Spring Camp Meeting 2014

The Apparent Delay

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: James Rafferty


Series Code: 14SCM

Program Code: 14SCM000011S

00:38 Hello and welcome to 3ABN's 2014 Spring Camp Meeting.
00:44 This is another one of our big-themed events
00:46 and the whole weekend we are talking about the second coming
00:51 of Jesus Christ. I can't think of anything more important
00:55 to talk about. And we're very excited
00:58 to have all of you here. And I just want to say to you
01:01 good morning. And we are just hopeful that you are ready.
01:05 I know you had your cups filled yesterday,
01:09 but we're hopeful that you've got a little more room
01:12 'cause we've got a lot more that's coming.
01:14 This morning we are going to have James Rafferty
01:17 as our speaker. And James is the speaker and co-director
01:22 of Light Bearers Ministry.
01:24 I'll bet you all are familiar with him.
01:26 Have you seen their new program that James and Ty
01:28 and the ministry is doing called Table Talk?
01:32 It is one of the favorites for most people.
01:35 We get lots of wonderful comments on that.
01:37 James also has a program on Books of the Book.
01:42 But James early on recognized the call
01:46 of God on his life to go out and preach
01:50 the good news of Christ crucified, of the risen
01:54 and exalted Savior.
01:57 And he has had the opportunity - I'm going to read this -
02:00 he has been sharing the incomparable love of Jesus
02:04 in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia,
02:08 and all over America.
02:11 And in addition to his preaching
02:14 he also does seminars on the books of Daniel and Revelation.
02:19 So we're very very excited. His message today
02:23 will be The Apparent Delay.
02:26 But first we're going to have Celestine Barry
02:29 and her husband Michael come.
02:32 Michael is so talented on the piano, and Celestine is
02:37 an anointed singer. And she's going to be singing
02:40 The Power of the Cross.
03:23 Oh to see the dawn
03:28 of the darkest day
03:33 Christ on the road to
03:38 Calvary
03:42 tried by sinful men,
03:48 torn and beaten then
03:52 nailed to a cross of wood
04:00 This the pow'r
04:04 of the cross
04:09 Christ became
04:14 sin for us
04:18 took the blame,
04:22 bore the wrath
04:25 we stand forgiven
04:28 at the cross
04:41 Oh, to see the pain
04:45 written on Your face
04:50 bearing the awesome
04:54 weight of sin
04:58 every bitter thought,
05:03 every evil deed
05:07 crowning Your bloodstained brow
05:15 This the pow'r
05:19 of the cross
05:23 Christ became
05:28 sin for us
05:32 took the blame,
05:36 bore the wrath
05:38 we stand forgiven
05:42 at the cross
05:57 Now the daylight flees
06:01 Now the ground beneath
06:06 quakes as its Maker
06:10 bows His head
06:15 curtain torn in two
06:19 dead are raised to life
06:23 "finished"
06:25 the victory cry
06:30 This the pow'r
06:35 of the cross
06:39 Christ became
06:43 sin for us
06:47 took the blame,
06:51 bore the wrath
06:53 we stand forgiven
06:57 at that cross
07:09 Oh, to see my name
07:13 written in the wounds
07:17 for through Your suffering
07:21 I am free
07:25 death is crushed to death
07:29 life is mine to live
07:33 won through Your selfless love
07:40 This the pow'r
07:45 of the cross
07:48 Son of God
07:52 slain for us
07:56 what a love,
08:00 what a cost
08:03 We stand forgiven at
08:09 the cross...
08:17 at the cross.
08:24 Amen.
08:35 Amen.
08:42 I'm assuming that you're clapping because I'm here...
08:47 not because of anything else.
08:51 But you understand that it's important for a preacher
08:54 to have a good illustration for his sermon...
09:03 especially one that is somewhat relaxing to the audience
09:07 and gets us ready for... Let's open our Bibles
09:10 to II Peter chapter 3 as we begin.
09:13 I've heard some very good reports about Camp Meeting
09:16 so far, and I'm very blessed to be part of this opportunity
09:22 to look into one of the most fundamental
09:26 truths of the Bible: the second coming.
09:28 And of course, my presentation this morning -
09:31 the time that we're going to be spending this morning
09:34 in the Word of God - has to do with the apparent delay.
09:37 And there's different ways that you can interpret that title.
09:40 I didn't choose the title... it was given to me.
09:43 But one of the ways that we can understand that title
09:46 is the apparent delay. It's not really a delay,
09:49 it's just an apparent delay.
09:51 And I think that that's part of what I'm going to try to
09:55 emphasize here as we look into these Bible verses that
09:58 talk about the second coming of Jesus Christ.
10:01 Because I believe that God's purposes know no haste
10:05 and no delay.
10:08 Those are His purposes.
10:10 And so we need to ask the question in the context of that:
10:13 what are His purposes
10:15 as they relate to the second coming of Jesus Christ?
10:18 I'd like to just pause for another moment and have
10:20 another word of prayer with you as we open God's Word.
10:23 Father, we're just thankful this morning
10:25 for the opportunity to open Your Word.
10:27 We want to pause and just ask for the blessing of Your
10:29 Holy Spirit. You have promised that to us, each one of us
10:32 individually and perhaps even more so to us collectively
10:37 as we draw together and seek to study.
10:42 Father, we just want to pray that our hearts, our minds
10:45 will be in tune with heaven.
10:47 That we will give Your Holy Spirit an opportunity
10:49 to teach us. I pray personally and individually
10:53 that You will cleanse my heart, my thoughts
10:56 that I will be a channel just to communicate Your truth,
10:59 Your Word. And I pray these things in Jesus' name, Amen.
11:03 II Peter chapter 3 beginning with verse 1:
11:08 "This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you
11:11 in both which I stir up your pure minds
11:14 by way of remembrance.
