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R640 Signs of His Coming, Pt.5

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
January 28, 2022 8:00 am

R640 Signs of His Coming, Pt.5

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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January 28, 2022 8:00 am

The Daily Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton

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Are we in the end times? It's one of the most often asked question of Dr. Don Wilton, and we'll talk about the answer today as we open God's Word with Dr. Don Wilton, well-known author, evangelist, and pastor. Know that we're open to you as well on our website at www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org.

Now, Dr. Don Wilton. I've been asked all kinds of questions, and perhaps you have some. One of those questions I've been asked is, do I think that this is the end of the age? Is this the end times of which Jesus was talking? My answer to that is quite simple, yes and no.

Yes, I believe it could be, but no, I don't think it is, because nobody knows. There's not a single person in this world who is qualified to pass a judgment concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Bible tells us that very clearly. And so, when we study matters of eschatology, the doctrine of last things, we've got to understand that the Lord Jesus shared these things with us, gave to us, manifold signs of his coming, but made no bones about the fact that we do not have the right nor the ability or the capacity or the authority of God ever to determine when that time will be.

Bottom line is that we need to be ready. I know that I've given my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I know that if he were to come this afternoon, that I would go to be with him, and if he were to come a thousand years after I died, I would already be with him. And I'm so glad to tell you today that what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for this sinner, that he will do exactly the same thing for you, and I'm going to ask you to give your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. That's our first order of business when we worship him.

I don't believe that it is by accident that God impressed upon my heart come January of this year to begin a series entitled Until He Comes. But I do know that the matters pertaining to Israel and to the nation of Israel and to the Holy Land, the Middle East, are of singular significance. We cannot ignore them. We face somewhat of a dilemma as Christians. Some people have asked this question, and I'm going to ask it again. Does Israel, the Jewish people, do the Jewish people occupy a special place in the heart of God? Here's the answer to that.

Absolutely yes. Now how do we know that? Well, you can go back into your Bible, into the Old Testament. You'll discover that God instituted a covenant relationship with the people of Israel. And you can go back and you can trace the history of Israel, all their wonderings, even in the desert, even when Israel was at their worst, when the people had sinned against God. Most grievously, God established a covenant with the Jewish people, with the nation of Israel.

Second question is this. Does that mean to say that God is involved in a particular way with the nation of Israel? Answer to that is absolutely yes. The reason is because God is truth and God cannot and does not break his truth. God established that covenant and his covenant stands.

Third question. Does that mean to say that all Jewish people are going to heaven? Here's the answer to that.

Absolutely not. Now why is that the case? Because my friends are Jewish friends who are orthodox Jews, who are true Jews, if you were to know what they believed, what you could do is take your Bible and open it from Genesis to the book of Malachi and you would cover all the books of the Old Testament. Then begin in Matthew and go through Revelation and just tear those out of your Bible. The Jewish people do not hold to the New Testament. Now what is the New Testament? The New Testament is Jesus Christ.

You'll remember when Jesus taught us to take the Lord's Supper, he spoke about that. He said this is the New Testament. This is the new covenant because of my blood.

And you do this in remembrance of me until I come again. And when Jesus died upon the cross, he didn't do away with the law and the Old Testament. He came to fulfill the law to make it complete. Jesus is the completer. That is why Jesus used that phrase on the cross, it is finished. Why is it finished? Because the work of God is complete.

There is nothing more to be done. The Old Testament was incomplete. You want to know how our Jewish friends live? They live according to the legal documents of the Old Testament. Their religion, the Jewish religion, is a legalistic religion. That is why they have such strict observance of the Sabbath. They have strict observance concerning what they eat, the times of the day. They have strict observance concerning what they can wear. They have strict observance concerning their religious rights and rituals. They have strict observance concerning even matters pertaining to physical circumcision in male children and all kinds of things.

They are all strict adherence to the legal side of the law according to the Old Testament. Now there are many Jews today who have come to believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. That is why they are known as Messianic Jews. Romans chapter 10 verse 9 and 10 tells us that if we confess with our mouth and believe in our heart that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, you will be saved. Well, the orthodox Jewish religious person does not believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, therefore cannot be saved. So you'd say to me, well, pastor, then how does all this fit into what we're talking about? Israel is very important.

