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The King Reigns In His Kingdom Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
September 23, 2021 1:00 am

The King Reigns In His Kingdom Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 23, 2021 1:00 am

The nations will be at peace, and all war will cease. When Christ reigns on the earth, He will enforce a thousand years of peace on earth. He will prove Himself to be the greatest Ruler of humanity.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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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.

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. That's the millennium, a thousand years of enforced peace on earth under the rulership of Jesus. Today, what the millennium is all about. 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, do you believe the millennium will be a literal 1,000 years?

Dave, I really do. I realize that the book of Revelation is filled with symbolism, but at the same time, it says so expressly and clearly in Revelation chapter 20, it talks about reigning with Christ for a thousand years, and then it discusses what happens after that period of time. I know that prophecy can get very confusing, and it gets confusing when we think that we know exactly when things are going to take place. But God has given us enough truth that we can see that the future is going to be glorious for believers and terrifying for unbelievers.

I've written a book entitled The King is Coming, and I wrote it so that people would not only have a roadmap of the future, because as I mentioned, sometimes we may get the sequence wrong, but that we might know for certain that these events are going to take place, and they will impact us. For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours. Here's what you do.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for the book The King is Coming. I begin my message today with a question. When you pray, Thy kingdom come, in the Lord's Prayer, what are you praying for? What are you expecting God to do? What do you think this kingdom would be like if it were to ever come?

The idea of utopia is something that is in every human heart, and every generation has looked forward to utopia, all the way from the time when the word was invented by Thomas More in the year 1516, when he wrote a book entitled Utopia. Well, today I'm going to speak about utopia, it's coming, some things about it in God's time and in God's way, and we're also going to talk about your part in this utopia, so I want you to listen carefully. Today I have many passages of scripture to give you.

In some instances I will simply summarize them, and in other instances quote them, and then eventually we will turn together in the scriptures, but I need to do some background work first. In 2 Samuel chapter 7, God came to David and said something interesting. He said, David, after you there's going to be a son who's going to build the temple, and I will discipline him when he becomes evil, but in the end you will have to know that your house and your kingdom is going to endure forever.

Has that happened? House meaning genealogy and kingdom meaning territory over there in Israel where David ruled? I don't think so. When Jesus was born, when he was conceived in Mary's womb, you remember the angel said this to her. He said, he shall be great and shall be called the son of the most high, and the Lord God shall give on to him the throne of his father David, and he shall rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Has that been fulfilled? Has Jesus reigned over the house of David and over the tribe of Jacob? Has that happened?

I don't think so. Jesus has never ruled from Jerusalem. He's never ruled over the territory that David ruled over. What is this business of Jesus ruling on earth? You know, it's interesting that in the Old Testament you have chapter after chapter oftentimes devoted to this idea of utopia when the Messiah reigns. May I invite you, and you can if you wish, turn to Isaiah chapter 2 for just a moment. Isaiah chapter 2, you've read these passages and you've asked yourself the question, where do they fit? Isaiah chapter 2, it says, verse 2, it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains and shall be lifted above the hills.

All the nations will flow into it. The house of the Lord, speaking of Jerusalem, many people shall come and say, come, let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways. We may walk in his paths, for out of Zion, by the way, Zion is a poetic name for Jerusalem, for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He, Messiah, shall judge between the nations and shall decide disputes for many peoples, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

Most assuredly, that has not happened. You know what's interesting about verse 4? If you go to the United Nations building in New York and then you cross the street to the plaza where there is a wall, on that wall is inscribed one half of verse 4.

Not the whole thing, just the last half. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

That's all that's there. Obviously, they didn't include the first part, did they? That he, that is Christ, shall judge among the nations.

The United Nations may be doing many good things, but one thing they are not doing is trying to establish peace on our earth under the authority of Jesus. So they snatched the last part of verse 4, and then at the base of it, you simply say Isaiah. They didn't even give the reference, lest somebody happened to look it up and realize that it's a messianic passage. And that's why that wall is referred to today, and you can Google it on the internet.

It's referred to today as the Isaiah wall. Well, the scripture is going to be fulfilled, but it's going to be fulfilled when he, Jesus, judges among the nations. There are so many passages like this. I shall turn to another one, very briefly, Isaiah 11. It says, his delight, speaking of Christ in verse 3, shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see or decide disputes by what he hears here.

In other words, he's not going to govern by hearsay. But with righteousness, he will judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. He shall strike the earth with a rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips, he shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be on the belt, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. And then notice this, the wolf and the lamb shall dwell together. Another text says the lion and the lamb are going to lie down together.

Well, that isn't happening today. If you notice very carefully, today when the lion and the lamb lie down, when the lion gets up, the lamb is missing. The leopard shall lie down with a young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fatted calf together, and a little child shall lead them. What is Isaiah talking about? He's speaking about the rule of Jesus on earth, the coming kingdom.

