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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Chris Hodges » Chris Hodges - Signs of the Times

Chris Hodges - Signs of the Times

Chris Hodges - Signs of the Times
TOPICS: Second Coming, End times

Well, it's great to see all of you here today. welcome to week number 3 of a 4-part series called, "The Second Coming of Christ," and I'll tell you more about that in just a moment. But I always like to begin, of course, looking straight into the camera and saying a big hello to all of our locations. We are one church that meets all across Alabama and in Columbus, Georgia. And, of course, we're bringing this and all that we are as a church into more than 20 of Alabama's Department of Corrections facilities. Love the men and women that are joining us there. And, of course, there's people watching online and on demand after today.

So, Grants Mill, do the best job you ever had. Come on, say the biggest hello to those that are watching. God bless you. And so in this series, really, that began by a survey that we did back at Easter, where we asked you, I try to do this once a year, ask you what are some topics that you'd like to hear about, and then we work them into series or messages. In fact, the next series that we'll do together is gonna answer about six or seven of your top requests in a series that we're calling, "You Asked for It". So, that's what's coming up next. But the third most requested topic in the survey that we did was on the end times and the last days and the return of Christ, and I understand why. Because there is a lot of news that is happening that would make you think at least that we might be close, and I'm gonna hopefully show you how close I think we are today, and I realize that.

And, of course, I think a lot of things that are aligning themselves in the news are aligning themselves with biblical prophecy. And does anybody know? Well, we'll talk about that today, but in week number 1, I really wanted to bring a message to redirect our attention away from what a lot of the end time teachings tend to be around, and preachers preach it, really, they just scare people. They show, you know, the mark of the beast, and the 666, and chopping people's heads off, and the wrath and the fury of God, and all that is in the text, but that is not why he's coming again. He's coming again, because he wants to be with you and me, and he loves us. It's not a horror story. It's a love story. Can I get a better amen, everybody, right?

And so week number 1, I shared with you this, and so I just read it every week, because I love the way it begins. In all the services that we've had so far, you guys have been quieter than normal, all right? And I know it's because of the subject that we're talking about, but Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled". Let me just stop right here and say, everybody, look in my eyes. You're on the winning side. If you know the Lord, you are on the winning side. I couldn't have better news for you, all right? Tell you that. So, he said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me". And then Jesus said this to his disciples. "In my Father's house are many rooms. And if it were not so, would I have told you that I'm going there to prepare a place for you"?

So, he said all throughout his earthly ministry with his disciples that "I am here to do some things on planet Earth, but that's not the vast majority of my mission". And I'm going to say that to you, too, that the vast majority of the mission of Jesus wasn't to work out things here. He was always on a rescue mission. The end goal is not earth. It's heaven, everybody. All right? And so he says, "Look, I'm gonna spend a little time here". He spent 3 years in all in ministry on planet Earth. But then he says, "I'm gonna go and prepare a place for you". And he said this. He said, "And if I go and prepare a place, I will come back". And that's the theology or the doctrine that we're studying in this series that's a tenet of the Christian faith called the second coming of Christ. He said, "I am gonna come back. But again, not to judge everybody. It's not 'cause I'm just so mad at everybody. That's not the case". He said, "I'm coming back to take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am".

Listen to me. God sees you as his family, and he longs to spend eternity with you. And I don't know about you, but I long to spend eternity with my God, as well. And the end of time is not about the fury of God. It's about the family of God, everybody. And so week number 1, I gave you the thought that it's not a horror story. It's a love story. And then last week, I tried to give you the events. So, everybody wants to know, how does it all play out? So, week number 1 was the whys. Week number 2 was the what. What does it look like? And so I attempted something that I don't know if it should be done, but I tried to go through the entire 22 chapters of the book of Revelation in 20 minutes. Come on, somebody, right?

And so we actually outlined the major events of the book of Revelation, and then came back to the second and third chapter, that if you have a red-letter edition, all the ink's in red because it's the last words of Jesus to his church, and all of it is, "I love you, and here's the way you can prepare yourself for the day that we're wed, or we're together again". So, basically, it's the playbook for, it's a wedding coordinator's guide for eternity. It's the way we can prepare. And so I entitled the message, "Here Comes the Bride," all right? So, if that's our wedding preparation plans. And if you missed it, we'd love for you to go back to see it. So, I gave you the why, gave you the what. Today I'm gonna give you the when.

