Focus on God's Word

How to Face Today's Social and Economic Uncertainty

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Danny Milenkov


Series Code: FGW

Program Code: FGW000022A

00:26 Welcome to The Search for Certainty.
00:29 It's good to see you here again today
00:31 and I'm looking forward to enjoying this journey
00:34 on this five part series,
00:36 as we discover the certainty that we can have in God's word
00:41 in these uncertain times that we're living.
00:44 Today's subject is entitled
00:46 "How to Face Today's Social and Economic Uncertainty."
00:50 And I don't need to remind you, don't need to remind any of us
00:54 that we are living in a time of great social
00:57 and in particular economic uncertainty.
01:00 Well today, we want to begin
01:02 by going to the ancient city of Pompeii.
01:06 I don't know how many of you've had the opportunity to go
01:08 to that ancient city of Pompeii,
01:10 there located in Southeast Italy,
01:13 couple of hundred kilometers away from Rome,
01:17 had the opportunity in 2010 with a bunch of other ministers
01:22 to go to Italy and in particular
01:24 to go to Pompeii.
01:26 It's a fascinating city,
01:27 because up until 250 years ago or so it remained buried.
01:31 It was buried by the volcano eruption
01:35 that took place in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius,
01:40 this mountain that overlooks the city of Pompeii
01:44 buried the city in three meters of ash.
01:47 And so today when you go to the city of Pompeii
01:49 it's like stepping back in time.
01:51 The city has been so well preserved
01:54 and I just have a few photos here to show you
01:57 that I was able to take.
01:59 There is the forum in the city of Pompeii,
02:04 here is another photo showing the bathhouses.
02:09 As you can see they are so well preserved,
02:11 even though we are talking 2000 years ago.
02:14 And the reason is as I shared Mount Vesuvius
02:17 which we can see there in the background,
02:21 Mount Vesuvius had erupted a number of times
02:24 and so the citizens of Pompeii were
02:27 well aware of this mountain,
02:29 this volcanic, active volcanic mountain.
02:32 However not too many took very serious note in 79 AD
02:39 when Mount Vesuvius blew its top
02:42 like at no other time in history.
02:47 Sadly this was the response of most of the citizens
02:53 as they watched the smoke pouring out of Mount Vesuvius
02:59 in the days leading up to the volcanic eruption
03:02 there in 79 AD.
03:04 One historian noted
03:07 this response from the people "...
03:09 the sighting of a column of smoke...
03:11 triggered a response more of curiosity than of alarm"
03:15 and sadly thousands and thousands were buried
03:18 and it was kind of eerie, very eerie,
03:21 very sober to look at some of these images.
03:24 Here is one image that you can see of individuals
03:28 who were buried by this volcanic ash
03:32 that descended upon the city of Pompeii.
03:35 A very wealthy city,
03:37 a very prominent city there in the Roman Empire 20, 000
03:40 or so people lived in the city
03:42 and that might not seem like a lot to you and me today
03:45 living in these millions and millions of people city,
03:49 however it was quite a lot in the ancient time.
03:52 This is in particular very sad picture here of a woman
03:55 who apparently was giving birth at the time.
03:58 This is the woman and she was buried
04:02 and she realized that there was no way to go.
04:04 The volcanic ash came suddenly and the volcano lava
04:10 came at over a 100 kilometers an hour
04:12 and engulfed the city of Pompeii in a vast area
04:17 that surrounded the city of Pompeii.
04:20 As I think of what took place there in Pompeii,
04:24 I cannot help, but think of what Jesus warned us
04:29 there in the Bible concerning the times
04:32 that you and I would be living in.
04:34 In our previous presentation we discovered
04:36 that Jesus gave us signs, a number of signs
04:40 that would help us to know when his coming would be near,
04:43 even at the doors.
04:45 Unlike the people of Pompeii, it is my prayer,
04:49 my earnest prayer that we will heed these signs of love.
04:52 These signs sharing with us the times we're living in
04:55 and how we can prepare.
04:58 Not all lost their lives in the city of Pompeii,
05:00 there were some that heeded the warnings
05:04 that the mountain was sharing with the population
05:07 and their lives were spared.
05:10 We want to again go to the words of Jesus
05:13 as we go to that ancient city of Jerusalem.
05:16 And in this city we are going to discover
05:20 that Jesus shared a very powerful message.
05:23 But before we do as always,
05:25 what do we need to do before we open up God's word?
05:28 We need to pray, so that's what we'll do.
05:30 Father in heaven, once again we want to ask and pray
05:33 that you'll be with us,
05:34 we pray that as we open up your holy word
05:37 that you have given to us,
05:38 that you will open up our minds and our hearts
05:40 that we may be willing and ready to receive
05:44 these beautiful truths from your word
05:47 to prepare us for the soon return of Jesus,
05:49 for this is our prayer in Jesus' name, amen, amen.
05:55 Well, I want to begin with the question,
05:56 a very important question
05:57 and I shared this in our very first presentation,
05:59 but I do want to restate this right from the get go,
06:03 right at the outset of this presentation.
06:05 The question is,
06:06 will knowing the signs of Jesus' coming save us?
06:10 Do you remember what I said earlier?
06:11 No, no.
06:13 Notice what Jesus said in John 17:3
06:17 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You,
06:20 the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
06:22 whom You have sent."
06:23 So Jesus here makes it very clear
06:25 that the only way we are saved
06:27 is through a relationship with Jesus,
06:30 is by knowing Jesus, not by knowing the signs,
06:34 you can know all the signs in the world and still be lost.
06:37 But those signs are designed to drawer us to Jesus
06:41 and by knowing Jesus,
06:43 we then can have the assurance of eternal life in him.
06:48 Well, then why did Jesus give us so many signs?
06:52 Why did he spend so much time
06:54 in the scriptures signs concerning his coming?
06:57 Why did he give us all these signs
06:59 and he asked us to watch?
07:01 Notice what we find in John 14:29,
07:04 "And now I have told you before it comes,
07:07 that when it does come to pass, you may" what,
07:10 "you may believe."
07:11 So the whole purpose,
07:13 the main purpose of giving us the signs
07:16 that he did was to enable us to come to a point of belief,
07:21 to believe in Jesus.
