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Making Sense of the Prophetic Puzzle | Promises of God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2022 3:00 am

Making Sense of the Prophetic Puzzle | Promises of God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 14, 2022 3:00 am

If you know someone’s about to go on a cruise, you know this for sure: they’re about to taste a lot of very tempting food. If you know a young couple with a new baby, you know this for sure: they’re about to take a lot of pictures. If you’re a true believer in Jesus Christ, you know this for sure: you will spend eternity in God’s presence in Heaven. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points that out and so much more from our continuing study of prophecy called End of Days.

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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. How would you know what my future is? If you're a Christian, you're going to heaven. Therefore, your future is very right.

It's true. If you know someone who's about to go on a cruise, you know this for sure. They're about to taste a lot of very tempting food. If you know a young couple with a baby, you know this for sure.

They're about to take a lot of pictures. If you're a true believer in Jesus Christ, we know this for sure. You will spend eternity in God's presence in heaven. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that and so much more from our continuing study of prophecy called End of Days. This is the most remarkable in the book of Daniel, and that's saying a lot because there are some significant prophecies in this book. I would even say this is one of the most mind-blowing prophecies in all of the Bible.

Why? Because this prophecy that we're going to read in a moment gives us the exact date of the arrival of the Messiah. Now, we don't know when the rapture is. The second coming will happen seven years after the rapture, but the Bible actually predicted the very date that Christ would arrive on the scene. And you know, the Lord revealed this to Daniel.

Look at Daniel 9, verse 25. Stop there. I know some of you are scratching your head and you're saying, what? What does it even mean? Let me read it to you from a modern translation.

Listen. It will be 49 years, says the Lord to Daniel, plus 434 years from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah comes. Jerusalem's streets and walls will be rebuilt despite perilous times. After this period of 483 years, the anointed one, or the Messiah, will be killed, but not for himself. His kingdom is still unrealized. So what does this mean? Let's sort of take it apart and put it back together. God is telling Daniel that the city and walls of Jerusalem will be rebuilt because they're in ruin at this time.

When did that happen? Under Nehemiah. Remember we studied that book together in a series we called The Rebuilt Life. So Nehemiah was the cup bearer to the king. And so apparently Nehemiah was a very cheerful guy because one day the king said, hey Nehemiah, why do you look so sad? He was probably one of those guys that is smiling all the time.

And I love that when Christians are that way. But at this moment in time he wasn't smiling so the king says, what's the problem Nehemiah? He goes, I'm sad. I'm sad for my people.

Their city is lying in ruins. And Artaxerxes says, well, what do you want to do? Well, king, I would love to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls again. King says, I think that's a good idea.

I'd hate to have you gone, but I'll tell you what I'll do because I like you so much. I'm going to send an armed escort and I'm going to underwrite the whole project. So the prophetic clock was set into motion. From the moment that king gave the decree to rebuild the city 173,880 days later Jesus of Nazareth rode into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey fulfilling Bible prophecy to a T. That is amazing to me. And by the way, when Jesus rode into the city he was playing his hand if you will. For a large part of his ministry the Lord sort of flew under the radar. And by that I mean he would heal someone and he would say, don't tell anybody. Because my hour has not yet come.

Right? Now his hour has come. He knows exactly what he is doing when he mounts a donkey and rides in because the Bible says that the Messiah would come riding a donkey. So he was saying to everyone, you've got to ride folks.

Make no mistake about it. I am your Messiah. So this is a total fulfillment of Scripture. So the people are having a party.

They are waving palm branches. They are crying out Hosanna to the son of David. And you know what Jesus is doing? He is weeping. Why is he weeping?

Because he knows he is going to be cut off. That is what Daniel said. Messiah will arrive and he will be cut off. Jesus knew he was going to die for the sins of the people. Look at verse 26 of Daniel 9. After the 62 weeks Messiah will be cut off but not for himself. Jesus was coming primarily to die on the cross for the sins of the world. He knew that.

And he knew these very people that were crying Hosanna today and only ours would be crying crucify him and let his blood be on us and on our children later. At 33 most people are saying it is beginning. At 33 Jesus Christ said it is finished. It is not that he was finished but his work was finished.

The work that God had given him to do to die on the cross for our sin. Now an interesting twist. When this happened the prophetic clock suddenly stops. Like in a football game. You know you are almost at the end of the game. The score is tied and they stop it. And you know when that clock starts again you have like two minutes say. And then it is over with. And so this next play is super significant. It is like the prophetic clock suddenly stops.

