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God, The Future, and You | God's Plan for the Last Days

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 5, 2022 3:00 am

God, The Future, and You | God's Plan for the Last Days

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 5, 2022 3:00 am

Reading the news can make us anxious. Reading social media can get us agitated. Reading God’s Word can bring us hope. That’s why the Word of God is our textbook for each study here on A NEW BEGINNING. Today, Pastor Greg Laurie continues his series called End of Days with a look at what’s to come in God’s Last Days plan. We’ll look back to writings thousands of years old to give us a clearer picture of future events. Only God’s Word offers an accurate picture of the future.

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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. If you really believe Jesus is coming again, you'll be blessed. The fact that Jesus will return is not just interesting, not just compelling. Pastor Greg Laurie says it's a hope that offers a blessing. So why will I be blessed if I study Bible prophecy?

Because I'm told over in 1 John, he that has this hope, that is the hope of the imminent return of Christ, purifies himself even as he is pure. That's why we should study Bible prophecy. Reading the news can make us anxious.

Reading social media can get us agitated. Reading God's Word can bring us hope. That's why the Word of God is our textbook for each study here on A New Beginning. And today Pastor Greg Laurie continues his series called End of Days with a look at what's to come in God's last day's plan. We'll look back to writings thousands of years old to give us a clearer picture of future events.

Only God's Word offers an accurate picture of the future. How many of you ever forget things? Raise your hand. Oh man.

It's becoming a problem with me. I leave stuff everywhere. Sometimes around the country. I forgot this here.

I forgot that there. I heard about an elderly couple that were getting ready for bed one night. And the wife said to the husband, oh dear I am really hungry for some ice cream. Would you go out and get me some ice cream?

He said, yes dear. I will go out and get you some ice cream. She said, vanilla. Alright.

Vanilla. Write it down. You always forget. He says, I won't forget vanilla ice cream with whipped cream. Ok.

Vanilla ice cream with whipped cream. Write it down. You forget. No. No. I won't forget.

No. Wait. Vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Write it down.

I won't forget. I got it. Vanilla ice cream. Whipped cream. Chocolate sauce. One more thing there. Yes. I want a cherry on top.

Ok. Vanilla ice cream. Chocolate sauce.

Whipped cream and a cherry on top. I will get it. Write it down. I won't forget. So he goes out.

Comes back about an hour later. And he gives her her ham sandwich. She says, I told you to write it down.

You forgot the mustard. It is fun to go see now together isn't it? Kathy and I often joke that between the two of us we have one complete brain. Because I will remember something. She will forget and vice versa.

So we help each other out. And sometimes when a big thing happens to me. An interesting experience. I will tell her about it. Kathy guess what happened to me today. What? And as I am telling the story she will say, what color shirt was he wearing?

Who cares. Let me finish the story. And then she will ask me all these weird details. Like stop interrupting me. I need to finish the story. So I finally get through it you know an hour later and there it is.

And so then maybe a week later I am telling the story to someone and Kathy will interrupt me. That is not the way it happened. Excuse me.

You weren't even there. But that is not the way you told it to me the first time. And you know what really bugs me. She is right. Well I have good news for you today. God never forgets anything. He remembers everything and that is very important to understand. See God being eternal lives. Well He lives in the eternal realm.

And all of life to God is a continuum to Him. Past is present. Future is past. And when we live in the moment we remember the past. We somewhat remember the distant past and we anticipate the future.

But that is it for us. God sees it all as one big thing. It is like He knows the future with complete accuracy as well as we might know the past even better because He doesn't forget things.

And so that is the way He sees life. And so as we come back to the book of Daniel we are going to see how the Lord will now predict the future for us. When we last left Daniel He was with His furry friends in the lion's den.

This was under the reign of King Darius. But at this particular juncture in Daniel. Daniel chapter 7.

We go back chronologically. And He wrote these things. And He had this vision back during the rule of Belshazzar. Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon. The young king that blasphemed the Lord and saw the writing on the wall and so forth.

So Daniel is probably around 70 years old at this point. God gave to the prophet a very troubling vision about his future and the future of the world. The prophet who had held his ground with kings and lions was a little bit freaked out. We are going to see that his face grew pale and he was trembling at the thought of what was about to come.

So he used his phone a friend option. And he asked an angel to explain it to him. Because this was over even Daniel's head.

Even though he was able to interpret dreams he couldn't figure out what this vision meant. And by the way we are now in the in between spot of Daniel. The first six chapters of Daniel are historic. You know Daniel in the lion's den.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. And honestly a lot of people never get beyond Daniel 1-6. But when you get to 7-12 now we are into the prophecy where the future is predicted for us.

