If you and I today would even see how God feels about our sin, it wouldn't be pretty. Dr. Tony Evans says we may not be able to completely grasp it now, but that day is coming.
And God will fully show you how sinful sin is in His eyes when the wrath of God is fully displayed in the day of the Lord. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Biblical prophecy tells us that in the end God wins and His kingdom lasts forever. But it also says there are some pretty scary things destined to happen along the way. Dr. Evans will tell us about one of them today as he explores the coming tribulation.
Let's join him. The day of the Lord is a synonym for the tribulation. The tribulation is a seven-year period of time of the display of God's wrath on the earth. It is called the day of the Lord in contrast to the day of man. You and I today are living in the day of man, not the day of the Lord. The day of man is when God gives men the free choice to choose Him or reject Him or to face His passive wrath. A description of the day of the Lord is given in Zephaniah chapter 1.
Now, that's one of those books that's hard to find if you don't know your Bible. But in Zephaniah chapter 1, the author of the prophet describes the day of the Lord, and I want you to see how serious this is. In verse 14 he says, Near is the great day of the Lord, near and coming very quickly. Listen, the day of the Lord. In it, the warrior cries out bitterly, A day of wrath is that day. A day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and the high corner towers. I will bring distress on men so that they will walk like blind because they have sinned against the Lord, and their blood will be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.
Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the Lord's wrath. And all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy, for He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth. You don't want to be part of that day. This is the day when you get to see a side of God you've never seen. His just wrath against sin, which you have never seen actively, you've seen it passively, but not actively, will be exposed in this day of the Lord, this tribulation period that Zephaniah talks about.
God is going to expose how much He hates sin, and He's going to expose it at a worldwide horrific level. But a cursory reading of the book of Revelations will let you know you don't want to be here when one-third of the earth is killed overnight, when another quarter of the earth dies at another time, when comets are coming down from heaven and hitting the earth. You do not want to be here when there is water turning to blood, the sun being blocked so that there is famine. You don't want to be here when crime is released and evil people—you think the newspaper is bad now. It will be horrific then because there will be no restraint.
You do not want to be here when the moon turns to blood. You do not want to be here when God releases what He has not yet released. And God will fully show you how sinful sin is in His eyes due to the judgment when the wrath of God is fully displayed in the day of the Lord.
If you and I today would even see how God feels about our sin, it wouldn't be pretty, because He is holy and His standards are non-negotiable. But because of the death of Christ, He holds back at the tribulation He releases. The tribulation will introduce to us a figure, a person unlike anybody you've ever met.
He is described a little bit for us right here in verse 3. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come, the tribulation, until the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called God or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. The world will be so chaotic that we will be looking for somebody to bring order to this chaos, and there will be one who arises, according to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, called the lawless one, the son of destruction.
And he will establish himself, it says in verse 4, as God. He will position himself—oh, you know his name, he's called the Antichrist. This is the individual who will rise to prominence during this time. If this is going to happen any time soon, that person is already alive. If Jesus is going to come back tomorrow and the tribulation starts the next day, that means He's already walking the earth.
He has just not been identified yet, depending upon when these events are going to be inaugurated. This lawless one will be powerful. He will be unlike any individual you've ever met, verse 9. That is, the one who is coming in accordance with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception of wickedness, for those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason, God will send them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. So this man will be so empowered by the devil, he will be able to produce things that will be unbelievable.
You will go, whoa, wow, did you see that? Because Satan will be released to empower this man to put on display. And who will not follow somebody who's doing miracles in front of your face, who's got hocus pocus so down that now you are stunned and it's broadcast on Fox News and singing in, and you can see it no matter where you live in the world, and everybody's gonna be talking about, did you see what he did? Did you see how he did that?
Wow. And the whole world will be mesmerized by this lawless one. In Revelation 13, it talks about this lawless one. And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Who's the dragon? If you look in chapter 12 verse 9, it tells you, and the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. So the dragon is the devil.
But watch this. Then I saw a beast coming up from the sea, having ten horns, seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his head were blasphemous names. And the beast, which I saw, was like a leopard, like a bear, mouth like a lion, and a dragon gave the dragon. Satan gave him power and his throne and great authority. And I saw in his head those who had slain. Verse 4, and they worshiped the dragon.
Why? Because he gave authority to the beast. So watch this. They're going to worship the devil because of the magic that the beast is doing. They're going to say, the beast must be right, so let's worship the power of the beast, and the power of the beast is the dragon, and the dragon is the devil.
