This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 9/28/22. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Well, we’re all used to seeing signs on the roads, are we not? They tell us how to navigate from one place to another, where to turn, when to stop, how fast to travel. So signs are important. In fact, God established the importance of signs starting at creation, where in Genesis 1:14, example, it says there, “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years.'” Even the disciples themselves in Matthew 24:3 ask Jesus for the sign, they said the sign, not the signs, but the sign of his second coming and the end of the age. And Jesus gladly gave it to them.
Now, God’s unfolding plan of redemption throughout history is filled with divinely placed signs and evidences of that which was and is yet to come. Yet on another hand, Jesus said in Matthew 12:39, that only an evil and adulterous generation seek a sign. He even rebuked the religious leaders of his day by saying to them in Matthew 16:3, “Oh ye hypocrites, you know how to interpret or discern the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret or discern the signs of the times.”
So how do we interpret the biblical signs of the times and correlate them to biblical prophecy and then establish right thinking and make right choices and live holy lives and not be a Pharisee, a hypocrite, or blind and undiscerning? Well, in today’s program, part two, in a continuing series on prophecy, Pastor Carl Broggi, senior pastor of Community Bible Church of Beaufort, South Carolina, and I will discuss the theme of Signs of the Times. And my title for today is this, Discerning the Signs of the Times.
And I’d encourage you to go back and listen to part one of this series that we aired about a month ago on August the 23rd, entitled Comforting Words In Days of Confusion. And there we linked Israel, Prophecy and the Rapture. You can find those things in that program. You can also find that program and this one here today on our website at standinthegapradio.com or on your smartphone. You can access it by just putting in the phrase in our app there, Stand In The Gap. And with that, let me welcome to the program again right now, Dr. Carl Broggi. Carl, thanks for being back with me.
Pleasure to be with you, Sam. Thank you.
Carl, as we do this program, you are in the midst of a multi-month prophetical series with your congregation. And those programs, I know people can find them on YouTube, that’s where I listen to it. But you also have a site there and people can find that at Community Bible Church. But perhaps even better is a website that you have, searchthescriptures.org. And people can find that and a host of other biblical sermons and all that you put together.
But in your series, you’re unpacking the elements of biblical prophecy in the clearest and most biblically direct way I have heard. So I want to commend you for what you are doing because I believe it’s helping the entire body of Christ, not just your congregation. But in this ongoing series we’re doing together here on Stand In The Gap today and our Stand In The Gap TV programs, I’m attempting to present biblical prophecy in a continuing and building sort of a way that of necessity leaves out the kind of depth you do in your sermons so people can find the whole thing there, but at the same time present essential elements that people can connect the dots to what’s happening to the Word of God.
So in that regard, let me get right into it here. From my perspective, Carl, and understanding of scripture, we are in the days when Jesus is returning. The rapture and the ensuing tribulation period seems to be right at the door. And I make that observation by noting the many biblical and prophetical signs and then coming to that conclusion. But there’s very little preaching on subject of prophecy. It’s a shame. Many don’t know how to interpret what the Bible says and apply it. That’s unfortunate. So with God’s help, let’s start right now focusing if we could on signs and defining signs and times. So let’s start here. Can you define what is meant by signs as people think and we’re using it in today’s program here, Signs of the Times.
Well, I like your illustration of a road sign because a road sign is designed to either craft your behavior or to warn you of danger or what’s in front of you. Well, biblically, a sign is given by the Lord God to help us to know what his plans are. And there’s basically two kinds of signs in the Bible, Sam. As you know, there’s confirmatory signs. And so in the Old Testament, Moses is called of God and God gave him three specific signs in Exodus 4 so that the people would know he was called of God. And then he gave 10 additional signs to Pharaoh that he might know the Lord God is God alone. There’s no other. Coming to the New Testament, there’s confirmatory signs. Jesus was marked out, Acts 2:22, by signs, wonders, and miracles to be the true messiah. Paul would say to the Corinthians, “The signs of a true apostle accompanied me.”
But then there’s what we might call prophetic signs. And these help us to, I think, understand what God’s doing and what he’s planning to do in the future. And so as you noted, on the Mount of Olives, the disciples asked, “Lord, what is the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” And so in relation to prophecy, signs are helpful to the body of Christ in that it helps us to understand the timeframe possibly in human history that we’re living in so that we’re all the more prepared to be the kind of people that he’s called us to be.