11:16 That ye... " verse 2... "may be mindful of the words
11:20 which were spoken before by the holy prophets
11:23 and the commandment of us, the apostles
11:27 of the Lord and Savior. "
11:29 Verse 3... II Peter 3:
11:33 "Knowing this first that there shall come in the last days... "
11:38 Do you believe we're living in the last days? Amen!
11:41 So we're going to now find out what the Bible says
11:45 is going to come in the last days that would be an indication
11:47 or confirmation that we're living in the last days.
11:50 The first word here that we read is that there will come
11:54 in the last days "scoffers
11:57 walking after their own lusts
12:00 and saying... " verse 4...
12:03 "where is the promise of His coming?
12:07 For since the fathers fell asleep
12:10 all things continue as they were from the beginning
12:14 of the creation. "
12:17 Where is the promise of His coming?
12:19 And it indicates in this verse and in the context
12:23 of this second epistle of Peter
12:26 it indicates that these people are somewhat
12:31 believers or Christians or followers
12:35 because they're calling it a promise.
12:38 And in the context of this Peter warns about
12:40 those who are departing from the faith.
12:44 Who are turning from the holy commandment once delivered
12:47 unto them. Who have known the Lord but have
12:50 turned away from the power of His salvation.
12:53 From the grace of God. That's the context of II Peter.
12:57 And then he goes on to say this, verse 5: "For this
12:59 they willingly are ignorant of
13:03 that by the Word of God the heavens were of old
13:06 and the earth standing out of the water and in the water. "
13:09 And I would just want to summarize there that they're
13:11 willingly ignorant of this one thing, and that is
13:14 the Word of God.
13:16 The Word of God. That's going to be our focus
13:18 for understanding the apparent delay.
13:20 There are a number of prophecies in the Bible
13:23 that talk about or predict or point to the second coming
13:27 of Jesus Christ. It seems as though every writer of the Bible
13:30 has a little something to give us about the second coming
13:34 of Jesus. I think we're very familiar, perhaps,
13:36 with the book of Revelation.
13:38 That is the inspired writings that were given to John
13:42 about the second coming of Jesus Christ...
13:45 about prophecy and end-time events.
13:47 But John was not the only apostle, not the only disciple
13:51 that wrote about the second coming.
13:53 Matthew had a whole chapter in Matthew 24 about the second
13:56 coming of Jesus. Mark also had a whole chapter
13:59 that was designated in Mark 13.
14:02 And Luke wasn't left out of the picture.
14:04 He had an entire chapter in Luke 21.
14:06 And we find Paul talking about the second coming
14:11 in II Thessalonians chapter 2.
14:14 And each one of these writers was inspired to give us
14:18 a little something that helps us to answer the question
14:22 why the apparent delay.
14:24 The one I want to look at first... because we're actually
14:27 going to conclude with II Peter... is found in
14:29 Matthew 24. And it's not going to be much different
14:32 from Mark 13 or from Luke 21.
14:36 All of these eschatological
14:41 or end-time event chapters are very similar.
14:44 Some of them have a little bit of detail that isn't
14:46 in the other, but we'll look at Matthew 24
14:48 just to understand this one reason or this one point
14:51 that's being made here in Matthew.
14:54 You may be familiar with the fact that Matthew 24
14:57 gives us a layout of events that were to take place
15:00 prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and then repeated
15:05 prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ
15:08 at the end of the world. It's what we call a dual prophecy.
15:12 Now we don't see that in Daniel; we don't see that in Revelation.
15:15 It's unique to Matthew and Mark 13 and Luke 21.
15:19 Because the disciples asked Jesus: "What will be the end
15:22 of these things? " The temple, where not one stone would be
15:26 left upon another... "and the sign of Your coming
15:29 and the end of the world? " And so Jesus mixes the events.
15:32 Mixes the signs that lead to both of the events.
15:35 He mixes them together, and so when we read Matthew 24
15:38 we see... we know... that all of these signs
15:41 in the first few verses leading up to verse 14 and onward
15:45 all of them were fulfilled just before the destruction
15:48 of Jerusalem and they will be repeated
15:52 just before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
15:55 But there's one sign that I want you to look at
15:56 with me specifically, and this sign is found in verse 14.
16:02 It answers the question more directly:
16:04 Why the apparent delay?
16:07 Verse 14: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached
16:11 in all the world for a witness unto all nations
16:15 and then shall... " What? "the end come. "
16:19 Why the apparent delay? Because according to Matthew 24
16:22 and verse 14 the gospel hasn't been preached in all the world
16:26 for a witness unto all nations.
16:31 If you were to take all of the signs in Matthew 24
16:34 and put them on one side of a scale...
16:36 The wars and rumors of wars... we've seen that.
16:38 Nation rising against nation.
16:40 Famines, pestilence, natural disasters like earthquakes
16:43 in different places... If you were to put all of those signs
16:46 on one side of the scale and you would put one sign -
16:50 the one sign in Matthew 24 and verse 14,
16:52 the gospel being preached as a witness to all nations -
16:55 on the other side of the scale,
16:57 you know what would happen to that scale?
16:59 It would tip this way.
17:01 Because this one sign in Matthew 24 and verse 14
17:05 outweighs all the others.
17:07 All of these other signs can be fulfilled, but if this one sign
17:10 isn't fulfilled... guess what?
17:13 Jesus is not coming.
17:16 Why? We're going to see this more when we look at II Peter -
17:22 when we go back to II Peter - but I'll just tell you
17:24 that one of the reasons why - probably the most important
17:26 reason why - is because God doesn't want anyone
17:31 to be lost. Amen. He wants every single person
17:37 possible to be in heaven,
17:39 and therefore it is vital that the gospel goes to every nation
17:44 before Jesus returns so everyone has an opportunity.
