River of Life Church
THE ROAD AHEAD – Part 2
August 29, 2021
Main Scripture Reference(s)
Luke 19:13

THE ROAD AHEAD – Part 2

August 29, 2021 / Luke 19:13

THE ROAD AHEAD – PART 2

-Many people are feeling tremendous stress with regards to world events, society seems unhinged.

-We in the church have always called these events: “SIGNS OF THE TIMES.”

Prophecy writers are in overdrive today. There are more YouTube videos about the Anti-Christ than one could watch in months.

-I am not going to do a DEEP DIVE into prophecy events today, however, I want to give a balanced HEALTHY viewpoint regarding the END-TIMES and how we should live considering the times.

-A doctrinal point can have excess if they are not interpreted with biblical balance.

-The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an important doctrine, but not more important than salvation.   

-What you look for is what you get: Some see doom, gloom, darkness, destruction, and catastrophe.

2 TRUTHS: 1. Jesus is coming. 2. Jesus hasn’t come yet.

*I am going to ask you some questions today, to get you to think. Some of you will need to listen really close, so you don’t think I’m a heretic today.

I have always been a good student of Bible prophecy. It has always been easy for me to teach it. I interpret prophecy in a LINEAR TIMELINE. Not cyclical, not hyperbole, not figuratively, but literally.

There is a starting point, and there is an ending point.

WE VIEW GOD’S CLOCK IN A LINEAR FORMAT.

A linear view of history places God as creator and redeemer

The eternal purposes of God were already a part of God’s plan before the creation of the universe.

         His plan has a real beginning and a real consummation.

       (Not an ending). It is not accidental, everything is spiritual.

END TIMES: The Revelation of Jesus Christ: The plan of eternity.

MANY DOOMSDAY PROPHETS TALK ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD ALL THE TIME.

WHEN IT COMES TO THE END TIMES-WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

-Bible students know that 1/3 of the Bible is prophetic.

-A central theme in the New Testament is The Coming of the Lord. 

-All the NT disciples believed that Jesus would come back in their lifetime before they died – However, we know He didn’t. Acts 1:11

BIBLICAL TRUTH: On any given day, we are 1,007 years away from the end of the world.

The Word of God describes everything that we are seeing throughout the earth taking place right now in our lifetime.

POINT: The timing of the rapture is hinged to the beginning of the tribulation period, which is 7 years + 1,000 years of the Millennial Reign of Christ will follow the 7-year Tribulation Period.

-The signs of the times have been preached for a long, long time.  

-The number of things happening coincidentally across the globe at this moment in simultaneous biblical events is staggering.

-The alignment of the nations of the world against Israel starting with China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Iraq, are unmistakably pointing to an Ezekiel 37-38 day.

These are the best and worst of times1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

ILLUS.: 1984 –A lot of preachers were preaching Jesus was coming in 84. (ASTRONOMICAL EVENT- The alignment of the planets. I was saved 4 ½ years at that point. Bonnie and I were engaged, and we had serious discussions about Jesus coming and we couldn’t get married. We had 1 or 2 discussions about eloping or maybe it was just me that wanted to ELOPE.  I wanted to get married to my woman. *Jesus didn’t come, but we did get married.

Luke 12:40

1. LIVE WITH FAITH, NOT FEAR. Luke 19:13

“Occupy until I come.” OCCUPY: KJV

GREEK INTERLINEAR: “Transact business as normal until I come.”…..

OLD PREACHER: Live like Jesus is coming tomorrow, but plan like He isn’t coming for 1,000 years.

SOME SAY: The end is near! You better watch out the Lord might come. You better get right or you’ll get left….

For the Christian, the Lord’s coming should not be a “You better watch out” or “You better be ready.” “You never know the day, you better stay prayed up.”

*If you have experienced Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and you have repented of your sins, then the coming of the Lord is a joyous and momentous occasion. It is a celebration day….It is not a day to be feared.

