Is The End Near?

Pastor Kevin Rutledge - 3/17/2024 10:00 AM

Listen in as we explore the historical cycle of apocalyptic predictions and consider why every generation seems to think they're living in the final days. The discussion takes a critical look at the fixation with interpreting contemporary events as prophetic, contrasting it with scriptural counsel that cautions against claiming knowledge of the exact moment of the Second Coming. We grapple with the question: Are we overlooking the broader Christian message by eagerly awaiting the apocalypse?

In the second part of our conversation, we shift focus from end times to eternal hope, drawing inspiration from a solitary yellow flower blooming amidst gravestones—a poignant emblem of life triumphing over death. Through personal stories and theological insights, we discuss the significance of seeking out signs of life and hope in desolate spaces, aligning this with Christ's teachings on resurrection. This episode encourages embracing a state of readiness, not through doomsday predictions, but by fostering faith and hope rooted in the assurance of Christ's return. As we weave together anecdotes and the natural world's testament to rebirth, we invite listeners to reflect on how readiness can liberate us from worldly despair and instill a deep-seated hope.


  • First Reading: Psalm 102:1-17
  • Second Reading: Mark 13:1-8, 24-37
View Order of Worship View Message Transcript View Small Group Discussion Guide

This Week's Reading Plan

Day: Reading:
Monday The Lesson of the Fig Tree: Mark 13:28-31
Tuesday Keep Awake: Mark 13:32-37
Wednesday Times and Seasons: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5
Thursday Do Not Fall Asleep: 1 Thessalonians 5:6-11
Friday Salvation is Near: Romans 13:11-14
Saturday A Plot is Hatched: Mark 14:1-2
Sunday "Triumphal Entry and Anointing : Mark 11:1-11; 14:3-9"

This includes only the sermon portion of the service.

Reflections and Caring Conversations

Please use the prompts and prayers below to aid you in your devotions for this week.

  • Personal Application: What are some practical ways we can embrace a life of readiness, as encouraged in the sermon, without giving in to fear or anxiety about the end times? (Matthew 24:42-44)

  • Signs of Hope: The sermon spoke of finding hope in unexpected places, like a flower emerging amidst graves. Think of a time when you have found hope in a desolate situation. How does the resurrection of Christ inspire hope in our own lives? (1 Peter 1:3)

  • Discussion on Readiness: The sermon talks about readiness not as a passive waiting but as an active working. What does this look like in our community, and how can we support each other in being actively ready? (Luke 12:35-38)

  • Morning Prayer: Heavenly Father, As the new day dawns, I am reminded of Your promise of resurrection and the hope that it brings. Amidst the chatter of end times and apocalyptic visions, help me to focus on the life and renewal You offer. Let this morning be a time of reflection on Your Word, not as a map to predict the future, but as a guide to live a life of readiness. Instill in me a spirit of watchfulness, rooted not in fear but in the joyful anticipation of Your kingdom. May my heart be like fertile soil, ready to receive the seeds of Your truth, so that I may bear fruit in accordance with Your will. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

  • Evening Prayer: Dear Lord, As night falls, I thank You for the comfort that comes from knowing we are called to action, not just contemplation of the end. In the stillness of this evening, let me reflect on the day's events through the lens of Your love and resurrection. Guide me in understanding that readiness for Your return is not about fear, but about living a life that honors You in all I do. Grant me the serenity to rest well, trusting in Your sovereign hand to hold tomorrow, and the faith to wake with renewed purpose. In the gentle embrace of Your presence, I find my rest. Amen.