Three Cosmic Messages: Earth's Final Conflict

Jesus and the Judgment: Why The Judgment Is Good N

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: TCM

Program Code: TCM200004S

00:40 Welcome back. I'm glad you joined us for this series
00:44 titled Three Cosmic Messages: Earth's Final Conflict.
00:47 I'm Mark Finley, the host of the series,
00:49 and we've been on a journey... a journey through the book
00:52 of Revelation but particularly looking at Rev. chapter 14
00:57 verses 6 to 12.
00:58 In these verses God presents His last-day message
01:02 for mankind. He pictures that message as being carried by
01:06 three angels in mid heaven.
01:08 In our last presentation we looked at Revelation 14:6.
01:12 We saw that the everlasting gospel,
01:14 the gospel of God's grace and goodness,
01:17 was to go to the ends of the earth.
01:19 We saw as well that God has a plan for us:
01:23 a plan to participate with Him, to cooperate with Him
01:27 in taking the message of His love, grace, and truth
01:30 to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
01:32 And that, of course, begins with our own families,
01:34 with our own neighborhood, with the workplaces where we work,
01:38 with our communities and our schools.
01:40 In Revelation 14 verses 6 and 7
01:44 the Bible says: "I saw another angel
01:46 flying in the middle of heaven having the everlasting gospel
01:49 to preach to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
01:51 Saying with a loud voice:
01:54 'Fear God and give glory to Him
01:56 for the hour of His judgment is come. ' "
01:58 When many people think of the judgment
02:00 they begin to become quite frightened about their lives
02:03 appearing before God in judgment.
02:05 In this presentation we're going to focus especially
02:08 on the good news of the judgment.
02:10 Let's pray together.
02:12 Father in heaven, thank you that we need not fear
02:16 that eternal judgment. That in Christ
02:18 we can have confidence that You are our Judge,
02:21 our Attorney, and that You will vindicate us
02:25 in these last days of earth's history.
02:27 That in Christ we have nothing to fear.
02:30 So as we study about the judgment in Revelation
02:32 help us to have that sense of You're standing by our side.
02:37 But teach us, too, that we're responsible for the choices
02:40 that we make. In Christ's name, Amen.
02:43 The title of this presentation is:
02:51 Now you may not have thought about it that way before.
02:53 You may have thought about the judgment
02:55 and trembled at its thought.
02:57 That's legitimate. The judgment is a very serious issue.
03:01 In fact, some time ago Daniel Webster, who was one
03:05 of America's best-known statesman and orators,
03:08 was asked: "What is the most solemn thought
03:12 that has ever passed your mind? "
03:14 And Webster responded:
03:20 You and I were created as free moral agents.
03:24 We were created with the capacity of choice:
03:27 of the opportunity to make
03:30 decisions based on the faculties of conscience,
03:34 of reason, and of judgment.
03:36 And the judgment of God in eternity
03:41 is based on how we have responded to His grace
03:46 and the choices that we ourselves have made.
03:51 James Russell Lowell said this:
04:25 You and I are created to make positive choices.
04:30 The Holy Spirit impresses our heart to enable us to make
04:33 those choices. God arranges circumstances in our lives
04:37 so that we can make the best possible choices.
04:41 But the judgment has to do with the decisions we've made
04:44 in life. Did you catch what Lowell quoted in Romans 14:12?
04:50 "So every one of us... " Not a few of us,
04:52 not one or two of us...
04:54 but "every one of us shall give account of himself
04:59 to God. " That is part of our destiny.
05:03 One day we'll appear before the judgment bar of God.
05:14 What kind of choices are you making today?
05:16 What kind of choices have you made this last week?
05:20 What kind of choices have you made this last month?
05:23 This last year?
05:24 Are your choices guided by a Spirit-directed conscience?
05:29 Are your choices in life subject
05:32 to the principles of God's Word?
05:35 Are your choices guided and shaped by the teachings
05:40 of Scripture?
05:59 So in the final judgment bar of God
06:03 the issues in that judgment bar
06:07 are how have our choices been made?
06:12 What choices have we actually made that either
06:16 will lead us to eternal life or eternal damnation?
06:21 Now someone says: "But wait a minute!
