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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“But the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).

The Disciples asked Jesus, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]?” (Matthew 24:3). In the next verse Jesus began to answer their question, when He said,

“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:4-6).

I believe this is true today. “The end is not yet.” The signs of the end are all in place, “but the end is not yet.” Why does God wait? Why the delay? The answer is given in verse 14,

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).

It seems evident in the Scriptures that Matthew 24:14 will not be literally and completely fulfilled until the remnant from Israel evangelize the world “by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11). These 144,000 Jewish evangelists “have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). And they will rapidly spread their testimony throughout the earth! Then, right before the Bowl Judgments and Armageddon, an angel will be sent by God,

“…having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6).

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).

“And then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14). Therefore I believe we are still living in the period when Jesus said,

“…but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).

The signs of the end were given by Christ in verses 4-14, but the end will not come until the whole earth hears the Gospel from the Jewish evangelists of the Tribulation, and from the angel of Revelation 14:6. So, at this present hour, we can say with Jesus,

“…but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).

Wicked men scoff and say, “Where is the promise of his coming?” (II Peter 3:4). They think the delay of Christ’s return means that He won’t come at all. But the Apostle Peter answered them,

“The Lord is not slack [slow] concerning his promise…but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).

God holds back His judgments to give every person ample time to hear the Gospel. That is why Jesus said,

“…the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).

The signs show that “it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33), “but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6). There is a delay, a waiting, as there was in the days of Noah,

“…when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing” (I Peter 3:20).

In this period, as God waits to send judgment, the world is in turmoil, filled with signs of the end, given by Christ in Matthew 24:4-13, and in Luke chapter 21, where Jesus said,

“Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26).

I asked Dr. John S. Waldrip, a pastor friend, what he thinks are the four most significant trends going on in the world today. Here are the four things he thinks are most important right now on the world stage:

(1)  The destruction of the United States from within, with liberal forces at work in Washington to take away our freedoms, and reduce America to a weak and unimportant power in the world.

(2)  Secret alliances between Israel and many Arab countries against Iran. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan are terrified by what Iran will do when they have nuclear weapons, probably in 2010 or early 2011. Many of these Arab nations are – surprisingly – backing Israel!

(3)  China. Everything about China is important. They own everything. As well, one of the greatest revivals in history is going on in China right now. Millions are experiencing conversion to Christ in China, while the American churches either close their doors, stagnate, or fall away into the demonic errors of the “emerging” church.

(4)  The resurgence of conservatism, began with the fall election in 2010.

Those four things from Dr. Waldrip are not only very interesting, but will probably play an important role in the coming year.

Even though all the prophetic signs are in place, God seems to be waiting – waiting for more people to be converted – before the end of this age and the second coming of Christ. Jesus said,

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

But we must not stick our heads in the sand like an ostrich, in fear of what is happening on earth. Jesus said,

“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).

2011 lies just ahead of us. This is a time for Christians throughout the world to take seriously the command of Christ in the Great Commission,

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). He promises to be with us as we obey His commandment to “teach all nations,” to evangelize and make disciples of those who are lost. We must not let the coldness and lack of concern among many new-evangelicals stop us from going out to evangelize the lost. They may forget the Great Commission, but we must never forget it! Stand and sing hymn number three on your song sheet!

Give us a watchword for the hour, A thrilling word, a word of power,
A battle cry, a flaming breath That calls to conquest or to death.
A word to rouse the church from rest, To heed the Master’s strong request.
The call is given, Ye hosts, arise, Our watchword is, evangelize!