So, everybody wants to know are we close? Is this it? And I'm gonna take you today to Jesus's own end time teaching that he gave. And so there's four gospels, four accounts of one story, right? And so two of the gospels actually give this teaching. The other two just decided not to include it. All right? But two of them, Matthew and Luke. So, it's in Matthew 24 and Luke 21, if you want to read it in its entirety, and I certainly encourage you to go do that, because I won't have a chance to cover all the verses, but it starts like this in Matthew 24, "As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. And they said, 'Tell us, when? So, we want to know. We keep hearing you talk about the end of time. When will this happen? And what will be the sign of your coming"?

I've entitled today's message, "The Sign of His Coming," or "The Signs of the Time" and at the end of the age. And Jesus answered, "Watch out that no one deceives you". So, what Jesus does now, he gives a whole list of signs. And I'm not gonna give you all of them, but thee are literally dozens and dozens of signs of the end of time, and I'm gonna give you a few today. But he starts by saying this. "For many are going to come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many, and you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you're not alarmed". Such things must happen, but that's just actually the precursor or that's just the end, the beginning of the end, but it's not the end. So, we're definitely already there. But, of course, a lot of generations could've said that, because there have been wars for a long time.

But watch this. "Nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places". And we have all of that now too. So, those are signs that are currently fulfilled. But again, those could've happened in other generations, as well. And then Jesus said these words. He said, "All of these are the beginning of birth pains," and he likens the end of time and how to read it, and how to determine it, likening it to pregnancy. So, just like in pregnancy, you don't know the day. Unless you have a scheduled delivery, you don't know when it's gonna happen. I've had five kids, and not because I like kids, because I like my wife. Come on, somebody. Where y'all at, right? Okay, we have five kids, all right? And all of those, we didn't have scheduled deliveries, so we didn't know when it's gonna happen. But there's a, it's clear when she was one month pregnant and nine months pregnant. It does not look the same, all right?

And so you know when you're getting close, and I'm gonna submit to you that we're close. I hope to show you enough evidence today that shows we're in that 8 or 9th month. It's close. And then Jesus goes on to say in verse 36, "But about the actual day it's gonna happen, or the hour it's gonna happen, no one knows". So, anybody who thinks they predicted it or tells you, that's just not true, so don't fall for it, okay, everybody? And there have been some. When I was in youth ministry, coming up, there was a book that was called "88 Reasons Why Jesus Is Coming Back in 1988". How many of you know he missed it, everybody, right? At least we hope so, right? Okay, yeah. All right? And then he wrote a book the next year. I mean, I'm sorry, 89 in 1989. So, anyway, yeah. Don't fall for all of that.

"No one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son". Jesus said, "I don't even know when I'm coming back. Only the Father, only the Father". But when you get studying the signs, there are dozens and dozens of them; but in my opinion, they fall into two major categories that I want you to notice today, and I'm gonna give you these two, and then I'm gonna give you the two responses that we should have, and that's today's message, okay? The first one is, is that there will be an increase of wickedness. Now, when I say wickedness, it's gonna get really bad. In other words, the bad is gonna get worse. So, if you're one of those that's wondering if the bad is gonna get worse, I personally think so. In fact, Jesus said it this way. He said, "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you're gonna be hated by all nations because of me".

Now, I don't know if the modern-day Christian church is ready for this, and I want you to look in my eye and hear this from me right now. I don't even know that I prepared you for this. I have a hunch that it's coming, that just for your faith, your Christianity, you're going to be mocked, and hated, and cancelled, and everything else, and I'm not sure the church is really ready for that, and I vow to you right now, I vow to you that I will get you ready for end time living. In fact, I'm already preparing some messages that you will get in 2023, so that all of us are ready for end time living, should this ever be the case, 'cause I personally think it's coming.

If you want to clap, you can. That's great, yeah. Because he said, "At that time, unfortunately..." And this is what I want to avoid, especially for the people that are in this church, and I really want it for every believer. But unfortunately, because they're gonna be hated, they're not gonna be able to handle it. And many are going to turn away from their faith, and betray and hate each other. And we've got that spirit right now. There's so much hatred and division. And somebody disagrees with you, they don't just disagree with you. They hate you. And we have that in our culture right now, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many, and we had that in theologies and doctrines that are deconstructing Scripture and the church, and it's happening now. And because of the increase of wickedness, and there's Jesus's own Words. That's gonna happen in the end time.