06:23 In life is it our good deeds are weighed against our bad deeds? "
06:28 Let me explain it this way:
06:30 When God created us, He created, of course, Adam and Eve
06:33 as free moral agents.
06:36 Throughout life since Adam and Eve's fall
06:40 the devil, the serpent, the evil one
06:43 has been leading men and women to make poor choices.
06:47 He's been leading us to make choices that lead us away
06:51 from God. Jesus, on the other hand appeals to us
06:55 with hands outstretched to come to Him.
06:58 He appeals to us to make eternal decisions
07:01 guided by His Spirit... decisions that are based
07:06 and founded in His very Word.
07:19 You know, some people say: "Well, it's my genetics
07:22 that has done this. You know, I'm pre-disposed
07:25 to act this way. My father got angry so I get angry. "
07:29 "My mother lost her patience. She wasn't a patient person... "
07:33 they say... "So I, at times, lose my patience. "
07:36 Somebody says: "Well you know, I have obesity in my family.
07:40 It's in my genes. " Other people say:
07:42 "Well you know, I can avoid anything except smoking
07:45 because my father was a chain smoker. "
07:48 "He was an alcoholic. "
07:49 You see, all kind of excuses can be made
07:51 but the truth of the matter is
07:53 although we may have genetic predispositions to something
07:57 we do not turn on those genes...
08:01 This is called epigenetics. We don't turn on those genes
08:04 until we make choices to indulge those inclinations.
08:08 So we are responsible for our actions.
08:18 Now there are a number of facts about the judgment
08:21 we're going to study... this judgment that's outlined
08:24 in the book of Revelation. Remember Revelation 14:7.
08:33 We're going to study that very clearly.
08:39 That surprises some people because they have the idea that
08:43 the Father is the eternal Judge.
08:45 That is true in a sense but notice what the Bible says:
08:58 So based on Jesus' own statement in John 5:22
09:03 Jesus is our Judge in this final judgment.
09:13 You say: "That's kind of confusing, isn't it? "
09:16 Let's look at it:
09:29 So Jesus is our Judge; Jesus is our Advocate.
09:33 You say: "That's a conflict of interest. "
09:35 It really is... but aren't you thankful
09:38 that Jesus takes upon Himself that conflict as our Judge
09:43 and our Defense Attorney. Let's suppose
09:46 that we're going to court. And let's suppose that
09:49 I have gotten a speeding ticket. Hopefully as a pastor
09:53 I haven't gotten a speeding ticket, but let's suppose I did.
09:55 Let's suppose I'm going 70 mph in a 40 mph zone
09:58 'cause I'm rushing to get to some meeting.
10:00 And the officer stops me and he says: "Now you
10:05 we're going 70 miles an hour in a 40 mile an hour zone.
10:08 That's going to be a fine. "
10:10 Let's say: "Hey, wait a minute. I was rushing to the hospital
10:13 to see somebody dying. I'm going to fight this in court. "
10:16 And so I go to court and I stand up.
10:19 And I look there, and that's my brother who's the judge.
10:23 And I'm astounded!
10:27 Now I don't have a brother... this is an illustration.
10:30 Let's suppose that's my brother who's the judge
10:32 and I'm astounded. That's good news!
10:35 And then let's suppose he gets off the bench
10:38 and he says: "I'm going to be your defense attorney
10:40 as well. " So my brother is my judge; my brother is
10:43 my defense attorney. I think that's a pretty good opportunity
10:46 for me that I'm not going to pay that expensive fine.
10:49 What do you think?
10:51 Jesus, our elder brother, is our Judge.
10:54 And before the judgment bar of God
10:57 our elder brother says to us:
10:59 "These wounded hands were for you. "
11:02 "The thorns that pierced My brow
11:05 were for you. " "The guilt and shame
11:08 and condemnation I bore on the cross was for you. "
11:11 "I am your Judge but I'm also your Attorney. "
11:14 And before the universe, before thousands and ten thousands
11:19 of times being I will present your name
11:22 and I will say: 'This man is one of Mine;
11:24 this woman is one of Mine. ' "
11:26 In Christ, because He is our Judge and our Attorney,
11:30 we need not fear.
11:32 But if we do not have Christ,
11:34 if Christ doesn't fill our hearts,
11:36 we tremble in the judgment as our lives are exposed
11:41 before the universe.
