Eight Things that Must Be
What weíre going to talk about today is actually a little bit of something that I started to go off into about three or four weeks ago in a message. †However, I realized it was going to eat up too much of my time to get the point I wanted to get across which has to do with eight reasons or eight things that must be.† When you think about it especially at this time of the year, I think about the saying that the only thing certain in life is death and taxes.† Certainly tax season is coming up so thatís a possibility and no one wants to think about death, yet thatís a certainty.† Thatís not the only certainties that there are in life.† And, as I was looking at some scriptures a phrase that came out of Revelation 20 when we were studying that some weeks back where a statement said ďmust beĒ. I started looking at the scriptures about the things that said ďmust beĒ and there are several verses and different things that ďmust beĒ as the scripture listed, but I started categorizing them and put theses scriptures into eight things that must be.
Eight is an interesting number in itself, and not that this is limited to eight, I just made it come out to eight (accidently turned out to be eight) but eight in your Bible is a number of new beginnings. And before there can be a new beginning ~ and what I mean by that new beginning goes back to Revelation 21 and 22 which talks about a new heaven and a new earth when eternity begins.† Before there can be that new beginning, there are eight things that must be. And I thought this† is a good time today to go back and look at each one of those eight things.† I maybe got four of them out before and never even numbered them (Iím not always good at telling you what number Iím at) but these eight things must be before there can be a new heaven and a new earth before eternity can begin.† So, if they must be, we should look at these and look closely at them.† First of all, in Mark chapter 14: 47, and this is when they came to arrest the Lord Jesus Christ:
And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? 49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.
We pointed this out the last time. We actually did it from Matthew chapter 26 where they talked about the Lord Jesus Christ and how he has to be arrested, be crucified. But the whole point is that the scriptures must be fulfilled and it says there (Matt.26:54) that thus it must be. And so, a ďmust beĒ is something that has to be; that is everything in scripture has to be fulfilled.
One of the things we pointed out in Luke is the fact that after Jesus Christ rose from the dead, he explained to his Apostles . . . These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. †They must be fulfilled. And that is because, first of all, the Bible is an explanation of life from beginning to end.† Itís what life is all about. †And the things in the Bible are there for us to know so that we can read it and know what life is about.† God didnít leave us here without an understanding and the things written in the scriptures are true, accurate and all the things that are written there must be; all the things that are prophesized must be fulfilled.† Everything written in the scriptures ďmust beĒ and explains to us life.† Therefore, we can say that the Bible is a must read.† And that is, I would challenge you in the coming year to spend time trying to read the Bible all the way through.
When I say try, itís not really all that difficult.† Consistency, thatís the hard thing.† Bad habits are hard to break.† Good habits are hard to start.† But once it becomes a habit itíll work on you and all you have to do is read five chapters a day and youíll read the Bible all the way through.† There was a track we had out there that guided you through the Bible in a chronological, historical way.† But if you just start with Genesis and read your Bible through five chapters a day and I believe that will leave you some leeway.† What happens is that you get messed up on Saturday or something like that and the next thing you know there are ten chapters, but you get messed up and the next time youíve got to double that and if you miss three times all of a sudden now itís chore. But the Bible does explain life.† Itís what life is all about.† So everything in it has to be fulfilled and you ought to read it.
They say ďRead the Bible to be wise; believe it to be safe, and practice it to be right.Ē But also, when we say, even in this passage, that it ďmust be,Ē the Bible is Godís word to us and therefore what it says has to be accurate because it represents God.† You can say it this way:† God is only as good as His Word.† And, therefore, when it says, ďthe scriptures must be fulfilledĒ† if it wasnít fulfilled, if God was inaccurate in one point, you couldnít trust him.† The accuracy of what God said has to be fulfilled because itís Godís Word, and God is only as good as His Word.† Iím going to read to you Psalms 138.† When David begins to write this, notice the reference to Godís Word.† He says,
I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. (That is the Gentile gods that they worship.† God is above all them.† Theyíre not real but there is idolatry behind each one.)
2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (You know, the name of God is important.† Let me read you a couple more verses here.)
