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April 19, 2016 2:33 am
Harvest messages are brought to you by harvest partners receive free email daily devotions were to become a harvest partner, please visit us email@example.com story about the Billy Graham is holding a crusade in the city and he wrote a letter and wanted to send it to a friend, but he did nor the post office was. I found the boy standing on a corner and said hey son, could you tell me where the post office is in the young guys together. Post office is right over there and then before Billy Lefty turned to the young man and said why don't you come over to the stadium tonight and I'll tell you how to get to heaven, and the little guy looked at him and said why should I go listen to you tell me how to get to heaven. You don't even know how to get to the post office know one day before we even may expect were going to be in heaven. Now that's gonna come about in two ways and obviously needless to say, but I'll add it anyway. I'm only speaking to Christians here. Not everybody has this hope that they will be in heaven but the Christian does because we put our faith in Christ working to get to heaven.
One of two ways. It's going to be through death or through rapture so it may be the Lord catching us up to meet them in the air and it may be our own death and by the way, as I've said before, I believe the next event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church and following that will be the emergence of the Antichrist. The rebuilding of the temple, the great tribulation, and so on. I will learn more about that as we continue on in the book of Revelation, but no written revelation for and we see the church is caught up to meet the Lord, you know, Revelation 3, its ends with a closed-door and Revelation 4 starts with an open door in Revelation 3, Jesus is on the outside of the church of Laodicea trying to get in and out Revelation for a door is opened in the habit. So what this means is that we will open the door of our heart to Christ on earth. One day he will open the door of heaven to us. Know this is a major shift as we move from Revelation to Revelation.
Revelation 3 Revelation 4 really got the camera. This is like a film. The camera swings in its wings from Earth to Kevin were in a whole different place. Seeing things from all different perspective and so chapters 4 and five are the introduction and background of the tremendous sweep of prophetic events predicted in the rest of this book or really in chapter are acutely part three of our series and Revelation.
The third section.
It really divides evenly into three sections and I'll explain to you why believe that as would be just a few verses go to revelation for its reverses wanted to.
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven and the first voice was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here and I'll show you things which must take place after this. Immediately I was in the spirit, and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. So verse one says after these things from the Greek meta-touts up now after these things after what things are.
That brings us to the outline of the book of Revelation. Remember in Revelation 119. John writes and says, write the things that you have seen the things which are in the things that will take place after this. Those are the three divisions of Revelation number one. The things you have seen, this is what the apostle John witnessed in Revelation chapter 1 he saw the resurrected and glorified Jesus with all power on earth and in heaven and the Ridgefield Jesus who is in complete control of all that is about to happen. The things that you see. Then section 2.
Naturally been the things which are, and that is the seven letters to the churches there, and Revelation 2 to 3 sort of a chronological look at the history of the church of the beginning of the church to present day, but that brings is not a section 3. The things that will take place after these things after what things after the things of the church.
So we have the Lord's person, the Lord's people and now we have the Lord's program. Revelation 1 is about the glorified Christ Revelation 2 to 3 we have the scope of church history, and Revelation fortify.
We have the church taken up to Kevin and Revelation 6 to 19 we have the great tribulation. Finally, in Revelation 20 we have the millennium and in 21 to 22. We have the new heaven and the new earth.
So after these things are good. Verse one. The first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me saying come up here and I'll show you the things which must take place after this trumpet member.
Those Charlie Brown cartoons. Whenever the adults spoke. They sounded like a trumpet Rembrandt). It's a sound that John can't quite make out a sound like a trumpet know where we heard the phrase trumpet before first Thessalonians 4. Speaking of the rapture, says the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a child with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. Okay so I believe that this is a description of the rapture the church is caught up in the heaven before the tribulation period begins and that so we stay for the entire tribulation. What exactly is the rapture, Mark Hitchcock, who we've had out here before excellent writer on all things are prophetic in times types of things makes a statement in this book of the rapture happened day.