You just think about it for a moment. Jesus was born in Israel, a place called Bethlehem. In fact, the place we commonly believe traditionally, he was born as surrounded by Israeli tanks even as we talk, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Jesus was a Jew himself. You may have noticed that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, that he ascended from the Mount of Olives. I want you to know that Jesus is going to come back and when he does, he's going to land back there on the Mount of Ascension, the Mount of Olives.

He's coming back to Israel. The Battle of Armageddon is going to take place in Israel. I've stood there.

Steve Skinner and I have been there a number of times. Many of you have been there. I've stood in the Valley of Megiddo where the Bible says that on that final battle, which is going to be brought to consummation by the spoken word of God, the blood is going to flow as high as the mouths of horses. Just think of how deep that is going to be. And all of that is going to happen because God's going to speak victory. Israel is very important.

Now, I'm going to take this even further. One of these days when we get into the letter to the Hebrews or when I preach through Paul's letter to the Romans, we cannot understand these things outside of the significance of God's relationship with Israel. Jesus Christ became our high priest after the order of Melchizedek. The Bible connects the history of Israel into the heart of Christendom. And no less significant is our march according to the chronology of God, according to God's timetable related to the events of the end of the age. Israel is very important.

I challenge you on that. You cannot put your head in the sand like an ostrich and say, I'm not interested in what's going on in Israel. And I'm not just talking about for economic reasons. We know what happens from the 1967 Israeli war. We know what happens to oil prices.

We understand economic factors, but this is not about economics. You want to understand what God has to say about something. Jesus repeatedly right throughout his teachings in the New Testament said, I want you to look to my people, the people of Israel. And then he tells us in this mix that there are going to be many of those same people who are going to come to know him as Messiah. They are going to come to know him during the time of the tribulation. They are going to be parted into the tribulation saints. And just as a matter of interest, and by the way, 144,000 Jewish evangelists are going to be partnered into the methodology that God uses to shed the word of God during the time of the tribulation when the spirit of God has been removed. God amongst many other means is going to use 144 converted Jews to go out and to tell people that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Now who better to do that than Jewish people who throughout their history have denied the fact that Jesus Christ is the son of the living God. What a testimony. What a testimony.

Yep. Things that are going on in Israel are profoundly important. They help us to understand the deep significance of what Jesus Christ was talking about. But Israel does not have favored nation status as far as salvation is concerned. All people, red people, yellow people, black people, white people, people from China, people from Mexico, people from Africa, people from America and Canada and every part of the world, every person who goes to heaven is going to go there by the same means and that is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Amen?

What a message. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Jesus said, I am the way, I am truth, I am the life and no man can come unto the Father except through me. You'll remember John chapter 3 and verse 16. God didn't say, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever, excepting the Jews, would believe in him will receive eternal life. It's whosoever. That means all people. They that call upon the name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved. I'm so glad that we're here today to talk about the Lord Jesus Christ, aren't you? And here in Matthew 24, which is where I want you to turn in your Bibles, Jesus is trying to tell us something. Now friends, I'm going to tell you that I have met many preachers over the years and I'm not being critical of them.

I love them. But I've met many preachers who when it comes to matters of eschatology, they run a mile. They don't want to get involved in these things.

They get tied up. It takes very serious study. Seems to me like every week I study this, I find a little more about what I don't know. Jesus Christ speaking, we've already looked at some of the signs. There are approximately in general sense seven major signs of his coming. Birth pains, enduring believers, worldwide proclamation and the abomination that causes desolation. We're right there at that abomination that causes desolation. In verse 15, and we've discovered already that that is going to take place at the midpoint of the tribulation period, in that seven-year period when all believers have been raptured, have been taken out of the world and only those who have been left behind are those who have said no to Jesus Christ. Now that includes Jewish people, the nation of Israel, all those who have said no to Jesus Christ. But messianic Jews who have already trusted in Jesus, they'll be along with me and with you. We'll be in heaven with the Lord. And Jesus Christ is trying to show us something of singular significance concerning the tribulation period. Say, well, that doesn't concern me.

