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Discerning The Times


"The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, "When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah." And He left them and went away."

Good Morning my beloved, 
Welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is such a privilege to come together with you today for the study God's Word. I praise God for those of you who have been moved to join us today, whether it's your first time or you are a faithful member of our family in Christ. I also would like to thank each of you who have faithfully continued to share the ministry website, and social media platforms with your family and friends. God has continued to bless your efforts in reaching the lost and the deceived. We are reaching people and places never before imagined, bringing people to Christ. I ask you will continue to join us in praying, asking God to continue to bless this ministry in reaching the lost, the broken and the hopeless. May He use each and every of us mightily to reach the lost, that they come to know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

If you have recently received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please contact and let us know so that we can pray for you. If we can share your story with others let us know if you would love to do so. Each one of us have been blessed with a unique testimony. We'd love to hear from you.

In our culture, the influence of the church is diminishing. Society can’t see the things God. In fact, they can’t even see reality. We can’t see it either except for the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit because even though we are redeemed, we have not the capacity to perceive it. We are limited by our humanness.

Since the year 2000, more than 4000 churches in America have permanently closed their doors. That's a staggering 40,000 plus churches! In the beginning of the 1900’s there were 27 churches to every 10,000 people. Every year, church attendance drops by 2.7 million, due to member inactivity. These statistics are not exhaustive, the evidence in not only in our own nation, but around the world. Yet Jesus said "I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it." I submit to you that what we believe about Jesus will determine what we believe about the church. 

When you and I became Christ followers, when we became members of God's Kingdom, we made a public confession to believe what God says in His Word. For example, we confessed that we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. We confessed that Jesus was born of a virgin, was crucified for the forgiveness of our sins, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day. I suggest to you, that if none of this is true, we are still dead in our sins and our faith is utterly worthless.

In our passage we meet both types of people, those who are spiritually blind, who will never see and those who are blind who are made to see. The difference is what one does with Jesus Christ, what one believes to be true about Jesus Christ. If you will show me your checkbook. I can tell you what you believe. I believe God is reminding us that our compassion has to reach beyond our own household, beyond the church, to those who are in need.

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,
Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for being loving, kind, compassionate Father. Lord, help us to seek You with all our heart. Tear the off the scales from our eyes and fill our hearts with compassion, may Your Light shine through us and touch the life of someone who has known only darkness. If you still do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are in danger of being left to your darkness for eternity. That’s what happens to those who are blind, seeking only darkness, they are eventually abandoned by God. Christ has compassion on the needs of all the people, help us to have the heart of Christ. Lord, we pray that You would do a mighty work in every heart gathered with us today.
May it all be for Your glory and for Christ's sake.
In Jesus' name we ask and pray
Today's Message:Discerning The Times
John 1:5 says "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." There are many people who claim to follow Jesus who are blinded by spiritual darkness, in a sense, they are blind because sin has blinded them. 
In John 3:19-20, John says This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
Men inherently love the darkness, they're trapped in their sin. In Scripture, sin very often paralleled with darkness. The blindness of sin is compounded by the blindness of Satan, who works hard at blinding the minds of those who do not believe, the result is, their foolish heart is darkened. How anxious Satan is to secure your destruction.

 In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, Paul writes, "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

Thirdly, they are blinded by God. In judgment against rebellious sinners, He places sovereign spiritual blindness upon them. Men are triply blind. They are blinded by sin, they are blinded by Satan, they are blinded by God. It is because of that blindness, that we don’t see the holy, righteous Kingdom of God. Again, there are two categories: the blind who will never see and the blind who will be made to see. In our passage, we'll see the blind who will never see, and the blind who will see because the Lord reveals truth to them. It is at this point in which the distinction becomes very clear. We’re going to be looking at the first twelve verses as a unit, however, today we'll be looking at the first four verses. 

Open our Bibles to the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 16:1-4. I invite you to follow along with me as I read them. Let us open our hearts and see what the Spirit of God has to say to each of us. I pray that the Lord would help us to hear and apply what He's saying to each of us today.

"The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away."

At the end of chapter 15, Jesus had been in the gentile area known as Decapolis, where He had healed many and fed the four thousand, after a rather lengthy stay, the end of verse 39 says, "He came to Magadan." Now He’s back in Jewish territory.

Let's look at verse 1, "The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven."

As soon as He gets out of the boat, His enemies waste no time in approaching Him. Immediately they begin by implying that even though they’ve seen a lot of signs, but they want to see a major sign, a real sign, a sign from heaven. Jesus has already proved Himself as Messiah, numerous times. Here, we learn of those whose blindness will never end. Spiritually blind, spiritually deaf, and spiritually hardened hearts.  

Notice it says "the Pharisees with Sadducees came, not the Pharisees and the Sadducees." The Pharisees are the leaders, so they’re named first. This particularly interesting, because the two groups couldn't agree on anything. In fact, they hated each other. They were at odds on everything, and were at each other’s throats. The Sadducees did not believe in Spirit, immortality or angels. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection, the Sadducees did not. We saw this in the book of Acts, when Paul was on trial before them. All Paul had to say, "I believe in the resurrection," and they were divided. Until now, all of a sudden, they come together to pursue the common goal. A massive display of divine power to attack Jesus.

