C. Sumner Wemp, Soul Winner

C  Sumner Wemp
C Sumner Wemp

your_ticket_to_heaven._linkSumner Wemp, at the age of 17, having never held a Bible nor heard “Jesus loves me, this I know…” was invited to church by Gene Gaskins. He went, heard the gospel for the first time, and after three weeks, accepted Christ. And he never got over it.
After college and seminary, he enjoyed 13 wonderful and fruitful years of pastoring. In 1952 he wrote the first of 25 gospel tracts and founded New Life Tract Society. Millions of his tracts have been printed and given away. All the profits he received from his books and tapes went to missions.

He served 8 wonderful years at Moody Bible Institute as Chairman of Evangelism, Pastor of Theology and Director of Practical Christian Work. Then he became president of Southeastern Bible College. After that he served with Dr. Jerry Falwell as Vice President of Spiritual Affairs at Liberty University for 17 years.

Enter the FREE Drawing!Dr. Wemp held a B.A. degree from Samford University, a Th.M from Dallas Theological Seminary, a D.Min from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a D.D. from California Graduate School Of Theology.

His writings included Teaching from the Tabernacle, a 128 page book of 8 printings; a 203 page book, How on Earth Can I Be Spiritual which is in its 15th printing and has been translated into Spanish and Telegu in India. He also wrote The Guide to Practical Pastoring, a 278-page hardback which has been published in the Romanian language, and a 60 page booklet, Fishing for Men, with over 250,000 copies in circulation. Dr. C. Sumner WempApproximately 200 of his articles were published in religious periodicals. He also wrote for a soul-winning column for “The Biblical Evangelist.”

For the last 15 years of his life, he mentored 300 pastors, missionaries, and evangelists while in “retirement” and still preached, into his mid 80s, almost every other weekend all over the country. He also enjoyed challenging people with Jabez’s prayer.

He went home to be with his Lord on Christmas Day, 2012. In his absense, please continue to enjoy his encouragement, marriage, prayer, witnessing, ladies articles and more! Enjoy your stay, and thank you for visiting.

The following link will take you to webpage where you can learn from this great soul winner just how he won souls and he will teach you the same. He was one of the best users of Gospel Tracts. You will learn to love this dear man’s teaching because he is teaching you about one of God’s greatest missions–soul winning.

http://www.sumnerwemp.com/witnessing/

 

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Confessing Our Sins

Man praying

 

Article written by Editor, Ron English for Facebook

Text: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

“Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;” I Corinthians 1:10

I John 1:9, is one of the key verses in your New Testament. Christians should always be on the lookout for key Scriptures. While all Scriptures are true, all are good not all are for you in a particular setting. You must be able to discern what is and what is not for you in your situation. Rightly dividing the truth should come to your mind. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. This verse is another key. Accumulate enough keys and you can open most doors that puzzle others with less keys. Here in our text the Apostle John is telling us that we have to do something with sins after we are saved. Not for salvation, but for righteous living and peace of mind and heart. Unconfessed sins will trouble you in your daily walk and can cause you to stumble and fall away from the sweet fellowship that the Lord wants you to have and enjoy. Some have gone so far, I am thinking, as to lose in their mind for a time that they have even been saved. That is too tragic and should never happen to a Child of God. I am one of those Christians who not only believe that once a Christian has been saved–he is saved and secure forever. He or she will never lose it. So God has tucked a very important promise into His eternal Word and this is it. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” and not only that He is “faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” “Faithful” means you can depend on Him and His Word. “Just” means He is not harming any Scripture of His Word to do this. Amen and Amen! You see when Jesus died on the cross He saved the believer from the very damning and PENALTY of sin. The penalty of sin is what had you under the curse of damnation and sentenced to hell in the burning pit When Jesus shed His blood on the cross, He paid that sin debt. It was wiped out. Gone! Never to be brought up against a Christian again–NEVER!!! But Christian friend we live in a dirty, fallen world of much sin and degradation and a vile culture of hatred for God and His Word and His people. Satan is always (like a roaring lion) trying to harm your walk. He wants to trick you, discourage you,defeat you and kill your testimony. He is relentless at this. So God placed I John 1:9 in your Bible and informs you via the Holy Spirit that there is a cure for the curse of Satan in the life of the believer. It is called Sanctification. That sanctification is maintained when you are saved from the POWER of sin. Sin still has power. Not power to damn you, but power to hurt your testimony. Hurt your influence on others. So God wants you daily to be cleansed from the power of sin in your life. The Lord has laced the Scriptures with more wonderful promises of His future plans for you. He is not leaving you down here on earth. You have, by the very words of Jesus, a PLACE prepared for you in Heaven (John 14). When Jesus comes back to catch you up and all believers out of this world (The Rapture of the Church) that is called in our language saving you from the very PRESENCE of sin. You are taken out of here to be with Jesus forever and you will never be separated from Him again. Oh, dear ones do be encouraged. Many believers since these promises were given have died. God has not forgotten a single one of them. In fact, when they died, they were immediately transported to Heaven. Absent from the body (death) is present with the Lord. “5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 herefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:1-8.

 

 

The Real Meaning of Easter

Munsey: The Resurrection of the Human Body

The Resurrection of the Human Body

By Rev. William Elbert Munsey

A Message Preached by a Powerful Methodist Pastor.  His sermons, unlike anything that had been known in the eastern portion of our work, attracted immense congregations, and the church was crowded to overflowing, whenever it was known that he was to preach.  People arrived  hours before he preached and then hung onto every word and thought this man presented.  He captivated his audience with his wonderful word pictures of the Gospel.  (July 13, 1833 — October 23, 1877)

THE RESURRECTION OF THE HUMAN BODY:  How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?  Text: I Corinthians 15:35

William E Munsey
William E Munsey

WE are all standing upon the threshold of an awful future, replete with facts and instinct with entities, about which we know but little. Let but the heart cease its beating, or one vital function of this body cease its office, and we are gone-gone! to grapple with the stern truths of ages, at once interminable, inconceivable, unknown.

” To be or not to be,” after death, is answered, and nearly all men, though with different degrees of faith, are looking confidently to an existence beyond the grave.

The idea of immortality has descended down the stream of human generations from the first pair in Paradise, running down every branch from the central tide, disappearing in one, corrupted in another, and becoming more lucid and sat­isfactory in another, to the present age. It is seen in the language, literature, and manners of every age; in the his­tory, philosophy, and poetry of every people. It is seen in the retributive horrors of Tartarus, the rich fields and streams of Elysium, the Hesperian seas and islets of the Red man, the heaven and hell of the Christians.

But the heathen apply the idea of immortality to the soul only. The ancient heathen complained that the sun went down at night, and arose in the morning, but their friends went down in the gloomy darkness of death, and rose no more. They saw upon the face of every mysterious Provi­dence which swept the earth, in bold and living colors the pencillings of immortality: they felt the truth attested within by an instinctive shrinking back from annihilation, yet the tomb was invested with an eternal darkness, and the body surrendered to a perpetual sleep. With them the night of death was starless: there was no anticipated morning whose auroral splendors would break in upon the darkness of the grave, and hang the rainbow of hope over the dust of the dead.

The idea of the resurrection of the body does not appear to have occurred to them. To what source is the world then indebted for its existence? Not to reason, for the mind has not the requisite data; not to nature, for it is super-nature; not to science, for it is beyond the province of science; but to the Bible. It is the great fact recognized in the text, and is purely a subject of revelation. Let semi-infidel divines seek for the evidences of the resurrection elsewhere; it is only found in the Bible. I Would not exclude those rich illustrations corroborating Bible fact, which pour from every department in philosophic and material existence-no; but I appeal to the Bible, proven as it is to be the Word of God, as the highest evidence of the resurrection of the dead.

Hear with what authority it speaks: “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise” (Isa. 26:19). “Dead men”! “Dead bodies”! “They shall arise!”-”He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by His spirit that dwelleth in you”(Rom. 8:11).  “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2) “Asleep”! “Awake”!  ”The hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and come forth” (John 5:28, 29). / Such announcements, my hearers, have kindled a smile upon the brow of bereave­ment, and a star in the graves of the departed.

This doctrine being peculiar to Christianity and having nothing analogous in nature, has been a favorite object of attack by every school of Infidels since its announcement. It is condemned as false, because it involves a mystery. This argument is of no force unless it is true universally, unless every other thing which involves a mystery is false too. If it is true universally, if every thing which involves a mystery is false, then there is nothing true in the universe. The argument proves too much, therefore is worth nothing.

The objector confounds two things very essentially differ­ent; mystery as to fact, and mystery as to a mode. A fact may be plain, while the manner of its production may be mysterious. The doctrine of the resurrection is a doctrine of fact, and as such is clear, but its mode is mysterious. The objector confounds mystery with absurdity. An absurd­ity is something contradictory in its very nature to human reason and common sense, such as supposing an effect greater than its cause; a mystery is something beyond human comprehension on the account of its magnitude, or the rela­tion it sustains to Infinite Power. The resurrection of the human body is not an absurdity, for it is not contrary to human reason; but a mystery, for it involves the agency of infinite power to accomplish it. A doctrine whose founda­tion stone is Omnipotence, could not from its nature be sub­jected to the feeble rules and restrictions of reason.

To deny the truth of the resurrection because its mode is a mystery to us, is to say that a finite mind is equal in discovering and investigating power to all difficulties in­volved in the existence and nature of any truth, however in­timate its relations to the great infinite, either in being or principle.

