Korean Retreat                                                                                         Dr. Robert C. Newman

February 16, 1991                                                                                            Biblical Seminary

 

HOW NEAR IS THE END?

 

Introduction

 

            Isaac Asimov, A Choice of Catastrophes

            Middle East turmoil: Gulf War, Israel

            Six-thousand year theory of human history

                        Adam: c4000 BC; Abraham: c2000 BC;

                        Jesus: 0 BC; 2nd Coming: AD 2000

 

Can We Tell?

 

            Not exactly:

                        Matt 24:42‑44: be on alert; don't know when; when you don't expect it

                                    24:36: no one but Father knows day or hour

                        1 Thess 5:2: day of Lord comes as thief in night

 

            But should be able to recognize its approach:

                        Matt 24:32‑35: parable of fig tree (misuse to calculate year, 1988)

                                    real meaning (cp Luke 21:29: all trees)

                                    signs indicate approach

                        1 Thess 5:1‑6: though like thief, shouldn't surprise believer, since not in dark; stay awake!

 

Signs of the End

 

            Jesus' message on Mt. of Olives (Matt 24):

                        3: sign of coming, end of age

                        4‑6: false Xs, wars, etc, but not yet end

                        7‑8: nations at war, famines, earthquakes

                                    beginning of "birth pangs"

                        9‑14: persecution, general hatred of Xns, betrayal, false prophets, increased lawlessness, love growing cold, Gospel preached to all nations

                        15‑28: The Great Tribulation

                                                Abomination of Desolation, Dan 9:27; 11:31 (Antiochus); 12;11

                                                get away quickly

                                                nothing to match it in human history

                                                continued appearance of false Xs and false prophets

                                                Lord's return will be unmistakeable

                        29‑31: Christ's Second Coming

 


            Paul's predictions of moral collapse & Man of Lawlessness:

                        2 Tim 3:1‑5: compare Matt 24:12

                        2 Thess 2:1‑12: apostasy and Man of Sin (antichrist)

                                    compare Matt 24 on abomination of desolation

                                    vv11-12: God will allow delusion as judgment

 

            John's predictions of world government & religion:

                        Rev 13: one world govt under beast (antichrist)

                                    666 in 13:18 probably symbol for Serpent's Christ

 

Where Are We Now?

 

            Technology

                        unprecedented: one‑second communication, few hour travel has produced one world & possibility of one‑world govt; has also speeded up spread of Gospel to whole world

                        population growth due to medical & agricultural advances has put severe strain on resources and environment, making famine, disease & environmental disaster more severe if anything goes wrong

                        allows larger scale, more disastrous wars; danger of nuclear proliferation; these favor one‑world govt as solution

 

            Scientism (Evolutionism, etc.)

                        undermines all traditional religions & their concepts of moral absolutes

 

            Ecumenism

                        desire to unite all religions, partly to avoid conflict, assisted by loss of absolutes

 

            Israel

                        regathering has produced tensions in Middle East, which superpower confrontation and oil embargo have spread to whole world; may be setting stage for abom of desolation

 

            Disasters

                        not much yet, some famines, usual earthquakes, tho even San Francisco type earthquake would be far more destructive to human life today, and much bigger earthquakes have occurred (New Madrid, MO, 1811)

                        AIDS is feared by some to reach proportions of Black Death

 

What Should We Do About It?

 

            How near is the end? 

                        Don't know, but it may be close

                        Whether the end of the age is close or not, your end may be close

 


            Repent! 

                        Recognize that you won't make it on your when  you stand before God to answer for everything you've done or thought

            Trust in Jesus: 

                        he obeyed for us and paid for us

                        explain how to trust in Jesus

            Live like each day is important