Participants: Mike Leno
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000042
00:29 I was driving down the road one day,
00:31 listening to as I usually do,
00:33 a number of radio stations
00:35 switching from channel to channel.
00:37 And all of a sudden I hit upon a Christian radio station.
00:41 And the Christian DJ had decided to comment
00:45 about some of the songs he was playing
00:48 and he said something that so astounded me
00:51 that I had to pull over to the side of the road
00:53 and write down what he was saying.
00:55 You know, I--I have to tell you
00:57 I was not entirely happy with what he was saying,
01:00 but here's what he said.
01:03 God does not save us because He is big hearted.
01:07 Although He is.
01:10 God does not save us
01:11 because He is a loving and kind person.
01:15 Although He is.
01:17 God saves us because Jesus paid the price
01:22 by dying for us on the Cross."
01:26 Now, in spite of how good
01:28 and holy those words might sound.
01:32 What they apparently mean is this.
01:35 That God loving us and God saving us
01:39 are two separate and unrelated events.
01:43 Secondly, that Jesus' death on the Cross
01:47 somehow brought about God's desire and ability to save us.
01:54 Now the obvious text decide in this case is John 3:16
01:58 "For God so love the world
02:00 that He gave His only begotten Son."
02:02 In other words, it was out of His love
02:05 that Jesus came and lived and died.
02:10 You see, "Fear God and give glory to Him
02:16 for the hour of his judgment is come."
02:19 Is that--it's that text out of Revelation
02:23 that if we don't understand what the judgment means,
02:26 it scares us to death.
02:28 What about the judgment?
02:30 How do we live in these last days of earth's history
02:34 knowing that the Judgment Day of God is upon us?
02:37 Is God needing to save us? In some way talking God into it?
02:44 And what about that judgment scene that we imagine
02:47 with God or Jesus sitting up high
02:51 with all the angels gathered around?
02:55 Are you afraid of that scene?
02:58 You realized that Jesus never used fear to motivate people
03:02 to following-- follow Him?
03:05 But let's face it.
03:06 The prospect of a sudden end to the world
03:08 and facing the judgment can seem rather frightening.
03:11 Fear can get our attention, but it can't save us.
03:16 Likewise, the prospect of the judgment
03:19 can get our attention.
03:20 It can scare us to death.
03:22 And that may be necessary, but that fear won't save us.
03:28 If it creates a desperate hunger for the good news, however,
03:31 it will put us on the right track.
03:34 What does God say about the judgment?
03:37 What does the Bible say about the judgment?
03:42 Did you know that there's a book in the Bible
03:45 whose name has the word judgment in it?
03:49 It's the Book of Daniel.
03:51 Daniel literally means "God or Yahweh is judge."
03:57 The Hebrew concept of judge and judgment however
04:00 should be explored a little more
04:02 because it's a little different
04:03 than what we might expect sometimes.
04:05 The Hebrew concept of judge and judgment
04:08 was one of deliverance.
04:10 A judge in Israel was a savior, a deliverer, a ruler.
04:13 He brought justice in the time of injustice.
04:17 He brought freedom to people who were enslaved.
04:21 He punished the guilty and defended the oppressed.
04:26 Also we need to realize that the temple or sanctuary
04:30 was symbolic of God's kingdom on earth.
04:34 Now both the sanctuary and the concepts
04:37 of judgment figures prominently in the Book of Daniel.
04:44 After Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah,
04:47 the temple lay in ruins.
04:49 He carried off all the sacred vessels and objects
04:51 and brought them back to Babylon with him.
04:55 And so Daniel, as a captive in Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon,
05:01 begins to wonder when God will save His people
05:03 and put things right.
05:05 When will things be vindicated?
05:08 When will God vindicate His people,
05:11 His temple, and set up His everlasting kingdom?
05:15 And while Daniel is wondering about all of this,
05:17 he receives a vision.
05:19 In Daniel 8:14.
05:22 And the angel says in this vision.
05:24 "And he said unto me,
05:26 unto two thousand and three hundred days,
05:29 then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
05:32 Now it's interesting there are several different translations
05:36 that we can find of Daniel 8:14.
05:39 I just read to you the King James.
05:41 The New International version said,
05:43 "He said unto me, it will take
05:44 two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings
05:46 then shall the sanctuary be reconsecrated."