07:22 And according to John 3:16 that wonderful scripture
07:25 that almost the entire Christian world knows
07:28 and many others besides,
07:30 John 3:16 says " For God so loved the world,
07:33 that he gave his only begotten Son,
07:35 that whosoever what,
07:36 believes in him should not perish,
07:38 but have everlasting life."
07:39 So the whole purpose of the signs of the times
07:43 that Jesus gave was that we may have faith
07:45 and trust in him that as we see the things
07:48 that Jesus shared 2000 years ago,
07:50 coming to pass before our very eyes,
07:52 that they may bring us to a point of belief
07:55 and trust in God's word.
07:56 And if we can trust God, if we can trust his word,
07:59 we can trust our lives into his hands,
08:03 his safe and secured hands.
08:05 And so that is the main purpose
08:07 why God has given us signs to help us believe.
08:12 Notice what Jesus said in Luke 21:34,
08:16 "But take heed to yourselves,
08:18 lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing,
08:21 drunkenness, and the cares of this life,
08:23 and that day, speaking of the second coming,
08:25 come on you unexpectedly.
08:27 For it will come as a snare for all those
08:29 who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
08:32 Watch therefore,
08:33 and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape
08:36 all these things that will come to pass,
08:39 and to stand before the Son of Man."
08:41 Notice Jesus over and over again,
08:43 as we discovered in our last presentation,
08:46 he says watch, watch, why?
08:48 So that we may be able to stand
08:51 when Jesus comes that we may be prepared,
08:54 that we may be ready for his soon return.
08:57 That is the reason why Jesus has given us all these signs.
09:01 So let's review,
09:02 let's take a look at what we have looked at thus far.
09:04 We have discovered that Jesus gave us signs
09:07 in the political world.
09:09 Secondly, we discovered that Jesus also gave us signs
09:12 in the world of nature.
09:15 Today, we want to take a look at signs in the social world
09:19 as well as signs in the economic world.
09:23 We want to begin with signs in the social world,
09:26 the things that are happening around us in society.
09:28 Notice what Jesus said in Matthew 24:37,
09:32 "But as the days of Noah were,
09:34 so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
09:38 So Jesus told us very clearly
09:40 that as it was in the days of Noah,
09:42 it will be the same in the world
09:44 just before Jesus comes.
09:47 Now what was it like in the days of Noah?
09:49 There were many things that were going on
09:51 but I've just put down a few key points.
09:54 Firstly it was business as usual,
09:57 it was she'll be right mate kind of world
10:00 in the days of Noah,
10:01 and those who are in Australia
10:03 are well familiar with she'll be right mate,
10:05 those of you who are watching
10:07 and you're from another part of the world,
10:09 she'll be right means it was just business as usual,
10:12 carrying on every day the same as the previous day
10:16 and so on and so forth.
10:18 Jesus went on in verse 38 and 39,
10:22 "For as in the days before the flood,
10:25 they were eating and drinking,
10:26 marrying and giving in marriage,
10:27 until the day that Noah entered the ark,
10:30 and did not know until the flood came
10:32 and took them all away,
10:33 so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
10:37 Now the life was going on as it was always,
10:40 just like in the city of Pompeii,
10:41 people were going about their as they always had,
10:45 and then all of the sudden, Mount Vesuvius erupted
10:48 and it was all over in a matter of few short minutes.
10:52 Jesus is saying as it was in the days of Noah,
10:55 so will be just before he comes,
10:57 life will be carrying on business as usual.
11:01 I find these words fascinating where Jesus says
11:04 and they did not know until the flood came
11:06 and took them all away.
11:08 Did the people of Noah's day know
11:10 that there was a flood coming?
11:11 Absolutely.
11:13 God had raised up Noah
11:15 who preached according to the Book of Peter
11:18 in the New Testament for 120 years
11:20 Peter was preaching day in and day out,
11:23 that there was a flood coming,
11:24 and the only safety was in the ark, the animals,
11:28 the Bible tells us were making their way into the ark
11:31 just prior to the flood, two by two.
11:34 Incredible.
11:35 And the people watched all these signs
11:38 and yet they continued on business as usual.
11:44 The second thing I want to point out
11:46 from the days of Noah is that the earth
11:49 was filled with violence and corruption.
11:53 Notice what the Bible tells us
11:55 in Genesis 16:11 concerning the days of Noah,
12:00 "The earth also was corrupt before God,
12:02 and the earth was filled with violence."
12:06 Do we live in a world today that is filled with violence?
12:10 Absolutely, there is violence everywhere, isn't it?
12:12 There is violence on TV,
12:14 there is violence on the sporting field,
12:17 there are violent video games,
12:19 there are violent movies,
12:20 sadly there is even violence in the home.
12:23 Today we live in a world filled with violence,
12:27 we live in a world filled with corruption.
12:29 Corruption is everywhere sadly.
12:33 Notice what else Jesus had to say.
12:35 In Matthew 24:12,
12:37 "And because lawlessness will abound,
12:40 the love of many will grow cold."
12:42 Lawlessness, is there such a thing as lawlessness today?
12:47 Absolutely, there is great lawlessness today.
12:51 What is lawlessness?
12:52 Lawlessness is the opposite to lawfulness.
12:56 What's lawfulness?
12:58 Lawfulness is people who are law-abiding citizens
13:01 and the majority,
13:02 I thank God are law-abiding citizens
13:05 but more and more, there is lawlessness.
13:08 Jesus went on...
13:10 Before we get to what Jesus said next,
13:12 notice what Arnold Toynbee, who is a professor of history,
13:18 he wrote this epic series A Study of History:
13:22 Why do they Disintegrate and Collapse?
13:24 He wrote these series of 17 volumes
13:29 documenting the rise and fall of a number of empires,
13:34 19 or 21 empires altogether that have grown to prominence
13:41 and then they have finally succumbed
13:43 and they are no longer with us.
13:46 And the number one reason
13:48 according to Professor Arnold Toynbee
13:51 why civilizations disintegrate and collapse
13:57 is because lawlessness leads to destruction.
14:00 Lawlessness leads to destruction.
14:02 So the more and more lawlessness
14:04 we find in our world,
14:06 the greater the destruction that will be taking place,
14:10 that is based on history,
14:11 that is based on previous civilizations
14:14 that have gone before us.
