Summary of previous messages on the Wise & Foolish Bridesmaids – Mt.25.1-13
Mt.24.9-14 – gives the personal, moral, spiritual, relational dimensions of the pressure on believers during the ET.
The greatest outpouring of the HS and the greatest pressure in history will occur in the generation that Jesus returns.
Greatest pressure: Massive persecution, massive deception and massive immorality/licentiousness. All balled into one.
You – There Will Be Massive Persecution
24.9 – The world will hate you b/c you follow Jesus. B/c you pattern your life after Jesus and you believe what His Word says, and you do the things He asks of you, and you define truth
Satan hates everything Jesus and he will inspire and direct others to hate you.
We see the outright persecution of believers in Muslim, polytheistic, and communist nations and now it is happening in democracies. In Europe, Canada & America where you have freedom of thought & ideas, there is a major marginalization of true followers of Jesus. It used to be you had isolated incidents but now it’s so common you don’t have to search for it.
Christians involved in party politics who have said that “they want my vote, but not my voice.”
Jesus makes clear in the parallel account of this teaching in Mark 13.12: brother will betray his own brother to death, a father will betray his own child and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed.
Some of you have witnessed that with your own family members who used to walk close with the Lord and believe the Bible, but now they are turning from the truth and rejecting you and some even actively antagonistic and hostile.
Marginalized (what you are saying isn’t right or important…”You’re weird”); Ostracized (you aren’t welcome in our group…”Stay away”); Persecuted (you are wrong and you are dangerous…”You don’t belong and we’re getting rid of you”).
Satan will make it so that you will either stand with Jesus or against Him. Through nuanced and overt attacks in government, media, workplace or school, you are being forced to take a stand; you are being painted into a corner and forced to make a decision.
24.10 – many will turn from the faith and some b/c actively hostile to you. As the escalates in Europe & America, and it will, you need to make a decision to stand with Jesus and His truth regardless if it affects relationships, employment, future, retirement, etc
What You Believe – There Will Be Massive Deception
24.11 – This is why they hate you. They hate you because of who you follow and what you believe and therefore where you stand. This is the nexus/core of all persecution and hostility. Satan hates both the Truth & truth. He has attacked truth from the very beginning with Did God really say? He doesn’t do anything new so he ramps up his resistance against the Word of God.
False prophets & false teachers – there will be massive deception during the ET. This may be the greatest of the three. This is the one that is the underpinning for the other two. If you can pervert, reject or seriously damage God’s Truth in people’s minds, it will inspire persecution, fuel immorality and accelerate apostasy.
This one is the insidious. We can possibly rally yourself under pressure and we can catch ourselves when we get wrapped up in immorality, but when we embrace deceptive teaching it has a slow way of strangling the truth out of us. It is a seed that if we water will grow into a weed that will slowly strangle the life of God in us.
2 Thes.2.3, 9-12. The reason people get locked into following the devil’s ET plan is b/c they refused to believe the truth. The signs, miracles and wonders that the anti-Christ performs is not why the people are deceived, but b/c they refused to love and accept the truth that would save them. When we reject the truth it hardens our spirits and closes our conscience so that we become susceptible to being deceived by false teacher, false prophets and even the anti-Christ.
1 Tim.4.1-2a. When people reject the truth – who Jesus is, salvation in Him, what He did, the moral teachings, the Word of God – they fall prey to false teaching that is energized by the demonic. You cannot argue that person out of his position b/c there is a demonic power that is holding their thinking captive.
2 Tim.4.3-4. The teaching of Scripture calls people into account. It is meant to be accepted and embraced as truth. It teaches: this is the way of living, the way of salvation and the way of abundance.
Many in America have been inoculated against Christianity. They got just enough of the truth to keep them from getting the real thing. They are deceived because they never made a heart connection to the real truth.
Satan will use all means necessary to bring deceptive and divisive teaching into believer’s lives. It will not be loud and overt but will 1 – 2% difference between the main and plain of Scripture
Kim Miller’s dream about close friends getting wrapped up in false teaching & cult like movement who she stood with great resolve and strength against this false teaching. She said to me that her greatest concern is that she would be deceived by false teaching.
I believe that as we “love and accept the truth that will save us” we will have discernment about deceptive teaching that may be influencing us and others. As we abide in the Him and His word abides in us we will be able to discern false teaching
How You Live – There Will Be Massive Immorality
24.12 – It will be a time of licentiousness.
Licentious – unrestrained by law or general morality; going beyond customary or proper bounds or limits; disregarding rules.
Participating in activities that negatively impact the body and soul. It has a corrosive effect on our conscience, morals, physical well being and interaction with others.
Satan is targeting believers to participate in this massive immorality. In some places, he is bringing external pressure to give into persecution and other places external pressure to give into immorality.
If we reject the truth, we become open to this behavior. God’s truth is an anchor to the human soul and if we are cut loose from the anchor we will draft into immorality.
This is why loving and accepting the truth that saves us is so critical!! We can’t fall into the deception of the “all grace of God with no consequence message” or that God is not concerned about your personal holiness/purity of lifestyle.
Like I said last week from Luke 21.34 – Jesus said, “Watch out! Don’t let your heart become dull because of dissipations, drunkenness and the anxieties of life. Don’t let that day – ET – catch you unaware like a trap.”
Dull means weighted down like what happens to your eyes when you grow tired and want to stay awake.
Dissipations – indulging in those things which dissipate spiritual vitality/strength.
Drunkenness – Sinful and hurtful things we run to which help us escape our problems or stresses.
This massive immorality is a real snare for the believer.
Jesus likens the worldwide culture during the ET to Noah’s day & Lot’s day. These were times the world was filled with incredible violence and immorality.
B/c people rejected truth (Noah’s & Lot’s message) and embraced darkness these were times of unbridled restraint. They were doing whatever they wanted regardless of the consequence personally or relationally or culturally.
For those living in this licentious behavior their love for others and zeal for God will grow cold. This massive immorality is snuffing out of the fire of love for others and devotion to God.
A callousness takes over the human heart. It all begins when we disregard the truth.
Paul describes it in 2 Tim.3.1-5.
Our enemy is targeting us with massive persecution, deception and immorality. He hopes that it will lead to either our death or rejection of the truth or moral callousness.
Where do you see him targeting you?
Are you being persecuted for your faith in Jesus
Are you being seduced to compromise your Biblical convictions b/c how the world is defining truth
Are you caving in to your moral restraints
The Great News
Through partnership with the HS you can stand victoriously during the ET – Mt.24.13
The ET will be characterized as the greatest harvest of souls and outpouring of the HS for all time – Mt.24.14