05:51 The evenings and mornings is actually
05:53 a more literal translation of the original Hebrew.
05:57 But, of course, evenings and mornings,
05:58 if you go back to Genesis refers to a day.
06:02 The first day, second day, third day, et cetera.
06:04 Evening and the morning was that day.
06:08 The new American Standard said, "And he said unto me
06:11 for two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings
06:12 then the holy place will be properly restored."
06:15 And the RSV, "For 2,300 evenings and mornings
06:19 then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state."
06:26 The word cleansed in the King James
06:29 or reconsecrated in the NIV or properly restored
06:32 in the New American Standard or the RSV's rendition
06:36 restored its rightful state.
06:37 The original Hebrew is actually a very interesting word.
06:40 The Hebrew word is Nitsdaq.
06:44 Now Nitsdaq is a form of another word Sadaq
06:48 which means to be just, righteous.
06:51 It's also associated with vindication.
06:54 Nitsdaq then means to be put right
06:57 or to be justified, vindicated, or cleansed.
07:01 Now let me ask you.
07:04 Where do we find vindication, restoration,
07:07 or cleansing of the sanctuary?
07:10 Actually, in the previous chapter of Daniel, Daniel 7,
07:15 we find a parallel passage to this judgment scene.
07:19 Daniel 7:21 to 22 says,
07:21 "As I watched, this horn was waging war
07:26 against the saints and defeating them,
07:30 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment
07:33 in favor of the saints of the Most High,
07:36 and the time came when they possessed the kingdom."
07:41 Now let's review what we've read so far
07:44 out of the Book of Daniel.
07:47 First of all, Daniel the word itself means,
07:50 Yahweh is judge.
07:53 A judge in those days was looked upon
07:57 as a savior, a deliverer.
07:58 Someone who would set right what had not been set right.
08:02 Somebody who would vindicate people
08:04 who needed to be vindicated.
08:05 Somebody who would deliver captives
08:07 who were in captivity.
08:09 So rather than a horrible,
08:15 horrible impending doom kind of concept,
08:18 judgment to the Hebrew people
08:20 especially when they were in captivity
08:22 was a wonderful concept.
08:24 It was the concept of salvation to them.
08:28 And this concept of deliverance, of vindication,
08:33 we find in one of the greatest prophecies
08:36 in all of the Bible, Daniel 8:14.
08:38 "Unto 2,300 days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
08:43 And this-- this word for cleansed,
08:45 Nitsdaq contains within it
08:47 the concepts of vindication being put right,
08:51 restored all of those concepts that went into a putting right
08:56 in a deliverance of God's people.
08:59 Now let me ask you.
09:01 What service in the sanctuary,
09:06 in the yearly schedule of sanctuary services
09:09 in the ancient Hebrew system
09:13 had to do with cleansing and vindication?
09:18 Well, there is one prominent one
09:20 and that is the Day of Atonement.
09:24 Yom Kippur.
09:27 Yom Kippur is pictured as the priest
09:32 going into the Most Holy Place once a year.
09:36 And as the priest approached the--inside the Most Holy Place,
09:42 he approached the Ark of the Covenant
09:44 and there on either side of the ark
09:46 were the two angels, the covering cherubs.
09:49 Between those two cherubs was something called
09:52 the Atonement Cover or Mercy Seat.
09:55 And underneath the Atonement Cover
09:57 or Mercy Seat, inside of this ark
10:00 were the Ten Commandments.
10:03 The sanctuary is symbolic of the Kingdom of God.
10:08 First of all, the literal Kingdom of God
10:10 which was literal Israel in the Old Testament,
10:13 and secondly, the sanctuary is--is symbolic
10:16 of the spiritual Kingdom of God in the New Testament
10:20 or new Covenant Times.
10:22 The land of Israel,
10:26 physical, literal Israel had geographical boundaries.
10:29 It was made up of certain national people
10:35 or ethnic origin of people.
10:38 But in the New Testament, we find that the borders
10:40 of Israel, of spiritual Israel
10:42 are expanded to include the whole earth.
10:44 Now the prophecies to literal Israel
10:48 are expanded to be applied
10:50 by the people of spiritual Israel.
10:53 All believers in Christ are considered now part of Israel.
