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The King Judges Those Left Behind – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2024 1:00 am

The King Judges Those Left Behind – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 15, 2024 1:00 am

The Bible tells us that God is long-suffering. He withholds His rightful judgment for a time but not forever. In this message, Pastor Lutzer takes an honest look at what’s ahead for a world that has rejected Jesus. Numerous judgments of God will fall on the earth, but even then, people will not repent.

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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. During the Great Tribulation, numerous judgments of God will fall on the earth, but even then, mankind will not repent. Jesus spoke about this in Matthew chapter 24. Today we learn what's ahead for a world that has rejected Jesus. 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, take us again into Matthew chapter 24, a prophecy of a future time of fearful judgment. Dave, I've often read Matthew chapter 24 and realized indeed that it predicts a fearful judgment, and Jesus made the statement that the judgment and the suffering is going to be greater than anything that has ever come upon the earth before.

Sobering. You know, as you listen to these messages, many of you perhaps have listened to one or two or parts of the message, and I understand that. But for a gift of any amount, these messages can be yours in permanent form. Here is what you do. Go to

That's, or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337. Remember, the sermon series is The King is Coming. Now we get into some other matters that I hope to make clear to you. Are you still with me there out there?

Anybody's with me? I know that this can get a little complicated, but as you listen to this series and we are like taking pieces of a puzzle and putting it together, it will make sense. I think I can promise that to you, not with the same kind of promise that God gives us eternal life, but I think we can see our way clear as to how this might fit together. Now Jesus said this in verse 15, so when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel standing in the holy place, let the reader understand, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. What is Jesus talking about here?

The abomination of desolation. I want you to accept this scenario for now without me taking a lot of time to prove it, and that is that in Daniel chapter 9, you have a man who is known as the prince who shall come, who clearly seems to be the antichrist. He makes a covenant with Israel that apparently guarantees their peace. At last, we have somebody who can step into the Middle East and who can say to Israel, war is over because I have enough power to guarantee your existence. So during that period of time, there is a period of relative peace.

Nations begin to come together and because of his power, there is some stability in the world. During this period of time, there is so much stability that even the temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt. Now if you ask me the question, how can there possibly be a temple in Jerusalem when the Dome of the Rock is standing right there? How can there be a temple next to it? Well, my answer is that the message that I will give next time may give a plausible explanation to that.

But now let's look at the text. What is the abomination that makes desolate? Well, we discovered that in the middle of the tribulation period, the antichrist finally shows his true colors. He goes to Jerusalem. He goes into that temple. He proclaims himself to be God. An image is set up in the temple that everybody is supposed to worship.

It's really a living image, an image that comes to life. And people all over the world as we shall see wander and say to themselves, look at what this beast has done. And they begin to worship him. And that is the abomination of desolation. That is the ultimate insult to God that for a little while Satan has what he's always wanted, namely to duplicate God. And now he receives the worship of a great deal of the percentage of the people living on the earth. Some don't.

Many do. And at last, Satan has his place right in the sanctuary of God. That's what Jesus means when he says the abomination of desolation in the holy place. The temple evidently has been rebuilt.

And Paul seems to confirm that in 2 Thessalonians where he says that the antichrist goes into the temple and proclaims himself to be God. So here we have this abomination of desolation, the ultimate sacrilege. Now Jesus goes on and he says, when this happens, flee. He says, verse 16, let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house. Let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. Alas, for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days, pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be, and here's the phrase now, great tribulation such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now and no never will be. What's Jesus saying? He is saying that when antichrist does that, ground zero of the Holocaust that is about to begin is going to be Jerusalem. Get out of Jerusalem. That's where the persecution is going to be of antichrist.

That's where the judgments are going to be headed. Flee and do it as quickly as you possibly can. You say, well, if they do it, how are they going to live in the mountains?

You know, don't even take any cloak with you or a coat or don't get your suit. In the book of Revelation chapter 12, there's a very interesting story about Israel. Israel is likened onto a woman and the Bible says that God takes that woman and takes her to the mountains and guards her and keeps her. God in some sense will protect Jewish believers during this period of time and perhaps protecting many members of the Jewish nation as they flee Jerusalem for the hills because the Bible says there in Revelation 12 that he'll do it for three and a half years.

