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R628 Future Events, Pt.1

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2022 8:00 am

R628 Future Events, Pt.1

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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January 19, 2022 8:00 am

The Daily Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton

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Greg Laurie
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J.D. Greear

Sometimes the future can be frightening, but it doesn't need to be. Future events is today's topic with Dr. Don Wilson. As we open the Word of God together, know that our phones are open as well at 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673. We'd love to pray with you and connect with great resources. Now, Dr. Don Wilson. I don't often share this with you, but my wife will tell you that yesterday I was completely prepared. When I got to Saturday, I had prepared this message some days and weeks ago, and I felt like that the Lord had spoken to my heart. And so yesterday I sat down at my study, in my private study, and I began to talk to the Lord, and I began to read the Scripture, and I began to prepare my heart for worship today. I ended up in my study for quite a number of hours, probably six hours.

You'd say, why? Just simply because I couldn't leave it. God began to take me deeper and deeper into His Word, and that's what He does. What I thought was an understanding on my part became a lack of understanding.

What I thought was sufficient in order to teach my people was grossly insufficient. And I came to understand that this wonderful trough of God's grace is bottomless, and that the deeper I dig into the truth of the Word of God, the deeper I need to go. The more I understand, the more I recognize I don't understand. And ladies and gentlemen, we are studying an extraordinary subject.

I do not know all the answers. There is a great deal that I'm going to say to you that will require much attention on your part. But I believe that it behooves us, first of all, to come to grips with the Word of God. And so what we are going to continue to do is we're going to continue to study this Word. I'm not going to be bound by all the things that everybody says. I'm certainly going to read commentators and do Word studies and try to have a better understanding and grasp of what it is that God is saying, but I believe we need to come to grips with the Word of God, as we always do.

The second thing that I believe we need to do is we need to understand that the Spirit of God will give us options, and he will give us clarity of thought, and God by his Spirit opens our minds, and he'll do that for you. There are going to be many things that we will study together that initially you're going to struggle with, you're going to grapple with. I want you to grapple with them. That is my purpose. I want to drive you into your closet. I want you to go home and say, I didn't quite understand that. I want you to ask questions of your teachers. I want you to struggle with the Word of God, because God will bless you. I only went, left the study at 11.30 or something last night, and I tell you deep down in my heart there was a refreshment. There is a blessing that God gives to you when you rarely get to grips with his Word, and this subject no least, because we're discussing things that are very difficult to understand until he comes.

Here's the situation. Jesus was born, and then he lived upon this earth, and he died upon a cross. Some days later after appearing to over 500 people, Jesus together with some of his disciples went back to the Mount of Olives, and in front of them he ascended. He was taken up, and the word there to ascend means that he was literally snatched up. It's very similar to the word that we use for the rapture of the church.

Taken away, snatched out, and it pertains to an extraordinary act of Almighty God, something that only God can do. Jesus was taken by the hand of Almighty God, and according to his sovereign purpose, the Word of God tells us that he was seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for you and for me. The angel came to these gentlemen and said, men, please don't be concerned.

I know you're standing there looking up and wondering what this is all about. You are overwhelmed by theological disposition and circumstance, but I want to tell you a truth that the same Jesus who went up is going to come back again, and they remembered what Jesus said, because Jesus said, in my Father's house there are many mansions, and if it were not the case I would tell you that. I'm going to prepare a place for you up there, and if I don't prepare that place, listen to this, I will come again, and I am going to take you to be with me forever. That's what Jesus was talking about.

No wonder he prefaced his remarks by telling them, let not your heart be troubled. He said, please do not spend or waste your time worrying about future events, because I am going to come back. That's what this is all about until he comes. Well, here's my question, Lord, what do I need to know about your coming, and what should I be doing until you come?