10:58 And that's why the sanctuary is such a potent symbol,
11:01 not only in the Old Testament, but in all of time.
11:03 The sanctuary was symbolic
11:05 of how God relates to His people.
11:12 On the Jewish Day of Atonement, the priest and all of the people
11:17 have actually been fasting and praying for 10 days already.
11:22 Their system of-- of fasting and praying
11:25 started on the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah
11:29 which starts just 10 days before the Day of Atonement.
11:33 And on the Day of Atonement, the priest symbolically places
11:39 all the sins of the people
11:41 before God in the Most Holy Place.
11:43 Symbolically, I mean,
11:44 because as he sprinkles the blood,
11:46 he is symbolically placing the sins
11:49 of the people before God, before the Ark of the Covenant.
11:54 This service cleansed and vindicated God's people
12:00 by the sacrifice for sin.
12:02 The blood was from the sacrifice
12:03 that have been already offered out in the courtyard
12:07 and then the priest brought that blood in.
12:09 So symbolically, he was cleansing
12:13 the sanctuary of the sins of the people
12:16 because this sacrifice had been offered all year along.
12:19 And then once a year the high priest
12:21 would go in for this-- this high day,
12:24 this--this Day of Atonement ceremony.
12:29 The ceremony judged and banished evil also
12:32 by placing the sins upon the scapegoat
12:35 and letting it out into the wilderness.
12:38 Likewise, the Day of Atonement has meaning for us today
12:42 especially at the end of time.
12:45 I refer you to Hebrews 9.
12:48 The Book of Hebrews, by the way,
12:50 was written especially at a time
12:53 when the Jewish people who had become Christians
12:57 were wondering how does their whole history
13:00 and all of their ceremonies and services,
13:04 how--how does all of that apply now under the new covenant?
13:08 How can we understand the sanctuary service now
13:12 as believers in Christ?
13:13 You see, in the Old Testament
13:15 they offered the sacrifices in anticipation
13:18 of the Lamb of God who would be slain
13:21 to take away the sins of the world.
13:23 But now after the Cross,
13:25 what meaning did the sanctuary service have?
13:28 It was no longer being conducted.
13:29 You remember when Jesus died on the Cross,
13:31 you remember when the-- the temple curtain,
13:34 the veil was ripped in two from top to bottom,
13:37 indicating that now the way was made directly
13:41 into the Most Holy Place by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
13:45 No longer was it necessary
13:47 for a priest to minister in the temple
13:49 because our priest had also become
13:52 the sacrifice on the Cross.
13:54 And so Hebrews explains how the sacrificial system
13:59 now relates to the New Covenant.
14:01 We read in Hebrews 9:24 to 26.
14:05 "For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary
14:09 that was only a copy of the true one.
14:12 He entered heaven itself, now to appear
14:15 for us in God's presence.
14:18 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself
14:21 again and again, the way the high priest enters
14:24 the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.
14:28 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times
14:30 since the creation of the world.
14:32 But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages
14:36 to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
14:42 How do you live in the end time, the time of the judgment?
14:49 Answer confidently in the assurance
14:52 of salvation through Jesus.
14:54 Our High Priest who was also our sacrifice,
14:59 the lamb of sacrifice died once and for all
15:03 to take away the sins of the world.
15:04 And now according to Hebrews, he appears in heaven for us.
15:09 No longer does he have to offer himself
15:12 as the High Priest once did, as the High Priest offered
15:16 sacrifices that were-- that was not his own blood,
15:19 but he did it once a year.
15:20 Christ did once and for all.
15:22 And now appears in heaven to apply the benefits
15:26 of His sacrifice for us.
15:29 Why do we not need to be afraid of the judgment?
15:32 Because all of this symbolism points to the reality
15:39 that God poured out His love in that event on the Cross,
15:43 and that love is still being manifested
15:47 in heaven through the person of Jesus Christ, our sacrifice.
15:50 He is there with His father,
15:54 exhibiting the benefits of His sacrifice for all time.
16:01 How do you live in the end time? Confidently.
16:04 According to 1st John 2:1 and 2.
16:07 "My dear children, I write this to you
16:09 so that you will not sin.
16:10 But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks
16:12 to the Father in our defense.
