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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Antichrist, America, and Armageddon

Notes: Antichrist, America, and Armageddon
Matthew 24
Revelation 6
Pastor Greg Laurie
SERIES: God Came Near
Sunday, May 31, 2015 — 10:00 a.m.

Bible prophecy is like a jigsaw puzzle.

In our world it appears we are seeing the foreshocks of Armageddon.

ISIS is doing horrible things to people. Other groups are killing people.

Iran is an even bigger problem.

Russia is taking places over.

China is taking lands over, wanting to dominate Southeast Asia.

There are scientists that do an Atomic Clock to doomsday. They say we are 3 minutes from midnight. An atomic catastrophe.

The world is setting a stage for a leader to come in and help. Unfortunately, we are told that will be the Antichrist.

The closest comparison we will see in the Bible would be Judas, the Bible says the devil entered him.

There are more than 100 passages of scriptures describing the origin, nationality, character and career of the antichrist.

The Bible predicts the future hundreds of times in detail. We can see how it has in the past accurately, and we can trust it to look at the future.

The next prophetic step will be the Rapture. The Antichrist will not come until after the rapture.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 NKJV
[7] For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. [8] And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

This is speaking of the fact that the Holy Spirit is working through the church.

Luke 21:28 NKJV
[28] Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."

Hebrews 9:28 NKJV
[28] so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

We should be looking in eager anticipation.

Jesus says He is going to keep us from this time.

Revelation 3:10 NKJV
[10] Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

We will have tribulation in our life but we will not go through the Great Tribulation.

1 Thessalonians 5:9 NKJV
[9] For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 Peter 2:9 NKJV
[9] then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

Matthew 24:4-8 NKJV
[4] And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. [5] For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. [6] And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. [7] For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. [8] All these are the beginning of sorrows.

This has not quite started yet. Now we are just seeing the foreshocks.

Earthquakes and natural disasters will increase before these times.

Revelation 6 is a parallel chapter of Matthew 24.

Revelation 6:1-8 NKJV
[1] Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." [2] And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. [3] When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." [4] Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. [5] When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. [6] And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." [7] When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." [8] So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Antichrist not only means "against" but also "instead of".

The Antichrist will deceive many through offering peace.

The tribulation does not start violently, but peacefully.

Presidents have tried to bring peace to the Middle East but have failed. The antichrist will appear to succeed.

A good forerunner to the antichrist was the Roman Empire. Rome controlled through their strong army. There was peace but then the emperors wanted to be worshipped.

Hitler started out by helping the German people. He fixed a lot of things for the people, then he revealed his true plans. He brought death and destruction.

The antichrist has a sidekick called the false prophet.

We that believe in Jesus are not popular right now. A poll says that for the first time in America that Christianity is not growing.

People used to just say that they are Christians, but really weren't. Now they say they are not, they are "nones", meaning they don't believe in anything.

Matthew 24:12 NKJV
[12] And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 NKJV
[3] Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

1 Timothy 4:1-2 NKJV
[1] Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, [2] speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

True believers may go astray for a while but they always come home. A prodigal will always come home.

Are you a pig or a prodigal? Pigs return to their slop and dogs will return to their vomit.  

Why do they return? Because that is their nature.

You know a true Christian by where they end up.

Where will America be in the last days story?

Their is a pretty good case for Russia and China being dominant in the last days. Airtight for Israel and Iran. But where is America?

1. We may not be there because of nuclear decimation.

2. We may just decline as a world power. Rome was in power for 600 years, but every nations days are numbered.

3. America may not be mentioned in scripture because a great revival may take place.

If there is a great revival then when the rapture occurs our country would change greatly.

The scriptures don't tell us to look for the antichrist, but to look for Jesus Christ!

We are not supposed to have a bunker mentality but an outreach mentality.

We see the signs of the times on the news so we need to look up!

