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I Dare You: Respond! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
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March 6, 2023 5:00 am

I Dare You: Respond! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 6, 2023 5:00 am

The greatest human experience is to have a relationship with God. In his message "I Dare You: Respond!" Skip challenges you to ask yourself if you have personally responded to Jesus.

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He had a personal relationship with a personal God. He spoke to God every day. God spoke to him.

There was a real relationship going on. The greatest human experience is to know God. Do you have a personal relationship with God? Today on Connect with Skip Heideck, Skip challenges you to ask yourself if you truly have personally responded to Jesus. But first, we want to tell you about a resource that will help you discern and pursue God's will. We want to tell you about a powerful resource that will help you understand and follow God's will. It's Pastor Skip's eight-message package, Discovering God's Will. You have the Spirit of God living in you and He will guide you, He says, with His eye. And do you realize God is more interested in guiding you than you are in being guided?

So as soon as you say, Lord, I want to take and be ruled by your peace and rooted in Scripture and I want to honor your name, He's right there to direct your steps. Skip Heideck's Discovering God's Will package includes message titles such as Guardrails to Knowing God's Will and Navigating Another Year as part of eight full-length teachings by Skip. We'll send you this powerful resource as thanks for your gift to expand Connect with Skip Heideck to reach more people in major U.S. cities. So request your resource when you give and start to make your life count for God's kingdom. Just call 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash offer.

That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Now we're in Daniel 12 as Skip begins today's teaching. When you read the Bible or hear a sermon, are you responding to God's authority over your life? Now I ask that question because this is one of the great frustrations that Bible teachers and pastors have is that we hear sermons every week, we go to church every week, we're exposed to life changing principles every week, but not many lives are changing every week. Every week in Christian churches around America, husbands are still dumping their wives, women are still leaving their husbands, people are still lying to each other, people are refusing to forgive each other, Christians are still gossiping with each other, and we ask how can that be? Being exposed to God's life-changing truths every week. Here's how.

Here's how. You can listen two different kinds of ways. There's the active listener, then there's the passive listener. When I watch TV, I watch very passively. In fact, I go through channels like crazy. I'm going up and down.

I've told you that before. I can't really lock in. It's like, okay, I got to listen. I can't do this for an hour. So we can listen to sermons passively, not actively, not like, man, God is speaking to me. I'm going to apply it. It's like, oh, nice message.

That's it. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and he was the president way, way before my time, like in the 40s, early 40s. He was wondering, when he would give a speech, how much people were really listening to him. So he decided he would experiment one night at the White House. There was a little reception dinner, and people were going to meet him, and he was going to shake hands with them. So he decided to say something to see if people were listening. So people would come up and shake his hand, and they form a line, and to each person in line, he would say something just to see if they were listening. They were all excited to meet the president. So he would shake their hands, and then he said, I killed my grandmother this morning. He flashed that big smile.

I killed my grandmother this morning. And most people said, great job, Mr. President. Keep up the good work, or how lovely. Shake his hand and walked away. He goes, nobody's listening to me, except for one foreign diplomat.

And when he leaned in and said, I killed my grandmother this morning, the diplomat leaned in and said, I'm sure she had it coming to her, Mr. President. You know, Jesus said, take heed what you hear. But he also said, take heed how you hear. Let me give you a few suggestions on how to respond to God's authority. Number one, expose yourself to the truth. Number two, evaluate yourself by the truth. And number three, engage yourself with the truth.

Let me explain those. Expose yourself to the truth. You're doing it right now. You're here in church, Bible's open. Now let me make it a suggestion to take that to another level. Start taking notes in church.

Because if you're like every other human being on earth, you will forget most of everything you hear right after you hear it. If you write down what you believe God is speaking to your heart out of the word, you can go back and refer to that later and engage at a different level. You're exposing yourself at a different level.

You want to take it a step further? Get into a small group and discuss those things. That's exposing yourself to the truth.