3 In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.4 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
So Godís Word is important.† Itís magnified above His name.† That is, Godís name is to be honored; the Third Commandment:
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
And I would tell the young people that are here, to be careful about the statements like ďOh My GodĒ or ďOh, LordĒ and just using it vainly.† In our Bible the reverence of Godís name can be seen when you see LORD all in caps. That is his name, Jehovah. In such a reverence for His name, rather than write the name out, they wrote LORD.† Donít use his name in an idle way; whether it be the name Jesus, or Christ in an idle way, or God in an idle way, or Lord in an idle way. Donít ever do that because Godís name is to be reverenced.†† And yet, the passage says ďthou hast magnified Thy Word above all thy name.Ē† Which also tells you a real important fact concerning the accuracy of the Bible because if Godís Word means that much to him because it represents Him and His integrity, then it has to be accurate.† And, he preserved his word, so there is an accurate translation which we believe the Kings James Bible is it. ††All you have to do is compare all the other translations and you can find places where they are absolutely wrong.† Where they actually say the opposite of what the King James said and both canít be true.† And youíll find each time that Godís word is true in the King James Bible.† So Godís word has to be fulfilled because of its accuracy because it represents God himself.
It also needs to be fulfilled because of what God has said heís then going to fulfill.† And with that, I hear people make a statement and it happens a lot, and if itís something you say often, try not to say it to me, because you realize I donít think much of the statement.† Theyíll say, ďGod says he will do this, but God can do anything.Ē† What theyíre saying is, God said heís going to do this, but Iím hoping heís going to do this over here and because he can do anything, he can do that.Ē† Because Godís word has to be fulfilled, and the accuracy of Godís word represents God, thatís not a true statement.† †God canít do anything.† You realize he canít come tomorrow.† Now he can come in the rapture for us in the air.† He canít come to earth tomorrow.† He canít do it.† Because if the scriptures must be fulfilled, there are things in the Book of Revelation that have to be fulfilled in the future and thereís a seven year period of time in which those are being fulfilled.
Jesus Christ cannot come to earth tomorrow.† You say, ďWell, He can do anything.Ē† No he canít.† He obligated himself to his word and once God speaks he has to fulfill what he said.† And what he said to you, thatís what he will do.† And so, be careful about that statement, ďWell, God said this† but he can do anything.Ē† No.† He is capable in his mightiness to do anything, but heís obligated to do what he said in his word.† So, the Bible says ďthe scriptures must be fulfilled.Ē†
We already said this, and the reason we talked about this before, is that what God has promised Israel must be fulfilled.† There are groups of people who look at their Bible and say that what God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the multiplied seed of the nation of Israel has now just been transferred over to us† and weíre now ďspiritual IsraelĒ and theyíre going to be fulfilled spiritually† in us and that God is not going to fulfill his promises to Israel.† No.† Because Godís word must be fulfilled.† The second thing is that his promises must be true and must be fulfilled literally.† And whatís important about that is not just that God has a future for the nation of Israel, that their fullness will come in the prophetic age when God again deals with the nation of Israel, but today God is postponed dealing with Israel and calling out of all nations a people to be saved today.† And in Paulís epistles you find out what God is doing today and what God has promised to us. †And, just like he has to fulfill what he promised to the nation of Israel he must fulfill what he promised to us.† What that gives you is absolute assurance of your salvation.