This definition I think it's outstanding. He says, quote the rapture of the church is that future event when Jesus Christ will dissent from heaven to resurrect the bodies of departed believers and to transform and translate the bodies of living believers immediately into his glorious presence and a moment of time, then escort them to heaven to live with him forever." Very well stated very clear. That's exactly right now. Some will protest and see no way the second. You can find the word rapture anywhere in the Bible. Will that all depends what kind of a Bible you're reading. If you are Farida Tran, a Latin translation like my friend Don Stewart does. In addition, the Greek you'll find that Greek word or that Latin word wrap Torres which is a translation of the original word which is part because of so to say you can't believe in the rapture because you can't find the word rapture in the Bible is ridiculous because you can find the harp, also in the Bible you can find. You have been in the Bible. Rapture is just a popular term by the way, you can find the word Bible in the Bible that you know that there's no mention of the word Bible in the Bible. Also you can find the word Trinity in the Bible.
To this I mean I should not believe in the Trinity or the Bible because I use a popular term, of course not, because these things are in the Bible, just like the rapture is in the Bible becomes in that word. As I said harp also of first Thessalonians 4 says we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air juice 13 times in the New Testament the word harp also is translated to take forcibly to snatch or to catch up. So number one what is the rapture. We've defined it okay why is there a rapture.
Why is there rapture. While the context of Paul's teaching on the rapture during first Thessalonians 4 is he's writing to the believers of Thessalonica would have loved ones die and they were thinking will never see them again. So Paul is reassuring them and that's why his teaching on the rapture ends with the phrase. Therefore comfort one another with these words. So Paul says listeners is going to happen. The dead in Christ will rise first and then we we caught up together with them in the air to meet the Lord in the air. Therefore comfort each other with these words, he gave these words to calm their fears and to bring them perspective that can first Thessalonians 413 proceeding a statement on the rapture.
He says we don't want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who have died so that you will not grieve as those who have no hope noticed that he still leaves room for grieving Christians grieve to many Christians grieve more than non-Christians do.
I think you grieve more when you lose a loved one when you love more and so it's okay to agree but the key is we don't grieve. Hopelessly we grieve. Hopefully their sadness and you're missing the loved one. But there's also a hope of reunion with that love one. That's the point he is making. That's why he says comfort one another with these words, but this is very important you think I don't want you to be uninformed about these things that I bring this up because some people think all I don't need to study Bible prophecy. That's also confusing positive payment.
I don't even say hey man, but he says hey I don't want you to be uninformed about this stuff, you need to know about it and then when Jesus talks about the abomination of desolation.
He says let the reader understand and then in Revelation. We've already quoted that verse that says there's a blessing promised of the word who reads tears and keeps the words of this book.
So God is saying you need to know about these events.
As I've said before Bible prophecy is not given to scare us but to prepare us and it's a little bit irresponsible to say why it's all so complex, so I just won't even study it will why why not learn about a God doesn't want you to be ignorant about these things.
So here's what it comes down to if you lost the love making a quick bowl. How many of you of loved ones who have died, who are in heaven right now. Okay, now how many of you find yourself missing those lovely dredging and okay that's that's normal right.
So here's what the rapture means in real life.
One day maybe just walking down the street thinking about your loved one may be your last conversation with them wondering what it's like up there in heaven. And suddenly, in a moment that will happen so quickly. You could not measure it in time you will be with because this moment, this rapture happens in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, mothers and fathers are reunited with sons and daughters sons and daughters are reunited with mother's and father's husbands reunited with wives and wives of husband siblings with siblings. Your sorrow vanishes and it's replaced by ecstatic joy and not only are you with your loved one again. But best of all your with Jesus. That's why Paul says we do not grieve as those who have no hope. So go ahead and think about it. Go ahead and dream about it. Go ahead and wonder about it. That's not a bad thing. It's actually a good thing.
It's called being heavenly minded know back in older times they had a phrase they would write on the top of the document and it was Momento Mori Momento Mori and amend think of death say all that so morbid actually not. They were saying. Be aware of the fact that life and be aware of the fact that eternity is close to be aware of the fact that there is an afterlife.
It's not a bad thing to think about these things deeply infected with CS Lewis, who said, quote a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do." So you should think about these things deeply.
Now is there any other mention of people being caught up elsewhere in Scripture will Jesus spoke about the rapture of the church in John 14.
He said in my father's house are many mansions of our not so I would've told you if I go I will come again and receive you on the myself, that where I am you baby also receive you under myself. These using that same word the apostle John addresses it as well. In first John 32 dear friends over the children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed but we know that when he appears, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is he that has a soul, purifies himself, even as he is pure.