17:47 Now Paul says that in his day the gospel was preached
17:49 to every creature under heaven.
17:51 It is possible.
17:53 And sometimes we think: "Well, you know, statistically
17:58 it doesn't look like it's going to happen. "
18:00 Well the Bible is not based on man's
18:06 statistics, is it?
18:10 I don't even want to hear about how long it would take
18:13 at our present rate to reach every country
18:16 and to reach every person and to reach every kindred
18:17 and nation. I don't even want to hear about that.
18:20 Twelve men didn't base their preaching on that
18:23 when they took the gospel to the entire world.
18:25 Of course it was not just the 12 but those whom God called
18:29 through them. And we ought not to base our thinking on that
18:34 either... because God can finish this up just like that.
18:37 Amen. So what is the context of Matthew 24 and verse 14?
18:42 What is it that's causing the delay?
18:45 Well I want you to look with me in the context of these verses
18:48 just go back a little bit to verse 9. It says:
18:51 "Then... " And that word then infers what's gone before...
18:54 Then when all of these wars and rumors of wars
18:57 and all this pestilence and famine and earthquake,
18:59 all these natural disasters... when they increase with
19:02 intensity and frequency like a woman in birth pains -
19:06 a woman giving birth to a child -
19:08 more intense and more frequent, more intense and more frequent.
19:10 Have we seen that taking place?
19:12 I was a little nervous about traveling out here.
19:14 I was in Maryland at the General Conference just before
19:17 I came out here, and I was checking the weather reports.
19:23 And I heard about this extreme weather and what was taking
19:26 place in the Midwest, and I thought: "I wonder
19:28 if that's going to be in Illinois? I wonder if I really
19:30 should be going out there? I wonder, I wonder, I wonder. "
19:32 And I thought: "No, this is a divine appointment. "
19:35 Just like I thought when I was driving here this morning.
19:38 This is a divine appointment, and God is going to get me there
19:41 on time. In fact, Shelley told me, she said:
19:42 "Now there's construction on the freeway and there's
19:45 construction in West Frankfort, and there's construction
19:48 on the last part of the highway there coming through.
19:50 And sometimes we have to wait 10 minutes and sometimes
19:52 you have to wait 15 minutes.
19:53 Did you get delayed in any of that construction? "
19:54 I said: "No, God took me right through it all. "
19:56 Amen!
19:58 I don't know if they were taking a lunch break
20:00 or they just hadn't shown up yet
20:01 or what was going on but I just went "pshht"
20:03 straight through. Amen.
20:06 And I believe that this is a divine appointment.
20:08 In fact, it was really interesting because on the way
20:09 over here God was giving me part of the sermon.
20:11 He was saying: "OK James, I know you've got it all prepared
20:13 but I'd like you to digress just a little bit.
20:15 I want you to share this and this and this and this. "
20:17 And I said: "OK, OK, OK, OK. "
20:18 And I was ready for Dee to call me and say: "James,
20:21 you're too late. We found someone else to preach. "
20:23 And I was going to say: "That's not possible because
20:25 God has given me a message so I can't not preach...
20:30 so just sing another song and I'll be there. "
20:34 And this is the message: the message is -
20:36 'cause I was going to spend the whole time in II Peter 3-
20:39 that the context of Matthew 24 and verse 14
20:43 is a time when "you are hated of all nations
20:46 for My name's sake.
20:48 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted... "
20:50 verse 9 says... "and they shall kill you
20:51 and you will be hated of all nations for My name's sake. "
20:53 Not only that, but "then in that time... " verse 10... "many will
20:57 be offended and shall betray one another
21:00 and hate one another. "
21:01 The church will look like it's about to fall.
21:03 It doesn't fall.
21:05 Company after company is going to go out.
21:08 Our test will be to gather warmth from the coldness
21:10 of others. "Many false prophets... " verse 11...
21:16 "will rise and shall deceive many.
21:19 And because iniquity shall abound... " verse 12...
21:21 "the love of many will wax cold.
21:24 But he that endures until the end the same shall be saved.
21:27 And this gospel will be preached as a witness. "
21:30 That's the context.
21:32 The context is not the present time. Not the ease and
21:35 prosperity that the church is experiencing right now
21:38 where we send out missionaries, you know, on these little
21:40 ten-day visits and these two-week visits and these
21:42 three-week visits to India and to Africa.
21:45 You know, we struggle and we wrestle with
21:48 living in these different con- ditions, but we're all doing it
21:51 for the Lord and it's really a good thing.
21:52 And it's a blessing to us and it's a blessing to others.
21:54 That's all good, but the time we're talking about here
21:59 is the time when that becomes the reality
22:02 that never ends.
22:04 When there's no more cushy bed and there's no more luxury car
22:07 and there's no more clean, nice clothes
22:09 and there's no more adulations and applause and kudos
22:13 because you went out there to India and you braved it
22:16 for a few weeks and you won souls to Jesus.
22:18 Well people hate you because you're preaching the gospel...
22:20 they don't love you. They don't like what you're doing at all.
22:24 When it looks like the church has vanished.
22:26 When we don't have anyone to pat us on the shoulder
22:32 and say "Good job! "
22:34 When we're just doing it because of Him
22:39 and our focus is on Jesus. Are we ready for this time?
22:47 I have to say honestly that I'm not.
22:49 It's very difficult for me to be in a situation where I
22:52 don't have nice accommodations, especially at my age.
23:01 I know this audience thinks that's funny.
23:06 And by the way, just so you know
23:11 don't tell him that I told you this
23:14 but today is Ty's birthday.
23:22 I'm 51
23:27 and I can't tell you how old he is, 'cause he wouldn't like
23:29 me to tell you that, but today Ty and I are the same age.
