This past Sunday we began with a illustration comparing Mt. St. Helen’s bulging upwards and then erupting to the rise of sin in today’s society and increased persecution of the church.
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Opening Scripture

Matthew 5:13-14 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.No battle that we face should be fought without much prayer or as Paul refer to it, all prayer and petition.

Ask yourself these questions:

– Have we lost our flavor?
– Have we hidden away the bright light of the gospel?
– Where is the salt that influences and cleanses our society?

Today there is an ever-growing bulge in the landscape of modern society that stands as an imminent warning to the church of Jesus Christ.

Too many are ignorant of the signs-of-the-times and are somehow convinced that the potential for a spectacular show of godly judgement are for our entertainment instead of our engagement.
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Think about this:
– Do you spend more time on Facebook post that on prayer?
– Do you spend more time scouring YouTube than reading the Scripture?
– Do you spend more time in pursuit of things that will burn than on an eternal home?

There is an eminent disaster coming. Already, the eroding of biblical morals has overtaken our society and many in the church of Jesus Christ are not far behind.

Signs leading up to the Second Coming:
– False Messiahs
– Wars
– Famines and natural disasters
– Nations rising against nations

Matthew 24:8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

– Tribulations and persecutions will increase
– A falling away from truth
– Lawlessness
Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. Matt. 24:12
– In the midst of all the turmoil, the Gospel will reach the ends of the earth
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There is going to be a payday, someday. But God’s amazing grace has not left us on our own.

Look at how accurate Scripture is:
– The world has shrunk through technology.
– The rise of Essau’s nations and children – Islam
– The proliferation of immorality that deaden the soul and abuses the innocent
– The rise of terrorism, racism, and persecution

There is a rising bulge on the horizon.
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The answer is prayer

Ephesians 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.

The most frightening in Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24 is vs. 12 that says that most people’s love will grow cold.

Revelations 2:4 tells us that we have left our first love. And the only way to “pray without ceasing” is to return to your first love.

How do we pray at all times?
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

Prayer is the character quality that separates the believer from all others.

Salt and light are only produced by Spirit-filled praying.

Our commune with God is unceasing because our relationship with God is fixed on eternity.
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Conclusion

There is a rising dome on the horizon. The season of ease is at a close.

The promise is that persecution, which is at the door, will do 3 things:
1.  It will prune the church.
2.  It will usher in revival.
3.  It will prepare the church for Jesus’ return.

How do we prepare? We pray!

Revelation 2:5  Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

1.  Remember who you are.
2.  Repent – change your direction, stop allowing the world’s way to rob you of time with Jesus.
3.  Do what you did at first.

And begin to pray without ceasing.
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Discussion Questions:

– Many are ignorant of the signs of the times and are somehow convinced that the potential for a spectacular show of godly judgement is for our entertainment instead of our engagement. How can we be more engaged in what God is doing in these times versus entertained?

–  What challenges do you face in going back to “your first love?”

–  What will “praying without ceasing” look like in your life?

–  What did Sunday’s message prompt you to pray for that you hadn’t been prompted to pray fro before?

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