11:45 In the book of Revelation it presents it very clearly
11:49 that there is a judgment.
11:51 These three angels fly in the midst of heaven.
11:54 They announce to the whole world "No more business as usual;
11:57 no more pleasures as usual; no more life as usual. "
12:00 We are living in a critical time of this earth's history.
12:04 Remember what we read and have been studying
12:08 in Revelation 14:6-7.
12:36 Do you notice the expression "For the hour of His judgment? "
12:40 This is not simply the hour of OUR judgment.
12:44 It is the hour of God's judgment.
12:46 What does that mean?
12:48 The devil has claimed that God is unfair and unjust
12:51 and that He's not worthy to rule the universe.
12:54 In the eternal judgment that takes place in heaven,
12:58 the hour of God's judgment, it will be revealed
13:01 before a waiting world and a watching universe
13:04 that God has done everything He could to save us.
13:07 That there was not one more thing He could have done.
13:10 And God will be proved right- eous; God will be proved just.
13:14 God will be proved as the One worthy to rule throughout
13:17 the ceaseless ages of eternity.
13:27 In the judgment it will be shown conclusively
13:31 that this Christ that lived the perfect life
13:34 that we should have lived, that died the death we should have
13:37 died, that was resurrected... this Christ has done
13:41 everything possible to save us.
13:44 There was not one more thing He could have done.
13:46 Now the judgment reveals God's justice and mercy.
13:50 The law demands that those who break that law
13:55 suffer eternal death.
13:57 God's justice could not have let the human race go on
14:02 without paying the penalty of a broken law.
14:05 If God had done that, it would have created
14:08 chaos in the entire universe.
14:10 And so God has to deal justly with the sin problem.
14:15 But God's mercy would not allow Him to destroy the creatures
14:19 that He created.
14:21 And so justice and mercy blend together
14:24 at the cross of Calvary determining for us
14:28 when Jesus determines for us
14:30 to bear the guilt and shame of our sins
14:34 that enables us to stand free before the universe
14:38 as our Judge - Jesus - and as our Advocate - Jesus -
14:41 presents our case before the entire universe.
14:53 In the final judgment before the whole universe
14:57 the record books of heaven will be opened
15:00 and it will be shown that God sent angels to beat back
15:05 the forces of Satan in our life.
15:07 It'll be shown before the uni- verse, recorded in those books
15:10 of heaven that at the times of our deepest temptation,
15:14 at times we're about ready to be discouraged and couldn't go on
15:17 another step that God was sending His angels there
15:21 to beat back the forces of hell,
15:23 to bring light into the darkness of our lives,
15:26 to give us encouragement and hope and inspiration
15:29 just when we needed it.
15:31 It'll be shown in those books of record that God arranged
15:34 the providences in our life, that God brought people
15:37 into our life to lead us closer to Him.
15:40 It'll be shown that He revealed Himself in the natural world.
15:43 Every sunrise and sunset reveals His love.
15:48 The gentle falling rain that causes the crops to grow
15:51 reveals His love. The stars twinkling in the sky
15:55 reveal the very very love of God.
15:58 The earth that spins on its axis
16:02 and orderly makes its way around the sun
16:04 reveals the precision, the accuracy, and the love of God.
16:08 You see, in the judgment it will be shown
16:11 that there's nothing that God could have done
16:14 that He hasn't done to save us.
16:18 But most of all it will be shown that Jesus
16:22 left the glories of heaven, left the worship of the angels,
16:26 left the worship of the cherubim and seraphim,
16:30 and Jesus plunged into the snake pit of this world,
16:34 this morally defiled, this sex-centered, thrill-jaded
16:38 generation, this crime- riddled polluted world.
16:42 Christ came here, and He tabernacled in human flesh.
16:45 And as He did, He lived the life we should have lived
16:49 so that we need not die the death that He died.
16:53 The judgment reveals all of that.
17:00 He sent His Holy Spirit to our hearts
17:03 again and again and again.
17:05 "The hour of God's judgment has come! "
17:08 Satan has claimed God is unfair.
17:11 Satan has claimed God is unjust.
17:13 Satan has claimed that God doesn't care for us.
17:15 Satan has claimed that God is a vindictive Judge...
17:18 that all He wants is selfish worship from His creatures.
