Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Tuesday - Revelation 22 - Amen



VERY good gospel sermon ends with a compelling invitation (including both a promise and a warning). Revelation 22 is an invitation with both a hope-filled promise and a serious warning. The invitation and the warning are both wrapped up in the word "come" (Revelation 22:12, 17 & 20). Having read the whole Bible, it is appropriate that the reader be invited to do something about what he or she has read. And indeed, the invitation to salvation can be presented in so many wonderful ways. Yet here, the call is to partake of the water of life (Revelation 22:1 & 17). What a beautiful and appealing way of putting it. Human souls are thirsty and dry, but Jesus is willing to quench our spiritual thirst. He is willing to satisfy our longings and to give us eternal peace. But the choice is ours.


Dear readers, I have made my choice! In Christ, I have a right to the tree of life. I have a place in the New Jerusalem. I expect not only to drink from the river of life, but to swim in it as well. I am looking forward to walking on streets of gold, eating fruit from the tree of life, and serving the Lamb of God forever. I will see my Savior face-to-face (Revelation 22:4). His name will be in my forehead. And friends, the apocalyptic clock could start ticking at any moment (Revelation 22:10). Are you ready? The day will come when it will be too late to switch sides (Revelation 22:11}. Don't think for one moment that God will unravel and undo his entire plan of redemption after it is complete. The time to decide is now. Salvation is a once in a lifetime transaction with eternal blessings and benefits. However, rejecting God's salvation has eternal consequences. Won't you trust Christ today! He died for you! He loves you! Why would you scorn His generosity and grace? He is coming! Don't be left out (Revelation 22:15).  And if you already know Him, share Him with others!


Monday, December 28, 2020

Monday - Revelation 21 - Eternal Bliss



NCE every condemned soul and spirit has been locked away securely (Revelation 21:8), then eternity for the redeemed will begin (Revelation 20:1 & 3-7). Forever and ever, the saints and angels will commune together in God's holy presence (Revelation 22:5). The dominating feature of our eternal future will be the place we commonly call heaven. John called it "New Jerusalem." Let's look at the description John presents for us.


The greatest characteristic of our eternal home will be the pleasure of basking in God's full presence (Revelation 21:3, 7 & 22). Connected to that will be the absence of sin and temptation - "God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes; and there will be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:4).


Now, there will be both a new heaven and a new earth (Genesis 1:1 & Revelation 21:1 & 5). We should take this to mean a new universe; one untouched by sin and untainted by temptation (Revelation 22:3). And the new Jerusalem will evidently be inhabited by the church (Revelation 21:9). The new earth then will be filled with the saints from every other age, including millennium saints who will have escaped death altogether (Revelation 21:24 & 26-27 & 22:2). The significance of Israel in the new earth must not be overlooked either, because there has to be an ultimate fulfillment of God's promises to Abraham and of the words of Christ from Matthew 5:5.


Notice that the new Jerusalem is presented by John as a mountain with a square base (Revelation 21:10 & 16). We might do well to envision a gigantic pyramid so big that if it were to descend from the sky and land on Nebraska, it would cover most of the United States. This city will also be as tall as it is wide and deep: 1,500 miles! John's words in Revelation 21:11 make it sound like the whole city appears to be built out of clear crystal, but actually, there are many fine and pure substances that will be used in its construction. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Friday - Revelation 20 - The Last 1000 Years



FTER the Armageddon is over there will be a time of judgment which we should refer to as the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-46). The armies of the antichrist will be dead. The antichrist & the false prophet will be in the lake of fire. Satan will be bound for 1,000 years in a place called the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1-3). The earth will be ruled by Jesus (in person, along with His saints – 1st Corinthians 6:2 & Revelation 20:4). The survivors of the Tribulation will be separated according to how they treated Israel during the time of the antichrist. Those who have shown themselves to be humble sheep will live into the kingdom & will naturally repopulate the earth (Psalm 72).


The 1st days of this Millennial Kingdom will have to include the construction of the kingdom temple according to the dimensions & description found in Ezekiel 40-48. Also, the curse will be removed from this earth (Isaiah 11:1-10). Things will not be entirely the same as they were in the Garden of Eden before The Fall, but neither will it be anything like life between The Fall & Armageddon. There will be true peace on earth. Jesus will be the King of the world & we will be with Him on the earth for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:6).


There will be many people born during the Kingdom Age. Many of them will willingly worship Christ, but some will only comply outwardly. After 1,000 years of heaven on earth, Satan will be released from his prison. He will be unleashed on this planet one last time in order to reveal what is truly in the hearts of many people who will be living on earth at the very end of time (Revelation 20:7).

