The 2012 Phenomenon has captured the imagination of many people. Books and movies are being produced about this phenomenon. Allegedly on December 21, earth will collide with a black hole and disappear. But let not your heart be troubled James Michael Sayer has produced an Official Countdown Package complete with DVD to help you not only survive but thrive before the great end time calamity. This package is valued at $259.80 but if you order now, just for you, Sayer will send this survival kit for a mere $49. But wait, if you order now, he will send two kits for the price of one. You pay only for shipping and handling. (Just kidding about the last part).
A US News and World Report poll revealed that 66% of Americans believe the world as we know it will be destroyed in the next few years. I remember as a child being fearful of “Doomsday” or “The end of the world.” Now an entire generation is paranoid.
Jesus actually has predicted the series of events that will lead to the end of the World in Matthew 24:3 ff. This is Jesus’ last sermon in Matthew. It is Jesus message on End Time Events. Jesus’ sermon is part of the ¼ of the Bible that is prophecy.
Jesus is not talking the events that precede the Rapture but the events that precede His Second Coming to earth. Read Mt 23:37-24:3 for the Jewish setting.
The Disciples asked Jesus three questions as He walks out of Herod’s temple which had been under construction since 20 B.C.
1. When will the Temple be destroyed? Jesus answers in Luke 21 or in AD 70.
2. When is the end of the age? Jesus answers in Mt 24:4-ff.
Jesus gives signs that precede His Second Coming to Mt Olives where He gave this sermon.
1. False Christ (Mt 24:4, 5)
2. Wars (Mt 24:6, 7a)
3. Famine (Mt 24:7b)
4. Disease and Death (Mt 24:7c)
5. Persecution (Mt 24: 9)
6. Cosmic Disturbances (Mt 24:29)
John who heard these end time events expanded on them in what is called the Seal Judgments in Revelation 6.
1. The 1st Seal: The Rider on the White Horse: The False Christ (Revelation 6:1-2). This sign expands on Jesus’ sign in Matthew 24:4-5.
This is not the same as Christ on a White horse in Revelation 19. This rider is Anti-Christ imitating Jesus at the beginning of the Tribulation. The rider in Revelation 19 is Christ at the end of the Tribulation. This rider only has a bow with no arrows. He brings peace through diplomacy for only 3 ½ years. The rider in Revelation 19 has a sword and brings peace through war for 1000 years.
Satan gives false peace through imitation. I heard Stephen Davey recently say, “Only 50% of my congregation are believers.” So many church members are deceived by the Great Imitator.
2. The 2nd Seal: The Rider on the Red Horse: Wars (Rev 6:3, 4). This sign expands on Jesus’ sign in Matthew 24:6-7a.
There have always been wars. If you includes wars between nations and states there have been 3010 wars through out human history. Someone there has just been one war and we are still in it. In the Tribulation there will be a series of World Wars back to back as never before. Even in the first half a Northern Confederacy of nations led by Russia and Iran will attack Israel according to Ezekiel 38-39. God will destroy Russia and Iran. It will take seven months to bury the dead.
3. The 3rd Seal: The Rider on the Black Horse: Famine (Rev 6:5, 6). This sign expands on Jesus’ sign in Matthew 24:7b.
In the Tribulation it will cost one day’s wages for 1 loaf of wheat bread to feed one person one day, and one day’s wages for 1 loaf of barley (which was fed to cattle) to feed one family for one day.
Inflation will go out of the roof. If you think 4 dollars a gallon of gas is bad now, just wait. If a $2 dollar loaf of bread will costs a day’s wages (or we’ll say $100) in the Tribulation that means a $4 dollar gallon of gas will cost $200 per gallon.
We don’t know what hunger is, do we. For most of us hunger is not having our bowl of ice cream before bed. Hunger in the Tribulation will not be limited to 3rd world nations. In Tribulation, everybody goes to bed hungry.
4. The 4th Seal: The Rider on the Pale Horse: Death (Rev 6:7, 8). This sign expands on Jesus’ sign in Matthew 24:7c.
That means 1. 5 billion people will die in the few years in the Tribulation. If you want a lucrative career you may want to go to school to be a funeral home director or open a casket building business.
5. The 5th Seal: Persecution (Rev 6:9-11) The Response in Heaven. This sign expands on Jesus’ sign in Matthew 24:9.
Reading about the persecutions and martyrdoms in the Tribulation is like reading Fox’s Book of Martyrs. Especially in Muslim countries are believers today tortured for Christ. These martyred saints in heaven pray an imprecatory prayer, “Avenge us.” Instead of praying “Father forgive them” because they know their persecutors have sealed their destiny by their rejection of Christ.
6. The 6th Seal- Cosmic Disturbances (Rev 6:12-17) The Response on Earth. This sign expands on Jesus’ sign in Matthew 24:29 even though Jesus’ cosmic disturbance will takes place at the end of the Tribulation and John’s in the middle.
The believers in heaven cry “Avenge us” and the sinners on earth cry out to the mountains “Hide us” from God’s wrath. Vance Havner said, “The most expensive piece of real estate on earth will be a hole in the earth.” Remarkably, this group experiencing the wrath of God, does not cry out, “Save us.”
Will anybody get saved in the Tribulation? Thank God, according to Revelation 7 the answer is Yes! At least 144,000 Jews come to Christ who win an innumerable group of Gentles to Christ.
The week before I got saved I attended a revival each night and two thoughts haunted me each night as I finally fell asleep: Would Jesus come during the night or if I died during the night would I go to Hell. The night I got saved the preacher preached on Hell and I cried out, “Save me.” End time events are meant by God to impact us now.