Another objector says, the resurrection contradicts the great principles of science. No science is perfect: it has been the business of one age to modify and improve the science. of the past age; a future age will but expose the learned follies of this. Science is scarcely out of its swad­dling-clothes. Is it entitled to more credence than the Bible? Must this old Book, hoary with the age of centuries, written by the finger of inspiration, born at Sinai, completed amid the splendors of the Apocalypse, whose footprints are seen in the crumbled dust of earth’s wrecked and mined greatness, whose teachings are Godlike, whose precepts are thunder-given, whose promises are the hope of the world, fly the stage before the gorgeous diction and sacrilegious pre­tensions of an ungodly and pseudo-philosophy?

But I could never see any point or relevancy in the objec­tion. In what department of true science are those princi­ples found and taught, conflicting with the doctrine of the resurrection? I appeal to all the tomes in the wide range of scientific lore for an answer-they are nowhere. All science is founded upon the discoveries of sense; and if it teaches such principles, it has exceeded its province, there­fore it is no argument. Revelation is the only oracle of our faith, and the proper tribunal before which to refer our theological questions. It is under its potent influence alone that life and immortality become divine realities. To go to science to settle matters of faith, is like going to a diction­ary to learn history, or to geology to learn mathematics.

Again, the objector says, it is contrary to our experience. But the great error in the objection is, that the objector as­sumes that his individual experience is the universal expe­rience of the race. The exact and entire experience of an individual now is unlike in many respects the experience of his contemporaries; how much more is it unlike the experi­ences of men in different ages of the world, and in different stages of its development. It does not follow because the tawny son of the tropics has never seen the earth whitened with snow, that the Laplander has not seen. it; neither does it follow because we never saw a man raised from the dead, that the Apostles did not see it.

Again, it is urged that the resurrection is contrary to the immutability of the laws of nature. This argument is of no force, for the resurrection is not to be brought about by the regular action of the laws of cause and effect, but by a super­natural power.  ”Do ye not therefore err,” said Christ to the Sadducees, “because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God?”  ”Why should it be thought incredible with you,” says Paul, “that God should raise the dead?”  It is a provision of Redemption, hence above nature and na­ture’s laws, yet not contradictory to them, to either nature or its laws. It is a provision of a supernatural plan coming down upon nature, and entering in unity with it; into the unity of God’s grand system, embracing the material, immaterial, and moral.

Another objection is, the resurrection of the dead is because this body continually changes its sub­stances, so that the bodies we now have are not the same we had a few years ago, nor will be the same a few years hence -that the bodies in which we have sinned or acted right­eously may not be in many instances the same bodies as those which will be actually rewarded and punished. This argument contradicts the infidel’s own theory of the seat of personal identity, transferring the ego from the soul, the only true subject of reward and punishment, to the body, which is rewarded and punished simply as the instrument.

Such an argument would liberate in a few years every crim­inal in the world. Why retain a man in prison longer than the time afforded by this supposition for a perfect and entire change of the substance of his body? Know you not at the expiration of the hypothetical number of seven years that he is immaculate unless he sinned during his imprisonment? that there is not a particle of that guilty body which was incarcerated?  Open your state prisons and penitentiaries, and let their hordes out upon society, they are innocent. The same argument would so affect the proceedings of our criminal courts, that judge and jury would have to exercise great care to know how much of the guilty body was ar­raigned at the bar, if any, in order to mete out the ends of justice.

Such an argument, though popular and common, contra­dicts common sense, the common consciousness and experi­ence of mankind. Again, it would apply with equal force against the resurrection of Christ. His body, according to this hypothesis, changed several times, at least four times. Yet what body did he bring up?  This brings us to the true and Scriptural answer to the objection-the same body he laid down in the grave.

We have an evidence of the resurrection of the human body in the resurrection of Christ.  ”Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.”  ”If Christ rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there be no res­urrection of the dead, ‘then is not Christ risen.” (I Cor. 15:12,13). The resurrection of the race follows naturally from the resur­rection of Christ. This is clear from the federal representa­tive nature of Christ. The relations he sustains from his fed­eral representative nature to Adam proves it. If Adam in his representative character brought death into the world by his fall, and died himself, it is reasonable that Christ, in his representative character, should by his life, death, and resur­rection bring life into the world. The relation he sustains from his federal representative nature to us proves it. Being our second federal Head, and Heaven-appointed Proto-

type, and that he did take upon himself a human body, and resumed that body after it had lain in the grave, exalted it to heaven, changed and glorified, is powerful evidence that our bodies too shall be raised, changed, and glorified, and dwell with His forever.

Again, if it was necessary for Christ, to complete the plan of salvation, to be raised from the dead, it is also necessary, to complete the execution of the plan, that man also should be raised, and furthermore if he was able to raise himself, he is able to raise others. Such is the argument of Paul, hence he adduces as his principal evidence the fact, that Jesus rose from the dead. His resurrection is the type of ours. Part of our nature is in heaven ; the exaltation of a part argues the exaltation of the whole. The Great Head of the church has gone up, and the body must follow. He is, as the Apos­tle expresses it, “The first fruits-of them that slept.”

The Jews were commanded to cut the first ripening grain in their fields and take it to Jerusalem, and lay it upon the altar as a pledge of the coming harvest and as a thank offer­ing to God. At the end of the harvest they all again met at Jerusalem to celebrate the harvest feast; which they did with sacrifices and thanksgiving for many days. Now Christ the “first fruits” lays upon God’s altar in heaven, as a pledge of that glorious harvest at the end of the world, which will leave every old tomb tenantless, and gather us all, soul and body both, redeemed and glorified into heaven.

The scheme of human redemption necessarily embraces the resurrection of the human body. Its provisions extend to the body, as well as to the soul. Hear the Scriptures: “Ye are not your own, but are bought with a price; therefore glorify God with your body and your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Cor. 6:19, 20).  Both body and soul are God’s.  both bought by the blood of Jesus. Surely a body bought by the blood of Christ, especially when that body has been the sanctified temple of the Holy Ghost, cannot perish for­ever.  ”We wait for the adoption, to wit, the ‘redemp­tion of the body.” (Rom. 8:23). “I am the resurrection and the life,” Christ exclaims. No mistaking his meaning, for he is speaking with reference to Lazarus. Peter and John “preached through Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 4:2). If through Christ, it is embraced in Redemp­tion.     ”Christ bath abolished death and both brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” (2 Tim.1:10).

The seat of self-consciousness, or personal identity, is in the soul, yet the body is an integral and essential part of the constitution of man. God doubtlessly designed in the creation of man the blending of the two great elements of His universe, the spiritual and material, into one creature. This is clear from the very facts of the case; the creation of pure spirits, the creation of simple matter, and the creation of the dual nature of man, compounded of both. Man ap­pears to be the central link, uniting the spiritual and material, in the grand chain of life and existence, sweeping from the throne of God down through every rank and order of beings, by regular gradations to the passive sod upon which we walk. This being true, it follows naturally that the body is an as essential part of man’s constitution as is his soul-that he would not be man without a body. If this conclusion be true again it follows, if man is redeemed, the plan affecting such work must include the body as well as the soul, or man is but half redeemed, and the plan is but half a plan.

Again, God’s whole system, spiritual and material, em­bracing His government of both, is a unity-a well-balanced, symmetrical, magnificent unity. The creation of a bifold being, possessing in unity in his constitution the two prime elements of God’s grand system, appears to be necessary to the unity of the whole. Now such a creature was man, for he is both spiritual and material. Such being his nature, it is presumptive that as a compound, God intended he should be immortal. In fact, such is the teaching of the Scriptures. Now sin entered the world, a foreign element in the Divine system, and being a violation of law, the basis of all order, naturally produced disorganization and death. It naturally destroyed the compound nature of man by separating his soul and body. Man was destroyed; the design of God was thwarted; and His system lost its unity–results not obvi­ated by the salvation of every disembodied soul in heaven.

Such were the effects of sin, and the nature of God, and the nature of things required that it should be expunged out of His entire system. He could have destroyed sin by the destruction of everything which it had effected. He could have hurled His unbalanced system into nihilism. He had the power to do both, and His nature would have justified the action. But He of His own free will and grace chose to establish a redemptive and compensatory dispensation, according to the laws of His system itself, extending its pro­visions throughout the entire system, and touching with its restoring power everything which sin had touched-restoring man, establishing and perfecting His original designs, and readjusting the disturbed relations of universal being-He chose to establish a redemptive and compensatory dispensa­tion constituting within itself a complete remedy for the evils of sin.

A dispensation countervailing the influences of sin; one which would neutralize its poison and destroy the mephitic exhalations in man’s moral atmosphere; one which would track with angel wing and purifying power the paths of its corruption, and extract the cancerous fibres of the deadly phagedena from the system and government of God, and cast it, its author, and children into Topher, and wall it up and arch it over, to rankle in its own corruption in eternal isolation.

Now I ask you, is man restored to his original position as man, is the apparent design of God in man’s creation main­tained, and the unity of His system restored, if the body, one of the essentials of man’s constitution, one of the essentials of God’s original design, one of the essentials to the unity of His system, is never to be raised from the dead and united with the soul?  No; Christ Must save man in all the ele­ments of which man’s is compounded, or His mission is a failure. The objector is driven to the alternative of impeach­ing the remedial character and perfection of the atonement, or contradicting the Bible and the philosophy of the case, deny that death came by sin. Which choose ye?

Christ himself taught by words and actions that the resurrection of the body was included in the great work of which he was the subject. There was a pleasant little family in the town of Bethany, nearly two miles from Jerusalem, which Jesus loved-two sisters, and one brother-Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. In Jesus’ absence Lazarus died, and was buried in a cave, and covered with a stone. Jesus heard of it, and he and his disciples started for the scene of mourning, and arrived at Bethany four days after the burial. Before he entered the town, Martha heard of his coming and went to meet him: “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”  ”Thy brother shall rise again.”  “I know he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day,” says Martha. “I am the resurrection and the life,” says Christ.