Okay, excellent. So you work them together and that’s the other part. You talked about signs, confirmatory signs, and then there are signs that give indication of where we are. And that takes us to the matter of times, the sign of thy coming, Matthew:24:3, we talked about that. But in Second Timothy 3:1 it says, “In the last days…” time, “… perilous times shall come.” And then there are words, latter days, latter times, end of the age, end times. Could you compare and contrast these words, and before you’re done in the segment, identify where we are today?
Well, people sometimes ask me, “Pastor Carl, do you believe we’re in the last days?” And I will say, “Well, it all depends on what you mean by that.” The Bible does not allow us to restrict the term last days to the final time in human history. You come into the Day of Pentecost, Peter is standing up and preaching, Acts 2. And when the miraculous expression of the Spirit of God comes, they speak in real, known languages. He said, “This is what the prophet Joel said would happen and it shall be in the last days.” So he believed the coming and the indwelling of the Spirit initiated the last days. Even the writer of the Hebrews said, “In these last days God has spoken to us through his Son.” So clearly he was looking at his particular day.
So beginning, at least, with Christ’s birth and the birthday of the church, we’ve been in the last days. However, obviously the term can be used in other ways in scripture looking down towards the end of the age. And so the Bible uses the term latter days. And the term latter days is a distinctly different term. When Paul speaks of the latter days, he’s looking at that timeframe that would happen towards the end of the age. And so we could say we’re in the last of the last days. So clearly… Yeah, go ahead.
Okay, that’s fantastic. I’m going to have you probably fill that out a little bit more when we get into the next segment. Ladies and gentlemen, our theme today, Discerning the Signs of the Times. My special guest today is Dr. Carl Broggi, senior pastor of Community Bible Church in Beaufort, South Carolina. This is the second in a series on prophecy. Again, this one’s Discerning the Signs of the Times. And we’ll look at the first and the second coming.
When it comes to the human mind, people have always wanted to know the future. Don’t you? In fact, it seems that naturally occurring within all of us is an insatiable desire to know more. On one hand, we are told in many places, like in Proverbs chapter two, verse three, for instance, to cry after knowledge and to lift up our voice for understanding. That’s a search. Scripture says that if we do, we will find the truth. And of course, we know in other verses that it’s the truth that will then set us free from the bondage of sin.
Yet we’re also told in Second Timothy 3:7 that there are people out there who, and this is what it says, “ever learning yet never able to come to the knowledge of the truth…” The Apostle Paul saying there, “… because they have a form of godliness but they deny the power,” the authority of that power, the authority of God. So in part, this is why two people can look at the same events, like the educated Pharisees of old, and still be unable to recognize the truth, who in front of them it was Yeshua, the Messiah. Jesus Christ himself, the Son of God, standing right in front of them and they could not recognize the truth. So when we talk about prophecy and signs, that is why there are some who can see and understand and there are some who have no clue.
All right, now, Carl, let’s go back here. You just defined signs and you linked them to prophecy and you talked about the timing. And you weren’t totally complete there about where we were, but kind of work it in, if you don’t mind, into the response here as we get into this. But in the last the program we did part one, I asked you about the purpose for studying prophecy, of which signs then are a part, and you cited these, these are my own words, to cause us to live more holy. Two, to give us a perspective of life so as to produce clarity in times of confusion, just like today. And then the third is to motivate us to communicate the gospel and to carry out the Great Commission.
Now there are other reasons, but those were three that you cited and I think they’re worthy of repeating again now. But for the sake of talking about signs here today, signs of the times, can you identify some of the signs or the prophetical markers given to the people who were living and lived before Christ’s first coming who were in that time when he came, like Anna and Simeon, and even the wise men from Persia, probably taught by Daniel himself, perhaps, his training anyways, but they were able to consider and know that Christ’s birth was at hand. Something was happening and they knew it from the signs. What were they looking at then?