14:16 This is a picture of two of my favorite people in the world.
14:19 These are two of...
14:21 some of my favorite people in the world.
14:22 Can anyone guess who they might be?
14:24 Yes, they're my grandparents,
14:27 they're my grandparents.
14:28 And in this year my grandparents celebrated
14:31 70 years of marriage.
14:34 Isn't that incredible? 70 years of marriage.
14:38 Those numbers you see there on the cake,
14:41 that was when we celebrated
14:42 their 84th and their 83rd birthday.
14:44 In case you're wondering, what those numbers mean.
14:48 That was a few years ago.
14:50 Grandma now is 88, and granddaddy is 87
14:54 so she was 18 and he was 17
14:57 when they got married in Macedonia
15:00 all those years ago.
15:02 When I talk to my grandparents,
15:04 and I love to spend time with them,
15:05 they live down in Melbourne, so there's a bit of a distance,
15:07 but every time I go down there,
15:09 I always seek to spend at least a day or two or more
15:12 if I can with them.
15:13 And I love to talk with my grandparents
15:16 and find out what life was like in their day.
15:19 What was it like growing up in their village as a teenager,
15:22 in their early 20s and so on so forth?
15:25 And when I talk to my grandparents,
15:27 apart from them not having electricity in the village,
15:30 apart from them not having telephones,
15:33 apart from them not having our whole bunch of things
15:35 that we have today, life was so, so different,
15:40 especially in the area of morality.
15:43 Some of the things that are happening today,
15:45 my grandmother and grandfather,
15:46 they just cannot get their heads around.
15:48 The way life was back then,
15:50 the morals and the values
15:53 that were rock solid back in their day,
15:56 back in their society
15:58 they might as well have lived the 1000 years ago
16:00 compared to the way we live today
16:02 and the way society is today
16:04 and the things that are viewed as okay,
16:08 and the things that are I guess are viewed as not okay.
16:13 Notice what Jesus went on and said, he said,
16:16 "Because lawlessness will abound,
16:18 the love of many will grow cold.
16:21 The love of many will grow cold."
16:24 Sadly today the love of many is growing cold.
16:27 Sadly today the divorce rate, I don't need to remind you,
16:31 the tragedy of the divorce rate were almost one in two
16:36 here in Australia and in some countries
16:38 it's even greater.
16:40 One in two that say I do come to the point
16:42 where they say I no longer, I no longer do.
16:47 Sadly as we know the children are the ones
16:50 that are caught up in the crossfire
16:53 and it's devastating, it's terrible, it's terrible,
16:57 divorce and separation and all the ills
17:02 that are associated with families disintegrating.
17:06 I find that today we're living in a very immoral world,
17:10 in a very immoral world,
17:12 and let me put to you based on what I see,
17:15 based on what Danny sees
17:17 and I haven't been around for a long time.
17:19 I've been around for some 40 odd years, 45 to be exact.
17:24 But based on the way I see the world
17:26 and what I have seen, this is what I've witnessed,
17:30 and this is what I want to put to you here today.
17:33 The Downward Spiral of Morality,
17:36 firstly immoral acts, they are first abhorred,
17:40 then they are tolerated,
17:42 then they are finally accepted
17:44 and then finally they are defended.
17:48 Are we living in a day like this?
17:51 We absolutely are.
17:52 Where once upon a time
17:54 something that I just would not even be spoken of,
17:57 little I'm practiced,
17:58 today that is not only accepted,
18:00 but today it is defended.
18:02 And sadly even in Christian circles,
18:05 even Christian leaders today are promoting,
18:09 are condoning practices
18:11 that are clearly in opposition to God's word.
18:14 You see God has given us all the principles
18:17 for how we can enjoy healthy and prosperous relationships,
18:21 how we can have a healthy and prosperous society.
18:24 They are all found here in his word.
18:27 In particular they are found in the Ten Commandments,
18:31 the very first commandment invites us to put God first,
18:36 what has society done with God,
18:38 it's throwing God out the window altogether.
18:43 The very first commandment
18:44 dealing with our relationships with one another.
18:47 Commandment number five deals with
18:49 honoring your mother and your father,
18:51 deals with the family unit.
18:53 God has been thrown out the window,
18:55 and today sadly the bedrock of any society,
18:58 the family is under great attack,
19:02 and today sadly the family is disintegrating
19:05 and as goes the family so goes society.
19:09 That's the time that we are living in.
19:12 Today the things that are permissible,
19:15 once upon a time were not even dreamed of.
19:17 I remember reading in some book or some article
19:22 that the first time
19:24 Hollywood decided to take their cameras into the bedroom
19:27 to view a husband and a wife
19:29 sitting in bed reading together,
19:32 there was an outcry, an outcry, why?
19:35 What right does Hollywood
19:37 have to bring their cameras into a bedroom
19:40 to videotape husband and wife in their pajamas,
19:44 sitting in bed?
19:46 Where do Hollywood cameras go in today?
19:48 Well, the sky is the limit, isn't that right?
19:51 Things have completely changed.
19:54 Notice what Isaiah 5:20 says,
19:58 "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil,
20:02 Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness,
20:04 Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
20:07 That is so...
20:10 That is so, so, so, so what it's like today,
20:15 that describes I should say,
20:17 that describes what it's like today,
20:20 what life is like today those who plays evil for good,
20:24 and good for evil.
20:26 I don't know if you're familiar
20:28 with this historical work of Edward Gibbon,
20:33 he wrote this just over 200 years ago,
20:35 the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
20:39 Now I want to share with you
20:40 what Edward Gibbon had to say regarding the reasons,
20:44 the main reasons for the decline
20:47 and fall of the Roman Empire.
20:48 Here they are, the five major reasons,
20:51 there are others but these are the five major reasons,
20:53 and I've summarized them in my words.
20:56 "There was a rapid increase of divorce,
20:58 with the undermining of the family unit
21:00 which is the basic foundation
21:01 for a healthy and prosperous society.
21:03 There were higher and higher taxes.
21:06 There was a mad craze for pleasure and sports.
21:09 The building of gigantic armaments,
21:12 when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people.
21:15 And finally the decay of religion
21:18 where faith had faded into a mere form."
21:21 Does that describe our day today?