First Corinthians 15 verses 1-4.† The first two verses say that youíre saved if you believe what Paul delivered to you.† Then he tells you what he delivered to you:
†For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;
According to that statement then you are saved if you believe what Paul said unless you believe in vain (if you believe something other than what Paul said).† But if you believe in the substitutionary payment of Jesus Christ, that he is the complete payment for your sins, that his death on the cross was in your place, dying for your sins, and by his resurrection he was raised for your justification so that you can be declared righteous before a Holy God, then you trust what He did and He alone, not in yourselves or in your work, the Bible says youíre saved.† And you can be absolutely sure you have eternal life and youíre going to heaven someday because God must fulfill his promises to you.†
The third thing, in order for all that to take place, Jesus Christ must have suffered, died, buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures.† I know we looked at that once before but come with me to Luke 24.† This is as far as I got when I listed the eight out as a point to another message, but I think I quoted then Matthew chapter 16:21 where he begins to tell his apostles for the first time that heís going to go to Jerusalem and be delivered unto the Gentiles and be killed and be raised again the third day.† When he says that, he says that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things, and so forth.† Thatís the first time the word ďmustĒ appears in the New Testament; just an interesting point.† But here he says it after the Resurrection.† Actually itís an angel thatís talking to the women who came to the empty tomb and says in verse 3 of Luke 24:†
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.† 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:† 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?† 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
So the angels are reminding them, 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words . . . (Luke 24: 6-8).† Oh, yeah, he said that.† But the point is that Jesus Christ must be delivered into the hands of the Gentiles, be crucified and rise the third day.† He must!† It had to be.† Not only because the Scriptures said it, but thereíd be no salvation apart from the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.† (Iíll elaborate on that in a second).
Come with me to Luke chapter 18:34, which goes back to the times he was ministering to them in Galilee and thereabouts.† Iíll start in verse 31 so youíll see the context:
31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.† AND look at verse 34 really close:
34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
You think Godís trying to make people understand that they didnít understand the cross?† Youíve got the women after the cross where this is repeated to them and they go, ďOh, yeah, I remember he said that!Ē† This tells you that in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the message isnít about the death, burial, and resurrection of the Christ. Itís historic about Jesus Christís coming, being rejected, being crucified, rising from the dead.† It covers the history of that.† But the preaching of the Cross was not found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.† Theyíre preaching the gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus Christ will someday return and set up his Kingdom.† They were looking for it to happen at the first coming; itís going to happen at the second coming.† But this verse makes it so clear and yet people think that when they read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that the twelve apostles were out there preaching how Christ came to die for our sins.† Thatís a message that was given to the Apostle Paul after the resurrection, after the ascension of Christ, and the calling and commissioning of Saul of Tarsus to be Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles as it was revealed to him whatís called the preaching of the cross, and the good news of what was accomplished in the cross.† Here we know that it must be ~ we learn from Paul why it must be.† Itís always nice to learn why.† It must be because that is our payment for sin.† That is the means by which whereby man can be saved.† Apart from the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ there is no salvation for man.† So when Jesus was talking and said he must suffer in Jerusalem and die and rise again, he must in order for there to be salvation for us.†
You know, thereís theological arguments out there by theologians, usually on the liberal side, but they argue and say, ďYou know, God could have brought salvation another way.† But† he wanted to show his love and his passion for us.† And, so Jesus Christ died for us.Ē† Well, that couldnít be further from the truth.† I take exception to that.† You know, thereís a verse in Galatians that says, If righteousness could have come any other way, then Christ died in vain.† There was no other way.† Thatís why he must go to Jerusalem, suffer, die and rise again . . . thereís no other way to be saved.† Because, there could be no other sacrifice that could be a divine, holy sacrifice who is eternal; who could provide a fully satisfying substitutionary payment for mankind owing an eternal debt. When we say the Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) thatís not just physical death.† Believers physically die.† But, believers donít die spiritually.† Theyíre not ever separated from God and someone who hasnít trusted the gospel thereís a wage they pay for their sins and that is an eternal separation from God.† There is an eternal debt you have as a payment for sin that you can never dwell ever in the presence of a Holy God.† That sin separates you from God.†
Often we use this illustration:† If this hand represents you and me and this wallet represents sin (good color, black).† Weíre all sinners.† Weíve all sinned and come short of the glory of God.† With that sin on you thereís no way that you could ever spend eternity with God.† God whoís Holy and righteous does not dwell in the presence on sin.† The wages of your sin is death; and thatís an eternal separation from God.† You have a debt that you could not pay.† Itís a debt you couldnít deal with yourself.† People say, ďWell, Iíll turn over a new leaf.Ē† That didnít get rid of anything.† ďIím going to resolve in 2014 to live a better life.Ē† Good.† What about the bad life youíve already lived?† And what about the mistakes youíre going to make in 2014?† Because you can try all you want; youíre a sinner by nature!† You practice sin.† You canít live above sin.† God sent his son into the world, God manifest in the flesh.† Heís eternal God.† Heís from everlasting to everlasting.† And Jesus Christ came into the world in a human body so that he could go to the cross and shed his blood to be a payment for our sins.† He had no sin of his own.† He died for our sins; was buried and rose again victorious over sin so that he could offer to you and me eternal life as a free gift.
