Matthew 24 is a passage that is filled with signals from God. God is trying to prepare us for the final days and His signs are there to warn us of what is about to come. Last week, Pastor Jeremy presented two signs: (1) the deception of the Antichrist, and (2) wars, famines and earthquakes. Today, we will be working through the next three signs which point to the end.
Sign #3……EVERY HUMAN hears the GOSPEL
Sign #4……ABOMINATION of DESOLATION
Sign #5……The SUN, MOON and STARS
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS [PERSONAL STUDY]
1. What are you doing right now to help the Gospel spread to the entire earth so that everyone hears the message of Jesus Christ? Do you support a missionary personally? An organization that translates the Bible? By giving to Central Church, you can count on the fact that we give over 10% of our total income to missionary work throughout the world (leadership is working on a future partnership with an orphanage in another country; more details coming).
2. In light of learning about the sign of the blood moon (Joel 2:31; Revelation 6:12) and the historical significance of when blood moons occur, do you believe something significant will happen from the time period April 15, 2014 and September 28, 2015? (Pastor Jeremy isn’t saying that Jesus will return during these dates, although Jesus can come back at any moment; we are to watch for something significant in connection with Israel to happen because of this sign in the sky).
3. The Antichrist, who will be the leader of a one world government, will also establish a one world religion. What do you think this religion will look like? Will it be pluralistic (i.e. many religions)? Or will he force everyone to only believe in him? Or maybe a combination?
4. Read Matthew 25 and the 3 different parables (10 virgins, talents, sheep and goats). How do these 3 parables relate to Matthew 24? What are some of the main themes from these parables?
5. Read 2 Peter 3:10-14. Since the dreadful day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (when no one suspects), how should we live? What does it mean for us to:
“live holy and godly lives” (3:11).
“wait eagerly for the day of God to come” (3:12).
“be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him” (3:14).
6. Read Ezekiel 10. Take time to think about God’s glory in the Temple. Do you seek God’s radiant glory in your personal prayer time?
“court was full of the radiance of the Lord’s glory” (10:3).
“sound of the wings of cherubim” (10:5).
“the glory of the Lord departed” (10:18).
…with wisdom and insight, realize the identity of the Antichrist.
…refuse to take the mark of the beast.
Sign #2……WARS and FAMINES and EARTHQUAKES
You will not be alarmed if you…
…realize that you will be persecuted.
…make it your goal to stand firm until the end.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS [PERSONAL STUDY]
1. If an informational computer chip becomes mandatory in the future, will you take it? Or will you refuse it because it’s the mark of the beast? Will you be able to discern whether or not it’s the mark?
2. Read the following passages about the Antichrist. Discuss why certain words are used to describe this man:
“The prince who comes” (Daniel 9:26).
“The king” (Daniel 11:36).
“The man of sin…destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
“The wicked one” (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
“The beast” (Revelation 13:4).
“The Antichrist” (1 John 2:22).
3. The Antichrist will have an image made of himself. He will force everyone to worship it. Those who refuse will be killed (Revelation 13:14-15). What other story in the book of Daniel does this remind you of (hint: Daniel 3)? Are there idols that are placed in front of us right now that we voluntarily worship without even realizing it?
4. During this time period, it states that many people will fall away from the faith. How can we stand firm to the end? Read Ephesians 6:10-18 and think about how God equips us for the battle against evil. Is any of your armor missing? If so, how do you fix it?
5. Are you ready to be persecuted? How are you preparing yourself?
Are you ready for Jesus Christ to return? Will you be “caught up” (Rapture) with God in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17), or will you be left behind to endure this horrible seven year period? The only thing that can make you ready is to believe that Jesus Christ has the ability to take away your sin by His death and resurrection and for you to confess Jesus as the leader of your life (Romans 10:9-10).