How to Prepare for the Changes Ahead
Part 1: Matthew 24
Matthew 24:1-8. "Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'”
3. "Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?'”
4-6. "And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7-8. "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."
Question: 1. What is your response to these "beginnings of sorrows"? Are they avoidable? Why or why not!
If not, how can we find joy and victory in the midst of these earthly challenges?
Matthew 24:9. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake."
2. What particular group of people is Jesus referring to?
Could this happen in America? Why or why not?
Matthew 24:10-11. "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many."
3. If this happens in our time, how might we respond?
In the midst of persecution, what "special advantage" do we, Christians, have?
Matthew 24:12-13. "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
4. How can we prepare for such a time?
Matthew 24:14. "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."
5. What are some of the ways we can share the gospel and the joy of God's presence?
Matthew 24:15-17, 21-22. “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house....
"For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened."
6. Why can we -- God's "children" -- experience His victory in the midst of such tribulation?
Matthew 24:23-25. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand..."
9. How will the false "christs" and prophets be able to show great signs and wonders? What is the source of their power? Who is their master?
Matthew 24:29-31. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
7. How might you respond to such an amazing of spiritual power, victory and joy?
Matthew 24:36-44. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be....
"Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. ... Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
8. How might you respond to such a glorious event?
Bible Studies Online
The Secret of Abundant Life (Matthew 5)
A Wardrobe from the King (God's Armor - Ephesians 6:10-18)
The Invisible War (for children)
Jesus, our Shepherd (Delights from the 23rd Psalm)
The Shepherd's Love (Old Testament)
Topical Index of Scriptures