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I Dare You: Look Ahead! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
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February 3, 2023 5:00 am

I Dare You: Look Ahead! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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February 3, 2023 5:00 am

The future is the great unknown to everyone but God. He's already seen the end—and you can trust what He says is coming. Join Skip as he shares encouragement in the message "I Dare You: Look Ahead!"


When we're dealing with God, we have to understand that God is different. That God doesn't have the same kind of time constraints that we have. He doesn't live in the space-time continuum. He's outside the realm of time. He's in eternity.

Everyone has opinions and predictions about the future, but only one person really knows what's coming because he has already seen it. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares why you can look ahead with certainty about what God says will happen. But before we begin, we want to tell you about a resource designed to give you a fulfilling and fun marriage. Great marriages are made, not born. God wants you to have a strong, thriving, and fun marriage. The Marriage Devotional, 52 Days to Strengthen the Soul of Your Marriage, by Levi and Jenny Lesko, is designed to help your marriage not just survive, but thrive. You want to understand God's secret, the secret for fruit in your marriage, in your family, in your parenting. If you feel overwhelmed because your marriage is a long way from where you feel like it should be, or if you feel discouraged and excluded today because divorce is in your story. And here you see God's plan for flourishing, and you've disqualified yourself because of what's in your past.

Let me tell you something, God never shames you for your past. He always fights for your future. And flourishing and fruitfulness can be your reality. We want to send you a copy of this encouraging resource as thanks for your gift today to support Connect with Skip Heitzig, and help expand this teaching ministry to more major cities in the US in 2023. So request your copy when you give today, and get the encouragement you need for your marriage to flourish.

The vine has been given the tools to continue to grow. And I love this, and I want this vision in your mind. I want this vision in your heart. If you're empty nesters, if you've been married for 40s, I want you to have this vision, young people, that you don't have to fear a marriage getting stale.

You don't have to fear getting trapped into something. I need to experiment and keep my options open. I'm telling you, so long as you focus in, cling to the right vine, cling to the Lord, your marriage's growth can be infinite. The Marriage Devotional by Levi and Jennie Lesko, yours for a donation of $50 or more. Just call 800-922-1888 or visit slash offer.

That's slash offer. Okay, let's turn to Daniel 7 as we join Skip for today's study. When you travel on the road, you see certain signs that tell you what's coming up, like road work ahead, probably the most famous one that we see every Sunday, right? You're going to see it for like, I don't know, 20 years, you'll see that work out there.

It's like the national or at least the state motto, right? Road work ahead. Or you see curve ahead or danger ahead or stop ahead.

And those are signs so that you and I can navigate what's coming down the pike when we drive. Then there are forecasters, prognosticators, visionaries who want to tell us what is going to happen in our world in the coming year, 20 years, 100 years. I found an interesting book.

I just pulled it off the shelf this week. I picked it up a few years back called Predictions for the Next Millennium. And it's thoughts on the thousand years ahead, get this, from today's celebrities.

Now there's a well of wisdom right there, right? Celebrities telling you what to expect in the next 1,000 years. It's pretty interesting in some parts. I mean, it's people saying there's going to be a one world government or a one world currency or you're going to cure aging, which would be a problem in and of itself if all of us on earth just kept living. It'd be a population problem.

But sometimes people make predictions and they're so far off base, true predictions, and they're humorous when we look back at them. For example, Western Union put out a memo in 1876 that said the telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. This device is inherently of no value to us. Poor Western telegram. They lost out. Lord Kelvin, the president of the Royal Society, 1895 said, heavier than air, flying machines are impossible.

If you would have only waited eight more years and moved to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, right? Here's one of my favorites. 1943, Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM stated, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

What's interesting about that statement is I got it off the internet on my computer at home. This is my favorite. Record company executive for Decca Records in 1962 said, we don't like their sound.

We don't think the Beatles will ever do anything. And guitars are on their way out. Close quote. Now, the Bible is a unique book in that it deals with both history as well as prophecy, what has already happened and what is going to happen in the future. And we always find ourselves, do we not, whenever we read it, dealing with an historical context.

This is what was going on in that time of history. And it's looking back, piecing that together, as well as so often looking forward to the future. Daniel chapter seven does that. When Daniel saw and wrote what he saw in this chapter, it was all future to him.

