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America & Armageddon: Where We Stand

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2021 3:00 am

America & Armageddon: Where We Stand

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 11, 2021 3:00 am

It’s an often-asked question. America is one of Israel’s most supportive allies. Yet, Last Days’ Scripture doesn’t seem to mention the United States. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, as Pastor Greg Laurie continues our enlightening series in the book of Revelation, he proposes several different scenarios that may explain our absence from the text. It’s an eye-opening look at how close we may be to the next event on God’s prophetic timetable and a reminder of how we need to be prepared.

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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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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. Where is the undisputed superpower, the United States of America? How could a nation of our stature not even be mentioned in the prophetic scheme?

It's an often asked question. America is one of Israel's most supportive allies, yet last day's Scripture doesn't seem to mention the United States. Today on A New Beginning, as Pastor Greg Laurie continues our enlightening series in the book of Revelation, he proposes several different scenarios that may explain our absence from the text. It's an eye-opening look at how close we may be to the next event on God's prophetic timetable and a reminder of how we need to be prepared.

This is the day, the day when life begins. The title of my message that we're going to look at right now from the book of Revelation is simply America and Armageddon, and we're looking at Revelation 15 to 16. You know, one of the more interesting things about Bible prophecy is not who it mentions but also who it doesn't mention in the last days. At this moment in time, America is still the greatest superpower on the planet. That, of course, could change in time as you are aware with the emergence of China and other shifts that are happening globally. But right now, we are still the reigning superpower, but yet as we look at the end times events, you really don't find America in them. You see Israel clearly. You find Iran there. You find Libya there. You can make a pretty good case for finding Russia and even China, but I can't find any passage that clearly identifies the United States of America.

So where are we? How could a nation of our stature and our size and our significance not be mentioned in the prophetic scheme? Well, I'll talk about that in a few moments, but first, here's where we are chronologically. We're looking at what the Bible describes as the Great Tribulation Period.

It lasts for seven years. It begins with the emergence of a charismatic world leader that appears to be the greatest peacemaker of all time. I'm sure they will award him the Nobel Peace Prize, but in reality, he's not a peacemaker.

He's a troublemaker. And the Bible says through peace, he will deceive many. This coming leader, identified in the Bible as the beast, a description of his character, the antichrist, which means not only instead of Christ but against Christ, will help the Jewish people rebuild their temple, but then he will erect an image of himself in the temple and command people to worship him, and that will be the abomination of desolation, and it will mark the halfway point of the Great Tribulation Period. The last three and a half years of this time that is coming upon our planet will be like hell on earth when God's judgment will fall upon the world. Described as bulls of judgment, you've heard of the Super Bowl. These are like the super bulls of judgment coming upon mankind.

Jeremiah 30, verse 7, this day is so great there is none like it. But now we come to Revelation 16, verse 12. And we're looking at the final battles coming upon the planet, the battles of Armageddon.

I'm going to tell you where that word Armageddon even came from. By the way, it's only mentioned one time in the Bible. So let's read Revelation 16, verse 12.

Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon. Now we know the dragon is Satan. And out of the mouth of the beast, we know that's the antichrist. And out of the mouth of the false prophet, that's the religious leader, guru type sidekick of the antichrist. Verse 14, there are the spirits of demons performing signs which go out to the kings of the earth and the whole world to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Now in the middle of all of this, Jesus gives us a personal word. Verse 15, behold, I'm coming as a thief.

Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. And then verse 16, and he gathered them together in the place called in Hebrew Armageddon. Armageddon. Now actually Armageddon is a place, it's from the root word harmageddon.

It's a location. But we know this as a word that speaks of finality. Whenever someone invokes Armageddon, it means something big and epic and destructive.

Signing a peace agreement with Japan and bringing World War II to a close. General Douglas MacArthur standing on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo made this statement. And I quote, we've had our last chance.

If we do not now devise some greater inequitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. End quote. President Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States was astounded by the complexities of the Middle East after he took office. And on May 15, 1981, President Reagan scribbled in his diary these words, Sometimes I wonder if we're destined to witness Armageddon. End quote.

I wonder what General MacArthur and President Reagan would think of what's happening in the news today. Again, Armageddon is talking about the location of the final battles which will happen in the Valley of Megiddo. I've stood at the Valley of Megiddo.

It's a massive plain. Many biblical battles were fought in that place such as Gideon defeating the Midianites and Deborah and Barak fighting their enemies. But why is Megiddo the location of the final conflict? Well maybe we get a clue from one of the greatest military figures of all time.

You've probably heard of him. His name was Napoleon Bonaparte. And standing at Megiddo in 1799 he made this statement and I quote, All the armies of the world could maneuver their forces on this vast plain. There is no place in the world more suited for war than this. It is a natural battleground for the whole earth.

End quote. So there you have it. Now there is demonic power behind this conflict.

Verse 13 mentions unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon. Out of the mouth of the beast motivating them to go and fight this massive battle. You know the devil is behind the war in our world today. And now the church is going to be removed. I mean think about how bad things will be when there is not the presence of Christians speaking up for what is true.

