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THE END IS NEAR #2

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, December 13, 2009

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).


Jesus had just given the Disciples the “parable of the fig tree.” He said that the little green shoots sprouting from the branches of a fig tree are a sign that summer is about to begin. Then He said,

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).

“It is near” refers to the second coming of Christ and the end of this age. “It is near” refers back to verse 30,

“And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).

Jesus tells us when we see “all these things” His coming is near. The end of the world as we know it is near.

Last Sunday night I preached on 7 of “these things.” Like 7 green shoots sprouting out of a fig tree, these 7 “things” (and others) are a sure sign that we are living near the end of this age and the coming of Christ.

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).

Dr. M. R. DeHaan said,

The one word I would have you notice is all. Jesus says when all these things happen, then know [that it is near]. Today for the first time in human history all the signs of the times are present, at one time. I do not know of a single sign which needs to be fulfilled before the Lord Jesus Christ will return (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., Signs of the Times, Kregel Publications, 1996 reprint, page 16).

Tonight I will bring out one of “all these things” – one of these signs that the end is near. But I want to make a comment before we look at that sign.

I. First, strangely, there is little interest in the subject of prophetic
signs today in America.

Dr. Cagan, our deacon, often says that it’s remarkable that so few American Christians today are interested in the prophetic signs – especially since, as Dr. DeHaan said, “Today for the first time in history all the signs of the times are present at one time” (ibid.).

Why is it – at the very moment when all the signs are fulfilled – that American evangelicals have suddenly lost interest? Oh, I know the Left Behind books were best sellers, but that was several years ago now. And they really dealt with the “tribulation” rather than the signs of our time. Those books leaped forward into the Tribulation itself. But, as I said, LaHaye’s books came out some time ago, and now interest in the prophetic signs is gone in nearly all American evangelical churches – at the very time all the signs have been fulfilled! Christ said,

“Can ye not discern [interpret] the signs of the times?”
      (Matthew 16:3).

The hypocritical Pharisees did not recognize the many prophecies that were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. And it seems to me that most American evangelicals fail to understand the signs of His second coming!

“Can ye not discern the signs of the times?”
       (Matthew 16:3).

There was great interest in those signs during the first 75 years of the 20th century. Dr. I. M. Haldeman preached on Bible prophecy every Sunday night for about 30 years at the First Baptist Church of New York City. Dr. John Sung, the famous Chinese evangelist, ended nearly every one of his evangelistic crusades by preaching on the signs of Christ’s coming. Billy Graham did the same thing on the last night of every one of his crusades. The very last crusade sermon Billy Graham preached, in New York City, was on the Second Coming of Christ, and the signs of the end. Dr. M. R. DeHaan preached on the signs repeatedly on his famous radio program in the 1950s and 1960s.

But today American evangelicals seem to be interested only in personal peace and prosperity. Dr. Paul Marshall, in his book Their Blood Cries Out (Word Publishing, 1997, p. 153) said that most American evangelicals are on “a ceaseless quest for personal tranquility: no stress, no guilt, no ‘unhealthy’ emotions [only] preoccupation with emotional well being.” The most popular American evangelical TV preacher is Joel Osteen. He preaches on subjects like these, gleaned from his best-selling book Your Best Life Now (Time Warner Book Group, 2004),

“Understanding Your Value”
“Developing a Prosperous Mind-Set”
“Be Happy With Who You Are”
“Happiness is a Choice”
“Living with Enthusiasm.”

American evangelicals who are fed this kind of pop-psychology and self-help pablum are no longer interested in Bible doctrine – and no longer concerned with Bible prophecy and the signs of Christ’s coming.

But only one fifth of the world’s evangelical Christians live in America. Four fifths of the world’s Christians live in the Third World. Dr. Marshall pointed out that 225,000,000 of these Third World Christians are “experiencing severe…harassment… and persecution” (ibid., p. 254). Dr. Marshall suggests “that the average rate of martyrdom [among Third World Christians] is about 159,000 Christians per year” (ibid.). The Voice of the Martyrs reports on the imprisonment, persecution, torture and murder of these thousands of Third World Christians on their website at www.persecution.com. To these thousands of persecuted Christians, the words of Christ are extremely important,

“When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).

