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Prepping for the End of the World

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
January 13, 2023 12:00 am

Prepping for the End of the World

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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January 13, 2023 12:00 am

To believers, “the end is near” means something very different than to the rest of humanity. While the world fears inevitable catastrophe, Christians are anticipating the return of Jesus Christ and our eternal future with Him.


While we're waiting, Peter writes, the end of all things is near. Therefore, in other words, as a result of believing this, there are some things we actually do. It isn't, hey, forget people, it's get invested in people. It isn't, hey, forget the church, which Harold campaign his spouse.

Thousands of people love their churches. Get invested in the churches we're going to discover. It isn't retreat from the world. It is pray for, and as Paul said, beg the world to be reconciled to God because judgment will come. There are two realities that each person must face. This world is temporal and each person's time on this earth will come to an end. With that in mind, how are you to live? What perspective and what mindset should you as a Christian have as you walk through this fleeting life?

Have you considered that? And more to the point, does that mindset inform how you live? Does the fact that your life is short change the way you live your life? Today on Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen begins a series called Survival Kit. He begins with this lesson, Helping for the End of the World. One of the most watched syndicated television shows in recent years was called Doomsday Preppers and the tagline read, are you prepared? Millions of people tuned in and watched.

In fact, it spawned a movement. People are investing in some way, shape or form in prepping now for some unforeseen disaster, whether it's nuclear fallout or some global contagion, pandemic and electromagnetic pulse, the destruction of the free market, whatever. Millions of dollars are being spent on prepping, purchasing water, purification systems or air filtration systems to keep out unwanted viruses and the like in underground bunkers.

One man I read about has already spent more than seven million dollars building an underground home, which will allow him to survive everything from a nuclear holocaust or contagion or even the collapse of the free world. Beloved, nowhere is the believer commanded or even encouraged to prepare our lives, to give our lives only to ourselves as we prepare for some natural disaster or biological disaster or even the crimes of mankind. In fact, there is an Old Testament verse, by the way, that I think is a good verse to rehearse as we're on the subject. It's probably not going to hang from the wall of a bunker, but in the book of Genesis, and I just remind you of the narrative where God destroys the human race and the animals on the planet, drowns them all in judgment. You know the narrative. The covenant God makes after it's all over and Noah and his family and these animals of every kind disembark, he gives them promises to never do that again and the promise is perpetually to this day signaled by the observance of a what? A rainbow.

You knew that too. What's often overlooked is the detail of that covenant that God delivers to Noah and for the rest of human history, God has promised these things. God said to Noah in Genesis chapter 8, I will never again destroy every living thing as I have done. That is by sending a flood. There is a day of judgment coming where God will dissolve the earth by what?

Fire. The end of human history as we know it. In the meantime, God promises while the earth remains, and by the way we're still on it, it's still remaining, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8 21 and 22. You know what this means? Well in light of these promises which have never been set aside to this day, you still see the rainbow, but more than that, we don't have to fear the extinction of the human race.

People are planting and harvesting as they're doing today. Further, you don't need to fear the sun frying the human race in the animal kingdom to fritters because we've been given the promise here of cold weather too. To pull over a little bit and deal with this. We've never been told to spend our lives prepping for a disaster where we'll be able to survive, and by the way, there's an anything more self-centered than the entire fundamental sense that I'm going to take care of me and forget everybody else. We're never told to live our lives in light of ourselves, but to give our lives, as we're going to discover in this text, and live our lives really in light of that life to come. Here's the point, in between this brief life and eternal life to come, God has a few things to tell us about how to think, how to live, what to demonstrate, what to do as we prep for the end of that world as we know it. God delivers it through the apostle Peter. So let's go back to Peter's first letter where we left off in the beginning of a new paragraph, chapter 4 at verse 7.

Peter's going to tell us how to become, here's a new phrase for you, sanctified preppers. Notice verse 7, the end of all things is near. Stop there, that's as far as we're going to get. The end of all things is near. And the reason we've got to stop here is because we can't understand what he's going to tell us to do, or to think, or to become, or act unless we answer the question here that you're immediately confronted with, which is, what's the end of all things? Is this the end of the end? Is this the end of the church age? Is this the end of the final judgment? Is this the end of the kingdom? Is this the end that leads to the never-ending future? What is the end of all things? In fact, is Peter, you know, just kind of a doomsdayer here? The end of all things is near. Is he an alarmist?

