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Why Prophecy Matters, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2021 7:00 am

Why Prophecy Matters, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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December 17, 2021 7:00 am

When the Bible tells us what’s going to happen in the future, what difference does it make in terms of what’s going on today? Find the answer in this lesson as Dr. Tony Evans takes us to the book of Revelation to explore the reasons why prophecy matters.

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You can't know somebody's house is going to burn down tomorrow and you keep silent today. Dr. Tony Evans says prophecy should motivate us to share our faith.

When it really gets deep and you really catch on to it, nobody will have to force you to witness. 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. When the Bible tells us what's going to happen in the future, what difference does it make in terms of what's going on today? You'll want to have your Bible open to Revelation chapter 22 as we join Dr. Evans for the answer. The reason that prophecy matters is that it is proof perfect that the Bible is exactly what it is declared to be, the absolute mistake-proof Word of God. No other book can lay claim to prophetic perfection. In 2 Peter chapter 1, verses 19 to 21, we read, So we have the prophetic Word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. He says God's prophetic Word is sure. The reason why you can bank on what the Bible says is going to happen tomorrow is because of its accuracy about what it said yesterday that has already occurred. Because the prophecies that were prophesied yesterday has occurred, the prophecies from tomorrow are equally sure, making the Bible a perfect prophetic document. And so the first thing you need to know is that God's prophetic Word is perfect. So in everything we talk about, it will happen exactly as God declares it to happen, because it's always happened that way. Revelation 22, verses 18, 19, here's what it says, I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book.

If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part in the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. Translation, don't mess with God's prophetic Word.

Because you will discover you lose, not him. It will happen precisely as he declares it to be, because it's always happened as precisely as he declared it would. And so you hold in your book a prophetic document. One-fourth of the Bible is prophecy. Whole books are written about it, Daniel, Revelation.

It is a prophetic book talking about the future of the world and the future of your life. The second benefit of studying this series on prophecy is it not only authenticates the Bible, but it validates the character of God. He not only declares himself to tell the truth, he declares he is the truth. In other words, truth and him go together. The Scripture makes it clear it is impossible for God to lie. He couldn't lie if he wanted to and he doesn't want to. The question is, can the God of the Bible be trusted?

Because we've established prophetically that the Bible is true, but God is also true because of his very nature. Isaiah chapter 46 verses 8 to 11 reads as follows. Remember this and be assured. Recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, for I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying my purpose will be established and I will accomplish all my good pleasure.

Guess what God says about himself? He says, I declare the end from the beginning. In other words, I don't have to wait to the end to do what y'all do. See how it's all going to work out.

I can declare the end from my location in the beginning. He doesn't have to wait for it to occur. And so that means that the God who can prophesy perfectly about every subject can be trusted.

Ah, but here's one number three. The study of prophecy, when you get it, when this thing grabs you right, this series, it will produce stability, particularly in times of crisis. Prophecy is meant to stabilize you when things appear to be out of control. Regularly throughout scripture, the prophetic word is brought in during times of difficulty.

Jesus told his disciples in John, Saint John chapter 14 verse 1, let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my house are many mansions.

If it was not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I shall come back and receive you unto myself, that where I am you may be also. So don't be too troubled.

It's not over. When you understand God's prophetic program, even when you're frustrated, you can be frustrated with calm. Fourthly, prophecy is designed to promote holiness, a life intentionally seeking to be pleasing to God. Philippians chapter 3 verses 13 to 21, Paul talks about his passion to know Christ. He says in verse 13, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind, I'm reaching forward to what lies ahead. And I'm pressing on to the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Verse 17, brethren, join in fellowship with my example.

I observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I have often told, and now tell you weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is the appetite, whose glory is in their shame, and who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we are eagerly awaiting our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of his glory and by the exertion of his power, that he has even to subject all things to himself. He says in light of the return of Jesus Christ, watch how you walk. That means how you live your life. Live in light of his coming.

Paul put it this way in 2 Timothy 4 verses 6 to 8. He says, the time of my departure is near. I'm getting ready to die. And then he says, I fought a good fight.

I kept the faith, and I finished my course. And then he says, and now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness. And then he says, but not for me only, but for all those who love him at his appearing. He says, the time of my departure is near. In other words, he just got in a death sentence.

They were going to cut off his head. He said, and I can't wait, because I know that there is something waiting for me. Prophecy is designed to keep us so heavenly minded that it affects our walk on earth. Now, we can't change yesterday. We wish we could change a lot of things in yesterday. That's why Paul says, forgetting those things which are behind. I can't live in yesterday.