17:22 In the judgment it's revealed that His love is magnificent.
17:26 That there's no lengths, no depths, no heights
17:29 that He would not have gone to redeem us.
17:33 That's why the whole universe in Revelation 6 and 7 sings:
17:44 At the end of that judgment every knee will bow,
17:48 every tongue will confess that He indeed is Lord.
17:57 And in the judgment we find that it's not good deeds
18:00 weighed against bad deeds. It's rather have we accepted
18:03 the living Christ into our lives.
18:05 Now the Bible says in Romans 6 verse 23:
18:11 Sin has a wage, and that wage or that price is death.
18:17 But the Bible also says:
18:24 If we have come to Christ,
18:27 if He fills our hearts with His grace,
18:30 if we are charmed by His love,
18:32 if our lives are committed to Him,
18:35 we need not fear the judgment.
18:40 Now how do works play their part in the judgment?
18:43 We talked about choices early on
18:46 and the importance of positive choices.
18:48 It is not love Christ and simply do whatever you want to do.
18:53 When you love Christ, you do what He wants you to do.
18:55 That's why Jesus said in John 8 verse 29:
18:59 "I do always those things that please Him,
19:01 that please the Father. "
19:02 That's why it says in Hebrews 10:7 and onward
19:05 "I come in the volume of the book to do Thy will, O God. "
19:09 That's why in Gethsemane when the world trembled
19:11 in the balance in Matthew 26:36-39
19:16 the Bible says: "Not My will, Lord, but Your will be done. "
19:21 So when we come to Christ
19:23 and we are truly changed by Christ,
19:26 when by faith we grasp His righteousness,
19:29 when His grace changes us,
19:33 we long to do His will...
19:35 not to earn our salvation but because He has saved us.
19:40 Apple trees produce apples
19:43 not in order to become apple trees
19:46 but because they ARE apple trees.
19:48 Christians produce good works
19:50 not to prove they are Christians
19:52 but the good works are the spontaneous result
19:55 of a faith relationship with Jesus Christ.
19:58 Now notice Revelation 20:12:
20:05 What else could the dead be judged by?
20:08 What else could they be judged by?
20:10 Our works are the external manifestation of our faith.
20:15 Now notice how it's put in Ephesians 2:8-9.
20:26 So in the judgment it's not our good works.
20:30 It's not because we have had this striving
20:36 for salvation and we've gone through this painful torture
20:39 to do good works. It's rather
20:42 because Jesus Christ has come into our lives
20:44 and changed our lives... that Christ has made us over again.
20:48 And that's why the Bible says:
20:49 "it's not of works lest anyone should boast. "
20:51 But look what it says next:
20:58 So we are saved totally only completely by grace
21:02 but that grace leads us to obedience.
21:06 And the obedient lives that we live are the spontaneous result
21:10 of being saved and transformed by His grace.
21:23 The external manifestation of our works
21:26 presented in the judgment
21:29 recorded in the books
21:31 based on our choices
21:33 demonstrates that our faith is indeed genuine.
21:37 Did you ever read the story? It's rather an amusing story
21:41 of one of these wizards who is able to do about anything.
21:45 I don't mean some kind of magician
21:48 but I mean one of these guys who does strange odd feats.
21:53 He strung... can you believe this?
21:56 true story... he strung a wire across Niagara Falls
22:01 and he walked on that wire across the falls.
22:05 Now people had died trying to go on a barrel across the falls.
22:08 They had died in other ways trying to do this tightrope.
22:11 But he strung this tight- rope wire across the falls...
22:14 Niagara Falls... and he walked on that tightrope,
22:18 you know, ever so gently across the falls.
22:21 And he did it 2 or 3 times and people gathered to see this man
22:24 and they were yelling and screaming and applauding.
22:27 And he said: "How many of you... " after he had done it
22:30 3 or 4 times... "how many of you think I can do it again? "
22:32 They raised their hands.
22:33 "How many of you think I could do it with a wheelbarrow? "
22:36 They said: "Oh, why we know you could. "
22:37 So he wheel barrowed the thing across
22:39 and he brought it back. "How many of you think
22:41 I could do it with somebody in it? "
22:42 They raised their hand: "Yes! Yes! "
22:44 "How many want to get in it? "
22:47 Not one person stepped forth to get in that wheelbarrow.