Does he just want our attention? He isn't an alarmist, and he isn't a doomsdayer as it relates to germs or nuclear bombs, but he is sounding an alarm. In fact, all but four books of the entire New Testament sound the same alarm.

They say the same thing, just a little differently. From the very opening pages of Matthew's Gospel, you hear John the Baptist preaching, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. It's just around the corner. Matthew chapter 3 verse 2. You go all the way to the end of the book of Revelation, at the end of the New Testament, and you hear John quoting Jesus who says, yes, I am coming soon. And John responds by saying, amen, even so come, Lord Jesus. John thought he was living in what he called the last hour.

Paul thought he'd be alive when the rapture of the church occurred. We who are alive and remain will be caught up. Over and over again the alarm sounded and the imminent return of Christ is preached. Imminent means it can happen at any moment.

It can happen at any moment. Now it's helpful to understand that when Peter writes here, the end of all things is near. The word he uses for the end is telos, which doesn't mean termination or cessation but completion. So you might write in the margin of your Bible, the completion of all things is at hand. You can understand it as a milestone.

This is a goal that is nearly reached. Peter is telling us that we are near the reaching, the fulfilling, the completion, the arrival of this goal. He says the end then of all things. What he means is that everything is wrapping up and leading us toward this eschatological goal, this prophetic milestone, this end times event, which I'll go ahead and tip my hand for the believer happens to be the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Titus chapter 2 and verse 13. That's what's constantly preached. We're going to see Jesus and we could see him at any moment. In fact, Peter says here that that event of Christ's appearing is near. The completion, the goal of all of history is moving us and we are near this goal. Near is in the perfect tense which emphasizes that it is poised and ready to materialize. One New Testament author wrote, Peter is picturing Jesus Christ in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father awaiting one word.

Go and get your bride. The church is completed. Maybe it's completed today. Now with the completed New Testament as commentary, we need to address the issue that his second coming or appearing is in two phases. The first phase is what we call the rapture of the church.

Paul writes that we, and he thought he was one of the we who are alive and remain, are caught up. That word in the Latin Bible in early centuries was rapturo, which gives us our English word rapture. The church is raptured.

It is caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Paul writes it this way to the Thessalonians. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. The bodies, that is, of the deceased believers during this age that have decayed are going to be reconstituted and they're going to rise to be reunited with their spirit, which immediately upon their death went to be with the Lord. And that glorification process takes place as they rise first, and then Paul writes notice, then we who are alive and remain will be raptured, rapturo, caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord, not on the earth, but in the air.

1 Thessalonians 4 16 to 17. Now isn't that just a little far-fetched, that Jesus is going to come into the atmosphere, into the layer or level of the clouds, and rapture away the church. Well, if you go all the way back nearly 2,000 years ago when the resurrected Lord ascended back to heaven, he died, was buried, rose from the dead, and several weeks later he is going to ascend back to the Father.

Luke writes about that event in the book of Acts that after the Lord delivered his final message, he had a few things to say to his disciples. After he had said these things, he was lifted up while they were looking on. By the way, you're going to do the same thing, you're going to be lifted up.

You're going to rise. He was lifted up while they were looking on. And a cloud received him out of their sight. In other words, the Lord rose, set up to about that cloud level, and then vanished back to the Father. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while he was going, and I bet they were gazing intently, two men in white clothing suddenly stood beside them. They would be angels. And they said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?

What are you doing just standing around looking up? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come in just the same way as you've watched him go into heaven. Acts 1, 9, and 10. So Jesus ascended literally up and into the sky, through the clouds, and then vanished, as Luke records. It isn't far-fetched at all, but Jesus is going to, in the future, and that's nearer now than ever, going to suddenly reappear in the clouds, only this time to call his church up to meet him in that layer of the atmosphere, and then vanish with him into the Father's house and up into heaven. Now that's the first phase of his coming. And the first phase of his second coming is when he comes, note this, for his church. The second phase is when he comes with his church. We're already with him.

In fact, we don't have time to get into it. It's another sermon or nine or ten, but if you read Revelation chapter 19 and 20, you're shown that scene where Jesus is descending from heaven at the end of the tribulation to set up his millennial kingdom, and we are with him. We dressed in linen. That's a eschatological phrase for those redeemed, whose robes have been washed by the blood of the lamb. We are mounted on white horses along with he, our victorious commander, descending to earth where the establishment of the kingdom takes place for a thousand years. Peter is focusing on the first phase, the appearing of the Lord and the completion of the church, the bride of Christ being raptured away to be with the Lord.