Are you ready?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What the Bible Says about Sex and Marriage

Notes: What the Bible Says about Sex and Marriage
Ephesians 5
Pastor Greg Laurie
Series: Live, Love, Fight
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — 7:00 p.m.

Quotes from an article about marriage that Greg read say that many young people don't believe that marriage will work for them.

Studies show that couples that live together before marriage have a much higher chance of divorce.

Song of Songs 8:7 NLT
[7] Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.

BIBLE acronym Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

Why do people obsess about weddings and put no thought to marriage?

Ephesians 5:31-33 NLT
[31] As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." [32] This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. [33] So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

God invented marriage, so we should do it.

A family can survive without a nation, but a nation cannot survive without the family.

The purpose and objective of marriage can be summed up in two words: Leave and Cleave

You must leave all other important relationships behind. You are now in a more important one.

Your best friend should be your husband or your wife.

Malachi 2:14 NLT
[14] You cry out, "Why doesn't the LORD accept my worship?" I'll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows.

How well do you know your spouse? Do you know their favorite color, movie, food, place and activity?

1 Peter 3:7 NLT
[7] In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

You give a lot of things maintenance. Cars, houses, your body...but do you give your marriage maintenance?

You must work at it, maintain it, and pay attention.

Ephesians 5:25 NLT
[25] For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her

If husbands did their part then marriages would probably be a lot stronger today. We can do our part and change everything.

Cleave means to adhere to or stick to or to hang on for dear life.

We should be so united that it could hurt to tear us apart.

Part of this union can be expressed through sex in its proper place, in marriage.

Marriage is the only place for sex that God will bless.

Fatherless homes account for many, many of the social ills we face today.

Hebrews 13:4 NLT
[4] Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

Sex is given by God to be enjoyed by a husband and wife to enter into oneness.

These standards are from God for our own protection.

Standards are from God like how traffic laws are for the road. These rules are to protect us.

1 Corinthians 6:16-18 NLT
[16] And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, "The two are united into one." [17] But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. [18] Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.

This scripture refutes the ideas of a one-night stand. Sex is not for recreation.

1 Corinthians 7:2-5 NLT
[2] But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. [3] The husband should fulfill his wife's sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband's needs. [4] The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. [5] Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

What does the Bible say about same sex attraction?

There have been eight major studies that have shown that there is not a gay gene. They show that it is a result of environment. They were based off of identical twin studies.

The Bible says we are all born sinful. The Bible calls us all not to sin.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NLT
[9] Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, [10] or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

We are not defined by our sins because it is God that defines us.

It is very problematic to have friends that are of the opposite sex when you are married.

Communication is the lifeblood of a healthy marriage.

We need to know how to fight healthy.

It was said that good marriages consist of two good forgivers.

Don't ask, "Can they make me happy?" Ask, “How can I make them happy?"

God uses marriage as a picture of His love for us.

We need to ask God for His help in our marriage.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ready or Not, Here I Come!

Notes: Ready or Not, Here I Come!
Matthew 24
Pastor Greg Laurie
SERIES: God Came Near
Sunday, May 24, 2015 — 10:00 a.m.

Terrorism, global conflict, the moral and spiritual decline of America and other developments point to the last days scenario, according to Bible prophecy.
In today's message, Pastor Greg Laurie is speaking on how these signs of the times point to the return of Jesus Christ, and tells us why we should be motivated to live a Godly life in preparation for His return.

Our world appears to be on fire right now. Terrorism is going on everywhere. Christians and children are being killed. ISIS, Iran, Russia and North Korea are taking over or trying to.

America and Israel are at a low in their relationship.

2 Timothy 3:1 NKJV
[1] But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

Luke 21:25 NKJV
[25] "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;

As crazy as things are, everything is going according to God's plan as explained in the Bible.

Revelation 1:3 NKJV
[3] Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

When God promises us a blessing, we should want it.

1 John 3:2-3 NKJV
[2] Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. [3] And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

If we knew God was coming it would most likely change our behavior.

