When judgment comes and justice comes and Jesus comes, then joy will come.
That's predicted. Jesus said in the parable about the rewards in Matthew 25, well done good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord. That will give you the encouragement you need to help your marriage thrive. We have an exciting resource to help strengthen your marriage so it can thrive no matter what your circumstances. It's The Marriage Devotional, 52 Days to Strengthen the Soul of Your Marriage by Levi and Jenny Lusko.
And we'd love to send you a copy as thanks for your gift this month to grow the ministry of Connect with Skip. How do you figure out what's going on underneath your marriage? You ask about it. So when was the last time you've checked in with your spouse? And a little pro tip, Jenny and I, our marriage counselor, for what it's worth, she told us to never, ever, ever do the check in during date night.
And this has been revolutionary for us. We used to just literally have a fight every single date night because that was our check in. One of us would be dumb enough over appetizers to go, well, what's going on in your house?
Which is usually code for please tell me the five things I'm doing wrong this week. You know what I'm saying? And so now I'm pushing the cauliflower away because I'm feeling hot and angry. And then we get in this big fight.
And she goes, oh, gosh, you're doing it wrong. Date night's joy. Date night's fun. Just keep it light. Put a pin in stuff that's going to give you stress on the date night.
But you've got to have the check in too. Great marriages are made, not born. And this devotional journey will be the encouragement your marriage, not just any marriage, needs to flourish. So we cling. We cling to God. We cling to our spouse. We cling to the local church because we're vines. And we want our marriage to be like a fruitful vine in the heart of our house.
In the marriage devotional, 52 Days to Strengthen the Soul of Your Marriage, Levi and Jenny will point you to God's word and help you experience a depth and beauty you may have never thought possible. We'll send you a copy of this powerful resource as thanks for your gift to expand Connect with Skip Heitzig to reach more people in major U.S. cities. Yours for a donation of $50 or more. Just call 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash offer.
That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Now, let's turn to Daniel Chapter 7 as Skip kicks off today's teaching. 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's the name of the article. Does Heaven Exist? As if Time Magazine is going to give you the final verdict on that.
They ask 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 overdeveloped 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.
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 7 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 worshipped 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? 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 is 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 that 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. It's what the Jews believed to be the coming Messiah. The Son of Man is going to come.
Jesus called Himself the Son of Man. Verse 13 is the second coming of Christ. And you should know that the second coming dominates the Bible. There is no subject more discussed in the Bible next to the subject of faith than the second coming.
Here's a few statistics. The second coming is dealt with 1,845 times in the Bible. That means one out of every 30 verses either mentions the second coming or the last days.
One-fifth of all scripture refers to it. Seven out of ten chapters in the New Testament refer to the second coming. For every one mention of the first coming, the second coming is mentioned eight times. For every one time the atonement is mentioned, the second coming is mentioned twice. Jesus personally referred to His second coming 21 times. And no less than 50 times in the Bible we are told to be ready for His coming.
Be ready for it. Jesus is coming. And somebody might say, well, why is Jesus coming?
I mean, He already came once. Why didn't He just hang around? Why did He have to come and then go?
Okay, we've been like waiting 2,000 years for this. Still He hasn't come back. Why did He come and go and then come back again?
Now you know the answer to that question. The first time He came, He came to deal with what? Sin. He came to deal with sin.
He came to die on a cross, take the world's sin, then go and give as many people a chance to get to heaven who would believe in that act as possible. That's why He's waited 2,000 years. Aren't you glad He has waited this long?
Because it includes us in His company. And now all of those relatives, all of those people that you love, that you've been praying for, have a chance to get there as well by trusting in Him. But when He comes back the second time, it's going to be different than when He came the first time.
He came the first time to deal with sin. You know what He's going to do the second time? He's going to take over. He's going to say to all the politicians, all the prime ministers, all the rulers, move over guys and gals.
Let me show you how it's done. He's going to rule the earth. That's why the writer of the book of Revelation, John, seeing the coming of Christ, wrote those famous words, even so, come quickly. Lord Jesus, come quickly.
Daniel sees that. One like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven. I think the clouds of heaven refers to the masses of people that He will come back with. See, a lot of people say, well, Jesus isn't coming today. Look, it's a clear sky. Yeah, it could have clouds 20 miles away.
What does that mean? So I think it's best to see it rather than a puff of smoke or a cloud in the sky, rather the masses of people that He will come back with. Listen, listen to this. Revelation 19 is the classic passage on the second coming of Jesus Christ. It says this, Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, check it out, a white horse. And he who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns, and he had a name written that no one knew except himself.
So don't ask me what his name is then because no one knows except him. And he was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses. This is what Jesus meant when He said to Pontius Pilate, My kingdom is not of this world. This is Jesus coming back. Question, why does He have many crowns?
Answer, it's simply a way of saying there's no rivals anymore. There's no other rulers. Jesus wears all the crowns because He's the King of kings. He's the Lord of lords. Boy, what a long way from wearing the crown of thorns.
That's what He did the first time. He came to take sin, and He wore a crown of thorns. But the second time, all of the diadems of all of the world, He will be in charge. As Ian McPherson, I love that name, Ian McPherson, the Scotsman, said, Where Christ once bore the world's frown, He will one day wear the world's crowns. That's Revelation 19. Judgment is coming.