Martha runs and tells Mary, for many Jews were, present,  “The Master is come and calleth for thee.” Mary rose up hastily and ran to meet him, and fell down at his feet: “Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died.” Mary wept, the Jews who had followed her wept, and “Jesus wept.”  ”Where have ye laid him?”  ”Come and see.” They went to the cave: “Take ye away the stone,” and Jesus prayed:    ”Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me; and I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by, I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”

Then Jesus cried with a voice, which one day will pour its trumpet thunders throughout the vast charnel-house of the dead and bid us all live, “Lazarus, come forth,”-and the pulse of immortality began its vibrations in the grave, and the sheeted dead came forth alive. That one dead man arose, is presumptive that all dead men shall be raised; that Jesus raised him from the dead during his redemptive mis­sion on earth, is conclusive that the resurrection is embraced in the work of redemption; and that Death heard and obeyed Him once, argues that he will hear and obey Him again. This conclusion is clear from the fact that when Jesus was completing Redemption’s plan the graves were opened, and as he completed it by his resurrection,  ”many bodies of the saints which slept, arose, and came out of the graves.” And as his resurrection was necessary to complete the work of redemption he came to perform, and did complete it; so by a parity of reason our resurrection is necessary to complete the work with reference to us; and will complete it.

Glorious hope!– a remedy as universal as the disease. Our bodies may be dead for centuries. The Erica heather of Scotland, or the cactus of South America, may bloom .over our graves; the chilly mists of the North may sheet our tombstones in eternal ice, or the encroachments of the Southern desert may bury them in sand ; marts of trade may be built over our resting-places, and the busy whirl of the world’s commerce may ring over our sleeping dust; the plough­boy may sing his merry song, and dance upon our long-lost graves; corals may incrust our bones in solid rock and rear up continents upon them;  or the wings of the tempest may fan our dust all around the world, yet the resurrection trump will find us, and we shall live again.

The inspired penmen so understood it. Acting and living under the influence of this doctrine, they lose all terror of death. Hear how they term it:  ”Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.” “Stephen fell asleep.” “Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” How ap­propriate! How expressive! for them who sleep shall awake. Death is not annihilation, but simply a change. It is sleep. To the energies of the laboring, sleep is rest and recupera­tion. Death is rest to the good man from all his toils, where he gathers new vigor for an eternity of action. Pa­geantries of golden dreams pass before the mind of the sleeper; the beauties of Heaven flash with more beaming splendor before the enraptured vision of the disembodied spirits. The overpowering joys of the better world will so soften the tread of cycles, and deaden the grating thunders of revolving ages, that the resurrection will take the sainted spirit with surprise.

The promised and kingly triumphs of our Lord Jesus Christ are proofs of this doctrine, “He must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death; 0 death, I will be thy plague: 0 grave, I will be thy destruction.” Jesus announced Himself as the Saviour and King of the world. If He is our Saviour, he must save us from sin and its results. Death is the result of sin, and if He delivers us not from its’ power, the whole is a failure–He is not our Saviour, the One promised us by the prophets, and the One the necessities of the case demanded.

If he is our King, and His kingdom is to be supreme, universal, and absolute according to promise, He must rule over us, over his enemies, and over ours. Death is His enemy, and our enemy, and if He conquer not it, again the whole is a failure-He is not our King-our preaching is vain and your faith is vain.

Death and the grave are our foes. Death’s ghastly and shadowy form rises to Heaven and, throws its awful shadow upon all our hopes. The grave darkly gapes at our feet every step of life’s journey. But Christ our federal represen­tative is conqueror. He was taken down from the cross a bloody corpse, and borne off to the grave. Hell exulted. Death waved his black banner in triumph. The light of im­mortality leaped up in one exhilarating flash, then sank to a waning spark; sighs ran along amid the bones of the patri­archs, and a wail of woe rang in the sepulchers of the dead. Had He never left Death’s dreary domain, the grave would have devoured all the race, and retained them. in its horrid jaws forever. The scepter of Death would have been uni­versal, and He King without a rival. No ray of light would ever have broken into the arcana of the lonely tomb to tell of coming day. No welcome voice would ever have rung along its damp and dismal galleries, and pealed in joyful echoes amid its mouldy arches to break the eternal slumber of its sleepers.

The dying Christian might turn his eyes and look out of the window of his chamber upon the sunshine, the old familiar jar landscape skirting his home, and lift his withered arm and point his livid and chilled finger, and say, “Farewell forever.” He might gaze with hollow and dimming eye upon the faces of loved ones, fast receding from his vision, stand­ing around his bed, whose recollections are rapidly paling upon his memory, and say, “Farewell forever.” He might reach out his cold and trembling hand and grasp the hand of her who has traveled by his side from vigorous youth till both are old and gray,-not as the pledge of a coming union for one now breaking, but to feel its pressure for the last time, and to repeat in sepulchral whispers of saddest woe, “My wife, farewell forever.”

But Jesus met Death in Death’s own territory, and per­mitted Himself to be captured, that He might lead captivity captive. He went with the Pale Monarch to the silent darkness of the tomb, but it was to undermine its strong­holds, and kindle the star of resurrection in its murky vaults -to cement the past to the future and pledge Omnipotence for a reunion. He plucked the sting from Death, took his keys, broke his crown, chained the monster to his chariot wheels, and mounted aloft to Heaven a Conqueror. My hearers, the keys of the grave are in higher hands.

If there be no resurrection, Christianity is not adapted to all our wants. It fails to meet the aspirations and desires of our constitutional being, therefore has not all the elements necessary to make us happy. And if it is not grounded upon the wants of universal human nature, it is a failure. Can the best of you look upon your death as an eternal sleep? your grave as an eternal resting-place? can you bid without re­gret the bodies in which you have tabernacled so long an eternal farewell? Can you bid the bodies of your friends an eternal adieu, without the pangs of the keenest sorrow?

Tell the young wife, widowed by this terrible war, as she rushes with disheveled tresses amid the promiscuous ditches of the battlefield, crammed with mutilated dead, that her hus­band will never rise, and her heart is saddened for life. Tell the sister, as she gazes upon the shattered body and obliterated features of a brother beloved, that that form and face will never be restored to happy recognition again. Tell the mother, who baptized her boy with blessings and sent him to the bloody “front,” where he fell and was buried, uncoffined, in some unknown grave, with no block, stone, or vine to mark his resting-place, that he never will come to her arms again.

Tell the bereaved-fathers, mothers, widows, children-that there will be no resurrection, and a universal shriek will rend the air and crack the vault of heaven, till God hears and feels, and angels weep. Earth will put on weeds of mourn­ing, and like Rachel of old go down to the judgment weep­ing for her children.

“With what body do they come?” The same body which dies. I assume the bold Scriptural ground that every es­sential element of it will be raised though its particles be scattered over earth and sea. Hear the evidence of the mighty Paul, the chiefest of the Apostles: “It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dis­honor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” (I Cor. 15:42-44). The conclusion is clear: the same body which is sown in corruption, dishonor, and weakness will be raised in incorruption, glory, and power. The same body which is sown a natural body, will be raised a spiritual body. Not a similar body but the same body. Again: “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” “This corruptible” -as strong as words can make it. The Lord “shall change our vile body.” (Phil. 3: 21). “All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shalt come forth.” On any other hypothesis there is no resurrection at all.

Is Christ’s body to be the model? The ineffablebrightness of His glory shone above the noonday sun and blinded Saul of Tarsus. Saint John saw Him in the midst of seven golden lamps, “clothed with a garment down to His foot,” girded with “a golden girdle,” His head environed with a radiating aureola, His eyes ablaze with Omniscience, His feet glowing like a furnace, His voice as the sound of many’ waters. The inimitable Prototype of celestial glory and regal magnificence, whose lightest shades defy the painter’s pencil, were the painter an angel. Like Him?  0 God! shall we ever attain to such perfection? me? you? Like Him  “Christ shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.”

Finally, “How are the dead raised up?”  Inquiring humanity asks the question, doubting philosophy asks it, in­fidelity asks it, Christianity asks it. Paul answers it: “Ac­cording to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” God’s power is pledged for its per­formance. That Power which made systems, and holds them in awful and perpetual balance. That Power which con­founded chaos with order, and laid the foundations of the universe deep down upon nothing, and reared up its columns, towering into empty space, wreathed them with constellations of worlds, and propped against the throne of God. That Power which carpeted creation’s temple with emerald, roofed it with azure, and lit it up with ten thousand suns. That Power Which drives planets along their orbits and hurls the erratic comet to kindle its fires upon the black altars of night where suns never shine. That Power which shakes the earth, shivers its granite, ruptures its strata, overturns its mountains, and up heaves its valleys. That Power which binds lightnings to its chariot and rides upon the tempest. -That Power is pledged to raise me from the dead. Can it do it?

Ah! angels could have philosophically descanted with more apparent reason upon the impossibility of creation before the fiat of God peopled immensity with worlds and intelligences, than you can philosophize against the resurrec­tion of the dead. Are there mysteries ? Are there difficul­ties? Paul refers them all to the power of God for an ample solution. You see as great wonders every day. Cast a seed in the ground; it enlarges: in a few days the germ sends up a stem and down a root:  the radicals imbibe the nutriment, and the stem enlarges and mounts upward as if by magic: soon its long conical blades droop in verdant curves to the earth, and the flower upon its top drops a dust upon the silken flower on its side, and a long ear of golden corn rewards the farmer’s toil-every grain of which pos­sesses the same reproductive power of the first. An acorn bursts, and a deep-rooted, gnarled, and knotted giant, who rears his trunk to ‘heaven, whose mossy limbs and crested foliage nod majestically among the clouds, is the result. Veg­etable life and existence are crowded with wonders.