There's a number of reasons for this, the Pharisees were theological fundamentalists. They believed in the literal interpretation of the law, they believed in the traditions of the Talmud, they believed the oral traditions were equally binding with the written Word of God. The Pharisees were theological conservatives. On the other hand, the Sadducees were theological liberals, they loved to get mingled up politically with the gentile culture. They did not accept the traditions of the elders and rabbi's. They accepted only the Scripture, not literally, they spiritualized it. The Sadducees were the wealthy ones who ran the temple concessions, in fact, they made a fortune out of it. The Sadducees were the aristocrats, the high priest was a Sadducee. The Pharisees tended to be poorer, they were mostly common people. It’s interesting that they could agree on you were saved by works, and self-righteousness. The spiritually, sinfully blind always seem to seek the fellowship of others like themselves.

I should point out, not much as changed today, with the Church being divided. The liberal Christians, who believe that because God loves everybody, He would never exclude anyone from Heaven, so He tolerates egregious sin. They install homosexual and transgender pastors and Bishops, because God loves diversity. That’s always the way it is with people who are willfully, sinfully blind.  They refuse to come to the Light for the Truth. They just go deeper and deeper into the same pit of darkness. They are a classic illustration of the spiritually blind. Literally the blind leading the blind and they will fall into the ditch.

So, the mutual enemies Jesus, team up to come together in contempt of Him, to offer Him a test, which by the way, they hoped He would fail. In other words, the birds of a feather united in order to curse the Light. They weren't seeking the Truth,  they wanted to publicly discredit Him. They were trying to get Him to do something, they thought He couldn’t do, so they could publicly shame and embarrass Him. Just to demonstrate how blind they were, they couldn't that He was the sign from Heaven! But, they couldn't see it.

Luke chapter 2, verses 34-35 says, "And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."

There are many in the church today, who are not interested in discovering the Truth, they want nothing more than to curse the Light. They’re no different than the religious leaders of His day, unbelief will always find a way to reject the truth. They want to turn to philosophy, human intellect, false religions, so they look here and there, but never wanting to come to the Truth of the Word of God. I feel sorry for these people, always seeking, never finding the Truth. When you see people whose blindness is never be eliminated, that's because they don’t really ever want to deal honestly with the sin problem in their lives.  

Verse 2, "But He replied to them, "When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’" Even as children, my sons could look upward and interpret things based on the natural sky. They would see what the sky looks like and say, "Daddy, it's time to go to sleep, it's dark outside." That's backyard meteorology for you. The religious leaders could interpret signs in the natural world, the problem was that they were missing the supernatural signs that were right in front of them. Maybe you’re good at telling the weather, but are you missing the evidence that is right before you? The sign of the times. I believe our sensitivity to weather makes a mockery out of our insensitivity to God’s Kingdom. Some of you seem not to have a clue what’s going on in God’s Kingdom.

That's what Jesus is saying, the Pharisees were the religious experts of the day, they didn’t recognize John the Baptist, they didn’t recognize that Jesus is the Messiah. They missed the whole thing. Instead, these men were demanding another sign. The more miracles they saw, the deeper they went into their rejection of Jesus. No wonder Jesus later calls them "blind guides." That’s exactly what they were.

Verse 3, "And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?" By the way, the word "times" used here is not "chronos", meaning minutes and hours and days and weeks, it’s the word "kairos" which means eras, seasons, periods, and movements. In other words, this is a strong indictment. They could not read the realities of God’s Kingdom. And these men called themselves religious leaders, yet they did not know what time it was. 

We’ve got people in our society like that today, they can who can tell you a lot of things about a lot of stuff, they can tell you whether the stock market’s going to go up or down and how far. Meteorologists can tell you about what's going to happen in the weather, predicting storms and potential danger. There are people who can analyze just about everything, but they have not got clue one what’s really going on in the Kingdom of God. I believe there are signs all around us, that Jesus is soon coming back and the world cannot perceive it. That's the problem with an unbelieving heart, it will never see the signs.

In Matthew 24, Jesus even warns us, "See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs."

These are all true of the times in which we live. Today, we are seeing an increase of lawlessness, and an unwillingness to respond to authority, increasing political unrest, an increase in unprecedented storms and earthquakes, false preachers, economic chaos throughout the world, it's all over the media. Ezekiel said, "You know when you’re getting near the end because God’s going to restore His people Israel." Those of us who are alive, have seen Israel become a nation. Scripture tells us there’ll be a great falling away from the faith, and we are seeing that occur today,  among many professing Christians, denying the faith, denying the Lord, denying the second coming of Christ. I believe our world is preparing for the Antichrist now, with digital currency, world famine and pestilence after pestilence, the world is look for that one great leader, who can solves our world's problems. It is the antichrist who will fill that kind of a role. 

That brings us to verse 4, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah." And He left them and went away." Those who remain spiritually blind are finally abandoned by God because they’re so evil. They are spiritually unfaithful and adulterous. That is not the heart that God responds to. Jesus warns us not to become like the the Pharisees and Sadducees. He says the only sign they’re going to see is the resurrection. Still, they didn’t repent, did they? Instead, they bribed the Roman guards not to say anything about it. That's the way it is with the spiritually blinded. Look at the end of the verse, "And He left them and went away." They were abandoned by God.

In Closing..

I believe this is a warning to those of you who do not know Jesus Christ as both your Lord and Savior, who have rejected the Light, refusing to open your heart to Jesus Christ. You are in grave danger of getting to the point where God abandons you to your darkness. Don't be like those who unable to see.

I beg you to open your heart, cry out to Christ and repent of your sin, and allow the light of Christ to illuminate your heart, the light which eternally illuminates the soul of one who believes. The evidence of Christ's return is right before you! Repent and believe, so that you may know the joy of a life in Christ.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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