The signs of Christ’s coming fill these persecuted Christians with hope and encouragement!

Dark was the night, sin warred against us,
   Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of His coming;
   Our hearts glow within us,
Joy’s cup runneth o’er!
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
With power and great glory, He is coming again!
   (“He Is Coming Again” by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).

“When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).

II. Second, the signs of persecution, false prophets and loss of
Christian love.

Please turn to Matthew 24:9-12. Stand and read these four verses aloud.

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:9-12).

You may be seated.

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake” (Matthew 24:9).

That is happening to Christians throughout the Third World tonight!

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another” (Matthew 24:10).

Tonight that is happening to Christians in China, in Cuba, and throughout the Muslim world!

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many”
      (Matthew 24:11).

False prophets fill the airwaves with pop-psychology, self-help, and prosperity theology – and many churches have adopted their message!

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12).

Sin and iniquity in the world discourage many Christians today. “The love of many shall wax cold.” But the classical Bible commentator Matthew Henry was correct when he said, “It is the love of many, not of all. In the worst of times, God has a remnant that hold fast their integrity, and retain their zeal, as in Elijah’s days, when he thought himself left alone” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Hendrickson Publishers, 1996 reprint, volume 5, p. 284; comment on Matthew 24:12).

“When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).

This is the time for us to see that the “signs” are fulfilled. This is the time for us to look up and be ready for Christ’s return!

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh”
       (Luke 21:28).

Dark was the night, sin warred against us,
   Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of His coming;
   Our hearts glow within us,
Joy’s cup runneth o’er!
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
With power and great glory, He is coming again!

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12).

How can we remain warm in our love and zeal, while others around us grow cold in today’s apostasy? Jude gave us the answer. The Epistle of Jude was written for Christians living in apostate times like these. Turn to Jude 20-23. Please stand and read it aloud.

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 20-23).

You may be seated.

“Building up yourselves on your most holy faith.” Be in church every time the door is open! Read your Bible every day!

“Praying in the Holy Ghost.” Have a good time of prayer every day! Fast and pray one day a week if possible!

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Keep close to God. Look for the coming of Christ!

“And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 22-23).

I can’t take time to comment. These verses mean that we must be soul winners! Do whatever it takes to get your family and friends into church to hear the Gospel! Those are the keys to overcoming coldness in the last days!


-  Read your Bible every day!

-  Pray every day!

-  Keep close to God, and think constantly about Christ’s second coming!

-  Be a soul winner!


Get your lost family members here for the Christmas banquet! Don’t take “no” for an answer! Bring them in! Sing it!

Bring them in, Bring them in,
   Bring them in from the fields of sin;
Bring them in, Bring them in,
   Bring the wandering ones to Jesus.
(“Bring Them In” by Alexcenah Thomas, 19th century).

These activities will keep your heart warm with Christian love during this time of darkness, apostasy and sin!

Dark was the night, sin warred against us,
   Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of His coming;
   Our hearts glow within us,
Joy’s cup runneth o’er!
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
With power and great glory, He is coming again!

If you are not yet converted, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate” (Luke 13:24). Christ will receive you! Christ will cleanse your sins with His precious Blood! Christ will save you from the penalty of sin and the wrath of God!

Dark was the night, sin warred against us,
   Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of His coming;
   Our hearts glow within us,
Joy’s cup runneth o’er!
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
With power and great glory, He is coming again!

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 24:3-13.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“He Is Coming Again” (by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE END IS NEAR #2

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).

(Matthew 24:30)

I.   First, strangely, there is little interest in the subject of
prophetic signs today in America, Matthew 16:3.

II.  Second, the signs of persecution, false prophets, and loss of
Christian love, Matthew 24:9-12; Luke 21:28;
Jude 20-23; Luke 13:24.