Let's press on now. Beginning today, based on his prophetic word, he says, based on that word, I want you to adjust your life in light of God's prophetic plan and his returns, a subject we're going to talk about on a lot of different levels throughout this series. It's designed to produce stability and holiness. That is, to adjust our lives to pleasing him, to get up every day. We all fail in this, have failed. But forgetting those things, you've got to start today.

You've got to get up every day. And you said, today I want to live my life as though this could be the day of my departure or his return. Fifthly, prophecy promotes worship. When this thing gets real to you and gets good to you, you won't have to be told to worship. In Romans chapter 11, Paul gives a doxology. A doxology is a praise.

Now, let me set this up for you. Romans 9, 10, and 11, those three chapters, is God's prophecy about Israel, because all you're seeing today is related to Israel. Israel is the centerpiece of God's program because it will be the capital of the earth when Jesus returns. God had come to work through Israel. Israel rejected the Savior, creating a delay in God's program, a delay he knew about, but nevertheless a delay predicated on their decision. And so in Romans chapter 11, after talking about Israel's rejection of Christ, he comes and he says in verse 25, I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed about this mystery so that you will not be wise in your own estimation. That is, a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Okay? Israel is rejecting me, and they will continue to reject me until the last Gentile is saved. The fullness of the Gentiles come in. After the last Gentile is saved, I am then going to return to my work with Israel. Right now, Israel has rejected me. So I am now working among the Gentiles, the church.

But when the church has been complete and the fullness of the Gentiles have come in, he says, then verse 26, all Israel will be saved. But then he comes with his doxology in verse 33. Oh!

I love that. Because you know somebody getting ready to get their praise on when they open up with, Oh! He's just overwhelmed. God has been blowing his mind. He says, Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable are His judgments, unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor, or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. See, when you start to see this puzzle come together, and you get to see how God works something over here to create something over there, to mix something over there, to create a result over here, all you're going to be able to say is, Oh!

You've got to be kidding me! Dr. Evans will have more on what we do differently as we see God's plans come together when he returns to continue this message in just a moment. Before he does, though, I want to let you know the lesson you're hearing today is one of Tony's most requested messages of the year. And if you make a donation to help us keep his teaching coming your way, we'll send you the full-length version of today's lesson along with 19 others on CD and digital MP3s.

We're calling this collection The Best of Tony Evans 2021, and it's our way of saying thanks for your investment in us, which enables us to continue investing in you. And for a limited time, to those who donate and request this audio series, we have a special deal. At your request, we'll also include up to three additional resources from Tony, ranging from a popular devotional for men, a new and timely book covering a biblical look at race, and even a book just for kids called Made by God. You can get the details on these optional bonuses when you visit TonyEvans.org, or give us a call at 1-800-800-3222. We have friendly and knowledgeable team members standing by to assist with your resource request 24-7. Once again, that's TonyEvans.org, or by phone at 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat that information for you after part two of today's message.

Here's Dr. Evans. Finally, when it really gets deep and you really catch on to it, and it catches on to you, nobody will have to force you to witness. That's why I want to take you in conclusion to 2 Peter 3. Know this, first of all, that in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking following after their own lust.

A mocker is a person who makes light of spiritual things, saying, where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, it all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation. They're going to say, Jesus has been coming back. My mama told me Jesus was coming back. My grandmama told me Jesus was coming back. My great-grandmama told me Jesus was coming back. I haven't seen no Jesus.

Everything's the same. So this religion thing y'all got, Karl Marx said, it's the opiate of the people. It's the drug to just keep y'all passive and not doing anything. And so, yeah, so he said, they're going to make fun of this. You believe in this eternal state. You believing in this rapture. You believing in this kingdom. You believing in this heavenly existence.

He says, there will be those who will make fun of you. He says, and when they do, when they, verse 5, maintain this, when they say this, it escapes their notice. They didn't miss something. That by the word of God, the heavens existed long ago, the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. God told a man named Noah, it's going to rain. Now you have to understand, it had never rained before on earth. The water was, water came from underneath the ground back then.

There was no rain. So Noah is told to build a boat called an ark. Noah did not know it was going to take 120 years to do this, because this is a huge ship. This ship is as big as a few football fields. So he's told to build this boat, and he's told to build this boat on dry land.

Why? Because Noah, it's going to rain. The Bible says Noah was a preacher of righteousness. So he's building a boat during the day, and he's preaching in the evening. He's going into town and he's saying, Hey folks, God told me to tell y'all it's going to rain. They laughed.