Now what we have to do is to put this in context. If you've been with us, and this happens to be message number 8 in a series entitled When He Shall Come, you know that we have emphasized that it is best to see the return of Christ in two stages. First of all, Jesus comes for his church, and we are with him in glory.

Then Antichrist arises, and you have the tribulation period. You have the temple being built in Jerusalem. And as we learned last time, there's this glorious appearing of Jesus to the Mount of Olives, and the nation Israel looks on him whom they have pierced, and multitudes of Jewish people who are alive at that time recognize Jesus to be the Messiah, and they look on him whom they have pierced, and they believe. There are several reasons for the glorious return of Christ that we spoke about last time.

One reason is to judge the world because of its evil, and the judgment, as we learned, is terrifying. But there's another reason, and that is to establish the kingdom, to finally fulfill all the promises that God made all the way through the Old Testament about a coming golden age, about utopia with Jesus to reign. And so that's why he returns to Jerusalem to finally fulfill the promises.

Now when you look at it that way, you begin to understand here that this particular age, this particular age of the coming of Jesus, is very important. The topography of Jerusalem changes. We learned last time that the Mount of Olives splits in two. Jerusalem is exalted. It says Jerusalem is going to be on a plateau at that time. And what a kingdom it is going to be.

Now because we have to hurry, I have to answer another question. Who gets into the kingdom? Who gets into the kingdom? Well for this let's turn to Matthew chapter 25. Matthew 25, and I'm giving you time to find it. It's on page 831 if you have a Bible like mine.

Matthew is the first book of the New Testament. You'll notice it says in chapter 25 verse 31, when the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from the goats.

I understand that sheep and goats don't get along very well and sheep are usually quite docile whereas goats are very unruly. So this would be a familiar image and he will place the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. Then the king will say to those on his right, come you who are blessed by my Father and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from before the foundation of the world. And so there's going to be a separation at the end of the tribulation period when some people go into the kingdom and some do not.

Many people if we took time to read the text they think here that Jesus is changing his view of salvation because he says that you'll get into the kingdom because you did kind things to my brothers. They were in prison and you visited them. They were hungry and you fed them.

They were naked and you clothed them. So is that the way to get into the kingdom? We need to understand remember during the tribulation period there are those who do not take the mark of the beast. They are under persecution.

They are jailed. Many of them are killed and during that period of time many Jews are coming to recognize Jesus as Messiah and those Gentiles and others who recognize that these Jews are believing. If these Gentiles are believers they're going to do all that they can to support the Jews. They are going to bless them and what we find here is not the root of faith but the fruit of it showing that true faith always is seen by works. Those who took care of the Jews, who refused to take the mark of the beast, the Jews who believed on Jesus and trusted Jesus now recognizing him to be the Messiah, they obviously are in the company of those who are blessed because they too have put faith in Jesus Christ. Bottom line all those who enter into the kingdom will be believers but they'll be in their natural bodies. Now how are you all doing out there by the way? Is everybody still with me?

It's maybe a little bit like drinking from a fire hydrant today but I want you to stay with me because we've got some things to still share that will dazzle your imagination. What are some of the characteristics of this kingdom that we hear about? Well one of them is most assuredly that Jesus rules. I mean you can go to the Psalms and you can see that. Psalm 2, I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. All the way through God is talking about a time of utopia on earth when Jesus Christ rules. So Jesus rules.

The universe is partially lifted not totally lifted. There's another passage in Isaiah that says a child shall die when he is a hundred years old. That's obviously not a reference to heaven that's a reference to the kingdom and it means that there will be longevity.

In other words if you die at the age of a hundred you're dying young whereas today to die at the age of a hundred is to die very old and the lion and the lamb shall lie down together. There's not going to be any overt rebellion but eventually there will be and Jesus shall rule. By the way do you understand now that Christmas carol that all of us love joy to the world? I often sing it with a smile especially when we get to verse 3 and 4 because you see the joy to the world the first stanza can apply to the coming of Jesus in the manger in Bethlehem. Joy to the world the Lord is come let earth receive her King. But when you get to the other stanzas 2, 3, and 4 that's millennial reign of Jesus. Isn't it in stanza 4 it says he rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glory of his righteousness and the wonder of his grace. I don't think so I don't see that today when I read today's headlines Jesus is not making the nations prove anything he's being faithful to his people but that is millennial reign on earth. In fact another stanza says no more let sins and sorrows grow nor thorns infest the ground.