-I am a 1st generation believer. Most of us have been exposed to many sermons, movies, and conversations about the mark of the beast, the Great Tribulation, and the Rise of the Antichrist.

-A lot of books and a lot of money has been spent on this subject.

ILLUS.: I would visit my youth pastor, Ken Siegler, and not be able to find him, panic would set in because I thought I had been “left behind” and missed the rapture.

The Book & the Movie: “The Late Great Planet Earth.” By Hal Lindsey helped me get into the church. Hal Lindsey made Dispensationalism very popular in the 1970s. He wrote that society would not last past 1989.  32 years have come and gone. Hal Lindsey- 93.

Some of you grew up in a religious environment that was obsessed with the “end times.”

-“I don’t want to miss church because I don’t to be left behind.”

-You haven’t been in church for 2 weeks; you probably need to get saved again.  “Don’t take the mark if you are left behind.”

-THIS WILL MAKE SOME OF YOU SQUIRM IN YOUR SEAT: A majority of the people who saw those movies, and heard those statements experienced death…….not the rapture. Shouldn’t we spend more time getting people ready for death as opposed to how to survive the TRIBULATION PERIOD?  

-You can’t be spiritually healthy talking about living in fear of the coming of the Lord all the time-Unless you are not ready.

-You can’t be spiritually healthy talking about the anti-Christ and the 666 all the time.

-You can’t be spiritually healthy being obsessed with the end-times.   

I think we have to be careful to preach FAITH NOT FEAR.

Preaching a gospel laced with fear will produce a salvation experience underpinned with condemnation and even manipulation. Romans 2:4

ILLUS.: There was a time years ago that I could get anybody to the altar. God wants to touch you-but you better not put it off…because you might not see God tomorrow.  You better have faith now.

What bothered me was the frequent flyers. Where is their faith? 

Q-Have we preached a salvation gospel based on a fear that has come and gone so many times that it has caused the lost, the backsliders to doubt what we say?

-Jesus is going to come – but we are told to do business as usual.

-I know the scripture says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as men count slackness.”

POINT: Any manipulation that causes someone to repent out of fear, or impending doom will only create a salvation moment that lasts as deep as the fear lasts or until that person has a verifiable salvation experience.

-It is vital that we have a balanced view of end-time prophecy.

-I am afraid that some get scared out of hell for a little while.

-Some people serve God when the chips are down.

A lot of people seek God when they have to. A lot of people come to God in the jail cell, on the hospital bed, after a car accident, after a divorce…….That blesses me that people see their need for God.

-BUT…..I’m afraid that the church has cultivated a gospel of “Escapism.” Jesus will come and will take us out of this old world.

-We will escape this world, we as Evangelical Christians believe in what is called a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. I-100% believe that.

-1967-The War of Yom Kippur.

-1984-The Alignment of the Planets.

-EEC (European Economic Community) -It abounds with images and references to the Anti-Christ.  

-Sept. -1991- Rosh Hashanah

-2000- 6,000 years is all we have been promised.

-2008 recession, the Fall of America.

SALVATION: “I accept the cross, I believe the blood is the only way to salvation. I am a sinner and I need forgiveness.

“MY HOPE IS BUILT ON NOTHING LESS THAN JESUS’ BLOOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

-I think we must be careful about adding qualifiers to salvation.

-You need to change this, and this and this…If the relationship with Jesus is present…He will bring faith…

ILLUS.: POLL

  1. When you hear the phrase, “Jesus is coming” how do you feel?
  2. When you hear about the Anti-Christ and the 666, how does it affect you?
  3. How do you feel about Jesus coming back?

-Overwhelmed, scary, good, excited, people have been saying that for a long time, I don’t plan on being here (I will probably die 1st), I can’t wait to see it. I do not care about the AC at all. I have heard this my whole life. I worry about those who don’t know the Lord. I am frustrated. I am fearful.

Every generation has said this, “The world has been in turmoil since its’ birth, what real facts tell us that this age is any different?”