2 Peter 3:14-15 NKJV
[14] Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; [15] and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,

Jesus is saying, "Ready or not, here I come" so we should be ready.

If you are not ready, then change that!

This is Jesus' longest answer to any question asked:

Matthew 24:3-15 NKJV
[3] Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" [4] And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. [5] For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. [6] And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. [7] For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. [8] All these are the beginning of sorrows. [9] "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. [10] And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. [11] Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. [12] And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. [13] But he who endures to the end shall be saved. [14] And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. [15] "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand),

Whoever reads, let him understand. It's God's desire to heal, not conceal.

God wants us to understand. Revelation means to understand.

The Tribulation Period will begin with:
Matthew 24:5 NKJV
[5] For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.

Tribulation Period will end with:
Matthew 24:30 NKJV
[30] Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Greg's End Times Flyover:
1. Next prophetic event will be the rapture.
2. Then Magog will match on Israel.
3. Many will call this a Golden Age, lead by the anti-Christ.
4. Then the great tribulation
Matthew 24:7 NKJV
[7] For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
5. Then Armageddon
6. Then the second coming of Christ.
7. Then the millennium
8. Then the New Jerusalem
9. Then the new Earth

Matthew 24:1 NKJV
[1] Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.

This temple was an ancient marvel. It was being built for 46 years.

Matthew 24:2 NKJV
[2] And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

This was a very specific statement; if it was accurate then it lets us know we can trust Him.

History tells us that the Romans marched on Jerusalem and they tore apart the Temple stone by stone for the gold that was in it.

Matthew 24:36-44 NKJV
[36] "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. [37] But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. [38] For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, [39] and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. [40] Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. [41] Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. [42] Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. [43] But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. [44] Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

The Rapture, what is it, why is it, and when is it?

55% of Americans said they believed in the rapture.

1. What is the Rapture?
When Jesus comes to Earth and removes living Christians and escorts them to Heaven to live with them.

The word rapture comes from the Greek word Harpzo which means, "to take up or snatch away."

Harpzo is in the Latin translation several times.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV
[16] For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. [17] Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

2. Why is there Rapture?

1 Thessalonians 4:13 NKJV
[13] But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.

We need to practice theology without apology.

Christians go straight to Heaven when they die. Nonbelievers go straight to Hades to be judged.

The Rapture is so comforting to know about because it lets us know that we can be reunited with loved ones at anytime.

The Bible says there is a time to morn. Crying and weeping is morning properly.

As Christians we do not grieve hopelessly. We grieve hopefully, yet we still grieve.

Colossians 3:2 NKJV
[2] Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

John 14:2-3 NKJV
[2] In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

3. When is the Rapture?

It is unknown to man. But it is exactly the day when God has planned it.

Your job is not to know, but to be ready!

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NKJV
[51] Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed- [52] in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

It's going to be so quick there will be no time to repent.

The Bible teaches a bodily resurrection. There is already a prototype for this in scripture.

Matthew 27:51-53 NKJV
[51] Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, [52] and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; [53] and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Sometimes people confuse the Rapture and the Second Coming.

Matthew 24:37-38 NKJV
[37] But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. [38] For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

It will be like the days of Noah, means it will be a wicked time. It's described like an overflowing septic tank.

The people of the Earth will mock God.

2 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV
[3] knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, [4] 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 creation."

2 Peter 3:5-6 NKJV
[5] For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, [6] by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

Matthew 24:42 NKJV
[42] Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.

Be on the alert and continually expectant.

Matthew 24:45-47 NKJV
[45] "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? [46] Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. [47] Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.

The Lord wants us to be busy serving Him.

We can all offer our time, our talents and our treasures. We should all be giving faithfully to the Lord.

Fake Christians can come to church and play along but don't actually believe. These people cannot fool God.

If you think you can live a double life then you are a fool... Are you actually a believer?

If you follow Jesus, then you are ready to go!


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