Paul speaks of it in first Corinthians 1551 he says tell you a mystery will not all sleep will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we all shall be changed so someone say well you know there's no instance in the Bible where someone was taken away off the earth suddenly you just don't find it really I can exit into quite a few.
We could call these raptures with a small R maybe or prototypes of what is to come. Example number one the first book of the Bible enough. Remember him.
It says eNote walk with God and was not risen another translation put it, it was my faith they needed was taken up to heaven without dying. Suddenly he disappeared because God took him.
The Lord just took them away. We don't know exactly what this was all about, or why it even happened why God took unit and didn't take others, but we just know it happened Izzy unit walk with God so that was sort of Akita was like every day.
He had this close relationship with the Lord.
My wife likes to take walks with some of her girlfriends from church Joe Sanborn a walk and chew gum at like two hours later Ozzie that was a really long walk. I said what did you just say you're going on a talk because that's really what it is.
It's a talk more than a walk but that's really what it is to walk with God is not just about burning calories or even walking fast. It's about hanging out. It's about communicating. It's about listening.
It's about sharing eNote walk with God. He had this closeness with the Lord and I guess one day of the Lord turned in a considerable body we walk so far today were closer to my house and yours wanted to just come home with me and so he was caught up to meet the Lord. Also there is the story of Elijah.
He did not die as he was caught up suddenly and they haven't second dreams tells as second Kings tells us that Elijah and Elisha were walking together when suddenly a chariot of fire appeared drawn by horses of fire control between them, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind and they haven't so off he went. So there's two prototypes now of people who were taken off the earth suddenly rapture style and here's a weird one in the New Testament there sort of a sideways rapture.
Let me explain.
There's a story of Philip member he share the gospel with that man from Ethiopia would come to Jerusalem searching for God in his reading out loud from Isaiah 53 and Philip explained it to him and the man believed and was baptized.
But then we read these words in acts 839 after they came out of the water.
The Lord caught Philip away in the unit never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself further north at the city of answer to us.
He preached the good news there and in every city along the way until he came to Caesarea know it's interesting because the word harp also is used so Philip was moved from one location to another. That's why set a sideways rapture. It wasn't caught up to Gavin, he was moved from ADP quickly meant. I wish I can work this out on a daily basis whenever I have to be on the freeway design subtest was 30 miles away. When immunizing would like me to go to LA LA goal get your work done back home again. Well that's an apple with Philip. We never read of this happening again. But it is that word harp also. Again, that's an individual circumstance but finally Jesus Christ himself was in effect ruptured to have the word harp also issues there. Remember, after his resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven he had just given the great commission in acts 192 11 it says it was not long after this study was taken up into the sky while they were watching and he disappeared into a cloud and they were straining their eyes to see them to white room with white robed men suddenly stood there saying men of Galilee, why do you stand there staring at the sky. Jesus is been taken away from you in a heaven and someday just as you saw, he will return now. Usually when the ascension of Jesus is shown in the film were in a painting he slowly cruising just kind of floating Bible doesn't say you floated, says he was taken away. Maybe it's just been like a rocket. You know I'll be wet but it's sort of a ruptured concept. It is the word harp also again. The same word that is used to describe as being caught up to meet the Lord in the air to question number three. When is the rapture when is the rapture will, of course, and I can give you a date and if I do, you can officially mark me as a false teacher okay. That goes for anybody else to give the day every few years someone comes along and they say they cracked the code and they know the day and they know when Christ is gonna come in usually be of something they want to sell you or some other angle on the whole thing and I'm just telling you, no one ever is going to know that there our Jesus said, no man knows the deer the hour and if you were to go back to the original Greek and translated it would come out to say no man knows the day of the hour.
What it actually means is, no one knows the day or the hour no one knows only God knows and he will not reveal that to us.
That's what we need to be constantly ready to meet him. So here's the answer.
One is a rapture any time any talk. It could happen in a moment of time, really time they could not even be measured. Artie read from first Corinthians 15 one in the twinkling of an eye. By the way it's been said that the twinkling of an eye is about 1/1000 of a second. That's faster than the blink.