The phenomena of animal life, its causes, productions, nature, maintenance, reproduction, are full of mysteries and difficulties solving and unfolding every hour. Earth, air, and water are replete with mysteries, and instinct with difficul­ties. Every moment is a seeming eternity of impossibil­ities; every atom a universe of overwhelming difficulties. For man, who is himself a microcosm of wonders, standing amid world of wonders, profound and confounding, to present the difficulties involved in the resurrection of the body as an insuperable obstacle to its accomplishment, is at once preposterous. Though your bones may lie bleaching in the bottom of the sea, or fossilized be deeply imbedded in rock; though your dust may be scattered over continents, transmuted into animals or plants, diffused in the air, diffused in the water, or mingled with clay, God’s power is able to raise you from the dead, and is pledged to do it.  That Power sooner or later will be exercised. The last day will come. The sun unwheeled will drag along the jarring heavens and refuse to shine. The stars will hide their
faces, and the moon will roll up in the heavens red as blood, and hang her crimson livery upon the wing of the night. Earth will tremble upon her axis, and huge mountains of woe will drift and lodge upon her heart. A mighty angel with a face like the sun, clothed with clouds, and crowned with a rainbow, and shod with wings of fire, will cleave the heavens in his lightning track, and descending with his right foot upon the troubled sea, and his left foot upon the quaking earth, lift his hand to heaven, and swear by the Judge of the quick and the dead that time shall be no longer. Old Time, the father of centuries and the tomb-builder of gen­erations, will drop his broken scythe and break his glass, careen and fall a giant in ruins.

The trump of God will then sound. Its resonant thunders will roll through all the lengths and breadths of Death’s vast empire, and its old walls and arches crammed with buried millions will fall in crashing ruins. The dingy king will drop his scepter ringing in fragments upon the damp pavements of the grave, and fly howling from his tottering throne down, down to Erebus. The antiquated dead will start into life from their ashy urns and funeral pyres. Pyra­mids of granite and crypts of marble will he rent in twain to let the rising bodies come. Mummies will fling off the trappings of centuries, and pour from their vaulted cham­bers. Inquisitions will rock upon their foundations and revivified dead will stream from their dungeons. Abbeys, cathedrals, grottoes, and caverns will be vocal with life. Wanderers will shake off their winding sheets of sand, and rise from the face of the desert. Human bones will break away from their coral fastenings; mermaids draped in drip­ping weeds will mourn the evacuation of all their caves; old ocean will heave and swell with teeming millions.

The battlefields of the world: Troy and Thermopylae, Talavera and Marengo, Austerlitz and Waterloo, Marathon and MissoIonghi; the battlefields of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, will reproduce their armies, and crowd the world with revivified legions. Indian maidens will leap from the dust of our streets, and our houses overturning will let their chiefs to Judgment. Abraham will shake off the dust of Machpelah, and arise with Sarah by his side. David will come with harp in hand. The reformer of Geneva and the apostle of Methodism will come side by side.

Our village church yards and family burial grounds will be deserted. All will come: patriarchs, prophets, Jews and Gentiles, Christians and heathens, bond and free, rich and poor-fathers, mothers, children, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives-all from Adam down will come forth. And all the good all around the world all together will hail this redemp­tion’s grand consummation, with one proud anthem, whose choral thunders, rolling along all the paths of space, will shake the universe with its bursting chorus: “0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory”?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Special thanks to my former association with Dr. John R. Rice and the paper he founded, The Sword of the Lord, for introducing me to the messages of Dr. William Elbert Munsey.  Munsey was a popular Methodist minister, born on July 13, 1833 and died October 3, 1877 (44 years).  He was converted to Christ at age 17 during a Methodist camp meeting.  He taught school and served a number of small churches before his well-prepared and powerful sermons were discovered by greater numbers.  His church services were packed and people crowded his meetings two hours before he would speak.   Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. asked Dr. Rice to publish a book of sermons by Dr. Munsey.  That book, Eternal Retribution!, was first published in 1951.  In his remarks, Dr. Jones reported that the sermons in this book were taken from a two-volume set (I believe the only books credited to Dr. Munsey) of remarkable sermons.  I searched the Internet for the books and found a used book store offering them in their original covers.  I purchased them;  amazingly at a very low cost.  It appears that everything Dr. Jones and Dr. Rice knew about Mr. Munsey was taken from those two volumes.  I am happy to own them and pleased to present the sermon you have read on this blog, The Resurrection of the Human Body.

http://salvationlinks.com/?page_id=207 This should be a link to a page featuring a marker placed in honor of Mr. Munsey.

Fruits of Calvinism (not what you might think)

Biography of Dr. Ron Comfort

Ron Comfort

Ron Comfort was born in a Roman Catholic home in Elmira, New York. From the ages of seven to fifteen he sang on radio, television, stage, and in small night clubs. At the age of fifteen, in a city-wide crusade in Asheville, North Carolina, he was saved and immediately felt God’s call to preach. After working to pay his own way through seven years at Bob Jones Academy and University, Ron graduated and immediately entered full-time evangelism. He has continued in this ministry since 1961, having preached in forty-seven states and many foreign countries. The total number of crusades which Dr. Comfort has held is well over 1,400. Evangelist Comfort was honored in 1973 by Maranatha Baptist Bible College with the degree Doctor of Divinity. That same year he was honored by the Bob Jones University Alumni Association for “Outstanding Work in the Field of Evangelism.” Dr. and Mrs. Comfort have been married since 1963. God has blessed their home with three daughters and seven grandchildren to date. Mrs. Comfort serves in the team’s music ministry playing piano and vibra harp. She also works in the children’s meetings and serves as team secretary. In 1989, God used Dr. Comfort to establish Ambassador Baptist College, an old-fashioned, preacher-training college in Shelby, North Carolina. He served as its president for twenty years and continues to serve as the chancellor. Through the years, Ambassador has put more than seven hundred graduates and former students in ministries around the world. Dr. Comfort’s ministry has been characterized through the years by the abundant use of Scripture. Every crusade is geared for the family, and a strong emphasis is placed on godliness in the home. You are invited to learn more about Brother Comfort and his ministry by reading his online articles or listening to his sermons. You may also check Dr. Fruits-of-Calvinism2Comfort’s itineraryand attend an evangelistic meeting in a church near you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: BELOW IS A LINK TO HIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE: THE FRUITS OF CALVINISM.  FEW MEN QUOTE MORE SCRIPTURE FROM MEMORY THAN DR. RON COMFORT–YOU WILL BE GREATLY IMPRESSED WITH THIS MESSAGE THAT COULD WELL BE TITLED, THE EVILS OF CALVINISM.

 Fruits of Calvinism by Ron Comfort

 

Jesus and His Bible

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http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/love-worth-finding/video-player/jesus-and-his-bible-445361.html

Jesus and His Bible. I know you most likely have a high view of the Bible. You read it at home, you take it to church with you. You often refer to it to prove a word you have heard discussed. You love your Bible. Others who will see this post might have a skeptical view of the Bible. Your education may have cast doubts on the authority of the Bible and may even have ridiculed any belief that puts the Bible forth as an accurate rendering of spiritual truth about creation, the …fall of man in sin, the death of Christ to pay for the sin of the world, His resurrection from the dead. They laugh at these claims. Dr. Adrian Rogers, a learned man, a godly pastor and a student of the Bible presented this message at his church in Memphis, TN. I listened to every word of this wonderful sermon. My heart rejoiced as Dr. Rogers spoke and at the end I asked my wife, “What did you think of that.” She said it was very good.” And it was. I urge you to listen and consider the thoughts he presents. Blessings. Click the following link. Click the following link (if need to: Copy complete URL and paste onto address bar on your computer)

http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/love-worth-finding/video-player/jesus-and-his-bible-445361.html Jesus and His Bible with Adrian

The End is Near

Articles By Author

dave-breese-dir By Dave Breese

We live in one of the most remarkable ages in the history of the world. It is a notable time for many reasons, the first of which is the remarkable technological developments which make yesterday’s cutting-edge technology decidedly crude by today’s standards. The tide of progress continues to roll, bearing the promise of even more amazing developments for the days to come.

This is also a remarkable age because of the rise of iniquity in our time. By any standard in which wickedness can be statistically measured, the percentage of the increase of abominations is greater than ever before. It seems like every week someone invents a physical,  moral, or spiritual absurdity that soon develops into a frightening  cult. Add to this the staccato gunfire of drive-by shootings and the emergence of the drug culture and we have before us a complicated society. A great number of “answers” are being presented to  solve the problems of our time. Unfortunately, none of them work, partly because God has made life deliberately precarious so  that we should be forced to trust in Him. There will, therefore, never  be a solution to the concerns of society short of the glorious return of Jesus Christ.

The third-and perhaps the greatest-reason that this is a remarkable age is because of divine forbearance. Many ask why God allows these things to happen, why He doesn’t just kill the devil or pull every shred of iniquity out of the world. But perceptive readers know that the answer to that question is that God has made man a free moral agent with the power to choose. God refuses to interrupt that power lest man be turned into a mindless automaton with no power of choice.

In the midst of this rise of iniquity, God continues to show His forbearance. Nevertheless, the Scripture announces that man is storing up wrath for himself against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will “render to each one according to his deeds” (Romans 2:5,6). So the fund of human iniquity and consequent divine judgment is building in a kind of cosmic bank. While this is the day of grace and God is not moving in devastating judgment, it is also the time that iniquity is being recorded in a book that will one day be opened. Do we see the opening of that book today? We think so and we certainly must allow for that possibility.

