Monday, August 31, 2020

The Warning Signs Are Here!

As we open our study today into the Book of Revelation, people might ask the question, "Is God happy as He is unleashing the judgment upon the earth?"  God never wants to unleash harm upon His creation but remember, this is a world now that wants nothing to do with God. They have begged, pleaded and shook their fists as God and said, "Get out!" This is a Christ-rejecting world at the point we find ourselves today. Just like any good parent, it never pleases a parent to discipline a wayward child. The Bible even addressed this in Proverbs that a wayward child brings reproach to his mother. God is the same way, everyone He loves He corrects, chastens, and because He cannot sin, He has to execute judgment against evil because He is righteous, Holy and just! He wouldn't be God if He didn't judge evil.

Our culture believes that they can sin up a storm and there will not be any ramifications. He is Holy and just in His judgments and while most people believe that since nothing has happened yet, God must be passive, doesn't exist or is simply looking the other way. We can fathom God's understanding in His plans but we know this, He is just in His loving and He is just in His judgments. Therefore, He has to execute judgment on evil. We, as humans, are all for justice and that is why we can appreciate this as long as it is the other person, getting the justice administered to him. God doesn't have to make any apologies because He is Holy.

God will exercise His judgment and wrath on one group of people alone, a Christ-rejecting world. He takes no delight in what He has to do, but He has to execute judgment on evil and those who do it. Jesus died for all the sins of the world, no matter what you have done, that alone will not condemn you to hell despite what you may have been told. No murders, adulterers,  homosexuals, liars, thieves, fornicators, you name it. None of those gets you into hell. There is only one sin that condemns you to hell. It is rejecting Jesus Christ as your redeemer. That is it. Jesus died on the cross for your sins. If you don't make it to heaven it will be because of one reason, you have repeatedly day by day, neglected to come to Christ as your Lord and Savior.

There is no other religion in the world that can take a book and stand in the very places in history like believers of Christ can with our Bibles and relive those moments standing in the actual places, because they are still there today. We can stand in the valley of Megiddo and read Revelation and know that one day, the culmination of all wars will take place there. Even Napoleon said that in that place alone could the greatest battle on earth take place. That alone should make you excited as a believer in Christ! Only a Christian or Jew can open the Bible and say, "We are standing in that place!" Our faith is founded upon fact!

Neil Armstrong when taking a personal tour of Israel said to his tour guide he wanted to stand on the very same steps of the temple that Jesus did and the tour guide explained that the steps that they were at were the very same ones that Jesus walked up and down. He said, while he may have been the first man to step on the moon, it wanes in comparison to standing where Jesus stood! (Neil Armstrong Walks on Jerusalem). Funny how you won't read that in Time Magazine!

There will a pause in heaven because silence shouts the righteousness of God! The Bible warns over and over to be silent before the Lord because He is holy. When the judgment of God comes, solemn preparation must be made.

Revelation 8:2 ~ "Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them."

Trumpets were used to call God's people for worship in the Old Testament. Trumpets were used, for calling God's people to war in the Old Testament and even in the 18th and 19th century. They were also used to call God's people together for announcements as well as the tolling of the church bells in many cultures more so in the Midwest and East coast today, not so much in the West. The angels will pull out their trumpets and these are NOT rams horns by the way. These are trumpets of judgment. Great ominous warnings! Solemn preparation must be made because God is holy and He is in heaven.

So why is this even important for us to study. I mean this is a pretty intense and horrible chapter. Because I want to make sure that YOU are NOT here when that time comes. Remember the church is no longer on the earth, they have been raptured to heaven! People these days want miracles and signs before they will be believe in Christ. The greatest miracle of all time wasn't the healing of the blind or deaf, or even the restoration of the lepers or the resurrection of Lazarus. You want to know what it was? It was that God who was not a human being, He was something all together different, came by the way of the virgin Mary, born in Bethlehem as prophesied by the Scriptures. Took on Himself, human skin, and stepped into the world. That to me, is the greatest miracle of all! That God who is not a human, became human to live a life and meet all the requirements of the law He gave, only He could do it. To meet its demands, to show its perfection, and then in association with our imperfection, Jesus who was innocent and we who are guilty, went to the cross and died in our place!

God is holy and therefore judgment must come upon the earth and preparations are needed to make that happen.

Habakkuk 1:13 ~ " You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong., why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?" 

You might ask yourself the question, "Why did God create man if He knew He was going to be evil?" Because of choice. You love choice right? Sometimes as parents, we often wish our kids didn't have certain choices in their lives. It would sure make raising them a whole lot easier right? Like when we tell them to clean their rooms. You know they have a choice right?  They may do it eventually, their way, but they have a choice. We all do. In every aspects of our life. From what we eat, what we wear, who we marry, what will want to do for work or school. Choices are available to all of us.