Try it ;-)) blink link faster than that doesn't seem the blink of an eye. It says in the twinkling of an eye so you can hardly measure even a blink of your eye, much less the twinkling of your eye. It's from the Greek word Adam owes we get our word Adam from it mean something that cannot be divided. In other words, a rapture will happen so quickly and suddenly that the timeframe in which it appears cannot be humanly divided. Now, when Christ returns for us in the rapture. First up is the resurrection of the dead. It says the dead in Christ will rise first. Using away are you telling me that people who have died or just laying in their graves will their bodies are in their graves but their soul is in heaven.
So there's going to be a bodily resurrection. This is a very important thing to note the dead in Christ will rise first and will join them in the air so you might as will Greg are you actually saying that people will burst out of their graves. Yeah I am actually saying that is that is what the Bible teaches about how this will happen. I'm not really quite sure, but we've never prototype for this already in Scripture. Remember when Jesus died on the cross, he remembered reading about that right when he died on the cross paths.
A lot of supernatural phenomena took place right. Remember that this guy went dark for three hours.
Remember that there was a massive earthquake. Remember that the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom. Because God was establishing a new covenant, and one other thing happen. That's only front and one gospel. But here's what it says Matthew 2751 at the moment the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom. The earth shook rock split apart in the tombs open and the bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead after Jesus resurrection was none of this. Now they love the cemetery went into the holy city of Jerusalem and appeared to many people. So when the rapture happens it truly is the ultimate day of the living dead and imaginative hearing on Jerusalem and just crucified that Jesus of Nazareth died, you were really weren't paying a lot of attention this guy goes dark and the earth shakes and rocks are splitting and all of a sudden you see uncle Josiah walking on the street that you buried two days ago. What on earth is going on now that these people stay alive. I don't know. All I know is you came out of their graves.
After Jesus was crucified and that sort of a prototype if you will, of what is going to happen people bodies are to be resurrected again right so with all that in mind, let's shift gears and move forward to. Really this section that were in right now of following the rapture is a send is the emergence of antichrist, the tribulation. The judgment of God falling upon the earth for the second half of the tribulation, the battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus Christ. The rapture is a stealth event, the second coming is a public event. There are two events, sometimes in Scripture. The referred to in effect, this one event. Just as the day of the Lord of the return of the Lord.
But when you drill down a little bit to find the are two events one happens before the tribulation begins at the rapture, the other happens is the tribulation is coming to a close.
That's the second coming and the rapture. He comes in the air. First Thessalonians 416 and the second coming, he returns to the earth. Zechariah 14 for in the rapture becomes for his church and the second coming, he returns with his church in the rapture. He comes in secret or to the unsuspecting in secret and the second coming, the whole earth will see him the rapture he comes before judgment. In the second coming, he returns with judgment. Alright, so here's John banished to the lonely island of Patmos. God's giving him a sneak preview of things to come, and he's caught up in the heaven.
So now we take the camera from earth. We put it up there in glory. And here's what John sees.
Look at Revelation chapter 4 verse two immediately I was in the spirit, and behold, a throne set in heaven in 17 /p/ that's out there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance. There is a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
Interesting that not just have a rainbow like we would see, but around rainbow going around the throne around the throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones I saw 24 elders clothed in white robes and the crowns of gold on their heads and from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God before the throne there was a sea of glass like Crystal and in the midst of the throne and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man in the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within, and they don't rest day or night, saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. We just saying that that point. Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne. He lives forever and ever.
The 24 elders fall down before him, that sits on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever, and cast their thrones before Tuesday cast their crowns before the throne saying you are worthy of all Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.
There John is now in heaven what is heaven what heaven is the dwelling place of God. The Bible describes three habits member that Paul the apostle Paul talked about how he was caught up into the third heaven in second Corinthians 12.
He said I was caught up in the third heaven 14 years ago.
Weather is in the body or out of the body.
I don't know, but I saw paradise with ours in the body are the body. Still, I don't know but the third have so basically when you walk outside and you look up and you see this guy in the atmosphere in the clouds. That's the first That if you get out a powerful telescope or a super clear night you get a glimpse of the second heaven, the moon, the stars, as planets, the galaxies of course we can see those without the help of a telescope of the third heaven is used to describe the very dwelling place of God.