Well, God gave some very clear parameters as to how we could identify the Messiah. One, he’d have to be from the people of Israel. So he establishes the nation. Out of the 12 tribes, he has to come from the tribe of Judah. In addition, he has to come from the family of David. And then there are certain events that will lead up to his first coming. One of the most amazing prophecies in all of the Old Testament is the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel. And he breaks it into two halves. Daniel is asking some questions about 70 years in Babylon and they’re there for 70 years because of 490 years of disobedience. And so then God looks 490 years, as it were, in the future, 70 week prophecy. And so he marks a specific event where there will be a decree to go to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple and then he gives the exact number of days right up until what we call Palm Sunday.
So when Jesus walks into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he wept over the city, but he said, “This was your day,” meaning this was your very day and you missed it. But the wise men and Anna and so forth, they knew, well, Messiah has to be born somewhere in this timeframe because we’re approaching the 173,880th day of Daniel’s mathematical prophecy. And so they are ready. They are alert. No doubt, as you said, the wise men, the Magi, they’re not into the occult as sometimes people present them. They were no doubt disciples of Daniel, who, of course, they would’ve appreciated Daniel simply because of what he did for them and how he protected and they passed it on from generation to generation. So they were prophetically alert. They knew they were in the timeframe for the first coming of the Messiah.
See, that’s interesting because you used the words, they had some knowledge, they were looking, they had eyes to see, they were pursuing the truth, and then they knew certain things for a fact and they backed up and said, “If something happens then and Christ’s birth has got to happen before, then we’ve got to be in that window.” Logical deduction. But that’s a part of what God gives us wisdom for. Now let’s move from there now to the second coming. That is now before us. But before you lay out the key signs associated with this, because I’m going to suggest that we are in those days, like Simeon and Anna, could you lay out what the scripture gives us as the chronology of the prophetical events from Christ’s first coming now up to the second coming and just go beyond and fulfill the whole thing. Just lay it out that timetable, if you don’t mind, please.
Well, because of Israel’s unbelief, God has laid aside Israel. He’s not abandoned Israel, he’s not replaced Israel, but he’s laid them aside, and he’s working through an international community. It’s called the church. And so we are in the church age right now. Christ is building his church. Not time in the Old Testament. He said, “I will build my church,” as he said in Matthew 16, there at Caesarea Philippi. The church age will end and it will end with the catching up. It’s the term rapture from the Latin Bible that was used for almost a thousand years in the church. God will catch up his people. And then a short time later, weeks, days, months, we’re not told precisely, there will be a man who will come on the scene. He will sign a covenant with Israel and it will start the clock ticking for the 70th week of Daniel.
That seven year period called, in the Old Testament, the time of Jacob’s trouble, it begins the day of the Lord, it begins the tribulation period. And it’s designed among other things to bring the Jewish people to faith. At the end of that seven year period after the great tribulation, again, we don’t know the exact day or hour, but it appears there’s a short timeframe because he says immediately after Jesus comes back to the earth and it’s his return to the earth. So when we think of the second coming, we’re not talking about really two comings, but a series of events that describe the second coming program.
Just like the first coming included his birth, his being raised in Nazareth, the start of his public ministry, his crucifixion, his resurrection, his ascension off the Mount of Olives, even so the second coming is a series of events. God catches up the church, begins that seven year timeframe. At the end of the seven year timeframe, Jesus comes back to the earth. His feet are planted on the Mount of Olives. He rules and reigns for a thousand years. It’s called the Kingdom Age. It’s promised in the Old Testament. The length of it is given in the New Testament. At the end of the thousand years there’s a few things that happen, but we go into the eternal age where there’s a new heaven and a new earth and the New Jerusalem where our loved ones are right now that will literally physically actually come down out of heaven and land on a brand new planet, becomes the capital city of a new universe. And so that’s the broad sketch.
Just an excellent overview. Now let’s go down to now second coming, as you lay it out, a number of events, building the church, rapture, tribulation, so forth. Let’s look at the signs now that would be associated with these very next chronologically prophesied events. What would you list, however you want to list them, top to bottom or however, what are the most significant signs related to where we are here right now?