And Lord, if you don't mind me just asking one more question, when exactly are you going to come? Now I'm going to confess to you that on September 11th when those massive buildings came tumbling down, the thought crossed my mind that this was the end of the age. It kind of had an apocalyptic touch to it. The looks on people's faces, the disaster, people running down the streets of New York trying to escape the crushing buildings, the sadness of the heart, the things that the Bible alludes to, and I said, Lord, are you coming? Is this the beginning of the end? There were the disciples, they had been with the Lord Jesus in the temple. This was the culminating point of over three years of ministry, and I think they were suffering perhaps from an overload.

They were not any different to you and me. Some of you, most of you, I hope, I know well over 2,000 of us have been in Bible study today, and many more in worship. When it comes to the end of this message, some of you are going to walk out of here and say, let's talk about the ballgame tomorrow.

What's for lunch? Let's find something different to converse about. We've had a spiritual overload. Some of us might even say, man, I don't need any more Bible right now.

Let's talk about something different. Well, I think perhaps, if you'll beg my pardon, that these disciples came out, and here they were overawed, these Galileans, these mere fishermen, these boys from the hood, and they gathered around the feet of Jesus Christ, and I don't know, maybe Matthew turned to John and said, man, what can we say? Jesus tells us all these incredible things. He's talked about the kingdom of God and Messiahs, and if you look at me, you've seen the Father, and I tell you the truth, and don't do this, and blessed are the poor in spirit, and he's healed people. Man, what can we say? And Matthew prodded John and said, man, talk about something else.

We've had enough church for the day, and I don't know, maybe John looked up and said, I've got it, man. Lord, isn't this incredible? Look at this building, this temple. What a magnificent piece of engineering.

We've never seen anything like it. What they didn't know is they were being prompted by the Holy Spirit. Did you know that the Holy Spirit guides us, directs us, gives us the right things to say, helps us to ask the right questions? And so it is that Jesus delivers what is commonly known the Olivet Discourse.

Why the Olivet? Because it took place on the Mount of Olives, and the Mount of Olives is singularly significant, because that's the place where Jesus ascended, and that is the place where Jesus will come back again, and sitting right there atop the mountain, Jesus delivered this discourse in the wake of a three-pronged question that came from the disciples, unsuspectingly. They didn't know they were asking three questions, but they did. Neither did they necessarily understand the significance of the questions they were asking.

Let's read about it. Jesus left the temple in Matthew 24, was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. Do you see all these things he asked? I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another. Everyone will be thrown down.

A little bit later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. Tell us, they said. Question number one, when will this happen? When will what happen? When will the temple come crumbling down that you just told us about? Question number two, what will be the sign of your coming?

What coming? The Deliverer, the Messiah that we've been expecting who will deliver us from the oppression of the Roman Empire. And number three, when will be the end of the age? Because we believe, according to the Old Testament, that the coming of the Deliverer is going to be accompanied by a new peace. In other words, we know that according to Ezekiel and Daniel and Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophet, we know from the Scriptures that the coming of the Messiah is going to simultaneously signal the end of the age.

So all three of those questions are interrelated and very singularly significant. Well, look what happens. Jesus answered, watch out that no one deceives you, for many will come in my name, claiming I am the Christ and will deceive many. You will hear wars and rumors of wars, but see to it you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all the nations because of me. At that time, many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved, and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel, let the reader understand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house.

Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Pray that your flight will not take place in the winter on the Sabbath, for then there will be great distress unequaled from the beginning of the world until now and never to be equaled again.

If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened. At that time, if anyone says to you, look, here is the Christ, or there he is, do not believe it, for false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, there he is out in the desert, do not go out, or here he is in the inner rooms, do not believe it, for as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Wherever there is a carcass there, the vultures will gather. Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give up its light. The stars will fall from the sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and the great glory and he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call and they will gather his elect from the four winds and from one end of the heavens to the other. Now, learn this lesson from the fig tree.

As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that the summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. You remember back in Luke's gospel, chapter 19, verse 11. Bible says that while they, the disciples and the people, were listening to this, Jesus had just made an announcement. Jesus told them in Luke chapter 18, he said, I am the Son of Man and I've come to seek and to save the lost. Remember now, they were expecting a deliverer, a conqueror, someone who would set them free.