So because of this we think okay that means in heaven is beyond the galaxies beyond the furthest solar system, and that maybe it may be that heaven is closer than we think and maybe that heaven is merely another dimension. Remember the story of the prophets Elisha who was with the servant and that they were being surrounded by enemy armies and the servant started to freak out and Elisha prayed Lord open his eyes and the servant's eyes were open to chariots of the Lord all around them.
Realizing that God was there and that was the next dimension. This supernatural dimension and that I believe is the dimension of the dwelling place of God.
The third heaven where it is.
I don't know but that's where God is. You've all heard the story about the atheistic Russian astronaut went up in the space and said I didn't see God up there. He should've taken his spacesuit off you witnessing got real fast. So what is John C. Number one he sees the Lord seated on his throne versus 2 to 3 sardius, and jasper are used to describe how that appeared.
By the way those of the last stones on the breastplate of the high priest in chapter 21 the jasper stone is described as crystal-clear diamond like the sardius stone was more blood red like a Ruby so he's just trying in first century language to describe what he's seen and it's kind of hard, isn't it. That's like describing Hawaii to a one-year-old. How do you do that how do you describe heaven to mere mortals like us.
John is doing his best.
Notice he says these things were like, which means similar to his own like he's a teenager saying he's like I'm liking it so like notes out that we see it similar to this is similar to that. So just giving his best description he can using first century Greek and he does a pretty good job but he sees the Lord sitting on his throne.
We have to use our imagination stoutly number two. He sees 24 elders, verse four now these may be the 12 Old Testament patriarchs, along with 12 New Testament apostles. Maybe there 24 representatives of the New Testament church to receive crowns. We don't know what the word user for elders as a word, we get our English word Presbytery from and that word is never used of angels.
It always refers to met so these are your mortals men who been given a special position in heaven are clearly crowns are promised to faithful followers of Christ. In Scripture it says that they wear the crown and there's a number of grounds.
The Bible promises for us as followers of Jesus. First of all there's a crown of life.
The crown of life. That's promised of the martyr I in Smyrna. The church of Smyrna. Remember them in Revelation 2 Jesus said be people and did that and I'll give you the crown of life. So for a person it's leave their life down for the Lord is been put to death for their faith. These receive a special crown.
The crown of life and of the apostle Paul also arches maybe apostle James rather said, Blessed is he that endures temptation from Wendy's been proven. You will receive the crown of life which the Lord's promise to those who love to listen if you love the Lord and you resist temptation. God will give you the crown of life and there been times you've resisted temptation and you thought all that was so well attempting that's why they call it temptation. It was so appealing.
But you said no to it. There's a special reward waiting for you for doing that. Then there is also the crown of righteousness, the crown of righteousness, and that is promised to those who are looking for the return of Christ. Second Timothy 48 says there is laid up for me Paul speaking, a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will give to me that day and not to me only, but to all who love his appearing. So for the believer who is looking forward to the return of Christ. There's a crown of righteousness, waiting for them.
How many of you are looking for the return of Christ, we should advocate as a crown waiting. So what we do with all these crowns we were crown same. I have more crowns than you know.
Not at all as we do with our crowns tells us that we take our crowns and we cast them before the Lord will diverse then the elders cast down there crowns at his feet. So whatever rewards we receive will return back to him. He Lord you know I did these things for Your Honor here is my joy was my privilege to do it. I give these back to you. Number three in heaven, John sees ominous storm warning he sees ominous storm warnings are diversified from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, invoices seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne. Which of the seven spirits of God. Now these are all symbols of judgment in Scripture. So from the safety of heaven. John can see that a storm is brewing down on planet Earth and that storm is going to bring about the great tribulation. But as believers we are saved in God's arms in his presence. I do not believe that Christians will have to go through the tribulation. Now you can come to Christ during the tribulation, but if you're a believer now you will be taken before the tribulation.
Begins we have this promise in verse 10, because you kept my command to persevere.
That's Revelation 3. I'll keep you from the hour of trial that will come upon the whole earth to 12. Those that live on the earth that God will keep us but now we have this great storm is brewing in. This shows a very important thing. It shows that in heaven were aware of things using something people you know the way the present heaven is so weird and quite frankly it's not all that appealing. First of all sums and we all have a collective lobotomy you were in heaven we will remember anything and will just worship God forever really been play hearts and stuff way that biblical that I won't remember anything know we won't know what's going on in earth. I don't even know why use that voice with it just sounds like the voice of the person would say this I beg to differ.