When we think about divine forbearance, we are stating in another way that this is the day of grace. It is not the day of judgment but rather a time in which this Scripture is being fulfilled: “God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). So the day of divine condemnation is not upon us now. Be sure, however, that it is sure to come. Because of His moral universe, nothing that is an exception to the perfect will of God will go unrecognized and unpunished.

Is there a day, an era, a period in history that will be particularly characterized by divine judgment? The answer is yes. It’s called the Tribulation. Grace will end one day and after that will be the day of divine judgment.

The event that will punctuate that change is a remarkable time called “the rapture of the church,” the time in which the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, taking His own-members of the body of Christ-to be with Him. That is the time when this relatively calm and peaceful generation will be subject to the cyclone of the oncoming Tribulation. At that time, man, having sown the wind, will reap the whirlwind. This very picture is given to us in Scripture. To face a cyclone is not a pleasant experience. God also gives us another picture which presents the surprising, overwhelming nature of the oncoming of the Tribulation.

In the early pages of Revelation (chapters 5 and 6) we see the picture that should not be forgotten. First of all, we see a discussion in heaven concerning the question “who is worthy to judge the world?” The answer, found in the Word of God, is “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 5:12). So Jesus Christ is accounted worthy to pass judgment upon the world.

The nature of the judgment becomes most pronounced with an account of the rise of four horsemen of the apocalypse: “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on Him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him, and He went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Revelation 6:2).

Here we have a picture of the false Christ, the diminutive Christ. Here is presented to us the rise of Antichrist. Indeed, during the days of the great Tribulation, the Antichrist will organize world politics, world religion, and many other things to become master of the earth. His dreadful presence, empowered by Satan, will be felt strongly in the world. The Revelation picture continues, “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given unto him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth and that they should kill one another” (Revelation 6:4).

So the rider on the red horse, denoting war and death, breaks upon the world as a frightening picture indeed. He steals peace from the earth and turns the world into a system of deadly anarchy.

And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny (Revelation 6:5,6).

The rider of the black horse signifies the rise of economic manipulation, indicated by the balances carried in the hand of this deadly rider. This economic manipulation worsens to the point that, finally, it will take a day’s pay to buy a loaf of bread. What a picture! With this begins the Tribulation.

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat upon him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth (verse 8).

This dreadful fourth rider has power over a quarter part of the earth to produce death and hell on earth. It is difficult to imagine a picture more grim than that set of judgments that will come upon the world, initiating the days of the Tribulation. Here we have a whirlwind with pain, suffering, and death inflicted on masses of people. When we think about the direction that our present world is taking, we can certainly learn why such a judgment will be brought upon us.

This dreadful picture is followed by the account in Scripture of this awful period of the Tribulation. If we want to know the direction in which the world is going, that direction is ahead of us. We are to anticipate not a utopia or a perfect world, but an era of devastating divine judgment.

The Tribulation Trilogy: The Tribulation Begins!

If someone were to suggest that we are living in an amazing age, would you agree? Certainly, all you have to do is compare the morning papers with what the Bible says to discover a remarkable consonance between the Word of God and what is happening.

But if these times are amazing, a time is coming that can only be called “awesome.” That day is so indescribable that we can hardly put into words what the Bible says it will be like. Listen to what Jesus said:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together (Matthew 24:21-28).

With these few verses, Jesus began His stunning answer to a question pressed upon Him by His disciples. They wanted Him to tell them about the future, and in particular, about the world at the time of His return. In this passage alone, the Lord spends two whole chapters describing what will happen during the days of the Tribulation, and then the Great Tribulation.

When added to the many other revelations that the Bible offers about this awesome day, a breathtaking picture comes into focus. It will be the time of Jacob’s trouble. It will be the time of the worst carnage and the most despicable situations and the most overwhelming impact of the judgment of God that the world will ever see.

If you think that God doesn’t see, that He doesn’t notice, that He won’t judge the world one day, think again. The judgment of God during the Great Tribulation will be absolutely indescribable.

The Coming Tribulation

Notice what the Bible says about the beginning of the Tribulation, remembering that we live in the Day of Grace, not the Day of the Tribulation. The Day of the Tribulation will be a seven-year period that begins the Day of the Lord. The apostle Paul specifically wants the Church to understand that the Day of the Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, has not yet begun:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord is present … for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

Then the apostle Paul gives us some characteristics that the world will attain that will give fair warning to a future generation (perhaps this generation) that the Tribulation is about to begin.

The Bible does not teach that man is going to bring to pass a perfect society. It does not teach that utopia will be fashioned by clever human beings. Rather, it teaches that we live in a deteriorating world. One day, that deterioration will get so bad that it will turn, literally, into the judgment of God. So to think that the world is getting better and better is to have a false view, false optimism about life. To be realistic, we must remember that the Bible says there is coming a day called the Tribulation.

Do we have that settled? I hope so. And I hope that we each have seen through the flimsy theories of the spiritualizers who say, “Well, this is the Tribulation, because problems happen to us,” and all of that. Listen: The sum of all the problems people have endured from the beginning of time until now are almost nothing compared to what will happen during those days of the Tribulation!

Now, when we begin to think deeply and soberly about that, which we should, we start to ask, “How will we know that maybe we are getting close to it? If that day is indeed drawing near, what are the signs that could alert us?” That is exactly the question that was asked of Jesus by His disciples. Matthew 24 says:

And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3).

The disciples had the opportunity for a private conversation with the Lord Jesus. He responded to their inquiry by telling them several things. First of all, He said that when we think about moving into the future, there are at least two conditions that we will face at all times. One, we will face the possibility of spiritual subversion, spiritual warfare.

‘For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:5).

And the second perennial condition, He said, will be: “… ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled…” Matthew 24:6.

Now, do we have spiritual warfare and physical warfare moving strongly  across the world? Of course. More than 40 physical wars in our world are currently being fought, in addition to a great deal of spiritual warfare, contending with  principalities and powers, something even more than physical forces. Perhaps you’ve been involved in this kind of contention. Perhaps you’d be one who would say very quickly, “We have  experienced this type of spiritual warfare.” It’s going to happen. Look for satanic opposition. Look for events that will show that the devil is frustrated by your spiritual  production. Be involved in spiritual warfare. Those conditions have always been with us, and will increase as we come to the end of the Church Age.

The Beginning of Sorrows

Then, almost like a road that leads into the Tribulation, there will come a specific period of time which Christ called “the beginning of sorrows.” He said:

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive  many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against  nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:5-8).

The period of time called the “beginning of sorrows” is best described  as that bridge of events that takes us out of the Church Age and into the Tribulation. That Beginning of Sorrows, Christ said, will have five characteristics:

nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes…. (Matthew 24:7).

Do we see nation rising against nation (the word “ethnos” means racial  animosity, racial warfare, among people)? Yes! At the root of almost every war going today, like those in Africa, and the Middle East, and Ireland, lies racial animosity.

And then kingdom (“archon,” rulers, political things) shall rise against  kingdom. I’ve been mystified many times by the question, “Why do people fight with one another? What is the real reason someone packs a rifle or a knapsack and gets into an  airplane and goes off to kill as many people as possible? To take over real estate? What is that? Why do people do this?” Well, James, of course, answered the question by  saying:

From where come wars and fightings among you? Come they not here, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not; ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (James 4:1-3).

People go to war because they don’t know how to get God’s provision for  themselves and for their nation, so they decide to take it from somebody else. It is totally irrational. Usually, thousands or even millions die in the process. Millions died in  World War 11, tens of thousands in recent wars. When it’s all over, what do you have? Perhaps a surrender, or a cease-fire, or economic sanctions, or a blockade. But  before too long, you’re back to square one as if nothing happened. It is totally silly, but it is done. Such wars will increase, Jesus said, as we move toward the end of the age. Famine, pestilence, and earthquakes were three more things.

Famine: people without enough to eat. By the way, in a world like ours,  if people are hungry, it isn’t generally because there is no food. It’s because the supply of food has been interdicted by some political intervention. Food is a weapon of warfare  in today’s abrasion between nations.

Pestilence: pestilence is sickness that is out of control. Daily on  television you hear of this: the AIDS epidemic, the Ebola virus, alcoholism out of control, and other forms of disease. What do we do about this? The world doesn’t know.

Earthquakes will also characterize this time called the Beginning of Sorrows.

Do we live in the Tribulation now? No we don’t. This is a different age.  In this age, we have a set of principles that are really quite astonishing, operating between God and man. God deals with man by grace. The Bible says about the coming of Jesus  Christ:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17).

Consequently, I’m sure you have shared the frustration of many who have  wondered why wicked people do not immediately come under the judgment of  God. It seems as if there is a strange, almost illogical forbearance.  “God ought to have stricken them dead,” we think, but He has not.

Some who desire the vengeance of God, ask, “Why doesn’t God do something? How come He hasn’t come back and ended the terrible situation going on in the world today?” I think we must remind ourselves why we have such a terrible situation in the world at all! The Bible says about Adam and Eve:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,  and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned (Romans 5:12).

The reasons for the problems of the world are not lack of education, lack of knowledge, lack of economics, or the lack of clever ideas. They’re not even crooked politicians. At the root of all the problems of the world is the fact that the world is corrupted by sin, and every person in it is a sinner. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Sin not only exists, but it is progressive. The Bible says: sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:15). The implication is that sin grows and grows, like a terrible contagion,  which it is. Finally, people drop into total dissipation, so that they cannot resist the dreadful force of sin.

When the world goes past that point of no return, then it’s time for the  Tribulation. Until then, God speaks to the wickedest of people and says, “By grace are ye saved. Come unto Me. I will give you rest.” You have every right from God to talk to  Godless sinners and tell them, “Okay, Jesus came not ‘to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance’ (Matthew 9:13). And God deals with you by grace. So if you  will believe the gospel, the message that ‘Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the  scriptures'(1 Corinthians 15:3,4), you can be saved.”