21:24 These were some of the major reasons
21:26 that brought down the mighty Roman Empire
21:28 that ruled then known word for some six centuries.
21:32 That is a carbon copy of our society today.
21:36 What did Jesus say?
21:37 Lawlessness will what?
21:39 Lawlessness will abound, and the love of many will what?
21:42 Grow cold.
21:44 And that is clearly
21:46 what we are witnessing today in our society.
21:50 What else was taking place in Noah's Day?
21:54 Notice there was a population explosion.
21:57 Notice what the Bible says in Genesis 6:1,
22:01 "And it came to pass,
22:02 when men began to multiply on the face of the earth,
22:05 and daughters were born unto them."
22:06 So there was a population explosion,
22:08 there was a multiplication of the population
22:12 in Noah's Day.
22:14 Have a look at where our population graph is.
22:18 For thousands of years from the time of Noah
22:22 and his flood about 2,500 years before Christ,
22:26 all the way through to the beginning of the 1800
22:30 so almost 4,500 years of time,
22:33 the population remain steady, as you can see by that graph.
22:37 But then all of a sudden, we moved to 1800
22:40 and the population began to grow exponentially.
22:46 And as you can see that line is going upward
22:50 very, very dramatically, isn't that right?
22:54 We are up to over almost 7.5 billion people.
23:00 And so this is another clear sign,
23:02 another clear evidence that the coming of Jesus is near.
23:06 As we shared in our previous program,
23:08 the signs of Jesus' coming are important,
23:13 in that Jesus gave the analogy of the labor pains.
23:17 You remember the labor pains?
23:18 And those labor pains as we know
23:20 before the coming of Jesus, before the birth of the baby,
23:23 those labor pains,
23:24 they intensify in frequency and severity.
23:28 And that is what we are seeing with all these signs,
23:31 all the graphs are heading north.
23:34 I find this statement very interesting
23:37 from The Little Green Handbook
23:40 published in 2005 by Ron Nielson.
23:44 And this is what he wrote
23:46 concerning our population explosion.
23:48 "The population explosion came suddenly."
23:51 Notice the words that he uses suddenly,
23:53 the words of Jesus in Luke 21.
23:56 "It took the world by" what? "By surprise."
23:59 It shouldn't have taken God's people
24:00 by surprise, should it?
24:02 Because we ought to have known that this was coming.
24:05 "And we are still not sure
24:07 how to react or how to it will end,
24:09 except that it will leave a great deal of damage behind.
24:13 We are not even sure of surviving it."
24:16 Writes Ron Nielson.
24:18 So this population explosion
24:20 has caught the world by surprise,
24:22 and I don't need to remind you
24:24 that population is especially exploding
24:28 in what part of the world?
24:29 The third world, isn't that right?
24:31 The third world where they don't have enough food
24:33 to feed those that they already have
24:35 and so there is a great explosion
24:38 there in the third world.
24:40 Notice what else was taking place
24:41 during the days of Noah.
24:43 The Bible says there were scoffers and skeptics.
24:47 Notice these words from 2 Peter 3:3.
24:53 "Knowing this first, writes Peter,
24:55 that scoffers will come in the last days,
24:58 walking according to their own lusts.
25:01 And saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming?'
25:04 For since the fathers fell asleep,
25:06 all things continue as they were
25:08 from the beginning of creation."
25:09 And as you read these words from Peter,
25:11 you discover that he is speaking of,
25:14 and the context is in relation to the flood.
25:17 He's saying as it was in the days of Noah,
25:20 people were scoffing, they were like,
25:21 "Well, where is Jesus,
25:23 why hasn't he arrived, where is he?"
25:26 And today we live in a world,
25:29 in a western world here
25:31 where religion has been placed to the side,
25:34 isn't that right?
25:36 People are just not interested in religion.
25:38 In fact here in Australia,
25:39 those of you who are in Australia,
25:41 you will know that we have just had our senses.
25:44 And when it comes to ticking
25:48 which religion you may or may not be part of
25:51 for the first time in our senses,
25:53 that no religion box was placed at the top of that question,
25:58 for good reason.
26:00 Because those who are not interested
26:02 in any religion, they wanted to ensure that
26:05 their box received the most votes.
26:07 And so today we're living in a day
26:09 where more and more people claim
26:12 they don't have a religion,
26:13 more and more people claim they have no need of God
26:16 or they don't believe in God.
26:18 That doesn't mean people are not interested
26:20 in the supernatural.
26:21 As we're all aware, books like Harry Potter,
26:24 movies like Lord of the Rings
26:26 and Star Wars are more popular today than ever,
26:29 isn't that right?
26:30 But people just have no interest in this book here,
26:33 they have no interest in the word of God,
26:36 they have no interest in the things of God,
26:39 but they are interested in the dramatic
26:42 and the interesting
26:44 and the sensational supernatural
26:46 which Hollywood is pumping out each and every day.
26:50 Now why hasn't Jesus come?
26:52 Why does he delay his coming?
26:55 Notice what Peter goes on and he says in 2 Peter 3:9,
27:00 "For the Lord is not slack concerning His promise,
27:03 as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,
27:06 not willing that any should perish
27:08 but that all should come to" what?
27:10 "Repentance." So why hasn't Jesus come yet?
27:13 He hasn't come yet,
27:15 because he's still waiting for more people
27:18 to give their lives to him to repent,
27:21 to turn from where they are heading
27:24 to turn to the kingdom of God instead of being lost.
27:29 Jesus invites all to be saved.
27:31 That's the reason why Jesus hasn't come yet.
27:34 He is waiting for those to repent, but the truth is,
27:38 the truth is that Jesus will come, he will come,
27:42 the flood did come.
27:44 Noah preached for 120 years and the flood did come.
27:49 God is patient, God is merciful,
27:51 God is long suffering,
27:53 but the day will come when God will say enough is enough,
27:57 enough of this sickness, enough of the sorrow,
28:00 enough of the suffering,
28:01 it's time to bring my people home,
28:03 it's time to bring those home
28:05 that have put their faith and trust in me.
28:10 I want to go now to the signs in the economic world.
28:14 Signs in the economic world,
28:16 we've looked at signs in the political world,
28:18 signs in the world of nature,
28:20 signs in the social world
28:21 and now these titanic signs in the economic world.
