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Preparing For The Day Of Calamity Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
June 24, 2021 1:00 am

Preparing For The Day Of Calamity Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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June 24, 2021 1:00 am

Many people watch the stock market like a hawk. Some get nervous when the price of gold drops. We all need money. But one day the money we crave will be no more. One day, all that gives us security will vanish, and that is the day of final judgment. Then, who we are before God will be all that matters.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Money, we all need it, but one day the money we crave will be no more. One day all that gives us security will vanish, and that's the day of final judgment.

Then what we are on the inside will be all that matters. Today, preparing for the Day of Calamity. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, today you'll speak again on famines, deserts, and other hard places. Is it a certainty that a Day of Calamity will come for us? Dave, that's a very interesting question for this reason. Just last night, Rebecca and I had in our home someone who makes a lot of money playing the stock market.

Now that's something I would not even possibly venture. But the simple fact is, I reminded him that oftentimes there are financial collapses, and in that sense, yes, I think that a Day of Calamity is coming. But there is something even worse, and that is the Day of Calamity when people die unprepared.

That is the big calamity. And what James wants us to understand is the need to be ready for that day, to have our priorities straight, that we might die a winner. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Win. It's because of you that we can spread the good news of the gospel around the world.

Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. I know you need more info, so here's what you do. Go to That's Click on the endurance partner button. Of course, RTWOffer is all one word.

Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let us listen carefully as we think through life to the very end. My friend John Ortberg wrote a book entitled When It's All Over, Everything Goes Back Into the Box.

And it does, doesn't it? When I was young, I used to play Monopoly, and because I was the last person in our family, the youngest, brothers and sisters weren't there. I used to sometimes play against myself to see who would win.

And John Ortberg also does something else that I want to do today, and I hope that you have a good enough sense of humor and you're a good enough sport to do it. Would you take out your wallet just like I'm taking mine out? Take it out of your pocket. Ladies, what I want you to do is to go into your purse, find that bucket of credit cards, and just take it out and look at it. You know, you can run your finger along the wallet and think of how much money means to you and what you would do if you only had more and what you would do now that you only have less money.

Because it represents our life, doesn't it? Now I want you to do something else. Give your wallet or your credit cards to the person sitting next to you. Would you do that, please? Let them hold it for a moment. I see a husband who is gingerly giving it to his wife. You see, what I want you to do is to hold somebody else's wallet, and then what we're going to do is we're going to have an offering, and finally you can be generous.

I think if we voted on that, there'd be a plurality. Money means so much to us. By the way, if you don't have your wallet in your hands, give it back to the person to whom it belongs. Today what I'm going to do is to speak about the time when all the toys will go back into the box. When there's not going to be one dollar, one dime, one euro, one yen, one pound of sterling, it will all be gone forever. There are two different days of calamity that I could speak about. Let me tell you about the next message in this series, is a day of calamity, and the title is Faith at the Breaking Point, and I'm going to discuss with you the one world order, how all of the nations of the world are going to be unified with one currency and one world order, and then the question we're going to ask is this.

If your life and family were at stake, would you still be willing to be true to Jesus Christ? That's next time. And then what we're going to do is we're going to have a prayer for the entire church.

We're going to end with it. A prayer, I should say, that delivers all of us from fear of the future. Maybe after that message we'll really need that prayer even more than we do today. But today I speak about a different day of calamity.

I'm talking about the day of final judgment on this planet, when everything will go back into the box, because someday it will all be gone. I want you to take your Bibles and turn to James chapter 5, and actually we're going to begin in the last part of James chapter 4. There is a discussion among commentators as to whom James is actually writing about in this section of scripture. Clearly he is attacking the rich, not because riches in itself is wrong, but he's attacking those who love riches more than they love God, and who acquired it fraudulently. That's who he's writing about. But I have no doubt that there are some people who were within his church, to whom that applied, but also there's a lesson there for us as Christians, and of course it's something that certainly applies to those who are outside the church for sure.

But James is aiming for both audiences. And what he does is here, he gives us five warnings, five dangers when it comes to wealth, and he warns us that someday everything will be over in graphic terms, as we shall see in the scripture. The first danger that we have is this, ignoring God in our business. I'm now in chapter 4, verse 13, come now you who say today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year and trade there and make a profit. Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life?

For you are like a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say if the Lord wills we will live and do this and that. You boast, and your boasting is evil.

Wow. Here are businessmen who are planning their business plan for the future, and they are going to go into different places. They are going to trade, and they're going to make money, and they're acting as if their money is theirs and not God's.

