What happens next? The things that God has in store for those whom He loves. We're going to see this. We're going to be there.
We're going to belong in this glorious realm of unspeakable glory. People have gone to all kinds of crazy lengths to ascertain the future. They visit palm readers and fortune tellers. They consult astrologers hoping the stars can reveal something about what is to come.
Or they might use props like tarot cards or Ouija boards. But too few folks in this world consult the one source of truth that accurately reveals the future. At least that portion of it God has chosen to show us. And on this edition of the Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green goes straight to the Bible as he concludes the message, What Happens Next, and also the series, Key Questions Answered. So, friend, have your Bible ready as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Point number three here. At the end of this time as God is pouring out these supernatural judgments, at the end of that time, Christ is going to come. Look at Revelation 19, verse 11. Revelation 19, verse 11.
Where it says in sequence to what had gone before. In verse 11, the Apostle John says, And I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True and in righteousness he judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire and on his head are many diadems and he has a name written on him which no one knows except himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood and his name is called the Word of God.
And the armies which are in heaven clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword so that with it he may strike down the nations. This is a time of judgment, final judgment. And he will rule them with a rod of iron and he treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty and on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Christ is going to come with great power and glory and he is coming to set final judgment into motion. John goes on and describes what that will look like and says that he's going to bind Satan so that Satan can no longer deceive the nations. Look at Revelation 20, verse 1. Where he says, then I saw an angel coming down from heaven holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand and he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old who is the devil and Satan and bound him for a thousand years and he threw him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the thousand years were completed.
After these things he must be released for a short time. And so, scripture describes this coming of Christ as a supernatural appearance where he comes at the end of God pouring out wrath upon the world and Christ comes in supernatural glory and begins to execute another step in the plan. He binds Satan and casts him down into the abyss so that he is not able to continue his deceptive work. And then, when Satan has been bound and Christ is present on the earth, point number four, the millennium. The millennium.
The millennium refers to a thousand year period of time in which Christ is going to reign on the earth. The Old Testament prophets spoke of this in advance. Speaking of those Old Testament prophets, I want to take you to Ezekiel chapter 37. Ezekiel chapter 37. Where God spoke of a future kingdom for Israel.
A future earthly kingdom. Here and in other places we're using Ezekiel 37 as a representative passage. Look at verse 21. Ezekiel 37 verse 21. As he's speaking to the tribes of Israel he says, Say to them, thus says the Lord God, behold I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land.
He's talking about a physical location, not a spiritual reality. Verse 22. And I will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel and one king will be king for all of them and they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms.
Speaking of the split between Israel and Judah. Verse 23. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols or with their detestable things or with any of their transgressions. But I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned and will cleanse them and they will be my people and I will be their God.
Now stay with me. Verse 24. My servant David will be king over them and they will all have one shepherd and they will walk in my ordinances and keep my statutes and observe them. They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob my servant in which your fathers lived and they will live on it.
They and their sons and their sons' sons forever an indeterminate length of time, he says in this prophecy. And David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It will be an everlasting covenant with them.
And I will place them and multiply them and will set my sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them and I will be their God and they will be my people and the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel when my sanctuary is in their midst forever. God promised a future kingdom to Israel in the Old Testament. The fullness of what he has promised has not yet been fulfilled.
I believe that Scripture teaches that in Revelation 20 we are seeing the fulfillment of God's promise to his people. Turn back to Revelation chapter 20 verse 4. Then I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God. And those who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand and they came to life, look at this, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. A thousand years, a thousand years, a thousand years, a thousand years. In the prophecy of Habakkuk, Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 14.
It says that, and I'll read it here, you don't need to turn there. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. When Christ is reigning on the earth, when Satan is bound, when his saints are reigning with him and Christ is enforcing righteousness on the earth, and Israel has been given its place of prominence among the nations, there is going to be at that time the glory of God on display on earth and it's going to be known throughout this entire globe. God is going to keep his promise to Israel. He's going to give them that nation where their king, the son of David, the supreme son of David Christ reigns. And what God promised to the nation in the Old Testament will be fulfilled in that time.