28:26 Notice what Jesus said in Luke 17:28-30,
28:31 "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot:
28:35 They ate, they drank, they bought,
28:37 they sold, they planted, they built,
28:39 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom
28:42 it rained fire and brimstone from heaven
28:44 and destroyed them all.
28:46 Even so will it be in the day
28:49 when the Son of Man is revealed."
28:51 So here Jesus tells us not only as it was in the days of Noah,
28:55 but also as it was in the days of Lot,
28:58 so it will be just before Jesus comes.
29:02 Now we don't have time to take a look at the grose immorality
29:08 and destructive violence that was part
29:12 and parcel of life in Sodom.
29:14 You can read that for yourself there in the Book of Genesis.
29:17 But apart from the immorality, and apart from the violence,
29:23 what was one of the other characteristics
29:26 of the city of Sodom before God destroyed it
29:29 with fire and brimstone from heaven?
29:31 Well, let's go to a scripture
29:33 that not many people are aware of
29:36 that describes what life was like in the city of Sodom
29:40 found in Ezekiel 16:49, God says,
29:45 "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom:"
29:48 He's here speaking to his children Israel,
29:51 and he's comparing them to the city of Sodom, notice.
29:55 "She and her daughter had pride..."
29:58 I guess speaking of Gomorrah, Sodom and Gomorrah.
30:01 "Fullness of food, and abundance of idleness,
30:04 neither did she strengthen
30:06 the hand of the poor and needy."
30:08 Does that describe life like today?
30:11 It absolutely does.
30:12 That describes life in the 21st century,
30:15 in particular here in the western world,
30:17 where we have those who have a lot
30:20 and then we have those that don't have much at all,
30:23 isn't that right?
30:24 The gap between the rich and the poor is what?
30:28 It's growing, and growing, and growing, and growing.
30:31 As someone once said, the rich are getting richer
30:34 and the poor are getting babies,
30:37 that's true, the poor are getting babies,
30:40 they're the ones that are multiplying.
30:42 Those of us that have got
30:43 hundreds of thousands of dollars,
30:45 all these big homes,
30:46 we don't want more than one or two kids.
30:48 And those that have a little shack,
30:50 they've got six, seven, eight and 10 kids.
30:55 We have an abundance.
30:57 Notice this magazine
30:59 that I referred to in our last presentation,
31:01 what really happened between 2000 and 2010
31:05 this Time Magazine back in December 6, 2010.
31:09 Notice these statistics,
31:11 it compared the billionaires in the world of the year 2000,
31:16 as well as the billionaires
31:17 in the world at the end of 2010.
31:19 In 2000 there were 306 billionaires
31:23 roaming around in the world.
31:25 In 2010 some 10 years later,
31:27 that number had tripled to more than 1,000.
31:31 But notice, we also find that the undernourished
31:34 from the year 2000 to the year 2010
31:37 had grown by almost 75 million people.
31:41 Now you maybe thinking what 75 million people,
31:43 that's not a lot, that's not a lot,
31:46 that's like three Australia's, isn't that right?
31:49 That's the population of Australia
31:51 three times over that are today hungrier
31:54 than they were back in 2000 from 2010.
32:00 I came across this very interesting article
32:03 in the Australian Business Review
32:05 that pointed to this gap between the rich and the poor,
32:11 and I discovered in this article
32:13 that 1% of the world's population
32:15 now own 50% of the world's resources.
32:20 That's phenomenal, think about that.
32:21 1% of this world's population
32:24 own 50% of the world's resources,
32:28 that's incredible.
32:30 And just in case,
32:31 you didn't think you were very wealthy,
32:34 those of us who are living in the western world,
32:37 if you have $3,000 in assets or cash,
32:43 $3,000 you are part of the richest 50% in the world.
32:48 So that's all of you, isn't that right?
32:50 If you have $87,000
32:54 worth of assets in cash
32:56 minus after you've taken out all your debts,
32:59 you were part of the top 10% in the world,
33:02 as far as wealth is concerned.
33:04 And if you have $700,000 worth of cash and assets,
33:08 you're part of that 1% part of the 1%.
33:12 Today, there are those
33:14 who are working for a $1 or $2 a day,
33:17 while there are huge corporations
33:19 making billions and billions and billions of dollars.
33:22 I don't need to remind you of that,
33:24 we are well familiar with that.
33:26 The Book of James actually describes our day to a tea.
33:30 Notice these words that we find in the Book of James 5:1-8,
33:35 "Come now, you rich,
33:36 weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!
33:40 Your riches are corrupted,
33:41 and your garments are moth-eaten.
33:43 Your gold and silver are corroded,
33:45 and their corrosion will be a witness against you
33:47 and will eat your flesh like fire.
33:50 You have heaped up treasure in what days?
33:53 In the last days."
33:54 And as we discovered in our previous presentation,
33:56 the last days begin when?
33:59 They begin when Jesus came, the first time.
34:01 That's when the last days begin
34:03 according to the Book of Hebrews 1
34:05 but those last days will intensify
34:08 until the coming of Jesus.
34:10 And in particular here
34:12 James is speaking of the coming of Jesus
34:14 and we'll discover that in just a few moments.
34:16 He goes on,
34:18 "Indeed the wages of the laborers
34:19 who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud,
34:22 cry out, and the cries of the reapers
34:25 have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth."
34:28 James goes on,
34:29 "You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury,
34:32 you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.
34:35 You have condemned, you have murdered the just,
34:38 he does not resist you.
34:39 Therefore be patient, brethren,
34:41 until the coming of the Lord..."
34:43 And he finishes off with these words,
34:45 "You also be patient.
34:47 Establish your hearts,
34:48 for the coming of the Lord is what?
34:50 Is at hand."
34:51 So when you see the gap between the rich and the poor
34:55 growing like at no other time in human history,
34:58 then you can know
35:00 that the coming of the Lord is near even at hand.
35:04 Yes, we've always had poor people.
35:07 Yes, we've always had rich people.
35:08 In fact Jesus said,
35:10 "The poor you will always have in your midst."
35:13 So that's nothing new,
35:15 but what is new is this gap between the rich and the poor,
35:20 which is never been the case, certainly not in recent times,
35:25 not in the past 2,000 years, since Jesus shared these words,
35:31 and since James shared these words.
