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The New Testament (Part Two)–2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2024 2:00 am

The New Testament (Part Two)–2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 12, 2024 2:00 am

The drama of redemption began in the garden of Eden and culminates in the new heavens and new earth. Revelation is the finale to God’s plan. In this message from Revelation 12-22, Pastor Lutzer marks three truths: the great divide, the length of eternity, and the triumph of Jesus. What if we were made to dwell with God forever?

This month’s special offer is available for a donation of any amount. Get yours at rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. 

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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. The drama of redemption began in Eden and ends with new heavens and a new earth.

Here, the redeemed find themselves on streets of gold in the New Jerusalem. Today, the finale to the grand plan God set in motion before the world began. 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, in a great symphony, the finale sums up all the themes that make up its design. Will we see the finale of Revelation today? Well Dave, as we discuss in this message, as we talk about Revelation chapter 21 and 22, and by the way, I encourage everyone who is listening, take out a few moments today and read those chapters and indeed, as we shall see, it is a grand finale. Now today is the last day that we are making available to you this series entitled The Drama of Redemption. One of the things that I've discovered is that when people read the Bible piecemeal, and we all do, of course, sometimes we don't understand the grand plan, how the Bible is unified in the theme of redemption.

So for a gift of any amount, we're making available to you a chart that will help you to understand where the various books of the Bible fit, but also a chart that we believe outlines some of the events in prophecy. Here's what you can do. Go to RTWOffer.com.

That's RTWOffer.com or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now remember, this is the last day we are making this resource available to you and at the end of this message, I'll be giving you that contact info again. But now, to the book of Revelation and what Dave called the grand finale. Chapter 12, what an interesting chapter. Satan pursues Israel. Satan has always hated Israel, the Jews. And the woman who gives birth to the child, and the child is obviously Jesus, is Israel, and Satan pursues it. Satan is cast out of heaven.

You say, well, what in the world is he doing there? Well, the Bible says that he accuses the saints day and night. You look at the book of Job where Satan comes and begins to talk to God about Job. There's that kind of dialogue taking place in the heavens and Satan is so angry. It says that when he was thrown down to earth, he was so angry. I love it there in verse 12. He has come down to you in great wrath because he knows that his time is short. I can hardly wait for Satan's time to be very, very short.

Do we have any takers out there today? Chapter 13 is all about Antichrist. And it takes your breath away when you realize that God gives them authority. You'll notice it says in verse 7, he was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given to it, that is to the beast, over every tribe and people and language and nation. You think, oh my, Jesus has surrendered his authority. It's given to Antichrist.

All who dwell upon the earth will worship him. Well, wait until you read the end of the book. And that's where you have the mark of the beast and so forth. In chapter 14, you have a vision of these 144,000. They have remained chased.

They were not involved in sexual immorality. That's the idea of the text throughout all this. And they get a brand new song.

Listen to this. It says, verse three, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. And this was a song that Tim cannot sing and not even Scott Griffin can play on the piano.

I'm serious. It says no one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. So they get a special song.

They belong to a special choir. The last part of the chapter is terrifying. I will not read it to you.

I'll comment on that at the end of the message. Chapter 15 introduces now the bowls. And it says, you'll notice that the wrath of God is finished in 15, verse one. And as I indicated, chapter 16 are now the seven judgments of the bowls.

And these judgments also take your breath away. You'll notice that the Bible says that there is an earthquake, the likes of which has never yet happened upon the earth. We think Haiti's bad. This is going to be an earthquake throughout the whole earth, the Bible says. And it says in verse 21, and great hail stones, about 100 pounds each fell from heaven on people. And they cursed God for the plague of hail because the plague was so severe.

But you know what? The people do not repent. On and on, it goes on to say, even though they were gnawing their tongues in pain, they would not repent. Judgment usually hardens hearts.

One time, my wife and I had someone at home who was doing some work for us. And of course, I was witnessing to him. And he was basically an atheist. And he says, if there's a hell, let God send me there. And I'm going to spend all of eternity defying him.

That is got to go down in history as the most stupid, foolish comment that I have ever heard. You are defying God forever. When all that you would need to do is to repent of your sin and acknowledge your need of a savior and be ready for heaven. And your defiance of God is going to add to his own justice and glory.

It'll be to your hurt and no one else's. But the human heart is wicked. There are all kinds of passages that tell us that. That they even say, mountains and rocks fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb. But they will not repent of their sins.

Some do, many do not. Now, when we come to chapter 17, what can be said about this? There is a prostitute that is riding a beast. And you'll notice it says in verse five on her forehead, 17 five was written a name of mystery.

Babylon, the great mother of prostitutes and the earth's abominations. This is false religion. And she rides the beast to his antichrist. And antichrist uses her. But in the end, he hates her, throws her off, destroys her.