And it will be a kingdom marked by righteousness and peace on the earth, not just in heaven. Now, Apostle John goes on and describes final judgments after the end of the millennium. Look at Revelation chapter 20 verse 7, again in sequence. The thousand years, verse 7, when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war.
The number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints in the beloved city. And fire came down from heaven and devoured them. This is the final defeat of Satan.
He had been held in prison for a thousand years. Here's his final defeat, verse 10. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Final judgment on Satan. Verse 11, final judgment on unbelievers.
Look at verse 11. Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. And books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it. And death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them. And they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.
Verse 14. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Cast into final eternal judgment by the righteous hand of God. Cast into final judgment away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. Cast into final judgment with the devil who not only deceived them but whose deception they willingly embraced.
This is horrific, but this is what comes next. God does not trifle with sin. He will not forever endure the rebellion of sinners against Him. We look at this and we see the righteousness of God on full display. Every crime finding its perfect punishment. Every violation of the eternal character and righteousness of God finding its eternal meat, its eternal recompense. You can't violate the law of an eternal God without expecting to incur an eternal punishment in response. God will vindicate His holiness. And beloved, that is why the gospel is so urgent to you today.
This is so very urgent. If you don't know Christ, I just described your eternity to you. I beg you, you young people, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16 years old, pay heed. Don't assume that you can sort this out later. Don't assume that you have time. Now is the time for you when Christ says, Oh, forgive all of your sins, just come to me. And I will never cast you out. I'll receive you, I'll make you my own, I'll cleanse you, I'll forgive your guilt, I'll make you mine. Just come. Come to Him. Come to Christ. Because I don't want this judgment to fall on you. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5.20, I beg you, be reconciled to God.
For the rest of us. Point six, the eternal state, the eternal state as we pivot from the destruction of the wicked to the blessing that God has for us. And there are moments, probably not nearly frequent enough in when I teach. There are moments where you're conscious that you're about to talk about things that are so holy and so magnificent that you understand why Moses was commanded to remove his sandals at the burning bush. What we're about to see here is so glorious and magnificent. The things that God has in store for those whom he loves. The things that he has in store for us who are Christians. Who for a short period of time endure momentary light affliction for the sake of an eternal weight of glory that is far greater than comparison could grant. Praise be to God that this is where it ends for us.
What we have right now in this earth is as bad as it's going to be. What happens next? John begins to describe in Revelation 21 verse 1. This is our future. We're going to see this fellow Christians. We're going to be there. We're going to belong in this glorious realm of unspeakable glory. Chapter 21 verse 1, the eternal state. John says, and I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
For the first heaven and the first earth passed away and there's no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is among men. And he will dwell among them and they shall be his people. And God himself will be among them.
Verse 4. And he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And there will no longer be any death. There will no longer be any mourning or crying or pain.
The first things have passed away. And he goes on and describes it more in chapter 22 verse 1. Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal coming from the throne of God and of the lamb in the middle of its street.
On either side of the river was the tree of life bearing 12 kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the lamb will be in it and his bondservants will serve him.
Look at this, verse 4. They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads. He will possess us because we belong to him.
We're his people now, but then there's going to be a fuller experience and possession of it. We are going to see the unhindered glory of God face to face. We are going to be in the presence of Christ with sin and the curse of sin removed. We are going to be in a realm that we can't imagine here because the only thing that we know has to be filtered through sin-hampered minds and our finiteness. But based on the testimony of God, we can see that the eternal state that lies ahead for us is a place where there is no more crying, no more mourning, no more pain.
That's the negative side of it. On the positive side, we are going to be with Christ forever. We are going to see his face in an atmosphere of perfect peace, perfect joy, perfect blessing, speakable glory. And our first moment of it, if you can speak about eternity in terms of time, our first moment of it is going to be unspeakably great, and 10,000 eons later, it's not going to be diminished. Some of the older writers said that part of our blessing in heaven will just be the continual unfolding of the glory of God in greater degrees to us. I don't know if you can directly support that from Scripture, but the point is that what happens next, using next in a pretty elastic way, what happens next for us after this life is over, what lies ahead is a glorious future of the unfolding purposes of God where he will fulfill his promises to his people, and we are going to be a part of something that is so magnificent that I cannot see it, ear cannot imagine it, ear can't hear it, our brains can't imagine. This is going to be so unspeakably beyond all that we could ask or think.