The glad evangel now proclaim, Through all the earth, in Jesus’ name;
This word is ringing through the skies: Evangelize! Evangelize!
To dying men, a fallen race, Make known the gift of Gospel grace;
The world that now in darkness lies, Evangelize! Evangelize!
   (“Evangelize! Evangelize!” by Dr. Oswald J. Smith, 1889-1986;
     altered by Dr. Hymers; to the tune of “And Can It Be?”
     by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

“The world that now in darkness lies, evangelize! evangelize!” That is what Christ told us to do when He said, 

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

Let us do that with all our might! In 201, let our minds be constantly focused on evangelism! “The world that now in darkness lies, evangelize! evangelize!” Let us not only go out to evangelism, but also work with all our might to bring in our relatives and friends to hear the Gospel as well! Do it – and Christ will be with you, “even unto the end of the world”! (Matthew 28:20).

Second, let us spend more time in prayer in 2010! Jesus said “that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). Let us cry out to God in prayer “day and night…though he bear long with [us]” (Luke 18:7). Let us be sure to have daily prayer! Let us be very careful not to miss the prayer meetings in the church! Let us also give priority to prayer and fasting. One of the secrets of the revival in China is that so many Christians there are fasting, as well as praying, for God to move in their churches. Let us follow their example! Let fasting and prayer play a major part in what we do next year! As God leads, join us in fasting for conversions each week in 2010! The Apostle James said,

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”
       (James 5:16).

“Teach Me to Pray.” Sing it!

Teach me to pray, Lord,
   Teach me to pray;
This is my heart-cry,
   Day unto day;
I long to know Thy will and Thy way;
   Teach me to pray, Lord,
Teach me to pray.
   (“Teach Me to Pray” by Albert S. Reitz, 1879-1966).

Third, take up your cross and follow Christ in 2010! Jesus said,

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Yes, I know there will be hardships and problems in the coming year. But Christ has told us to deny ourselves. No matter how hard things get, let us remember what He said,

“He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38).

Is your heart backslidden? Are you missing prayer meetings and evangelism? Have you grown cold in prayer and fasting? Is it time for you to refocus on self denial, and take up your cross anew to follow Christ? Sing hymn number two on your song sheet, “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken.” Sing it!

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
   All to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
   Thou, from hence, my all shalt be :
Perish every fond ambition,
   All I’ve sought, and hoped, and known;
Yet how rich is my condition,
   God and heaven are still my own!
(“Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken” by Henry F. Lyte, 1793-1847).

“In the Cross.” Sing it!

In the cross, in the cross,
   Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
   Rest beyond the river.
(“Near the Cross” by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915).

Fourth, if you are not yet converted, 2010 should be a time for you to think deeply about the salvation of your soul. I know that our opening text said, “The end is not yet.” But that verse is speaking of this age, the end of the world as we know it. It is not talking about your life. Your life may very well end this year. Death may come to you suddenly, unexpectedly! It could happen any moment, any time you are on the freeway, any time you are walking these streets! The Bible says,

“It is appointed unto men once to die” (Hebrews 9:27).

God has set a day and a time for your death. Whether you are old or young, your appointment with death could come in 2010. Are you ready?

Many of you worked hard and long to prepare for final exams a week or two ago. I am telling you to put at least that much effort – or more – to prepare for the final exam of life – when you come face to face with God at death. Are you ready? If death should come to you in 2010, are you prepared? Jesus said,

“Strive to enter in at the strait gate” (Luke 13:24).

Christ is telling you to “struggle” and “fight” to come under conviction of sin, and then come to Him in a real conversion. It is my prayer that you will “strive” to enter in to Christ and be converted in the coming year. If death should come to you before you are converted, you will be lost for all eternity. “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night” (Revelation 14:11). Jesus said,

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

May you believe in Him savingly! May you come to Him wholeheartedly! May you be secure in Him eternally – so you can be with Him everlastingly! Amen! Sing the last song on your song sheet.  Stand and sing it! 

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night, Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
    Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light, Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness into Thy health, Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
    Out of my sin and into Thyself, Jesus, I come to Thee. 
(“Jesus, I Come” by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).     

You can read Dr. Hymers’ sermons each week on the Internet
at Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 24:3-14.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“In Times Like These” (by Ruth Caye Jones, 1944).