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#37 Judgment Day Part II

September 4, 2008

Today’s lesson is exactly the opposite of last week. Last week we looked at the scene in heaven as the people of God are rejoicing before the Throne, praising the Lord, and singing songs of thanksgiving for His mercy and grace which He has lavished upon us! Now one thing that I neglected to deal with was the fact that there a many religions who claim that their group will produce the 144,000. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are one such group. Another is Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God. Both of these are cults. Both claim special status with God, and that they alone possess the true gospel message; the only way you can see God according to them is to join their respective (I use this term loosely) organizations.

 

But they do not possess the truth. The exact opposite is true, they are propagators of the lie of the devil and they are seeking to lead people astray after them. They preach ‘another gospel’ which is no gospel at all. Paul calls them some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. And He lays this condemnation upon them saying 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 “As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Gal 1:7b-9)

 

This morning we are going to be looking at the end of the damned, the God-rejecting masses who follow such false teachers and who will not bow the knee in homage to the God who made them. All that we see today aught to cause us to tremble for fear of what lies in store for those whom we know, who continue to curse God, who persist in their position of unbelief in the face of the evidence around them, which evidence God has made clear to them so that they are without excuse. To these “The Proclamations of Three Angels” is directed.

 

Notice what is said in verse 6 “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

This is an all inclusive invitation folks. The angel is up their for all to see and he is 7  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

 

It is interesting that men persist in their professed blindness in spite all of the evidence that surrounds them. But God being rich in mercy will not leave them any wiggle room to say, “I never heard the gospel”. Here we see that they will get an angelic preacher who will tell them the message of salvation. It says, ““And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people…”

It is interesting how once again many commentators must try to limit God in this place. In (Ex 15:11) Moses rightly gave glory to God for His awesome majesty and omnipotent power when he said…Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” And yet, modern man with his vast ecclesiastical knowledge here says, “Oh this must refer to modern technology. This must be a satellite!

 

Now there was a ‘Christian’ organization that had been advertising that they were going to put a satellite up into orbit to carry the everlasting gospel into orbit and this would be the fulfillment of this passage of an angel “flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people”.  Unfortunately this ‘angel’ got lost shortly after being launched. To this day they still haven’t been able to find it!

 

There are others who believe that they can ‘hasten the Lord’s return’ by preaching the gospel to every person on earth. I remember when I first started going to First Southern Baptist Church in Miami that the big program that was in play at the time was called “Bold Mission Thrust”.  The main “Thrust’ of this program was that Southern Baptists were going to ‘preach the gospel to every creature’ before the year 2000. And then Jesus would come back. Now their zeal for the spreading of the gospel was admirable. And we should never seek to rebuke anyone who who’s desire is to preach the truth!

 

But to claim, as some do, that they can ‘hasten the coming of the Lord borders on blasphemy for this mind-set once again puts God in a box and places Him at man’s beck and call. Now my question to you is this; why do people put such ‘faith’ in man, in man-made technology or man-made theology (by definition, the study of God) to the exclusion of God? I have never been able to figure this out. Why do the ‘theologians’ and the intellegencia of mankind forever seek to put God in a box? It is just stupid.

 

God is not a man and He doesn’t make mistakes. When He does something it is done perfectly and He declares it to be “Very Good!” To all of those who would seek to limit God and exalt man to the status of ‘superman’ the gospel message will be proclaimed. They will be without excuse for their willful rejection of Jesus Christ! Even today they have no leg to stand on in their persistent rebellion against the truth.

 

And all of their false confidence and braggadocio (boastful swaggering) when you try to tell them about Jesus Christ amounts to nothing; except for this fact which you may tell them…“Because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. (Rom 2:5) 

 

A day of reckoning is approaching, a shocking day for those who say, ‘I don’t believe in that Jesus stuff.’ I was watching a T.V. show called, “the way of the Master” where these guys go out and witness on the street. Ray Comfort, the host doesn’t pull any punches. He confronts people with the truth about themselves.