And so, he paid an eternal debt. Eternal God through his eternal spirit died and paid an eternal debt for us so we can be saved.† How else can your sins be dealt with except for you to die in your sins and spend eternity separated from God.† There is no salvation apart from the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.† And, it is when you trust that death, burial and resurrection (thatís what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15); when you believe that, youíre saved!† Until you believe that, youíre still in your sins because youíre not receiving the payment that God has made for you; the substitution youíre not receiving it.† Therefore, itís not applied to you and given to you.† Godís gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.† And that gift is received on the basis of faith.†† So the bible says that he must†† suffer and die and be raised again for that reason.† The other thing that we would understand by that is in John 3:7, when Nicodemus a ruler of the Jews was confronted by the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ asked him:† Are you a ruler of the Jews and know ye not that ye must be born again?† Thatís not an option.†† Here is a ruler of the Jews who thought they were special people because they were born of Abraham and that gave them special privileges; but that didnít give them spiritual life. The nation of Israel themselves needed a spiritual birth; not just a physical birth from Abraham, but a spiritual birth through the Holy Spirit of God to receive spiritual life.† And so, they must be born again.† For you and I, thatís called in Titus the †regeneration of the Holy Ghost so that when you trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour God gives you eternal life and you are born from above . . . you have spiritual life given to you.† Maybe the again part doesnít apply to us, but thereís still a spiritual life.
There are truths in the Bible that concern spiritual things.† For instance, the Lord Jesus Christ told the woman at the well that they that worship God must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.† Not just physical worship.† Not just emotional worship.† But they that worship God must ~ no choice about it ~ must worship in Spirit and truth. There has to be a spiritual life given thatís going to connect man (who is spiritually dead) to receive the spirit of Godís life so that he is joined to God.† He has spiritual life; he shares Godís life.† Now he can worship God.† But he also must worship in spirit and in truth.
Here at Grace Bible Church we emphasize the need to rightly divide the word of truth.† You can worship all you want, but God doesnít receive your worship unless the worship is centered in truth.† Truth is important to God.† And so, you must worship him in spirit and in truth.† Now, in this talking about salvation, come over to 1 Cor.15. And, by the way, put a piece of paper there as weíre going to come back here again.† In Acts 4:12 Peter is telling the nation of Israel after Christ rose from the dead: 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved .† Youíre not automatically saved.† You must be saved.† You must make a decision to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour and thatís equivalent to us receiving new birth, receiving salvation.† Thatís why Ephesians 1:13 says that
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Youíre given the spirit of life when you trust Jesus Christ as your savior, not before.† And so the decision must be made.† 1 Corinthians 15:1.† Hereís Godís word, and remember Titus, Chapter 1:2 says in hope of eternal life which God that cannot lie promised before the world began.† Godís word magnifies his word above his name, right?† The scriptures must be fulfilled.† So hereís a scripture you can count on and know for sure, absolutely, that you have eternal life if you do whatís said here.
†Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel [thatís good news] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain (Cor. 15:1).
If you believed something other than what Paul taught, you are not saved, but if you believe what Paul taught, he says you are saved.† Boy, what did he teach?† Look at verse three. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; †4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And from this point on he goes to prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
You know, when you read that scripture youíll see itís not the historical message that Christ died, was buried and rose again.† Notice it says as Paul delivered that Christ died for our sins.† Your faith isnít just in the historical fact that Christ died, was buried and rose again, but itís in what was accomplished† in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.† Paul said, He died paying for your sins!† And if your sins are paid for, then thereís nothing left for you to do except receive that gift of eternal life and youíre saved when you believe that message says Paul.† So if you trust in the message of the cross that Jesus Christ totally, completely paid for all your sins; trust that alone for your salvation, God says youíre saved.
