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The Final Rebellion, Part 2

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
May 16, 2022 12:00 am

The Final Rebellion, Part 2

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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May 16, 2022 12:00 am

Many people reject God today because of the problem of evil. They say they can't believe in a God who allows suffering and evil throughout the world. But what will be their excuse when God sets the world right?

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A person's economic status and level of education might bring some benefits in this life, but those do nothing for the real issue of life, the soul. Mankind is a heart condition, and his biggest problem is that his heart is corrupt and his nature is fallen. He must be redeemed. You can feed him, you can clothe him, you can educate him, you can medicate him, you can ensure him, you can employ him, you can heal him.

But there's still a problem, and that is that you're going to have to bury him. People are born with a heart problem. Ever since Adam rebelled against God, people were born as rebellious sinners. Everyone since Adam was born in need of salvation. You can have all the advantages this world offers, and still be spiritually dead. That's even going to be true when things are perfect here on earth during the Millennial Kingdom. Even in a perfect world, with Jesus directly ruling, some people will respond to the Gospel, and some will ignore it. Those who ignore the truth will participate in one final rebellion.

The final rebellion is the name of today's message here on Wisdom for the Heart. I had a young boy come up to me and ask me if our pets were going to go to heaven. I told him I believed Isaiah made it pretty clear that we'll have animals to play with. I said, son, you're going to have some pets that your mother would never allow you to have right now, but it's going to be a blast. His eyes just were wide.

He was so excited about it. I had to tell him that we don't have any biblical indication that our pets will be in heaven, no matter how many times they've been blessed by the church. I read one interesting article not too long ago that said that the pets of Christians get to go to heaven. I mean, that's just bad theology. I've had some pets I'd rather not see in heaven. They're going to ruin heaven for me if they follow me around. If the pets of believers go to heaven, where do the pets of unbelievers go?

I mean, bad theology just gets worse, doesn't it? We do know that animals will no longer be predators, and I believe we have every reason to believe if you just look at the prophets and the descriptions and all the references to animals that every species will be represented. They will, however, be tame, docile enough to play with from the dinosaur to the leopard to the cobra. There will be a perfect government.

There will be a pristine environment. Third, there will be a prolonged lifespan. Mortals who are born and live during the kingdom will live such long lives. Isaiah 65 has already told us that a man at the age of 100 will be considered a very young man. Again, the millennial kingdom will reflect many of the conditions of early creation. And so you go to Genesis 5 and you read about Adam living 930 years and Kenan living 910 years and Lamech living 777 years. All of this implies a return to the protective climates and conditions of life in and around and following the Garden of Eden.

It will be along that same line, fourthly, pronounced health improvements. That's what Isaiah says in chapter 33, verse 24. Those mortals who enter into the kingdom with disabilities and sicknesses will be immediately healed.

Isaiah 33, 24. Isaiah writes of this glorious moment as the kingdom begins in chapter 35, he says this. The eyes of the blind will be opened. The ears of the deaf will be unstopped.

The flame will leap like a deer and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. Perfect government, pristine environment, prolonged lifespan for mortals, pronounced health improvements. And fifth, profuse resources. And I'm almost done, I'm almost out of peas, okay?

Profuse resources. For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2.14.

Principled rulers, sixth. We as confirmed immortals no longer struggling with our sin nature, that is gone forever. We will rule and reign without any double-mindedness. Without any temptation to sin. With perfect justice and perfect balance and wisdom and godly principle.