They thought, yeah, this man has lost his mind. He's talking about some water going to come down from up there. Yeah, and it's going to cover the whole earth. And God told me to tell you it's going to rain. So he's out there building a boat with his family, looking like a fool, because he's building a boat on dry land, talking about something that had never been seen before. Five years goes by, no rain.

Ten years go by. I figure, you know, he goes to town and gets them to print some tracts. It's going to rain. It's going to rain. It's going to rain. It's going to rain.

They don't want to hear it. It never happened before. I would have known, I think, I would have known when I saw them animals lining up two by two. There may be something to this rain situation here. Because I got Mr. Aardvark telling Mrs. Aardvark, It's going to rain. I got Mr. Bear telling Mrs. Bear, Let's get on the boat.

I got Mr. Lion telling Mrs. Lion, It's going to rain. The others, the animals were doing what men weren't. And he says, what escaped their notice is that God kept his word. He just gave them 120 years to change their mind.

But except for Noah and his family, they refused to change their mind. And so his point is this, verse 7, by his word, the present heavens and earth, where you and I are living now, are being reserved for fire. It won't be water.

It'll be fire. It is being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and the destruction of ungodly men. So what's that got to do with you and me, verses 8 and 9? Do not let this one fact, I got one fact for you, escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day. You're looking at the wrong clock. He says, God's clock is not like your clock.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. Seconds make minutes, minutes makes hours, hours make days, days make weeks, weeks make months, months make years, years make decades, decades make up millenniums. That's your clock. He says, but God is checking his clock. And for him, one day is like a thousand years, which we can't relate to because that's not our clock. So he said, let me tell you that God is operating on a different clock. Therefore, verse 9, the Lord is not slow about his promise.

You're just looking at the wrong clock. He's not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance. If you believe in the prophetic word that we will be teaching, then you can't keep it to yourself. You've got brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers who have an eternal destiny out there that you can't afford to be silent about. You can't know somebody's house is going to burn down tomorrow and you keep silent today.

You become motivated because of what you believe. Let me close in 1996 to the year 2000. There was a TV show I love to watch called Early Edition. Gary Hobson one day came and opened his door and there was a cat sitting on a newspaper.

I was curious. He picks up the newspaper and to his shock, the newspaper had tomorrow's date on it. Every single day Gary Hobson came out, he would get the paper for the next day. So the show was called Early Edition because he got tomorrow's news today. And the point of the show was him trying to save people from the tragedy that was in the newspaper that was going to happen tomorrow because he had gotten news about it today, about tomorrow's date. So every week he's delivering somebody, helping somebody, saving somebody.

He's doing stuff for folks. He's taking people's destiny and turning them around because he had gotten the early edition. God in prophecy is giving you the early edition. He's telling you today about what's coming tomorrow so you can use the day to change the destiny of your and other folks tomorrow because you've now gotten the early edition. The tragedy is to have the early edition and let folk that you know are in trouble stay there. You got the early edition, that's prophecy. God declaring you about your tomorrow, the tomorrow of your world, and giving you the opportunity to influence its direction.

By how we choose to live. Dr. Tony Evans with a look at why exploring biblical prophecy is relevant for each of us today. Now before we go, I want to let you know that you can get today's complete message as a part of our current year-end series, The Best of Tony Evans 2021. As I mentioned earlier, all 20 messages in this collection are our gift to you when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching coming your way.

And for a limited time, we're also including a special customizable bonus offer. Choose an additional popular resource like The Kingdom Men Rising Devotional or Tony's Children's Book Made by God or even his powerful and timely new work, Kingdom Race Theology. For complete details and to make your donation, just drop by tonyevans.org. Again, that's tonyevans.org.

Or you can call our 24-hour resource center at 1-800-800-3222 to let one of our team members assist with your request. 2022 is just around the corner, and your support is vital to meeting our year-end challenge amount and finishing the year strong to keep messages of hope and life coming to you and others. So many right now need the hope and truth found in God's Word, and it's generous friends like you who make that possible. Your gift today will help keep the Urban Alternative going strong on air and online. Visit tonyevans.org to give today. That's tonyevans.org. Dr. Evans says God not only wants us to live an eternal life, but to live a life that's about eternity. He'll explain the difference on Monday. I hope you'll join us. 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 / 2023-07-08 11:57:48 / 2023-07-08 12:06:43 / 9

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