Now, part of that salvation is that Jesus Christ is coming back for us.† Look how it says (and Iím not sure this is the same category but I left it in the same category) look at 1Cor.15:49.† Heís talking about the resurrection and people question how thereís going to be a resurrection and he explains some things.† But in the conclusion of explaining those things he says in verse 49,
††And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [Why?] 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
If it doesnít, you canít enter into the Kingdom of God.† So, he tells you a secret, a mystery concerning us that there is going to be this time thatís coming thatís going to take place in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye.† One one hundredth of a second.† At the last trump.†
Interesting statement there because the trump is a calling of God.† God called us by the gospel the first time and whatís the last time?† Calling us home!† Thatís the last trump.† This is going to take place where at that point the dead are going to be incorruptible but those who are alive without ever dying are going to be changed.† Why?† Because they must, this corruptible, must put on incorruption. †This mortal must put on immortality; because God has a place for us in heaven and thereís going to be a change thatís going to take place.† All of us who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, who have believed that gospel at the beginning of this chapter, this is going to take place, and it must take place.† Otherwise, we canít enter into the Kingdom of God.
Now, you know, thatís unique to this age because if you think about what weíve been studying in Revelation, trying to point out how things are going to end and why they must be, we realized already that at the second coming of Jesus Christ when he comes back to earth thereís a whole group of Gentiles who are going to be allowed to enter into the Kingdom who donít even know why theyíre there. And theyíre going to enter into a thousand year reign of Christ and theyíre not going to be changed.† They are going to enter into the Kingdom of Christ and not be changed!†
That must be different from this verse.† These verses (1 Cro.15:49-53) says all of us are going to be changed. †Paulís writing to Jews and Gentiles at Corinth who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and said weíre all going to get changed because weíre not going into that earthly Kingdom of Jesus Christ.† Weíre being called into the Heavens and weíre not being called into the Kingdom of Christ during the thousand year reign of Christ, weíre being raptured out into the heavens at a different time for a different purpose of God.† And so, you realize that this transformation, this rapture and the change that takes place at the rapture according to verse 53, must happen for us to go into the heavens.†
Now, weíll talk about those heavens just briefly in a minute, but you know, when you think about that, I donít know if you read the electronic sign when you were coming in to church, but ††I try to put some things out there to provoke people to think and every year at the New Year time I think, could this be the year that the Lord will come.† So, the signís a little bit different, but could it be the coming of Christ unseen?† Thatís what this event is, the rapture.† Itís not the seeing that every eye will see at the second coming, this is the unseen when he comes in the air and we meet him there.† Could it be that the coming of Christ Unseen would be in 2014?† It could be.† For us it will happen whether weíre dead or alive if it takes place.† So you need to be saved.† You need to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour to be a part of all that.
Thereís another suffering.† Come over to Acts Chapter 9.† Ananias is being told to go to Saul of Tarsus who is blind and give him his sight and heís a little afraid to do so.† The Lord has to explain that this Saul of Tarsus is a special vessel† to the Lord.† He has a special calling.† This is Saul who became Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles.† It says in verse 16, 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. Interesting that the calling and commissioning of Saul of Tarsus to be Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles that Godís going to show him that he must suffer.† He must.† Not an option, he must do it.† Paul, himself, (and Iím just going to read this to you for the sake of time) in Colossians Chapter 1 at the end of verse 23 when He says heís a preacher to every creature which is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister; Paulís the Apostle to the Gentiles and God called him to go to the Gentiles and preach to the Gentiles.† So Paul ministered and shared the gospel with the Gentiles and said,† 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church.† Weíre not the nation of Israel, weíre the church the body of Christ.† And the Apostle Paulís calling going out to us Gentiles to tell us about salvation that we become the body of Christ and that fills up the afflictions of Christ.† Because in the suffering of Jesus Christ, God has more of a purpose than his suffering to bring Israelís kingdom into this world.†
Jesus Christ suffered and through his suffering, Paul now goes out to a Christ rejecting world who continues to reject Christ and Paul suffers preaching the message of Christ because out of those who will receive the message God is forming the body of Christ out of Jews and Gentiles alike who will believe on Jesus Christ for a purpose of making Jesus Christ preeminent in all things.† And when you read all of Colossians 1 you find out preeminent in the heavens, as well as in the earth.† Paul must suffer to fill up the afflictions of Christ because God has a purpose for Jesus Christ to be preeminent not just in the earth, as some day he will, but preeminent in the heavens which someday he will through the body of Christ.† And to accomplish Godís purpose in Jesus Christ, Paul must suffer.