It is a time out. And it will start ticking again when antichrist is revealed. That brings us to verse 26. The prince who is to come. This is not Jesus.

This is antichrist. The prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it will be with the flood and the end of the war. Desolations are determined. Underline the word desolations.

I will tell you why in a moment. Desolations are determined and he will confirm a covenant with many for one week. That is a period of seven.

In this case seven years. But in the middle of the week he will bring an end to the sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate. The prince is the antichrist who will inaugurate a seven year tribulation period. He will initially emerge on the scene as a man of peace. He will be charismatic.

Brilliant. A satanic superman. But in reality the devil's son. Antichrist will help the Jewish people rebuild their temple. Which would be the third temple. By the way there is no Jewish temple in Jerusalem today. When you see a photograph of Jerusalem you usually notice that large gold dome right. That is called the Dome of the Rock. That is an Islamic shrine to Mohammed. That is not the Jewish temple. The Jewish temple has not been rebuilt. But the Dome of the Rock as it is called is built on what is also known as the Temple Mount. Which is the area that the original Jewish temple first built by Solomon and rebuilt by King Herod. And then later destroyed by Titus and his Roman legions.

That will be rebuilt again. So when the antichrist builds the temple for the Jewish people some will hail him as Messiah. Because they believe Messiah will rebuild the temple.

I talked to a Jewish person a number of years ago in Israel. And I said, what do you think Messiah will look like? He said, he will be a man. He will be a great world leader. And he will rebuild our temple.

I said, whoa. You just described the antichrist. He said, call him what you like. He will be our Messiah.

He said it right to me. Well he will be antichrist. Remember the prefix anti doesn't just mean against.

It also means instead of. So he is an imitation Christ. But then after the temple is rebuilt that is when the abomination of desolation takes place.

Spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24 in what we call the Olivet Discourse. In which he does a flyover of end times events. And he says when you see the abomination of desolation then it says let the reader understand.

So God clearly wants us to understand what this is all about. The antichrist will erect an image in the temple and command everyone to worship. This will mark the halfway point of the tribulation. And for the remaining three and a half years antichrist will make everyone take his mark.

And no one can buy or sell without it. He will persecute Jewish people. He will persecute Christians. And he will ultimately be destroyed along with his forces in the battle of Armageddon. That is all going to come in the future.

So I know some of you are thinking wow this is like kind of depressing. Okay so let's get the big picture now. Pull the camera back.

What should we be looking for? Antichrist. Who's antichrist? Forget that.

You'll never figure it out. The Bible does not say look for antichrist. It tells you to look for Jesus Christ.

That's our focus. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners whose families are impacted because of the ministry of harvest is so encouraging. Pastor Greg thank you for your messages. My husband and I were headed for divorce because of anger and addiction problems. But we stopped and went back to church.

Because of that we're in love again and have been together 25 years. We listen to your podcast every morning with our children while they get ready for school. God has prevailed and it's been amazing to see our family happy today and mended. Thank you for spreading God's Word. What a great story of how Pastor Greg's teachings from God's Word have made an impact on this family. And if you'd like to listen to Pastor Greg's podcasts you can do that through Google, Apple or Spotify. Or just go to harvest.org.

That's harvest.org. And now Pastor Greg continues his message called Making Sense of the Prophetic Puzzle. So we've talked about the future of the world. Let me just talk for a moment about your personal future. Here's just a couple of things to know about your personal future. First of all let me say your future is very bright. You're thinking how do you know? You know you haven't lived my life.

I'll take it a step further. Your future is going to be better than your past. How would you know if you lived my past?

No I have not. Well how would you know what my future is? Because of what the Bible says. And here's what I know about you no matter what is in your future. If you're a Christian you're going to heaven. Therefore your future is very bright. It's true. Well that's a form of escapism. Hallelujah.

Get me out of here then. I think those that are the most heavenly minded are of the greatest earthly good. Loose paraphrase of C.S.

Lewis. Those that think the most about the next world do the most for this one. It gives us an eternal perspective as we live our lives. So your future is bright.

Number two. Your future is good. And why do I say that? Because the Bible says Romans 8 28. We know that all things are working together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose. Now there are things that happen in life that are inexplicable. Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to godly people.

And I can't explain it. I have had bad things happen to me. And many of you have had bad things happen to you. And I look years later at them and I still say it. That's a bad thing that happened.

I don't know why that happened. But yet God promises He will work all things together for good. He doesn't say He will necessarily make a bad thing good.