35:34 Notice these words from the Book of Revelation,
35:36 in Revelation 11:18
35:39 we looked at these in our previous presentation.
35:41 "The nations were what?
35:44 Angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead,
35:46 that they should be judged."
35:47 The nations were angry.
35:50 We know that the nations are angry,
35:52 that's not news to anyone,
35:54 you can just turn on your news tonight
35:56 and you'll discover that the nations are angry,
35:58 very, very angry with one another.
36:00 But I want to put a slight twist
36:03 on the words of John here in Revelation.
36:06 Let me add a couple of words
36:09 the people of the nations were angry.
36:13 Are people angry today?
36:15 Absolutely.
36:17 More and more people are angry.
36:19 Let me share with you the front cover of Time Magazine
36:23 back in December 14, 2011
36:26 "The Protester" subheading
36:30 'From the Arab Spring to Athens,
36:32 From Occupy Wall Street to Moscow' The Protester.
36:35 Person of the year for 2011
36:39 according to Time Magazine was the protester,
36:42 for the first time in Time's history,
36:46 it wasn't a person, one person, one individual,
36:50 that was the person of the year,
36:52 now it was a group of people.
36:54 I have this magazine here with me.
36:58 And in the article,
37:01 in the article it was pointed out
37:03 that for the first time in history,
37:05 we had protests in nations
37:08 that comprise almost half the world's population
37:12 taking place during that year 2011.
37:17 The year of the protester, people are angry,
37:21 there was a very sad article
37:25 in this particular Time Magazine,
37:27 the article was concerning young 26 year old street vendor
37:33 by the name of Mohamed Bouazizi
37:35 who in fact sparked the Arab Spring
37:39 as it is become known there in Tunisia,
37:42 in a small village in Tunisia.
37:43 Now what sparked the Arab Spring?
37:46 Well, Mohamed, a 26 year old street vendor
37:49 just selling his fruit there on the side of the road,
37:51 trying to make ends meet,
37:52 trying to feed his young family,
37:54 his wife and his children,
37:56 he kept getting harassed by the authorities
37:58 over, and over and again,
38:00 he just be harassed almost on a weekly basis.
38:04 And then finally,
38:06 what finally did it for Mohamed
38:09 was to be interrogated by a police officer,
38:13 a female police officer who interrogated him once more,
38:17 she slapped in the face
38:21 and in the Middle East that is a sign of great shame
38:25 and just something absolutely despicable
38:30 and she confiscated his scales.
38:33 Well, they decided to go to the authorities to complain,
38:36 he went to the authorities to complain,
38:39 they told him not interested,
38:41 he walked outside the offices,
38:44 the government offices and he poured,
38:48 he poured a paint thinner on him,
38:51 lit a match and killed himself
38:55 that is what sparked the Arab Spring
38:57 according to this article there in Tunisia back in 2011.
39:02 That's what happening in the world today.
39:04 People don't protest because they want to protest,
39:06 because they've got nothing better to do.
39:09 The reason why people are protesting
39:11 all around the world especially in the third world
39:15 is because they have had enough,
39:17 they can longer live in this unjust society
39:22 that they are part of,
39:23 and they've made a decision either we die,
39:26 or there is a change,
39:28 but living like this just doesn't work anymore.
39:31 That's why hundreds and thousands
39:33 and millions leave their home, they get on these little boats,
39:38 these little rubber dinghies and they risk life and limb
39:42 to get to a part of the world
39:44 where they believe there will be safety,
39:45 there will be peace, there will be prosperity
39:47 for them and for their children.
39:49 We are living in a time such as we have never lived before
39:54 where people are angry, they're upset,
39:56 even here in our country in Australia,
39:58 in the United States.
40:01 Take a look at what's happening over there,
40:03 and in many other parts of the world, Western Europe,
40:05 there is just anger, there is just frustration
40:08 that is building up more and more, and more.
40:12 Notice these words from Luke 21:9,
40:17 "But when you hear of wars and commotions,
40:20 do not be terrified,
40:21 for these things must come to pass first,
40:24 but the end will not come immediately."
40:27 This is a very interesting word commotions.
40:29 I looked that world up commotions
40:31 and the world literally means unrest,
40:34 it means revolts and riots.
40:38 Do we have revolts and riots today?
40:40 Absolutely, there have been revolts and riots
40:43 ever since Jesus spoke these words 2000 years ago.
40:46 But the revolts and the riots are on a scale
40:49 such as we have not seen before.
40:51 Notice these words in the Book of Mark,
40:53 in the Book of Mark 13:8,
40:58 "For nation will rise against nation,
41:00 and kingdom against kingdom.
41:02 And there will be earthquakes in various places,
41:04 and there will be famines and" what?
41:06 Troubles.
41:08 These are the beginnings of sorrows.
41:09 "Troubles, I looked up that word trouble
41:12 and the original meaning for that word is a disturbance,
41:15 a provocation, or sedation.
41:18 Now I have to get my dictionary out to workout
41:21 exactly what that word sedition was.
41:24 I had a vague idea, a pretty good idea
41:27 but this is what the word means according to the dictionary.
41:30 It means to conduct or to office speech
41:35 inciting people to rebel against the authority
41:38 of a state or a monarch.
41:40 Is there rebellion today against state,
41:43 against authority?
41:45 Absolutely.
41:46 What's it called?
41:47 It's called the Arab Spring or the Arab Uprising.
41:50 People are rising up, they're overthrowing governments,
41:53 and that's exactly what Jesus said
41:55 when he spoke of troubles,
41:57 he spoke of uprisings, he spoke of riots,
41:59 he spoke of whole nations being turned upside down
42:04 and great turmoil taking place.
42:07 And that's why Jesus said in Luke 21:25,
42:10 "And there shall be distress of nations, with perplexity."
42:13 As we discovered in our last presentation,
42:16 distress is great perplexity, great distress.
42:21 Today in Australia, in Australia,
42:25 the economy may seem that it's going reasonably well,
42:28 that's why we are told by the various political leaders
42:32 and by the various economists,
42:34 they're trying to keep everyone happy and contend,
42:37 and not trying to alarm the public.
42:39 But I was reading an article recently
42:42 on the ABC News website that shared with me
42:46 that in the last 25 years Australian debt has tripled,
42:51 Australian debt has what?
