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SIGNS OF THE LAST DAYS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, September 9, 2018


The disciples wanted to know when the world would end. They said, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). They asked Christ to give them a sign. He gave them many signs, recorded in Matthew 24, and in the parallel passage, in Luke 21. Matthew 24 gives many of the signs. And Luke 21 gives more of them. We’ll be listening mostly to Luke 21 tonight. “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Christ gave many of those signs in Luke 21, but first turn to II Peter.

Turn to II Peter, chapter three, verse 3. It’s on page 1319 of the Scofield Study Bible. It says,

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts
        (II Peter 3:3).

Tonight I will speak on the subject: “Signs of the Last Days,” because we are living in the last days right now. The time is short.

Notice that expression in II Peter 3:3, “there shall come in the last days.” Notice the words “the last days.” You’ll find that expression and concept over and over in the Bible.

The Bible teaches that there is a point in history known as the last days. Many Bible teachers say we’re in that period now. I think they are right. The Bible warns against setting dates. But there is a period of time known as “the last days.” Every sign indicates that we are in that general period right now. Leonard Ravenhill said, “These are the last days.”

The next word in II Peter 3:3 is “scoffers.” These people mock the idea of the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world. They mock and scoff and laugh. They are cynics and unbelievers. They say, “We can’t find God anywhere. We don’t think God is going to end the world. We’re not even sure there is a God.” They mock and laugh at the idea of a future judgment, they scoff at the idea of Jesus Christ coming back to this earth from the sky, from another dimension. They laugh at the whole idea of the end of the world in the fiery wrath of God.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts”
        (II Peter 3:3).

Why do they scoff and laugh? The next few words tell us, “Walking after their own lusts” or “following after their own lusts.” They are living in sin. That’s why they don’t want Christ to come and interfere with their sinful way of life. They love their lust, they love their sin so much that they don’t want Christ to come, and so they reject what the Bible teaches about the judgment of God! He is a God of love, but He’s also a God of wrath and judgment. He’s a God of anger against sin and evil. These scoffing hypocrites won’t examine the evidence. They don’t read the Bible. They don’t want to know the truth – because they are hypocrites. They are scoffers, walking after their own lusts!

Then, the next verse says, “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old…” (Look at verse 7). “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (II Peter 3:3-7).

Now look at verse ten:

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burnt up.”

This passage of Scripture says that a day of judgment is going to come. The whole sinful world is going to have to stand someday before the judgment bar of God. If you are unconverted you will stand before God in that day. You will be judged for your sins if you are not saved.

And the disciples were asking about that coming day. They said, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).

Now Christ gave them many signs, and I am going to list a few of them.

I. First, there are ecological signs which show that the end is near.

Jesus said there will be

“great earthquakes…in divers places, and famines and pestilences; and fearful sights…and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:11, 25-26).

Think of it! Jesus said that people’s hearts would faint and fail when they see what’s happening “on the earth.” He said there will be distress and dismay and anguish and great fear, because of “those things which are coming on the earth.”

Not long ago scientists found a hole in the ozone above the North Pole as large as the State of Maine. Time magazine had a news story – featured on the cover – “The Big Meltdown. As the temperature rises in the Arctic, it sends a chill around the planet.” (Time magazine, September 4, 2000, pp. 52-56). Time said, “Even a partial melting could devastate the northern hemisphere’s climate.” Many scientists fear we may be entering a new ice age. In the Time article, Dr. Richard Alley, a geophysicist at Penn State University, spoke of “dropping temperatures far (greater) than the changes that have affected humans in recorded history.” Would this be the end of mankind? Dr. Alley says, “No, but it will be an uncomfortable time for mankind. Very uncomfortable.”

Life was filled with guns and war,
   And everyone got trampled on the floor.
I wish we’d all been ready.
   (“I Wish We’d All Been Ready” by Larry Norman, 1947-2008).

Are you ready?

Scientists like Dr. Alley are tormented with fear

“and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26).

When you look at the meltdown of the North Pole and an ice-age which they say could come abruptly, in the next 25 years, it’s frightening. When you realize that the AIDS epidemic is devastating Africa, with no end in sight – it is frightening. When you look at the resurgence of antibiotic resistant tuberculosis and other new “monster” diseases that don’t respond to any known drugs - it is frightening.