The love of most, and I hate that word, the love of most is gonna grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And again, I'm gonna do everything I can to prepare you, so y'all stay tuned. Messages are coming. In 2 Timothy chapter 3, the Apostle Paul talked about the end time, and he said it this way. "But mark this: There will be terrible times". And I've done study of the original language of the New Testament, which is Greek. I actually took three semesters of Greek in college, and the word "terrible" here is the same word that's used to describe the demoniac at Gadara, where Jesus cast the devil out of that demon-possessed guy. So, the word really is demonic. There'll be demonic times. There'll be really anti-God times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves. That is the definition of Instagram right there, everybody. You know?

All right. Y'all just, I thought you needed a laugh right there. Everybody look so tense. I feel so lonely up here onstage. All right, so, all right. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, and then having a form of godliness but denying the power of God". And that happens, too, which is why we're making a concerted effort that we believe we need more of God's Spirit and power and signs and wonders and miracles, come on, in our church. But this is the time.

Come on, embrace the power of God. Can I get a better amen out there, everybody? Yes, all right. And so it actually warns that the end span, hey, when that happens, and I think where everything on that list is happening, the Bible says have nothing to do with them. Well, that's tough when you're living in the middle of it. Now, I recognize that. But I do a lot of study, mostly for the sake of investing our missions dollars in strategic places. But I do a lot of study on just the condition of the world, 'cause this is what I do. This is what I do for a living, you know? And so I read a lot of studies from mythologists and historians and people, sociologists, and everyone agrees, there's not one that disagrees that America is in what they call late decadence, decadence, decay. We're decaying morally, and there has never been, you just need to hear this, there has never been a society in human history that has recovered from the point that we currently are in.

So, if we recover from it, we will be the first in 5,000 years of recorded history. The deconstruction of the nuclear family. You have gender confusion, sexual immorality that the Bible calls degrading, how we're acting toward one another, the breakdown of how God sees and defines sexuality. The Bible calls it degrading, our loss of respect for life. I mean, there's killing in the streets like happening every day, our, I mean, people, fighting for the right to kill the unborn, and it's just, it's decadence, and we see it right now in every way, and it's not just happening in America. It's literally happening around the world.

I read about a year or so ago, the guy who was the founder of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid, and he was speaking about the future of his own nation, and he said this. He said, "My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, but I ride a Mercedes. My son rides a Land Rover, and my grandson is gonna ride a Land Rover, but my great grandson is gonna have to ride a camel again". And they said, "Why, why is that"? And he said, "'Cause hard times create strong men. Strong men create easy times. Easy times create weak men, and weak men, and weak men create difficult times". Many don't understand that, but you have to raise warriors, not parasites. And he said this, he said, "And add to that the historical reality that all great empires, the Persians, Trojans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and in the later years, the British, all rose and perished within 240 years, and none of them were conquered by external enemies. They all rotted from within".

And I believe that's happening now. America is 246 years old. And I pray every day for God to bless America. I pray every day for God to bring revival to America, and let it be in Jesus's name, but we are not on that page right now. We're on this page where we're seeing this happen. And not just these signs, but literally all of the signs. What makes our generation unique is not the signs, but the fact that all of them are being fulfilled at the same time. And I could give you a host more. I just thought I'd give you two more just for fun, just to let you see it, things like worldwide satellite technology puts us in a different category of any other generation who's talking about the end times, because there's actually this one detail in the book of Revelation that we're the first generation that could even make it possible, and that is in Revelation chapter 11, right in the middle of the tribulation, two witnesses are going to appear, and only scholars only speculate who they are.

Most believe it is Moses and Elijah reincarnated and brought back to evangelize and to share right in the middle of the tribulation period, but they're killed, and their bodies are laying in the street, and then Revelation says, and the whole world is gonna witness it at the same time. Well, we were the first generation that's even possible, because we have satellites. You couldn't have shown that. No one could've seen that, but today, of course, that's possible. And not only that, but worldwide financial technology, because if you read the Revelation, and we didn't get into it last week, about how there's gonna be this season where the antichrist is gonna be the only one that's gonna allow you to have commerce and is gonna do it through a mark, and a mark is not a religious mark. It's a commerce mark to be able to exchange goods.