Well, like when Paul says, “Realize this. In the last days difficult times will come,” and he gives a number of things. He’s recognizing Timothy was in the last days because the return of Jesus is imminent, so much so that he can say, “Avoid such men as these.” So there’s some application even for the people in Timothy’s day. But then when he comes down to verse 13 of that chapter, he says, “But evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse.” And so there’s going to be an intensity of these events that are described here. They’ll increase. Sin will be, to use Jesus’s words, multiplied on the planet. There are no signs for the rapture. Jesus could come in the next 30 seconds before the broadcast is over. There’s all kinds of signs that have to be fulfilled for the second coming. So when we see God setting the stage for the second coming to the earth, we know the rapture that precedes it is that much closer.
What are some of the big signs? One, Israel has to be back in the land. If you apply just a plain principle of interpretation, the end times prophecy that you do to the rest of the Bible, then you realize God has not replaced Israel. They are his people by which he will culminate human history through. Well, they have to be back in the land for the all of the discourse to take place. “Those who are in Judea,” not those who are in Dallas, but, “Those who are in Judea, flee to the wilderness.” There’s an assumption they’re in the land. He speaks of this man who’s going to go into the temple and commit the abomination of desolation that will radically change that seven year tribulation period. So they’re back in the land.
The regathering of the Jews across the planet. Moses said it, Jesus said it. He said, “I’ll gather you from the four corners of the world.” Not only did God predict he would spread them across the nations of the world, but then he would gather them. And we are seeing that. When they became a nation, there was about 600,000 Jews in the land. Before that, the start of the Zionist movement, there was 20, 25,000 Jews. 600,000 on May 14th, 1948. 7 million now. They just crossed over the 7 million mark in terms of Jewish people. That’s incredible. He’s regathering them. The moral climate of the return of Christ is likened to the days of Noah, which were days of lawlessness and moral perversion. And he likens the coming of the Son of Man to the days of Lot, which were days of perversion, homosexuality, transgenderism, all these things. This is the moral climate for the second coming. In addition, apostasy [inaudible 00:19:10].
Okay, Okay. And I’m going to have to say, boy, you could go on. Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you got all those. You need to go back and listen to the program to pick up all of these again. But we’re going to move from there to now more specifically bearing down on the signs that are told in Matthew chapter 24. Well, if you’re just joining us today here on the program, our theme is this. This is a second in a prophecy series that we are undertaking. And I’m doing this because of the importance of prophecy in the days in which we live. We are a special generation, ladies and gentlemen. We’re trying to explain some of these.
My special guest is Dr. Carl Broggi. He’s the senior pastor of Community Bible Church in Beaufort, South Carolina. He’s got a website, searchthescriptures.org. You can find a delineation, just a myriad of sermons on this whole area of prophecy. And he’s in the middle of it as we do this program right now, going much further into depth than what we are able to do on this program today. And I would encourage you to go there.
Now, the first program we did here was on August 23rd here, it’s 2022. And you can go and you can find that on our website, standinthegapradio.com. And I would encourage you to do that. Listen to that. And then this one builds upon it. And then the next one, the Lord willing, if the Lord hasn’t raptured us out, we will do another one and it will connect in that. So to have a roadmap understanding of where we are going.
Well, knowing that the rapture, we’ve talked about that, it’s the next event, it’s a prophesied event, it’s a chronological event, it’s a part of now the second coming, but it’s a totally sign-less event. Now, that should make all true believers, the true church, the bride of Christ, it should make us always ready and waiting with excitedness for the return of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ. Now, the knowledge that the rapture can occur at any moment should motivate us to be prepared. Our lamps filled with oil like the virgin’s parable. That’s the idea, filled with oil. That’s the Holy Spirit. And virgins in our relationship, spiritual relationship with Christ, as would be evidenced by holy lives without deviance into sin and idolatry which scripture refers to as spiritual adultery. So the whole picture. It’s wonderful when we think of it.
But there are signs of the impending tribulation period though, as identified in Matthew 24, signs of the great tribulation period, time of God’s great wrath. Really the last three and a half years of the tribulation period specific. And then the Lord’s second coming where he returns physically to the Mount of Olives, begins to prophesy literal thousand year millennial reign where Christ sits as king in Jerusalem, physically the capital of the world. And Jesus as literal King of Kings and Lord of Lords is fulfilled at that time.