23:36 What?
23:44 Now I'll be 52 in a month, so we are only the same age
23:47 for about a month.
23:53 I've been preaching for 30 years
23:56 and I feel... I FEEL different than I used to feel
24:00 when I was a kid. And if you think I still look young
24:03 you can only imagine what people used to think
24:06 30 years ago when I got up to preach.
24:08 Like: "What's that kid doing up there? "
24:16 But I know that I'm not ready.
24:19 I am reminded of that when I'm inconvenienced.
24:22 I am reminded of that when I have a difficult time
24:26 because I'm not appreciated as I think I should be.
24:30 Hatred of the world?
24:33 Love waxing cold?
24:36 Nobody appreciating... everyone opposing?
24:39 Being considered by the world as a terrorist of some kind?
24:45 The enemy of everyone
24:47 and being able to preach the gospel as a witness?
24:50 Having a love that doesn't wax cold?
24:53 Why the apparent delay?
24:55 Well you know why and I know why.
24:58 We know in our heart of hearts. We know when we look in the
25:00 mirror... we know when we face the reality of who we are
25:02 we know why the apparent delay.
25:04 Because this one sign outweighs all the others
25:08 and we're not ready.
25:11 God is so merciful, isn't He? Amen!
25:13 We talk about all the signs that are taking place
25:15 in the world. We know it's becoming more intense
25:19 and more intense and more frequent and more frequent.
25:22 And somehow we want to be ready.
25:26 We want to be motivated.
25:28 But none of that is really going to motivate us...
25:31 at least not as we need to be motivated.
25:35 Paul talks about in II Corinthians 5 verse 14
25:38 the only thing that actually can motivate us,
25:40 and he says it's the love of Christ.
25:42 The love of Christ compels us or motivates us.
25:46 That and only that can take us through because
25:49 it's that love that will not grow cold, will not wax cold
25:53 when the whole world hates us.
25:58 Why the apparent delay? Well II Peter was written
26:01 back in the day... 2,000 years ago.
26:03 And Paul in II Thessalonians tells us about this apparent
26:07 delay and why this apparent delay would be.
26:10 He talks here in II Thessalonians chapter 2
26:13 about the second coming of Jesus. He says:
26:15 "Now we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord
26:19 Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto Him
26:21 that ye be not soon shaken in mind... "
26:27 Verse 2... II Thessalonians chapter 2:
26:30 "or troubled, neither by spirit nor by word nor by letter
26:35 as from us as that the day of Christ is at hand. "
26:39 Don't be troubled about this; don't be shaken about this.
26:43 But the Thessalonians were shaken, they were troubled.
26:46 They struggled to understand what was going on.
26:50 Paul had written them an epistle
26:53 that seemed to indicate in chapter 4 that some of them
26:58 would be remaining until the coming of Jesus.
27:01 Some had fallen asleep and some would remain.
27:03 Those of us who remain will be caught up with them
27:06 in the air to meet the Lord.
27:08 And then we're wondering why? why? why?
27:11 And I'm thinking that these words in this situation
27:13 are so applicable to us... some of us who may be
27:16 second, third, fourth, or fifth generation Adventists.
27:21 Why the delay? Why the delay? Why the apparent delay?
27:24 And Paul says: "Well wait a minute. Don't be shaken;
27:26 don't be troubled in spirit. "
27:28 "Let no man deceive you by any means for that day
27:31 shall not come except there be a falling away first
27:35 and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. "
27:39 Now we could spend a lot of time on these verses.
27:41 We're not going to because we really need to get back
27:43 to II Peter chapter 3. But just in passing, we need to recognize
27:48 that this man of sin lines up with Daniel's prophecies,
27:54 specifically Daniel chapter 7,
27:56 and Revelation's prophecies,
27:58 specifically Revelation chapter 13.
28:01 And we know that from Paul's time until the time of the end
28:06 this power ruled for 1,260 years.
28:10 And we also know that a wound was inflicted which was to be
28:14 healed and he was to be restored to power.
28:18 And we see that taking place right now more and more.
28:21 A deadly wound takes some time to heal.
28:25 And it is point by point steadily increasing
28:30 in the healing process.
28:32 So Paul tells us instructively that there are these prophecies
28:37 that are to be fulfilled. There are these time prophecies
28:40 leading to certain events that are going to transpire
28:42 in relation to this man of sin power
28:45 that is going to be re- established in the earth
28:47 in the end of time.
28:49 So it's not just about us... it's also about Bible prophecy.
28:54 But in the context of both of those there's a conflict
28:57 taking place. Because one of the things that this power is doing
29:01 is in concert with a couple of other powers
29:08 on planet earth. It's seeking to undermine
29:11 the message of the everlasting gospel.
29:14 To block it if you will.
29:16 To hinder it; to stop it.
29:20 This power does it in many ways.
29:22 It sets up counterfeits
29:25 or it works through the world to get our minds distracted
29:29 and focused on other things other than Jesus Christ.
29:33 It would, in fact, enjoy it if we would just focus on
29:37 this power, talk about this power,
29:39 identify this power.
29:41 Spend all of our time just directing people to the
29:46 wonder of this power.
29:48 Because it says the world will wonder after this power.
29:50 And in the process know everything about this -
29:55 code name Babylon -
29:58 and lose sight of Jesus.
30:03 That's why it's so important for us to recognize
30:05 that when Matthew 24:14 is fulfilled
30:09 in the context of Revelation it takes first place.
30:14 We see this in two ways.
30:16 In Revelation chapter 14 and verse 6 the everlasting gospel -
30:20 Matthew 24 verse 14- is preached to every nation,
30:23 kindred, tongue, and people with what kind of voice?
