Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev19970406.htm
MATTHEW: JESUS AS ISRAEL'S MESSIAH AND HIS MESSIANIC KINGDOM
Part XII: The Postponement Of Messiah's Kingdom
A. Israel's Severe Judgment For Rejecting Her True King: Overcoming The Lure Of False Messiahs In The Tribulation Judgment For Israels' Rejecting The True Messiah
Lesson: Using Christ's warning most applicable during the Tribulation when false messiahship will be at its WORST, for today, we can AVOID false cults by (1) being wary of anyone's claims to be Messiah, (2) by not falling for claims that spec ific historical wars or natural disasters mean His appearing and (3) by not being disillusioned by persecution to think the Second Coming is at hand. (4) Christ's return will be evidenced by worldwide heavenly catastrophism and Armageddon -- the even t will be CLEAR!
- In our era, increasingly we have come to face the problem of various gurus rising up and calling themselves a Messiah or a Christ by latching onto a significant historical catastrophes or heavenly signs to lead away followers even unto suicides. Among such have been the Jim Jones and the recent Heaven's Gate cults.
- In view of these deceivers, people may wonder if Scripture offers telltale signals to tell if such a guru is presenting a dangerous set of cultic error.
- Jesus warned of false messiah's who would come after Him, and how to distinguish them from His own true return in Matthew 24 as follows:
- Overcoming The Lure of False Messiah's In The Tribulation Judgment For Israel's Rejecting The True Messiah, Matthew 24:1-31:
- When Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah, God predicted in Old Testament prophecy that He would allow a false messiah, antichrist to rule Israel in fitting judgment for this rejection of Jesus Christ, Zech. 11:8- 17:
- Zechariah 11:8-14 records the prediction that Jesus would be rejected by Israel's leaders and people as the Messiah, and that He would thus break His Messianic covenant for the time with them.
- Zechariah 11:15-17 then predicts the coming of antichrist to rule Israel in just judgment for its rejecting the true King of Israel.
- Thus, when predicting details of this coming judgment of the false Messiah, Jesus offered a lot of advice for believing Jews in the Tribulation Period of the antichrist's rule so they could discern and avoid problems of such false messiahs in this era of Israel's coming history, Mtt. 24:1-41:
- The predictions of Mtt. 24:1-41 are given to believing Jews who are concerned about the coming judgment to come on Israel due to her rejecting Messiah. They have nothing to do with the Church era.
- The predictions of the chapter follow Jesus' announcement that the beautiful Herodian temple complex would be razed to the ground, Mtt. 24:1-2.
- Troubled about this prediction, the Jewish disciples wanted to know details of this era, Mtt. 24:3.
- Accordingly, Jesus gave this information as a lesson to believing Jews to apply in the Tribulation Period when facing the threat of false messiah's as a means of self-protection. We can APPLY its PRINCIPLES to discern and handle false messiah's in these latter days of the Church as well:
- Lesson One - There are going to be many deceiving messiahs before the Second Coming of the true Jesus Christ, Mtt. 24:5. Thus, be wary of anyone's claims to be Christ or the Messiah!
- Lesson Two - There will be many historical upheavals of wars and natural disasters before the true Second Coming of Christ, Mtt. 24:6-8. Thus, be wary of claims that any historical upheaval such as a war or natural disaster as an earthquake, famine, plague, or even the arrival of a comet (as in the case of the Heaven's Gate cult issue), etc. means Christ has come in His Second Coming.
- Lesson Three - There will be severe persecution of believers and severe apostasy before Christ's Second Coming, Mtt. 24:9-14. Thus, don't be theologically disillusioned just because there is great trouble. In fact, there will even be the desecration of the Tribulation Period temple by the antichrist coupled with the most severe persecution ever in history before the Second Coming, Mtt. 24:15-22.
- Lesson Four - Christ's Second Coming will be signaled by massive, heavenly catastrophism seen worldwide COUPLED WITH the battle of Armageddon to make Christ's coming unmistakable, Mtt. 24:27-31. Thus, do not fall for anything less than that being Christ's real return, 24:23-26.