Okay, now, Carl, you laid that chronology out and you were giving us some signs of where we are today. I’d like you to look and perhaps complete that and build off of maybe this passage here. Many people tend to think of Matthew 24, where the disciples came to Jesus and they said, “All right, what’s the sign of that coming?” And he lays out things there and he says, “Deception, wars, rumors of wars, pestilence, famines,” and all of that. But here’s my question to you. Because when we look around us today, we, of course, are seeing mass deception. We are witnessing and increasing every day drumbeat of war and rumors of wars. There are a half a dozen or more conflicts right now about to break out around the world and including world war.
Earthquakes in many places. We’ve just seen the last couple of days, Taiwan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Italy, Japan, all just days apart, famines and pestilences. We see, and people talk about them coming, and of course many false prophets. So here’s my question to you in this regard. Are these signs, which are often quoted by people as we think and we look around us, are these signs that we’re seeing, are they actually being fulfilled or are we just getting ahead of ourselves? Are they for our times? Is that what Jesus is talking about? Or is he talking about these being signs for a later time? Put this passage into prophetical chronology, if you don’t mind.
It’s a great topic you raised. So are the earthquakes, famines, wars mean that the end is near? My answer would be, well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that to have birth pangs, to have a woman go into labor that comes with pains which increase in intensity and frequency, you have to have a pregnancy. And so I think what we’re seeing in our day is the gestation period, and maybe even the Braxton Hicks contractions, if I can use that metaphor to describe Jesus’ use of pregnancy. So yes and no in the sense that obviously when you read Matthew 24:4 to 14, it perfectly parallels the sealed judgments of Revelation 6. There’ll be false Christs, Jesus says in verses four and five here. The first seal will be the white horse of deception and he’ll have his compatriots that will work with him. There’ll be wars and rumors of war.
The second horse, the red horse, he will bring war. There will be famines. The third horse, the black horse, he will bring all kinds of famine. There’ll be death. The fourth horse, the pale horse, he’ll bring death. There’ll be martyrs. Jesus speaks of here in verses nine and 10. The fifth seal, he sees all these martyrs underneath the altar. Cosmic changes, the worldwide preaching of the gospel. Revelation seven. He sees this vast number of people during the tribulation from every tribe, tongue and nation that are standing there as redeemed.
And then there’s an event that Jesus puts right in the middle of the seven year period, as does Daniel the prophet, and it’s called the abomination of desolation, where the antichrist goes into the temple, calls himself God, commits idolatry. And then Jesus said it goes from tribulation to great tribulation. So verses 16 and following go all the way to the second coming. And it’s not by accident that there’s an intensity through the trumpet and the bowl judgements that will come in the second half of the tribulation.
So again, to have a woman go into labor, you have to have a pregnancy. And so I think what we are seeing in our day with Israel back in the land, with the regathering of the Jews across the planet, with the moral climate being like Noah’s and Lot’s day, with the reality of growing apostasy. For the apostasy of apostasies, it’s articular, the apostacy Paul speaks of in Second Thessalonians 2, for that to take place, you have to have seeds of apostasy being sown in our day. That’s happening like never before, not just in liberal Protestantism, but also even in the evangelical church, so to speak, if you want to even use that term anymore. It’s happening.
And then you have this globalistic mindset that is happening with the religions of the world coming together. The Pope just had a big meeting. And in the last three Popes they’ve had these huge meetings where people come together, the world religion. That’s all going to lead to the apostasy of all apostasies. So yes, you can’t have some of the events of the book of Revelation take place unless there’s a global mindset. And so we speak about the global reset or the Build Back Better program. Those all come from the WEF. This is not by accident. And so the stage is definitely being set.
And some of the signs, you almost have to be blind to see that there’s a pregnancy in our day where one of these days when the church is caught up, a short time later, the water’s going to break. And this world is going to see pain and suffering and trauma, not because God’s hateful, but because God is just and he wants to use the tribulation period as his final wake up call to bring people into the kingdom and to save them from his eternal wrath.
That is excellent. Let me come back and just ask you this. What you were talking about the gospel being preached, some people have said that, “Well, the Lord can’t come back…” and they equate it to the rapture, “… until all the gospel’s taken out throughout all the world and there’s a great final harvest.” Well, is that before the rapture or is that what you described now during the tribulation period? And if it is, who are the communicators of the gospel at that point? Build that out, if you don’t mind.
