“And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.” John 14:1
Christians must ask themselves if they are ready for Christ’s return, Cor-Bishop Reverend Ashoor Lazar, parish priest of St Hurmizd Cathedral in Sydney, Australia has preached during a special sermon.
The evening sermon on 3 April was titled Signs of the End of Time and was held in reaction to numerous “natural disasters” taking place around the world. The sermon attracted about 300-400 faithful church members, eager to hear the Word of God.
Preaching on the beginning of birth pangs as mentioned in Matthew 24, Rev. Ashoor explained why the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East proclaims Christ’s return will be unannounced “life a thief” and to unbelievers will seem a surprise. However, to believers, His return is waited upon not as a thief but as a Father returning to save us. With the sun idle and the moon blood red, Our Lord will be the Sun giving true light to the world as He is the Light of the world.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10).”
However, Rev. Ashoor asked the faithful to think about why humans claim to be scared about Christ’s return but not about eternal death; and why humans decide to live a righteous life only when they hear that Christ will soon return.
People are increasingly investing in the temporal things of the world, rather than committing to eternal things such as our children’s salvation, said Rev. Ashoor, referencing scripture.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people (2 Timorthy 3:1-5).”
Some examples that Rev. Ashoor had witnessed included the existence of hate between people due to acts of evil; families not loving one another; children choosing to spend time alone in their rooms rather than interacting with their families; individuals and families falling into the trap of being ‘too busy’ through watching television, browsing the internet and making money; and false prophets misleading many.
Rev. Ashoor encouraged faithful not to forsake Christ even if a prelate attempts to deceive them, as Jesus warned us of such people.
“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time (Matthew 24:24-25).”
Satan has robbed us of many things, said Rev. Ashoor, and more and more Christians are now ‘going with the flow’ of the world.
As Rev. Ashoor opened the sermon up to questions from attendees, he said the topic was requested by faithful that were shaken following events in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and around the globe.
Faithful had become concerned over end times being reported in the media through television, the internet, radio and newspapers. These fears also made people very sorrowful and depressed while some had been encouraged to commit their lives to Christ.
In response to this, Rev. Ashoor encouraged all believers to draw near to Christ, and make a personal contract with the Lord to read the whole Bible once in our lives.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8).”
The Signs of the End Times sermon was the latest in a special series held by St Hurmizd Cathedral, Diocese of Australia. The next planned evening sermon will cover the Book of Revelation.[nggallery id=191]