And this is very important because every Christian should have a working knowledge of Bible prophecy or to use the theological word the study of eschatology end times events. Now some would say well you can't understand all of that. There is no point in studying it because there are disagreements about it.

Well that may be true. But we must understand it. I mean Jesus said when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet let the reader understand. Why would Jesus say that if the reader, that would be us, could not understand. He wants us to understand. The parallel book to the book of Daniel in the New Testament is the book of Revelation.

The two go hand in hand. If you want to understand Revelation study Daniel. If you want a better understanding of Daniel study Revelation.

There are very important connections between the two books. But the very word revelation means unveiling. By the way it is the book of Revelation singular not revelations. All the time I hear Christians say well I was reading Revelation. It is no revelation. I digress.

Anyway back to it. What does the word revelation mean? It means the unveiling.

Why? Because it is God's desire to reveal not to conceal. He wants us to understand these things. Plus as I pointed out in my first message in my Daniel series I told you about a promise found in Revelation. A promise of blessing to anyone who would read the words of the book.

Revelation 1 3 says blessed or happy is a man of the woman who reads and hears the words of this prophecy and keeps its things that are written in it for the time is near. So first you have to read it. Then you have to hear it. Understand it.

And then you have to keep it. You'll be blessed. And what is true of Revelation I think is true of the study of Bible prophecy in general. So why will I be blessed if I study Bible prophecy?

Number one because I will remember that God is in control of all of the events in this world today. Because we live in a scary world. We live in an unstable world.

We live in a chaotic world. But God is in control. And when I study Bible prophecy I am reassured of the fact. And number two when I study Bible prophecy it gives me a heavenly perspective. I am reminded that I am just traveling through this life and the afterlife is coming. If you really believe Jesus is coming again it will affect you in the way that you live. How many of you believe Jesus Christ could come back in your lifetime? Raise your hand up. That's good.

That's almost everyone. Now if I really believe that is that going to affect me in the decisions I make for today? Is that going to affect me in the plans I make for tomorrow?

Absolutely. Because I'm told over in 1 John he that has this hope that is the hope of the imminent return of Christ purifies himself even as he is pure. That's why we should study Bible prophecy. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know there is nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at Harvest.org. You can join Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together.

So join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well we're beginning our look at the last half of Daniel where we find some of the most fascinating prophetic scripture. Pastor Greg continues his message now.

God the future and you. Daniel is now placed in what we might describe as a spiritual time machine. No I don't think it was a DeLorean but he did go back to the future if you will. He was shown what was coming to the world. He sees the history of the world from his day to the last days.

From Babylon the kingdom he was in at this moment to the reign of the Antichrist which will be the final kingdom on this planet. So Daniel saw the future. Then he saw the Lord and finally he saw himself.

And that will be my main outline. Daniel saw the future. He saw the Lord and he saw himself. Let's talk about the future. Daniel chapter 7 starting in verse 1.

Read along with me. I'm reading from the New King James Version. In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a troubling dream and visions of his head while he was on his bed. Then he wrote down his dream telling the main facts and Daniel spoke saying I saw in my vision by night and behold the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea and four great beasts came out of the sea. Each was different from the other. The first was like a lion and he had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man and a man's heart was given to it.

We'll stop there. Now I know what some of you are thinking. Uh what? Now before you get visions of Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra. Remember Godzilla you know and and then Rodan was that kind of wing creature. Mothra was cool because he was just a big giant dumb moth. You know moths are so stupid aren't they?

But no that's not what this is talking about. These are symbolic things that we're reading here. The four dangerous beasts that are given to us here in Daniel 7 represent kingdoms of the world. Different animals are mentioned. We have a lion. We have a bear and we have a leopard. And each of these represent a nation and even today various creatures represent nations. Great Britain is represented by a lion. The United States is represented by an eagle. And I might add a bald eagle.

And I appreciate that. Of course Russia is represented by a bear. China is represented by a dragon.

So the point is that this is something that is still done today. So these are the great kingdoms of the world. But I find it interesting that as the Lord gives this vision to Daniel and he shows him the future he likens the kingdoms of the world to crazy ravenous beasts. You know we look at nations with all their technology, sophistication, and power. Having their big military parades.

Driving their hardware through the streets of the city looking at all they can do. And God looks at it and he says, you're just like a bunch of crazy hungry beasts attacking one another. Despite all of our advances in technology mankind just finds new ways to blow himself up. Now by the way these beasts that we read about in Daniel 7 parallel the dream of Nebuchadnezzar that we read about earlier. Remember Nebuchadnezzar had a dream where he saw an image that had a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thigh of bronze, and then legs of iron and feet of iron and clay. That parallels this vision.