42:53 Tripled in the last 25 years.
42:55 And everybody knows you can't just keep accumulating debt
43:00 without any consequences.
43:03 I find it fascinating that for the first time in history
43:08 the average house price in Sydney,
43:12 the largest city here in Australia
43:14 has hit $1 million, isn't that incredible?
43:17 A million dollars.
43:18 Now I went and did a little bit of research.
43:20 I'm not an economist, okay, by any stretch,
43:24 I'm just the simple sign
43:25 and I'm just looking at the big picture,
43:28 taking a look at what the Bible says,
43:30 in particular what Jesus says
43:31 and trying to match up the facts and the figures
43:35 and trying to put all the dots together.
43:38 I discovered that in 1975,
43:41 okay, so that's many moons ago,
43:43 1975 some of you will probably remember
43:45 what life was like in 1975,
43:49 the average house price in Sydney was $30,000.
43:54 The average wage in Sydney was $7,500, that was in 1975.
44:01 Forty years later in 2015
44:04 while house price as we've shared has hit what?
44:07 Has hit a million dollars, it's gone up more than 30 fold,
44:10 the average wage in Sydney in 2015 was $75, 000
44:15 that's gone up ten times,
44:17 you don't need to be mathematician
44:19 or an economist to workout something's not right.
44:22 Wages have gone up by 10 times,
44:26 house prices have gone up by more than 30 times.
44:29 The greatest investment a person will make
44:31 in their lifetime in Australia
44:34 will be in a house, isn't that right?
44:36 So when we have low interest rates
44:38 as we do now and we have huge titanic debt,
44:42 it's setting us up for a huge fall.
44:45 That's what the economists are sharing with me,
44:48 with us and I won't go into it too much more,
44:51 but you probably know some of this yourself.
44:56 I found this graph fascinating.
44:59 Talking about the United States,
45:01 have a look at their public debt,
45:04 it's up around $20 trillion that's right,
45:07 not billion but $20 trillion dollars.
45:10 In 1990 it was around $3 trillion,
45:14 and have a look at that graph,
45:15 it's just going up and up and up
45:18 and we're almost at $20 trillion.
45:22 The United States is now in a position where it can,
45:25 where it's almost impossible for it
45:29 to pay simply the interest on its debt.
45:33 Things cannot keep going as they are,
45:35 they just cannot keep going,
45:37 the balloon will eventually have to pop,
45:39 and that's exactly what I read in this book
45:43 written by economists,
45:44 I don't believe they're Christian,
45:45 I'm not sure,
45:47 but it certainly didn't come across in their way.
45:49 They're just simply taking a look
45:50 at what's happening in the world.
45:51 Now these economists David Wiedemer,
45:56 Robert Wiedemer and Cindy Spitzer,
45:58 their readable entitled Aftershock: Protect Yourself
46:02 and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown.
46:06 They wrote a previous book in 2006
46:09 entitled America's Bubble Economy.
46:11 And in that book they clearly identified
46:16 where America was at with its economy,
46:19 this bubble housing economy and where it was going
46:23 and how it would collapse eventually.
46:25 They basically predicted and they foretold step-by-step
46:31 the 2008 GFC or financial crisis,
46:37 the world financial crisis in that book.
46:40 Now they have written a book, these same authors,
46:43 and they are predicting phase two
46:46 of the economic crash.
46:48 And if you have trouble sleeping,
46:50 it's not a book I'd recommend
46:51 that you read just before you go to bed.
46:53 I wouldn't recommend that.
46:55 But what they are simply stating in this book
46:57 and they're not looking at it from a Biblical perspective,
46:59 they're simply stating
47:01 that the next economic crash which will come,
47:05 they're not saying may come, they're saying which will come
47:09 will make the great depression of the 1930s
47:12 look like a picnic in the park.
47:15 They're saying that life as we know it on planet earth
47:18 will be completely changed and transformed forever.
47:23 As I think about that,
47:25 I think about the only way that I can protect myself,
47:28 the only way you can protect yourself
47:30 is through Jesus.
47:31 Isn't that right? That's the only way.
47:33 Notice this front cover of Time Magazine.
47:36 "The next recession and where to hide."
47:40 Here they were also pointing out that we are due,
47:44 we are due for another financial crisis,
47:48 the world is due.
47:49 According to this magazine,
47:52 every seven or eight or nine years
47:57 from about the 1970s onwards
47:59 there has been a recession or a financial crisis.
48:03 Since 2008 how many years have transpired?
48:07 How long can this economic bubble keep going,
48:10 only God knows.
48:11 But when I look at that front cover,
48:13 the next recession and where to hide,
48:15 where to hide, where do you hide,
48:17 I love these words from the Psalmist David,
48:20 notice what he writes.
48:22 David writes in Psalm 91:2 "I will say of the Lord,
48:26 'He is my refuge and my fortress,
48:28 My God in Him I will trust.'
48:31 " Halleluiah.
48:33 I'm not putting my faith and trust in the government.
48:35 I'm not putting my faith and trust in my bank.
48:37 I'm not putting my faith and trust in my house,
48:39 in my mortgage, in my job,
48:41 I'm putting my faith and trust in God alone.
48:44 Where is our refuge?
48:46 Where do we hide? We hide in Jesus Christ.
48:50 If we have Jesus Christ, we can have peace,
48:52 we can have happiness, we can have joy.
48:54 If everything is falling apart around us,
48:57 we are not all that concerned because we are looking where?
49:01 We are looking up.
49:02 Jesus told us, when you see all these things come to pass,
49:06 look up, because your redemption is drawing near.
49:11 These are all signs that Jesus is on his way.
49:15 We are not to be afraid,
49:16 we're not to lose sleep over these things,
49:18 whatever will be, will be.
49:21 God knows when and what and how my role
49:25 and your role is for us to put our faith and trust in Jesus.
49:29 I love the words of Jesus.
49:30 Let's go to the words of Jesus in John 14:27 Jesus says,
49:33 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you,
49:36 not as the world gives do I give to you.
49:38 Let not your heart be" what?
49:40 "Troubled, neither let it be afraid."
49:42 In Christ we can have peace,
49:45 in Christ we do not need to be afraid.