It was a vision of what's coming down the pipe. But for us reading it today, it's both history. Some of it has been fulfilled and prophecy. A lot of it has not been fulfilled.

So it's very unique in that. But when we're dealing with God, we have to understand that God is different. God doesn't have the same kind of time constraints that we have. He doesn't live in the space time continuum. He's outside the realm of time.

He's in eternity. Remember in school and history class when they would teach you history and they draw a timeline? Remember the timelines? And so it would be punctuated with events like a dot on the timeline. This is when Christopher Columbus discovered America. Further on down the timeline dot.

This is when George Washington was president. Further on down the timeline. Further, further, further, further, way, way, way, way, way, way, way.

You were born. Or some of you is kind of further back this way. And so that's how we've conceived of as time. Time just sort of goes on linearly continually. And so when we think of eternity, we just think that line just keeps going. It's best to think of eternity as the removal of the line altogether. There is no time.

There is no constraint that we know. God is in the eternal now. That's why in the Bible, when you read prophecy, sometimes it's written in past tense verbs as if it's already happened.

Or sometimes a future event will be cast by a previous event so that the previous event becomes a template for a future event. Here's what it's like. Let's say we're at a parade. We go to the parade and we sit down at the parade. And by the time we get there, the clowns on bicycles have already passed. But the mayor's float is still to come. And somebody finds us and they sit down and they go, boy, I really want to see the clowns on bicycles. And you go, well, you missed that. But if you go up ahead, you can see what's passed. Somebody else comes and says, well, I want to see the mayor's float.

Well, it hasn't come yet. But if you go to the beginning, you can see what's future. Now imagine if we could get in a helicopter and hover above the parade. Now we're able to see everything in one single moment.

The mayor's float, where you used to sit, and the clowns on bicycles all at one time. God lives in the eternal now. He sees it all from that perspective. And Daniel chapter 7 is like a helicopter ride where you see past, present, and future in 28 verses, all condensed into one. I want to begin today in Daniel chapter 7.

I want to begin today in Daniel chapter 7 and look at a few verses, just a few, beginning in verse 9, at what is the central focus of this chapter. And that is the coming of Jesus Christ in particular. But there's four things that are coming. Four things that you can count on that are coming. When I say count on, I mean they're coming. Whether you like it or not, they're coming. And I know they're coming because the things that have already been predicted would come, have come. And so the things that the Bible says are going to come, guess what? They're going to come too. So fulfilled prophecy is our guarantee of future prophecy. And what are those four things?

Here they are. Judgment is coming, number one. Number two, justice is coming. Number three, Jesus is coming.

And finally, joy is coming. Let's look at verse 9. I watched, writes Daniel, till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated.

So we have God seated on the throne. His garment was white as snow. His hair of His head was like pure wool. And His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him.

Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated and the books were open. So we have thrones and we have a court and we have fire and we have books being opened. What are we dealing with? Simply a judgment scene, a courtroom scene. God is assuming His rightful seat as divine judge and will make the final reckoning and final verdict. Now Daniel has seen the future. From his perspective, he's seen the future. There's going to be four kingdoms that come.

There's going to be Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. We've spoken about those. And there's leaders that will come. And from Daniel's perspective, they haven't come all yet.

From our perspective, it's done. They've come. So there was Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar and Cyrus and Darius and Alexander the Great, and all the Caesars of Rome have come and gone. And while they were here, they ruled nations and they presided over courts and made judgments. But now in this scene, they're on the other end of the judgment process. They're being judged. They're not rendering judgment. And so Daniel saw nations come, nations go, and all the rulers of those nations eventually being judged as the court was seated and the books were open. Ever since the beginning of time, Satan has tried to deceive people about this event saying, well, there is no judgment because there is no God.

So there's people who buy into that. There's no God. There's no judgment.

There's no final reckoning. Do whatever you want. Live however you like. And when you die, you will just pass into oblivion.

That's a lie. Or he's tried to convince people that there may be a God, but he's sort of like the benign grandfather God. You know, he just smiles at everything and everybody. It's okay. You know, it's the Oprah Winfrey God.

Everybody's just good. That is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible will eventually bring judgment. John sees the same scene in Revelation chapter 20.