You can tell that to the wickedest of people, and God will save them, because believing in Jesus Christ is the one single prerequisite for salvation.

But there is coming a time when that will no longer be true. The Bible  says that man is treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath and  revelation of the righteous judgment of God, Who will render to every  man according to his deeds (Romans 2:5,6).

So there is coming a day, subsequent to this, in which divine vengeance  is the way that God will deal with a lost mankind. There’s a lot of difference, then, between this day, and the day of the coming Tribulation. What will be the line of demarcation?  How will we know that we have moved from the Day of Grace to the Day of the Tribulation?

The Rapture of the Church

The answer is a tremendous event called the Rapture of the Church. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the  voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to  meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words (I Thessalonians 4:16-18).

You see, Jesus Christ is not simply coming at the end of the  Tribulation, which He will do. But before the Tribulation, at the end of the Day of Grace, He is coming to take all believers out of this world.

Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all  be changed, 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 (1  Corinthians 15:51,52).

The Rapture ends the Day of Grace and begins the Day of the Tribulation.  So the Tribulation does not just gradually come upon the world, as does the Beginning of Sorrows, but it will be marked by an instantaneous and cataclysmic event-the  removal of the Church from Planet Earth. So remember, the Rapture is important for many things, but its chief importance is that it marks the end of the epoch of grace and the  beginning of the dispensation of the

Tribulation. That fact is a source of comfort and help and solace for every Child of God.

The Fury Unleashed

When the Church is taken out of the world, the wrath of God will finally be unleashed. God will be perfectly free to work His judgment upon people. Why has God not sent His judgment upon the world already? Answer: the Church is here. We protect the world. Society is still around because we are still here. The presence of the Church in the world forestalls final judgment by God. God has spoken to every Christian, and reminded us:

For God hath not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9). We are “justified freely by his grace” (Romans 3:24). There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus… (Romans 8: 1).

But watch for that moment when the Church is taken up, and the wrath of God falls upon a wicked world.

I have viewed the Tribulation as a sort of historic necessity, given the  attitude of men today. People today, in their arrogance, say, “We don’t need God. We can run the world.” Atheism is prevalent in our world. Millions of people are atheists, and  they say, “We are masters of our own destiny.” The average academician is an atheist, and he’s teaching our young people that there is no God, and they are autonomous, and they  can manage their own destiny. There’s even a theory going in the world of academia that evolution has brought us to the place where we can control our own evolution. Name  the future that you want, and you’ve got it.  Well, God has a way of giving us the opportunity of having our own way,  does He not? God, in the final analysis, has given men a free will. They can choose what they will believe in the life that they will live, but they’ve got to pay the  consequences. Well, God speaks in a sense to the world that remains after the Rapture, and He says, “Now, you’ve been so smart, you’ve been so presumptuous, you say you can run  the world, have it your way.” Man’s day then comes to pass, in which autonomous man is in charge of the world.

Will that be a good thing for the world? Will you be happy and overjoyed  to see that scoundrel, who once served as your ward committeeman, now sitting on some throne somewhere as the master of Earth? Will you be ready to place your faith  in the philosophy of your con-artist neighbor, who wrote a book on how to run the world under a religion of his own invention? How will it be, when the whole world is  in violation of the statement of Scripture which says: There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are  the ways of death (Proverbs 16:25).

How will it be when the world is in violation of the statement of the Bible which says: For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 3:11).

How will it be, when there suddenly is only man to depend upon? I’ve  listened to many a lecture on a university campus, and, of course, seen and heard many of the same things you have heard and seen on television, and I’ve been absolutely  astonished at the arrogance of people who think they know it all. Their haughtiness approaches a strange insanity.

Take, for instance, one subject, among the dozens that we could refer  to. About the matter of marriage, the Bible says: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave  unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

That shall be a new entity, a marriage, man and woman. Well, they are  now passing laws excusing and even advocating same-sex marriages. Now look: that’s not just a clever sociological opinion. That’s insanity. That’s perversion. But a world  that pretends to be sophisticated says, “Well, isn’t that a nice new idea about what marriage ought to be?”

Now everybody in his right mind, who has not been subverted by becoming an expert on the subject, and who still thinks straight, knows this is insanity. But he is disquieted by the fact that it’s these kind of people, with dislocated minds, who aspire to run the world in the days to come.

Are they going to master the world? The answer is no. They are going to  bring to pass a day in the history of mankind so shameful, so frightening, so terrible, so fatal to masses of people that the Bible says:

Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved… (Matthew 24:22).

You see, man, having treasured up mounds of sin, will come under the  fury of an offended God. You ought to read the classic early American sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Jonathan Edwards put it rather well. An angry God has  planned a day of vengeance. It’s called the Tribulation. Please miss it, by being a part of the Rapture of the Church.

The Day of Wrath – The Wrath of the Antichrist

One of the characters that will play a telling role during the days of  the Tribulation is this monster called the Antichrist. Listen for just a moment to what the Bible says about him. Paul writes to the  people at Thessalonica:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,  and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the  Lord is present (2 Thessalonians 2:1,2).

Remember, the Day of the Lord is that period of time that comes after  the time of the Church Age, after the Day of Grace. Don’t let anyone tell you that the Day of the Lord is going on now.

Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except  there come the falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Do not let anyone tell you that this is the time of divine wrath. That  day shall not come until there is a falling away first. The word is “apostasia,” meaning “to stand away from where you used to stand.” It is translated “apostasy.” The apostasy will  first come, before the Day of the Lord comes.

Then, Paul says, will the “man of sin be revealed, the son of  perdition.” Here Paul introduces a character that will be of consequence during the days of the Tribulation. And what does he call him? The great benefactor of mankind? No. The “man of  sin” will be revealed, the man whose fundamental nature is sin. He is the embodiment of sin.

the son of perdition, Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4).

This vast, presumptuous impostor will present himself to the world as  “the man with a plan.” The revealing of that man will introduce the days of the Tribulation. I have an opinion. God tells Christians a lot of details about the man of sin that  the world doesn’t know about. And I do believe the implication is that we, if we are perceptive, will be able to recognize the oncoming of the man of sin. While the world does not  suspect that he is the Antichrist, he will be obvious enough to perceptive Christians so we will be able to say, “There he is,” and prepare for the almost immediate Rapture of the  Church.

The wrath of the Antichrist, which contributes to the day of wrath, the  Tribulation, is also described in many other locations in the Word of God. Revelation 6 gives us the picture of the horsemen of the Apocalypse. It says the rider of the  first horse is on a white horse. He will present a great plan to the world. And this rider on the first horse goes forth “conquering, and to conquer” (Revelation 6:2).

This cruel monster of a person, the Antichrist, will make great gains  until he becomes master of Earth. If you think that the Antichrist’s rise is possible now, you are thinking correctly. So one source of wrath, during the “day of wrath and  revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” will be the wrath of the Antichrist.

The Wrath of Nature

We want to suggest also that that will be a time in which nature itself turns against man. The rider of the fourth horse of the Apocalypse rides upon the pale horse, and the Bible says:

And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill  with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth (Revelation 6:8).

The suggestion is that the beasts of the field, maybe even domestic  animals now, will be a part of that whole spirit of the devil that turns against humanity. The very animals of which we are familiar will be enrolled on the side of the devil.

Imagine a house cat that suddenly becomes very vicious, and exercises some kind of killer instincts. Nature itself will seem to rebel against mankind, engined by the power of Satan. There’s quite a chapter in the Book of Revelation that talks about one of the impacts of nature against man. One of the characteristics, the Bible says, of the final days, will be that nature joins this rebellion and comes down upon man. Actually, Revelation 6 gives us quite a description:

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and  every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every  slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that  sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:14-17).

Earthquakes will characterize that time. But what I would have us notice  is, the wrath of the Lamb is so terrible and strikes such fear in the lives of people that they consider an earthquake that actually covers them up to be preferable to the wrath of  Jesus Christ.

Think of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” being what characterized the  days of His earthly ministry, but also remember something else: In the day of His judgment, He is the one whose “eyes were like aflame of fire” (Revelation 19:12). He is the one  whose countenance is as the sun which shines in its strength. Yes, He is the one who is going to be the ultimate Judge of mankind. So devastating will that judgment be, that  even the rebellion of nature will seem comforting and sanguine by comparison to the wrath of Jesus Christ, and facing the days of His wrath during those hours of the Great  Tribulation.

So the wrath of God is going to be poured upon the world. In fact, the  Bible uses those very illustrations. There will be the series of trumpet judgments, and then the bowl judgments in which  God’s judgment is poured upon the world in  absolutely devastating fashion. One should tremble at this prospect of the wrath of God coming upon the world. But that’s the way it will be, during the days of the Great  Tribulation. Therefore, once again, do not think of the future of man as being a sweet and sanguine thing, but the future of man is to fall under the wrath of God.

Once again, we should remind ourselves that there is one interdiction of  that wrath, one way to avoid the wrath of God. What is that?

There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ  Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1).

If you are a Christian, having believed the gospel, you may have been  ten times a sinner before that, but if you will believe in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, and trust Him as your personal Savior, you are not to fear the wrath to come. Why?  Because you have a date with destiny. You’re going to be taken home to heaven, to be with the Lord Jesus. When thinking of divine wrath, remember, it is Calvary that saves  us from that awful eventuality. In times like these, that should not only bring reassurance, but motivate us to become articulate witnesses for Christ, so that we may  help others escape the coming wrath.

The Wrath of Satan

We are also told that there will be the wrath of Satan himself. Listen to what the Scripture says: For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time (Revelation 12:12).

