Sermon delivered March 7, 1998

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Quoted Bible texts are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

After church, where she had been taught about the Second Coming,
a
little girl was quizzing her mother. 
   "Mommy, do you believe Jesus will come back?" 
   "Yes." 
   "Could he come this week?" 
   "Yes." 
   "Today?" 
   "Yes." 
   "Could he come in the next hour?" 
   "Yes." 
   "In a few minutes?" 
   "Yes, dear." 
   "Mommy, would you comb my hair?" 

The world will end soon! Do we know the date? NO. God says that no one knows the time, Matthew 24:36 But NBC seems oblivious to that fact. A prime-time program broadcast on NBC said that a prophecy found in one of the pyramids of Egypt sets a date of May 5, 2000.

On that day the sun, moon, and ALL the major planets will exert a humongous gravitational pull on this world causing the earth to shift on its axis. Either the world will end right then and there or this cataclysmic phenomenon will cause catastrophes unknown to mankind.

There will be a rapid meltdown of the polar ice caps. This will cause the seas to rise and taxi cab operators in costal cities will have to buy boats to carry their customers. -

Five Five Two-Thousand, Ice: The Ultimate Disaster, New York: Harmony Books, 1988

As we approach the year 2000 there seem to be more and more frightening prognostications. Some are even emanating from cyberspace. "Mary", who claims to be the very much alive mother of Jesus, a Madonna from Guadalupe, Mexico, now has a home page on the World Wide Web. (http://spin.com.mx/~msalazar)

I believe this is actually none other than the devil disguised as Mary who is predicting the end of the world sometime around the year 2000. Along with this comes the statement that Pope John Paul II is either the last or next-to-last pope before the arrival of the Antichrist.

Apparently the devil has his act a little bit together because both spirit medium Edgar Cayce and Ruth Montgomery predict that at or before the year 2000 the earth will shift on its rotational axis and this happening will cause earthquakes, volcanoes, and catastrophic havoc throughout the world.

Many doomsayers see in the ancient writings of Nostradamus the certain a sure end of all things in the year 2000. Almost every issue of Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report carry a column on the coming Millennium.

Should Christians be agitated about the year 2000? Is there anything to all this? Native Americans [American Indians] think so. On August 20, 1994 a White Buffalo was born on a farm in Janesville, Wisconsin. Native Americans all across North America consider this as a great sign. Their legends state that just before the end of the world a White Buffalo will be born.

By the term "end of the World" most of these folk mean a return to the stone age with very primitive conditions or at worst, the extinction of human life.

Is there a significant happening scheduled for the year 2000? What does the Bible say about all this? Matthew 24:14 - "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." God says, there will be an END!

Zephaniah 1:18 - "Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord's wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth."

So, all these prophets of doom who are predicting an immanent awful end to our world are correct. The world will end. But how and when? Does God give any indication of the time of the end in the Bible? Yes.

Not the day or hour or even the year, but general conditions are known. Matthew 24:36 - "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

We are told that the last days will be like the days of Noah and the flood. (See Matthew 24:37) In Noah's time, God planned to bring the whole world to its end:

Genesis 6:13 - "So God said to Noah, 'I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.'"

It is clear that human civilization on planet earth will come to an end. So will the earth. Human life will indeed experience an earth-splintering climax.

Today, many of the worlds prognosticators, including the grocery store tabloids teach that the world will end as we know it at the beginning of the millennium. They are right that the world will indeed have an end. But when? Actually, the true Termination of the world will NOT be at the beginning of the Bible millennium but at the end of the 1000 years.

Revelation 20:7-9 - "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth---Gog and Magog--to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them."

The world will end in a ball of fire. This conflagration is also known as Hell fire.

II Peter 3:10,11 - "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.

Another grave error these modern prognosticators make is this: Even though this old world will be destroyed and end by fire, the fires do go out eventually. The fire does not burn on and on forever and ever.

Malachi 4:4:1 - "'Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,' says the LORD Almighty. 'Not a root or a branch will be left to them.'"

Malachi 4:3 - "'Then [after the fire goes out] you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things,' says the LORD Almighty."

After the fire goes out, our loving God will recreate this world and make it brand new again. This will be the eternal home of all who love Him.

We desperately need a new earth. Did you know that right here in Tennessee one out of every 225 people you see on the streets already has Aids or HIV.

Chattanooga Free Press, Karen Hill, March 20, 1997. (Aids added to HIV=225)

Revelation 21:1-4 - "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

5 - "He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!'"

God will move His capitol and the garden of Eden down from heaven to this world. Here he will sit on His throne. The throne represents the command center. Thus this new world will become the relocated capitol of the entire universe.

Human life will not end from the smashing effect of a blazing asteroid as it plows into our earth. Life will not end by another ice age or by rising sea water caused by the melting of the ice at the poles. God will end it Himself.

This does not mean that God might not use such natural things as the alignment of the planets and sun and moon to precipitate end time earthquakes, volcanos and El Nino type havoc. Just prior to His coming there will indeed be numerous and judgmental signs:

Matthew 24:7 - "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. Verses 21 and 22 - "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again." 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened."

But before the earth self destructs, God will evacuate all His people from this sinful place and then God will allow Fire to permanently and totally cleanse away, any and all traces of sin and sinners including the devil and his angels.

II Peter 3:7 - "the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." verses 10 - 13 - "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.....everything will be destroyed.....That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness."

Could the evacuation of the Christians by the second coming of Jesus happen in the year 2000? Yes it could! In fact it could happen before that time. It could come after 2000 AD. We frankly don't know when it will happen. But we must be ready, stay ready and get others ready ASAP.

It looks to me like everything is just about set. Practically all the signs of Jesus return are fulfilled.

The year 2000 is looming over the horizon. There is an urgency in most churches to evangelize the entire world by 2000 AD.

Something unusual is happening out there because Muslims are having dreams and visions about Christ. Thousands of letters from Muslims claim that they are having a dream about Christ. In the dream Jesus appears and tells these Muslims "I am the Way". - [according to the National and International Religion Report, spring 1996]

Could it finally be that Jesus is taking things in His hands and the end of all things is indeed at hand? I believe the answer is yes. Matthew 24:41- 44 - "Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Many of the astute worldly thinkers out there sense that there is a major change about to happen of crisis proportions. For those of us that have a saving relationship with Jesus, all these things are good news. Help is on the way. Our hope is in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

John 14:1-3 - "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

Jesus promises to come and receive His own to Himself. Jesus is the good shepherd. If one of His sheep is out there lost, He will go and search and find that one lost sheep before the storm ends his chance. Trust in Jesus. Turn over the black ugly sins of yesterday to our Forgiving Saviour.

In times like these we need a Saviour. Do you have Jesus? Is He your personal Saviour? If so you have absolutely nothing to be afraid of and everything to hope for.

Opening Hymn: We Gather Together    #8
Scripture Reading:   John 14:1-3
Closing Hymn: In Times Like These     #593

980307GETTYS#438



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