Jesus said, I've come to seek and save the lost. He was trying to teach them about who he was. Well, the Bible says that at that time, he went out, he began to tell them a parable because he always wanted to give them an earthly story with a heavenly meaning to enhance their spiritual understanding. He was near Jerusalem and listen to this, Luke chapter 19 says, and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to happen at once. When Jesus said these things, they said, wow, this is it. I'm sure the disciples couldn't understand why he didn't brandish a sword. They were waiting for that.

Why? Well, because they had read the Old Testament. They knew it.

Why? Because they had seen John the Baptist. The Old Testament told them that the Messiah would be announced. Well, they had seen John the Baptist. They all knew him. They visited with him. In fact, they knew about the special relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist. Why did they expect something to happen right now? Because they had cheered his arrival in Jerusalem.

Remember the ticker-tape parade they gave the Lord Jesus. They were there with their palm branches and people were shouting. They were ecstatic because they believed that the kingdom of God was imminent. They had witnessed how he had cleansed the temple.

They liked that. He'd gone in there with a whip and he had chased them out and he said, make not my father's house a house of merchandise. These people, they had watched how he had rebuked the religious leaders. Go back into Matthew chapter 23. He called them snakes and vipers and he called them everything you could imagine.

Folks, let there be no mistake whatsoever. Jesus had no time whatsoever for these people who were in the church and yet behaved in such an ungodly manner. Jesus wasn't impressed with the fact that all of them had gone to the Jerusalem Baptist Theological Seminary.

That did not impress him one bit. Jesus was not impressed by their daily readings and their prayers at the Wailing Wall. Jesus wasn't impressed by their religiosity and these people who hung around him, they didn't have a very good taste in their mouth when it came to the religious leaders. Remember these religious leaders were siphoning their money.

Now folks, let me give you an illustration. We took up an offering. Our people give tithes and offerings and you've been so faithful.

Can you imagine if you knew that I took whatever I wanted out of the offerings, bought myself a new motor car, did whatever I wanted to do with it and you could do nothing about it. Do you know that the Old Testament writers tell us that the Jewish people of that day, they did what their religious leaders ordered them to do because it was part of their cultural and religious obligation. They knew that the religious leaders were committing fraud by taking money that was given to the church. They knew these things. They couldn't stand them.

There was nothing they could do about it. The religious leaders in the day of Jesus were a very powerful group of people. They were not unlike the Muslim clerics that you find in places like Iraq and Iran. Remember the Ayatollah Khomeini?

Let me tell you something friends, I never met the Ayatollah Khomeini but I'm going to tell you that under the Shah of Iran, he lived in exile in France and when the Shah of Iran was evicted thanks largely to the help of the United States of America, the Ayatollah Khomeini came back to Iran and he did anything he wanted to do and nobody could question him. It's no different to the religious clerics of Jesus day. There was no such thing as a personal relationship and I can tell you they didn't have deacons. There was no system of answerability.

There was no accountability. These people knew that. They knew they had listened to his statements about the temple and here it is these disciples asked these questions and Jesus immediately and understanding them because he is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, Jesus begins to answer the question but most significantly Jesus begins to talk about the future. You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton, our teacher here on The Encouraging Word. Please don't go away, he'll be back with the rest of today's message in just a moment but many of you have been asking about the opportunity to grow with us with regard to studying God's Word every single day and yes we've made that wonderfully easy on our website You can sign up for an email, a free email from Dr. Wilton that will land in your box about 6 a.m. every morning to help start your day in prayer.

Again, sign up today online at Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don. Now friends, listen to me. There are many people, some of whom I respect very deeply, who believe that this Olivet Discourse had to do with AD 70. There are some wonderful Christian people who believe that what Jesus was talking about was the imminent collapse of the temple under Roman persecution.

I do not believe that, not for one single moment. Jesus was talking about the future. This was an eschatological discourse. Jesus was answering their questions. We discovered why he answered the question concerning the temple and I tell you what got all over me most of all was that I believe and it was my final point last week that Jesus pointed to the temple because he wanted to demonstrate in a very practical way what happens to the church of the living God when the Spirit of God is withdrawn from it. What he was saying to these disciples, this temple will come down because my house has been brought into disrepute and I will never tolerate godlessness and I want you to know that when you remove my name from my house the walls are going to come tumbling down.