Number two, evaluate yourself by the truth. It's possible when we listen to a sermon, a message, to deflect the message. See, we think thoughts like, I know somebody who needs to hear this. Yeah, you and me.

We all need to hear it. You know, we can become like spiritual Houdini's. Remember Houdini, he could get out of like anything. So God is trying to wrestle us to the ground with his truth, and we're really good at getting out of it. Evaluate yourself by the truth. We're good at evaluating truth.

We're just not that good at evaluating ourselves by the truth. Number three, engage yourself with the truth. What do I mean by that? When you're reading your Bible, when you're listening to a sermon, you ask yourself this question, is this a command that I'm reading that I must obey? Is this a warning that I must heed? Is this something I must stay away from or a promise that I must gather? That's engaging yourself with the truth.

G. Campbell Morgan wrote, I personally believe the reason why many people have lost their love for the Bible is that they have failed to recognize the necessity for obedience to its moral claims. So God reveals the truth. Do I respond to his authority? Here's the second principle and second question. God regulates the future.

Do I respond to his sovereignty? Verse five, then I, Daniel, looked. And there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. And one said to the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river, how long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be? Then I heard the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time. And when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. Although I heard, I did not understand, I said, my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? Aren't you glad that Daniel said, I didn't get it? I am, because I've studied and taught now the whole book of Daniel.

I come to the end going, there's a lot I still don't get. And I know you feel that way, don't you? Daniel felt that way. Daniel felt that way, and he confessed it.

And here's an interesting answer. Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the end of time. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away and the nation of desolation is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits and comes to the 1,335 days. Daniel sees two angels, one on one side of the Tigris River, if you remember, and the other on the other side of the Tigris River. I've been to the Tigris River.

It's a very wide waterway. So these angels were at a considerable distance from each other, and then above and between was this man clothed in linen that we already saw in chapter 10. And one of the angels has a question, which is interesting. How long until the fulfillment of these things?

In other words, how long will all of these oppressive events that have been described so far, how long are they going to last? So in verse 7, this being above the waters raises his right hand and his left hand. Sort of interesting. You know, the other day my grandson came to my house. Door opened.

He was there. First thing he did is this. Not, I'm praising you, Grandpa, but pick me up, Grandpa. He raised both hands. Now, in ancient times, when a Jew wanted to make a solemn oath, he would raise his right hand. To raise both hands was like, this is like this is like a super solemn oath. It's sort of like, verily, verily, I say unto thee. It's a very important, solemn, truthful thing that is about to be said.

The question is, how long is this going to last? Here's the answer given. Time, times, and a half a time. Remember that phrase back in chapter 11?

We discussed it. Time, time, times, and a half a time. Time, one. Times, plural, two. So one and two is three and a half, three and a half. It's an ancient way of saying three and a half years. Time, times, and a half a time. So here's the deal.

Here's the answer. The reign of the antichrist and the worst period of history will last three and a half years. That's the timing of it.

Now, we're told that also in other places. Revelation chapter 11, verse 3, and Revelation chapter 12, verse 6, but listen to how it's put. This shall last 1,260 days. That's three and a half years based on a 360 lunar year cycle. Revelation 13, verse 5, the antichrist is given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue 42 months, three and a half years, 1,260 days.

So here's the picture. From the midpoint of Daniel's 70th week, it's that last seven-year period, from the midpoint of that, which is the abomination of desolation, until the second coming of the end, the close off of the reign of terror of the antichrist will be three and a half years, or 42 months, or 1,360 days, 260 days. We have a little bit of a problem in verse 11. It says that from the time the daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. So we have an extra month added for some reason, and just when we're scratching our head going, huh? The very next verse says, blessed is he who waits and comes to the 1,335 days. So we have an extra month and an extra 45 days, or a total of 75 days after the 1,260, 42 months, three and a half year time period, reign of terror of the antichrist. So the question is, what happens during that month?

What happens during that 45 days beyond that? Answer, I'm not sure. And I'm not sure because we're not told.