Yes, it does. See, the more I study these things, the more compassion I have in my heart, the more determination I have to tell people about the Lord Jesus Christ. I don't want anybody to go through these things. And the Bible says at the midpoint of the tribulation period, the antichrist is going to march into the temple of God and commit abomination. He's going to commit sacrilege. He is going to defile the holiness of God. And that abomination is going to cause an unmitigated outpouring of desolation upon all of those who have been left behind. And numbered among those who have been left behind are going to be the 144,000 Jewish evangelists who have now come to know the Lord, are going to be a number of people who have come to know Christ, probably thousands upon thousands of them, who after the rapture came to know Jesus Christ because of the work of the angels, because of the activity of the rapture, because of the ministry of the two witnesses, and above all, because of their resurrection from the dead in the streets of Jerusalem.

So let's read about it. Verse 15. Remember Jesus is speaking. He said, So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel, let the reader understand.

Then let those who are where? In Judea. These things are taking place in Judea. I've been to Judea. I've been in the Judean wilderness.

It's remarkable. All the caves and the mountains. Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down and take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Pray that your flight will not take place in winter because it's going to be cold.

You don't want to live in a cave when it's cold. Pray that you will not take flight on the Sabbath. If it's on the Sabbath, you're going to run into all those legalists.

They're going to tell you you're not supposed to be running on the Sabbath. Verse 21, for then, and that word by the way means that following this, instigated, initiated by the abomination that causes this desolation, there will be great distress or there will be great desolation. Unequaled from the beginning of the world until now, never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened. Who are the elect? Every person who's given their life to Christ is the elect of God. And here Jesus is making it very clear. People say, will people come to know Christ during the tribulation?

Absolutely. He's telling us right here. For the sake of the elect, for those who have come to know Christ, for those who believe now that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. When? During the tribulation period because all believers at the time of the rapture have already gone. For the sake of the elect, God is going to extend his grace. And he says that this time of great distress is going to be shortened down to how long? Down to three and a half years. Some of you say, well, three and a half years isn't much. I'm going to tell you three and a half years is a lifetime. One of the people I admire most of all is Colonel Ted Ballard, one of our deacons.

I believe he's here today. And Colonel Ballard, I love and respect you, sir. But I tell you, I've heard Colonel Ballard recount the story of being a prisoner of war in Hanoi, in Vietnam for nearly seven years. I'll guarantee you say seven years. That seven years must have felt like a lifetime, folks.

You can get through three and a half years when things are going well, but when you're in a time of distress unequaled from before the beginning of the world, you're talking about a lifetime. And look what happens here in verse 23. At that time, if anyone says to you, look, here is the Christ or there he is, do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. Now, why is it not possible? Because God has told us that once we are in the palm of his hand, nobody can pluck us out of his hand. Amen? That's why it's not possible.

That's online at tewonline.org. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don. Very simple answer. The evil ones, Satan, the Antichrist, would not even be able to deceive those who have now come to trust in Jesus because once you're saved, you cannot become unsaved. Someone might say to me, well, pastor, if I can't lose my salvation, then I can go out and just let rip. No, one of the surest signs that you're not saved is if you adopt that attitude. Paul put it like this, he says what? Excuse me, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid.

And then Jesus uses those words in verse 25. He says, see, I have told you when, ahead of time. These things haven't happened. I'm telling you now for a reason. Two incredible things are going to happen during this time.

We've looked at the first one and I just give it to you for review. Bible says that during this time, after the abomination, the desolation, this great distress, that number one, it's going to be a time of great distress. Now, what is going to cause it to be a great distress? Have you ever been just stressed out? Have you ever just got flat, distressed out? Number two, I've got no money. Number two, you're distressed. Number three, my house burnt down. Congratulations, you're allowed to be distressed.

Number four, I've been on diet for two months and I put on five pounds last week. You've really got it. Now, folks, here's the question. Why will this be a time of great distress? Three reasons I've given them to you. I'm just going to list them. Number one, because of the outpouring of God's anger. We looked at that in Revelation chapter 14. Number two, the unrestrained meanness of the antichrist. God is going to take his hands off the world.

