When we read passages like Revelation 20 our response should be an overwhelming desire to bring the hope of Christ to the lost. Let us not avoid the unpleasant warnings included in scripture but rather share them unflinchingly, always expounding on the importance of being found in Christ—free from condemnation and risen again to newness of life!
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us today as we continue this study of “Pandemics, Plagues, and Natural Disasters: What is God saying to us?” Now, if you were with us last time, you know that I emphasized that what is happening today is a preview, a warning, if you please, of coming judgment that is still to come upon this earth. For example, today, we find that there are many people who have lost their jobs because of COVID, we have food lines in various cities. Imagine if that were to happen on a world-wide scale. Imagine also the kind of starvation and devastation that is still to come upon this earth. For example, in Revelation 13 you have the rise of anti-Christ and there’s a verse of scripture that actually gives me chills. By the way, anti-Christ is going to combine the religious aspect, but also the political aspect all in one person. Now, listen to what the Scripture says, “And all who dwell upon the face of the earth shall worship him, except those whose names are written in the lamb’s book of life from before the foundation of the world.” They, by the way, will be killed. It goes on to talk about how anti-Christ is going to kill them with the sword, and if that doesn’t kill them, we find that nobody can buy or sell unless they have the mark of the beast. That’s not hard for us to understand today is it? Especially in our digital, technological society.
So, there is a great deal of suffering still to come to this planet and then you have the doctrine of hell. Hell, of course, is a very diffcult doctrine and often times we ask the question, “Is God just to condemn people to hell forever? Does the punishment really fit the crime?” Well what if Jonathan Edwards is right when he said that the greatness of the sin is determined by the greatness of the being against whom it is committed? I’ve used this illustration before, but you throw a snowball at a mailman, no big deal, throw one at—you know, a police officer you’re in more trouble, throw one at the president United States and you’re arrested and you’re jailed. Now, just take that and make it go higher and higher and think about the holiness of God. My friend, today you and I have no idea of how offensive sin is to God. And then we get to the final judgment—Revelation 20. I’ve preached on this in different contexts and I need to tell you it is chilling. You have the people from all time who have never come under the protection of Jesus Christ’s righteousness. They are all gathered together before God and I can see in my mind’s eye, the rich and the poor, the famous and the unknown, every religion represented, every country represented, but what brings them all together is that they lack the righteousness that God requires to enter into heaven. You see, you and I always think that God is something like us. He’s just like us except He’s bigger and it’s human righteousness taken to a different level, a higher level. That’s not the way it is, my friend. I’ve thought a lot about God and I’ve concluded that the righteousness of God is entirely different from our righteousness. It is a righteousness that only God can give, and He gives it to those who believe.
So, my point is simply this: that when we look around and we see the devastation that is happening whether it’s COVID, whether it’s other kinds of natural disasters. Let it be a reminder that the worst is yet to come and you and I have a message to give to this very broken, hurting world and that is we should encourage people to settle out of court. You don’t want to stand there in the presence of God and be judged on the basis of your own record. Here’s a verse of scripture that everyone should know. If you’ve been saved for 6 months, you should be able to quote these verses, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again and is even now at the right hand of the throne of God, who makes intercession for us.” In my own life, I’ve decided that I’m going to settle out of court to receive the righteousness of my mediator, my attorney—Jesus who supplies what God demands. These arevery difficult times and you and I need to look forward to eternity. Realize they will become more difficult, but thankfully—please join us next time, because I’m going to be speaking about the way of escape.
God bless you. I’ll see you right here next time and as for today you just go with God.