The Church Age

The Church Age


Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. ’Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.’

-Matthew 24 1-2

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?’

-Matthew 24:3

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

-1 John 5:19

‘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 to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.’

-Matthew 24:6-7

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

-Romans 8:19-21

‘All these are the beginning of birth pains.’

-Matthew 24:8

‘Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.’

-Matthew 24:9

‘At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.’

-Matthew 24:10-11

‘…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.’

-Matthew 24:11

Conversion: A change of life brought about by repentance and faith that perseveres to the end.

We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

-Hebrews 3:14

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

-Hebrews 6:4-6

In other words, apostasy in the New Testament is turning away from a profession you have adopted, it is turning away from a stance, from a profession of faith, from an orientation of life, from a public commitment, from a self-identification that you once made, but in so turning away you identify that you cannot possible be real, for the real preservers.

-R.C. Sproul

‘The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’

-Matthew 13:20-23

‘Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,…’

-Matthew 24:12

‘…but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.’

-Matthew 24:13

‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.’

-Matthew 24:14

While persecution comes in the form of:

1. Physical strife and abuse.

2. Spiritual Falsehood and False teachers and prophets.

3. A increase in wickedness.

‘So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.’

-Matthew 24:15-20

‘For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.’

-Matthew 24:21

‘If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.’

-Matthew 24:22

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

-1 Corinthians 13:12

‘At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.’

-Matthew 24:23-28

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

-2 Timothy 4:2-5

‘Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.

-Matthew 24:29-30

‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.’

-Matthew 24:36-37

‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.’

-Matthew 24:24


First: Jesus tells us that it is normal for Christ-followers to face reproach, some of it violent.


Second: Jesus shows us how suffering in our world is to go hand in hand with the preaching of the gospel.

The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.

-Acts 4:1-4


Third: Jesus warns us that triumphalism must die!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh,a time to mourn and a time to dance…

-Ecclesiastes 3:1-4


Fourth: Jesus warns us that the values of the age to come must prevail in the church.

‘And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.’

-Matthew 24:31




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