We are currently in a season when even before one labor pain has stopped another one has begun. How should the Body of Christ respond and act during this time of crisis and unrest?
We all have what we believe to be a new normal. It seemed like overnight life changed. Things are being decided and it seems like we don’t have a say in any of it. If you ever wonder why some are saying it looks like the end times, maybe because it is? Everyone today is scrambling to settle the dust of commotion, trying to live this life like this is the “New Normal” while looking for a routine. Although we may have a “New Normal” God’s expectations are not new his expectations have remained the same yesterday, today, and forever.
1. Ice Breaker: Consider a significant event that you know is coming some day, such as a family vacation, a child’s college education, or your own retirement. What are somethings you will need to do in order to be ready when the day comes? What would be the consequences if you did nothing to get ready? Even knowing this, why might a person put off preparing for this event until the last minute?
2. In the verses from Matthew 24:3-8, Jesus described signs and events that will accompany the end times. Prior to His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension,Jesus was already preparing His followers for His eventual return. What were some of the signs Jesus mentioned? How might the disciples have experienced any signs?
3. Do you think we see or experience any “signs of the times” today? If so, which ones?
4. Pastor Marc discussed the great commission, Jesus’ last words covered from the day he ascended until the day he returns. Where do you need to recommit and/or re-examine the way you are living out your position as a disciple of Jesus Christ?
5. From the passage of the woman at the well in John chapter 4, what did Jesus’ offer indicate about who He was? What desires or longings do we often look to the world to satisfy today, when the ultimate fulfillment will only be found in Jesus?
6. How can believing in the imminent return of Christ empower us to live more faithfully and courageously in the present? To the end?
This world is full of broken people. The most difficult part is not telling them how great Jesus is the most difficult part is for us as a church to consider ourselves less and consider the hurting more. Ravi Zacharias said it this way – “To consume the best for yourself and give the crumbs to God is blasphemy.”
He must increase, but I must decrease – John 3:30
The harvest is ripe if we believe we are in the end times, now is the time to move!
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about. Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:33-36
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still tocome. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him! ’7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
The woman at the well
15 Instead,speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.