Saturday, November 20, 2021

A Harvest Of Knowledge


Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Jesus tells us of the times and the seasons; of the things in nature meant for signs of things that lay ahead. As early as Genesis 2, He says that the lights in the sky were to divide the day from night, and they were to be used as signs, differentiating seasons, days, and years (Genesis 2:14). And that’s what Jesus does as he begins the next segment of Matthew 24 with The Parable of the Fig Tree. Using something as simple as the blossoming of the fig to show how easy it is to know the times and seasons.

In Matthew 16 as He reminds the apostles that when the evening sky is red, it will be fair weather the next day. As fishermen, it was something they already knew. The signs of the days, or of the times are not hidden from us. Hence the pattern of growth in the trees, and even the calving times of the animal kingdom. The most natural things give us insights into the future. Some would say this is just common sense, for we see these things repeatedly in our lives as everyday events.

All of the “signs” that Jesus taught the Apostles of earlier in this chapter are to be seen as warnings and encouragement to be prepared for what is coming: The Great Tribulation is an event that is determined for the wicked and the evil of this world.

“I would not have you ignorant,” Paul writes concerning the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12; “I would not have you to be ignorant,” Paul writes again in 1 Thessalonians 4, concerning the dead and the order of the Resurrection; And Paul writes a third time, all under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “I would not have you ignorant,” concerning his purpose in coming to see the Roman believers, that he might see some fruit in their lives, like he has seen in other Gentiles.

Jesus also warned often about being deceived. The knowledge of God’s Word will always bring us to truth in every matter. With God, there is no room for deceit or confusion, from His Word comes only truth.
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” - 1 Corinthians 14:33


Today's Audio Message:

Matthew 24:32-51 - "A Harvest of Knowledge"

Summary:

In this dark world of uncertainty, we have the greatest certainty of all to affirm—Jesus Christ is Lord! His Word is TRUE! He IS coming again!


Right after Jesus gives His disciples a picture of what His Second coming will look like, He continues to explain what the signs are that will take place before the end. He begins with the parable of the fig tree. The Fig Tree once again representing the Nation of Israel.

Matthew’s presentation of Jesus as the Messiah is consistent, irrefutable and true. He is Israel’s true King, the “Son of David,” the Messiah of His covenant people and the Savior of the Gentiles and indeed of the world. His prophetic words in the Olivet Discourse are a comfort to those who know Him, and a warning to those who don’t.  Let all Israel hear Him and receive Him.

Jesus proclaims, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” What generation? Jesus was not referring to the generation of His disciples who listened to Him then. This fact is obvious from Matthew 21:43, where He said, “The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” He is speaking of the generation that will see all these things happening.

Let's remember two things our Lord has taught us about the time of tribulation this world will face before He returns.  First,  that it will come upon this world swiftly, and second, that it will come upon this world unexpectedly.  Why? Because the world will be living as in the days of Noah.  Just living life, making merry. Eating, drinking, doing their own thing. They are scoffers, mockers and without God, without His knowledge and without any care of eternity.  They reject Him and His Word, and will be without excuse. The unbeliever will be unaware of the signs of His coming, and will be caught completely off guard when these things happen.  God in His Word has given to us in advance these signs and warnings so that we might know what is coming, and that we would watch and be ready.

As regarding the church, we know that just as the Lord “sealed” Noah and His family in the ark, so the Lord seals His church with the seal of Holy Spirit. The church is not appointed unto wrath, but will be saved, or snatched up. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

When the Father tells Jesus it’s time, go get your church, He will come for His bride, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The church will not see the Great Tribulation, or the Day of Wrath, but rather those who have no time, or interest in eternal matters. Those who have no love for God, or the truth of His word will surely face this tribulation. Those who love their sin are oblivious to the danger that is coming and will not recognize the signs before them .

Watch and Be Ready! It behooves all of us to know God’s Word and heed His warnings. Believers should be making every effort to present the Gospel to everyone they meet.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20).

God’s interests are global—but they start with Israel. Therefore, “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:6) and lovingly reach out to His people and to others around the world.

It is so important to know God's Word, and to take heed to His warnings. "Watch" and always "be ready"; and be faithful in your relationship with Him, and the work that He has called us to do!







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