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The Future in Review, Part 2

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2022 12:00 am

The Future in Review, Part 2

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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May 18, 2022 12:00 am

This study of Revelation has covered 50 pages of transcript and two chapters of John's prophetic vision. If you need a brief summary of everything that has been covered so far, here it is!

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If the Lord returns—think of it this way—while our nation still exists as it does, then in the kingdom, Chicago will still be Chicago.

Cary will still be Cary. The mortals will experience life much like we do now. There will be traffic jams and school exams, and there will be business deals, musical concerts, sporting events. The mortals, over whom we rule and reign, will be normal people. They're going to be just like you and me now. So far in this series, Thy Kingdom Come, Stephen Davey has brought us through two chapters of the book of Revelation. He's been looking at the future period of time known as the Millennial Kingdom. If you missed the previous messages in this series, you've picked a great day to tune in. Stephen's going to summarize this entire series today.

But here's the thing. It's natural to have many questions when we think about the end times. But Stephen's going to challenge you to never lose sight of the most important question.

Is your personal future secure? Today's lesson is called The Future in Review. We've been studying our way through the Millennial Kingdom, and I had intended to go a little further on into chapter 20, but I've been getting a lot of feedback and a lot of questions related to our studies.

So what I thought we'd do is quickly review our timeline of future events and specifically answer some questions that have surfaced. So far we've covered the rapture of the church as the church age ends and the tribulation period begins. Paul says this in 1 Thessalonians 4 verse 15, For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. In other words, when the rapture of the believers takes place, those who are living, we're not going to go up before those who've died, as it were in Christ.

Their bodies are going to come out first. So Paul explains, look in verse 16, For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. So Christ is going to give a command. It's probably the same command that he gave often when he interrupted every funeral he ever attended by saying rise.

And that dead body came back to life. So Christ is going to command and the dead bodies of believers that have decayed and turned back to dust, depending on how long they've been in the grave, are going to come out of the graves, be reconstituted and rise to meet their soul in the air and to be with the Lord. Now Paul writes, look at verse 17, Then we who are alive, that is we haven't died, we know Christ, we're not in the grave, and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words. And every time I read that and in preaching from the text, I have to ask, are you comforted by these words? Or are you convicted? Do you know Jesus Christ? Now we have no idea when that rapture is going to occur and the church age and are you concerned with this news or confident? I love the confidence of one of our staff members who shared her testimony at our last Christmas program.

Depending on what night you came, you may have heard hers. I was struck by her decision and her husband's to have written on their tombstone this statement of faith. Here are the words they're going to have written on their tombstone, quote, and they lived happily ever after. Isn't that great? That's true comfort.

Why? Because they know that's not permanent. That's not a permanent place. Their souls already with Christ will be reunited with this reconstructed body that's called out first at the command of Christ. And they enjoy Christ then face to face in a reconstituted glorified body. Now there is an intermediate body, not a lot of scripture given for us on that subject, but the body is able as we're told in Luke 16 to experience pain, to long for a drink of water, to experience comfort.

So we have some kind of intermediate body in the meantime should we die before the rapture. So Paul describes then a physical resurrection of the bodies of New Testament believers as the rapture then whisks the bride of Christ away to be kept out of the wrath of God, the hour of great trouble which will be poured out on the planet during the tribulation. Now we've already studied the tribulation at length according to Daniel's prophecy. It's seven years long.

The first three and a half years are relatively peaceful. A smaller simpler version of the temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem and the Jewish people who've regathered will attempt to reconstruct their Old Testament system of sacrifices. It'll barely get off the ground when at the middle point of the tribulation the antichrist gains enough power and enough charisma with all kinds of false signs and wonders and he will make the claim to be God incarnate. He will place in the holy of holies, the holy place in the temple an idol of himself and he will demand worship as God. Revelation 13 gives all of those details. During the last three and a half years then the great persecution of Israel begins because even unbelieving Israel won't do that.

They'll refuse that. Many will be placing their faith in Christ as Messiah and Gentiles who've come to faith in Christ through hearing the gospel as the only true and living God, many of them will begin to be martyred in great numbers and all the while the Lord is pouring out these cataclysmic events of his wrath in one disaster after another. Revelation 16 and 17 talks about all the natural and cosmic upheavals that are coming from the hand of God and eventually the armies of the world coalesce and they march against the Messiah as they see the Messiah descending with us. Evidently most believe that is a very slow descent, a longer warning in fact and yet the armies of the world will combine to march against him. They will believe that they can take him on and defeat him, much like the battle at the end of the millennium which we studied where the multitudes will march against Jerusalem.