What's going on there? Antichrist is going to use false religion. He's going to use false religion, but ultimately he's going to destroy all the religions, put himself up as God and ask all people to worship him. That's why this probably relates to earlier in the sequence when antichrist is gaining power at the beginning of the tribulation period.

Chapter 18, read it and weep. This is now commercial Babylon. Some people think that Babylon might be rebuilt. I don't know if that's true, but whether it is or not, whether this is symbolic, this is the end of commerce as we know it. When I read it, I think of New York city.

I think of wall street. For example, chapter 18, it says in verse 11 and the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her since no one buys their cargo anymore. Cargoes of gold and on and on it goes. And then it says in verse 15, the merchants of these wares who gained wealth from her will stand to far off in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud.

Alas for the great city that was clothed in fine linen and purple and Scarlet adorned with gold, with jewels and pearls for a single hour. All of this wealth has been laid waste. That's what the judgments will do. It will end a commerce as we know it. When you get a new car and you are so concerned as to whether or not it's going to get a scratch, relax, relax. In the end, it'll totally be destroyed and the person parking next to you only begins what's going to be an ultimate promise.

Wow. No wonder Peter says what manner of people ought we to be in all conversation and godliness, knowing that all of these things are going to be destroyed. Now chapter 19, 19, 20, 21 and 22 are in sequence.

You'll be glad to know we finally have a sequence. Chapter 19 opens with the marriage supper of the lamb and that's where we will be if we are raptured as many of us believe we will be and we will be having the marriage supper of the lamb. You all have to admit that there is no relationship with such ecstasy and joy as the marital relationship between a man and a woman in a good marriage and god dares to use that as an example of our relationship with him. This is a time of breathtaking, breathtaking fellowship and beauty and purity. Jesus meeting with his saints and then there is another description of the return of Christ throughout the book of revelation as I mentioned because the chronology is not what we perhaps might wish it to have been.

There are many descriptions of the return but I suppose there is none like this one that includes us in the glorious return of Christ. Verse 11 of chapter 19. Then I saw heaven open and behold a white horse. This now is Jesus the one sitting on it is called faithful and true and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire and on his head are many diadems and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood and has the name which is called the word of God and the armies of heaven arrayed in fine linen white and pure we're following him on white horses. That's us folks if we've trusted Jesus.

