LAST THINGS - ESCHATOLOGY
Reading: 2 Peter 3:1-18
[a] Now if I were to say to you the word ESCHATOLOGY, you would
probably tell me to speak in English!
[b] It is however, a word used in Biblical theology to describe the
STUDY OF LAST THINGS.
[c] Because we find so much nonsense bordering on the VERGE OF
LUNACY, spoken about "THE LAST DAYS", many people, (Christians
included) throw up their arms in confusion not knowing what to believe!
[d] Whilst there can be minor differences in evangelical teaching
on the subject, I want us in these few moments to take a solid look
at some basic fundamental teaching, held by Bible based Christians
the world over.
[e] Some people treat it as unimportant, and shrug their shoulders
with a "So what?"
[f] IF THE WORLD IS ON THE VERGE OF COMING TO AN END - I FOR ONE WANT
TO KNOW ABOUT IT, AND TELL OTHERS TOO!!
THE DAY OF GRACE
[a] You have perhaps at one time or another heard someone mention that
we are presently living in what is known as THE DAY OR DISPENSATION
[b] Grace, as you are no doubt aware, means the FAVOUR OF GOD BEING
SHOWN TO YOU AND ME WHEN WE IN NO WAY DESERVE IT! IN OTHER WORDS -
SALVATION CANNOT BE BOUGHT! IT CANNOT BE WORKED FOR! THERE IS ONE WAY
ONLY OF OBTAINING GOD'S SALVATION - IT IS THE FREE AVAILABLE GIFT OF
GOD TO EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD IN THIS WORLD!!
[c] However, the fact that we speak of a DAY or DISPENSATION of grace,
shows that it will not always be so!
In other words there will COME A DAY when the DOOR WILL BE SHUT! THE
GRACE OF GOD WILL NO LONGER FLOW - A day when the SALVATION OF GOD
WILL NO LONGER BE OFFERED TO SINFUL MANKIND!
[d] "Grace is flowing like a river" we sing, and so it is! But one day,
we will be able to sing those words no longer, because the opportunity
for man to repent and become a Christian as we know it, will be forever
[e] The Day of Grace in which we live, opened at Calvary, when Christ
paid the penalty for our sin - AND IT WILL CLOSE AT WHAT WE CALL THE
RAPTURE, when Jesus will come again, and take every TRUE Christian
to Himself. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, we read,
"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with
the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead
in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall
be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the
air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
JESUS WILL RETURN TO THE AIR, AND WE WILL BE CAUGHT UP TO MEET HIM IN
[f] In our main campaign film in November, called THEIF IN THE NIGHT,
this is very vividly portrayed!
CAN YOU GET A MENTAL PICTURE OF A WORLD IN WHICH A LARGE PERCENTAGE
OF THE PEOPLE WILL DISAPPEAR SUDDENLY WITHOUT TRACE - IRRESPECTIVE OF
WHAT THEY ARE DOING??
[g] It could be when they are flying over the Atlantic in a plane -
maybe even the pilot!!
Jesus said two could be together in the field - ONLY ONE would be
He said that two could be together sleeping in a bed - ONLY ONE would
THESE ARE REALITIES EACH ONE OF US MUST FACE UP TO AND BE REALISTIC
TRUE CHRISTIANS -
[a] We are under a continual obligation to stress over and over
again, that those who will rise to meet the Lord, are composed
entirely of BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS! NO ONE ELSE!!
i. Many sincere CHURCH MEMBERS WILL BE LEFT BEHIND, because they were
ii. Many who BELIEVE SINCERELY IN THE TEACHING OF FALSE CULTS, WILL
BE LEFT BEHIND, because they put their faith in the wrong thing!
iii. For many, on the verge of making decisions for Christ, it will be
ALMOST, BUT LOST! They waited too long!
[b] The Salvation Army has always strongly propagated the message that
there IS ONLY ONE WAY TO HEAVEN and that is through NO OTHER but the
Lord Jesus Christ Himself!
[c] Whilst everyone is entitled to hold whatever belief they wish
through the freewill God has given us each one, it DOES NOT FOLLOW
THAT EVERY VIEW IS AS CORRECT! IT IS PLAINLY NOT!