 

Using the Ten Commandments, the Law of God, He asks people questions, like,

1. Have you ever lied?

2. Have you ever stolen?

3. Have you ever used God’s Name in vain, as a curse word?

4. Have you ever committed adultery? (if you have looked upon a man or woman with lust you have committed the deed!)

5. Have you ever desired the property of another (Covet)

6. Have you ever murdered? (if you hate your brother you have murdered him in your heart!)

Of course if the person is honest they have to answer yes to all of these questions!

They (Mr. Comfort and his interviewee) come to the honest conclusion that they are a lying, thieving, blaspheming, adulterous, covetous murderer. Bottom line: you are a sinner and the wages, the payment due you for your labor of sinful indulgence is death! But Ray goes on to tell the good news. Someone looked down and saw our helpless, hopeless condition and came to settle our account. In short, Jesus Christ paid the bail that we owed. We deserved to die for what we have done but Jesus took our place and died for us. And He calls to us from the scripture promising that if we will but ask Him to, He will forgive us, wash away our sins in His blood and make us new people.

 

Consider the promise of salvation as stated in three different passages.

(Joe 2:32) “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

(Ac 2:21) AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’

(Ro 10:13) “for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

 

In each of these passages the same message rings clear; “if you will call upon Him, if you will ask Him to forgive you He will! Not only that but He will come to live inside of you and make you into a brand new person. He will change you from being a person that loves to do bad things into someone who loves Him and wants to please Him. He will literally become your new best friend. And there will be a place for you in heaven when you die.” This is the everlasting Gospel that the angel will proclaim as he flies through the air. But it is interesting that even though men will agree with the facts about themselves, they are unwilling to come to Jesus that they might have life!

 

Notice what verse 7 says. The angel is flying through the air for all to see saying with a loud voice, “Fear God, worship God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters… These are the things that mankind has said, “Just happened by themselves.”  Sinful man believes that this world exists because of a series of accidents! There was nothing…and then this gas appeared…and then it exploded…and then this planet came out of the gas…and then water appeared…and then some protoplasmic ooze appeared…and then it grew a brain and scales and fins and jumped in the water… and then it turned into all of the animals we see in the oceans…

And then one day one of the sea creatures decided that it would be fun to live on the land…and it flopped on the beach…and grew legs and arms…and started to evolve into man as we know him today. This is what people believe.

 

And they want you to believe it too! All of this stuff just happened. But the truth of the matter is that ungodly and unrighteous men have suppressed the truth of God, have deliberately denied the truth that God created the heavens and the earth.

 

This is a deliberate and calculated action on the part of sinful mankind 19 “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. That is a key point. Men are without excuse! Nothing they can say can get them out of trouble because they know what they are doing!

 

21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, they came up with all kinds of theories and hypotheses concerning what really happened and their foolish heart was darkened. In modern vernacular, they became brain damaged people. They purposely reached up and pulled the light switch and everything became black. You disagree? Didn’t Adam and Eve knowingly, with their eyes opened, stretch forth their hands and take the forbidden fruit?

 

They did so because the devil said, ‘this stuff will make you real smart, just like God! And so 22 “Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and they demonstrated their newfound wisdom in that they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. In short, they built statues of birds, and bugs and lizards and other fig-newtons of their imaginations and said “this is your god” worship it! You want to see how people try to justify themselves when they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar? We need look no further than (Ex 32:24). Moses had been up on Mount Sinai for 40 days receiving the Ten Commandments. I believe God kept him up there this long to test the children of Israel to see if they really feared Him.

 

Of course we know that He already knew what they would do. Now keep in mind that just a short time previous to Moses going up on the mountain, the people heard the audible voice of God telling them the Ten Commandments! They had shaken with fear and pleaded with Moses to make God speak to them through him.

 

But their fear was short-lived for the people suddenly decided that Moses was gone forever. The exact words were, “as for this Moses, we don’t know what’s become of Him.” And they basically said, “Since Moses is God, and even though we can see the visible presence of God up there on the Mountain, what we really need is a god of our own. Hey Aaron, why don’t you make us a god? Here’s a bunch of gold. And Aaron; the wimp that he was, complied.  Moses came down from the Mountain and Aaron and the people got caught doing nasty things in the name of God. 