And so they are to flee. Pray that your flight not be in winter. Pray it not be on the Sabbath because you see sacrifices will have begun at this temple, which incidentally the antichrist is going to stop because now there don't have to be any sacrifices.

He is God. And it could be that many Jews who are committed to Judaism because they believe that you shouldn't travel on a Sabbath today will create a great deal of hindrance for those who want to flee the city. Now it is during this period of time that you can take all of the judgments of the book of Revelation and you can put them right here during this three and a half year period. All of the things that you read about all happen as far as we know during this period of time. That's why Jesus says so clearly. He says that there will be tribulation such as never been in the world and will never be again. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved.

But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. You see, God needs people to go into the millennial kingdom in their earthly bodies. God wants to have people who are saved to the end of time rather than dying. And so the tribulation is cut short because if not, you read Revelation and you're not surprised when Jesus said no human being would be saved unless God intervened. And then Jesus said, if someone says to you, look, here's Christ.

No, there he is. Jesus said, don't believe it. Why do you think there is another emphasis here on false Christs? Well, here is Antichrist who proclaims himself to be God. And he has all kinds of emissaries who are running around saying, he is God there in the temple, but I'm his Christ. And Jesus said, don't believe it.

I love this. He says, if somebody says, well, he's here in the wilderness, don't even go out. If they say, look, he's in an inner room.

Don't believe it. Because this time when Jesus comes, you won't have to look for him. He's coming to you.

Notice what the text says. Verse 27, for as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will the coming of the son of man be. Verse 29, immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be dark and the moon will not give its light. The stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heaven will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the son of man and all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet and they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to another.

Four winds means north, east, south, and west from all the different areas of the world. It takes your breath away, doesn't it? Jesus is going to come. And if I haven't told you this already, as you might guess, a future message in this series is just on this glorious return of Christ because this is only one passage where it is mentioned. And so during this period of time, there is the glorious return of Jesus. What do we make of all of this?

What is the bottom line? What should this spring out into our minds as we read the text of this very solemn message? All this week, I had heaviness in my heart as I was studying this passage.

Because you know, it's easy to speak about it, but it is difficult if you want to actually take it in and think about the future. So a couple of observations are very necessary. First, the severity, the severity of God's wrath and anger against sin. Even in evangelical circles today, there is this idea that we should just emphasize the positive. How Jesus can make you a better husband, a better father, a better businessman, how he can partner with you in your vocation.

Yeah, he's all that. But we have domesticated God. We have taken God and we have made him into our image. We have made a God that we can live with who, yeah, he doesn't like sin, but he's not that upset as a result of it. We love grace. And grace is absolutely wonderful.

And some people think it's kind of nice to have it. Please listen to me today when I say that the reason that grace for many people is not very amazing is because God's anger against sin is not very amazing. So if you have a God who's very tolerant of sin, who puts up with it and winks at it, you need grace maybe, but you can probably do without it. You see, the reason that the gospel is so wonderful is because of the fact that Jesus bore the wrath of God for us and God really hates sin and is angry about sin. Old Testament, New Testament, the wrath of God, the wrath of God, the wrath of God, and we have made God into somebody who is very happy with the way we are. So something that comes out to me and the extent of human suffering that is going to take place on this planet defies imagination. Simply read the plagues of Revelation. And as Jesus said, tribulation such has never been and never will be on planet earth again.

What a future. And remember, he said this must come to pass. There's a second lesson and that is, this just comes at me as I read the Bible and especially these passages. And that is what I want to call the great separation, the great separation.

The Bible always has the great separation. You go to the Garden of Eden and there are two trees. You find out that there are two sons. One is Jacob, the other is Esau, and they go in different directions. One saved, the other lost. You get to the New Testament and there are two different paths, a narrow path that leads to life and a broad way that leads to judgment.

You find out, as we shall, perhaps have opportunity to comment on in a future message, you have the sheep and you have the goats. And I want to say, where's everybody kind of who fits in the middle? Where's the middle here? You know, where's somebody who, yeah, he's never trusted Christ as Savior, but he's pretty good.

Where does he go? I mean, he's not wicked. And yet you read this and there is no middle. You're either on the side of Jesus because you've trusted him or you're on the other side.