God engineered within the human being the ability to chose. That is the only way to have true love and worship. But man pirated such a privilege and responsibility and decided to go it alone with God. That man was called Adam. And we have been messed up ever since. We can't blame Adam because we probably would have done the same thing. Before God makes things right on this planet, sin has to be judged. Solemn preparation must be made because man sins and deserves judgment. The truth of the matter is that we are all sinners. Non believers love to use the Bible to quote, "Judge not, lest you be judged," but they fail to read the rest or even understand what the context of the word "Judge" means in that portion of the Bible. It means not to condemn. Jesus, Himself, told all of us to be fruit inspectors. Don't forget, "All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God." ALL OF US. We are all in the same boat!

It's human nature to practice sin! It's in our blood and that is not a popular thing to say. Even from birth, no one taught us how to sin, we automatically know how to do it. Babies refuse to listen when you tell them No, you can't have another cookie. We have to remind our children, NOT to do certain things, because inherently we all know how to do them. When you tell your kids not to do something, what do they do? They do it anyway. When you call them on it and ask if they did it, they will lie about it. Not me! Where does that come from? The Garden of Eden. Adam. Eve.

Exodus 23:a~ "You shall not fall in with the man to do evil, "

2 Samuel 12:9a ~ "Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight?"

2 Kings 17:17 ~ "And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger." 

Genesis 6:5 ~ "The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Solemn preparation must be made, because evil is about to run its course. We are a people and a race that wants its own way, without God, and when we get it, we mess it up. That is what Utopia is all about. It's man creating a world without God thinking he can govern himself. Not matter what your political affiliation or gender, we can not do it! It's flawed from the beginning. We need Jesus. He begins that when He comes into our life and makes us new. The greatest government of all is a theocracy, when God rules and reigns in men's hearts. That is how the world is changed. The Bible says, it won't be changed until Christ comes.

Didn't Jesus remind us in the pattern to prayer, Matthew 6:13 ~ " and lead us not unto temptation, but deliver us from evil." 

Why? Because evil is forever around us.

John 3:15-19 ~ "that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. for God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and the people loved thee darkness rather than the light because their works were evil."

This means that men schemed and looked forward to doing evil rather than following God. For each of us that knows Jesus now, knows exactly what that means. When the judgment of God comes, the prayers of the saints will be heard.

Revelation 8:2-6 ~ "Another angel (an 8th angel), who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them."

This is the answer to prayer but more specifically the answer to the prayers found in Revelation 6:9-10 ~ "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge the earth and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"

Remember they had died earlier during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation period. Remember what the answer was to their question? Wait! We now come to Revelation 8, and their brethren have died and so the prayer is answered. Throughout all history both in the Old and New Testament, the last thing you want to be is an earth dweller. The word in both the Greek and Hebrew means those who live for the earth. It is in direct agreement with Romans 1 about those who worship the earth and its creation. Those who say the earth is their mother. The earth is our home. The earth, not God, has given us forth.

I believe that Christians should be the greatest custodians of nature on the planet earth. Just don't worship it. There are those who worship it. There is a balance and never are we called upon to worship the earth. Earth dwellers are those that live for the earth and worship planet earth. It's what they live for. It's your life, what you can extract from the earth. Gold. Power. Money. Prestige. Place. Position. It's what you live for. The earth dwellers.

Isn't it interesting that to counter that, the Bible says to those of us that are Christians, our citizenship is in heaven! That we are ambassadors for Christ! Diplomats sent into a dangerous world is what ambassadors means to the Christians.

People might look around today and ask if we are seeing God's judgment on the earth. No rain in California. Laws being passed that are contrary to the Bible. I believe what we are seeing is God's warning signs right now, not judgments. God warns, and He warns, and He warns and then once we make the final rejection, the final time we push Him off, remember the Bible says in Genesis, my Spirit will not always strive with man, I hate to tell you this, but we haven't seen anything yet. God is warning us. Here in California, we are under a severe drought and have been below our needed water levels for 9 years. Is this the judgment of God? No, we are not going to get away that easy. Violence and racial division, even political division, makes you wonder what is really going on in the world today. Even with CoVid 19, we wonder if that is a biblical plague. No, far from it. These are warnings based on Joel 1. The rains begin to stop, crops begin to fail. It's almost like you're reading the newspaper today. Read it later.

The culture is suffering because of the decisions we have made. Not because God is judging us. He is simply telling us to turn back to Him. He is asking the Christian, the believer, to turn back to God. That is what he is asking us to do. There is no judgment from God happening on the earth just yet, but it is coming one day. Will YOU choose Him today?

No comments: