October 23

  • Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Before the Cross of Christ, people were drawn to God by the Holy Spirit, convicted by the Holy Spirit, saved by the Holy Spirit, and kept secure by the Holy Spirit the same way we are today. The only difference is that Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come and dwell in us:

  • John 14:6-7 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”

In the days of Noah leading up to the Ark, people were living in severe wickedness and rebellion. But, when Christ comes back to take His Church out of the world and to then judge the wicked lost, we see an interesting commentary by Paul on that future situation:

  • II. Thessalonians 2:7-12 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
  • It is only the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church that is keeping Satan from this final thrust to gain absolute control over all the earth and plunging the world into its darkest hour. The mystery of iniquity is already at work. We see it. We see the decaying effects of sin. We see it everywhere. The spirit of antichrist is all around us. Jesus Christ is being mocked, being scorned, being ridiculed and derided.—Chuck Smith

Again, these are the days which Christ predicted would be like the days of Noah. Wickedness, severe perversion, violence, godlessness, false spirituality, corruption, and the like will multiply on this earth. And, when Christ raptures His church from the earth, the Holy Spirit will be removed and men will be allowed to fulfill all that is in their depraved hearts with no restraints.

For many, end times prophecy is scary. Others are overly infatuated with it. I believe we need to be balanced in that we need to know and study it, but we should not look for the Anti-Christ behind every world issue or fear what’s to come. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus.

  • II. Thessalonians 2:1-6 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.
  1. What is your view of biblical end-times prophecy, and what place does it have in your life? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. What worries or concerns do you have about the future (I’m talking about any aspect of the future, from the immediate to the end of the world)? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. We have been emphasizing repetitively the Sovereignty of God. He has dictated the beginning of the world, the end of the world, and everything in between.
    1. Reading II. Thessalonians 2:1-6 above, how does His complete control of everything comfort and secure you in your walk? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. Where do you have struggles? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    3. Does it help to know that if God bestowed grace upon Noah and his family to save them from judgment, that He has done the same for you? _______________________________________
  4. Lastly, most of our problems can be wrapped up in the fact that we do not read, study, or know our Bibles well enough.
    1. Do you feel you have a good understanding of the sequence of events Scripture predicts will happen in the future judgment of the world (AKA the Tribulation)? _________________________
    2. Did you know the church will notgo through the Tribulation? _______________________________
    3. Did you know that you are currently, right now, according to the Bible, living in the Last Days? ____________________________
    4. Please, please be a Berean church that searches the Scriptures daily. Read it. There are different plans for reading the whole Bible in a year, from chronological to a certain amount of chapters, to a mix of Old and New Testament, or you can just read it straight through. The more you read the more you’ll know, the more comfort you’ll have, the holier you’ll become, the more prepared you’ll be, the more confidence you’ll exhibit, and the greater your love and faith will grow!