No wonder so many young people have fears about the future. A recent poll shows that 80 percent of today’s teenagers do not think they have a good future. That poll showed these teenagers often worry about problems in ecology, like the meltdown of the North Pole and the ice age or waterworld it could produce.

Young people know instinctively that our world is getting worse. And it frightens them. What are you going to do when it’s freezing cold all year in Southern California?

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

Young people are deeply afraid that mankind is ruining our planet. And I share their concern – completely!

My wife and I stood in our yard. I asked her, “When was the last time you saw a monarch butterfly? When was the last time you saw a toad or a frog? They’re gone – or very nearly so.” She said to me, “Yes, we’ve really messed up the environment.” A man said to me, “We’ve fouled our nest and we’re ruining the world.” Sadly, I had to agree. He was dead right.

And the frightening problems we see in ecology, reported every day in the newspapers, are signs that the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ are very near. The Bible says, “Prepare to meet thy God.” You don’t have much time left to prepare! Larry Norman said,

Life was filled with guns and war,
   And everyone got trampled on the floor.
I wish we’d all been ready.

Are you ready?

That’s why you need to get into church and find Christ now! Time is running out for our world. You ought to be in a hurry to find Christ, get converted, and get deeply into this church before judgment falls. When you are in Christ, God promises to protect you and keep you safe from harm.

Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
   Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide,
   O receive my soul at last!
(“Jesus, Lover of My Soul” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

II. But secondly, there are racial signs which show that the end is near.

Luke 21:20 speaks of that,

“Then he said to them, Nation (Greek ethnos or ethnic group) shall rise against nation (ethnic group), and kingdom (Basilean = national group) against kingdom (national group)” (Luke 21:10).

That’s what we are seeing today. With all of our technology and science we are not able to stop ethnic strife between races and wars between the nations. Every president tries to make peace between the Arabs and the Jews. But all of our presidents fail! Only when Christ returns will there be peace among all tribes and ethnic groups! Only when Christ returns will He bring peace between all nations and races. No one else can do that – not even the coming Antichrist will be completely successful. Only Jesus Christ can bring peace between the various races and ethnic groups and nations – when He comes back to earth (and only then) will there be real peace on earth and good will toward all men!

Life was filled with guns and war,
   And everyone got trampled on the floor.
I wish we’d all been ready.

Are you ready tonight?

III. Then, thirdly, there are antisemitic signs all around us, showing that the end is near.

Many stupid people hate the Jews, God’s chosen people on earth. The passage in Luke 21 says:

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed (or circled around) with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh (it is near)” (Luke 21:20).

Antisemitism, hatred of the Jews, will grow so strong in the last days, that great armies of Gentiles will come against the Jewish people in Jerusalem and seek to destroy them, like Hitler did in World War II. But the Jews are God’s chosen people on earth, according to the Bible. The Bible says,

“They are beloved for the fathers’ sakes” (Romans 11:28).

If it wasn’t for Abraham, Moses and the prophets you wouldn’t be here tonight. That’s why Bible-believing Baptists are among the greatest supporters of Israel.

But the Bible teaches that the sinful world will turn against the Jews in the last days. God says:

“I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people”(Zechariah 12:3).

That’s happening right now. It is a sign that we are now living in the last days.

Life was filled with guns and war,
   And everyone got trampled on the floor.
I wish we’d all been ready.

Are you ready?

IV. And then, fourthly, there are religious signs – signs of deception in
false religion, which show that the end is near.

“And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name...go ye not therefore after them” (Luke 21:8).

Again Christ said:

“There shall arise false...prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).

Much of what you see on TBN – what you see on channel 17 in this area – is a deception. Benny Hinn is a deceiver. Joel Osteen is a deceiver. Most evangelical radio and television is a deception. That’s why I recommend only Dr. McGee, and no one else! I don’t trust the soft new-evangelicals!

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (II Timothy 4:3).

That sign is happening right now! The end is near!