Moses confronted Aaron about what he had done and he in essence denied that he had done anything wrong. “Those people came to me and so it’s their fault. They wanted an idol. You wanna know what I did. I came up with a plan. I saw that they were serious, that they were sincere and So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire––(that’s all I did) and out came this calf!” (Ex 32:24)

 

Can’t you just see Moses standing there like a stern father tapping his foot and listening to this swill! And imagine how patient our God is! For sinful man constantly shovel’s this sewage up into the air and says, “This is what we believe.” And in the same breath they say “We don’t believe in any of that Jesus stuff! We’d rather believe that everything just happened by itself, that something came from nothing, that 0+0=11!

 

This is what our unsaved family members are holding onto; an impossible solution to a problem in infinite consequences. But while they may say with outward bravado, “I don’t believe in that” what they are really saying is I hope I’m right!” And they are betting their eternal souls on their theory, their guess that they are right! But they have built their houses on a foundation of sand…they have based their eternal souls, (which they deny having) on a lie!

 

The truth of the matter is that men and women and children are born into this world as sinners; we are born with the stain of Adam’s sin and as Paul says, in Adam we all die. Therefore we are born guilty of breaking the law of God and the wages of sin is death. But as I said at the outset of this message, Christ came in obedience to the Father and took our place on the Cross so that we wouldn’t have to die…For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23)

 

Jesus came to live in obedience to God for us and then to die in our place to cleanse us from our sins. And He did it perfectly. It only took one time for Jesus to get it right. (Heb 9:24-28) For Christ didn’t enter the earthly version of the Holy Place; he entered the Place Itself, and offered himself to God as the sacrifice for our sins. 25  He doesn’t do this every year as the high priests did under the old plan with blood that was not their own; 26  if that had been the case, he would have to sacrifice himself repeatedly throughout the course of history. But instead he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin. 27  Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. 28  Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation.

 

Judgment Day is coming and only by the grace of God we are prepared to meet Him. But what about our unsaved, wives, husbands, children, grandchildren…etc? If Jesus were to return today would they be ready to meet Him? No! And because they are not ready they will be sent away into outer darkness to the flaming pit of hell where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth! Do we love them enough to present the truth to them? Jude calls us to 22  Be merciful to those who doubt; 23  snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

 

Jesus tells us in the parable of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb to “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, (the KJV says compel) so that my house will be full. (Lu 14:23)  He is calling us here to demand, compel, to drive, to constrain, by force, threats, and by permission, entreaties.

 

To quote Catherine Booth, “Am I to let my unconverted friends and family members to go quietly down to damnation and never tell them about their souls until they ask?” That would be the ideal situation but we must be bold in our witness, we must live boldly for Jesus and then be ready to proclaim the gospel boldly when the opportunity arises! 

 

Ms Booth continues, “Will they look willingly of their own accord? NO! Therefore we must make them look! We must point them to their only hope of deliverance from eternal punishment! If they run away from us in one place, meet them in another and let them have no peace in their sins. Let them have no rest until they call upon God! Remember that while there is life there is hope!

 

She concludes; “People are preoccupied with many things, and we need to bring this subject of salvation powerfully to their attention. There is one soul that you have more influence with than any other person on earth! Take them lovingly aside and say, ‘I have never spoken to you closely, carefully and prayerfully about your soul.’ Let them see the tears in your eyes…let them hear the tears in your voice. Let them realize that you feel their danger, and are in fear for them lest they die in their sins!”

 

Will you save their souls? No! Will you plant the seeds of truth into their hearts as you proclaim the everlasting gospel of peace? Yes. And God is able to deliver their never-dying souls from eternal punishment! You know the truth! Therefore do all you can to deliver the message, to plant the seeds of truth and then pray with all your might that God, the Lord of the harvest would be pleased to water those seeds and bring a harvest of souls into His kingdom!

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