You may have or may not have heard of Harold Camping.
He hosted a radio program and website before he died, and who believed that the Bible taught a very specific day in which Christ will return. In spite of him predicting wrong dates, Camping’s followers started a billboard and promotional campaign called “We Can Know.” They publicized the date of the rapture of the church: September 6, 1994. But it didn’t happen. So Camping revised the date to May 21, 2011. And once again, he was wrong, but it didn’t deter his followers.
The interest in Camping, despite his previous erroneous predictions, illustrates the fact that it isn’t hard to attract a crowd when one begins talking about the “End Times.”
Some of the best-selling books have been about the end of the world. The Late, Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey would be an excellent example in the 1970s. The Left Behind book series, which featured 16 books by LaHaye and Jenkins from 1995-2007 would be another. Teaching or talking about the end times is sure to attract a significant level of interest because I think that most people are, in varying ways, curious as to what the Bible says about the End Times.
In regards to the end times, no teaching of Christ has generated as much controversy as the portion of the Olivet Discourse recorded in Matthew 24:1–35.
It is one of the most important prophetic passages in all of scripture.
It is the most "profound prophetic conference" ever held.
The teacher at this conference is none other than the
"Spirit of prophecy," Revelation 19:10,
Jesus Christ, Himself.
The crowd at this conference is rather small with the Lord's twelve disciples in attendance and maybe several other followers of Jesus. It takes place on the slopes of the Mount of Olives during the week that Jesus will be crucified.
The message that Jesus delivers to His disciples is the climax of six months of teaching prophecy to His men. Jesus will have another forty days after His resurrection to teach his closest followers the prophetic truths they will need in the challenging days ahead.
For Christians, this passage is of particular significance for it gives us a specific word that someday, the world as we know it will come to an end.
Matthew, chapters 24 and 25 are thematically tied together, as both chapters deal with the second coming of Christ. To a large degree, these two chapters comprise our Lord's response to three questions set forth by the disciples. In the first part of chapter 24, Jesus tells of the signs that will precede His return. The last part of chapter 24 through chapter 25 give us instruction as to how we are to live until He returns.
Over the next eight or so weeks, we will dig deeper into these verses and see what they have to say to us.
As always, there will be a band of prayers, praying for the service and the church at 9:00 am. If you are able, join us, if you aren’t, pray for one another on your way to church, see you Sunday.