The final aspect I'll refer to is first and foremost in its importance, I've just saved the best for last. It's this, there is the present perceptible Savior. Now surely the world, the mortals that are born by the billions over a period of time of such great health, when everything is flourishing, when there's justice and righteousness, when you have the visual demonstrations of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and you have the memorial sacrifices and you have immortals reigning with him surrounding the globe, surely the world will believe and under these conditions follow after such a benevolent ruler. We have hints of trouble already from the prophets. The prophets tell us that rebels during the kingdom will face swift judgment, implying what? There will be rebels in the kingdom. We're told by the prophet Zechariah that nations who refuse to come to Jerusalem for the annual worship of Christ will not receive reign upon their land, implying there will be nations who as time progresses will stop sending delegates to honor Christ. In fact Zechariah chapter 14 implies that Egypt as a nation will refuse over time to worship Christ and there will be a famine in their land. Mankind will simply love his autonomy, his self-deceived autonomy. He will love his sin rather than the Savior. Imagine here in a perfect society with pristine living conditions and prosperous health and plenty of resources, mankind by the millions will be ready to follow the devil rather than worship Christ.

This is the Garden of Eden part 2. And human nature has not changed from the garden to the kingdom. And everybody who might say to God my conditions were only such that this allowed me from ever believing, he will say you had perfect conditions and it did not change your nature and your rebellion. And Satan hadn't changed one bit either, has he? As soon as his prison door swings open he takes off to bring one more insult to the face of Christ. He already knows he's defeated, he knows Revelation chapter 20 better than we will ever know it, but he doesn't care, he hates Christ just that much. What matters most to him is that he could possibly deceive a few million more people who are ready and waiting, that he could somehow implement, instigate some kind of betrayal, some kind of uprising, some kind of rebellion so that he could cause an eternal created being to raise his fist against Creator God.

He revels in that, he loves it. And even though he knows his end he'll do it again. Robert Mound said it this way, a thousand years of confinement does not alter Satan's plan, nor does a thousand years of millennial conditions change man's basic tendency to rebel against his Creator.

Nothing is altered by the mere passing of time. You have had now up to this point 25 generations or so born into the kingdom as mortals, children of believing parents in this dispensation who hear the gospel, who may be in our presence today, who have outwardly conformed, but inwardly they are rebels. They are what one author called gospel hardened. So also in this era there will be those outwardly conformed, children, great-grandchildren, great-grandchildren and on who outwardly conform but they are glory hardened over time. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we see the golden palace.

Yeah, we took a field trip 175 years ago when I was in fifth grade and we saw it. Yeah, we know that there's a king, we've seen the bright lights, we've heard that he died for us 5,000, 4,000 years ago or whatever. So what? What right does he have to rule over my life and what right does he have to tell me I can't live in there? And Satan will then appear and be ready and he'll say, you know, you're exactly right to feel that way. I think God's intimidated by you.

I think we can take him. That's what he said to Eve. God's afraid of you. Why should Jesus Christ decide who lives in that house of gold? Satan has lost none of his cunning. He knows exactly what to say and what to do to bring about one final rebellion.

Men are still men. Sin is still sin. And he's had thousands of years to practice bringing the two together. And he will do it again for one last uprising. John writes, notice verse 8, that he's able to recruit from the four corners of the earth. In other words, from the four points of the compass, north, south, east and west. That there are actually people living all around the planet ready to take on God.

Even in these conditions. Now John mentions, you might notice Gog and Magog creates a little bit of confusion here. They represent the Russian, the northern nations who've already marched against Israel at the beginning of the tribulation. Some believe they must be the same thing, the same battle. They're different battles. Even though these two unique names reappear, Ezekiel's battle is different than this one. Ezekiel's battle will take place at the beginning of the tribulation. I believe it appears in Revelation chapter 6 in that first war mentioned. The conflict here in Revelation 20 takes place at the close of the millennial kingdom.

You can't miss that. Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39 join other nations living around the Middle East. But in Revelation 20 here, the armies are recruited from around the world. After the battle takes place at the beginning of the tribulation, all the dead are buried, we're told, in Ezekiel's prophecy. But here in Revelation 20, as you'll see in a moment, the armies are instantly cremated as fire falls.

There are no graves. Gog and Magog are certainly literally included in this battle. But their names are also emblematic of the enemies of Israel and her God as they have been for thousands of years.

