As followers of Jesus we should want to know what Jesus taught about the end of the world. However, too often we get bogged down in the parts concerning the details about the end and miss the point. Jesus is interested in how the end of the world affects our present lives as much as he is in explaining current events and how they relate to the end. We often care about what God will do in the end. He cares more about what we will do up until the end.
1. As it pertains to the end of the world, Christians fall on a scale from those who tend to trivialize events and those who tend to sensationalize events. What has been your experience?
2. Jesus had an explanation about the end of the world. However, he spent more time talking about the implication of the end for our present lives. Why do we tend to do the opposite?
3. We try to avoid some of the things Jesus spoke of at all cost. Is it encouraging or discouraging that some of the issues we try to avoid are part of the events leading up to the end of the world, rather than issues that have social or political solutions?
4. Jesus warned against spiritual deception. 2 Timothy 4:3 says people seek teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. Why is that the case? Has that been your experience?
5. The faith that Jesus spoke of is at times inconvenient and demanding. Do people want that, or do they tend to prefer a convenient, easy faith? Have we been insulated from religious persecution and become too pampered in our faith?
6. Does your understanding of the end times encourage an attitude of extreme engagement in the world or a desire for extreme escapism? How should the future be affecting our present faith?
7. Jesus said that the end would be like the days of Noah: everyone so caught up in the day-to-day that they have no time for faith. What in your day-to-day life keeps your eyes off more important things?
8. What are some practical things we as the Church can do to be able to approach the end of the world with hope and peace rather than fear and dread? What areas of your life require greater faithfulness and fruitfulness?
9. What stood out to you most about today’s message?
Jesus told a series of stories in Matthew 24:45-51 and Matthew 25 about how to live until the end. The application is to resolve to live a life where our mantra becomes this: Until He returns, I will not be fearful. I will not be fretful. I will be faithful, and I will be fruitful.
Matthew 25:23 (NIV) “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”