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Thursday - Revelation 19 - The Second Coming of Christ



E’VE finally reached the end of those 7 abysmal years. We have read about the demise of the economic & religious infrastructures of the world. We have learned of coming ecological disasters, geothermal disruptions, tectonic instability, astronomical anomalies, the ruination of the hydrologic cycle, famines, disease outbreaks, & demonic attacks. By the end of the Tribulation the world will be so battered & torn it will hardly be recognizable as the same planet from which the church was raptured just 7 years earlier. Yet there will still be 2 systems that will have to fall. At the battle of Armageddon Jesus will put down the militaries of the world (as He deposes the antichrist & his international government). This is the 2nd Advent; the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ; the event seen most often & as the most important in all of biblical prophecy.


What does this great Day of the Lord will look like? As the fallen world systems smolder in death, the saints of every era will worship Christ & celebrate His exaltation.  At this point, the Judgment Seat of Christ will have ended, & the marriage supper of the Lamb will have been prepared (Ephesians 5:25 & Revelation 19:7-9). Just as Israel was presented in the Old Testament as the wife of Jehovah, in the New Testament the church is portrayed as the wife of Christ. 

Regardless, all saints from all of history will join together with Jesus as He splits the eastern sky above Israel & returns (Zechariah 14:4) in the clouds; riding on a white horse (Revelation 19:11); coming to conquer the world (Jude 1:14- 15). Perhaps we should say that this might be called first & last battle of World War III; Armageddon

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Wednesday - Revelation 18 - Economic Babylon



atthew 6:24 reveals to us that Jesus once said, "No man can serve two ... You cannot serve God & mammon." Back in Ecclesiastes 7:12 Solomon wrote, "Wisdom is a defense, & money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom gives life to them that have it (see also Proverbs 9:10). Obviously, economics keep many people out of heaven (Matthew 19:23-24). Jesus even said, "Whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33). But perhaps there is no place in the Bible where the damnable distraction of materialism is more distinctly condemned than right here in Revelation 18. The way of Balaam (Jude 1:11), & the modern expression of it (a prosperity gospel - see 1st Timothy 6:5) will be completely destroyed along with the international economy. The "love of money" (1st Timothy 6:10) will finally be gutted.


Some people may think that the story of human history is a record of the development of various economic systems. From subsistence level agrarian economies, to feudalism, to imperial mercantilism, to capitalism, to socialism, to communism – certainly we've tried just about every method imaginable. But this is only half of the story. In truth, history is a record of Satan using all these systems to distract humanity from the eternal economy. In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth... but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  A person doesn't have to live through to the end of the Tribulation in order to see the death of Babylonian economics. We can tear down the walls in our own hearts today.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Tuesday - Revelation 17 - Religious Babylon



ay back in Daniel 2 we were introduced to God's perspective concerning the kingdoms of this world. In a dream, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar saw a statue. It had a golden head, a silver chest & arms, a brass belly & thighs, iron legs, & – representing the revived Roman Empire under the Antichrist – a mixture of clay & iron for its feet. In Nebuchadnezzar's dream, a stone (representing Jesus) slammed against the feet of the statue & destroyed it completely. Well, here we are (finally) at Revelation 17 & we are at long last face to face with the actual destruction of Babylon. Religiously, economically, politically, philosophically, & literally: Babylon is going to fall.


Now, the title "Babylon" is at the same time very broad & highly specific. There is a sense in which all of the human ingenuity, imagination, & organization throughout history has ultimately been aimed at accomplishing success in life apart from God. At least from the tower of Babel on, men & women have been organizing against God (Genesis 11:4 & Psalm 2:2-3). So, Babylon is more than just an ancient empire or a specific city (although those perspectives are true too). Babylon is a system & philosophy. Babylon is a way of living & a manner of judging value. Babylon is the outward earthly expression of a satanic conspiracy that is as old as human governance. Everything that God starts, Satan emulates & pollutes.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Monday - Revelation 16 - Seven Bowls of Judgment



he last seven plagues of the Tribulation Period will surely come rapidly & furiously upon the earth. These seven judgments are described briefly in Revelation 16. Let's look briefly at the contents of each bowl. They are full of God's anger against unrepentant sinners. But specifically, each bowl will bring some new trouble to the inhabitants of the earth. 


Bowl # 1 will bring sores on everyone who has the mark of the beast.  Bowl #2 will result in the waters of the oceans turning to blood, which will bring much death. Bowl #3 will turn fresh water into blood. Bowl #4 will cause the sun to change in such a way that it will result in global warming like nobody has ever imagined. Bowl #5 will produce a thick darkness intense enough to bring literal. Bowl #6 will cause the Euphrates River to dry up so that the armies coming from the east to Armageddon can pass quickly & unwittingly on the way to their own demise. Also, there will be a demonically driven amassing of the armies of the world into Israel (Revelation 16:13-14 & 16). Bowl #7 will signal the final judgment before the coming of Jesus Christ. There will be yet another great earthquake, & a hailstorm with 50 lb. projectiles plummeting from the sky.  The earthquake will be so large that the islands of the world will sink into the oceans, & mountains will be shaken flat (Revelation 16:18-20).