It's the same idea with different illustrations. So first we have the winged lion in verse four also known as the head of gold. This is mighty Babylon. Multiple times in scripture Babylon is identified as both a lion and an eagle. So it's a winged lion.

That is an image they had. Mighty Babylon lasted from 636 to 539 BC and ruled much of the world. In this vision the lion stands like a man and is given a man's heart. And this reminds us of how the ruler of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar was so powerful but then he was humbled. Remember when he looked at his kingdom and said look at the great kingdom I built.

Aren't I awesome. And the Lord said judgment is coming on you and Nebuchadnezzar lost his senses for a period of time that were restored to him. So he was given a heart of man.

That's what that is alluding to. But of course Babylon was defeated by the Medo-Persian forces under the direction of King Cyrus bringing us to the bear with three ribs in his mouth. And that parallels the breast and arms of silver.

The Medes and Persians. Verse five. Another beast comes like a bear raised itself up on one side and he had three ribs in his mouth between the teeth of it and they said to it arise and devour much flesh. Don't think of a teddy bear. Don't even think of a panda bear. Think of a grizzly bear.

Think of an aggressive bear. There was a film made a while back called Grizzly Man. It was about a young man who felt he had a special connection to bears. And so he went out with his video camera and filmed him. Had thousands of hours of footage and said he had a special connection to them.

He can even pet them. And then they lost contact with him for a period of time and sent a search party and he had been killed and eaten along with his girlfriend by a grizzly bear. Because that is the nature of a bear.

A bear is there to destroy. To conquer. And that was the Medo-Persian empire.

They defeated mighty Babylon. But then they were defeated by Greece represented by a leopard with four wings. The wings imply speed. So leopards are already fast cats.

But when you put wings on them they're even faster. And that is given to us there in verse six. There's a leopard which had on the back of it four wings of a bird. He also had four heads.

The beast had four heads and dominion was given to it. Greece was led by Alexander the Great. Alexander was a brilliant military tactician. In fact history tells us that Alexander and 35,000 Greek soldiers went up against the Medo-Persian army of 300,000 on the battlefield and won. That's what's so amazing. So it's not a big bear.

It's a fierce leopard moving with great speed. But then Alexander died at the age of 32. Is this boring to you? I hope this doesn't sound like a history class. It is a history class but it's a Bible history class. So wake up.

I don't know. I know you're with me. I know you're with me. And this is important because this is all history. We can go back and check all of this all predicted. This was all the future for Daniel. But it's all the past for us. And the reason that matters is now when the Bible speaks of things to come we know they're going to happen.

As God says they will because God lives in the eternal realm. Anyway so here comes Alexander. He dies at 32 unexpectedly. His kingdom is divided among his four generals. Hence the phrase this one has four heads. Now we have one final beast. It's not likened to a bear, a leopard, or a lion. It's just a ferocious beast.

Verse seven. After this I saw in the night visions a fourth beast dreadful and terrible. Strong exceedingly he had great iron teeth. It devours and broke in pieces and stemmed the residue with the feet of it. And it was diverse from the beasts that were before it.

It had ten horns. So who defeated Greece? History buffs.

Tell me. Who defeated Greece? Rome.

That's correct. And Rome was a powerful nation. A powerful military unlike any other that had ever existed. Rome was very well known for its power and its cruelty. It was Rome that crucified the apostle Peter and beheaded the apostle Paul.

It was Rome that banished John to the island of Patmos. Most significantly it was Rome that crucified our Lord Jesus Christ outside of the walls of Jerusalem. The Romans crucified thousands and thousands of people and conquered most of the world and established something called Pax Romana.

Forced peace. You either submitted to the power of Rome or you died. Originally Rome was ruled by the senate but later the emperors became more powerful and then demanded worship. They saw themselves as deities. They demanded that people say hail Caesar which was in effect giving glory and praise to Caesar which was kind of a problem with the church because they would not give their worship to a man. And because of this many of our Christian brothers and sisters in the first and second century died into the persecutions of Rome because they would not say hail Caesar. Now here's the funny thing about Rome. They were never defeated by another power. They just fell apart slowly but surely and crumbled. And so as the story unfolds there's this powerful ferocious beast but then out of it later comes ten horns.

What's that all about? In the Bible horns are symbols of power. So the Bible is saying ten nations are going to come together kind of rooted in Rome in the end times and this will be the confederated nations of the coming world leader the Antichrist. Now we're into the future. We've already seen Greece. We've already seen the Medo-Persians.