30:26 A LOUD voice.
30:29 In Revelation chapter 14 and verse 8
30:32 the second angel's message follows and announces
30:35 the fall of Babylon in what kind of voice?
30:38 No... read the text.
30:42 There's no loud voice.
30:46 The first angel is given in a loud voice...
30:49 the first angel's message. The second angel's message
30:51 doesn't have the loud voice.
30:54 There's no loud voice on the second angel's message.
30:56 The fall of Babylon is not given with a loud voice
30:58 because the fall of Babylon doesn't take the precedence
31:02 of a loud voice... the gospel does!
31:06 Preach the gospel with a loud voice.
31:09 And then the second reason is because the first angel
31:12 goes first... not the second angel.
31:17 We do not preach the fall of Babylon with a loud voice.
31:20 We preach the gospel with a loud voice.
31:22 And we preach the gospel first because the gospel is the only
31:25 thing that can bring Babylon down. Amen!
31:28 The second angel is waiting for the first angel.
31:31 The second angel is waiting for the first angel
31:34 to preach the everlasting gospel.
31:37 "Preach that everlasting gospel with a loud voice
31:40 and I'll follow you and I will announce the fall of Babylon. "
31:43 Because Babylon will fall when the gospel is preached. Amen!
31:48 We could spend a lot of time focusing on Babylon
31:50 and we can never bring it down.
31:52 Because it is so intricate and so detailed
31:54 we'll never be able to figure out everything about Babylon.
31:56 But if we will focus on the gospel, the everlasting gospel,
31:59 and preach that with a loud voice, IT will bring Babylon
32:02 down. Guaranteed. Amen.
32:07 And so in II Peter we have this powerful
32:12 admonition and I love it.
32:15 Because it's reminding us that there's only one thing
32:19 that we are ignorant of in the context of understanding
32:23 the second coming of Jesus Christ.
32:25 Willingly ignorant of the Word of God...
32:30 which to me is powerful.
32:33 Thirty years ago I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.
32:35 Many of you know that I was not a Seventh-day Adventist
32:38 at that point. I had been raised a Catholic
32:41 and I accepted Christ and was not affiliated with any church
32:44 but began attending the Calvary Chapel church because
32:47 the person who introduced me to the sinner's prayer
32:51 was going to Calvary Chapel.
32:53 Shortly after that I was also attending a Pentecostal church.
32:56 Going to both of these churches,
32:58 one on Sunday and one on Wednesday with the youth group,
33:01 I was introduced to Adventism through my sister
33:05 who was studying with Adventists.
33:07 And immediately she began to share with me
33:11 some of the unique teachings of Adventists
33:14 like the idea of going to church on Saturday
33:17 instead of Sunday.
33:19 My concern led me to study with Adventists
33:23 to get my sister out of the church.
33:28 Not to get in the church but to get out.
33:30 My mother was also concerned being a Roman Catholic,
33:34 Irish, that my sister was joining a cult.
33:38 In her mind anything that wasn't Roman Catholic was a cult.
33:40 And so I as her brother - my mother was living in England
33:43 at the time - it was my duty to get her out of this church.
33:46 And I did everything I could to get her out.
33:47 With my mother's help. With help from my friends
33:50 in the Pentecostal church and my friends in Calvary Chapel.
33:53 With everything on my side to get my sister out
33:58 except for this... the Word of God.
34:05 With all of those motives tending to pull my sister out
34:08 of the Adventist church there was only one thing
34:11 that was working to put me in the Adventist church...
34:14 and that was the Word of God. Amen!
34:16 For this one thing they are willingly ignorant of.
34:20 Willingly in the sense that they know better.
34:23 They ought to know better.
34:24 And that is the power of the Word of God... the creative
34:28 power of the Word of God
34:30 to create in us a clean heart.
34:32 To renew in us a right spirit.
34:35 To convert us from the inside out.
34:36 And you may say: "Well, I've fallen, Well I've failed.
34:39 Well I've been an Adventist; I just haven't lived up to... "
34:41 Stop focusing on yourself - Amen - for just a moment
34:46 and get your focus back on the Word of God.
34:52 I recently watched a video
34:54 of a young runner by the name of Heather Dorniden.
35:00 She was running in a 600-meter relay in 2008
35:06 at a Big Ten Conference track meet for Minnesota.
35:12 She was a favorite to win. There were four runners in the race.
35:14 One was her fellow teammate and two others.
35:17 And as they went around the lap - the first lap -
35:22 the runner behind her - she was in first place -
35:25 caught her heel and immediately she went down.
35:31 She fell hard... cut her face.
35:36 But in an instant she popped up again.
35:39 Back on her feet.
35:41 Now she was well behind the runners in front of her
35:44 who had not lost their pace.
35:46 They were way ahead, but as she jumped up
35:50 she picked up her pace and she began to run
35:53 and run and run.
35:56 And in a short time she caught up with the last person.
35:59 As they were coming around the corner for the last stretch
36:02 she caught up with the second person,
36:04 and as they came to the finish line she passed the first person
36:09 and won the race.
36:11 Now it would have been something for her
36:13 if she would have just won the race.
36:16 Just if she would have won that would have been amazing.
36:19 Just to win the race.
36:21 But the fact that she fell and still won the race...
36:27 now that is something else. Amen!
36:30 Don't focus on the falling... don't focus on the failure.
36:34 Don't focus on what you haven't done.
36:37 Get your focus on Jesus, the Author and the Finisher.
36:40 "Run with patience the race that is set before you
36:42 looking unto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher. "
36:46 Amen! And what will happen then will be greater.
36:50 Amen! Just like it was for Heather.
36:54 An inspiration for us all.
36:57 "A just man falls... " Proverbs 24 verse 16...