This is how all hell is able to break loose so quickly. Look back historically at the atheistic communist governments and how many of their own people they have killed. Historians say at least 100 million people have been murdered by atheistic communist regimes. Think about this. If the atheistic Joseph Stalin believed that he would stand before a holy God do you think he would have done what he did?

Do you think he would have been as cruel as he was? As Dostoevsky said quote, If God is not everything is permitted. End quote. If there is no God. If there is no afterlife.

If there is no final judgment. Why would a person not do whatever they wanted to do? Mao Zedong did it in China. Hitler did it with Nazi Germany.

Stalin did it with Russia. And now the Antichrist will do it on a level like no one has ever done it before. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

Whenever you send us an email, text, or post a comment on social media we read every word. Hi Pastor Greg. I discovered your ministry right before coronavirus hit and we went into lockdown. Your sermons have helped my walk with Christ and I've learned and grown so much as a Christian.

My marriage has been rocky over the last few years. But when my husband and I started listening to your Happily Even After series it was so beneficial to our relationship. We have a four year old daughter and your messages and of course God are what has kept us together as a family.

Thank you so much. Has Pastor Greg heard from you? How have these daily studies in God's Word encouraged you? Why not drop Pastor Greg an email and let him know? Send it to Greg at Harvest dot org. Again that's Greg at Harvest dot org. Pastor Greg is in the middle of his Revelation series here on A New Beginning. And don't forget he has a new book that takes these insights even further.

We'll have details in a moment or get the information now at Harvest dot org. So now we have two super powers facing off in the battle of Armageddon. The forces of the antichrist, that's ten nations confederated under him.

And another force identified as the kings of the east. This is big. This is bigger than Godzilla versus King Kong.

This is the biggest battle of all time. And they come through the Euphrates River. We were first introduced to this last day's super power called the kings of the east in Revelation 9 16. Which says the number of the army of the horsemen was 200 million. Question. What nation on earth could field an army of 200 million?

There's only one answer. And that's China. I'm not saying that China is certainly the kings of the east. But they're the only nation that could field an army of 200 million people.

Understand when John wrote this on the island of Patmos 2,000 years ago. There were not 200 million people on the face of the whole earth. And yet he's speaking specifically about an army of 200 million. The population of China is 1.98 billion. And the population of America is around 318 million. China announced in 1997 they could raise an army of 352 million soldiers.

So they could put 200 million on the battlefield and have 152 soldiers left to defend China. We don't know. We'll see. Well maybe we won't see.

I don't expect to be here. If I'm seeing it, I'm seeing it from heaven along with you. But that brings us to the question I raised in the beginning. Where is the undisputed superpower, the United States of America? How could a nation of our stature and size not even be mentioned in the prophetic scheme? Okay, so let me offer a few ideas.

Number one, and I don't like this idea, but I have to put it out there. The United States may not be mentioned because our country is decimated by a nuclear attack. Now we know there's just arsenals of nuclear weapons. We know that there are rogue nations like Iran and North Korea who have threatened to use those nuclear weapons. There's someone around 1700 to 27,000 nuclear weapons. No one really knows with certainty.

And if they do, they're not really telling us. Clearly there is enough firepower to blow our planet up multiple times. Is it possible one of these weapons is launched against the United States? I hope not, but if it was, that would explain our absence from the last days scenario.

Another possibility, this is far more likely. America simply declines as a world power. We know historically nations rise and fall.

Every nation has a beginning, middle, and end. The might of ancient Babylon only lasted 86 years. The powerful Persian empire did better. They went on for 208 years. The glory of Greece was eclipsed after 268 years.

Mighty Rome ruled for nine centuries. And the United States, well, we're moving on in the years, but we could be getting closer to the end than we may think. Isaiah 40 verse 15 says, All the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. So we might just decline as a world power. It's possible we could be one of the nations united behind the antichrist.

I certainly hope not, but I can't rule it out as a possibility. Here's a third choice, and I prefer this one. America may not be mentioned in Scripture because a great spiritual awakening happens. A revival spreads across our country. That's not to say a revival would eliminate us as a world power, but if one were to sweep America, we would have a godly influence and our time left, right? So if we were raptured and millions of Americans suddenly were caught up to heaven, certainly that would affect our country.

Think about it. People in the military, people in the economy, people in commerce, just suddenly taken, suddenly removed. That would certainly cause a country to potentially collapse.

Listen. America has spiritual roots. The only other nation in the world that we are like is the nation of Israel that was established by God.

I believe God wanted America to exist. Imagine a world without the United States of America. Imagine what could have happened in World War II when Hitler with his military machine was marching across Europe, England and her sites, other nations that they had already conquered like Norway, even France, and it would have continued on. Who knows what would have happened to so many Jewish people.

We already know six million of them were murdered by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. But America stepped in. Some would say we should have stepped in sooner. But when the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and we entered the war and declared war on the Empire of Japan and then Germany declared war on us, we went in with everything we had. It changed the world.