One word from Christ, Babylon will be crushed, these armies will be slaughtered and the blood will flow as deep as the bridle of a horse. Satan then is bound for a thousand years in a deep abyss, Revelation chapter 20 and that takes us about to where we are, the one thousand year reign of Christ on earth begins. Remember now the first time Christ appeared in the sky in 1 Thessalonians 4, he was coming for the believers.

The second time Christ appears in the sky in Revelation 19 at the end of the tribulation, he is appearing with the believers. I'm convinced the average Christian today thinks of his future in these terms, I'm saved, I've been called by God's grace out of darkness into a marvelous light, he has redeemed me. I'm either going to die or I'm going to be raptured and then heaven.

That's what the average Christian thinks. I hope now you have in your minds, no, there's this one thousand year amazing epic of time when we will reign, this incredible time of joy and glory and development on earth and economy and business and art and industry and nature and discovery all waiting to play out on the stage of human history as the golden age begins and we, the immortals will co-reign with Christ in this kingdom. Now as Christ comes to establish that kingdom, there is another physical resurrection. This is the physical bodily resurrection of Old Testament believers whose souls have been with our Lord as well as the physical bodily resurrection of believing tribulation martyrs who Revelation 20 clearly tells us will reign along with us. They're not left out of the kingdom, the Old Testament saints, the tribulation martyrs are going to be given glorified immortal bodies as they with us reign with Christ and so we immortals reign over the mortals, both Jews and Gentiles who believe the gospel at the end of the tribulation and who were allowed to enter into the millennial kingdom. Those who didn't believe in Christ during the tribulation will be executed and they will await their final judgment in Hades. We however will enjoy this great period of time of joy and discovery and those who enter the millennial kingdom in their natural bodies will have children in fact a thousand years of flourishing on planet earth.

It's going to be absolutely amazing. Now I had one woman come to me and she said to me, you know this idea of ruling has no appeal to me at all. In fact it has no appeal to my husband. In fact my husband would rather be fly fishing for trout work rather than working in a governmental post and I said well tell him that he might be the one in charge of the entire industry of fly fishing. He might be the person who tests out the newest equipment and decides who can fish when and where, the best seasons for fly fishing at the best places. He may very well get to enjoy fly fishing expeditions with Peter. He could teach Andrew how to do it. They only know how to use a net.

They can share their fish stories only they'll be telling the truth. We have no idea how this rule, when you say rule don't think of okay I got a government job and I'm behind a desk. Everything that happens on the earth will be under the regency of you the immortal accountable to Christ. Everything.

Everything. If the Lord returns, think of it this way, while our nation still exists as it does then in the kingdom Chicago will still be Chicago. Carry will still be carry. The mortals will experience life much like we do now. There will be traffic jams and school exams and shopping malls unfortunately. There will be clothing designs. There will be business deals.

There will be musical concerts, sporting events. One of you might be the future commissioner of baseball. Farmers are still going to plant crops, drive tractors, milk cows, ship produce around the globe, and build houses and roads and bridges and boats. The mortals over whom we rule and reign will be normal people. They're going to be just like you and me now. However as we've learned they're going to live a very long time. In fact I had this question asked me where do mortals who enter the kingdom as believers go when they die during the millennial kingdom.

Good question. There's not one verse or implication in the Bible that tells us any believer who enters from the tribulation into the millennial kingdom and those who are born who believe. Not one verse that any believer ever dies. We are given the idea certainly as well as the prophetic scriptures that clarify it for us that conditions are going to revert back to the early days of creation and you're going to have people living like Adam and Methuselah and their nine hundred and thirty years, nine hundred and sixty years their bodies are going to be remarkably improved even though they are mortal. They're going to be healed at the beginning of the millennial kingdom.

Anybody entering as a mortal will be instantly healed according to Isaiah's prophecies. They're still going to have their sin nature. They're not going to be glorified perfected in holiness but they will be secure in Christ having believed. They'll have to battle against sinful temptations.