[d] The true Christian is totally convinced by the Word of God that
he, or she is entrusted with the life-giving truth of God, and is
therefore UNDER OBLIGATION, even at the risk of giving offence, to
present the message!
THE CERTAINTY OF
[a] Of necessity, this means, challenging those in error, and
presenting them with the truth!! If we take the line of least
resistance, we are certainly NOT DOING THE WILL OF GOD in this
[b] The Child of God today must be 100 per-cent sure of the Bible's
teaching, and STAND FIRM WITHOUT ANY COMPROMISE FOR THE TRUTH OF GOD!!
[c] It is nauseating to listen to professing Christians say,
"Who are we to say WE are right and everyone else is wrong?"
GOD HELP THEM, POOR SOULS! They probably know more about their local
football team than they do about their faith! One day they will regret
GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US A CHRISTIANITY OF DOUBT! BUT RATHER ONE OF
FACT AND CERTAINTY!
[d] JESUS IS....JESUS IS.....JESUS IS COMING BACK!!
Is He coming to find a group of people who don't know what end of them
People who seem to doubt the very promises He made them in Scripture!
The Bible speaks about the dangers of the warning trumpet giving an
[e] WE MUST NOTE! WE CANNOT SHIRK OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THIS WORLD!
ESPECIALLY IN THESE, THE CLOSING DAYS OF TIME WHEN WE STAND ON THE
VERY DOORSTEP OF THE COMING AGAIN OF CHRIST!
[f] The tragedy today is that false cults seem to be surer of what they
believe, than many of the Christians are - and it shows!
THERE IS NO
[a] Let us be crystal clear that after the return of the Lord,
there is NO
SECOND CHANCE to become a Christian!
[b] Many people, perhaps willingly, have the wool pulled over their
eyes in this respect today. They hope against hope, that their loved
ones will get some kind of a second chance to be saved, after death -
or after the return of the Lord!
[c] "After all" they will say, "God is a God of love - He's not going
to damn anyone because of their sin!"
[d] Here is what Jesus says in Luke 13:23-28,
"Then said one unto Him, 'Lord are there few that be saved?' And He
said unto them, 'Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many I say
unto you will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." In v.27-28,
"He shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from
me all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing
of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob and all the
prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and ye yourselves thrust
THE DOOR WILL BE
[a] Jesus in Matthew 24:37-39, rightly likens the last days to the days
of Noah, just prior to the judgement of the flood upon sinful
[b] The warning had been given clearly - they could see the ark being
However, they took no notice!
[c] In Genesis 7:16, we read some solemn words telling us that it
GOD WHO SHUT THE DOOR!
[d] God is going to shut the door again! There will be many on the very
doorstep of the Kingdom! BUT THEY WILL BE SHUT OUT AND DAMNED!!
[e] Remember the parable which Jesus told of the ten virgins!
Five of them were too late - THE DOOR WAS SHUT - AND THERE WAS NO
[f] There are those who say, that because it's the best part of
2,000 years since Jesus said, "I will come again!" then
obviously we must be mistaken!
"Where is the promise of His coming?"
[g] The reason for the delay is shown in verse 9 of our reading.
It is because God loves each person so very much - IT IS NOT HIS WILL
THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH!! He is giving the unsaved as long as possible
to accept Him!
[h] Even though the Day of the Lord will be coming as a THIEF IN THE
NIGHT, come it will! PERHAPS A LOT SOONER THAN MANY OF US THINK!!
[a] There is so much more every Christian should be doing for God in
these last days! Perhaps there is much in our lives for which we would
be ashamed if Jesus returned at this moment!
[b] If we knew that Jesus was coming back at the end of this week, HOW
WOULD WE CHANGE OUR LIFESTYLE??
[c] How many of our friends and loved ones would we go and PLEAD WITH
to make themselves right with God.
Their opinion of us would no longer matter. OUR ONLY THOUGHT WOULD BE
FOR THEIR SOUL'S WELFARE!
[d] I feel we would weep tears for so many, to try and sweep them
into the Kingdom, before it would be too late!
[e] That is the sort of life the Lord expects us to live - just now!
After all -
JESUS COULD RETURN - TONIGHT!
SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK
Prayer Chorus 133
Chorus "I want to Share my Faith"
"He's coming Soon"