-I think we have to ask hard questions about what we believe and apply Biblical truth to our days.

Q- Do we believe in an Imminent Return of Christ? YES

-If we believe Jesus is coming-are we sharing the gospel?

-If we believe Jesus is coming-how has it affected the way we are living?

-I’m afraid that our world has not witnessed a demonstration of passionate believers who are in love with God and His presence.

Too many are worried about the one-world government instead of the triune Godhead.

Some are obsessed with the mark of the beast instead of being marked by Christ’s love and presence by telling their neighbor about Jesus.

Some are focused on escaping the earth rather than trying to affect change on the earth.

Some are immersed in fear rather than FAITH.

CHARLES HADDEN SPURGEON: “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”

Q- If we really believed the Lord was coming, wouldn’t prayer meetings be full?

I mean if we really believed the Lord was coming, shouldn’t there be a lot more people energized by the Holy Spirit telling people that God loves them…….and that God will forgive them?

-It bothers me that we are so worried about the Anti-Christ, but don’t seem as bothered that people need Jesus.

2. GOD’S GLORY ALWAYS ARISES IN EQUAL AND GREATER AMOUNTS TO COUNTERACT DARKNESS. Isaiah 60:1-2

-Bible prophecy is interpreted through the lens of Israel.

-Keep your eye on Israel and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple on Mt. Moriah and the establishment of sacrifice in worship. (That is what the Jews are looking for)  

Yes- darkness may seem to be increasing, but I believe that the presence of the Lord will categorically increase according to the times we live in. -We will seek Him.

Romans 5:20

  • When the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt, God sent His glory and delivered the Israelites.
  • When there was 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments – God’s love and man’s need sent a Savior.
  • When Jesus ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit descended on the church after 10 days in the upper room.
  • When God pressed the reset button for the earth with the great flood, he provided an ark where the world could be saved.

As we read the Bible God is much more interested in telling us about how to live in this present life, rather than giving us all the details about the Anti-Christ and the end of the world. 

II Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that God has given us the tools, resources to live, and be equipped in this life.

Part of eschatology deals with the study of last things with respect to this present life- but we also deal with death and what happens in the state between death and Christ’s return.

TRUTH: I believe in the coming of the Lord, but I also believe that God wants us to experience His glory and His presence now.

Jesus has already come and went to the cross.  According to prophetic scripture, when darkness is at its thickest, that’s when the glory of the Lord rises upon us!

We are living in the in-between time from the cross of Christ to the rapture and the rebuilding of the temple in Israel and the start of the Tribulation Period. Q-Are we close -absolutely!

ILLUS.: Trump Coin, King Cyrus

-The gathering of the nations unified in one accord with a digital world money system that is cashless has already been created.

-There are hundreds of moving pieces and scriptures coming together right now causing the Book of Revelation to come alive in the day and hour that we are living.

ILLUS.: In France, Sept. 1-All workers in the entire country must have a vaccine card. Most public places in France now require a Pass Sanitaire in order to conduct business.

-In New York City, A Vaccine Enforcement is required for Dining out, public venues, and all recreational facilities. 

-It is easy to see the eventual handwriting on the wall of society from Revelation 13, that will not be able to buy or sell without proper Identification.

POINT: Pastor Greg is not saying the vaccine card is the mark of the beast.

-The Geo-Political unrest is alarming. America has 200K troops spread across 193 countries.  Special forces conduct operations in 138 countries on average per year.

-America’s involvement globally causes both repercussions and reciprocal political stress upon our leaders in Washington.

This is why it is incumbent upon our leaders to seek the Lord for direction: A nation that seeks the will of God for His wisdom and knowledge will be blessed. Psalm 33:12

Our moral compass has been destroyed: A nation that does not call on God for justice, grace and favor is a nation facing self-destruction.

-A nation that no longer wants any part of God, who legalizes abortions, legalizes non-biblical marriage, legalizes recreational drug use will make foolish, irresponsible, unwise, reckless, decisions based upon man’s limited thinking.