We have the statement in Scripture that the clock will be ticking  against the devil and his plans. He will realize this. He doesn’t have an omniscient or an omnipotent mind, but he’ll be smart enough to realize that that clock is ticking! He’ll come  to the point where he realizes that if he’s going to make that big play for the  world and ever hope to capture everything, he’d better get with it now. So he comes forth with “great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

Now, because he is angry to the point of irrational fury against God,  what does he do? Well, the Scripture indicates several things. First of all, he puts together and attempts to manage and run a world government. All of the nations of the world are  enrolled in his cause. But I particularly am interested in the fact that he will have a set of sinews that he wants to hold that world government together, and that set of sinews is a  world religion.

In fact, Revelation 13 tells about a religion that Satan organizes. That  religion has several characteristics. It will be satanic. The Bible says it will cause people to worship the devil who is behind it all (Revelation 13:4). Secondly, it will be  humanistic. They will worship the beast (Revelation 13:4). That’s the Antichrist. The Antichrist will offer himself, wearing a white robe, and present a great plan as the religious  modulator of all mankind. They will worship a human being. Thirdly, it will be universal. The Antichrist will organize a religion as big as the whole world. The whole world will  be called upon to worship him (Revelation 13:8). Fourthly, it will be ecumenical. It will be the kind of theology that everyone can believe.

We all should be concerned about bad theology. Bad theology may only  seem silly when it is first heard, but if given the chance to carry the day, it can quickly become fatal! Bad theology will characterize the religion of the Antichrist and the  attempt of Satan to organize a world religion, because it will produce a “lowest common denominator” type of religion. People are getting together today, saying, “Unity and  understanding and love-that should be the whole story of religion. That should be the basis on which we put together a world religious movement.”

Any cooperative program must be characterized by good theology. That’s hard to come by in today’s world. But the world then will have a low common denominator, such as “God is love,” or “life has a lot of possibilities,” and all will be called upon to believe that and make it the sole basis of their worship.

Also, Revelation 13 says the religion of the Antichrist will be  phenomenalistic. That means he will give you something that will satisfy  the sight of your eyes. I’ve noticed something that concerns me, and  that is, that so many religions, even Protestant religions, want to be  so obvious, so phenomenalistic, and to have great visible and material  things, such as vaulted buildings, for you to see.

Well, the Antichrist is going to use that big-time. He causes fire to  come down from heaven in the sight of all the people who are worshiping him (Revelation 13:13). They look and say, “Wow. Look at that. He can control the forces of nature. He  must be the man to believe in.” This fire from heaven will be impressive.

Chapter 13 tells us that the prophet of the Antichrist will be empowered  to work miracles, in order to give credibility to the things he is saying to people (Revelation 13:14). So his phenomenalistic religion will be hugely successful. Also, the Bible  says that religion will be idolatrous. He will make an image. That image will be able to speak like a man (Revelation 13:15). That image will say, “Worship me. I represent to you  the great man who runs the world.” That idolatrous copy of the person and the personality of the Antichrist will be set up in the Temple. The setting up of that image  gives us the last characteristic of that evil world religion, and that is, it will be terribly cruel. Whoever does not worship that image is put to death (Revelation 13:15).

The Wrath of God

Finally, the greatest wrath imaginable will be the very wrath of God.  The Bible does not simply tell us that God is love. It also Tells us: It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews  10:31). It tells us that it is not a sanguine activity to just get along with  God on any basis. But you must be His friend, or else His fearful wrath will come upon you. The time of the Great Tribulation, particularly the last 31/2 years of it, is the time  of divine wrath. Lesser forms of it impact upon the world during the first half of the Tribulation, but the last half of the Tribulation, that is the wrath of God! Those are the days of  which Jesus was speaking when He said:

Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…. (Matthew 24:22).

We’ve already read the passage from Revelation 6 where the kings of the  Earth and the great rulers cry to the mountains and rocks, and say:

Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne,  and from the wrath of the Lamb; For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:16,17).

When will we learn that there is no sin that is forgotten? When will we learn that everything is recorded before God?

All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).

When will we learn that? Well, mankind will certainly learn it in the  days of the Tribulation. We will certainly learn that nothing is forgotten by an omnipotent God. And when the wrath of God is come,  the Bible asks the question, “who shall be able to stand?”

It’s worth emphasizing at this point, that everything in the world that is not of God will be washed away one day. Every house, every car, every nation, every political system, every everything that is not centered in the Person of Jesus Christ, and does not admit that He is Lord-it all will be gone one day, and the wrath of God will be poured out on the world.

The Bible gives us the offer of being in the Lamb’s book of Life. That is a marvelous act of love. But do you know what else it says? That very verse says:

This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14,15).

I did not write that, but God did. There is not only a heaven to gain,  but there is a hell to shun. And that hell is only shunned by believing in Jesus Christ, and trusting in Him as personal Savior. When the wrath of God comes upon the world, then it  will be too late. Then, those who are lost will be lost forever. And those who are saved will be saved forever, when the great day of His wrath comes upon the world.

” When I recall that God is just,” said Abraham Lincoln, “I fear for my  country.” The justice of God still reigns across the whole world. That justice will come upon the world in absolutely smashing fashion in that day of divine wrath.

So remember again. The Day of the Lord is not some happy circumstance  for those who do not know the Lord. The Day of the Lord is blood and  fire and vapor and smoke, and divine wrath poured upon every soul of man  that doeth evil, the Bible says.

People used to talk about how they looked forward to the Day of the  Lord, back in the Old Testament, because that would make life easy. It would be a time of deliverance. Many of the prophets had to remind the people of Israel, “Don’t you look  forward to the Day of the Lord, because the Day of the Lord will overtake you as a thief in the night. The Day of the Lord will overtake you as judgment that you could not  foresee, and the very things in which you have placed your affection will all be gone!”

Those same powerful words must be said to this generation. This generation must hear that there is coming a time of divine judgment upon the world that will embrace every man and every woman. It will cover everything done in the body. The Day of the Lord will be that exacting.

Therefore, what should we do? We should avoid the Day of the Lord and  that great judgment by doing one primary thing: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ  Jesus…. (Romans 8:1). One of the great stimulants to being a Christian, to having everlasting  life, is to see the oncoming Day of the Lord. How do I avoid that day? I believe the gospel. I say that wonderful “Yes” to Jesus Christ. I trust Him as my personal Savior. When  I do that, I am delivered from the wrath to come, and I have God’s gift of life everlasting. Be sure that you are in that great plan by knowing Jesus as your very own. Except Those Days Be Shortened…

Prophecy and the Promise

Remember again two verses that Christ tells us about the Tribulation: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened (Matthew 24:21,22).

Now, when we read of all that’s going to happen during the Tribulation,  we get a little explanation as to why these days will have to be shortened. For instance, just before Christ said that, He said:  When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of  by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whosoever readeth, let him understand), Then let them who are in Judea flee into the mountains; Let him who is on the housetop  not come down to take anything out of his house; Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto those who are with child, and to those  who nurse children in those days! (Matthew 24:15-19).

This describes quite an eventful time in the history of the world which  will be a terrible time of opposition to those who know the Lord. But in the midst of it, also, Jesus says:

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. But  he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:12,13).

This is a good time to drop a note that will be helpful in our thinking.  Endure to the end. That’s the basis of salvation during the days of the Tribulation. Christ is not talking about the Church, and the Gospel of the Grace of God, and preaching  salvation by endurance for Christians. Rather, He is speaking about resolute, intrepid people who endure the opposition of the devil and the Antichrist and society during this  day approaching the Tribulation. Then, when the Tribulation is done, having endured, they will be the first to go into the Kingdom. Notice also that Jesus said:

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:14).

We should then remember that the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Gospel of  the Grace of God are two different things. The Gospel of the Kingdom says, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). When one believes this, he becomes a  part of the Kingdom of Heaven. He becomes a proselyte to the Jewish nation, the inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. He will be a part of that group that inherits the Earth forever. That’s the result of believing the Gospel of  the Kingdom.

But the Gospel of the Grace of God produces a different result: you become an inheritor of eternity.

Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or  things present, or things to come; all are yours, And ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (I Corinthians 3:22,23).

Think of the Scripture that says: “He that spared not his own Son, but  delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

That is what is inherited by the believing Christian in the world today.  I beg of you, please learn the difference between the Body of Christ (which is the Church) and Israel (God’s chosen people). The human destiny of Israel is to inherit the  world, but the destiny of the Church is to inherit the universe. If we have that clear, we’ll understand these chapters. So first of all, consider the prophecy that the days of the  Tribulation will be shortened, and the promise by Jesus Christ that they will be.

The Anti-God Conspiracy

As the effect of the Tribulation grows, a thought will come into the  mind of the Antichrist. He says, “I’ve got control of the United States, except for a few little pockets of resistance. I’ve got control of Canada. I’ve got total control of Latin  America. I’ve got great control of Europe. I’ve got other nations of the world that are in my retinue. I can say almost without fear of contradiction that I control the world. Except,  the contradiction is those irascible people in Israel. Those Jews that will not be converted to my cause, those Jews that profess to believe in Jehovah God-what am I going to do  about this?”

And so he conspires to produce a tremendous action to destroy the nation  of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. He raises a military contingent from all of the nations of the world. Then he calls that military contingent to the conquest of Israel,  and particularly the siege of the city of Jerusalem. It’s quite a picture. If you want to know what the Bible says about this, consider Psalm 2 and Zechariah chapters 10-12. It is  described in Scripture as being mounted by the Antichrist to destroy the remembrance of God in the world. Psalm 2  says:

Why do the nations rage, and the peoples imagine a vain thing? The kings  of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their  cords from us. He who sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision … Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree:  The Lord hath said unto me, Thou are my Son; this day have I begotten thee (Psalm 2:1-4,6,7).