Now thereís something else about that and that is in Acts Chapter 14:21.† Paul goes out and this is his early ministry† and has gone through the area of Galatia and as heís done doing that it says:
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, 22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.†
We must.† Itís one thing Paul must suffer, but Paul tells the believers you must suffer, too.† And not just suffer, but through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God.† Youíre going to go through a lot of suffering yourself. Thereís going to be much tribulation for you when you believe the gospel before you enter into heaven.† And it must be.† In 1 Thessalonians 3:3 when Paul was with the Thessalonians (weíve been studying this), Timothy went back and went over some things with him and taught them:
3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
You know why?† We live in a time frame where God has interrupted the second coming of Jesus Christ in order to postpone his coming in bringing peace on earth and good will to men.† Heís extended his dealings with mankind and itís called the longsuffering of God.† And in this age of Grace God is suffering with a sin cursed world, putting up with it longer and we got saved while living in this sin cursed world.† But weíre saved from it, going to be delivered from it in the future, but until he calls us home, in life youíre going to suffer because things are still under the hand of the god of this world; people are still against Jesus Christ and the gospel.† And even in America weíre going to suffer more and more as time goes on; you can see the freedoms slipping away.† So you will suffer.
You know, Iím going to save you some money.† Donít go to the palm reader and the sťance person ~ Iím going to give you my predictions for 2014.† Are you ready?† All of you will experience some degree of hardship in 2014.† Iíll be 100% accurate in this.† Some of you will experience a decline in health. †Others of you, and maybe some will have both, will have a decline in finances.† You will experience emotional sorrow.† Thatís going to happen to you in 2014 and you can keep your money and donít have to pay me for that.† But I do tell you this, whatever you face in this year you who know Jesus Christ as your Saviour you will be able to endure all that with joy, goodness, strength, and hope because Godís Spirit and Godís Word will sustain you.† His grace is sufficient for you.
So those things are going to happen to you. But think about this:† if weíre suffering in the age of grace, do you realize itís only going to get worse?† Come over to Revelation Chapter 4.† John has just been given revelation to prepare people for what theyíre about to go through so they can overcome these events that are going to take place.† Now heís about to see the events that are going to take place on the earth for seven years prior to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.† We get raptured out.† But God is going to give a vision from heaven of what is going to take place on the earth and it says,
†After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.†
You know, the tribulation is the most terrible timeÖin fact, Matthew 24, says it going to be a time such as was not since the world began.† Itís going to be a time so terrific, so horrible, Godís judgment is going to be poured out on this world and that verse says things that must be hereafter.† It has to happen.† Itís Godís cleansing process of this world for the second coming of Jesus Christ to come back.† Revelation 22 ends that these things must shortly come to pass.† These things have to happen.†
So prepare yourself, not prepare yourself for the tribulation, prepare yourself that you must suffer during this age of grace and it only gets worse after weíre gone because Godís judgment on the world will take place.† Grace will be removed and wrath will be poured out on this earth; and that must happen.† Itís all part of Godís plan and purpose and in the wisdom of God, it must happen.† Sometimes we want to wonder why, but weíll get to why some other time, but that must happen.