I mean, to buy things, you're gonna have to have a chip or something on your hand or on your forehead so that you can purchase, and that is already happening, that technology. In fact, the "New York Times" a couple of years ago wrote a story about this company in Wisconsin that forced all their employees to put a chip in their hands to be able to be a part of that company. So, I mean, the technology already exists, and it's happening. But just know this: we are in a season that it's gotta be 8th or 9th month. That's all I've got to say. I mean, it's close because all these are happening at the same time. But here's some good news. Because you not only see this increase of wickedness, but you also see this second sign that I want to point out to you, and that is that there's gonna be an increase of the spreading of the gospel. Like, there's gonna be a mighty revival.

So, the bad's gonna get worse, but the good is gonna get better, everybody, and there's gonna be a mighty revival and a mighty spreading of the gospel near the end time. Here's how Jesus said it back in Matthew 24. "And this gospel," watch this, "will be preached in the whole world, as a testimony," and it says, "to all nations". And it doesn't mean geographic nations or nations with boundaries. It literally means, it's a word in the Greek, it's ethnos, and it means ethnic groups. So, there are 193 sovereign nations, but there are 7,000 different languages among those 193 nations. So, in other words, there are 7,000 ethnos. He says and when we get the gospel, basically it's what Jesus said. If we can get the gospel to all 7,000 language groups, then the end will come. And that is happening, actually, for the first time in human history. There has never, look at me, there has never been a generation that has seen the spread of the gospel like the one we are currently living in.

If you saw it on a graph, if you started with the cross 2,000 yeas ago, and you put it on a graph, that line is very flat in the people, that number gets saved, and in the last 50 years, it goes skyrocket high. More people have come to faith in Jesus in the last 50 years than the previous 1,970 years, and that's a fact. We are in a worldwide harvest. I'll show it to you. 1970, there were 1.2 billion Christians. Guess what? In 2020 2.6 billion Christians on planet Earth. Take a praise break and give God some praise for that. And, of course, we invest strategically into world missions at a level that you don't even know. We don't even talk to you much about it for security reasons, 'cause most of the places are very, very dangerous, especially where the gospel is needed the most. But in places where it's needed the most, it's growing the most.

And so we strategically invest what you give. Every month, we strategically invest it. And just in 2020, from January to this Sunday on August 21st, you ready for this, just in the efforts that we are supporting, 698,975 conversions this year alone, just what we're a part of. Come on, give God praise for that. It's awesome. And I've got other good news for you. Every place where the gospel is new to that area, poverty is falling radically. And a lot of people care about poverty, and rightfully so, but you need to know that the number one determining factor of the decline of poverty is the gospel. In 1990, 52% of the world was in extreme poverty. In 2017, 16% of the world is now in extreme poverty. And in 2022, 9.2% of the world is in what's considered extreme poverty, and nearly 100% of the decline is in places where they have been newly Christianized.

Come on, give God praise for that. It works. The gospel works. And by the way, 92% of this final 9%, 90% of it is in places where there are no Bibles, no churches, and no missionaries. And that's why we do what we do as a church. We're strategically investing in everything we can. To God be the glory for his name, 'cause he alone is worthy. Can I hear a good amen, everybody, right? Yeah. Let me give you one more sign. As I was studying the text, Jesus mentioned something that a lot of people kind of skim over 'cause it's confusing. So we're back in Matthew 24 yet again. He says, and here's another sign. "When you see standing in the holy place..." And the holy place is the newly constructed temple that the antichrist is going to broker. Basically, the antichrist is going to show up on the scene at the beginning of the tribulation, and he's gonna basically broker a peace deal in the Middle East, something they've been fighting for, for decades. And he's going to broker this deal, but part of the deal is he's gonna allow the Jewish people to rebuild their temple.