22:51 Did they really have faith?
22:54 Did they really believe? See, if you believe,
22:58 if Christ changes your heart and you grasp by faith,
23:02 that is manifest in your choices.
23:05 It's manifest in your actions.
23:19 Our inner faith is revealed in our outer works.
23:22 Now there's some- thing else about the judgment.
23:24 According to Revelation chapter 14 verse 7
23:32 "The hour of God's judgment... " What does Rev. 14 say?
23:36 "has come. "
23:37 Now you say: "What does that mean 'the hour of God's judgment
23:41 HAS COME? " It means that before the coming of Jesus
23:45 there is a judgment in the courts of heaven
23:48 to determine who will be ready when He comes.
23:50 If, according to Revelation chapter 14,
23:53 chapter 22 verse 12
23:56 if Jesus is coming to give out His rewards,
24:00 there must be a judgment previous to His coming
24:03 to determine who receives what rewards when He comes.
24:10 In other words, the destinies of the entire human race:
24:15 all of those who have died in ages past
24:18 are currently being settled in the judgment bar of God.
24:34 When Jesus spoke about the judgment in His day
24:38 in Matthew 12:36-37
24:41 He said: "Every idle word that men speak
24:43 they WILL give account of in the day of judgment. "
24:45 It was future.
24:46 Throughout the gospels, the judgment is always something
24:49 future. But when you come to Revelation
24:52 it predicts that just before the coming of Jesus
24:55 the clock will strike the hour
24:57 and there will be an end-time judgment.
24:59 We'll in fact study in a next presentation
25:03 as well the timing. When did that judgment begin?
25:07 What is the significance to you and me that we're living
25:10 in this judgment hour?
25:23 Again, Revelation 22 verses 11 and 12,
25:27 Matthew 16 verse 27,
25:29 when Christ comes He comes to give out the rewards.
25:32 So there must be a judg- ment previous to His coming
25:36 before the whole universe so they can see God's wisdom,
25:39 His love, His justice.
25:41 So they can see those men and women that have responded
25:45 to that love whose faith has led them
25:47 through the power of the Holy Spirit to live in harmony
25:52 with His will. They will receive that reward
25:55 of righteousness, that reward of eternal salvation
25:58 when He comes. Again, Revelation 22:12,
26:02 again, throughout the Bible:
26:04 I believe His coming is soon.
26:07 That the signs of the times indicate that He's coming
26:10 rapidly, soon, quickly:
26:15 So again, the judgment takes place before His coming.
26:19 Could we be living in the judgment hour now?
26:21 Is time running out?
26:23 We're going to study the exact time period
26:26 of when that judgment began.
26:28 We're going to sense from the Scripture the prophecies
26:31 of Daniel exactly the time the clock struck the hour.
26:36 Revelation's prophecies, my friends, are being fulfilled.
26:39 We are living in critical times of earth's history.
26:43 The sands in the hourglass of time are running out.
26:47 This is a time to open our hearts.
26:51 This is a time to make a full complete absolute
26:54 commitment to Jesus Christ.
27:00 We're going to study that, and this is why it's so
27:03 critically important not to miss one of these presentations.
27:07 Invite your friends to watch these DVDs;
27:10 invite your friends to watch these telecasts
27:14 because we're going to be identifying exactly
27:17 when that judgment hour began.
27:20 The books of Daniel and Revelation are companion books.
27:23 The book of Revelation is explained in the book of Daniel
27:27 and the book of Daniel is explained in Revelation.
27:29 Both of them are prophetic books of prophetic visions.
27:33 The book of Daniel provides a foundation
27:37 for the book of Revelation.
27:39 One can never fully understand Revelation
27:41 and the message of the three angels
27:43 unless you first understand the book of Daniel.
27:46 So let's go back and study this judgment scene
27:49 from Revelation 14:7 in the book of Daniel itself.
27:54 There is a magnificent scene in heaven in the book of Daniel.
27:58 Now in Daniel chapter 7 you have the rise and fall
28:01 and the destiny of the nations.
28:04 There in chapter 7 nations rise and fall.
28:08 These nations want to usurp the very kingdom of God.
28:13 Babylon rises and falls.
