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When All Hell Breaks Loose: The Importance of Studying Prophecy

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 21, 2021 3:00 am

When All Hell Breaks Loose: The Importance of Studying Prophecy

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 21, 2021 3:00 am

The Devil certainly has a foothold in our culture today. But that’s nothing like his reign of terror during the Great Tribulation. Now’s the time to introduce our loved ones to Christ.

And Pastor Greg Laurie will help with that on October 3 at SoCal Harvest. Although it’s a live event from Angel Stadium in Southern California, you can be involved from anywhere by inviting your loved one to watch at harvest.org. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings more eye-opening insights on prophecy.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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We're glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. The devil knows his time is short, and his objective is to wreck as much havoc as he can in as many lives as he can. During the end times, our adversary will accelerate his evil deeds. Pastor Greg Laurie brings us insight from the book of Revelation. We have the devil on a rampage, running roughshod over the planet, giving to mankind what the effectively longed for, pure, unadulterated evil. The devil certainly has a foothold in our culture today, but that's nothing like his reign of terror during the Great Tribulation. Now's the time to introduce our loved ones to Christ, and Pastor Greg Laurie will help with that October 3rd at SoCal Harvest.

Although it's a live event from Angel Stadium in Southern California, you can be involved from anywhere by inviting your loved ones to watch at harvest.org. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings more eye-opening insights on prophecy. I'd like you to grab your Bible if you have one and turn to Revelation chapter 8. Remember, there's a blessing promise to the person who reads, hears, and keeps the words of this book.

Okay? So you want that blessing, and I do too. But why should I study Revelation and Bible prophecy? Number one, it will unlock the mystery of history.

It will unlock the mystery of history. In Eastern religions, everything goes in a cycle. That's why its adherents believe in reincarnation.

They'll just keep coming back again and again until they get it right. But Bible history is linear. In other words, Christians are moving toward a goal. For instance, when you play checkers, you move your man into king's row, and then you say, crown him. And that's exactly what God is doing. He's going to move his son, Jesus Christ, into king's row and say, crown him. Revelation 11, 15 says, the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever. So why study Bible prophecy?

It unlocks the mystery of history. Number two, it brings sense to our suffering. What do you say to someone who is critically ill? What do you say to someone that has lost a loved one? What do you say to someone that has experienced a horrible tragedy?

Here's what you say. This is not God's final plan. Because Revelation 21, 4 says, one day God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death will exist no longer, and grief and crying and pain will exist no longer because the previous things have passed away. Here's another reason we should study prophecy.

Number three, it will cause us to want to live more godly lives. For instance, if you really are studying and understanding what the Bible says about the end times, it will cause you to want to pray more, not less. First Peter 4, 7 says, now the end of all things is near, therefore. By the way, whenever you see the word therefore in the Bible, find out what it's there for.

And it's drawing on something that's been said. Again, the end of all things is near, therefore be clear-headed and be disciplined in prayer. If we really believe Jesus could come back at any moment, it will give us a strength to persevere through our times of difficulty and trial. James 5, 8 says, you must also persevere and be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the Lord's coming is near. You know, we go through hardships in life that make no sense. And sometimes I feel like giving up. But here's my advice to you.

Don't give up, look up. Jesus said, when you see these things begin to happen, look up for your redemption is drawing near. It should cause us in this understanding of the Lord's imminent return to want to live a life that's pleasing to Him.

In 1 John it says, He that has this hope, that is of the return of Christ, they will purify themselves even as He is pure. Number 4, studying Bible prophecy shows us there will be justice in the world one day. There will be justice in the world one day. Evil people do evil things. My goodness. I read things in the news that are unthinkable to me. The horrible things that people do to one another. But the Bible teaches that one day there's going to be a reckoning.

All right. Well, with this in mind, let's catch up now where we last left off. We're looking at this great prophetic puzzle revealed in Revelation chapter 8. And at this point in our study chronologically we're right in the middle of what is called the great tribulation period. It will last for seven years. It will be inaugurated by the emergence of antichrist and it will be ended by the return of Jesus Christ.

The first three and a half years of the tribulation period are relatively calm and peaceful. As antichrist comes on the scene looking like a good guy. A man with solutions.