And Jesus says, "When you see standing in the temple, in the holy place, the abomination that causes desolation..." Now, that's a phrase coined by the prophet Daniel. Daniel is in the Old Testament, and half of his book is prophecy, and he came up with this phrase, the abomination that causes desolation. You say, "Christ, what is that"? He describes it in the book of Daniel, so let me just tell you. It's when the antichrist says, "Never mind, I was just kidding. I wasn't here to settle a peace deal with y'all. We're gonna put up a statue of myself in the temple where God should be. There's gonna be a statue of me". And he's going to erect a statue of himself, which honestly is gonna be the final nail in the coffin, 'cause it's the ultimate insult to God. He says, "And when you see that, as spoken through the prophet Daniel..." Which notice with me, Jesus validates the ministry and the prophecy of Daniel himself. He says, "Let the reader understand".

Well, we don't understand, so let me help you. So, if you go back to the final chapter of the book of Daniel, those of you that have been around a while, you know I did a series in 2013 on the book of Daniel, six lessons. And what's interesting is the book of Daniel is half historic, six chapters of history, and six of them are prophecy. And in the final six of prophecy, Daniel saw 490 years of the future. It's called the 70 7's. He saw 490 years. You ready for this? 483 of those years has been fulfilled exactly to detail. Not one detail, he saw Alexander the Great. He saw all the nations that would rise up after him. He saw it all. There's only 7 years of his prophecy that have not yet to be fulfilled. Guess which 7 they are. They're the 7 years of the tribulation, and he describes them right here. He says, At that time..." This is the end of the book of Daniel, last chapter.

So, he's giving you the 7 final years that he sees. He says, "The great prince who protects your people will arise, Michael. And there will be a time of distress". And he's describing now the tribulation. "...such has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. And at that time, your people," watch this, "and everyone whose name is found written in the book..." He saw the Lamb's Book of Life. I spoke about that last Sunday, that the moment you give your life to Jesus, your name gets recorded in the book. He sees it. He says, "And everybody whose name is in that book, they get delivered. They will not have to suffer the wrath". And I preached that to you last week. Multitudes who sleep in the dust..." And this is everybody who's ever died. He sees this now. He sees the dust of human bodies in the ground. "...will awake: some to heaven, everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise in that generation..."

There's going to be a group of people, a very unique people, and Daniel saw it. I would like to think it's us. He says, "There's gonna be a group of people who will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and you can know them because they're gonna lead many to righteousness". And I've already given you the numbers of how God is moving in a mighty way. Yeah, y'all know you want to clap. Go ahead, it's all right. Y'all okay out there, everybody? I think this is so much fun. I just love it. He said, "There's gonna be this bunch that's gonna be a unique generation, that's gonna see more people come to righteousness and faith than ever in human history, like the stars forever and ever. He says, "But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret. Don't tell anybody. Seal it up in the book until the time of the end".

And then he says two more signs of the end. Very interesting, and this is just for fun, all right? He says, one of the signs is, is people are gonna have this ability to rush from here to there. One translation says an increase of to and fro; in other words, it's an increase in travel. And the second is there's gonna be knowledge that will increase. So, two more signs, this is just for fun, that Daniel saw. He says, "When you see this generation that's near the end, they're gonna see a bunch of people get saved, but they're also, there's gonna be this increase in travel. That's only new for about the last 100 years, that we've had this ability. I could leave from this stage, right after I'm done with this message, head to Atlanta, and be in Australia in less than 24 hours A hundred years ago, travel was only about 20 to 30 miles a day, which is why, if you've ever driven across Texas, anybody, anybody?

The most miserable hours of your life, right there, okay? 'Cause there's nothing there. But about every 30 miles, you probably have complained about it. My goodness, we're in another town. You know why that is? 'Cause that's about the distance humans could travel in a single day without cars. And that's why about every 30 miles there's another town where people could rest, and refuel, and eat. But that's not the case anymore. We have an increase in travel and an increase in knowledge. And I don't know if you know this or not. I have actually validated and researched this. They say up to a little over 200 years ago, that knowledge from the beginning of time to a little over 200 years ago has never doubled except for one time that we know. Twice as much as we knew then. Then about the mid-20th century, about 1950 or so, knowledge was now doubling about every 25 years. Every 25 years, you'd see a doubling of what we know.

