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Hope That Ignites Your Heart – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
October 10, 2021 3:00 pm

Hope That Ignites Your Heart – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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He knows your deeds, remember? Even the things you do behind the scenes that nobody else sees. He knows your deeds.

And He's going to reward you Himself. You're listening to Anne Graham Lotz in her introduction to this week's message on Living in the Light. These past weeks have been an incredible journey in one of the most powerful books of the Bible, the Revelation. And Anne has been leading us step by step. She's been sharing her passion for God's Word in this eyewitness account by John of God's plan for our future.

Now if you've missed any of the previous programs, you can hear them at angramlotz.org. Now here's Anne with today's message, starting with a reminder from Revelation chapter 22, verse 6. I'm coming soon, He says.

And remember, these words are trustworthy and true. Do you believe He's coming soon? I mean, soon.

Matthew 24, Jesus told His disciples how to tell time because people come up to me and they say, Anne, hasn't every generation expected Jesus to come back in their lifetime? And I say, yes. And they say, so? And I say, so?

You know what? We're the only generation that has all of these signs within one generation. Everything that's been done necessary, all the prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before Jesus comes back in the rapture has been fulfilled.

And all the signs He gave in Matthew 24 are being fulfilled and have been in my lifetime. And so He calls them birth pains. If you go through the signs and you put them in the categories, but birth pains, as most of us know, start out maybe like a low back ache and then they wrap around and then they increase in frequency, five minutes, four minutes, three minutes, two minutes. And then as they increase in frequency, they increase in intensity, until at the end I was hollering I couldn't take one more pain and then the baby came. And Jesus is saying, when you see these signs, all of these typhoons, volcanic eruptions, floods, wars, false prophets, persecution, as it's increasing in frequency and increasing in intensity, meaning that it's record breaking.

You know, the record that was set last year is now broken by the record a month ago and that one is broken by the one that happened this week and we just see the increasing frequency and intensity. He says the baby is coming. The kingdom is at the door. But then He gave two signs that just nail it down. And one He gave the parable of the fig tree. I won't go into it, but I believe it's the rebirth of the nation of Israel. And He says that the generation that sees the rebirth of the nation of Israel is the generation that will see His return.

And then He says, My words are true. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away, not even a jot or a tittle. And He says that right after saying the generation that sees all of these things take place within one generation, including the rebirth of the nation of Israel, is the last generation.

And I was born the same month that Israel was reborn, May 1948. I'm 65 for those of you who are sitting there thinking. I believe it's my, whatever a generation is. My daddy said, Ann, what's a generation, 40 years, 70 years?

I said, Daddy, I don't know, but it's mine. You know, that's what Jesus said. And then to just clinch it, in verse 14 in Matthew 24, He said, Then the gospel of this kingdom will be preached in the whole world. He didn't say to the whole world, He said in the whole world. Maybe not everybody will hear it, but it will be preached in the whole world. And He says, Then the end will come. And today, the gospel is being preached in the whole world. If you don't get it in a live presentation, you can get it on the internet, radio, television, ham radio, in printed material, in your first language, second language, or third language, but it's being preached over the whole world. And I'll look at the things that have happened since World War II and my daddy's ministry, for one. And people say, Who will follow Billy Graham?

Nobody will follow Billy Graham. It's a phenomena. It's worldwide evangelism. And in the same time BGA, or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, was founded, so was Campus Crusade for Christ, and Young Life, and Youth for Christ, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Navigators and Intervars. Isn't it interesting? All of those organizations that got people into the Word and began to preach the gospel all over the world, and then that's not counting all the churches that have been sending missionaries, and now other nations who are sending missionaries, and the gospel is being preached to the whole world, and Jesus said, Then the end will come. So you say faithful to the Word. The message is true, and it's very timely, because I believe my generation is the last generation.

I believe we're living at the end of human history as we know it. All right, I'll qualify it. I could be wrong.

I don't think so. But let me tell you this. When I step into eternity, that's the end of the world for me, right? So I'm not going to be wrong. So live your life. Amen.

Live your life knowing that one day it's going to be over. And so you say faithful to the Word because it's true, and it's very timely. Jesus is coming either at your death or he's coming at his return, and because of my age, both are going to be soon. All right, the messenger. We've already talked about this. When you share the Word with others, you may be honored, and people may come up and thank you, and say how wonderful you are and how blessed they've been, and you'd be very quick to humbly say it's not me. It's the Lord. You point them to Jesus.

Would you do that? Corrie Ten Boom was a wonderful old Dutch lady. Have you read her story?