Good though you may be in your own eyes. It's just that clear. The great divide, the great separation. Today, here at the Moody Church, if we could see into your hearts or if I could see into your heart if you're listening by some other means, the audience to whom I am speaking is divided and only God knows where the division comes. It's divided between those who will go into everlasting life, the Bible says, and then the others everlasting damnation.

It's one or the other. So I have to ask you today, are you sure that you know that you have believed in Jesus in such a way that indeed he has forgiven your sin, you've come under his protection so that the wrath of God that may no longer abide on you? That comes to you from my heart, hopefully to your heart, because we're talking here about very serious matters. Jonathan Edwards is frequently criticized because of his sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

In a different context, I quoted most of his sermon to you. I shall not do that today, but I do want to remind you of that story that comes to us from the prairie. You remember the days when prairie fires were devastating to farms and to old homesteads because if the grass went right up to the buildings, it would just burn and everything would burn in its way.

I'm told that what the farmers used to do when the wind was favorable on a nice day, they would actually light all the grass around their buildings and burn it because as long as that grass was burned, they would burn huge patches, they knew that if a prairie fire came, it would stop where the fire had already been. The Bible says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It's fearful. Read Revelation and see how fearful it really is. And the only way we can be exempt is to receive Christ as Savior because when we do and God's wrath begins to come our direction, it is diverted because we have already been exonerated by Christ who bore our wrath for us. That is the gospel. Are you glad for that message of the gospel? So that's all I can say to you today.

What side are you on when these events take place? Let's pray. Father, we can hardly even imagine the regret that many people shall experience when they find themselves, when they see the door to heaven slammed in their faces.

We're talking about good people, but people who were not ready when Jesus came. Grant, O God, we ask that all who have listened to me right now, if they do not know you as Savior, may they reach out and say, Jesus, today I believe I receive you as my Savior. You do the work that only you can do, Father. We pray in Jesus' name, amen.

I'd like to have a personal word with you. I can't help but think that there are many people listening to this program today. God appointed you to hear this message to give you an opportunity to repent and to receive Christ.

When we open the book of Revelation, we discover that there are fearful judgments coming upon the world, and only those who are secure in Christ, they of course will avoid such judgments, but even better, they will be in the presence of the Lord. I believe that these messages are very important, especially as we consider future events, even those that are on our daily television sets. For a gift of any amount, we're making this series available to you, because I know what life is like. You hear part of a message. You may hear one message in a series.

In this way, you'll be able to listen to them again and again. Here's what you do. Go to

That's, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. And let me thank you in advance for helping us. Many of you have heard me say this before, but thanks to you, the ministry of Running to Win is worldwide. We are in 50 different countries in five different languages, and we continue to expand to the glory of God. We're doing all that we possibly can to get the gospel to the ends of the earth, and we'd like to help you on your spiritual journey. Remember, ask for the series of messages.

The King is coming. Right now, you can go to That's, or you can pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337. That's 1-888-218-9337. It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. In the book of Revelation, Jesus says, I have the keys of death and Hades. This may have prompted Gabriel to ask, is there a reference in the Bible for Jesus taking the keys of hell away from Satan? No, I don't think that there is such a reference.

At least I can't think of it. I believe that Satan has never really had the keys to hell. You know, the Bible says that hell was created for the devil and his angels. So at the end of the day, whatever hell is, it was created by God so that Satan might be confined there and all of his demons.

And as to who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, that ultimately has always been in the hands of Jesus. That's why when the Bible says that he has the keys of death and of Hades, I think he's always had those keys. So at the same time, we must recognize that Satan has a tremendous amount of power, but he is constantly subject to Jesus. Jesus defeated Satan when Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead. And Satan is out now on bail, so to speak.

His sentence has already been pronounced. His judgment is sure, and he is not a king in hell. He does not have the keys to hell, never has.

In hell, he will be the tormented, not the tormentor. Thank you, Gabrielle, for your question. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer, for clearing up that matter. If you'd like to hear your question answered, you can. Just 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, IL 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. In Ezekiel 38, God promises to defend His people when they're under attack by a latter-day coalition of nations on the march to destroy tiny Israel. Despite having an overwhelming superiority of force, their attack is terminated by the hand of God. Next time on Running to Win, an amazing story of Bible prophecy and how it will come to pass. Thanks for listening to our series on the return of Christ. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-15 02:52:42 / 2024-02-15 03:00:52 / 8

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