That's the bottom line. You say to me, hold on a minute now, pastor. You mean God's not mad about sin? Yes, he is, but his Holy Spirit's at work. I'm going to tell you, folks, that God has not unleashed his anger upon the world because of sin. God's anger is going to be outpoured. The antichrist is going to be unrestrained. God's no longer going to hold him back.

He's going to say, do whatever you want to do. And number three, the unparalleled suffering of those who are left behind. We read about that in Revelation 9 and Revelation 16. The suffering of those left behind. Three great reasons right out of the word of God why Jesus said in verse 21, he said this is going to be a time of distress unequaled from the beginning of the world until now.

Why? Well, God's anger, the work of the antichrist, the suffering of tribulation saints. You want any more reasons for distress? But there's a second thing that's going to take place during this time. Not only will this be a time of great distress, but this will be a time of great deception.

I want you to look here with me because this is very important to understand. Remember that back in verse 16 and 17 and 18 and 19, Jesus gave a whole lot of instructions to those who were in the tribulation at the time of the abomination that causes desolation. What did he tell them? He said, flee to the mountains. He said, make haste. Hide in the cave. He said, pray.

Make hope that you're not pregnant or a nursing mother. Jesus gave a whole lot of instructions. Why was he telling this?

Folks, listen to me. What Jesus was saying is this, that when the abomination occurs that causes desolation, occurs that the people who are living at that time who originally were left behind, both the tribulation saints and those who still refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, they are going to become vulnerable like they have never been before. Vulnerability is the name of the game.

They are going to become vulnerable. Now how is this deception going to take place? Three ways Jesus tells us. Jesus actually tells us how this deception is going to take place.

Number one, it is going to take place by means of the spoken word. Now look with me at verse 23. Jesus says here, he says in verse 23, at that time, if anyone says to you, the first means of deception during that time is going to be the spoken word. Isn't that just like Satan today?

Remember folks, we're talking about the singular significance of Israel in the timeline of God, in the affairs of the world. Isn't that just like Satan today? Do you know that the number one means that Satan uses to deceive people like you and me is by means of the spoken word? Folks, we are surrounded by people talking.

Put on your television set. We're listening to speeches, left and right. How many times do you not say, I know that happened, man, he said it. Or she said it. Gossip is one of the most heinous means by which Satan capitalizes on the spoken word. You know when you go to school on Monday and you're in the cafeteria and someone walks up to you and says, have I got something to tell you? You should have seen what she did. I want to tell you this.

I've got an inside scoop here. Folks, avoid gossip. Pray that gossip would never be a part of your life. Satan will use the spoken word to assassinate, to break down, to deceive and destroy, just like that.

Never be a part of that. Watch your tongues. Here's what the apostle James said.

Your tongues are little instruments like that that can set a whole forest on fire. Just one word. Satan can use just one word to totally destroy the life of somebody else. Spoken word. That's the first means of deception. Isn't it ironic that the second means of deception is not only by means of the spoken word, but by means of their physical appearance.

Now listen to this. He says here in verse 24, he says for false Christs and false prophets, you ready for this? Will appear. Are we talking about end times? And Jesus himself says not only will this deception take the form of the spoken word, it's going to take the form and it's going to be carried by means of the physical appearance of false Christs and false prophets. It's a powerful and in some ways ominous teaching from Dr. Wilton, but our goal is not to frighten you, but to know that there is hope. You've heard Dr. Wilton as he's been preaching from the pulpit.

Now open your heart to what he wants to share from you from the studio. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today I repent of my sin and by faith I receive you into my heart in Jesus name. My friend, I welcome you today into the family of God.

This is exciting news. If you just gave your life to Christ, praying along with Dr. Wilton or perhaps rededicated your life, you need to know you're not alone. We are so excited to walk with you in the next steps of growing you in your faith. If you'll call us at 866-899-WORD, Dr. Wilton wants you to have these free resources. We'll send them out right away if you'll call 866-899-9673 and let us pray for you. Let Dr. Wilton pray for you.

It's one of the things he does every single week of praying over those requests that we hear from you. We would love to hear from you. You can connect online as well at tewonline.org. That's T-E-W online dot O-R-G.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-16 14:04:28 / 2023-06-16 14:14:44 / 10

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