28:15 Daniel says: "I watched
28:17 as these nations were rising and falling:
28:20 Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome. "
28:22 You have the breakup of the Roman Empire.
28:24 All of these nations.
28:25 And Daniel says: "I looked beyond the rise and fall
28:27 of these nations. I looked beyond the conflict of nations
28:31 on earth. "
28:36 The thrones are moveable thrones the thrones put in place.
28:40 "the Ancient of Days... " Who's that? The Ancient of Days?
28:42 God the Father, right?
29:02 Do you get the sense of this?
29:05 Here is an intergalactic meeting.
29:08 Here is a universal meeting of thousands times
29:13 ten thousands. Every heavenly being is there.
29:17 Cherubim and seraphim are there.
29:19 Angelic beings are there.
29:22 We have the whole host of heaven crowding in
29:25 in the courtroom of God.
29:27 The destinies of the human race are to be settled.
29:30 But even beyond that, God's name is to be cleared.
29:34 On the cross of Calvary Jesus Christ demonstrated
29:39 His love and the name of God was vindicated before the universe.
29:43 But the question is: "Is God fair in dealing with
29:47 every human being? "
29:48 "Has God truly given everybody the opportunity
29:51 to be saved? " In the final judgment
29:54 before the universe it will be revealed the justice of God.
29:57 I want you to catch the majesty of this moment.
30:00 I want you to catch the solemnity of this moment,
30:02 the significance of this moment.
30:04 Let your mind dwell on it. Thousands times thousands
30:08 of beings gather 'round the throne of God!
30:11 They are there to see God's name honored and exalted
30:16 before the entire universe.
30:22 But more than that, God is deal- ing with the great controversy
30:27 between good and evil
30:29 in a way so that sin will never rise up a second time.
30:32 Once we see how bad sin is,
30:34 how evil sin is, how wicked sin is
30:37 and once we see how good God is
30:40 we will never want to go back to the cesspool of sin again.
30:54 Who does He come to? He comes to the Father.
30:57 Father and Son meet together.
30:59 And there, in the courtroom of the universe
31:02 in the Most Holy Place - the inner sanctum
31:05 of the heavenly sanctuary - Jesus presents
31:08 His blood. He presents His sacrifice
31:12 before the whole universe and He says:
31:15 "I am the Savior of mankind
31:20 and those that have accepted Me
31:22 they in Me, through Me, because of Me
31:24 they are accepted in the beloved and they have rights
31:27 to enter into heaven.
31:39 What happens in the judgment?
31:41 Christ in the judgment... did you catch it?
31:43 Did you catch it? Don't miss it!
31:52 So in the kingdom of God,
31:55 in the courtroom of the universe,
31:57 in the inner sanctum of heaven's sanctuary
32:00 Jesus steps forth, and He is presented with the kingdom.
32:06 His sacrifice is enough.
32:08 His righteousness is enough.
32:10 His grace is enough,
32:11 and the whole universe sings for the glory of His name!
32:16 He is given the kingdom. The judgment shows that
32:19 Christ is the rightful Ruler of the kingdom.
32:31 Now the judgment also reveals
32:34 the saving righteousness of Christ
32:36 and His triumph over the prin- cipalities and powers of hell.
32:39 The judgment reveals that Christ will be honored, exalted
32:44 in the universe, and that all the powers of hell
32:47 will be ultimately destroyed.
32:54 Daniel 7 shows us the judgment.
32:57 Revelation 14 shows us it.
33:00 And also there is this vision in heaven
33:03 that John has of the judgment.
33:05 We get some added insights here. When you study the Bible
33:08 you have to compare text with text.
33:11 You get a little bit here and a little bit there
33:13 and you put it together. Revelation 4:1:
33:19 There's a door open in heaven for you, my friend.
33:22 Whatever experiences you're having in life,
33:26 however you feel oppressed, discouraged, disappointed
33:29 there's a door open in heaven. And what does God say?
33:34 And God says: "Come! Look through the open door.
33:36 You'll get new courage, new hope, new inspiration. "
33:45 Here the voice from heaven says: "Come up here. "
33:48 "Come up here into the throne room of the universe. "
33:50 "Come up here into the judgment bar of God. "
33:53 Now when John looked there through that open door
33:56 in heaven in Revelation chapter 4 what does he see?