Economic solutions. Many other things that he brings to the table. He's a charismatic leader. In fact some will even think he's the very Christ. Because as I've told you before the prefix anti doesn't just mean against.

It also means instead of. He'll be a false Christ that will be embraced by many. But at the last three and a half years of the tribulation period antichrist shows his true colors and the wrath of God is unleashed and demons are unleashed and all kinds of crazy stuff is going on. And that's where we're at in our study in Revelation. Speaking of this time Jesus said in Matthew 13, there'll be great anguish in those days.

More than at any other time since God created the world and will never be so great again. In fact unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity not a single person would survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days.

Again I want to remind you that God takes no delight in this. Now remember if you're a believer in Jesus Christ you will be caught up to meet the Lord in the rapture that happens right before the tribulation period. In fact the antichrist's coming world leader cannot even be revealed until the church is removed because the Bible says he who now restrains will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way. And then that wicked one will be revealed whom the Lord will destroy with the brightness of his coming. That verse is speaking of the work of the Holy Spirit through the church. Once the church is caught up to meet the Lord in the air the tribulation period begins. And of course God is still at work even in this very dark time. We talked about the 144,000 who are Jews who have found Jesus as a Messiah.

I describe them as kosher Billy Grahams. Remember they're canvassing the planet sharing the gospel and so many people are coming to Christ a great revival breaks out. In fact it's the greatest revival in all of human history.

Revelation 7 says it's an innumerable multitude that come to faith. So God will be at work mightily in the tribulation period. But listen the devil will be at work as well.

Why? He knows his days are numbered. Revelation 12 12 says the devil has come down to you. He is filled with fury because he knows his time is short. The devil knows his time is short. Even though some liberal theologians don't believe it the devil believes that Jesus is coming back soon and his objective is to wreck as much havoc as he can in as many lives as he can. In fact the Bible even tells us in the last days there will be satanically energized times. Doesn't it seem to you like things are getting darker?

That you're seeing more evil on display? That's because we're living in the last days. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody Greg Laurie here. As you know last year we were not able to have a live SoCal Harvest event. So I'm happy to announce it's happening this year at Angel Stadium on October 3rd. In a special one night interactive experience Pastor Greg Laurie presents a message of hope.

Bring a friend. It's a night they'll never forget. Enjoy great music from For King and Country.

And Phil Wickham. SoCal Harvest with Greg Laurie October 3rd 7 p.m at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. It was just life-changing.

Music, message and a brand new interactive experience you've never seen before. Find out how you can be part by serving. For that and all the information go to harvest.org SoCal. SoCal Harvest. Well you've joined us for a powerful study series in Revelation and Pastor Greg goes even deeper by way of his new book A Commentary on Revelation.

We'll tell you more later or you can get the details now at harvest.org. So here in Revelation 8 to 9 with the church in heaven which is acted as the preservative on earth we have the devil on a rampage a running roughshod over the planet giving to mankind what they effectively long for pure unadulterated evil. This reminds us how the Lord dealt with Egypt. The ancient Egyptians as you know worshiped many gods including the Nile River insects and even frogs. Who worships a frog? But the ancient Egyptians had a frog god. His name was Kermoto.

No kidding. It was actually called Haggit as I recall. But it was a false image that they would worship before it. And so God said oh ok you guys like frogs? I'll give you more frogs and you can shake a stick at. I was just back at our church on the island of Maui. Did you know we have a church in Maui?

It's called Harvest Kumalani. And so my wife and I were taking a walk one morning and there were dead frogs everywhere. Because that happens a lot in Hawaii. You know the rain comes out. The frogs come out.

The sun comes out. The frogs are out there getting run over by cars over there. All these giant dead bloated frogs.

It was kind of gross really. Imagine frogs everywhere. Imagine the roads covered with frogs. And then you go into your house and they're all over the floor.

Wall to wall frog floor covering. And they're in your bed and they're in your oven. They're in your fridge. They're everywhere.

That's what it was like. So God says you want this stuff? I'll give you this stuff. You want evil? You want the restraints removed?

Here you go man. Have at it. And that's exactly what is happening here.

C.S. Lewis once said and I quote, there are only two kinds of people in the end. Those who say to God thy will be done. And those to whom God says in the end thy will be done. All that are in hell choose it. Without that self-choice there would be no hell end quote. So what is happening now to people is what they want it.