The second Psalm is a great source of reassurance that God is in control of every situation at every time. But He particularly resists this great conspiracy against the people of Israel mounted by the Antichrist, whereby the Antichrist hopes to destroy the final remembrance of God in the world.

It’s an interesting thing to see, and it does, of course, give us insight into the heart of wicked men at all times. If a person does not know Christ as personal Savior, the chances are that he will move through successive periods of degeneration, until finally he becomes a reprobate.

By this time, the world has a reprobate on the throne, the Antichrist, the man of sin, the son of perdition. And it is this reprobate idea that says, “I can be the king of the world. I can be the lord of the universe, and nothing can stand in my way.” “Oh, no you won’t,” says the Bible. “It won’t happen.”

I thought of this one time when I was in Germany. I was out at  Berchtesgarten, and looked up at what they called the “Eagle’s Nest” at the top of this great mountain. That was the small palace that Hitler built for himself. He went up there only a  few times after he built that palace, and looked out. Because it’s the highest mountain in the area, you can see almost forever, 360 degrees. I’m sure that he looked out those  windows, and said, “I control it all. The 1,000 year Reich, it will be mine. Nothing can stand in my way. Those idiot people that couldn’t resist, they have all been done away with.  Now I will be the master of all I survey.”

Being a megalomaniac, he told himself how he could be the master of the  universe. Did he become the master of the Earth, the world’s Antichrist of his day? He did not. God, who sits in the heavens,  laughed at this posturing little moral and spiritual pygmy. And of course, the end of Hitler was not Berchtesgarten, and overcoming and overwhelming the world. The end of  Hitler was a flaming corpse in the government building in Berlin, as Russian guns were going off in every direction, and the place was having the daylights burned out of  it.

That was presumption. And there’s coming a day when the very same thing  is going to happen to the Antichrist. He will be destroyed. He will be discomfited. The end of his mission will be in the gigantic defeat of his forces in the environs of  the city of Jerusalem.

How will the Antichrist be destroyed? You may be very surprised at the  answer to that question, because you, if you are a Christian, are personally involved. The destruction of the Antichrist and the deliverance of the people of Israel will take  place because of a very particular group of people, who accompany the Lord in the accomplishment of that tremendous mission.

The Final Invasion

Did you know that there will be an invasion of this Earth from heaven,  an invasion not just of Jesus coming alone, but with a mighty, mighty army with Him at its head? I can tell you now that nothing will be able to stand in the path of that invasion.  Listen to where this is described in Scripture, lest you suspect that I’m inventing these things as we go along.

And I saw heaven opened and, behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon  him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war (Revelation 19:11).

So, we have a white horse coming from heaven. The name of the rider is “Faithful and True,” and who is that? Jesus Christ the faithful Witness, the true Witness. “In righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Who is the final Judge of history? Christ is. Who has the responsibility of righting every wrong? Christ does. He judges and makes war.

His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns;  and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and his name is  called The Word of God. And the armies that were in heaven followed him  upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the  nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (Revelation 19:12-15).

Think of that description of the wrath of God, represented by the faithful and true Witness, who is Jesus Christ.

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16).

There’s no doubt that this is Jesus Christ. The picture that John sees  is Jesus Christ coming back from heaven, riding on a white horse. Now, there’s an element in this return that has interested me for a long time:

And the armies that were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean (Revelation 19:14).

Since the beginning of the Tribulation, where will the Church have been?  In heaven. The Church will have gone through an experience called the Judgment Seat of Christ, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. At that time, it is “clothed in fine  linen, white and clean.” But then the announcement is made to Christians, the Church in heaven with God, that there’s still a very serious piece of unfinished business that  needs to be done in the world. That is to depose the Antichrist, and to pronounce the judgment of God upon the devil. They will be instruments in bringing that to pass.

So Jesus Christ comes back, not alone, but He brings the Church with Him. How do we know this? Well, Jude quotes Enoch as saying about Jesus: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints” (Jude 14).

Now a saint is a Christian. There is no such thing as Saint Somebody, or  Saint Somebody Else, as unique Christians who are awarded sainthood through the vote of some committee. Rather, all of us who have been saved by grace, given the  gift of imputed righteousness, are “hagios” -the holy ones, by virtue of the holiness of Jesus Christ. We are saints. These are saints returning with the Lord  Jesus, the saints of God, “ten thousands of his saints.”

By this time, the armies that surround the city of Jerusalem have every reason to expect that they will conquer the place. Yet, they look up, and see a massive military contingent coming back from heaven, sweeping down out of the skies, and taking them out of the way like nothing! They will be utterly destroyed. That army will be scattered all over the place. There will be millions who die. And there will be a special thing that is done with reference to the devil and the Antichrist. The Scripture says that the Antichrist will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20), and the devil will be thrown into the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1-3). He is kept prisoner there for 1000 years.

You may say, “That’s a lot of arrogant presumption. Christians returning with Jesus Christ? Who do you think you are to say that?” Well, the Scripture says that. In fact, did you know that the Bible says that the saints, that is, Christians, shall judge the world? Did you know that the Bible says that the saints shall judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)?

The devil, as you know, is an angel. Therefore, the devil will be a part of this group that is judged by you, and by me. There are people who have been done to death by the activity of Satan. But they will see him again, standing in judgment before them. We will be a part of that tribunal that makes right everything that is wrong in the world.

As a part of the army of Jesus Christ we will return to conquer. We will inherit the universe. The Bible says:

Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, And ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (1 Corinthians 3:22,23).

It’s no small thing to be a Christian. It is to be an inheritor of the universe. But I’m sure that you get the picture. A mighty invasion, the saints come back, and the saints do away with those armies that are in the process of conquering the nation of Israel. Israel is delivered by the Church, it is the Christians who will deliver the nation of Israel.

Then, of course, finally, we must mention that the Tribulation ends. Remember Jesus said, “And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved… ” (Matthew 24:22).

Well, the days were ended. How? By this invasion from heaven, in which Christ comes again. We are the ones who shorten the dreadful days of the Great Tribulation. We are the ones who relieve the siege of the city of Jerusalem. And we are the ones who say to the world, “Here is the Lord; now you are free.”

During the Tribulation, there will have been many who have accepted the Lord, and believe the Gospel of the Kingdom. And what will happen as a result of that faith for them? When the Tribulation ends by the return of Christ, He will come, and not only deliver the nation of Israel, but He will set up His Kingdom. Where will the capital of that Kingdom be? Jerusalem, the Holy City, called the “city of the great King” (Psalm 48:2) in the Old Testament. He will establish His throne there, and He will reign over the world for 1000 amazing and remarkable years.

We call this the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ. During that Millennial Reign, there will be peace. No one will be able to make war. There will be prosperity. Everyone will have his own possessions. There will be the opportunity to confer with the great King. In fact, the people who do not come to do obeisance to the great King, will not receive rain where they are. And the world will know a marvelous array of riches for every person that will be beyond description.

Why do you suppose God does this? God does this because He wants the world to know the prosperity they could have known all of the time, had they elected to believe in, and to follow Jesus Christ. Why do we have problems in the world today? It’s because man chose to live in sin, rather than to pursue the righteousness of God.

Well, the righteousness of God will be imposed upon the world during those Millennial days, and people will see the blessings, the benefits, the peace, the prosperity that could have been theirs all of the time. People of the nation of Israel will say, “Look at what we missed when we would not let Jesus Christ reign over us.” And they said that, didn’t they? “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). Then Christ said, “All right, as a result of that, something will occur in your nation that will be terrible indeed.”

0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them  who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings and ye would not! Behold, your house is  left unto you desolate (Matthew 23:37,38).

So the house of Israel has been desolate from then until now. But Israel  will be restored. The hours of desolation will be gone. And Israel then will be the greatest nation in all of the world, with Christ her Messiah ruling her as King.

Now, the Millennial Reign will show to Israel the prosperity and  blessing that it could have known for thousands of years preceding this. Israel, with a vengeance, will embrace her great King.

And then, of course, the coming of Christ to establish His Kingdom has  tremendous implications for you and me, members of the Church which is His body. The universe will then belong to us! We will be thinking of plans and fantastic  possibilities that reach out into the wideness of eternity. Where do you think you will serve? Will God send you to oversee operations on some distant planet? We can’t even begin to  imagine: “…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Out of the Tribulation will come fantastic results. One of those great  results will be the Church arriving at the place of its true destiny, and becoming, with Jesus Christ, rulers of the universe. Look forward to that day. Don’t let the tiny things of  this present moment mean that much, because God will wipe away all tears. God will do away with all these frustrating things that plague us today. And we shall live in the light  of God’s glorified Son. It will be wonderful beyond description. Don’t miss it.

Where Will You Be, During the Tribulation and Beyond?

God tells us these things in the Bible, because He wants you and me to know how wonderful salvation is. Have you accepted this salvation? Do you know Christ as your very own? If not, you can know Him today. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” says the Word of God. In fact, right now you can accept Him. Wouldn’t you like to bow your head, and pray this prayer to ask God to make it real in your life?

“Heavenly Father, I know that I’m a sinner, and that Jesus died for my  sins on the cross. And I want now to take Him as my personal Savior. Please come and live within my heart, and bring the assurance of salvation. I pray in Jesus’ dear Name, Amen.”

If you have meaningfully said that prayer, the events of the Tribulation  which the Bible describes, and which we have discussed, will pose no great threat to you. You will be watching them from the battlements of heaven, until you return with  Jesus Christ and with the rest of us to deal deserving defeat to the devil.