Now what's that look like? Well, Paul actually fills in some blanks as to what that first phase looks like as he writes to the Corinthians. Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised and perish. Well, those deceased believers are going to be raised and given immortality, and we, by the way, aren't going to be left behind. We also will be changed, 1 Corinthians 15, 51, and 52. How much time is it going to take for the rapture, the raising of the deceased believers, the glorification and reuniting with their spirit and their glorified body, and then us following to meet the Lord in the air and then to disappear and go to meet with the Father in the Father's house? How long is that going to take? Peter tells us, or Paul tells us here, in the twinkling of an eye. Here's how fast.

Did you see it? That fast. Just like that. We're here, we're gone. Talk about cataclysmic events. When Peter writes here, the end of all things is near. He's referring to that next event on the prophetic calendar, the appearance of Christ as he calls up and away his church. This is an imminent event. It could happen in any moment. And if, according to the writers of the New Testament, it was poised and ready to materialize 1900 plus years ago, imagine how poised and ready to materialize it already is. In fact, earlier in this chapter, if you were with us, Peter said, he is standing at the door.

It's an eternal expression. It's like he's ready. The question is, not is he ready, but are you ready?

Just as preppers would do well to apply Genesis chapter 8 and the promises of God regarding planet earth and a self-denying focus on life, so the church and religious leaders should take to heart the Lord Jesus in his words when he preached on his coming in Matthew chapter 24 and verse 36. Jesus announced this regarding the second coming, but of that day or hour, no one knows. No one knows. Next screen. Of that day and hour, you need to sit around and guess. No. No one knows. But that hasn't stopped people from sitting around and guessing, has it?

In fact, I thought I did want to take some time because I want to protect you as a flock. And there are books, you know, on blood moons and Jewish festivals and all of this stuff. It just keeps coming. Don't buy any of that. Don't buy any of that unless you're going to sell it at the art sale. Okay?

It's junk. Anything related to a day, you know, this is it, it's this September, the moon is going to turn red blood and all, and then they get a verse torturing the text. Jesus said, but of that day or hour, no one knows. And by the way, if you pick that day, guess what you just did? You messed it up for everybody. It can't happen now. Okay? So don't pick anymore.

Let it go. No one knows the day or the hour, but that hasn't stopped people from guessing. So let me just do very quickly a history for you. I'll try to touch down on most centuries. When the Black Plague swept through Europe, church leaders interpreted it as a sign of God's wrath, assuming that church is going to experience the wrath of God. They predicted the end of the world in 1346. A century earlier, the Pope had declared the end of the world as the millennial clock struck January 1, 1000. London astrologers predicted the world would end in a flood, a global flood in 1524. They said it's going to start in London, and as a result, 20,000 people abandoned their farms, abandoned their homes, and headed for higher ground. If they just read, you know, Noah and the ark, that might have helped. Christopher Columbus predicted in 1501 that the world would end in 1656. I'm not sure why he picked that day. The influential Puritan pastor, Cotton Mather, made several predictions of the world's end.

He always had his followers in a lather over it. And the last failed prediction was 1716. William Wiston predicted a comet colliding with the earth that would destroy all life in 1736. And they're still making movies about that possibility today.

It's not going to happen. A Presbyterian minister named Christopher Love predicted that in 1805, the world would be destroyed in an earthquake. We might have earthquakes, but all of the human races are going to be destroyed, or the planet, because of the promises of God. Here's an interesting one. In 1806, Mary Bateman of Leeds, England, had a hen that had begun laying eggs on which the phrase, Christ is coming, could be seen. It created a firestorm of interest. I mean, you can imagine, these hens laying eggs saying Christ is coming, until they discovered that she had written on the eggs in corrosive ink, so as to etch the eggs with that message, then reinserted the eggs back into the hen's oviduct.

Yeah. I'm sure that hen didn't want anything to do with prophecy after that event was over. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, predicted the Millennial Kingdom would begin in 1836. Wilford Woodruff, the apostle of the Mormon Church, who isn't supposed to be wrong, predicted the Kingdom of God on Earth to begin sometime between the years of 1875 and 1925.

