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You'll Know It When You See It

Second Coming Tribulation Period Watching for Jesus

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-04-02

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ; Romans 3:25

Author: Jeff Scanga
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ILLUSTRATION

Growing up in suburban New Jersey, I can remember when my dad took the family to New York City for the first time. He told us that we would pass through a huge tunnel under the Hudson River called “The Lincoln Tunnel”. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to see this great tunnel. I imagined going deep underground with the river above our heads. Would it be dark? How long is it? How will I know when we get there?

As we approached the helix on route 3, there was a series of large overpasses we passed under. I asked, “Dad, was THAT the Lincoln Tunnel?” His reply, of course, was no. Then another overpass came and I asked, “Is THAT it?!”. He replied, “Jeffrey, you will know it when you see it.” In other words, if I had to ask, then that couldn’t possibly be it.

Naturally, as we spiraled down the helix into the toll booths I marveled at those 3 great looming archways leading into darkness. It was very clear to me then: THIS was the Lincoln Tunnel!

 

APPLICATION

I am relating this story to those who think (or fear) that we have entered into the Tribulation, which is described in the Bible (namely Matthew chapter 24, and the books of Daniel and Revelation). My answer is the same as my Dad’s was regarding the Lincoln Tunnel: “No. You will know it when you see it.”

This coronavirus pandemic is merely an overpass. It is NOTHING compared to what is to come. But I believe it is a sign that we are nearly there. We are approaching the Helix. And the blessed hope we are expecting from 1Corinthians 15:51-58 and 1Thessalonians 4:13-18 is close at hand.

I believe God is using this pandemic to get the world’s attention. I also believe that all believers in Christ will escape the Tribulation to come - in the same way that Noah and his family escaped the Flood, by their faith. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone. Accept HIS plan for your salvation, not your own good works, and you will be delivered from the coming judgment. 

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever" (1Thessalonians 4:16–17, NLT).

"For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood" (Romans 3:25, NLT).

The Doomsday Clock

Watching for Jesus End Times Prophecy

Source: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Matthew Kruse | Date Posted: 2019-02-01

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:11

Author: Matthew Kruse
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ILLUSTRATION

There are some things in life that you didn't know you needed to be concerned about. For instance, as I did some online research for the sermon this Sunday, I found out that there is an official "Doomsday Clock" which is set by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Who knew? In January of 2018, they moved the clock from 2 1/2 minutes to midnight to just 2 minutes away from midnight. Midnight symbolically stands for the end of the world . . . of course.

The furthest it has ever been away from midnight is 17 minutes, after the Cold War ended. And the closest it has ever been . . . are you ready for this . . . is right now - 2 minutes to Midnight.  What this means is that they think we as humans are closer to destroying ourselves in some apocalyptic event brought on by nuclear war and global climate change than we have ever been before. Well, technically, they thought we were this close back in 1953, as well, when both Russia and the U.S. were racing for nuclear weapon advancement. 

APPLICATION

By the way, it is not just scientists who think the world is going to come to a catastrophic end. God tells us, through Peter's pen that "the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

"Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!" (2 Peter 3:10-12, ESV).

But there is a major difference between the outlook of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and the Bible. Though the world will indeed come to a catastrophic end in both views, the facts of future judgment are coupled with hope in the Scriptures.  This is seen in Peter's conclusion, where we read, "But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:13, ESV). 

Every day we draw closer, not to the end of the world but to a glorious new beginning!

Running On Half Battery

Second Coming Watching for Jesus Self-deceived

Source: “Sleep, Performance, and Public Safety” posted in HEALTHY SLEEP, A resource from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and WGBH Educational Foundation, retrieved 6/14/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-18

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Drowsiness isn’t just an annoyance, it’s a significant health and safety issue. In fact, in 1990 “Insufficient Sleep Syndrome” was added to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders. It is suggested that tens of thousands of people die each year, including thousands on our roadways, as a result of “drowsiness.”

Drowsiness produces a sort of inattentiveness that can bring great harm both to self and others. According to Harvard Medical School:

Insufficient sleep may not have led the news in reporting on serious accidents in recent decades. However, that does't mean fatigue and inattention due to sleep loss did't play a role in [many] disasters. For example, investigators have ruled that sleep deprivation was a significant factor in the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, as well as the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl.

Investigations of the grounding of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker, as well as the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, have concluded that sleep deprivation also played a critical role in these accidents.

Says Dr. Max Hirshkowitz, an internationally recognized sleep expert with 40 years of experience in sleep research and sleep disorders, “People can grow accustomed to being tired, but they don’t actually begin to need less sleep. We’re fooling ourselves. We’re running on half a battery, and we think we’re OK. We don’t even know what it’s like to be alert anymore.”

APPLICATION

The world will drain us and rob us of our spiritual energy and alertness if we let it. We must purpose daily, moment-by-moment, to seek our rest (and restoration!) in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:16). Only in this way will we find ourselves alert, watchful, and expectantly awaiting the return of our Savior. To this end, the Scriptures call us to be ready.

But we Christians can fool ourselves into thinking that we are “OK,” that we are alert, watchful and waiting for the return of the Lord, when in reality our senses have been dulled. We can be duped into a sort of inattentiveness that can result in great harm to both self and others as we fail in our own readiness and we fail in warning others.

To borrow the words of the sleep expert, "We’re running on half a battery, and we think we’re OK. We don’t even know what it’s like to be alert anymore.”

"But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11).

When You Know You've Waited Too Long

Prophecy Watching for Jesus Second Coming

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-16

Scripture: Daniel 9:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Why We Smell The Rain

Second Coming Watching for Jesus Prophecy

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2015-01-26

Scripture: Hosea 6:3 ; Luke 21:36

Author: Thomas Bevers / Illustration Exchange
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Sleeping With One Eye Open

Watching for Jesus Second Coming Urgency

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-07-04

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Sink Hole Swallows Man As He Sleeps

God's Judgment End Times Watching for Jesus

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-03-12

Author: Christina NG and Rebecca Lee, ABC News
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The Door of Freedom

Christmas Lent Watching for Jesus

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-15

Scripture: Titus 3:5 ; 2 Corinthians 3:17

Author: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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Doggedly Determined to Wait for His Master

Watching for Jesus Hope Devotion

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-09-14

Scripture: Psalms 130:6

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Bridal Gown

Justification (Positional) Watching for Jesus Eternal Security

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2012-04-23

Scripture: Revelation 19:6 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Author: Barnett Gushin
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