Justice is coming. Jesus is coming. Fourth and finally, joy is coming, verse 14. Then to Him, the Son, was given dominion and glory in a kingdom that all peoples, nations, languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which will not be destroyed.
Look at verse 18. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. You say, Well, why is that joyful? I don't see the word joy mentioned once in that text. Folks, it's joyful because this is the event that stops all of the wars, all of the violence, all of the terrorism, all of the anxieties. Only this event will bring an end to all of that.
So when judgment comes and justice comes and Jesus comes, joy will come. People have marched for peace. People have visualized world peace. People have given the peace sign and wrote peace songs and put peace bumper stickers. Last time I checked, it hasn't worked.
It hasn't helped. As far as I know, only when the Prince of Peace comes back will that work. In New York City, there's a building called the United Nations Building.
I won't tell you what I think a lot about the United Nations, but let me just tell you about the building. As you enter the building, there is written over the door, over the portals, a scripture, Isaiah chapter 2, and they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation.
Neither shall they learn to make war anymore. It's Isaiah chapter 2, and it's a prediction of what will happen when Jesus Christ returns. That's what will happen. That's why there will be joy. When judgment comes and justice comes and Jesus comes, then joy will come.
That's predicted. Jesus said in the parable about the rewards in Matthew 25, Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord. That little book in the New Testament, the book of Jude, the 24th verse, says that God will present you before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Revelation chapter 21 describes heaven as saying, God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain.
Interesting that heaven has to be described in negatives to tell people this is what it's not like, because that's what we're familiar with, crying and pain and sorrow and death. And so John's saying, not going to happen, not going to be there. You go, okay, I get it. I get it. That's my experience.
That's not going to happen. There's a great hymn, How Great Thou Art. Remember that song, How Great Thou Art? I hope you do. Four of you do. It seems like a head nod.
I think I do. It's a great hymn of the church, and I was reminded of it again this week. A friend of mine died and went to heaven. Well, he was 104 years old, George Beverly Shea. He'd always open up for the Billy Graham Crusades.
He was 104. I think people were saying, what's taking you so long? He's in heaven now, and he's been a friend for many years, and he used to sing that song a lot. And somebody posted a great little clip of him singing How Great Thou Art on my Facebook page this week, so I listened to it and watched it again, that deep baritone voice. I was listening in particular for that one little phrase of the song that says, Christ shall come with shout of acclamation and take me home. What joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow in humble adoration and then proclaim, my God, how great, how great thou art. I can't do it like he did it.
So beautiful. But did you get verse 18? Did you notice it says, but the saints of the most high shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. Who would the saints be? Well, you can debate Old Testament, New Testament saints, but I think it's safe to say it includes us who believe in him.
And that's interesting to me. We're going to possess the kingdom. The kingdom gets like given to us.
This just tells me that not only do we have front row seats in this coming event, we have a job. We are given positions of authority in the kingdom. In Matthew 19, Jesus said to his 12 apostles, you will sit on 12 thrones and you will judge the 12 tribes of Israel.
Okay, well, that's them. What about us? 1 Corinthians chapter 6, Paul writes, Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? The saints will judge the world. Same chapter, he says, don't you know that you will judge angels?
Can I just say the angels are probably not too happy about that because they know what we're like. But we're going to have a position of authority. 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 12, If we endure with him, we shall also reign with him. Revelation chapter 5, the church sings this song, You have made us kings and priests to our God and we will reign on the earth.
It couldn't be more clear. Part of eternity will be you and I having a position of authority and management and administration in his kingdom. Okay, verse 27, Then the kingdom and dominion and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to what? The people, the saints of the most high. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominion shall serve and obey him.
How cool is that? Jesus is reigning and he says to you, come here, help me. Help you what? Come on, I'll give you a job. I'll let you help administer this thing.
Wow. So I'm daring you to look ahead. And that means, I know, it means that you have to look ahead into the future tribulation and a very painful thing that's coming to this world. You might be seeing perhaps entering in toward that end time. But go beyond that and look toward the other end of that at the coming of Jesus Christ. Where his coming means the pain is ending. And I think the secret is to live our temporal life with our eyes on eternal life. As one missionary said, God stamp eternity on my eyes.
C.S. Lewis, the scholar said, if I find within myself a desire that no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. Ever wonder why you have that anxiety and you're wrestling and you're not quite satisfied, you're not quite settled?
You'll never be completely settled until you get into his presence. You were made for another place. Judgment is coming. Justice is coming. Jesus is coming.
And joy is coming. And knowing all that, we can lift up our eyes and march ahead in this life with our eyes fixed on that. 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 ConnectWithSkip.com. Now, here's Skip to share how you can bless people around the world with God's word through a gift to keep these teachings coming to you and others. The Bible tells us that every day draws us closer to the return of Jesus. One day the Lord will return, and that means our time to reach others with the gospel is urgent.
People need to hear the good news that changed your life and mine. So today I'm asking for your help to reach more people around the world with these teachings from God's word. Here's how you can partner with this ministry to make that happen. Visit ConnectWithSkip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's ConnectWithSkip.com slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.
800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Come back tomorrow as Skip Heitzig begins a new message about what it truly means to be great. How can a person be great in God's estimation? How can our lives be significant so as to make a real difference? How can I make sure that I'm not just breathing air and occupying space, but I'm doing something noteworthy, even above average and normal in God's estimation, not in the world's. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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