Daniel's asking questions, the angel's asking questions, and sort of all he gets is, go away now. Seal this up until the very end of times. I will guarantee you this, when all this comes down during that great tribulation period, they'll get it.

They'll understand it. Now, I can make a few guesses and I will do that. The very last battle of history, the bloodiest battle of history in the future, is called the battle of what? Armageddon, where the nations gathered together in the Middle East and it's a bloodbath. It is probably going to take a period of time to mop up after the battle of Armageddon. So to have a month and then 45 more days, 75 extra days would probably be one of the activities that would go on during that time.

Here's the second possibility. According to Jesus Christ, Matthew chapter 25, He's going to judge the nations of the earth based on their treatment of the nation of Israel. It's the sheep and the goats judgment. So after Jesus comes back at the end of 1,260 days after the abomination of desolation, it could take a period of time for that judgment to take place. Number three, according to Ezekiel 20, the Lord will gather believing Jews from all over the world back to the land of Israel. That travel arrangement could take some time. Number four, there's going to be the setup of a governmental machinery, the machinery for the government of the millennial kingdom that could take place during that time.

And number five, according to Scripture, God is going to reestablish the ancient borders of Israel from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates River. It's going to broaden out the borders. All of that establishment could take time.

Add to that some other factors. There's going to be topographical changes that take place on earth. For instance, the Dead Sea, nothing lives in it except microbes, will during that time become a living body of water where people will fish, cast their nets in the Dead Sea. It'll be infused with fresh water. There'll be a temple, a millennial temple that is built for that thousand year period.

All of that could be some of the activities that take place during the 30 plus the 45 or a total of 75 extra days. But we're told this, blessed is he who waits and comes to the 1,335 days. Why? Because you'll be really blessed if you make it all the way through to the kingdom age. There's a greater principle here.

Have you noticed in the book of Daniel how detailed God is in just about every chapter? This is going to happen. That's going to happen. That's going to happen.

And sometimes it's given to the exact date. So here is God regulating the future, which proves to us that God is sovereign. You know what that means? When I say God is sovereign, what does it mean? What does sovereign mean? You say he's in control. It means more than he's in control.

It means he's all powerful, ultimately supreme. Therefore, he can govern and control the very creation that he made. We believe God is sovereign. Now the deist doesn't believe that. The deist believes that God created the universe, wound it up, and then sort of steps back and learns as he goes along and watches things happen and goes, huh, that's interesting. That's what the deist believes. The liberal theologian doesn't believe in the sovereignty of God.

The liberal theologian says God is a concept invented by weak people who are trying to explain their lives. He's an impersonal force. He's not real.

He's not personal. He's not powerful. We believe, according to the Bible, that God is sovereign. And it's proven to us time and time again because God predicts with precision the future.

Question, am I responding to God's sovereignty? I want you to vote. I want to see a real show of hands. If you believe God is sovereign, I want you to raise your hand up. If you don't believe that, keep it down. But if you believe it, keep it up now. As you're keeping it up, look up. That's your hand. You just voted and said God is sovereign.

Okay, put your hand down now. If you believe God is sovereign, how do you respond to that? How do you respond, for example, to Romans 8 28? You know that verse. It says, for we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

Or Ephesians, chapter 1, verse 11. We were chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. That's sovereignty. So when we look around the world, it looks like man is ruling. But then we read the Bible and we discover God is overruling. God is in charge.

God is powerful, personal, involved, in control. But my question to you is, what does that actually do for you? What does that actually do for you, believing in the sovereignty of God? I'll tell you what it should do. It ought to produce patience in us. It ought to produce gratitude in us. It ought to produce stability. Even the Bible says that when sudden terror comes to the life of a righteous person, he's not shaken.

He's not afraid. There's that initial shakeup, but then there's the calming as we realize there is a sovereign God who has this thing wired. So if you don't have much patience, you don't have much gratitude, you don't have much stability, it's really because you don't really believe God is sovereign. If God regulates the future, how do I respond to His sovereignty? Here's the third, and we'll close out the book. God rewards His own.