He wisely gave himself 50 years of latitude. Camille Flammarion predicted that Halley's Comet, which was going to appear in 1910, would poison the atmosphere and possibly, quote, snuff out all life on the planet. Comet pills were sold to protect people from the toxic gases, and she more than likely made off with a fortune. Charles Russell, the influential leader of what would become the Jehovah's Witnesses, predicted the final battle would take place in 1914. Jean Dixon predicted a planetary alignment. She predicted it would destroy the world on February 4th, 1962. Chuck Smith, the founder of the Calvary Chapel Movement, by the way, along with many other evangelicals, I grew up under this one, predicted that the generation born when Israel became a state, 1948, would be the last generation born before the end of the world.

He did say that he could be wrong, but he had a deep conviction in his heart about it, and that, of course, led his followers into believing. Pat Robertson, in the late 1970s on his 700 Club program, predicted the end of the world in 1982. Louis Farrakhan declared that the Gulf War was the final war of Armageddon in 1991.

Harold Camping, more familiar to you, gained worldwide headlines. He and his followers spent literally millions and millions of dollars announcing May 21st, 2011, as the day the world was going to be destroyed. There will be more to come. There will be more dates to come. And I rehearsed some of these predictions in order to protect us as a flock from distraction and the loss of focus, because why would you ever want to do anything to invest in Christ and his church or the Gospel and unbelievers if he's going to come on May 21st, 2011 or destroy the world?

You just throw all that out the window, right? Which has been a wonderful strategy for the enemy to keep people guessing. Maybe it's going to be related to the next Jewish feast in October, and the sun is, I think, is going to turn red, and this is going to be it. And what does everybody do? Prep for the wrong reason. Let me give you at least five results quickly. Making wrong predictions produces at least, there are more, but let me give you at least five results. Number one, it gives unbelievers an excuse to party. Hey, it didn't happen. I'm still here. I didn't get judged after all.

Let's get wasted. Just one more reason to party and unbelief. Secondly, the preaching and the promise of Christ's return invites mockery. In fact, Peter's going to bring out in the second letter that the very fact of Christ coming back invites mockery. So when we put dates to it, and then they don't come true, it does nothing more than increase their what? Their mockery.

You said he was coming and he didn't. Third, churches and church leaders lose critical, valuable credibility. In other words, if those church leaders are wrong about that and they all have their verses and their little algorithms and their codes and their secrets, if they were wrong about that, how do we know they're right about anything else? Fourth, believers are distracted from their mission. I mean, disciple making is going to take a backseat in the frenzy. Fifth, believers can become discouraged and disillusioned about the Bible they thought they understood.

Tremendous disillusionment. There are more I can add to the list that a group of people in one communist country I won't mention that followed Harold Camping's date. They were underground because of persecution. It was illegal to be a Christian. They emerged, gathered on a hillside to wait, exposed. Government forces came in and slaughtered many of them.

And imprisoned their pastors. Can you imagine how disillusioned that body of believers is? Don't set dates. Don't get distracted. Don't set yourself up to be disillusioned.

Don't buy that junk. While we're waiting, Peter writes, the end of all things, there's no date here. Just know it's imminent.

The end of all things is near. Therefore, in other words, as a result of believing this, there are some things we actually do. It isn't, hey, forget people. It's get invested in people. It isn't, hey, forget the church, which Harold Camping espoused. Thousands of people left their churches. Get invested in the churches, we're going to discover.

It isn't retreat from the world. It is pray for and, as Paul said, beg the world to be reconciled to God because judgment will come. We don't know when, but we know why. And we've got some prepping to do. We've got some prepping to do. In fact, in the remainder of this chapter, Peter is going to give us 10 items to pack into our survival kit, misspelled S-E-R-V on purpose.

We didn't miss the spell check here. Peter isn't going to tell us to forget about people in the world, the church, disciple making the gospel, but even more so. So here are 10 things to stock up on in order to be prepared. And we're going to start that list next Sunday if we're still here. I'm glad you were able to join us here on Wisdom for the Heart as we launch this series called Survival Kit. We're going to spend the next several broadcasts looking at this passage of scripture from 1 Peter, and I hope you'll be with us for all of it. I'll tell you upfront that if you miss any of the messages, we post each day's broadcast on our smartphone app and our website. You can download the Wisdom International app in the iTunes or the Google Play stores, and you'll find our website at We'll continue next time, and I hope you'll be with us here on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-13 00:16:54 / 2023-01-13 00:26:47 / 10

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