From his mouth he has we can clap after I'm finished let's do that okay. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with it to strike down the nations he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God almighty on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written let's hear it now for him king of kings and Lord of lords. And then the judgment is described chapter 20 talks about a period of peace for a thousand years. You know where do you get theologians get this idea of the millennium if you take your chart and turn it on the other side you'll notice that it says the church age tribulation seven years millennium a thousand years where did that they pull that out. Well in the old testament this period of peace was predicted in the new testament here in chapter 20 six times you have a reference to a thousand years and by the way have you been scared to be beheaded for the faith you'll notice it says those who die in the tribulation who are beheaded it says they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years this is verse four everything is a thousand years and then at the end of the thousand years satan is bound during the thousand years and at the end of the thousand years what you have is the final judgment and now it is time for you to simply catch your breath I hadn't planned on quoting it but I'll see how I do I beheld a great white throne and him that sat on it before whose face the earth and the heavens fled away and there was found no place for them and I saw the dead small and great stand before God and the books were opened and another book was opened which is the book of life and the dead were judged out of those things which were written on the book and the sea gave up the dead which were in it and death and Hades delivered up the dead which were in them and they were judged every man according to what was in the books and death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire this is the second death wow all of the people who appear at this judgment are unbelievers they have one thing in common they are kings they are paupers they are rich they are poor they're from every nation and every religion but they share one thing and that is they don't have the righteousness that God requires to enter into heaven because they didn't receive the gift of Jesus I promise you that if God gives me health and if I'm still around for a few months and maybe even years who knows I promise you that I will preach an entire message on chapters 21 and 22 the beauty the beauty of heaven is overwhelming John sees this new heaven and new earth come down from God out of heaven as a bride adorned for her husband and he hears a great voice saying behold all things are new and lots of things won't be there no more crying or death but the most beautiful thing about it is it says behold the dwelling place of God is with men he will dwell with them they will be his people God himself will be with them and be their God he will wipe away all tears from their eyes there shall be no more death nor pain for the former things are passed away all the way from the beginning beginning in Leviticus and Exodus God says I want to dwell with my people I want to dwell with them and God can't dwell with them like he'd like to because of sin it is true that God dwells with us as his people but his dwelling always has to be mediated because sin keeps getting in the way imagine a time nothing but purity nothing but holiness and we dwell directly unmediated with God what does the book of revelation teach us what is the bottom line let me give you three very quickly first of all the great divide it's the great divide I read this book and I wish that I you know I read it and I say where are all the people who aren't quite good enough to go to heaven but they're not bad enough for hell either where are they nowhere it's either hell or heaven the book of revelation is really the tale of two cities Babylon and Jerusalem or the tale of two women if you wish the prostitute and the bride of Christ it's either one or the other either you have enough righteousness to enter into heaven or you don't last week I was speaking in Palm Springs and the man who took us to the airport said you know that Frank Sinatra is just buried in the cemetery just across from us and I said well pick us up early on the way to the airport tomorrow and let's go see Frank's grave what do you think was on Frank Sinatra's grave I know you're thinking I did it my way but that isn't what was on his grave it was a different song entitled the best is yet to come out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum you came along and everything started to hum still it's a real good bet the best is yet to come it's about a romance I don't want to judge Frank Sinatra let God be his judge but look at what it says in the book of revelation now we're in chapter 22 this is the last to be attitude in the book by the way of the 7 verse 14 of chapter 22 blessed are those who wash their robes so that they might have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter into the city by the gates God is Frank Sinatra's judge but if he did not wash his robes that he would have the right to enter into the city by the gates for him the best was not to come I see this great divide that's the first thing I have to ask you today have you washed your robes I mean have you been cleansed by the blood of Christ see there is no other way don't tell me that you think another religion is as good it can't be because it doesn't have a savior teachers maybe but no savior able to cleanse you from sin that you might be washed and enter into the city it says outside of the city are dogs that is perverse people sorcerers sexually immoral murderers idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood and the way you get from verse 15 to 14 is you have your robes washed many people will be in heaven who were sorcerers sexually immoral murderers and idolaters they're going to be there in heaven why because of verse 14 they washed their robes by receiving Christ as savior apart from that I'm just reading the text so first of all the great divide second the length of eternity time is short eternity is long you know that little phrase forever and ever occurs 13 times in the book of Revelation it talks about hell the smoke of their torment I didn't read this in chapter 14 because it's too terrifying but it says the smoke of their torment goes on forever and ever and then regarding us it says we will reign forever and ever I don't have time to tell you how long eternity is I guess it would take me an eternity really read it and weep finally I marvel at the absolute total unquestioned triumph of Jesus look at this chapter 13 okay chapter 13 Antichrist has given power over people that he can even have power over the saints and kill them and all the world worships him now listen to this chapter 15 and I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire and them that had gotten the victory over the beast and over his number and over his mark and they stand on the sea of glass having the harps of God and they sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb saying great and marvelous are thy works O Lord God almighty just and true are thy ways thou king of saints who shall not fear the O Lord and glorify thy name who comes out triumphant Jesus king of kings Lord of Lords things are not as they appear to be in chapter 13 because chapter 15 is coming and then you think of the chaos and the world and you think of the beauty of heaven and I beheld a pure river of water of life clear as crystal proceeding from the throne and from the lamb and in the midst of the street of it and on either side of the river was there the tree of life which gives its fruit every month and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations and there shall be no more curse for the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it and his servants shall worship him and they shall see his face and his name shall be on their foreheads and there's no need of the sun for the Lord God gives them light and they shall reign with him forever and ever wow he that testified these things saith behold I come quickly even so come Lord Jesus well my friend this is Pastor Lutzer and you just heard me quote some verses from chapter 21 and chapter 22 of the book of Revelation the grand finale I think that you will want this resource it's entitled the drama of redemption it comes with two charts one indicates how the books of the Bible all fit together in historical sequence and the other is one on prophecy and we are making this resource available because I have discovered that so many people if they read the Bible only in piecemeal and of course we all do that but ultimately it is so important to see the whole drama that's why we entitled it the drama of redemption and as I've already emphasized today is the last day that we are making this resource available to you we think it'll be a tremendous help even as you do your own Bible reading so for a gift of any amount it can be yours here's what you do go to rtwoffer.com of course rtwoffers all one word rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now because this is the last day and I believe that this resource will be of tremendous help to all who have it I'm going to be giving you that contact info again but I want to thank you so much for your support of this ministry because of people just like you running to win is now in 50 different countries in seven different languages and we rejoice even as we consider continuing to expand this ministry thank you in advance for helping us you are really a part of what we like to call the running to win family well I hope that you have a pen or pencil because you can write this down go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 remember the name of this resource the drama of redemption that comes with two charts one to help you put the Bible in its proper perspective historically and the other on prophecy you can write to us at running to win 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614 there are many fears that afflict humanity the fear of pain poverty or loneliness but no fear is as daunting as the fear of death thankfully when God raised up Jesus from the dead he gave us the certainty that this fear died on the day he rose next time join us for a series on the vanishing power of death thanks for listening for pastor Erwin Lutzer this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-12 05:57:43 / 2024-03-12 06:06:11 / 8

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