We've already seen Babylon and we've seen Rome. But we have not seen the forces of the Antichrist. And out of these horns we also read about a little horn in verse eight that was among the others had eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things. This little horn as we will discover is the Antichrist.

You might say he's tooting his own horn right here. Important insights on what's to come during the end times. Pastor Greg Laurie with a message from his series End of Days here on A New Beginning. So have you seen the film called The Jesus Music?

It's now out on DVD. It's a fast-paced visit with some of the pioneers of what we now call contemporary Christian music. It was often a musical expression of how lost they were until they found the Lord. Tommy Coombs of Love Song. The drugs didn't work. All the free thinking and LSD and all that stuff just left people rather hopeless.

We began to hit the bottom. Glenn Kaiser of Resurrection Band. The war inside didn't go away even though we exercised our freedom to be, do, and experience whatever we wanted to experience.

Chuck Girard of Love Song. I'm still empty. I'm still clueless.

We're sitting there kind of bewildered thinking like where do we go from here? And that's when we started to hear about Calvary. Pastor Greg Laurie. Every night it was something new. A new band would form with new songs. This new thing called Jesus music caught fire as hearts caught fire for the Lord. I saw contemporary Christian music born right before my very eyes.

Michael W. Smith. There was this one record, this big red Maranatha song on a white cover. It was called The Everlasting Living Jesus Music Concert. We made the album for about four thousand dollars.

It went on to sell two hundred thousand units, you know, which is unbelievable. You know, Dave, this is a new resource we're offering to our listeners that I know they're going to love. But let me tell you a story that I've rarely told. I was in a Christian band for one night. So this is early 70s, right? Calvary Chapel is experiencing the Jesus movement in full force.

All these new bands are literally forming left and right. And so I was over at a little home Bible study and one of the guys there was a very good guitar player and songwriter and singer. Then there was another guy who was an amazing flautist.

Isn't that how you say it? A flautist, right? Really incredible. He could play that flute like there was no tomorrow. So my friend singing his song and the flautist is playing his flute and I'm sort of keeping time on the coffee table, kind of drumming a little bit. And someone said, let's form a band.

And I think I remember the band was Bright in Morning Star, something like that. So we went down to Calvary Chapel. Hey, we're a brand new band. Can we play?

And they said, sure, you're on tonight. So next thing I know, I'm standing on the stage with a competent musician on guitar, another competent musician on a flute. And I'm standing there with a conga drum. And, you know, I couldn't strap on a coffee table. And I got up, I got nervous. I couldn't keep time with the song. And I immediately discovered this is not my calling. But, you know, this just sort of gives you a sense of the times as all these bands are forming, bands like Love Song, names like Country Faith, Gentle Faith, a lot of faith back in those days, The Way and others that were creating a new kind of music. Now, let me explain. Up to that point, basically in the church, you would find traditional hymns, the odd folk song here and there, but no drum sets, no amplifiers, no electric guitars.

But that is what was happening. So I saw contemporary Christian music happen before my very eyes. I had a front row seat for a spiritual awakening.

And so this has been captured in a beautiful way by the Irwin brothers from the Kingdom Story Company, who have produced this documentary film called The Jesus Music. And we want to offer it to you for your gift of any size. Sometimes people say, does that really mean my gift of any size?

Yes, it does. Some give a little, some give more, some may give a bit more. Whatever you can give, we'll invest it in our ministry to continue to teach the Word of God and preach the gospel. And I want to thank you in advance for that. And I will send you a special little package. It has the DVD and the Blu-ray and a downloadable code so you can watch The Jesus Music on your computer, on your laptop, on your phone, or whatever device you have. So order it right now. We're so excited to offer to you The Jesus Music.

Let me add one other thing. This movie is sort of the forerunner, if you will, of a major film that's coming out next year called Jesus Revolution. The film we're going to send you is a documentary, but this other film is going to be a feature film shown all around the world. So get ready and learn about your spiritual heritage in order your copy of The Jesus Music right now.

Yeah, that's right. We have it waiting for you. We'll send it to say thank you for your generous investment in teaching believers and reaching unbelievers as we do each day here on A New Beginning. Again, it's called The Jesus Music, and you can call us anytime 24-7 at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Or just go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, Pastor Gray comes back with more of his look at the enlightening seventh chapter of Daniel. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie.

Hey, everybody. Thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally, go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-27 21:09:50 / 2023-03-27 21:19:53 / 10

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