Listen, you know what's happening here? God is simply going to allow the unredeemed people of planet Earth one last gasp. One final expression of defiance which resides in the heart of unredeemed mankind. One final fling to forever prove that the fallen nature of mankind is not partial, but total. But this really isn't much of a battle, is it?

In fact, it's really just a divine execution. John records in verse 9, And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints in the beloved city, fire came down from heaven and devoured them. Not one shot is fired.

The implements of war that they have been able to craft and create very quickly lose no gunpowder. Suddenly it's as if the sky bursts into flames. Imagine that this way the armies, we're told here, their number resembles the sand of the seashore.

Again, a staggering thought. But they've surrounded Jerusalem. And suddenly, a falling ring of fire surrounds the city of Jerusalem.

It's protected on the inside. And then it radiates outward in all directions until all of the armies are engulfed and destroyed by this descending sea of flame. The final judgment is moments away. That'll be for another study, but let me ask you, what does this final rebellion prove?

Let me say the same thing three different ways. First, this final rebellion proves that a perfect ruler does not guarantee a perfect heart. Secondly, it proves that a clean environment, you can put anything you want into the word clean, prosperous, healthy, whatever, a clean environment does not erase inward corruption. Number three, solving social problems does not solve the sin problem. Listen, mankind's biggest problem has never been external, but internal.

Mankind is a heart condition, and his biggest problem is that his heart is corrupt and his nature is fallen. He must be redeemed. You can feed him. You can clothe him. You can educate him. You can medicate him. You can insure him.

You can employ him. You can heal him. But there's still a problem, and that is that you're going to have to bury him. And none of that then mattered.

The greatest problem is that he is an eternal being, and his greatest problem is internal. His problem is not the parents he went home with. You won't stand before God and say, I would have believed in you if it hadn't been for those rotten parents of mine. The problem isn't how they raised you. Whether you were breastfed or bottlefed, whether you were in the top 75 percentile of normal growth patterns or at the bottom of the class, whether they put the best name brand footy pajamas on you or got them from consignment shops. It doesn't matter what kind of car they drove in. It doesn't matter what kind of school. It doesn't matter how they potty trained you. I'm just going to be real practical.

Whether they bribed you or gave you a puppy or spanked you, I don't know. The problem is never out there. The problem is in here. The problem is always us.

And the millennial kingdom is going to be perfect conditions. You ever been driving down the interstate and you come up on a pack of cars, both lanes going 55 miles an hour, and you think, what is their problem? That speed sign is a guideline. What it means is if you can't go that fast, get off the interstate. It's the minimum. You know, you have that conversation.

Maybe. I don't know. And you go for several miles until finally about a quarter of a mile up ahead, you see a state trooper pulling off on an exit. And then what does everybody do? Except you and me and a few other righteous people.

Speed up. The presence of that law enforcer produced conformity to the law. But not loyalty to the law. And certainly not love for the law giver.

There has been in the kingdom outward conformity. But over time, well, you know, the king is way off in Jerusalem. Maybe he can't see this far down the interstate. A lot of trees between us.

Can radar go through trees? Have you ever wondered that? I haven't.

Shame on you. This final rebellion is going to reveal that apart from God's saving grace, mankind will be unmoved by peace and joy and righteousness and plenty and even the presence of his glory. And they will be deceived into believing they can overthrow that ruler seated on the golden throne and they will march against him. This will be the final rebellion against God. Before we wrap up our study today, notice in verse 10 that Satan is cast forever. He's thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone.

The verb thrown, eblathae, translated cast perhaps in your translation or thrown, is a prophetic, aorist, passive verb which doesn't sound exciting to you at all, but it is very exciting. What this verb tells us is that some unnamed agent actually throws Satan into hell. Who is this unnamed agent? He's unnamed. I don't know. We're not told, but I'll give you my guess.

I mean, you pay me to sit around all week and think about this stuff, so I'm going to give you my guess. We know it would be somebody empowered by God, obviously. One person plus God is a majority, right? We've already seen an angel representing the godly hosts of angels that refused to follow Satan. We've already seen a representative, an anonymous angel called forward who's been given the power and privilege of casting Satan into the abyss where he is incarcerated for a thousand years.