Back in 1 Corinthians 15, look what Paul tells us here concerning that.† Jesus Christ after his first coming and death and resurrection finally ascending up into heaven it says in Acts 3:21: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. A time of restitution.† The world got corrupted by the sins of Adam and Eve; thorns and thistles grew; death came as a process; murder and all the sinfulness and wickedness took place because of the sins of man, but thereís a time of restitution.† Jesus Christ is going to be in heaven until itís time to restore the earth.† And during the thousand years the earth will be restored like the Garden of Eden even before the new heaven and new earth.† The Apostle Paul talking about the times says in 1 Corinthians 15:20:†
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.23 But every man in his own order: [you have to rightly divide the Word of truth] Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.† [Notice thisÖ]25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
That is Jesus Christ reigning until everything is under his feetÖhe comes back and is King in Jerusalem and of the increase of his kingdom and peace there shall be no end.† Gradually through that thousand year reign of Christ he brings the whole earth under His dominion and then he turns that Kingdom over to the Father.† So when we talk about the thousand years, the thousand years has to be because according to verse 25 he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet.† The last enemy destroyed is death; in the great white throne judgment death and hell is cast into the lake of fire.† So after Jesus Christ comes back heís going to reign for that thousand years, and† he must do that as 1 Corinthians 15 states.† So that has to take place before there is a new heaven and a new earth.†
Now that brings us to our very last one, number 8.† Not only does Jesus Christ have to come and subdue the whole earth, during that thousand year reign of Christ Satan must be loosed.† Come to Revelation chapter 20.† This is what made me think about it in the first place weíll elaborate on this more.† Just one thought, Revelation Chapter 20, Jesus Christ finally comes back, returns to the earth and Satan who has been manipulating all the evil on this earth and rebellion against God is taken and it says in Revelation 20:1
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
After Satan is subdued, out of the way, canít influence the world any more, Jesus Christ can influence the world in righteousness and justice and he does so and brings everything under his feet for a thousand years and then Satan must be loosed again.† Weíll talk more about why, but one thing is obvious. †Iíve already told you that of the people who enter into the Kingdom at the second coming of Christ that there are Gentile nations going into the Kingdom in natural bodies who donít even know why theyíre allowed to go in there except that they know they treated Israel right, so theyíre allowed into that Kingdom.† And people are going to be born of those people during that thousand years.
When you read the book of Revelation, by the time Jesus Christ comes back, the world population (are we up to seven billion now?) half the world population is dead.† The world will be repopulated by those people living during that thousand year time.† Why would God after he binds Satan, why must he be loosed a little season?† Because every man must be given a choice.† And the people born in that time under the reign of King Jesus needs to know heís just not a political king. He is God who has already come to earth because earth used to be a sinful,† sin cursed evil world and he died for all of manís sins. Those who trust in Him will receive the gift of eternal life.† Those people during that thousand years need to be given a choice.† They see, and they live under his reign, theyíre told the stories, they read the Bible, do they believe it?† Satan is loosed (remember heís bound a thousand years as the verse says, that he should deceive the nations no more) till the thousand years should be finished.†† What is Satan going to do after the thousand years?† Heís going to deceive the nations again.† Those who didnít believe their Bible, who have never believed in the goodness of Jesus Christ, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his right to reign as King over all the earth, and over the heavens as well; those who have just been going along with it all this time, then when Satan comes out and gives them a reason to rebel against Jesus Christ (and if you read Revelation 20 they do!)† He deceives many.† Why did he have to be released?† Because every man must be given a choice.†
Now that brings us all the way back to the very beginning, doesnít it?† You have a choice to make.† You canít be saved without making a choice to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour.† You can sit in Sunday school all your life; you can sit in services all your life whether youíre made to or you come of your own free will, but until you realize the reality of Christís death, burial and resurrection on the cross as the complete payment for your sins and realize that you have a need to trust that and that alone to be saved, until you make that decision youíre still in rebellion against God.† Youíre still outside of Jesus Christ.† Youíre still not saved.† And, in order to have eternal life, to enter into the new beginning of the New Heaven and the New Earth, you need to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour.† God has given every man a choice.† This is your time. During the †thousand year reign God will give those people their time.† If you havenít trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, itís a good way to start a new year.†