37:00 "seven times and rises up again. "
37:03 It's not in the falling... it's in the rising! Amen!
37:07 And when you fall beneath the billows of this world
37:10 reach out that hand for Jesus and say: "Lord, save me
37:15 or I perish. " And He will be there for you.
37:17 Amen. Don't be ignorant of the power of the Word of God.
37:25 "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water
37:28 perished. But the heavens and the earth... " verse 7...
37:30 "which are now by the same Word are kept in store
37:33 reserved unto fire against the day of judgment
37:36 and perdition of ungodly men.
37:38 But beloved... " verse 8...
37:42 "be not ignorant of this one thing. "
37:45 And here is where we're just going to
37:48 finish up our focus on the apparent delay.
37:52 We're just going to spend the rest of our time right here
37:54 in these next few verses primarily.
37:57 "Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing. "
38:02 Now before we finish that verse
38:04 though some of you may have already
38:06 I want to ask a question that will help us to understand
38:09 what follows. "Be not ignorant of this one thing. "
38:12 What is that? What is the implication there?
38:16 Wouldn't it be that there's something that we could
38:19 possibly be ignorant of. Something that isn't in the
38:22 forefront of our brain? Something that we don't think
38:24 about often? Something that Peter has a burden for?
38:28 "I want you to remember this; I don't want you to forget this.
38:31 Don't be ignorant of this; don't not know this. "
38:33 "Know this. Understand it. Let it be in the forefront
38:36 of your brain. This is really important;
38:38 this is really significant.
38:39 I'm talking here about Bible prophecy. "
38:42 Context of II Peter? More sure word of prophecy
38:45 where you do well that you take heed.
38:46 That's I Peter chapter 1.
38:49 Context of II Peter... Excuse me, II Peter chapter 1.
38:52 Context of II Peter? Present truth.
38:55 This is present truth. The only place in the Bible
38:58 that present truth is ever mentioned is II Peter
39:01 chapter 1 and verse 12.
39:03 "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always
39:05 in remembrance of these things so you know them
39:08 and be established in the present truth. "
39:10 By the way, the context of what we need to remember
39:12 is God's love and forgiveness.
39:14 And the context again following it is Bible prophecy.
39:17 Don't be negligent of this; don't be ignorant of this.
39:21 What is following is HUGE.
39:23 It's big; it's important and significant.
39:26 Are you ready for it now?
39:34 Are you ready for it now? Yes! OK.
39:37 "Be not ignorant of this one thing: that one day is with
39:40 the Lord as a thousand years
39:41 and a thousand years is as one day. "
39:44 There it is.
39:49 That's it.
39:52 I don't know how that fits into Bible prophecy.
39:54 I know a day for a year prophetic time, but I'm not sure
39:57 how this... where this fits. How this applies
40:00 and how significant it is in our prophetic timelines.
40:06 But it is important because Peter said it was.
40:08 I don't know how it helps us to understand the apparent delay.
40:13 I don't even know if anyone ever preaches on this verse.
40:16 If you've ever heard a sermon on this verse?
40:19 But for some reason Peter is telling us that this verse
40:23 is very significant. Don't be ignorant of it.
40:28 That with the Lord one day is like a thousand years
40:32 and a thousand years is as a day.
40:37 We're all familiar with the different time zones
40:41 in the United States, aren't we?
40:43 We have Eastern Standard Time and Central, Pacific Time
40:48 or Standard Time and Pacific Standard Time.
40:52 I live in Pacific Standard Time and so I have a difficult time
40:54 when I get over to Eastern Standard Time or Central
40:56 Standard Time or Australian Standard Time...
41:00 when I'm way off kilter.
41:03 But have you ever heard of the time zone that could be
41:07 characterized as Eternal Standard Time?
41:13 Eternal Standard Time.
41:15 Peter is telling us here that in eternity when you live forever,
41:19 when there's never any end to anything,
41:22 when it just goes on and on and on and on,
41:25 when a million years turns into a billion years
41:27 turns into a trillion years turns into a nonillion years
41:29 turns into a zillion years turns into a googolplex,
41:32 and then eternity is just beginning, in that time
41:35 a thousand years goes by and it's just like one day
41:41 in that time. Don't be ignorant of this.
41:44 You think that Jesus has been gone for a long time
41:49 but you're not living in eternity, you're living on this
41:51 earth. And when I was a kid
41:56 it took a long time to get to double digits.
42:02 And it seemed like it'd take even longer to get to be
42:05 16 years old and get my driver's license.
42:08 And from there to 18 was just like taking eternity.
42:11 And then to 21. Oh man, the days were just going by so slowly.
42:16 And then once I got to 21 vr voom voom voom voom.
42:18 Here I am 51 years old! Just like it was yesterday.
42:22 Nothing to it.
42:26 "Ahhh, " some of you say. "Oh to be 51 again, " right?
42:32 BUT that is insignificant.
42:36 When you get into eternity a thousand years goes by
42:41 and it's like one day... twenty-four hours.
42:43 Which means if you think about it, if we could live for
42:45 a hundred years... let's just say we could...
42:49 We exercise; we eat our vege-dogs;
42:53 we drink our soy milk. I like rice milk, but...
42:56 And we get to 100 years, 100 years,
42:59 in eternal time 100 years based on 24 hours = 1,000 years
43:04 would be equivalent to 2 hours and 24 minutes
43:09 in eternal time. Two hours and 24 minutes.
43:16 So let's just say we're all granted 100 years.
43:19 Some of us have an hour left.
43:23 Half an hour left.
43:26 Some of us have a couple hours left.
43:28 But 2.4 hours in the context of eternity.
43:33 Don't be ignorant of this; don't be ignorant of this.