-Men of power who have been bought by political favors, and $$ will bark like dogs on a leash, they are no threat to the powerful nations of the world.

The United States thinks that they can spend their way out of problems, leaders in Washington think you can buy off other nations of the world.

**I could tell you that China, Russia, and Iran will more than likely began challenging the USA, especially since Afghanistan.  

-Please don’t overly fixate on the NATIONALISM of the USA to the exclusion of our responsibility to witness.

-I love the flag, but the flag will not save your soul. I love our nation, but the USA will not save your soul. IT IS ONLY BY THE BLOOD.

WHY? The US is not found in Bible Prophecy.

Daniel-Leopard – The Watchdog of the world.

-A theology that says, “Jesus will come and deliver us from this world” is not only an ESCAPISM THEOLOGY – IT IS A DEFEATIST THEOLOGY.

-Many have believed that Christians would be exempt from world judgment. Hello….Let’s look at the times…..

-What about “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, but the violent take it by force?

-What about “The gates of hell will not prevail, against the church?

-What about “Call unto me, and I‘ll show you great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”

3. SEEK HIS PRESENCE.

Those of us who are alive during these times, get the incredible privilege of seeing with our eyes what the prophets of old only dreamed about.

Proverbs 8:17; Deuteronomy 4:29; Luke 11:9-10; Jeremiah 29:13

God doesn’t want to be 2nd place to everything else in our lives. Good things are not the best things.

The priority of God’s presence has been lost in the modern church. Churches are like bakeries that are open but have no bread on the shelves.

We have stifled His presence by doing things for Him, rather than desiring intimacy with Him.

Q-Do you know what God is saying to you?

Prior to every move of God, the Lord calls His people into a season of intense, directed Corporate Prayer to see us readied for the next level of ministry.

-I have never seen a sustained move of God without ongoing continuous prayer and intercession.

II Chronicles 20:6-9, 15 – This was a corporate call.

  • We see the same call going out all over the World Today:

ILLUS.: I believe that this is a crucial time for the Church to pray & intercede.             

Prayer & Revival are great unifiers for the church. We can set purposes, and plans but it takes God’s purposes to bring it all together.

**The Bridge of Revival will ultimately transcend Cultures, People and Nations.

The Bible emphasizes God’s manifest presence,  not only his omnipresence.

-There is a difference between saying “God is everywhere,” and saying “God is here with me.”

-Saying God is everywhere is the default category for most Christians.

-God is more concerned with his presence manifest in relationship and redemption.

If we are honest, many people think of God as a “magic genie” from time to time. We keep God on the shelf until troubles arise or there is something our neighbor has that we really want.

The problem is, real relationships don’t work this way—especially with the triune God. The Lord over all will not be left on the shelf of anyone’s life.

Instead, Scripture is clear that all of life—and, principally, the gospel life—is about being in God’s relational presence. This is why David proclaims, “in your presence, there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11). When we push all our peripheral issues to the periphery, this is all that is left and all that really matters.

Encourage you: Pray & fast -Sunday @ 6pm – Tuesday @ 6 pm.

God’s presence is the only thing that will touch our Generation to praise the Lord. I believe that we are that generation.

Isaiah 43:19 -It will be different. It will not be what it was 5 years ago. 

We have to allow the Holy Spirit to come and change the agenda in the service. In Christianity, we have become accustomed to an image-based church, and God wants us to have a ministry-based Church.

THE PRESENCE OF GOD DOESN’T HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT.

Much of what is happening today in Churches is are fads. People today are running across the countries trying to copy a program. Let us fix our eyes on the rising glory of the Sun of Righteousness instead of the momentary darkness that quakes and trembles at the mention of His name.

Let’s find out where our position is – because if you are alive, you have a part to play! Let’s declare the solution instead of wringing our hands over the problem. The end is near, AND the future is bright! Remember who you are. Rise up and reign.

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