But He says good will come maybe despite the bad thing. And I think when we get to heaven it will all be sorted out. And I suggest to you when we are in heaven we may look back on earth. And by the way you will have memory in heaven. Sometimes people say in heaven you will remember nothing about earth.

I don't know why you would say that. There are many verses that would imply that we will have recollection of life on earth. And even have more knowledge. I mean we are going to know more in heaven not less. Right? So I think I could look back on my life on earth and actually say that thing that I thought was a bad thing.

Actually was a really good thing because of what it produced. Let me illustrate. I have five grandchildren and four granddaughters. And they like dolls. They are pretty much mostly over the dolls now. But they like dolls for a while. And they would break dolls.

It happens. So I would buy extras. A few extras put away. So my granddaughter would come in.

She did one occasion. Papa the doll's head came off. And there before me is a headless doll. She is holding the head.

She has got the body. Papa I can fix it. So I am trying to screw the doll's head on. You know. And it is not going on. I can't get.

They had to go back. I said it is ok. It is not ok.

The doll's head is gone. It is ok. It will be ok. Trust me. It is not ok. Papa you don't understand. Actually I do understand. It is going to be ok.

But I said look at this. And I give them a brand new doll. They are like. Suddenly it is ok. They don't even want the decapitated doll now. They throw it to the floor.

Run off with a brand new doll. Right? So here we are in this life. God why did you let this happen? God says it will be ok. No it is not ok God. You don't know what you are doing. No I know what I am doing. No you don't understand. Actually I do understand.

No. It is going to be ok. You will see. And then one day I get to heaven and I look back and I say. Now Lord I understand why that happened.

Now Lord I realize why this thing took place in my life. Paul had a thorn in the flesh. It was a phrase he used.

Actually it could be translated steak in the flesh. So this is bad. It was physical. We don't know what it was.

But three times he said. Lord would you remove this thorn. This affliction. And God said in response. My grace is sufficient for you.

So Paul then goes on to say in 2 Corinthians. I am glad to boast about my weaknesses. So the power of Christ can work through me. Take pleasure in my weaknesses. And the insults. And the hardships. And the persecutions. And the troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak then I am strong. What are you nuts.

No. He has a heavenly perspective. Yeah this stuff is hard. But I rejoice in it because when I am weak I am strong. So your future is bright. Your future is good. And your future will be provided for. Jesus said in Matthew 6 33. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And all these things shall be added to you.

What are these things? The context from the Sermon on the Mount. The Lord says what you're gonna eat. What you're gonna drink. What you're gonna wear.

I'll elaborate a little more. Where you're gonna live. What you're gonna drive. Who you're gonna marry. All the needs of life.

He says I'll take care of that. If you'll put me first and seek me first. The Bible is filled with the promises of God.

There are thousands of promises in this book to the follower of Jesus Christ. And I think in many cases we haven't taken hold of them. They're sort of like gift cards. Do people ever give you gift cards?

Let me ask you a question. How many of you have ever received a gift card? Raise up your hand.

Okay. How many of you have ever given a gift card? Raise up your hand. How many of you, you're in church.

You answer honestly. How many of you have ever regifted a gift card? Raise up your hand.

Ah, I knew it. I've done it too. Because I have a drawer that I throw gift cards in. I'm like what is this? Liver donuts? I don't wanna.

There isn't really a liver donut. Someone's googling. Oh I like that.

Sounds good. No. But you know I get gift cards from places I never will go to. So I put them in a drawer. They're unredeemed gift cards. And the sad thing is someone spent money on that. That card has value.

But if it's unredeemed I'll never know that value. And God has given us promises and we're like people that don't redeem gift cards. Here are the promises of God.

Take hold of them. So let's go back to this earlier statement of Daniel and conclude verse 26. He will be cut off but not for himself. That's why Jesus came.

To be cut off. Because we're cut off from God by our sin. Some say well Jesus came to be the greatest moral teacher of all time. Well trust me he was that and a lot more. Well he came to perform miracles.

Yes he did perform many amazing miracles but the primary reason Jesus Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem and then lived a perfect life and then died on the cross was so we could be forgiven of our sin. Jesus said the son of man has come to seek and save that which was lost. He said I have come to give my life as a ransom for many.

Why because we're separated by God. Let's say we all decided to jump to the moon. Let's jump to the moon. And I said I'll go first and I get all my energy and I jumped up maybe three feet.

That's as high as I could go. And you come along and you jump maybe four feet. And then an Olympic pole vaulter comes along and maybe he gets up 20 feet. And then a guy with a rocket pack. He comes along and he gets up 1,000 feet.