They don't even acknowledge him. Remember the rich fool Jesus spoke about who built barns and said I of course have much grain, and so he built bigger barns, and then God said to him you fool today your soul is demanded from you. Man, that's what the Greek text says.

Today your soul is demanded. You're acting as if there is no God. You're acting as if God didn't give this to you. I'm thinking of two men, true stories, wealthy farmer, bought much land, couldn't buy enough, couldn't make enough money. God gave him crops, hoarded it all, and then suddenly boom found dead in his pickup truck. His soul was demanded of him. He lived as if God didn't matter, and then I'm thinking of someone in real estate who bragged about the millions of dollars he made to sell all of his holdings, and then someone asked him for $25 to support a youth ministry that was having an impact in the youth of the city, and he said oh that's sure a lot of money.

I really don't think so. I'd like to, but I do give some money to the church dead in his own home. Soul demanded of him. He claimed to be a Christian.

I don't believe he was. I believe that to be that stingy you have to be unconverted. How can anyone stand in the presence of Christ who redeemed you and gave his life for you, and you make millions of dollars, and then you quibble over $25,000 instead of saying Lord you gave this to me.

How can I use this for the kingdom? He should have gotten a committee together, and the committee should say to itself how can we best spend this money to promote the gospel? Wait a moment now you businessmen who act as if God doesn't exist. Your life is a vapor.

It is here for a moment, and then it is gone, and then what? First danger, ignoring God. Second danger in the text is in chapter five, and that is hoarding wealth. Hoarding wealth.

Come now you rich. Weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver have eroded, and their corrosion, their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. Well in those days there were three different ways that you maintained your wealth. They didn't have banks like we do today, so one was the produce of the field, and you know there was grain and there were vegetables and so forth, and so what they would do is keep them in their barns trying to keep them as well as they could, but James says they are rotting. The second way in which to keep wealth was clothes, garments, robes.

This was very important. All throughout the scripture you can trace the importance of a robe and the importance of clothes as belonging to the wealthy and a form of investment. James says you have all of these clothes and the moths are eating them. Why are you using your clothes as to feed moths? Ah you say the problem with clothes is they get old. Produce rots, but gold and silver. Don't we all wish that we had some at today's prices because at last we'd have something that is stable, something that we can depend upon, something that is there for us in the day of our calamity, right? And James says you know your silver and your gold they are rusting, they're corroding.

You say well that's not possible. The reason these metals are so precious is because they don't corrode. James is using this to try to get the rich to see that no matter how much you hoard at the end of the day in the final calamity it will not help you.

It will not help you. You'll notice that it says this in the book of Ezekiel. They put on sackcloth and horror covers them.

Shame is on all the faces. They cast their silver into the streets. Their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. The end of the day the form of monetary investment that is most solid, gold and silver, will rust and it will not help you. By the way the next verse says they cannot satisfy their hunger. You can't eat gold and silver.

In the end it will not save you. But these people were hoarders and they acted as if as long as we've got lots as if it's going to last forever or as if they aren't going to have to confront God in the day of judgment. That's the second danger is to hoard their wealth.

The third is misusing workers. Now we get to the whole issue of why James is so upset and uses such strong language. Because it's not just that they acted as if God didn't exist and they hoarded their wealth but there was something else going on. They became rich by exploiting the poor. James says verse 4 behold the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields which you kept back by fraud are crying out against you and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. In the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 24 and elsewhere and I'll simply paraphrase it for you. God very clearly says that if you have day workers you see in those days there would be like a place where men would go where they could be hired for the day. It says clearly pay them before the sun goes down because they are poor and they have families to feed and you need to make sure that you keep your promise to them.

If you say that you're going to give them a denarius they get a denarius at the end of the day and do it before the sun sets. They need it for their families and for food and these wealthy landowners didn't do that. They exploited the workers. They made money off of them and then they didn't pay them and God says that the cry of these workers has been heard by God. The Lord of hosts, the Lord of armies, God is listening to all of this injustice. So it's one thing to be wealthy it's another thing to be wealthy and having acquired your wealth by theft and robbery and fraud and God is watching said James.

Wow there's another danger and that is the danger of personal ease and you'll notice it there in the text. Verse five what were the wealthy doing? You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You know you've got all this money the people over there are starving but you don't care about them. You're enjoying your luxury. The Greek text actually means living a life of softness.