Having believed in Christ during the tribulation although they're secure they're going to have to develop the same disciplines that we have to develop in our own lives. Now I will tell you that the unbelievers, if I can change quickly here, the unbelievers we are told will live long lives. However Isaiah chapter sixty five implies that unbelievers will experience death. That seems to be part of the judgment of Christ's reign. Those who believe live throughout the entire millennial kingdom and are glorified at the end of it. Those who do not believe eventually die. Conditions however will be much more encouraging for people to believe.

Won't they? Sin will be repressed as truth sits on the throne. Satan will be bound.

His influence will be nullified. Christ will be physically visible on the throne. You don't have to introduce people to an invisible Lord but a visible Lord.

They can take a field trip to Jerusalem and see his glory. The Spirit of God will be globally unusually active among the nations of believers according to Joel chapter two. Visions and prophecies will begin again and supplement the ministry of the gospel in that kingdom era like never before. That work of the Spirit that was partially unveiled at Pentecost in Acts chapter two will now be open and have center stage during the millennial kingdom with all kinds of signs and wonders according to Joel 2 and Ezekiel 36. One other aid in encouraging men and women to obey and follow Christ and worship him will be the newly constructed millennial temple.

I've had some questions about that. Ezekiel's prophecies inform us that the glory of the Lord will fill the temple. It will just glow. Ezekiel 43 verse 5. Everyone who comes to observe the enactment of the sacrificial system will leave in awe of the glory of God's grace and the sacrifice of Christ and the gospel. Worship is going to center on Jerusalem Isaiah 1, Jeremiah 3, Micah 5, Zechariah 8 and many more passages. The Levites will minister once again in the temple. Ezekiel 44. The Sabbaths and the feasts of Israel will once again be observed as a testimony to Jesus Christ who fulfilled them all.

Now I've been asked this excellent question in recent days. Doesn't this violate these sacrifices? Doesn't this violate the finished work of Christ? Hebrews 10 tells us that Christ offered himself up one sacrifice for all time, verse 10. Verse 18, now where there is forgiveness of these things there is no longer any offering for sin. So it's a very, very good question to ask. Does this violate it?

Well, no, not at all. Hebrews 10 is defining for us the sufficiency of Christ's atonement once and for all in his full and final sacrifice. His sacrifice on the cross is necessary for salvation and he alone is the path for forgiveness, resurrection unto life, the millennial kingdom, the eternal state. But you say, well, I've accepted Christ as my savior, living Lord. I've come to the cross. I've confessed my sin. So that's all past tense for me and for all time.

That's right. You have. You've come to the cross. You've believed in the atoning work of Christ. But remember, millions, perhaps billions of mortals will need to as well.

They haven't. They're going to hear the gospel of Christ's sacrifice for them too throughout the millennial kingdom. According to Ezekiel 43, these temple sacrifices are not being performed for the sake of atonement, but as an illustration of Christ's atonement.

God condescends to give us visual aids, doesn't he? Even today in the New Testament church, we have an illustration of Christ's atonement through the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine, which we partake, not because Christ needs to be sacrificed all over again. We're not sacrificing him again.

That's why we don't participate in mass. Christ is not being sacrificed again. He was sacrificed once for all. These are memorials. This is an illustration of what he did for us in giving his body and his blood. And Jesus Christ said, he said, do this not to put me to death over and over again, but do this in what? Remembrance of me. Take this visual aid, which I in great wisdom am giving to you because you forget.

Do this and so remember my sacrifice. We call that the ordinance of communion. We're going to get into that big tank full of water. It's heated nine times out of 10. If it's not, it's quick.

It happens very quickly. People are going to get into there and they're going to illustrate what happened to them as they go under the water that they are buried with Christ in baptism. And then we believe in the resurrection, fortunately, and everybody's illustrated and are bringing them up illustrating their identification with his resurrection. That's why we have an illustration of the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which he displays through us as were marked as his disciples. It doesn't save us.

We're not saved in water. It illustrates the fact that we have been saved. So to reenact then in the temple here in the millennial temple, these sacrifices, they're wonderful illustrations.

In fact, I can't wait to see it. And what that will do for us is we will weep with joy at the sacrifice of the unblemished lamb who gave himself for us. And those who don't know Christ haven't placed their faith in him alone will see this and be moved as well. It will be a wonderful aid to evangelism.