She hid the Jews during Nazi Germany, and she has the story that she told that afterwards she came out, because she hid the Jews and then she was put into concentration camp, had horrific suffering, and God spared her so that he could bring her out and she could share her story in a wonderful way. And she said that when people would come up to her after she had spoken, and they would say, Corrie, you're wonderful, and they'd sort of build her up, and she said she would just take their thanks and their praise and their blessings sort of like a flower, and then she would collect the flowers that were brought to her, and at the end of the day she would give her a bouquet to the Lord. And for myself, let me tell you something. When people give me that kind of praise and blessing, I don't wait until the end of the day.

I just, I mean, you might see me from time to time. People say, and I'm just giving my bouquet. I just wouldn't dare touch His glory, because I know, I know, like the wedding servants at Cana who saw the water go in, and they saw the wine come out, and they said, only the servants knew. This servant knows the water that goes in and the wine that comes out, and I know it's the Lord. So I would be very dishonest if I received the praise and the thanks and the blessing for myself. Do you understand?

So the same goes for you. When you preach, when you teach, when you're sharing the gospel, and people will make over you, and it can be tempting to think, you know, you're really special, and how wonderful you were and how, you know, whatever, and they're so really blessed to have you in the church and teaching that class and whatever. You know, I don't know what the thoughts are in your mind, but when you have those thoughts, you just bring them to the cross, and you acknowledge, God, it's you, and I want to point them to you. That's one reason we don't use too many personal illustrations in our messages, because we want to keep pointing people to Jesus.

Don't get them confused. And this angel was very honest, and when John fell down to worship the angel, he said, don't do that. I'm a servant like you, and people that stand on the platform are servants like anybody else. So be faithful to the word, and if you're a messenger, people may honor you, but you make sure that you stay humble. We're faithful to the word, and faithful because of the message, the messenger, the motivation to be faithful. Verse 10, the little phrase, the time is near, and that's a motivating factor. Time is running out, and we're not going to have maybe tomorrow to share the word, to even read the word ourselves, and to apply it, and to live it out, and to correct some things, and be obedient to some things, and there are times when I just thank Jesus, thank you that you haven't come yet, because I need to change this, and I need to get this straight, and I need that relationship reconciled, and I want to witness to that person.

I just want to see if one more time I can get him to Christ, and I want to see that person set free, you know. But time is running out. The time is near, and I believe the time is now.

In verse 11, he says that verse, that him who does wrong continue to do wrong, that him who is vile continue to be vile, that him who does what's right continue to do right, let him who is holy continue to be holy, and I think he's just saying at the end of this book, if the revelation of Jesus Christ doesn't make an impact on a person's life, if the gospel, after it's being shared from Genesis to Revelation, doesn't get through, if it doesn't lead the rebellious to repentance, if it doesn't lead sinners to salvation, if it doesn't lead the religious to relationship with God, then God has nothing more to say. He has said it, and I believe the time is now. Now is the day of salvation, and I'm just wondering if there is somebody here who is still resisting the cross for whatever reason, and you're still resisting humbling yourself, maybe because of pride, maybe you're rebellious, maybe you're just, you know, so set in your ways and the way you were raised and your traditions, you can't get over that mental block, but today is the day of salvation for you, and I'm telling you, do not leave until you know that you know that you are saved. The time is now.

There may not be another time like this. And you know the Bible says that if today is a salvation and you hear the message and you hear the invitation and you don't respond and you leave, then next time you hear the gospel message, there's like a shell over your heart, and so you're just not quite as clued in, and the next time there's another shell, another layer, until your heart is hard and you can't repent. Your heart is too hard. So if God has spoken to you, and I know how I pray, if there's somebody here that he has stirred your heart, and you're afraid because you're going to have to reject so much of the way you were raised and so much of the way you've been trained and so much of your thinking process, but listen to me, let God break down those walls. Let the barriers fall and you just embrace Jesus like a child. The time is near and the time is right now for salvation. And the time is now for you and me to share the gospel. We may not have another minute to share the gospel.

I remember an evangelist at Amsterdam sharing something of his testimony and he was in Africa and he was leading a revival and he shared the gospel one night, but he didn't give the invitation because he thought I'll come back tomorrow night and I'll give the invitation tomorrow night and I don't want to overkill it. On his way home, some bandits stopped him. They beat him almost to death. They left him beside the road.

He was three months in the hospital. He never got back to finish his revival and he said he learned a lesson. He would never again not give an invitation because he didn't have that chance again. So when you have the opportunity, you take it. You may not have it again. Oh, I've got so many instances in my life of failure when I had the opportunity and I didn't take it. And I'll tell you what, it's the most miserable thing to live with and I have had to go back and back and back to the cross because the pain of wondering what would have happened had I shared the gospel, who would have come to Christ had I done it.