So the angels have had their due. I don't think this would be Christ. Just one word would be enough to cast Satan into hell.

Yet God has chosen someone to carry out his word of judgment. If the agent isn't a representative of the triune God, if he isn't an agent of the angelic host, what do we have left? The human race. What human being could best represent the human race in casting Satan away for good?

My guess. Adam. What better representative of the human race to carry out this task than the first human created and the representative of fallen, defeated, dying humanity? It was Adam and Eve who first heard the serpent's words of defiance, right? Eve, you were deceived by the serpent. Adam, you knowingly rebelled, you chose Eve over God.

You chose personal autonomy over the sovereignty of God. Imagine, would you with me? And again, we're just imagining. Imagine living for thousands of years, forgiven?

Absolutely. Yet the memory is there as our memories will be, forgiven, perfected in that glorified state, but memories still. Imagine living with the understanding that it was you who opened the door to sin. It was you who opened the door to sorrow.

It was you who opened the door to death when you rebelled. Imagine for thousands of years having your name attached to the sin nature, Adam's sin nature. How would you like it to be Scott's or Stephen's or Nancy's or Susan's sin nature?

And all of humanity thinks of you. Imagine us talking about the sin of you. It's the sin of Adam, part of God's plan all along for the glory of his grace to be revealed. But here at the end of this final rebellion, what better person to end Satan's grasp over humanity than the human being whose sin began it all. I hope it's Adam. I would love to see Adam, the representative of all of us who have spent our lives under the curse in the battle, I'd love to see our Father who failed have the opportunity to cast the deceiver away forever. What a moment of triumph for the redeemed human race.

We don't know if it's Adam, but we do know that it does end. This is Satan's everlasting doom and this is the last time he will ever be seen by the redeemed again. What great promise for us. Through Christ, our gracious sovereign Lord, we have been redeemed. We sinners, we utter failures and we prove it every day, don't we? We prove our connection to Adam's fallen nature and our children after us.

But think of this, think of this. Listen, when Satan comes along to you and reminds you of your past and your present, you remind him of his future. Amen?

You remind him of his future. Stand with me in this place. Father, thank you for this text. Thank you for giving us a little bit of information about the glory of these days and our security even now. Thank you for the privilege and the thrill of realizing through the study of your word that we are already guaranteed a place among the immortals by faith in Christ alone. Thank you for Satan's doom and end. Thank you for the rule of Christ and the crushing with one command of the final rebellion. If you're here today and you've come by faith to Christ and you know that you belong to him, would you thank him for your salvation?

Would you thank him for your position and your future? And while you do that, let me very quickly invite anybody standing here. You know you're conforming outwardly, but inside there is a rebel. Perhaps the Spirit of God is calling you. And you've heard enough of the gospel to know that that gospel is for you, not just for everybody around you. That that sinful propensity is yours and it must be atoned for or you will be judged by God.

And you've heard enough. We'd love to take the word of God to make sure that this faith that you embrace is genuine and you are saying farewell to those who would rebel against the sovereign rule of Christ and you welcome him. Father, thank you again for this grand day. Help it to permeate our thinking and be reflected in our actions. Give us dignity and diligence. We are an immortal, a future co-regent with Christ. No wonder we've been challenged to do everything that we put our hand to with excellence. May us, by your grace, do that this week, we pray in Jesus' name.

And everyone said, Amen. I hope Stephen's prayer reflected the sentiment of your heart today as you prayed along with him. This is Wisdom for the Heart, the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey. Stephen's in a series called Thy Kingdom Come, and today's lesson is entitled The Final Rebellion. If we can assist you in any way, call us at 866-48-BIBLE. Stephen's the pastor of the Shepherd's Church in Cary, North Carolina. Stephen has one more message to go in this series. Join us then here on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-18 09:14:23 / 2023-04-18 09:23:18 / 9

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