You've got to be kidding I'm a farmer's boy there are plenty of thorns infesting the ground. Those are millennial passages but we sing them at Christmas and it's fine to sing them but just let know that Isaac Watts was not only thinking about the first coming of Jesus but the second coming of Jesus in Bethlehem. Well folks now we get to the biggie it's time for you to take your Bibles and everybody has a Bible because everybody brings his or her Bible to church and we're in the 20th chapter of the book of Revelation and what a book it is. Now what we need to do is to read a few passages from the 20th chapter of Revelation chapter 19 we learned last time Jesus returns. Chapter 20 now follows with the millennial kingdom that we've been describing and all the promises of the Old Testament. It says then I saw an angel coming down from heaven holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain and he sees the dragon that ancient serpent who is the devil and satan and bound him for a thousand years and threw him into the pit and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended and then he must be released for a little while.

Wow take one time for us to stop. By the way when it says the pit that is not hell yet that is a holding place for evil spirits and satan I love this passage. An unnamed angel we don't know who in the world it is Jesus says to an ordinary angel hey come here I've got a job for you I'm going to empower you take satan and put him into the pit. Now undoubtedly the chain is probably symbolic but the point is he has a chain he has the key to the bottomless pit and all that the angel has to do is to say satan I'm under God's authority now come over here we've got a place for you you're going to be incarcerated for a thousand years come on get into the pit and satan says if God says that I have to do it don't you like that the absolute authority of Jesus and his angels over satan and when you read this six times you read for a thousand years have you ever wondered where did the idea come from that the millennial kingdom was a thousand years well it's in this passage what I am teaching you today is called premillennialism the word millennial referring to a thousand years premillennial means that Jesus returns before the millennium.

Now with that introduction let's go through the passage so one of the other characteristics of this period of time is that satan is bound by the way this is a parenthesis I read all millennial people who believe that we're in the millennium now that's one of the ways to explain it and I have in my library a book on counseling that says if you ever encounter someone who says that he's encountered a demon or the devil you can be sure he's wrong because this is the millennium and satan is bound anybody out there believe that I have to say today that if satan is bound in this era he's got a very long chain I need to tell you that. Now we believe this is future so we continue satan is bound and then there are a host of people who rule with Jesus verse four then I saw thrones and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Well my friend this is Pastor Lutzer I certainly hope that you listen to Running to Win next time so that you hear the conclusion of this message but at the same time I have to tell you that the future painted in the book of revelation for believers is awesome it has not only to do with triumph but ruling with Jesus Christ we can't really get our minds around it but when we are reminded of that it enables us to live successfully here on earth with biblical eternal values in view. I've written a book entitled the king is coming and I wrote it to encourage us and to help us to see not only that things are going to be very different as God wraps up history but also that we as individuals live differently.

For a gift of any amount this book can be yours here's what you do go to rtwoffer.com that's rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thank you so much for your interest in our ministry for your gifts for your prayers because together we're making a difference. Time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Susan is a faithful Running to Win listener she has some concerns for her family here are some of her questions. When Catholics pray to statues of Mary and various saints is this idolatry? What about when they put their trust in Marian apparitions instead of in God alone?

Some in my family say they believe both of these things are okay. I told them we are only to pray to God. Can they lose their salvation by doing this?

Susan I want to thank you so much for writing to ask this question and I can tell that it is a burden to your heart for your family. A couple of comments I'll take your question sort of phrase by phrase or line by line rather. First of all is it idolatry to pray to statues of Mary and the various saints? Well you know it says in Exodus chapter 20 that we should not make a graven image or bow down to it.

Now if you talk to our Roman Catholic friends they will tell you that they do not worship these images they only venerate them but it's a distinction that oftentimes is not practiced practically and you can tell this because sometimes images and objects even become good luck charms. Of course even in Old Testament times when they bowed before an image they knew that the image itself wasn't God but it represented God and I think the very same thing sometimes happens among our Roman Catholic friends. Then the other question is what about them putting their trust in Marian apparitions?

This is very unfortunate but you're right that happens. We must realize that Satan is so deceptive that if you're a Protestant he will appear to you as Jesus if you are a Catholic he may appear to you as Mary. We really can't trust these apparitions and I could say more about that and so we must be very careful. And then finally you say will this cause them to lose their salvation?

No if they are true believers they will not lose their salvation but there is a prior question that has to be answered and that is how does one become a true believer? Well certainly that does not happen by bowing before statues or believing apparitions. It comes about by trusting Jesus Christ alone as one's Savior. Christ alone as a free gift and so that's really the issue and that's where you need to keep the focus is how are we saved?

And once that becomes clear a lot of other things fall into place. Thanks again for writing. God bless you and I hope that you have a good day. Thank you Susan and thank you Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered go to our website at RTWOffer.com 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, IL 60614. One reason for peace during the millennium? Satan will be locked up for the whole time. Free from his mischief, the redeemed entering this wondrous era will find even nature changed as the lion dwells with the lamb. Next time on Running to Win, join us for more teaching on a literal thousand year reign of Jesus on earth. Thanks for listening to our series on the return of Christ. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-20 06:14:28 / 2023-08-20 06:23:18 / 9

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