And then power goes out and it's not a good ending for him. Okay so here's the question. Did the guy in the rocket pack go higher than I went? Yes.

Did the guy in the rocket pack get any closer to touching the moon? No. So that's us. Oh I'll live a good life. I'll be a moral person. Granted some may be more moral than others. Some may sin more than others.

But we all fall short. And despite our best efforts we don't even get close to reaching heaven or meeting the righteous standards of God. So God loved us so much he said I'll take care of this for you. And he sent his son to this earth to be cut off. And that's what Jesus did.

He went to the cross and he was cut off so we could have a relationship with him. So I would like to close in prayer and extend an opportunity for any of you who are not sure if your sin is forgiven. You're not certain that you would go to heaven if you were to die. You don't know if you're ready for the Lord's return but you want to be. I want you all to respond to this invitation that I will extend now as we pray together.

And then you will become a child of God and he will forgive you of all of your sin. Let's all bow our heads. Everybody praying please. Father thank you for your word to us. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for us. To be cut off for us.

And then to rise again three days later. Now Lord I pray for every person here who does not know you. Help them to see their need for you.

Help them to come to you and help them to believe in you at this very moment. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie. And if you'd like to follow through and accept the Lord's sacrifice for your sins, Pastor Greg will help you do that before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes.

Stay with us. They had no idea they were helping to create an entire industry. I saw contemporary Christian music born right before my very eyes.

You don't know you're a pioneer or something when you're doing it. We were just doing what we love. You had grunge and you had pop and you had rock and you had hip hop. There was so much great music going on. Everything felt so fresh and new. Freedom! What we were doing said so much across the world. It was so much drama in the church.

Every setback there would be a glimmer of hope. Hey, that's a little snippet from a special resource that we want to send you for this month for your gift of any size. It's called The Jesus Music. You may have seen it in the theaters.

You may have seen it on a streaming platform. So this documentary film, The Jesus Music, tells the story of how this contemporary Christian music that is so much a part of our lives today started. How it started out of a spiritual awakening. How young people had their lives changed and wanted to speak to their culture. And it's still alive and well today.

There's contemporary Christian music stations all around the world and concerts that are being done all the time. It's fantastic, but it had a very incredible beginning. And we want to tell you that story. You're going to be moved by this. You're going to laugh.

You might even get a tear in your eye. But you're going to love to hear the history of this music that is so much a part of the landscape today. So it's called The Jesus Music.

We're going to send it to you on DVD and Blu-ray and also send you a downloadable code so you could put it on your tablet or your phone or watch it on your computer. It's yours to keep and enjoy. So whatever you can send will be greatly appreciated because we'll put that to work helping us continue to preach the gospel and teach the Word of God. So order your copy of The Jesus Music. You might even do it right now.

Yeah, great idea. It's here waiting for you at a new beginning. And thanks so much for your generous donation that helps us continue to teach believers and reach unbelievers. Every day we hear from people whose lives have changed because of the teaching of God's Word.

And when you invest, you play a part in that. So thanks for sending a donation today. And be sure to ask for The Jesus Music.

It'll come to you on DVD, Blu-ray, and in downloadable form. So call us anytime, night or day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514.

Or go online to Harvest.org. Well, Pastor Greg, you spoke today about having a relationship with the Lord. Someone can enter into that kind of relationship with God right now, can't they? Yeah, they really can. That's the amazing thing. I think people are surprised that it doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months. It doesn't take weeks. It doesn't take days.

It doesn't even take hours. You can believe on the spot. And I would like to lead you in a prayer where you can ask for His forgiveness, a prayer where you can receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. So if you want Christ to come into your life, if you want Him to forgive you of your sin, if you want a second chance in life, if you want to go to heaven when you die, stop what you're doing and pray after me these words. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I'm sorry for my sin, and I turn from it now, and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord, as God and friend. Thank you for loving me and calling me and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Amen. And listen, if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg, the Lord has heard you and forgiven you of your sin.

The Bible tells us Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And we'd like to send you some materials to help you begin to live this new life. We call it our New Believers' Growth Packet. Just ask for it, and we'll send it to you free of any charge if you prayed for the first time today with Pastor Greg. Call us anytime 24-7 at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or write, A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click on Know God. Ever been puzzled by a prayer that it seems God never answered? Did God hear it?

Did He ignore it? Well, some insight next time as Pastor Greg presents a message called Why Our Prayers Are Not Answered. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-25 01:05:55 / 2023-03-25 01:17:09 / 11

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