What would the world have looked like if America had not stepped in at that critical moment in time? God raised this nation up. Against all odds, this nation came into being in 1776. What some people don't realize is our nation was built on the foundation of a spiritual revival. A preacher from England named George Whitfield came to our shores and proclaimed the gospel. Thousands and thousands of colonists came to believe in Jesus. And it was in that soil of revival that the seeds of liberty were planted and the great American experiment began. Our first president, George Washington, made this statement and I quote, Anyone who believes you can explain our victory and the American Revolution without the hand of providence completely misunderstands what happened. End quote.

That's right. Washington knew as he led our troops into battle against the mighty British Empire that God was with us. We had a flag that we would fly back in those days and it had the branches of a tree pointed up and the words on the flag were, Appeal to Heaven. Because the soldiers in our military who were fighting the British knew they needed God's help.

The Continental Army. Yes our nation was born in revival and we need another revival. You know we sing God bless America. Land that I love.

Stand beside her and guide her. To the night where the light from above. We need that light from above. We need God working in our nation again. Is there really any hope for America? Will our streets ever be safe again? Will we see good prevail over evil again? Is it going to end up that way?

What is going to happen? It is my choice that America basically has two options before her. Revival or judgment. Revival or judgment. So we need to choose revival. You say I don't even know what you mean when you say revival. It means to choose God. It means that we say Lord we need a spiritual awakening in our nation and we need it now and let that revival begin with me. Judgment is coming to the earth. We know that. That is what we see in the book of Revelation.

It is not a matter of if. It is only a question of when. But my hope is before this judgment that we read about in the final book of the Bible comes that we will have at least one, maybe two, maybe three spiritual awakenings. We have had four great revivals in American history. The last was called the Jesus Movement. The Jesus Revolution. It has been over 50 years since that awakening.

Don't you think it is time for another one? Let's pray to that man. Pastor Greg Laurie pointing out the need for revival in our time. Good encouragement today here on A New Beginning from his message called America and Armageddon. Now in tandem with our studies of Revelation here on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg has just released a brand new book on Revelation that takes us even further. Pastor Greg, there is a lot of symbolism in Bible prophecy.

You have studied the subject a great deal. How much of that symbolism do we know for sure what it means and how much is open to interpretation where godly people do disagree? Well, I think it is very important to understand Bible prophecy. There are constant exhortations to understand these things. Jesus, when he was speaking of an event called the abomination of desolation, said let the reader understand. In the book of Thessalonians, Paul writing to the believers there, he says, brothers, I would not have you be ignorant. Then he went on to talk about the rapture. So we don't want to be ignorant.

We want to understand. And the very word revelation means to unveil. Now, there are different ways that we can view these truths, and I think godly people can and they do, frankly, disagree on some of these things. Now, my position is I believe that there is an event called the rapture that can happen at any moment. I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. Now, the tribulation period is last seven years, starts with the emergence of antichrist, it ends with the return of Jesus Christ. I don't believe we as Christians will go through the tribulation period. I believe we'll be raptured before that time comes.

Now, that belief alone will affect you in the way that you live, because if you believe you could be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and you see the signs of the time showing how close the tribulation period could potentially be, you realize if the tribulation period is close, then the rapture of the church is even closer. So, I could use the illustration of seeing Christmas decorations up. And you know they go up so early now, don't they?

What is it, August or something? I can't believe Christmas decorations are up. Well, guess what? If I see the decorations for Christmas going up, it says this, Thanksgiving is coming. You say, no, Greg, it says Christmas is coming.

No, I know. But if Christmas is coming, Thanksgiving is coming even sooner, because Thanksgiving precedes Christmas, doesn't it? So, the point of it all is if I see signs of the times out there telling me that the tribulation period is coming, then that means that Jesus is coming even sooner for his church. That belief alone will affect you in the way that you live. And I talk about that and a lot more in this brand-new book that I've just written called Revelation, a Book of Promises. It's hardcover.

It's a thick one. This is going to be a resource that you'll keep at home and hopefully you'll consult it again and again. And my prayer and my hope is it will help unlock this great book, the final book of the Bible, the only book of the Bible, I might add. It has a special blessing promise to the person who reads, hears, and keeps the words of it. And I want you to get this book I've just written simply called Revelation, a Book of Promises.

And we'll send it to you for your gift of any size. And here's Dave to tell you more. All right, well, thank you very much. It's a brand-new commentary from Pastor Greg hot off the press, more than 400 pages in length. If you've been less than clear on your understanding of last day's events, you need to get this resource.

Hey, Dave, let me jump in really quick. Not only are we offering this new book, Revelation, a Book of Promises, but we have this really cool graphic bookmark that we have put together that gives you a timeline of end times events. So you probably wondered, OK, I know I've heard about the rapture and the tribulation period and the antichrist and the second coming.

What happens when? Well, this very beautiful little visual bookmark sort of lays it out for you. That's included in the book you're talking about right now. Yeah, that's right.

It comes automatically. So get in touch with your donation today, and we'll thank you with a copy of Revelation, a Book of Promises. You can write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time we examine some of the most dramatic passages describing the Great Tribulation. More from our series in the eye-opening book of Revelation. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. 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 / 2023-08-12 11:02:57 / 2023-08-12 11:11:58 / 9

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