V. Fifthly, there are signs of religious persecution, showing that the end is near.

The persecution of Christians is going on throughout the world at an unprecedented rate. For instance, many Christians have to meet in secret in Communist China. The Los Angeles Times gave this report of three soul-winners who were deported from China for sharing the Gospel:

China has deported three U.S. evangelists (soul-winners) after detaining them in a round up of underground Protestant worshippers in central China, a rights group reported. The report...was accompanied by news that dozens of Chinese worshippers detained along with them have been sent to jail. An additional fifty followers of…Protestant fellowships were arrested in three provinces, according to the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China.

Jesus predicted the worldwide persecution of Christians we see going on today. He said,

“They shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up...into prisons” (Luke 21:12).

Then he said that even parents and relatives will persecute you if you become a real Christian. We have seen that happen over and over right here in Los Angeles. Christ said:

“And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends...and ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake” (Luke 21:16-17).

Christ said that many parents and friends will actually hate you if you become a real Christian. Don’t laugh. That is already true throughout much of the world. The Muslims hate us, kill us, and put us in prisons in much of the world tonight.

First, they will try their best to stop you from coming back to this church and get saved. But if you do keep coming here to church and if you do get saved, they may turn on you and even hate you. They usually get over it after several months, when they see that they can’t stop you.

But count the cost! Somebody won’t like it if you become a real Christian! Somebody will come against you! It costs to become a real Christian in this dark time. It’s a sign that we are in the last days.

Life was filled with guns and war,
   And everyone got trampled on the floor.
I wish we’d all been ready.

Are you ready?

VI. And finally, Christ gave us a sixth sign to show us that we are near
the end. I call it the “psychological sign.”

Christ said:

“Take heed (pay attention) to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down, or weighted down) with...(the) cares (anxieties) of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:34-35).

One young man who came to church a few times said, “I can’t come next Sunday. I have to help my aunt move.” He had six days to do it, but it “had” to happen Sunday morning. He is weighed down with the problems of life. Today people miss church for light and foolish reasons. They are weighed down with the cares of this life. And God’s judgment day will come upon them unawares – when they least expect it, the end will come!

Life was filled with guns and war,
   And everyone got trampled on the floor.
I wish we’d all been ready.

Are you ready?

You can get past drugs and sex, but get weighed down with family problems that suck you under. I have seen that happen to many young couples across the years.

And then Jesus said:

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).

And that’s what you need to do to be ready for the end of the world and the Judgment to come. There are three things you need to do:

(1)  Come to this church. Nothing else will help
you if you don’t do that.

(2)  Come to Christ. He died for your sins. He rose literally
and physically from the dead. He is alive at the right
hand of God right now. He is there for you now. Come
to Him. Trust Jesus and be saved!

(3)  Not only do you need to come into this church, not only
do you need to come to Christ, but you also need to
pray. Jesus said that prayer is the key to living a
successful Christian life in the last days.


How are you going to escape the coming judgment? The Bible says, “[Christ] bare our sins in his own body on the tree” – on the Cross. Christ can be your substitute. He was punished in your place, to pay the penalty for your sin on the Cross! Christ poured out His precious Blood on that cross. His Blood can wash away all your sin – and you will be ready when the end comes! I am asking you to trust Jesus Christ tonight! Charles Wesley said,

Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
   Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide,
   O receive my soul at last!

A gospel song says,

Jesus is the answer for the world today,
Above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the way!

Trust Jesus tonight and He will save you! Amen.


WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“I Wish We’d All Been Ready” (by Larry Norman, 1947-2008).


THE OUTLINE OF

SIGNS OF THE LAST DAYS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts” (II Peter 3:3).

I.    First, there are ecological signs which show that the end is near,
Luke 21:11, 25-26.

II.   Second, there are racial signs which show that the end is near,
Luke 21:10.

III.  Third, there are antisemitic signs all around us, showing that
the end is near, Luke 21:20; Romans 11:28; Zechariah 12:3.

IV.  Fourth, there are religious signs – signs of deception in false religion,
which show that the end is near, Luke 21:8; Matthew 24:24;
II Timothy 4:2-3.

V.   Fifth, there are signs of religious persecution, showing that the end
is near, Luke 21:12, 16-17.

VI.  Sixth, there is the “psychological sign,” which shows that the end
is near, Luke 21:34-36.