesus after He was resurrected: "Lord. In Matthew 24:36 Jesus says "… of that day and hour no one knows. but the Father only.” Did you hear that? He said that He would return during the same generation which witnesses Israel putting forth leaves as a nation. and the coming of the Lord to reign in the holy city. ready to come. I tell you the truth. it’s absolutely vital that we as a church in Bangsar are ever ready for His return! We begin this new year of 2009 with this thought foremost in our mind. you know summer is near. you will know that the time is near.” Acts 1:6 is another text warning us not to set dates or times. Pastor John Stensrud said the following: ‘Jesus likens Israel unto a "fig tree" in Matthew 24:32-34. and He likens the restoration of Israel unto a fig tree putting forth leaves. the bustling city that I have called home since 1984 is the sign of all signs that the Lord’s return in glory is almost visible on the eastern horizon. this is the portion of Scripture that I refer to when people ask me if Israel’s modern rebirth is a sign that the prophesied end of the age is at hand. Jesus said to His disciples “Learn a lesson from the fig tree: When its branches become green and soft and new leaves appear.” . As some of my Jewish friends say. We are living in that generation!’ In the light of the promised return of our Lord Jesus Christ who clearly will return much sooner than we think. will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them. all these things will happen while the people of this time are still living. Two out of three so far ain’t bad! Thus. There cannot be a more important preoccupation than this! The bible is crystal clear about setting dates.

2 Cor 5:15 – Whether our lives do God’s will Matt 25:31-46 – Whether our lives do good 2. What’s going to happen at Christ’s Return 1. Matt 25:34-40 2. Rev 20:4 HOW CAN WE BE READY 1. Blessings bestowed conditional upon our overcoming Rev 2:7. Rev 7:9-17.13. Rev 3:5-6.3 WHY IT’S IMPORTANT WE BE READY FOR CHRIST’S RETURN A. Rev 2:26-29. Faith that saves Matt 7:21-23. Judgment over our lives of service Matt 25:14-30 3. Jn 15:9-11 3.2. Rev 2:8-11. Rev 14:9-13. The devil will lead many astray by his deceitful wiles 2. Rev 2:17. Faith that remains faithful to the end Heb 1-13. Heb 3:12-14. Heb 10:19-25 . Christians will be persecuted severely even unto death Matt 24:9-13 Rev 6:9-11. What will happen just prior to Christ’s Return 1. Faith overcomes Rom 12:1. Rev 3:12. Judgment of professing Christians – Matt 7:21-23. Rev 3:21-22 B.