This is what they've longed for. God says all right I'm going to let you have it. Revelation chapter 8 verse 1.

Let's read together. I'm reading from the New King James Version. When he opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about a half hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel having a golden censer came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints ascended before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer. He filled it with fire from the altar and threw it to the earth. And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

We'll stop there. Now a series of judgments fall on planet earth. A third of the trees are burned up. A third of the sea becomes blood.

A third of the living creatures in the sea die. Look at verse 13. And I looked and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven saying with a loud voice woe woe woe to the inhabitants of the earth because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels which are about to sound. Woe woe woe it's repeated three times.

This judgment is coming on you right now. We start with a silence in heaven. Now this is unusual because heaven is a happening place. Heaven is a happy place. Heaven is a hopping place. There's worship and there's praise and and there's working and there's activities happening rejoicing as people are getting saved. All kinds of all kinds of cool stuff is happening in heaven. But suddenly silence for a half hour. A complete silence in glory.

Why? Because judgment is about to fall and everyone knows it. Reminding us there's a connection between heaven and earth. Remember we talked about that last time in my message what heaven knows about earth.

Heaven is very aware and all the inhabitants of heaven are very aware now that this judgment is going to come on planet earth. Zephaniah 1 says, stand in silence in the presence of the sovereign Lord for the awesome day of the Lord's judgment has come. So there's a silence. Sort of like the silence in the courtroom when the verdict is about to be read. When the jury foreman stands up and says we the members of the jury do fine. And we're all waiting to hear what the verdict is.

There's a silence. And that's what's happening here. And the fact that it lasts for a half hour shows us that God is in no rush to bring judgment. You've heard the expression a rush to judgment.

It's the very opposite with God who knows all things. He does not want to do this but because he is righteous and because he is just he must do this. Judgment must come. And the Lord knows that once that first domino falls it's going to be like the others are hitting the other dominoes and they're going to fall in rapid succession.

So a whole series of events are about to unfold. Verse two shows us some high ranking angels are overseeing this epic operation. Revelation 8 2, I saw the notice it's the seven angels who stand before God and to them were given seven trumpets. It doesn't just say seven. It's the seven. So these are high ranking angels.

The magnificent seven if you will. And now the seventh seal brings the seven trumpet judgments. And the seven trumpet judgments progress into the seven bowl judgments. Now the seven trumpet judgments can be divided into two groups. The first four are directed by God against the environment reminiscent of the plagues that came upon Egypt during the days of Moses. The other judgments are spread over the next three chapters and they fall on humanity.

One thing is clear. Global warming is indeed coming because the first trumpet targets earth's vegetation in verse seven. And we see that it will decimate crops and forests and the air will be filled with smoke and ash.

The second trumpet targets the ocean. Verse eight says something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea. What is John describing? Remember he's in the first century.

He's on an island called Patmos. And to the best of his ability he's trying to describe what he has seen in this vision that God has given to him of the future of the world. Is he describing what we would call cataclysmic events that could bring this about?

Or is he describing nuclear weaponry unleashed? No one can say with certainty but God could obviously have this happen through the forces of nature. For instance when Krakatoa, the volcanic island in the South Pacific, erupted in 1883 it was a mighty convulsion. So much so that it was felt 2,000 miles away and this island Krakatoa was obliterated.

It just literally disappeared. Sunsets from the explosion at Krakatoa were colored by dust for two years from one single explosion. So imagine multiple Krakatoas if you will. Or like what happened there in Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius exploded. God could bring this about through what we would call natural means that he's orchestrating.

Or he could allow mankind to unleash his sophisticated and destructive nuclear power. I don't know. But as you're hearing this I know some of you are thinking man this is like pretty crazy stuff. But again I want to remind you if you're a Christian you will not be here for this. You will be safely in heaven as this judgment comes upon the earth. But if you're not a Christian this will be your future. Maybe I'm speaking to somebody right now that has no place in their life for God and you're just doing whatever you want to do. And God is giving you a warning. He's saying turn to me right now. Call upon me right now.