49:48 Jesus over and over again says,
49:50 do not be afraid, do not fear,
49:52 be anxious for nothing writes the Apostle Paul,
49:55 and what's nothing?
49:57 Nothing is what? Nothing.
49:58 Be anxious for nothing, but just trust in God,
50:01 put your faith in him.
50:03 Where ought to be our priorities be
50:05 in these economic uncertain times that we live in?
50:08 Notice the words of Jesus, once again Matthew 6:19-21.
50:12 Jesus says,
50:13 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
50:16 where moth and rust destroy
50:17 and where thieves break in and steal,
50:19 but lay up for yourselves treasures" where?
50:22 "In heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys
50:25 and where thieves do not break in and steal.
50:28 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
50:31 Jesus says do not lay up for yourself,
50:34 treasure here on this earth,
50:36 because we well know the stock market
50:38 can swallow it all up in a day.
50:39 Isn't that right?
50:41 Recently we had Brexit
50:43 and what happened to the world financial market?
50:45 They took a nosedive,
50:48 a nosedive in a matter of a day or two
50:51 $3 trillion was wiped off the stock market.
50:55 What? Is $3 trillion, I've got no idea either.
50:59 Who knows what $3 trillion looks like.
51:01 I'm not gonna have $3 in my pocket at any one time.
51:06 We can only put our faith and trust in Jesus,
51:10 store up for yourself treasure in heaven,
51:14 in heaven, in heaven.
51:17 Jesus said in Matthew 16:26
51:20 "For what profit is it to a man or a woman
51:23 if he or she gains the whole world,
51:25 and loses" what?
51:26 "His own soul?
51:28 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"
51:31 What is the point to gain the whole world,
51:36 to gain everything this world has to offer
51:39 and to lose your salvation?
51:41 What is the point says Jesus.
51:42 There is no point, there is no point.
51:46 I'd rather die without a dollar in my pocket
51:52 in the Lord
51:54 than die with billions and trillions of dollars,
52:00 because where my heart is
52:01 that's where my treasure will be
52:03 and my heart is in the kingdom of God.
52:06 My heart is in heaven, that's where I'm looking,
52:10 that's where my heart is, that's where I'm focused,
52:12 so my energies, my strength, my dollars and cents,
52:16 I want to place them toward the things
52:19 that will last for eternity,
52:21 not the things that will be for the here and now.
52:25 In 2009 a great tragedy took place
52:30 there in my home state of Victoria in Australia
52:35 where 160 something individuals lost their lives
52:40 in the greatest natural disaster
52:43 in Australian history, in modern Australian history
52:46 that we know today as Black Saturday.
52:49 February 7, 2009
52:52 after intense heat of over a number of days,
52:56 finally, finally bush fires just joined together
53:01 and sadly a lot of property was lost
53:05 but more importantly many lives were lost.
53:09 I read this news article
53:12 and you can see it up there on the screen.
53:14 This news article from the Australian,
53:16 September 9, 2009 in the inquest
53:19 that followed Black Saturday,
53:21 Black Saturday bush fire victims died
53:24 defending their houses.
53:27 I nearly cried, I nearly cried when I read that.
53:32 More than 100 people lost their lives
53:35 defending their homes.
53:37 Yes, they had put a lot of time and effort into their homes,
53:41 but sadly they lost their lives,
53:44 tragically they lost their lives
53:46 defending their homes.
53:47 What did Jesus say, what does it profit a man,
53:51 if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.
53:55 My friends, this is not our home,
53:58 this is not our home, we're just traveling through.
54:02 The home that Jesus has prepared for us
54:06 is not on this earth,
54:07 it's in the heavenly courts above.
54:09 Notice what Jesus said in John 14:1-3,
54:13 "Let not your heart be troubled,
54:15 you believe in God, believe also in Me.
54:17 In My Father's house are many mansions,
54:20 if it were not so, I would have told you.
54:22 I go to prepare a place for you.
54:24 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
54:27 I will come again and receive you to Myself,
54:29 that where I am, there you may be also."
54:33 This is the place that Jesus has in mind
54:36 for each and every one of us, amen.
54:39 The heavenly mansion, the heavenly mansion
54:42 is what Jesus is preparing for each and every one of us.
54:46 Yes, we need to live in our house here, in here and now,
54:49 whether you're renting or whether you own your home,
54:51 it makes no difference,
54:52 you're not taking it anywhere with you, are you?
54:56 We're not taking anything from this world away with us,
54:59 the only thing that we are taking with us
55:03 is our trust, is our faith, is our belief in Jesus Christ
55:08 that will prepare us for his heavenly mansions above.
55:12 In my father's house are many mansions.
55:15 Enough room for you?
55:16 Absolutely. Is there enough room for me?
55:19 Absolutely.
55:21 Is there enough room for everybody?
55:22 Yes, there is, there is enough room
55:25 or as I love as my Papua New Guinean friends say,
55:29 plenty good room, plenty good room.
55:32 There is plenty of good room.
55:34 Today, Jesus is inviting you and me
55:36 to make a decision,
55:38 to be part of his everlasting kingdom of love.
55:41 I want to be part of that everlasting kingdom of love,
55:44 how about you?
55:45 Do you want to join me in preparing
55:47 for the heavenly courts above?
55:49 Do you want to join me there in those heavenly mansions?
55:55 I'm so looking forward to that day.
55:57 And I know that God wants you and me
55:59 all of us to be part of that day.
56:01 If that's your desire,
56:02 why don't you just raise your hand and say Lord,
56:04 I want my mansion in heaven.
56:08 I don't care about the one down here,
56:09 I want my mansion in heaven.
56:11 Let's pray, Father in heaven,
56:12 we just want to thank you so much
56:15 that in this day and age of uncertainty,
56:19 Father, we can put our faith and trust in your word
56:23 where is there to hide, the question has been asked,
56:27 oh, the only place is in the secure,
56:29 in the safe nail scarred hands of Jesus.
56:32 We thank you Lord that you have given us the promise
56:35 that you're coming back soon
56:37 and all those that put their faith and trust in you
56:40 that will be with you forever more.
56:43 Oh, bless us Lord now I pray,
56:45 keep us close to Jesus each and every day,
56:48 we pray this in his precious name,
56:50 amen, amen.


Revised 2016-12-01