I think we understand that. Pretty cushy but you don't care about the needs of others. No and he says you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

I remember I'm a farm boy we used to fatten cattle fatten calves for the day of slaughter and what you do is you give them lots of food lots of grain hay that you know that they will like and you just put it everywhere to remind them eat whenever you want to and they do and they are fattened for the day of slaughter. James says that all of the things that you are doing are actually culminating to the day when God is going to judge you and your judgment will be more severe because you exploited workers you used your money on yourself and you didn't care about anyone else especially the poor who are crying up to God whom you defrauded. John MacArthur says blind to heaven death to warnings of hell insensitive to the impending day of slaughter and judgment the unrepentant selfish indulgent hoarders stumble blindly to their doom. That's why I entitled this message the day of calamity that day of calamity not a day of calamity for those of us who know Christ I'll mention that in a moment but there is a final warning and by the way notice what James says verse six you have condemned you have murdered the righteous person he does not resist you the Greek word condemned actually is a word that was used for the law courts. James is saying that you know you use the courts against the poor that's not a new idea is it especially in this very litigious society we're constantly we're in lawsuits everybody wants their own thing I'll sue you because of this and this and this and so what you're doing is you're using the courts to continue to oppress the poor and he says they do not resist you and the reason is how can they.

Now we read this through 21st century eyes and we ask ourselves why wasn't James telling them what to do they should organize they should go to court they should have unions and if they unionized and unions have done a lot of good in terms of helping people to get what is their due we may argue whether or not they've overstepped their boundaries but basically a good concept in those days there wasn't anything like that all that you had was crops all that you had was day workers during the harvest time during the planting and oftentimes after those things were over there wasn't much to do they had no recourse at all and James says they're not resisting you and you're taking advantage of them and James appears to be very angry at what is happening because he knows how desperately wrong that is. Yes and I might say that James goes on to talk about the fact that God is going to even the score one of the things that we have to recognize is that the kind of events we see in this world it's not the end of the story eventually everything will come out at the supreme court the supreme court of the universe. I believe that many of you are blessed by the ministry of running to win and it's because of people like you who have invested in this ministry they help us tremendously as we get the gospel of Jesus Christ to so many people. I hold in my hands a letter from someone who talks about the fact that our ministry is a source of comfort when he is under temptation and when he is sinning that God gives him the grace to confess his sins.

It's amazing where radio goes into thousands upon thousands of places that we never hear about. Thank you for standing with us. Endurance partners are those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts.

As I mentioned before the message it's because of people like you that we can get the gospel to so many. You need information of course. Here's what you do go to click on the endurance partner button click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let me thank you in advance for helping us. Thanks for holding our hands.

Go to the phone 1-888-218-9337. Time now for another chance for you to ask pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Some of our Running to Win listeners have gone through unspeakable trials of their faith. Mildred is among them.

This is her story and her question. One of our disgruntled employees went on a shooting spree and killed some of our employees including my husband. The murderer engaged in a shootout with police and they killed him. Do you Dr. Lutzer believe that this mass murderer is walking the streets of heaven with my husband?

Well Mildred first of all I want to extend my compassion and my concern. Certainly you've gone through a time of tremendous anger unanswered questions for your dear husband to die so senselessly and you know more and more we're having those kinds of experiences particularly in our schools where students are bringing guns to school and shooting their classmates. We live in a very violent world but if I could also give you a word of encouragement you have to remember that Jesus also died a very violent death. He came to this world and he was crucified and he reminded us of the fact that crime has always been a part of the human race ever since the fall of Adam. Now at the same time in answer to your question as to whether or not this mass murder is walking the streets of heaven I have to say that ultimately I do not know. I suspect most assuredly that he isn't because I don't think that a Christian would commit such a horrendous crime but Mildred let's just look at it for a moment through the eyes of grace. Let us suppose that you arrive in heaven and discover that the murderer is there. What would your response be? Well of course if we were in heaven and we saw him we would rejoice. We would rejoice because of God's unspeakable grace. Does he deserve to be there?

Most assuredly not. He should be in hell but then again we all should be and so even though I suspect that he isn't there with your husband if he were it would only make us sing more loudly amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. So it's very important though for you Mildred to lay down your sense of bitterness and hatred if you haven't already done that so that you can be free and so that no matter how many years God still gives you you may experience his blessing and his freedom. Thanks for writing sister. God's grace be with you. Thank you Mildred and thank you Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

That's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60614. Lots of people stash away cash in case the day of calamity comes. James talks a great deal about economic justice for the poor telling us that one day our gold and silver will not buy anything. Next time some stark lessons for a future that may be just around the corner. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-27 05:36:39 / 2023-09-27 05:45:09 / 9

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