Are you a Christian? That's what comes next. Glory! Glory! Glory!
Glory! In the presence of the one who is holy, holy, holy! In the presence of the one who shed blood after blood after blood for the redemption of our sins because he was motivated by the very, very, very deep, deep, deep love of Jesus. We don't have the capacity to understand how great that's going to be right now. We don't have the capacity to adequately thank God for including us in such a great eternal plan, but we don't have to understand at all to say this is going to be great.
We don't have to understand at all to come back to those three words to say that I'm a Christian, I have a great, great hope. I am going to know great, great glory. I am going to be a part of the eternal victory of my Lord, of my Christ, of the one who shed his blood for me. He's going to be a victor over world history, of the nations who opposed him, and he deigned to include me in the plan. That's what comes next. That's what we get to share in in the future. Now, this is all very practical for our lives today, and I want to close on this.
In light of what happens next, what do we do now? You know, you think about Elijah going out on a chariot of glory. You know, he didn't taste death. The Lord just took him out on a chariot of glory. What a great way, what a great time it would be for Christ to come when we're in the midst of talking about the eternal state, the glory that's to come, to just go up and be swept into heaven while you're already talking about it and just go up there just like that.
That would be cool. That would be the way to go out. But if the Lord's going to tarry and give us another hour of life here, what do we do now? Two things I want to say as we close.
Practical applications. What do we do now? First of all, we live holy lives. Go to 2 Peter chapter 3. 2 Peter chapter 3. We're not looking for what God can do for us in this life primarily.
It's very secondary. 2 Peter chapter 3, he says, but according to his promise, we are looking for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. There's where we bank our hope, not that God's going to change my circumstances or alleviate my problems today or sometime in this life. Where our hope is anchored is in this new heavens and this new earth that is coming where righteousness dwells. That's what we're looking for. That's what we're living for.
And in verse 14, he says, therefore, because you're looking for that, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless. Let your expectation of the future influence your character today. We're patient in trials because blessing is coming. We turn from sin because righteousness is coming. That's what we do next.
One last question, same question. In light of what happens next, what do we do now? Revelation 22, verse 20. You can see why the Bible ends on this note. Verse 20.
In light of what happens next, what do we do now? We long for the return of Christ. Verse 20. He who testifies to these things says, yes, I am coming quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. There's the prayer of a redeemed heart having heard the unfolding of God's plan for the future. You want to know if you're a Christian? Ask yourself this question.
In light of what we've talked about here today is your response. Come, Lord Jesus. Come, come quickly. I want to see you.
I want to see this thing that happens next. That's the heart of a Christian. An unbeliever couldn't care less. The heart of a Christian sees in this his hope, his victory, and his glory. Beloved, bringing it all down to one simple final conclusion here. Concluding an entire doctrinal series here brings us all to this one point. You and I who are Christians, we do not live for this world. We live for what happens next. And with that, Pastor Don Green concludes the message, What Happens Next, here on The Truth Pulpit. God has not left us in the dark, that we should be overtaken by events. As Don emphasized today, you can face the future with joy and peace, because God's will is being accomplished, even as we speak.
All praise to our Lord. Right now, Don's back in studio with some closing thoughts. Well, friend, today's broadcast concludes our lengthy series titled Key Questions Answered. We covered a lot of ground in this series, and I would like to invite you to our website if maybe you missed some broadcasts or you want to review some things in greater depth. While you're there, you'll find many other resources, including my sermon archive, the livestream link for Truth Community Church, study guides, and much, much more. There's no cost to anything, and it's very easy to find. Just visit thetruthpulpit.com and follow the links. That's thetruthpulpit.com. And may we also say thank you for your support of this ministry. Without you, this program would not be possible. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time when Don continues teaching God's people God's Word from the truth pulpit.
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