Maybe they wouldn't have, but I don't know that because I never shared. So the time is near and the time is now. Don't miss the opportunity. So we're to be faithful to the word and faithful to the work and you can be faithful with expectancy.

Do the work expectantly. Verse 12, it says, Behold, I'm coming soon. My reward is with me. You know, my daddy traveled a lot when I was growing up and whenever he came home, he brought us a prize. And I learned later, of course, it was just something he picked up in the airport, something in the little gift shop at the hotel, so a little stuffed animal or a little toy or just, but it was something we got so excited about.

When our daddy came through the door, we welcomed him, but we were looking in his suitcase to see what the prize was. And when Jesus comes back, he's going to have prizes with him, crowns to give you a reward for your life's work that's like gold, silver, precious stones. And you're going to have the joy of taking the crown, the prize that he gives you and laying it at his feet.

So you do the work with expectancy. It's going to be rewarded. He knows your deeds, remember? Even the things you do behind the scenes that nobody else sees, he knows your deeds and he's going to reward you himself. And you're going to say it was worth it. And so we do the work expectantly.

We do it seriously. In verse 14, Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life. Only those who have washed their robes, only those who have been to the cross, only those who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, only the ones who have humbled themselves and come like a little child, put all their trust in Jesus.

They're the ones who have washed their robes. They're the only ones who have the right to the tree of life. The tree of life is eternal life. Jesus said eternal life is knowing God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit in a personate, passionate, permanent relationship. Eternal life is not just going to heaven. Eternal life is your relationship with God, which is heaven. And I know heaven is a place, but eternal life is not just being in heaven.

Heaven, it's knowing God and having him know you. And you go through the gates into the city. You can walk through those pearly gates with absolute confidence that you're welcome. You don't have to be afraid. You don't have to be unsure. You don't have to be hesitant.

You don't have to stumble. You can just walk right in because you're the Father's child. When I go home, there's a big fence around the property, a gate the ordinary person can't get through. I come, let them know I'm coming, and the gate rolls back. Because I'm the Father's child and when we go home, the gates are going to be wide open and we can walk right in because our robes have been washed and we're the Father's child and he's expecting us and we don't have to hesitate. We don't have to be questioned.

We just walk right in. But outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, everyone who loves and practices falsehood. If you look back to chapter 21, verse 8, cowardly, unbelieving, those who just don't believe the Bible is true, don't believe the gospel, don't believe the cross is the only way to God, don't believe Jesus is the Son of God, a good man but not the unique Son of God, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral. We get all hung up on homosexuality but any immorality outside of marriage between a man and a woman.

Sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, idolaters, liars, liars are put in that list. Their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur, that's the second death. First death is when you die physically, the second death is when you die spiritually and you go to hell. I'm going to take a minute and I'm going to run you through hell, okay? I mean a description of it.

Sorry. And the reason I want to do this is in case anybody here tends to be apathetic or complacent. We want to take doing the work seriously because it's life and death business. Hell is a real place. The Bible, I won't give you the verses but the Bible describes hell as a place of great suffering, weeping, gnashing of teeth.

The only time I gnashed my teeth was in childbirth because I hurt and it's a place of pain, physical torment. Heaven is a place where there's pain and there's romance. Heaven is a place where there's no more suffering or death or mourning or crying or pain. Hell is described as a bottomless pit.

If I fell into a bottomless pit I would be terrified because you never feel like you're going to land. You just always feel insecure and scared and heaven is a place that is safe and secure within those 200 foot walls. Hell is described as a lake that undulates and changes and you never feel secure with 12 foundations absolutely stable, unshakable. Hell is described as a place of total darkness where the sun never rises, it never shines.

People say, you know, I want to go to hell because all my friends are there. We're going to have a party and all your friends may be in hell but you'll never see them because it's dark. One of the worst parts of suffering is at night when everything is dark and there's nothing to distract you from the pain and the agony and the hopelessness and the fear and the memories. And when you go to hell it's dark and there's nothing to distract you from your physical torments and the spiritual torments and the memories and the pain and total darkness. Heaven is a place where there's no more nights.

There's no darkness at all. Hell is a place where you're all alone. It's like solitary confinement. Heaven is a place where the kings of nations bring their glory into it and God's children gather together and we worship him and we have fellowship with him. Hell is described as a place of fire which would be intense thirst, dissatisfaction, always feeling you were created for something but you never get it, always hungry for something and you're never satisfied. And heaven is described as a place where there's a river of life that flows continuously that brings healing. Worst of all, hell is a place that's totally devoid of God's presence. So you're created by God and for God and you're completely separated from him. And heaven is a place where you'll see God's face and you'll never be separated from him. He puts his name on your forehead and leads you into your heavenly home and you live with him forever.