By 2013, knowledge was doubling every 18 to 24 months. We were having twice the knowledge in a short period of time. And you can go look this up yourself. Knowledge, they say, most agree that knowledge is now doubling almost every single day. We're living in a unique generation, and this is how the book of Daniel ends. He said, "I heard what you said, but I didn't understand what you meant". That's a great husband verse right there, everybody, right? "Honey, I heard what you said, but I don't understand what you meant". All right. There you go, man. So, I asked, and I'm just writing this down, but I don't understand it. How will it finally end? How will it finally end? Watch the response. He says, "But go now, Daniel, for what I've said is kept secret and sealed until the time of the end, and many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials".

So, there's gonna be a group of people who don't fall for the wickedness that'll be increasing. They're not gonna fall for it. No, they're gonna be purified, cleansed, and refined in the middle of all those trials. "And the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means". And the question today is how do you get to be a part of the wise? And that's why I'm gonna give you the response. If the major signs of the end of time is increased wickedness, and an increase of the gospel spreading, then I think it begs two responses as well, and I'll show them to you in 2 Peter 3. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief". I'm gonna time it right there and say it doesn't have to be true for you. So, for most people, Jesus is going to come back, and it's going to be a surprise, but not for you, because we had series. We studied it. We dug into Scriptures, 'cause God does not want you scared. He wants you prepared. Be ready, be ready, be ready, be ready.

So, it's gonna come like a thief, and the heavens will disappear with a roar. The elements will be destroyed by fire. That's gonna happen, and the earth and everything laid in it, I'm gonna tell you folks, is gonna be laid bare. This is gonna happen. "Well, I don't know if I believe it". That is not gonna change it. It's gonna happen. Okay? Then it asks the question then: "What kind of people ought we to be"? That's a great question, and then it answers it. And notice with me that it directly responds to the 2 major signs of the increase of wickedness and the spread of the gospel. I want you to look at it. "You ought to live holy and godly lives". In other words, you're gonna have to make a choice in the middle of a decaying culture. And in a time where morals are slipping so fast, and you ready for this? And the world is expecting the church to embrace it. They're saying, "No, no, no, no. We can't just disagree. You have to agree with us".

And we have to stand firm. The book that I wrote on the Daniel, on the book of Daniel, I called it the Daniel dilemma, and the Daniel dilemma is how do we stand firm and love one well at the same time? 'Cause that's what Daniel did. And by the way, look in my eyes. We are gonna stand firm. We will not, not teach what the Word of God says about marriage, sexuality, gender, life. We're gonna do it. But we're also not gonna be mean about it. 'Cause I'm not mad at anybody, and Daniel wasn't either, and he had great influence. He never bowed to culture, and he had influence at the same time, and we're gonna do that as well. Listen to me. It's time to make up your mind. Like, what are you gonna believe. How are you going to live?

And the Bible says you ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God. And second response, did you know you could actually speed his coming? Did you know that Jesus only not coming back because he's waiting for more people to get saved, and that you could actually speed the return of the Lord by participating in the end time harvest, which I will outline for you in 2 weeks. I'm going to basically lay out for you the playbook of Church of the Highlands of how we're going to respond to a culture that is seeing more people come to faith, so that we could get more treasures in heaven for the glory of God. Amen, everybody? That's gonna happen. So, I'll show it to you. You don't want to miss it. I love my job so much. This is so much fun.

So, two responses. follow God, not culture, because culture changes, but God doesn't. And even 20 years ago, some of the things that the world is embracing, even those who aren't Christians, didn't embrace it 200 years ago. And we can't shift a culture. We can't bow to culture. And there will be a generation, as in the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. back to Matthew 24. "For in the days of Noah, before the flood, people were eating, and drinking, and marrying, and giving in marriage". All that are symbols of just I'll do what I want to do. If my body feels it, I'll do it. And don't tell me. I'm doing what I want to. And they're gonna live carefree, so to speak, and just follow their desires.

One of the things people say is, "Well, I was born this way". Well, I was born angry. I've been born again. That's why I had to get born again. You know, yeah. We don't follow our bodies. We offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God. Yeah. So, they're living all this way, and they knew nothing about what would happen. And unfortunately, they were a part of the casualties of the flood, until the flood came and took them all away. That's how it's gonna be, and this is Jesus talking. "At the coming of the Son of Man, two men will be in the field. One will be taken, the other one left". He's describing the rapture now. They're just working. One's gone. "There will be two women grinding with the hand mill. One will be taken, the other's still there. Therefore keep watch".