Do I respond to Him personally? Verse 13, a final word to Daniel, But you go your way until the end, for you shall rest, and you will arise to your inheritance at the end of days. Daniel, you're going to rest, you're going to die, but you're going to be resurrected, and eventually you're going to participate in the very glorious kingdom that you once predicted.

Now, just think back and piece all the things you know about Daniel up to this point. Daniel was able to see the Babylonian empire, the Medo-Persian empire, the Greek empire, the Roman empire, a resurrected end-time Roman empire with a ruler we call the Antichrist, the Beast, who's coming to persecute the world and trash it and all that stuff we've read about. He sees all that, but keep in mind that Daniel also saw a future kingdom beyond all the kingdoms of this earth. He said in Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 2, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. He said all of these other kingdoms will shatter into nothingness, but God's going to set up an everlasting kingdom. Now here's the promise, Daniel. We don't know how long Daniel lived after this. He was like 90 years old almost in this chapter. So I would only presume he died not long after this final revelation, but he died with the promise that after he rests, he will be resurrected and rewarded personally by God.

That's his assurance. There is a rest and there is a reward for all of God's children who have a personal relationship with him. Do you have a personal relationship with him? If I were to ask you the question, how long do you have to live? You would have to say to me, I don't know. But if I were to ask you a second question, you should be able to say, that I know. If I were to ask you, do you have the assurance that when you die, you will be forever in heaven with him? If your answer is, boy, I hope so, wrong answer. If you're a Bible-believing Christian, your answer would be, I have that assurance.

I know so. That's a personal relationship with him. Daniel had a personal relationship. Daniel was not a religious person. Well, you know, Daniel was a religious fellow in Babylon.

No, he wasn't. He had a personal relationship with a personal God. He spoke to God every day. God spoke to him.

There was a real relationship going on. The greatest human experience is to know God. Paul the Apostle wrote in Philippians, the heart cry of his life, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection. Jesus said, this is eternal life, that you may know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent.

That's a personal relationship. Have you responded to him personally in all the studies we've made through Daniel? You've watched people come forward and give their lives to Christ.

Have you personally responded to him? A. W. Tozer wrote this, were all human beings suddenly to become blind, still the sun would shine by day and the stars by night. For these owe nothing to the millions who benefit from their light. So were every man on earth to become an atheist, it would not affect God in any way. He is what he is in himself without regard to any other. To believe in him adds nothing to his perfections. To doubt him takes nothing away.

However, I want to be quick to add to what Tozer said. Yeah, it's not going to add anything to God's perfections, but it's going to add a lot to yours to believe in him, to trust in him personally. It's not going to add anything to God's perfections, but it will add to his joy and pleasure, for he created us with the intention of knowing him and having a relationship with him. He made you that you might know him.

Do you? Have you surrendered personally your life into his hands? 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 connectwithskipp.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. As Christians, we have a calling and that is to win souls for Jesus, even as we await our glorious future with him in heaven. And so our goal is to come alongside friends like you to encourage you to keep sharing Christ with others, as long as you have the chance to do so. That's why we share these faith-building messages. And today you can take action to ensure these teachings keep reaching you and making you a better person. One major push this year is to grow the reach of these broadcasts into more major U.S. cities, and you can help make that possible with your generosity.

Can I count on your support? Here's how you can give a gift today. Visit connectwithskipp.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskipp.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888 to get a gift today.

800-922-1888 800-922-1888 Thank you for your generosity. Come back tomorrow as Skip begins a message to show you what a balanced life really looks like. I've had seasons of imbalance where I've worked too much and rested too little or rested too much and worked too little. I want to suggest to you by looking at the book of Daniel four areas in which the man Daniel lived a balanced life. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-06 06:36:36 / 2023-03-06 06:46:08 / 10

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