The Bible has much to say about the future. One in five verses of Scripture are prophetic in nature. The disciples asked Jesus three questions about the future: (Read Matthew 24:3)
• When will these things happen?
• What are the signs of your coming?
• What are the signs of the end of the age?
What will be the signs of Jesus ’return?
• In 1 minute, brainstorm together all of the signs that you can think of: i.e. stop sign, 3rd base coach, for sale sign, etc.
• What is the purpose of signs?
Extreme responses to prophetic signs are sensationalism and skepticism.
Discuss these two extremes as it relates to weather. Who is a good example of someone who leans toward sensationalism? Who is a good example of someone that is skeptical?
Neither is an appropriate response to weather systems or prophecy.
Jesus offers three rational steps to take when considering the “signs of the times.”
1. Fig Tree — Get Ready (Read Matthew 24:32-35)
• How does it provide an example of confidence?
2. Noah — Get Ready (Read Matthew 24:36-42)
• What does the story of Noah teach about being aware?
• Mom & Dad: talk with your children about your experiences with their childbirth: pregnancy test results, excitement, plans & preparations, long wait – 9 months but then the day comes, how you knew it was time, etc.
• Good news: relate the good news of their coming into the world to the good news of Jesus’ return.
3. Thief — Get Ready (Read Matthew 24:43-44)
• When you leave home for a vacation, what do you do?
• When a major storm is coming, what do you do?.
• On a piece of paper write this question at the top and answer, “What 5 things do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?”
• On the reverse side write this question and answer, “What would you want to accomplish if you knew that the Lord was going to come in the next 7 years?”
• If the two list are different, what changes do you need to make?