16:14 Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
16:15 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins,
16:20 and not only for ours
16:22 but also for the sins of the whole world."
16:26 The good news is, the judge is on our side.
16:34 My friends,
16:38 God loving us and God saving us
16:41 are not two separate and unrelated things.
16:46 God's act on the Cross and Jesus dying on the Cross
16:51 was an outpouring of His love for us.
16:55 And because of that love for us,
16:57 He not only died on the Cross, but He ascended to heaven
17:00 and is there with the Father, our Mediator, our High Priest
17:05 qualified to be so by His own blood.
17:10 John 16-- I'm sorry, John 5:22.
17:17 "Moreover, the Father judges no one,
17:21 but has entrusted all judgment to the Son."
17:25 What does that mean?
17:27 It means amazingly enough
17:29 that our Defender is also our Judge.
17:33 You see, not only are we defended by someone
17:37 who is on our side who died for us,
17:40 but we also discover that our Defender is also the Judge.
17:43 It's like going into court and discovering
17:45 that your lawyer is not only defending you,
17:48 your lawyer is sitting on the bench,
17:50 pronouncing judgment.
17:51 Now if your lawyer and your judge
17:53 are the same person, how easy it is--
17:56 is it to win your case?
17:59 That's the point. The case is already won.
18:02 It was won at the Cross.
18:06 Notice what Jesus says in John 16:26 and 27.
18:10 "In that day, you will ask in my name.
18:14 I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.
18:17 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me
18:22 and have believed that I came from God."
18:27 Scripture demonstrates clearly, that God saving us
18:33 and God loving us are not two separate events.
18:38 You see, sometimes we're tempted to think that,
18:42 like the DJ at the beginning of this message,
18:44 that God saves us not because He's loving,
18:47 but because He has to, because Jesus died on the Cross.
18:52 And maybe we're convinced that Jesus loves us,
18:54 but sometimes we're tempted to think that maybe Jesus talked
18:57 the Father into loving us, but the Father
18:59 didn't really love us as much as the Son did.
19:02 And sometimes we feel like
19:03 maybe we can relate to Jesus, which is natural.
19:07 After all, He is the one that lived on this earth.
19:10 And we can understand Him. That is why He came,
19:13 so that we could understand Him better.
19:15 But Jesus came to reveal the Father.
19:18 Whatever Jesus is, the Father is like that.
19:23 God is not sitting up in heaven and saying,
19:26 "Well, I really don't want to let
19:27 these miserable wretches into my kingdom,
19:29 but Jesus, you know, since you did it,
19:32 you died on the Cross, I--you know, I'll let them in."
19:35 No, that's a horrible picture of God.
19:37 Jesus said, "It's--it's not that I have to ask
19:41 the Father for you."
19:42 No, He says.
19:44 "The Father Himself loves you because you've loved me."
19:49 Forty two-year-old David Saunders
19:52 was waiting in his driveway for his little daughter
19:55 Danielle to come home from school.
19:59 He saw the school bus pull up in front of the house.
20:03 He saw a truck come up and see the school bus stop
20:06 and so it too stopped.
20:08 Little Danielle got off the bus and started to cross
20:13 the street and headed for her own driveway.
20:16 At that moment, David looked up the street
20:19 and there was a car coming down the street extremely fast.
20:23 It did not see the school bus
20:27 and it ran right into the pathway where Danielle was.
20:32 Reacting instantly, David rushed into the street,
20:35 grabbed his daughter through her up on the front yard
20:39 and then he himself was struck and killed by the car.
20:46 My friends,
20:51 that car represents sin.
20:56 And death is our destiny because of sin.
21:01 We stand in the way of an out of control,
21:05 oncoming, sinful car that will run over us,
21:13 if someone doesn't do something about it.
21:16 The Cross is a picture of a loving Father,
21:19 not just Jesus Christ, but God the Father
21:22 also participated in this.
21:24 The Cross is a picture of a loving Father,
21:27 who would rather jump in the way of oncoming death
21:32 and throw us out of the way, willingly accepting
21:35 the natural results of sin in our stead
21:39 so that we could live.
21:41 This is not a picture of a Father
21:44 who saves us and loves us on the side
21:50 and the two are not related.
21:51 This is not the picture of a God
21:53 who has to be talked into liking us or loving us.
