“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:11-12)
“Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period). Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin].” (1 Corinthians 10:11-12 AMP)
Rev 1:3 “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
Our text is a warning of possible danger. Danger of falling flat the same way some in the Old Testament fell. We, however have the advantage of having their account written down for us who are now at the end of the age. We must therefore take heed. The end of the world is now here. All the signs are becoming clearer daily.
We shall examine this subject of “The time is near” under two sub-headings:
1. Understanding the time that is near
Let’s find some answers to the questions: “What time is near?” and “What is happening now?”
What time is near?
A. Time for the second coming of Christ and the rapture of His church.
“Matthew 24:30-31 “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (See also 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18;1 Corinthians 15:52)
B. Millennia reign of Christ and the binding and casting of the old serpent, the devil into the bottomless pit.
“Rev 20:1-4 “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
C. The final judgment, the casting of the devil and all his cohorts and followers into the lake of fire and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth to replace the old.
“Rev 20:10-15 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelations 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
What is happening now?
A. Scoffers (…. an expression of mockery, derision, doubt, or derisive scorn; jeer.):
2 Peter 3:3-4 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
B. Willing ignorance of the fact of history:
2 Pet. 3:5-7 “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
C. Understanding the truth:
2 Pet 3:8-10 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
D. Our dedication therefore:
2 Peter 3:11-14 “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
2. Responding to the time that is near.
The call to be ready
The parable of the ten virgins as recorded in Matthew 25:1-13 is very instructive.
Luke 21:33-36 “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
The call to be patient
James 5:7-9 “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.”
The call to moderation
Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The call to occupy
Luke 19:12-13 “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
John 4:35 “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
The time is near. Soon The Lord will appear in the sky. His coming is imminent. The end of the world is near. Are you ready to meet with The Lord? Be patient, be moderate and occupy.
A Call to take a Decision
Beloved, have you entered into personal relationship with Jesus Christ by accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour? If you have not, you need to do so without delay. Inviting and accepting Jesus Christ into your life is the beginning of a glorious and eternally rewarding relationship with God, your Creator. It is a decision you can never regret as you walk with Him faithfully and consistently for the rest of your life. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ today by acknowledging that you are a sinner. God sent Jesus Christ to die for you and as you confess your sins to Him, He will forgive you so that you will not have to be punished for the same. Ask Jesus Christ to cleanse your heart with His precious blood, deliver you from sin and Satan and empower you by the Holy Spirit to henceforth live above sin and live totally for God from now on. You can write and share your testimony via [email protected]