I think we won't know about some things going on under John is a human. He's in heaven, and the Revelation and he's aware of judgment that is coming on earth allowed one more thing in heaven. You can be aware of the injustice that is happening on earth because later on in Revelation 610 we read of those who had been martyred for their faith and their saying with a loud voice, how long the Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those that dwell on the earth to hear these mortals people like you and I who have died been put to death for their faith there aware of the fact that it was in injustice there aware of the fact that time is passing, for they say, how long will Lord and are asking the Lord to intervene.
So that means that in heaven we may know more than some people think we will know know sometimes the question is ask. You know our love ones watching us in heaven and usually people either say no because they have a lobotomy in their oblivious because they're sitting around in clouds sleeping or they might say oh yes there watching the little portals and watching everything that you do and sending messages to you and I will leave both of those extremes are incorrect. First of all, there they are aware at least some people are aware, maybe more aware than we realized that if they are aware if we were being watched by our love ones in heaven. I believe that they would see everything with perspective. That's the key. Because the Bible says in heaven will be no sorrow, nor crying for the former things are passed away and that's why people think we won't remember what it doesn't say that it's is the former things are passed away.
The differences in heaven. You see everything from an eternal perspective to make the difference short. Like when you're young or-year-old you know when your little child in you, you know, break your toy you do your world just ended. But someone who is older, your parent thoughts of cable to Karen because I know the going to take you down to a toy store and buy you actually a better toy.
Sometimes I even have backup toys for my grandkids as I know these things will bring my little grandson Christopher comes of these little battery-operated trains popping it's broken. I have other battery-operated trains waiting and I have a screwdriver and I have more batteries I'm ready. I've got them covered, and it fits it.
He doesn't have to worry about it. CIR perspective so he might be said, I'm not sad because I know what's going to happen. So when I'm in heaven I see everything from a divine perspective. So we are aware of the passing of time and we are aware of something.
Number four. John sees amazing angelic creatures.
He sees amazing angelic creatures.
Verse eight, the four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within, and they don't rest day or night scene, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty was and is and is to come.
Now no question it's hard to wrap her mind around this. But these are angelic beings that are being described.
There are different kinds of angels that are presented to us in the Bible break this to you, none of them are female not funny because usually when you hear of an angel itches in a feminine way like oh she has the voice of an angel or cheese angelic will usually see event is just like an angel, but the fact is, every time angels appear in the New Testament on earth he appear as men, not women. Sorry, it's not put down just reality. But the point is is these are magnificent creatures that have rankings. First Peter 322 says that Christ is gone and the heaven at God's right hand with angels, authorities and powers and submission to him.
Notice is rankings, angels, authorities and powers. The Bible only gives the names of two angels to us that some would say more about that would be an apocryphal literature not in Scripture to angels that we know by name there. Michael and Gabriel and you could say perhaps for the sake of appoint Lucifer, who once was a high-ranking angel, but rebelled against God. So three altogether. Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer the fallen Angel. First there is Michael, it would appear that he's sort of the general angel. He's the main angel because he is called the Ark Angel and go that you twice in the New Testament. In both instances, its use it in the singular, preceded by the definite article the as an the Archangel. He's not just an angel. He's of the Archangel. He's not just the men. He's the man he's the one he's the one that ranks above all others and he even has the special privilege of laying a key role in the rapture versus on the first Thessalonians 416 the Lord will come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God. But then there's Gabriel and I don't know if Gabriel's Archangel or not, but he's a mega angel for sure because he plays a unique role in Scripture of course you remember it was Gabriel that was dispatched to bring the message to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Messiah and that was a great honor. It is also Gabriel that I was sent to bring messages to God's people in the book of Daniel. Finally, there's the cherubim and the Seraphim now there depicted in Scripture as powerful a majestic angelic creatures is around God's throne. You can read a descriptions of them in Ezekiel 1 to 5 to 14 and 2812 I have the references on the screen. If you want to look at them, but remember that they were sent to guard even after the expulsion of Adam any Genesis 324 says that they drove the man out and on the east side of the garden of Eden there were cherubim with a flaming sword flashing back and forth was of the chairman so cherubim, Seraphim, archangels, rankings of angels, principalities and powers. It's all quite amazing and not only are there rankings in the holy angels round but there are rankings in the unholy angels because what are demons demons are fallen angels.