In other words, wake up, church, please. "Because you do not know on what day the Lord, your Lord will come. But understand this: If you did know what time the thief was coming, you would have kept watch and would have not let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready". I'm trying to make you ready. Doing everything I can to make you ready, "because the Son of Man will come in an hour when you do not expect him". So, that's the first thing. Don't follow the culture of this world. Follow God. Follow God. Make up your mind. Follow God. And the second is, and then make an eternal difference in the lives of others. And we'll talk more about that in a couple of weeks, but this is what we're called to do. We're called to make a difference.

2 Peter says, "The Lord is not slow". You say, "Why hasn't he come yet"? Well, he's not slow in coming like some people understand slowness, the Bible says. He's patient, not wanting anyone to perish. In fact, I think Jesus is right on the edge of that throne going, "Today, God? Father, today? Come on, I want to get them. I want to be married so bad, today, today, today". And the Lord says, "Yep, today. Go, go ahead, Son". And I think he just about grabs the reins of that horse, sits up, and then the Father grabs his robe and pulls him, I'm just picturing all this in my mind. And he goes, "No, no, no, there's one more person we can reach. Let's wait, let's wait, let's wait".

So, I'll close with one verse that I just thought, I think it's so cool, because it's the final words of Jesus on planet Earth. So, Jesus is getting ready to leave, the same place where he will return. It's called the Mount of Olives, and it's in the book of Acts. This is after his resurrection. He's just appearing to his disciples, and they gathered around him, and they said, "Now, before you go, when's it all gonna happen"? Or "Are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel at this time"? And watch what Jesus says: "It's not for you to know that stuff. You're not supposed to know the day or the time the Father has set by his own authority. Guys, I don't even know". But watch this. "But you will receive power..." Notice he redirects them to get the Holy Spirit of God on the inside of them. "You're going to receive power, and you will be my witnesses". The two responses.

I don't have a carnal spirit. I have the Holy Spirit, and I'm out there making a difference, because I'm gonna be a witness to my city, So, Father, help us to get ready. We just want to be an end time generation who shines and shares your love, and never compromises, Lord. And, God, we're not going to be those who are asleep. But, God, we've been awakened by the Scriptures. You've given us the playbook on how to live in these last days. And I pray, God, that you're going to help the church right now. In every way, let us respond well by not following culture, and then living our lives to spread this good news everywhere we can, in Jesus's name.

Heads bowed, eyes closed. Campus pastors, come join me on stage. If you're here today, and you're far from God, you're under conviction. You say, "Chris, I don't even know if I'm right with God". You can pray a prayer right there in your seat right now and give your life to Jesus. Commit your life to him. We believe that that can take place, privately right there in your chair, and then you make it public when you're water baptized. But we love to pray with people right there where they're seated.

And if you're here today, and you say "Chris, I'm not right with God, and I want to get right with him". Maybe you're a Christian or not a Christian, or you don't know what you are, but you're ready to surrender your life to the control of Jesus, who can save you. I do want you to acknowledge. I want you to prepare right now that you're going to acknowledge that this is me, by letting us know that you want to receive prayer. In every one of our locations, if that's you, I want you to right now say, "Pastor Chris, count me in when you have that closing prayer. I'm giving my life, or getting my life with God".

Slip up your hand right now. Just slip it up as high as you can. Say, "Count me in". Good, good, anybody else? Just yeah, yeah, anybody else? Just count me in. Good, I see all over this room. God bless you, God bless you, God bless you. Pastor Blake, come lead them in this prayer. Pastor Blake: So awesome, we're so proud of you, those of your that raised your hand. Maybe you didn't raise your hand, but you know in this moment that you need to pray this prayer right there where you are. You just whisper these words or say it from your heart. Say:

Jesus, today I give you my life. I'm not holding anything back. I want you to save me, change me, be the Lord of my life. I believe that you gave your life for me on the cross. You died, were buried, and three days later you rose again. And right now I commit my life fully to you. Forgive me of my sin. Make me brand-new. Show me my purpose that I can walk out to make a difference for your kingdom for the rest of my life, the best way that I know how. For the rest of my life the best way that I know how, I'm going to love you, serve you, and know you. Thank you for changing my life. I will never be the same again. In Jesus's name, I pray, amen.

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