So do the work seriously. Seriously. That's one reason we see that judgment so patient and there was that pause and that progression and that precision as God was warning the world, just restraining himself because he knows what hell is like. And he knows how long eternity is and he doesn't want anybody to go there. And you and I, we have the heart of God.

We don't want anybody to go there either. So who are you going to share the gospel with? Who do you know who's going to hell right now? And you know God doesn't send anybody down. He did the antichrist and the beast but we send ourselves there when we reject his salvation. In fact, there's a thought in the last verse of chapter 21. It says, nothing impure will enter heaven or anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. When you come to the cross and you receive Christ by faith, your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. But there's another book and everybody who's ever born into the human race, the name is recorded there and Jesus died for the whole world so could it be that he died for the whole world and everybody in the world who's ever born into the human race is saved. But if they don't come to the cross and claim that salvation, when they step into eternity, their name is blotted out, erased from the book. That's a solemn thought. I get to heaven and they open up the book and they see my name is underneath going to be a blank space because I didn't share the gospel with somebody who was saved but they never knew it and they didn't accept it and they didn't claim it and so their name was blotted out.

We do the work seriously. We don't want anybody to go to hell and we do it confidently. In verse 16, I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. You have the full authority of the Son of God. There's no one with higher authority in the whole universe. You're his ambassador. People say you have to earn the right to share the gospel with somebody. No, you don't.

He earned the right. You have to earn the gospel and maybe you won't do it right. Maybe somebody will be offended. Maybe somebody will ask you a question you can't answer.

You just keep on doing it because we do it dependently. In the next verse it says, the Spirit and the bride say come. Let whoever is thirsty come. When you share the gospel, you're not alone.

The Holy Spirit is in you and drawing that person to Jesus. I love the story about the woman at the gas pump. Didn't you love that?

He's just pumping gas and says you must go in to get your payment or something. He goes in and he finds this Muslim woman who for 40 years has been having dreams about Jesus. Isn't it amazing? We can just say for 40 years, where are all these other people that should have been sharing the gospel? Thank God Tom showed up.

Finally, it took you a long time, Tom. When he shared the gospel, it's just like she just fell off of a tree. She was so right because the Spirit was working in her and working through Tom. And it was a thing that Tom and the Spirit did together and she was born again, do you see? And so sometimes we don't know who the Spirit's been working in, right? So you just share the gospel with everybody.

You'll come across somebody once in a while. You know the disciples fished all night and they pulled up the net and there was no fish and then Jesus said throw it on the other. He told them where to go fish. So just ask him. Ask him every morning. Give him an opportunity today to draw somebody to Jesus, to tell somebody about the cross, to tell somebody the gospel. Just pray. Go through your day with your eyes open looking for those opportunities. And you take them. And if it doesn't seem to work, then you just pray and you go on to the next person. Just keep fishing.

Now here's Ann with this final word. Why are you and I so preoccupied with our own happiness and celebration in Christ that we're oblivious to a lost and dying world? To the woman seeking love in multiple marriages and relationships, the Spirit says come. Come to the well of living water that satisfies so you will never thirst again. To the man who's a workaholic striving so hard to achieve the good life and provide comfortably for his family yet never seeming to have enough, the Spirit says come. Come to the bread of life and eat until you're filled. To the one who is burdened with a heavy load of sin and guilt, the Spirit says come. Come to the Savior who died to cleanse you of all sin and absolve you of all guilt. To the one who's been abused, abandoned, attacked, and takes pills to get up in the morning and pills to make it through the day and more pills again at night to sleep, He says come. Come to the light of the world who can turn your dark night of depression and despair into day. To the one who's consumed with worry, suffering from panic attacks, He says come. Come to the Prince of Peace who will give you peace that passes all understanding. Who relayed the invitation to you to come to Jesus?

When did you respond? To whom have you issued the invitation? The vision of the glory of Jesus helps us to be faithful in our witness because it makes us aware that any moment the one who is Lord and King may return for His bride and those who do not belong to Him will be left to endure His judgment. How many people do you know who would come under the judgment of God if Jesus were to return today?

Name them. How many people will be saved from judgment because you are faithful to extend to them His invitation to come? Make it a priority to be faithful to invite people to come to Jesus now. You've been listening to Living in the Light and when you go to Ann Graham Lot's .org there are free resources to help you in your study of God's Word. Ann's desire is that you embrace a God-filled life step-by-step, choice-by-choice, living in the light.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-12 13:45:24 / 2023-08-12 13:57:08 / 12

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