43:36 When Jesus says repeatedly in the book of Revelation
43:39 "Behold I come quickly; behold I come quickly"
43:42 we say: "Wow! What did He mean by that? "
43:45 Well He meant what He said, but He was speaking in eternal time.
43:49 Peter is talking about the second coming here.
43:52 He's talking about the second coming.
43:53 This isn't taken out of context.
43:55 He's saying: "Listen! Don't be ignorant of this.
43:58 Remember this. With God in heaven
44:02 a thousand years is like a day.
44:05 So Jesus didn't say: "I'll be back in 2,000 years. "
44:07 He said: "I'll be back in two days!
44:10 Two days. I'll be back in two days. I'm coming quickly.
44:13 I'll be back in a couple of days. "
44:15 The Bible admonishes us we need to sit in heavenly places
44:19 with Christ Jesus. We need to think about this from heavenly
44:22 realities. God's purposes know no haste and no delay.
44:27 So when I was a brand new Christian
44:30 and accepted Christ as my Savior
44:33 and then became a Seventh-day Adventist
44:36 what else can you do if you're going to follow this?
44:39 What else could I do? I was in love with Jesus.
44:41 He had forgiven me for all of my sins.
44:43 I accepted Him as my personal Savior
44:44 and then I was confronted with the truth and the reality of the
44:46 Sabbath which I though was always Sunday
44:48 but then the Bible showed me verse after verse after verse
44:51 and there it was time and time again
44:53 in the Bible clear in prophecy, example in Christ's life...
44:57 In every way, shape, and form there it was.
44:59 And then that final verse where Jesus said: "If you love Me... "
45:02 All right - "keep My commandments. "
45:04 I said: "Well I love Jesus! - Amen! -
45:07 "Because He first loved me. " Praise the Lord!
45:10 So it just wasn't even an issue.
45:13 And I remember the first time I got up in front of that
45:15 Adventist congregation I was giving my testimony and sharing.
45:19 And this was my verse: II Peter 3 verse 9.
45:22 This was my verse. This was THE verse
45:25 that God gave to me 30 years ago as a new believer
45:30 in His second coming.
45:31 "The Lord is not slack
45:35 concerning His promise as some men count slackness
45:41 but is longsuffering to usward, not willing
45:46 that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance. "
45:51 Will all come to repentance? No.
45:54 Unfortunately they won't... and it will break His heart.
45:59 He will wipe away our tears; who will wipe away His tears?
46:06 There will be an empty space in His heart for all eternity
46:09 because He has graven us upon the palms of His hands.
46:16 He is not slack concerning His promise.
46:19 And I remember telling the congregation
46:22 in Spokane, WA, in 1984
46:26 "This is the verse that God shared with me.
46:28 He's been waiting for me. "
46:30 And I'm so glad He waited for me. Amen!
46:34 Brand new believer. So glad He waited for me.
46:37 There are thousands, yea, maybe millions
46:41 that God is waiting for
46:44 that are going to be so thankful for this verse.
46:47 That are going to be so thankful for the longsuffering
46:49 of God. Amen!
46:53 They're waiting... and God is waiting.
46:59 What is He looking for?
47:02 Well according to Matthew 24 He's looking for a people
47:07 who keep their focus on Jesus,
47:10 who spend all of their time directing their attention
47:15 to Him. According to Revelation 14 they
47:19 "follow the Lamb wherever He goes. "
47:25 I long by the spirit of God to be part of that people.
47:30 My flesh doesn't long for it.
47:32 My flesh pulls me in other directions,
47:34 but the Spirit of God is willing though my flesh is weak.
47:39 I want to be part of that people.
47:42 And I know as I follow Jesus He's going to direct me
47:45 to witness and share and do the things that He wants me
47:48 to do and live the way that He wants me to live.
47:50 But my needs... the vital key for success in my experience
47:56 is to keep my focus on Jesus. And Satan does everything he can
47:59 to sever that connection.
48:01 To break up... to pull me away from that focus.
48:06 Because he knows that when we have that focus
48:09 and we see the heart of God we recognize His longing
48:14 for the world. That we will be... verse 11...
48:20 "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved
48:24 what manner of persons ought you to be
48:26 in all holy conversation and godliness?
48:29 Looking for and hastening unto... " - or hastening the day
48:36 as the Greek actually says -
48:40 "hastening the coming of the day of God wherein the heavens
48:45 being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt
48:48 with fervent heat.
48:49 Nevertheless, we according to His promise... " verse 13...
48:52 "look for a new heavens and a new earth
48:55 wherein dwells righteousness. " Amen!
49:02 I've got one of these new contraptions.
49:06 It's new for me. You know, at my age you have a hard time
49:09 adapting to stuff like this. Amen. But it works.
49:14 It works, and I like it from time to time.
49:18 It becomes handy. My Bible is wearing out
49:21 and I'm very loathe to exchange it. I've had this Bible
49:24 for 30 years and I've got it all marked up.
49:27 But more than that, I know where the verses are.
49:32 I may not know the chapter and the verse
49:36 but I know where they are.
49:38 It's the left side of the page... it's the top part.
49:41 I know where they are.
49:43 And I can't find another Bible just like this one
49:47 that has the verses in the same place.
49:50 So I am loathe to give it up at my age
49:52 'cause I know where they are
49:53 and I want to be familiar with my Bible.
49:56 And the thing that I recognize in this context
50:01 is that when, verse 10: "the day of the Lord comes... "
50:06 And it's going to come as a thief in the night.
50:09 That's what it says here. It says: "The day of the Lord
50:11 will come as a thief in the night. "
50:14 But it doesn't say that the Lord will come as a thief
50:18 in the night. The verse doesn't say that.
50:21 It says the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.
50:24 But the Lord's not coming as a thief, 'cause when He comes
50:26 we're going to know it. Amen! But the day...