21:57 This is not a picture of--of God who goes to the Cross
22:03 and creates a legal loophole,
22:05 so that we could get into heaven.
22:08 This is a picture of a loving Father,
22:12 just like David Saunders who jumped in the pathway
22:16 of an oncoming car in order to save the life of his
22:20 precious daughter.
22:22 This is a picture of a God who loved us so much
22:27 that He would rather die than be without us for eternity.
22:31 Can you understand that kind of love?
22:33 No, I don't think we can.
22:34 In our human capacity, it's hard to understand
22:37 a God that could love His creatures that much.
22:43 But the Bible says
22:46 that truly is how much He loves us.
22:49 God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
22:55 Both the Father and the Son were involved in that act.
23:01 It was not the Father sending
23:03 His Son to do something that He didn't want to do.
23:06 It was not the Father
23:09 who reticently agreed to love us
23:15 and to take us into His Kingdom because His Son, after all,
23:20 loved us and had sacrificed Himself for us.
23:26 You see, we don't have to be afraid of the judgment,
23:32 because of what Jesus did on the Cross.
23:34 We don't have to be afraid of the judgment,
23:36 because the Cross reveals
23:39 what kind of person God really is.
23:41 We don't have to be afraid of the judgment,
23:43 because we know that the picture of God
23:46 on the Cross is also the picture of a Savior
23:50 who will come back and deliver us,
23:53 just like those judges and those deliverers
23:57 from the Old Testament.
23:58 God will come back to this earth
24:00 and He will deliver us from this bondage.
24:07 We turn now to 1st John 4:18.
24:12 The Book of 1st John 4:18.
24:24 "There is no fear in love.
24:28 But perfect love drives out fear,
24:32 because fear has to do with punishment.
24:35 The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
24:41 I submit to you today that if you are afraid
24:47 of the judgment, it's because Christ
24:50 has not completely won your love yet.
24:55 Now you can't be scared into loving someone.
24:58 You have to be won into loving someone.
25:03 How do you picture the second coming in your mind?
25:07 Do you picture it as a horrible event
25:10 or the Judge of the Universe is going to come
25:12 and with steely laser eyes look at you through and through
25:16 and examine you if there is one small fault
25:18 in you and cast you aside if there is?
25:22 Or do you see the second coming as a homecoming?
25:28 Do you see the second coming as a chance
25:31 to meet your best friend, a chance to meet your lawyer
25:37 who went into court with you?
25:38 The lawyer who is also your judge.
25:43 You see, you don't have to be afraid of the Christ
25:46 of the second coming if you know the Christ of the first coming.
25:50 They are after all the same person.
25:54 And that person reveals to us the kind of person God is
25:59 and the kind of love that He has for us.
26:03 The second coming will be an awesome event.
26:07 And out of our human frailty, we will probably be afraid.
26:13 But we will find out soon enough
26:15 that it is a wonderful homecoming,
26:17 not a time to fear.
26:19 Won't you come home today?
26:22 Won't you say yes to Jesus' invitation to come home?
26:26 Isn't it time to put yourself completely on His side?
26:29 Aren't you tired of living in fear of the judgment?
26:35 Do you long for the chance to take a stand for Christ
26:38 to say, "Yes, I'm His child, not because I deserve it,
26:44 not because I've obeyed all the commandments
26:47 in order to earn enough merit for salvation,
26:50 not because I've grown up in the church
26:52 or not because I came to the church late in life,
26:54 but because, out of His generosity,
26:57 out of His love for us,
26:58 Christ voluntarily went to the Cross for you and me."
27:05 Won't you accept that gift?
27:08 Won't you accept the fact that Jesus loves us so much?
27:14 Love is such a cheap word today.
27:16 And yet, if you look at the Cross,
27:18 its cheapness evaporates.
27:20 Love was not cheap. It had an infinite price.
27:24 The price of the blood of the Son of God.
27:29 Won't you say yes to Jesus?
27:33 After all, He's offering you the free gift of salvation.
27:40 It's not something you have to be good enough for,
27:43 and it's not something you have to wait for.
27:45 You can know now.
27:47 You don't have to wait until the second coming to know
27:49 that you can accept salvation right now.
27:52 He has a place prepared especially for you.