Then the other, just a comment. Just as a woman, a man, I’ve had six children, I think you have five, just thinking about having a child doesn’t make it happen immediately. There’s a thought process, there’s a development process. You’re witnessing many stages along the way. And that’s what you’re talking about here. The second coming, not a singular event, but the church building is a part of that. The Holy Spirit at work here’s a part of that. The rapture’s a part of that. The tribulation’s a part of that. The second half of the tribulation’s a part of that. That is all a part of what you’re talking about. And so it’s a continuum. That’s why the chronology is so important. I’m giving some commentary there, but I’m coming back and asking you about that time when the gospel is communicated. What about that and when’s that done?
Yeah. So Jesus says in the discourse, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations…” the ethnos, “… and then the end will come.” And people say, “Well, we’ve got all these unreached people groups and unless we reach them.” And I have a friend who spent the last 30 years of his life, he was in our ministry at Duke and came to Christ and graduated number one in his class. And he serves in the U.S. Center for World Missions. And he’s cataloged all the unreached people groups in the world for all the mission agencies. And it seems just as soon as they reach another one, five more pop up. Well, what we haven’t been able to do completely in 2000 years, God is going to do during the tribulation period.
And so in Revelation 7, he looks back at what has been going on during the time of these sealed judgments and he speaks of 144,000 Jewish people who are converted. Maybe it’s a Damascus road experience. We’re not told how. And they preach the gospel to the whole world. And as a result of their ministry, he sees this great number of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation that are saved. God will use two witnesses. We do know the second coming of Elijah has to take place because Malachi tells us that and Jesus reaffirmed it. So Elijah’s going to come back before the great and terrible day of the Lord. And maybe Moses. I don’t want to be dogmatic on who the two witnesses are. But whoever they are, their ministries mimic the ministries of Elijah and Moses.
Okay. And with that, we’re going to be back in just a moment for conclusion. We’re going to conclude this discussion and we’re going to talk then about an application. Now, what do we do with all of this? How do we as God’s people respond biblically to the signs of our time?
Well, Carl, before I go into the final application here, I want you to conclude what you were saying. And I had a question for you in that regard. Because when people take that passage in Matthew 24, deception, wars, rumors of wars, pestilences, earthquakes, false prophets, they would say, “Well, you know what? I don’t know if that means a whole lot to me because, well, frankly, there’s always been some war going on. There’s always been some rumor of war. Somewhere around the world there’s a pestilence, there’s a famine. And earthquakes, well, we’ve always had them. And false prophets, and they’ve always been around too. So therefore, that being the case, what does that mean to me?” How do you ever know if you’re ever there? Because everybody’s always thought that those things were true. What is it about the days in which we live right now that include the signs that you said, including those that make us say, “Well, this day is in fact different than.”
Well, the difference in one word is Israel. God said, at the end of time, in the latter times, and when God uses that term in the Old Testament through Moses, he projects all the way until the second coming of Jesus when God will send his Messiah back and he will establish his kingdom on the earth. So earthquakes in the fifth century and around 1000 AD and so forth, Israel was not back in the land. Certainly God could have raptured the church at 1000 AD and gathered the Jews from across the planet and kicked in the plan, but he didn’t do anything it appears for nearly 2000 years. And so some thought God was done with Israel and the church had replaced Israel, when in reality after 2000 years he puts the Jewish people back in the land. That’s his super sign.
So when you look at the prophecies in Matthew 24, in light of Israel being back in the land, they make complete sense. You have to have Israel in the land to be able to, those who are in Judea, to flee to the wilderness. You have to have Israel back in the land for the antichrist to go in and commit the abomination of desolation. You have to have all these things. They’re predicated on Israel being back in the land. That’s what makes the climate totally different.
And when you add to that the growing turning away from the faith, the growing immorality across the planet, I didn’t even know what a homosexual was till I was 12, maybe I was 13. I had to ask my dad. Kids who are four and five know what these terms are now. It’s a different world. But this is the moral climate that God said would be in play when the Son of Man comes back. So you almost have to be blind not to see it. And some people poke their own eyes out. They don’t want to find God any more than a thief wants to find a policeman. By willful rebellion, they are turning from God. But we still need to be faithful to preach for those whose hearts are open and responsive to the gospel.