I'll read it to you. I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgment was committed to them. And I saw a great white throne and him who sat on it from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away. And I saw the dead small and great standing before God and the books were opened. And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Can you imagine those nail scarred hands combing through the books to see whose name is written there and whose name is not written there? There's a judgment for everyone that is coming.

For everyone. Now, if you're a believer in Christ, yes, Jesus took your judgment, your punishment on the cross. But you and I will face a judgment for our service to the Lord called the Bema Seat of Christ. If you are an unbeliever, if you have pushed Jesus Christ aside and have not listened to his call upon your life, you'll have your day in court. But it will be unlike any earthly court. That is, there will first of all be no debate about guilt. Well, I don't know if I'm guilty or not guilty.

It doesn't matter what you say. God will make that verdict. There will be a prosecution and no defense. There will be a judge and no jury. There will be a sentence and no appeal. There will be punishment and no parole. There's a judgment that is coming.

No wonder the writer of Hebrews in chapter 10 said, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God. Question. Is it possible to escape that kind of judgment? Is it? Oh, yes, it is possible.

In fact, it's not only possible. It's preferable. Here's the deal. Somebody's got to take the rap for sin. Either you're going to take the rap for your own sin or you're going to let Jesus take it for you on the cross and place your faith in him. If you place your faith in him, you trust him, you will never be judged like we just read. That's what Jesus promised. John chapter 5, he who hears my words and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death into life.

Did you get that? Everlasting life is as simple as you leaning, trusting in, relying on Jesus Christ. Well, I don't know if I want to do that. Okay. Then you will take it on your own. But there is a judgment that is coming and either he's going to take it for you and you've let him do that or you're going to take it for yourself.

It's quite simple really. No Jesus, K-N-O-W. No Jesus, no life, K-N-O-W. If you know Jesus, you'll know life. But no Jesus, N-O Jesus, N-O life, no life. No Jesus, you'll know life.

No Jesus, no life. That's what he promised. No, not everybody believes this. I know that.

I'm not naive to that. I would say that most people don't believe that. Every now and then these magazines will put out articles about heaven and hell and Time Magazine put one out a while back that says, Does heaven exist?

That was the name of the article. Does heaven exist? As if Time Magazine is going to give you the final verdict on that. They asked two questions to people. Question number one, do you believe in the existence of heaven where people live forever after they die? 81% said yes. 13% said no. Second question, do you believe in a hell where people will be punished forever after they die? Only 63% said yes. Fewer people want to believe in hell. More people want to believe in heaven. Well, of course.

I got to tell you something. The judgment bar of Christ doesn't move based on popular vote. You can't escape it. But it says again in the book of Hebrews, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? So you can count on that judgment is coming.

Number two, justice is coming. Verse 11 says, I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking. I watched till the beast was slain and its body destroyed and given to the burning flames.

As for the rest of the beast, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. Go down to verse 26, but the court shall be seated. And they, those in the court, shall take away his dominion, his being the horn, the antichrist, the beast, to consume and destroy it forever. Now, this is only right. This is fair. This is justice.

This beast, this antichrist, will lie to the world, try to force people into submission and kill people who will not submit. So it's only fair to see this coming on him. Do you know what it's like when you watch the news and you see some miscarriage of justice? Do you ever get angry when like there's that criminal and you know he's guilty and all the evidence says he's guilty, but there's this technicality and he goes free. Do you like that?

No, you hate that. There's something within us that says there must be justice. At some point in history, there must be justice. I noticed just the other day when they caught that second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, the terror bombing, when they caught him alive and brought him to the hospital, and they're keeping him now for questioning, that the crowd outside, did you see what they did?

They like had a party. They were so elated that justice has been done. He's been caught. He's been brought under the law. When my son Nate was growing up, I always noticed what I called it is that he had an over-developed sense of justice.

That is everything in life needed to be fair. He used to say, that's not fair. And where I really would notice this is he'd watch a movie and if the movie didn't turn out just right, Happily Ever After, White Picket Fence, he didn't like the movie. He hated the movie. I hate this movie. If a bad guy got killed, he hated the movie. He hated the movie. If a bad guy got killed, he hated the movie.

If a bad guy got away, he hated the movie. He wanted life to be fair. We all want life to be fair, but guess what?