It'll be a wonderful incentive for worship and gratitude for the believer. Now there's one more physical resurrection I'll mention and then we're done. It's yet to happen in the timeline of human history.

We're about there in our study. It'll be the physical resurrection of the bodies of every unbeliever who has died throughout all of human history. Their souls have been in Hades. Some now for thousands of years. Some perhaps only recently, having refused to believe the gospel in the millennial kingdom. Their bodies will be raised and they will be immortalized, also reunited with their souls which have been languishing in Hades, awaiting this terrifying moment of judgment.

That's our next study. No God will be able to save them as they stand before the great white throne, John calls it in Revelation, the end of chapter 20. It will be the finale of God's judgment against unbelief.

And the world will discover as they are swept into this awful scene that no one will ever be able to get away from, that no matter how religious they were, if they've not been redeemed by Christ, their religion will not be able to help them. They will discover then that all roads do not lead to heaven any more than all interstates lead to New England. They're going to discover, just as you would know even now, you get on I-95 South and you can say over and over again, I'm going to Massachusetts. I'm going to Massachusetts.

You can say that over and over and over. You can get a carload of people that believe you and they're convinced and you can chant as you go down the road, we're going to Massachusetts, we're going to Massachusetts. You can say that all the way as you run off the tip of Florida and drown in the Atlantic Ocean. It doesn't matter how sincere you are.

You know what the difference is between Massachusetts and Miami? About 100 degrees, right? My friends, this is going to be a terrifying moment when the world will recognize that Jesus indeed told the truth when he said, I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one will ever come to the Father except through me. Let me ask you, where are you in this timeline? Physically, we're in the church age. We're not in the Old Testament. We're not before the cross. We're after the cross, that historic attested fact. We're now living in this period called the church age. The rapture could just be around the corner. The church age could go on if God designs it for another thousand years.

But you know what? You won't and neither will I, right? We'll experience death. So the real question is where are you spiritually? Where are you in relation to that cross which is making the difference in the church age, which will make a difference for you in the rapture, which will make a difference than where you're waiting as the tribulation takes place in heaven or in Hades and the millennial kingdom? Where will you be reigning with Christ or still waiting for the judgment? And of course, the great white throne, will you be one of the judges?

We're told by Paul, we will judge the world or will you be one of the judged? If you're not in the body of Christ through faith in him alone, if the rapture were to occur, you're not going to go up with him in the rapture. You'll not come back down with him at the second coming. You'll not be as co-regent in the millennial kingdom and you'll not enter the new heaven and the new earth.

There's a lot of things weighing on your answer. Where are you right now as it relates to the cross of Christ? The questions that need to be answered today are not, even though they're intriguing, do we get to eat in heaven? Can people see their families from heaven? Are there horses in heaven? Are there computers in heaven? Why did Adam sin? What does sin have to do with natural disasters? Good questions, but here are more fundamentally important questions for you to consider today.

The only questions you really must have an answer to. Are you a member of the family of God? Have you been born again by faith in Christ? Is your faith genuinely rooted in the atonement of Christ alone? Do you belong to Jesus Christ? We're intrigued by unraveling some portions of scripture that seem obscure to us regarding heaven and the end times. While it's good to know and understand what God's word says, we need to make sure to never lose sight of the real important questions. Is my faith genuinely rooted in the atonement of Christ alone? Do I belong to Jesus Christ?

Without knowing the answer to those questions, gaining knowledge about heaven will be useless. If we can help you today, we sure would enjoy talking with you. Give us a call at 866-48-BIBLE. We have information we can share with you regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ and how you can know for certain that you have the right answers to life's important questions. That number once again is 866-48-BIBLE. You'll find us online if you visit wisdomonline.org.

You can access all of our resources as well as interact with us. With today's lesson, Stephen concluded a series called Thy Kingdom Come. We have this series available as a set of CDs. If you'd like this resource about the millennial kingdom in your library, we can help you. Ask about it when you call us today. That CD set is also available in our online store if you prefer to take care of it that way. Tomorrow, Stephen begins a series on the book of Ruth. Be sure and join us for that right here on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-17 03:10:22 / 2023-04-17 03:19:36 / 9

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