You need me. And you say well no this thing I'm doing is not wrong. Well if the Bible says it's wrong it is wrong. You need to ask him to forgive you of your sin and you need to turn to him. But listen there might be somebody that's listening to this right now that would be saying man this is great.

I can hardly wait till this happens. You're messed up okay. If you're a Christian and you believe these things as we all should you should have a broken heart over this thinking oh wow I know people that are not believers yet. I want to share the gospel with them. I don't want them to miss the rapture and have to go through the great tribulation period. This breaks the heart of God and it should break our heart as well. The great tribulation period is coming. Christ is coming for his church before this time falls on the planet.

So we can rejoice in that. But think about people that you know that are not Christians yet. Should we not be praying for them?

Should we not be reaching them with the gospel right now? Remember as we study Bible prophecy the following things happen. It brings sense to our suffering. It causes us to live more godly lives.

It helps us persevere through trial. And finally studying Bible prophecy should make me want to share the gospel. Do you want your family members to go through the tribulation period? Do you want people who are your friends to face this time which will literally be like hell on earth?

I don't think you do. So I encourage you today. I challenge you today. I urge you today to look for an opportunity to engage someone with the gospel. Tell them about Jesus Christ. Tell them that there's a God in heaven who loves them. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie with an important urging to share the gospel with as many people as we can.

We just don't know how much time we have left. That's why we're excited about SoCal Harvest coming up October 3rd. That's a week from Sunday. Thousands will gather at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and many thousands more will be joining in online at harvest.org. Pastor Greg will welcome for King & Country and Phil Wickham and present a powerful gospel message. It's the perfect time for a friend or loved one to hear the gospel. So if you're in Southern California, bring them.

If you're outside of the area, invite that friend to watch along with you online. That's Sunday, October 3rd, SoCal Harvest. Get the details at harvest.org slash SoCal. Now if you missed any of the insight Pastor Greg brought us today from this series in Revelation, you can watch what you missed with a replay at harvest.org. And then we'd like to help you take your study of Revelation even deeper. Pastor Greg has just released his brand new book called Revelation a Book of Promises. Now Pastor Greg, nearly everyone can think of a question they'd like to ask about the book of Revelation. Maybe something about the 144,000 or about the mark of the beast or if believers will be here when the antichrist is revealed. Will they find answers in your new book?

100% they will. Let me just give quick answer to every one of those questions. Who are the 144,000? There are 144,000 Jewish people who believe in Jesus as the Messiah. There's sort of like 144,000 kosher Billy Grahams combing the planet, sharing the gospel, and they're under divine protection. And then you mentioned will believers be here to see the antichrist?

I think the simple answer is no. Because the Bible says he who now restrains will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way and then will that wicked one be revealed whom the Lord will destroy with the brightness of his coming. The restraining force in the world today is the work of the Holy Spirit through the church. It is my opinion that antichrists cannot be revealed until the church is removed. So we should not waste time looking for antichrists but instead be looking for Jesus Christ. The mark of the beast that will come with the antichrist in the tribulation period. So no, the COVID-19 vaccines are not the mark of the beast. No, there is no thing right now that is happening that is the mark of the beast. That will come later. So the main thing we want to focus on is being ready to meet the Lord.

So I answer those questions and a lot more in this brand new book that I've just written simply called Revelation a Book of Promises. It's hardcover. This is a pretty thick book folks and we're going to send it to you for your gift of any size because I believe this is going to be a resource that you can go to time and time again as you study this book. It's understandable. It's down to earth.

It's practical. I don't use a lot of theological language. I speak in a way that you can grasp it and I want to send you this book again for your gift of any size. Whatever you can send we'll use to reach more people with the gospel and the teaching of the word of God. Yeah, and we so much appreciate that investment. It's really an investment in touching and changing lives as we'll be doing shortly at So Cal Harvest, October 3rd. So get in touch today with that donation and we'll thank you with a copy of Pastor Greg's brand new book, Revelation a Book of Promises. And by the way, we'll include a bookmark designed by our team to show the timeline of end times events very clearly. What comes before what?

What comes after what? So write us today at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or call us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300.

1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org. Well next time, Pastor Greg offers more insight on the trumpet judgments found in chapters 8 and 9 of Revelation. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Lord. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-21 18:32:35 / 2023-08-21 18:42:05 / 10

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