50:29 That day is going to be a surprise to a lot of people.
50:33 But in that day the heavens are going to pass away
50:37 with great noise and the elements are going to melt
50:39 with fervent heat and the earth also.
50:40 And the works that are therein are going to be burned up.
50:43 God is longsuffering with us because He knows what the day
50:45 of the Lord is going to bring.
50:49 As W. W. Prescott said in his sermons in Armidale,
50:54 Australia, in 1895: "In that day God's people
51:00 cry unto Him for deliverance,
51:02 but He seems to put off the day of delivering them
51:06 because we shall have come to that time
51:10 when the deliverance of God's people means the death
51:15 of our adversaries. The deliverance of God's people
51:18 from their foes can only be followed by the coming
51:21 of the Lord Jesus and the destruction of their enemies.
51:24 God is slow to pour out His wrath upon those who have
51:28 rejected Him and He seems almost to have deserted His people.
51:33 But God will avenge His own elect which cry day and night
51:38 unto Him though He bear long with them. "
51:44 Do you understand what he's saying here?
51:46 There is in God's heart this struggle that He has.
51:52 He loves His people; He wants to deliver His people.
51:54 But He knows delivering us means
51:57 the end of our enemies.
52:01 His children. Children of wrath but children nonetheless.
52:07 You know how that is, don't you parents? Grandparents?
52:10 You know how that is
52:12 to have a wandering son or daughter or granddaughter.
52:15 Someone that you love... adopted or real.
52:18 Connected... biological... you know how that is
52:23 to be concerned for their future, for their eternity.
52:28 For wanting to do anything and everything to reach them.
52:31 For wanting time to stand still so it doesn't come
52:35 to an end. That's the heart of God! Amen!
52:39 And yet we're told - and we know this -
52:42 that there is coming a day when Jesus will say
52:45 "It's finished... it's done. "
52:47 But He will only say that because if He looks out upon
52:51 this world He can say: "He that is holy will be holy still.
52:56 And he that is righteous will be righteous still.
52:58 And he that is filthy will be filthy still; and he
52:59 that is unrighteous will be unrighteous still.
53:01 Nothing will make a difference.
53:03 Not another year, not another month, not another week,
53:05 not another day, not another moment.
53:08 Everyone has made a decision for or against Me.
53:11 It's time to close it up.
53:14 There's no reason for sin and pain and evil and suffering
53:17 to continue on. I need to close this up. "
53:20 But that can only come when this gospel
53:23 we're told in Revelation 18 lightens the whole earth
53:26 with the glory of God.
53:28 With the character of God, with the heart of God,
53:30 with who He is, with how He feels about all of us.
53:34 O Thou that from eternity upon Thy wounded heart has
53:39 worn each pang and cry of misery
53:41 wherewith our human hearts are torn.
53:44 Thy love upon the grievous cross
53:46 the flow, the beacon light of time
53:49 forever sharing pain and loss
53:52 with every man in every clime.
53:54 How vast, how vast Thy sacrifice!
53:57 As ages come and ages go
54:00 still waiting till it shall suffice to draw the last
54:05 cold heart and slow.
54:10 That's why the delay.
54:12 God is longsuffering toward us.
54:16 He is not willing that any would perish.
54:19 He wants everyone - all - to come to repentance.
54:24 So we could sum it up this way.
54:28 We could say from a Biblical perspective
54:32 that God has been waiting and is waiting
54:37 because - number one - there are developments
54:41 that need to take place in Bible prophecy.
54:44 Always have been.
54:45 And as we follow the projection of Bible prophecy,
54:49 we follow the timelines of Bible prophecy,
54:50 we follow the fulfillment of Bible prophecy we know
54:52 why it is we're still here.
54:55 Number two: God is waiting for us.
55:01 He wants us to be ready.
55:03 He wants us to be prepared
55:05 to be His witnesses... to share His truth.
55:08 Number three:
55:11 God is reluctant
55:15 to destroy even the children of wrath.
55:18 He longs for them to be saved.
55:20 He longs for one more sinner... one more person
55:25 to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
55:29 To believe in the gift that has been given to them
55:31 in Jesus Christ. And then to sum it all up:
55:35 we must remember... we must not be ignorant
55:40 of this one thing:
55:42 with God in eternal time
55:45 a day? Like a thousand years.
55:48 A thousand years? It's like a day.
55:51 It's an apparent delay but Jesus is coming quickly.
55:55 And in eternity, when I am a thousand and 51 years old,
56:00 when I am a million and 51 years old,
56:03 when I am a billion and 51 years old,
56:06 when I am a decillion and 51 years old,
56:08 when I am a googolplex and 51 years old
56:11 I'm going to look back on this earth and I'm going to say:
56:13 "Wow! A week of sin and evil and pain and misery.
56:21 Six thousand years... six days.
56:27 A week of sin and pain and misery.
56:31 Don't even remember it; it's forgotten.
56:35 Not even worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be
56:37 revealed in us. " Let's pray together.
56:41 Father in heaven, we want to thank you this morning
56:43 for helping us to understand
56:45 the reasons for the apparent delay.
56:48 For reminding us not to be ignorant of this one truth,
56:50 this one reality: that You are indeed coming quickly
56:54 and that You are reluctant to punish those who have
56:57 rejected You. To give them the ultimate consequence
57:01 of what they are choosing... death.
57:05 That You are longsuffering to usward, not willing that any
57:08 would perish but that all would come to repentance
57:11 and that You want to use us... Your people...
57:13 as a witness in a time when love waxes cold
57:18 and hatred prevails toward us
57:21 and that we're now in the quarry... the testing time.
57:25 Not just loose, idle rocks in the quarry
57:28 but rocks that feel the hammer and the chisel...


Revised 2022-03-28