So the beast is giving praise to the dragon, and the dragon is getting worship. So there will be devil worship, because this man is acting like he's God. There was given to him, verse 5, a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemy and authority to act for 42 months, three and a half years.
I'll explain that in a moment. And he opened his mouth and blasphemies against God to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven. It was given to him to make war with the saints, it says. All who dwell on the earth will worship him. So this is worldwide, because so much power is coming from this man.
It's worldwide. Oh, but verse 11, then I saw another beast coming up and out of the earth with two horns. So we got another beast. The second beast is called the false prophet.
So what am I introducing you to? I have just introduced you to the unholy Trinity. Satan's purpose has always been to replicate God.
He says in Isaiah 14, I will be like the most high. God is a triune God, one God composed of three co-equal persons who are distinct in personality and one in essence. He says, well, I'm gonna have my own Trinity because I want to be like God. So Satan comes to be God the Father. He gives power to Satan the Son.
And then there is another beast who gives power to the first beast, so that you have an unholy Trinity manifesting themselves in the world. The day of the Lord will be inaugurated with a treaty. We're told that in Daniel chapter 9, verses 24 to 27, it says that he will—the Antichrist—will make a covenant with Israel for seven years. He's gonna solve the Middle East problem. He's got all these problems in the Middle East, Syria and Lebanon and, you know, Israel, and you got Russia over there and then you got Iran over there and then you got Iraq, you got ISIS, you got all this chaos over there, which the Bible predicted would happen, and this lawless one is gonna step into the Middle East chaos and come up with a peace agreement. And everybody gonna say, oh, the world is great, peace and safety, everything's okay.
Look, all our problems are solved. But it says in the middle of the Tribulation, he will do the abomination of desecration. He will come into the temple in Jerusalem where he has established peace, and he will say, I'm God. And all hell will break loose.
That's the bad news. But there's good news too, and that's where Dr. Evans will pick up in a moment when he continues today's message. First though, I want to tell you how you can receive our current double resource offer. Tony's book, Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare, will teach you how to call out to heaven and get the help you've been needing, whether you're dealing with everyday issues or some serious strongholds like addiction or anything in between. This luxury edition, with a cover that looks and feels like leather, is a proven resource that's already being used by over a hundred thousand readers. Along with the book, we'll also send you a copy of Tony's current two-volume series, Prophecy and Our World. These 12 full-length messages on both downloadable MP3s and CDs dig deep into what the Bible says about the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Second Coming, the Judgment Seat of Christ, and many more—terms you've probably heard but may not understand. To get your copy, just visit tonyevans.org, make a contribution, and we'll say thanks by sending these two powerful resources your way. Again, that's the 12-part teaching series, Prophecy and Our World, and Tony's popular book, Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare. Just visit tonyevans.org to make the arrangements, or call 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our resource team members help you. I'll have our contact information for you again after part two of today's lesson.
Here's Dr. Evans. So let me talk to you for a moment, because you might be sitting here and you might think, well, wait a minute. You just said, if I've accepted Jesus Christ, I'm gonna be part of the Rapture. Correct. That means I'm not gonna be here for the Tribulation. Correct. So what in the world does this sermon have to do with me?
Okay? So I want to tell you why this sermon matters to you, even though it's not part of your destiny if you are a Christian here. Number one, when you reject Christ, you open yourself up for satanic deception even if you are a Christian.
Let me say that again. Satan has influence in your life when you reject Christ's authority over your life. You have now opened up the door for the devil. You say, but I thought that was happening in the Tribulation.
Oh, but it's being practiced now. First John chapter 4 puts it this way. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, of which you have heard it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is He that's in you than he that's in the world. The Antichrist is to come. The spirit of Antichrist is already here. Since the spirit of Antichrist is here, it's a delusional spirit. So you open yourself up to being duped by the devil if Jesus Christ is not central in your life choices and decision-making. You don't have to say, devil fooled me. All you've got to do is not be committed to Jesus Christ, and you have been fooled. That's why so many people are fooled by television programs, some talk show hosts. They're fooled by people who sound good. They're fooled by personalities that look good, and they get duped because they do not take seriously their confession of Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ is not confessed, the devil has an open door into your life choices and decision-making, because the spirit of Antichrist is already here. In chapter 2 verse 18, he says a similar thing. Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that Antichrist is coming, even now many Antichrists have appeared.