Life isn't fair. But one day justice will come. One day the bad guys will be rounded up by God's posse. One day evil will be eradicated. There is justice that is coming. So if you go back to verse seven and you notice that this beast, this antichrist, has dominion.

He's described as a beast having huge iron teeth, devouring, breaking in pieces, trampling with his feet, the text says. He's like this killing machine. Finally he gets caught.

Finally he gets killed. That's fair. And finally he gets tossed into the trash can of hell.

That is fair. It is described by John in Revelation 19, the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast, miracles that deceived all who had accepted his mark and who worshiped his statue. And both the beast and the false prophet were thrown alive into the lake of fire. You ever wonder what the purpose of this coming tribulation is all about? Now we know it's going to be a seven year period and the last three and a half years are the worst. We know what the Bible says.

That is coming. But you ever wonder why? Why a tribulation? What's that all about? Well there are a few reasons for this coming tribulation. Reason number one is to pour out wrath upon this world. That is to so destabilize this world so that everything people have counted on up to this point they can't depend on any longer and in hopes that they will turn to God.

That often happens whenever there's a catastrophe. People get very spiritual and they turn to God. That's number one, to pour out wrath. Number two, to prepare Israel for her Messiah, to look on Him whom they have pierced. The tribulation is called by Jeremiah a time of Jacob's trouble, Israel's trouble. Israel will be so troubled and shaken up during that time.

They will be ready and prepared for their Messiah to come. So to pour out wrath, to prepare Israel for the Messiah, here's the third reason for the tribulation. To pummel the antichrist.

I mean to beat that guy up so bad and it will be so fair and it will be so just because of what he has done. He seems so invincible during that period of time until revelation tells us the fifth angel pours out the fifth bowl. We are told in Revelation 16, on the throne of the beast and on his kingdom and his kingdom became full of darkness. So judgment is coming. Justice is coming.

Number three, Jesus is coming. Verse 13, I was watching in the night visions and behold. Now I've always liked the word behold. I know it's a Bible word. You don't say that in line at the grocery store.

Behold, cereal. So I get it. It's a Bible word. But it's a Bible word that means, huh, look, check that out. Like notice this.

So that's how I like to read it. I was watching in the night visions and hey, check it out. One like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven. He came to the ancient of days.

We know that to be God the Father and they brought him near before him. Now this verse, this event is the central focus of chapter seven. This is the whole central focus of this chapter. The central focus is not the parade of these weird looking beasts that come out of the sea.

They made John go, wow, that's weird. The central focus is not the little horn with the big mouth and the big ideas, the Antichrist who is coming. Those aren't the central themes. The central theme is the coming of the kingdom of Jesus Christ to the world. Judgment is coming.

Justice is coming. Jesus is coming. Now Daniel sees one like the Son of Man.

I'm going to frame that for you in context. I think it simply means he saw one with the human form. Remember so far he has seen these weird beast-like creatures come up out of the sea. Now in contrast to those he sees one with a human form, one like the Son of Man coming. But what's interesting is that 81 times in the four gospels of the New Testament the term Son of Man appears and it was the term that Jesus used to refer to himself, to describe himself.

He called himself the Son of Man referring back no doubt to this first mention of it in Daniel chapter 7. That wraps up Skip Heitzig's message from his series, I Dare You. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at Now here's Skip to share how you can keep these messages coming your way to connect you and many others around the world with God's Word.

God wants to use each person for a special purpose to grow his kingdom and to make his name known. And this ministry exists to connect people around the world to God's Word so they can discover God's plan for their life. We invite you to join us in that important work today. Through your support you can expand this ministry into more major U.S. cities and help more people find their God-given purpose. Plus you'll keep these teachings you love available to you wherever you listen.

Would you partner with me in this effort? Here's how you can give a gift now. Visit slash donate to give a gift. That's slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity and did you know there's a great biblical resource available right at your fingertips through your mobile device. You can access several of Skip's Bible reading plans in the YouVersion Bible app and dive deeper into several books of the Bible to gain new insights. Just search Skip Heitzig in the YouVersion Bible app. Tune in again next week as Skip encourages you to live your life now with your eyes on your eternal life. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications. Connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-03 06:33:32 / 2023-02-03 06:43:23 / 10

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