Lesson 3

Could We Be Earth's Final Generation?

Courtesy of Pastor Ken LeBrun

1. What is more important for us to discern than the weather?

Matthew 16:2,3 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, [It will be] fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, [It will be] foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O [ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not [discern] the signs of the times?

2. When asked for signs of the end, what was Jesus’ first response?

Matthew 24:3,4 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

His discourse is recorded in Matthew 24 , Mark 13 and Luke 21

3. As He began His forecast for the church, after mentioning a few early signs, Jesus prophesied the destruction of what city?

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

Note: In less than forty years from the giving of that warning, Jerusalem fell to the armies of Rome. And just as He had predicted, not one stone of the magnificent temple was left upon another that was not thrown down.

4. What sign would let Christ’s followers know that the desolation of the city was nigh?

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

Note: In October, A.D. 66, Cestius besieged Jerusalem. The Christians in the city recognized this as the sign given by Christ. When the Romans suddenly withdrew, the Christians fled, not one losing his life. Soon Roman armies led by Titus returned, and in A.D. 70, the city was destroyed. More than a million Jews perished.

5. What terrible experience would follow that event?

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Note: For the next nearly 250 years the church suffered intense persecution from the Roman government. Christians were given to wild beasts, or smeared with pitch and lashed to poles to serve as torches for the arena. Three million were martyred for their faith in Christ. Then Constantine, realizing that Christianity could not be stamped out,staged a political conversion, and proclaimed Christianity (well mingled with paganism) to be the official religion of the empire. But the long centuries of enforced religion that followed produced even more severe religious intolerance which took the lives of more than 50 million people. Not until the opening up of the American continent were Christians finally permitted full liberty of conscience without threat of persecution.

6. What specific signs did Jesus say would be given immediately after the tribulation of those days?

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

The sun would: darkened

The moon would: not give her light

The stars would: fall from heaven

Note: With the establishment of the United States of America, the centuries of religious persecution came to an end. The Declaration of Independence, perhaps the most famous freedom document of all time, was signed in 1776, stating that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” America opened her doors to all who sought religious freedom, guaranteeing the right of all to worship according to their own conscience.

Jesus said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened . . . .” The United States had barely been born when on May 19, 1780 it witnessed what has been remembered in history as the great Dark Day. According to the Boston Gazette, “there was the appearance of midnight at noonday.” The darkness began around 10 a.m. Candles were lighted; animals thought it was night. The Connecticut Historical Collections describes the tension in the state legislature where, “a very general opinion prevailed, that the day of judgment was at hand.” The poet John Greenleaf Whittier called it “a horror of great darkness.”

Jesus went on to say, “. . . And the moon shall not give her light.” The Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, referring to the Dark Day, contains this record: “The darkness of the following evening was probably as gross as ever has been observed. . . . If every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable shades, or struck out of existence, the darkness could not have been more complete. A sheet of white paper held within a few inches of the eyes was equally invisible with the blackest velvet. . . . This gross darkness held ‘till about one o’clock, although the moon had fulled but the day before.”

The third sign Jesus mentioned was “. . . The stars shall fall from heaven.” On November 13, 1833, from 2 a.m. until daylight, the sky all over North America was aflame with meteors. One observer remarked, “It seemed as if the whole starry heavens had congregated at one point near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightning, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted.” Astronomer W. J. Fisher, in The Telescope, called it “the most magnificent meteor shower on record.”

7. According to Revelation, what natural disaster would occur just before the signs in the sun, moon, and stars?

Revelation 6:12,13 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Note: One of the most extensively felt earthquakes ever recorded occurred November 1, 1755. Extending over an area of at least four million square miles, it covered the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. Seventy thousand people were killed. In Lisbon, Portugal violent shaking lasted for at least six minutes, destroying most of the city. The sea rose fifty feet above its ordinary level.

Encyclopaedia Britannica called it “the most famous of all earthquakes.” G. A. Eiby, in About Earthquakes, referred to it as “the greatest earthquake on record.”

8. How did Jesus describe the anxiety and trouble that would exist on the earth after these signs?

Luke 21:25 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

9. What effect would the dreadful outlook have upon people?

Luke 21:26 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.

10. According to prophecy, what reason would scoffers give for denying that the end would be soon?

2 Peter 3:3,4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 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 the creation.

11. In the end-time economic collapse, what will happen to money that has been saved up?

James 5:1-3 Go to now, [ye] rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon [you]. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7 .

12. When will this sudden destruction hit?

1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

13. List some of the signs of moral deterioration that were predicted to occur in the last days.

2 Timothy 3:2,3 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

14. What would people love more than God?

2 Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God

15. What signs would be seen in the church?

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

16. To what time are the last days compared?

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

17. What was it like in the days of Noah?

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

18. What about mobility and the extent of knowledge in the last days?

Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

19. What did Jesus say we would know when we saw these signs?

Luke 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

20. When we see these signs, how near is the kingdom?

Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

“Lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28

21. What would make us unprepared for the end?

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.

22. To be prepared, what must we do?

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

In the Light of God's Word...

I understand that we are living in the final days of earth’s history.

I desire to prepare my life for the events just ahead.