From this we know it is the last hour. There are Antichrists everywhere, but they come with a delusion. They come talking stuff that sounds right, doing things that look right, but because it has not been measured right, we get tricked and trapped. That leads to another principle. Personal experience and emotions must be made subject to the will and Word of God. Personal experience and emotions, while real, they're very real, you don't deny their reality, but they are to never be the final decision-maker. How I feel and what I experience, as true as it is and as real as it is, should never make the final decision. God's truth must be able to overrule your experience and your emotions, because once God's truth is set aside based on your experience and your emotions, you are now subject to the delusion, because who can deny how they feel and what happened to them? You can't, but you are subject if God's Word is not the final decision-maker.
Which leads to another point that you need to know. Only committed Christians can overcome the devil. A lot of folks are Christians, but they have not overcome Satan's influence on their lives, because they have not yet made the decision of commitment. Revelation chapter 12 verse 11 reads this way, and they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb. They were saved. They overcame the devil because of the blood of the Lamb, but don't stop reading. And because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when they were faced with death.
He says three things. They overcame the devil with three things. One, the blood of the Lamb.
They had accepted Jesus as their substitute and they had received the blood of the Lamb for their Christians. But two, they overcame the devil with the word of their testimony. The word of your testimony is your public declaration of your association with Jesus Christ. If you are a secret agent Christian, if you are a spiritual CIA representative, if you are a covert operative, you will not defeat the devil. Because the devil doesn't mind you talking about God, because that's generic. It is your association and testimony to Jesus Christ that the devil can't handle. And so if you are ashamed of Jesus Christ and you talk about God, this God bless you, you know I love God, you can talk about God all day long, but you are being very nonspecific because we don't know which God you are referring to.
It is when you declare a allegiance to Jesus Christ that the devil can't handle the blood. It says the word of their testimony. You cannot be a silent Christian. Paul says, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation.
If you can talk about your candidate, who you're gonna vote for, who you prefer in the polls, you can establish the fact that I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. Then he says, who does not love their life more than they love Him. God wants you to love Him more than you love you. And we love us some us. You know, I love me some me, you love you some you.
He says, I want you to love me. That's why he says, unless a man hates his mother and father and yay his own life, Matthew chapter 10, he cannot be my disciple. God wants you to love Him more than you love you.
You know if I'm gonna love Him more than I love me, I'm gonna love Him more than I love you. So you cannot defeat the devil without commitment. And that's why so many believers live in defeat, because what they want, they're saying they're on their way to heaven, but they don't have power because they don't have commitment. They got religion.
They got church, but not commitment. Another lesson you need to learn from this, even for today, is you should be living a life of gratitude for your salvation. If you saved here and you know it, and you know you're not gonna be in this day, you ought to wake up every day thanking you that I'm in today and not that day. Every day should be a day of praise for the salvation for heaven and the removal for history.
And finally, you ought to be willing to be a witness. You've got relatives, friends, co-laborers, fellow students who are headed toward that day, and they need to hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They need to be asked, do you know where you're gonna spend eternity? They need to be shared the good news of the free gift of salvation that in this day God is offering all men who will come to Christ alone by faith alone. There must be a willingness to talk about that. If you can talk about scandal and empire and power, and you can talk about how to commit a murder, and you can talk about all your favorite shows, if you can talk about all that, you ought to be able to talk a little bit about the Son of God who loved you and gave His life for you.
You ought to be willing to talk about that. Dr. Evans will come back in just a moment with a final thought to wrap up this message called The Coming Tribulation. Just ask us about that title if you'd like to get a copy on CD or digital download to review on your own or share with someone else. Better yet, check with us for details on getting a copy of this entire 12-message series called Prophecy and Our World. And don't forget, you'll get both volumes of this collection as our thank-you gift when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. You can call our 24-hour resource center at 1-800-800-3222. That's 1-800-800-3222. Or visit us online at TonyEvans.org, where all the details are waiting for you. And if you make your contribution right away, we'll also include a special bonus, the high-quality keepsake edition of Tony's book, Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare.
But remember, this is a special limited-time offer, so don't wait. Visit TonyEvans.org or reach out to our resource center at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are always on hand to help you. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. You know, it's easy for modern life and the constant onslaught of social media and cultural concerns to distract us from paying attention to God. But in his next message, Dr. Evans will talk about a time coming when ignoring Jesus simply won't be an option.
Right now, though, he's back with one final point for today. Another lesson you need to learn from this, even for today, is you should be living a life of gratitude for your salvation. If you saved here and you know it, and you know you're not gonna be in this day, you ought to wake up every day thanking you that I'm in today and not that day. Every day should be a day of praise for the salvation for heaven and the removal for history. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-23 01:29:24 / 2023-09-23 01:38:12 / 9