They have rankings to.
That's why Paul says in Ephesians 6 are principalities and powers in spiritual mind in high places, and it would appear that the highest ranking of the fallen angels would be Lucifer formally known as the son of the morning, now known as Satan or the devil. Kate running out of time so let's just get a little sneak preview of what is to come. When we get to do warmer in heaven. I'm in a probation address that since this is about heaven. What will we be doing well, for starters, we will be worshiping. Verse 10 says the 24 elders fall down and worship you, and I think one of the reason for this unbridled worship is because we will know all things. Finally, your questions are going to be answered all your pain is gone. All your tears are dried.
Now some might read this and see no it sounds like Kevin's can be a really long church service. Okay and I like church services with is that all were going to do will look it's going to be different than any worship you've ever experienced on earth, but there is actually more that you get to be done besides worshiping were also going to be serving the Lord serving the Lord.
The Bible says will be doing many things living in dwelling places reigning with him working for him. A Revelation 22 three says his servants will serve him know I'm glad of this because you know I can only rest for so long you know some people their dream is to just retire and disconnected and play golf for the rest of their life. And Ethan go to sleep and play golf and or Fisher's surfer whatever you like to do and that's fine. I don't play golf, I serve you just just book.
He told just a little bit i.e. what's the opposite of pookie Dylan Spanish on obesity alto no that's just me that word up.
Look to Tonio, but whatever it is I we will be eating in heaven to bother way so that's good news and we won't gain weight or maybe in our glorified say will all be fat.
We won't care anymore doesn't really matter but we will be serving the Lord. I mean, I like to rest, but I think of what the word recreation means you know recreation is to re-create when I take a little time off. I get recharged and I want to get back to what I'm passionate about what I'm passionate about is getting closer to God in bringing other people to God, so that's not my work that is my joy, and that is my privilege. By the way that you be so if every follower of Jesus Christ.
And I think it's important to note that we will be serving the Lord because we would be productive and have tending sometimes we think well you know we better get it all done more on earth because over in heaven.
We just you know, the whole of the thing won't yet is only the thing, but there are things were going to do their two and one wonders if perhaps for some that went through life with disabilities will not be able to do things they had never done here. I mean, their lives were shattered and we think of Johnny Erickson totter. We've had here is a Gaston in her diving accident. As a young girl that left her as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair for most of her life. No course God is blessed Johnny and millions of people of been impacted by her insights in her writings and in our artwork and all the things that Johnny does.
So God is user but you know at the end of the day Johnny Erickson still is in a wheelchair and she still dependent on others for just about everything that's very, very hard.
There's no way to even describe that I believe God's going to make it up to Johnny in heaven, and the voyage.
It's my friend who was born without limits. He doesn't have arms or legs and yet he's taken this severe disability and used it to bring honor to the Lord and bring hope to millions of people around the world, but at the end of the day. You know Nick still has to live with this.
So I think dreams that weren't fulfilled on earth will be fulfilled in heaven. What about a life that was cut short. What about when someone young guys attract life cut short life thrown away.
Wink is thrown away. I mean if that person believes in Jesus may be on the other side in heaven and then in the new earth. They will be able to do the things they never were able to do honor them in heaven of the drum on the new earth see a dozen in some because you seen people who live long lives in their just wicked and they break all the rules. You know, and they throw their life away and they live so long and then you see a godly young man or young woman who gets cancer or dies in an automobile accident or something else happens and you think this is in Fairhaven.
Nothing makes sense in that way, but you know what will all be sorted out the other side. I'm telling you, God's going to make it up to God's going to make it up to be death of the believer is not the end of life for the continuation of it in another place.
This brings comfort to me because our son Christopher was only 33 years old when he was called unexpectedly to happen in one day I'll understand that and one day I'll I'll be able to be reunited with him and I'm just thinking of the great things. Maybe he's already done and will do together, perhaps in the future, but this is the whole that the believer has the Bible says one day working to build our own houses and eat the fruit of our own vineyards, so maybe you'll get that dream house after all seronegative just float around and proud clouds and eat transparent food and you can it be in a real place in a real body and you going to do real thing.