Well 40 years later they believed him. Let me just remind you my friends 40 years later we were launched headlong into the Apostolic Age and the Apostolic Age was the inauguration of the New Testament church. It was the prime time of instructing people like you and me how to do church and how to build the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ begins his eschatological discourse right there where it really counts in the house of God a place that all of them could relate to. So why the future and how do we know it's the future? Well I'm going to submit to you today that Jesus gave seven keys or seven events that were going to happen prior to his coming.

Let's look at the first of the future events Jesus spoke about. Here it is, birth pains, birth pains. Could I just see a show of hands here?

How many of you moms have had labor pains? Would you raise your hands please? Thank you.

Would you call that quite an event? I better move on. Alright now point number two.

Alright listen to me. Jesus did you notice what he says here folks? He says in verse 8 he says all of these are the beginnings of birth pains.

Well what are the beginnings of birth pains? Now I'm not going to pitch camp here but remember now he's beginning to respond. Alright he's already told them about the temple. He says watch out in verse 4. He says watch out that no one deceives you.

Well deception is a birth pain, deception. He goes down he says many will come in my name claiming I'm the Christ. False prophets. Remember Waco?

I'm just using that as an example. David Koresh. What did David Koresh call himself? The Messiah said I'm the Christ.

Jim Jones and the jungles of Guyana. That's the type of thing here. Many will come. Now I'm not putting a timeline on this yet.

I'm just putting it into its context. You will hear of wars. Well we've heard about wars ever since Jesus was here but then he also says rumors of wars.

I was watching Fox News the other day and one of our esteemed senators said I want to tell you something. I know for a fact our next war is going to be against Saddam Hussein. Well that's a rumor of war.

May be true but it's a rumor. Nobody's declared war but there are wars. There are rumors of wars. He goes on here he says do not be alarmed. Such things must happen but the end is still to come. So here he's telling us about these things, deception and false Christs and wars and rumors of wars. He says I've got good news for you.

It's not the sign of the end. Then he goes on and he says nation will rise against nation. By the way do you know what's happening in India today? India and Pakistan historically have been at war odds with one another since the British Empire pulled out. They're fighting over a little piece of mountainous territory called Kashmir. The Indians and the Pakistanis don't get along. They have nuclear potential. There is an imminent disaster waiting to happen.

It is a very serious business. Well Bible says nations will rise against nation, Kingdom against Kingdom. There it is famines.

There's another one. Earthquakes, another one in various places but then Jesus says, Jesus says all of these things are the beginning of birth pains and what he's doing is he's saying I want to tell you something my friends. When it talks about my coming back to this earth, I'm talking about events that will take place leading up to and including the future. You've heard Dr. Don as he's been preaching and teaching from the pulpit.

Now as he steps into the studio, open your heart to what he wants to share next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today I repent of my sin and by faith I receive you into my heart in Jesus name. My friend, I welcome you today into the family of God.

This is exciting news. If you've given your life to Christ, perhaps praying with Dr. Wilton moments ago or rededicated your life, please let us put some free resources in your hands that will help you grow in your faith. You can call right now at 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673 or meet us online at I cannot begin to describe to you how incredible, what a privilege and an honor to sit at the feet of Dr. Billy Graham as his friend and pastor for so many years. Right there at his home every Saturday. I've put that down in Saturdays with Billy. My thoughts, this relationship never violating any confidences, just sharing the life of this extraordinary man that God touched and used across the world to reach so many people for Christ. Friends of presidents and prime ministers, you don't want to miss this opportunity. It is filled with personal anecdotes, but above all the blessings that flow from the heart of God's servant, Dr. Billy Graham. Be sure and join us tomorrow with more on future events with Dr. Don Wilton and stay connected on our website at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-22 07:00:24 / 2023-06-22 07:10:23 / 10

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