Amen. All right, let’s make application now. Listen, gentlemen, since prophecy, as I summarize and be going to ask the question to Carl, God’s delineation of his plan of redemption, that is the big picture. That’s what started in Genesis being fulfilled all the way to the end, the chronology that Pastor Carl gave. But the part that just to be fulfilled, most of it frankly is still ahead of us, is provided in God’s written word. And it should motivate us to be, as we’ve already said, more holy in our living, more conformed to the image of his Son, to be more confident and faithful in our walk with him. So that one day, I hope you all want to hear, well done, good and faithful servant of God. Well, also to be confident in the days of confusion and more. We’re told the days will become more perilous, more confusing. We shouldn’t be among that number.
But Carl, there is a verse and a phrase in Luke 21:25 to 20. Let me just read that because I want you to take and apply what we’re talking about to here. But it says this, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
All right, here’s my question. Again, we’re talking about signs, time, the timing of all this. It’s greatly encouraging when we read this passage because at some point, God’s people living at some point and some time are going to see that verse apply to them. Who are those people spoken about there? When do these people live? Are we close to this time? And how should perhaps that verse encourage us if that is not us that it’s talking about?
Well, without a doubt, he is speaking to people who are living during the time of the tribulation because he says, “When you see these things begin to take place, straighten up, your redemption is near”. And then he tells the parable, he said, “When you see in the spring a fig tree or all the trees put forth their leaves you know summer’s near. Even so…” he says, “… when you see these things happening.” All these distresses that are delineated in Matthew 24 in much more detail, he can say, “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” In other words, they are going to be the generation that is alive for the second coming of Christ and they’ll be studying this text in that future day.
But it has great application for us because as we see God laying the groundwork for the second coming, we know that the rapture that happens before the second coming is that much closer. And so people say, “Well, I wish I lived in biblical times.” You are. You are living in biblical days. The very things that God said would have to be in place for the second coming, he is unfolding right before our eyes. And so we should be all the more alert. We should be all the more ready. We should be longing for Christ’s coming.
And one of the reasons to study prophecy is, “Also in the future there’s laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me on that day, not only to me, but to all who love his appearing.” So love for the return of Christ changes our life today. He said, “It’s not yet going to be seen. John will write as to what we’re going to be.” But he said, “We know that when Jesus comes and he appears, we’re going to see him just like he is and we’re going to be like he is.” And then he says, “Everyone who has this hope, this focus on his return, purifies himself as he is pure.”
So there’s great application for the church. We are going to meet the Lord in the air. We will face him at the judgment of the just. We want to have a righteous, holy fear of God, not like a cringing slave who’s going to be punished, because our punishment has been taken out on a substitute, but one who fears that we might not displease him. That when we meet him at the judgment of the just in heaven, that he will be able to say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You invested your life and your time well for the kingdom of God.”
And ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you are among the number who are looking around witnessing the things that we’ve talked about and making the decision in your own heart. Wow, the Lord’s return could be right now. I may not have any breath. The breath you breathe right now may be the last. But the return of Christ and the rapture, are you ready for that? Are you ready? Brother Carl, we are just about done. We’ve got about a minute here. Actually less than a minute. Could I ask you to close this program in prayer? What an appropriate topic to pray about.
Yes, our Father, we thank you for the blessed hope that your Son, just as he promised, is going to come and catch us up in the air. We’ll see him. There’ll be a reunion in the skies with those who’ve gone on before and then we’ll be with him forever. What a great promise you’ve given us. We pray and ask in the interim that you would allow us to use our gifts, our abilities in a local assembly somewhere to serve your people, that we would be faithful stewards of the gospel, that we would look for open doors of opportunity to share the forgiveness that Christ has provided through his death, burial, and resurrection. So give us the grace and the strength by the Spirit of God to accomplish that. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Amen. Amen. Dr. Carl Broggi, thanks for being with me today. Ladies and gentlemen, again, this program and the prior one from August the 23rd, you can find at standinthegapradio.com. Listen to them in sequence. I think your heart will be blessed. For Carl’s website, searchthescriptures.org. And I would encourage you to go there. Much, much more information than what we’ve dealt with here. Go really in depth and be strengthened. Until we meet again, tomorrow, the Lord willing, take this information, embrace it, and stand in the gap for truth.