That's what we need to rethink all of this and start thinking biblically instead of romantically. Think how the Scripture tells us to think so, yes, will be caught up to heaven one day heaven comes to worth were in a perfected state and amazing things are in our future and all wrongs will be righted and I closed by saying this hope is for the Christian, only for the Christian, only because who is Christ coming for his coming for those who are watching those who are waiting Hebrews 928 says Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.
To those who eagerly wait for him he will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Are you eagerly waiting for Jesus Christ. Windows ME means looking forward to it.
How many of you are looking for the return of Jesus. That's good and there's a sense of dread inside of you when I talk about these things. That's an indicator to me that something's not right with you spiritually.
It's sort of like a way to really evaluate your state before God. When you hear about the Lord's imminent return in your heart jumps a little and is safe.
Even so, Lord Jesus, you're in the right place.
If your heart sings a little bit you say come later Lord Jesus, something's not right is coming for those who are eagerly waiting for him were looking forward to his return. Because, listen to this. When Christ comes for his people there caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Some will be taken and others will not be some will go to heaven. Some will be left on earth. They might even be people in church who thought they were a Christian because they prayed a prayer, but they had no place in the life for God and a day-to-day basis. It will be a pretty hard-core wake-up call for them. I hope that will be you could be summed up very simply by saying this, yet right or get left get right with God. Get right with God and you will not be left behind.
But if you're not right with God. You may well be left behind.
So every one of us want to make sure that we've asked Jesus into our heart and there were walking with the Lord, and there were eagerly awaiting his return working to close in prayer and Domino extend an invitation for any that have joined us are watching us listening to this who may not yet know the Lord or maybe they're living a double life.
They say they're a Christian but they're doing things. No Christian should ever do in Jesus warns many times of the wicked servant who says my Lord delays is coming and is drunk and is beating his servants and doing what you think so hey man go live as a nonbeliever of your Christian be a Christian if you're not sure if you're Christian you can become one right now. It can happen in a moment. By understanding that Jesus died on the cross for your sin and absorb God's judgment in your place, and then he rose again from the dead and now he stands at the door of your life and Enoch's nieces if you hear his voice and open the door and he will commit of US Jesus in your life yet. If not, would you like to give you a chance to right now as we close in prayer atop our heads everybody praying with me if you would please father I pray for every person here any other person listening or watching this who does not yet know you help them to see their need for you, Lord, and help them to come to you. We would pray Nona has about in her eyes are closed and were praying together. How many of you would say Greg, I'm not sure if I'm ready for the return of Jesus. I'm not certain that if Christ were to come back tonight I would be ready to meet them, but I want to be. I want Jesus in my life. I want him to forgive me of my sin.
I want to know God, pray for me is that your desire. If you want to be ready for the Lord's return. If you want Christ to come into your life and you want him to forgive you of your sin. I want you to lift your hand up wherever you are and I'll pray for you. This can be the night where your eternal destiny changes from hell to heaven just raised her hand up when we pray for you. You want Jesus Christ in your life tonight. Raise your hand up or pray for you, bless you. Anybody else raise your him up.
I reckon see it want Christ to come into your life, bless you bless you that your hand up review our goblet. She was well there in the back still a moment. You want to make this commitment to Jesus, you want to know you're ready to go to heaven, she was well anybody else if you haven't lifted your hand yet lifted now hi where I can see it please let me pray for you, bless you, bless each one of you know what our heads are still bound. Maybe some of you would say you know what I'm live in a compromised life. I'm not living in a way where I'm eagerly anticipating him effect on doing things I know I would be ashamed to be doing. If Christ were to return and I want to repent. Want to stop doing it. I want to get right with God right now is that your desire raise your hand up when we pray for you. You need to make up the recommitment to Christ, bless you.
Lift your hand up you need to become recommitment to him tonight, bless anybody else compass. You know you that if raise your hand.
I want you to pray this prayer work we use set after me again as I pray you pray this prayer right where you are after me.
Pray this now. Jesus I'm sorry for my sin. Thank you for dying on the cross for me and rising again from the dead.
Now I choose to follow you, Jesus. From this moment forward as your child as your disciple. Help me to be ready for your return, I commit myself to you now in Jesus name I pray, amen.
Bless you guys have prayed that prayer