34:00 This is a magnificent scene.
34:02 Revelation the 4th chapter and I want you to see it
34:06 as I read it from Scripture.
34:08 Revelation chapter 4: "After these things I looked
34:10 and a door is open in heaven. "
34:12 Whoever you are tonight, there's a door open in heaven for you.
34:15 Whatever you're experiencing tonight,
34:16 there's a door open in heaven for you.
34:18 God invites you as He invited John: "Come up
34:20 higher. Take another step. By faith see what Christ is
34:24 doing in your behalf. In the light of the judgment hour
34:27 see this Jesus who stands for you in the judgment.
34:30 Gather round the throne room of the universe. "
34:33 Notice what it says.
34:34 It says: "And He who sat on the throne... "
34:37 verse 3... "was like a sardius stone in appearance.
34:41 There was a rainbow around the throne. "
34:43 The rainbow indicates judgment and mercy.
34:46 God put a rainbow in the sky after the destruction of the
34:49 world by the flood indicating the world would never be
34:52 destroyed by a flood again.
34:53 Notice: "Around the throne were four and twenty thrones
34:57 and on the thrones were twenty-four elders
34:59 sitting clothed in white robes.
35:01 They had crowns of gold upon their heads. "
35:03 Who are these 24 elders that sit on the thrones?
35:08 The Bible says they were "redeemed from the earth. "
35:15 Those priests represented Israel.
35:19 So the twenty-four elders are those who have been redeemed
35:24 from the earth, resurrected at the time of Christ's death
35:29 and resurrection. And remember the Bible says
35:31 when Christ died the graves were opened.
35:34 After His resurrection there were those that came out.
35:37 Who are these twenty-four elders?
35:39 They are men just like you, just like me.
35:42 These are people around the throne of God
35:45 that God has brought up there to His throne.
35:47 Why are they there?
35:49 To represent us before the throne of God.
35:51 You know the Bible says - I Peter chapter 2 verse 9:
36:02 We, too, are priests and kings of God.
36:04 And those 24 elders that are there
36:08 represent us at God's throne.
36:11 And if they are there, if they made it we can make it, too.
36:15 They stand with Jesus around God's throne.
36:18 Notice what the Bible also says:
36:20 It says that these 24 elders that represent all the redeemed
36:24 that one day will rejoice around the throne of God
36:28 it says that they "come from earth. "
36:30 They faced temptations; they faced trials;
36:33 they faced difficulty but they are there.
36:36 If they made it, we can make it.
36:38 Now the Bible also says
36:40 in Revelation chapter 4 verses 6 and 7
36:43 it says that there are four creatures
36:45 around the throne of God. It's a little strange theme.
36:48 It says these 4 creatures are like a lion,
36:51 like a calf, like man, like an eagle.
36:55 What about these 4 creatures?
36:56 What can we learn from the history of Israel about them?
37:07 These were the banners that Israel marched under.
37:20 Now think of it:
37:22 Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
37:24 The Lion. He becomes a sacrifice or a calf,
37:28 an animal of sacrifice, for us.
37:30 He tabernacles in human flesh as a man, the face of a man.
37:35 But after His death He flies again to heaven
37:38 as a soaring eagle. So what do these represent?
37:42 Just as these banners represen- ted God's everlasting guidance
37:46 and just as they emphasized His protection
37:50 so likewise these 4 creatures around the throne of God
37:55 represent the total ministry of Christ for us.
37:58 The One who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah:
38:01 our King, the divine Christ.
38:02 The One who became a man to sacrifice His life
38:06 in our behalf.
38:07 The One that was resurrected from the dead.
38:09 As we look into the judgment bar of God
38:12 there are the elders that are there.
38:15 They represent all humanity.
38:17 They represent all the redeemed.
38:20 There are there the 4 creatures
38:25 representing the living Christ. There before the throne of God
38:29 Jesus stands for you and me.
38:31 And we can come from all points of the compass:
38:33 the north, the south, the east, and the west.
38:35 Whoever we are, every nation, kindred, tongue, and people
38:39 to gather at that throne through faith in Christ
38:42 knowing that Jesus indeed is our Savior.
38:46 That's why at the end of Revelation 4:11 it says:
38:53 This is what the judgment is about.
38:55 It's about the honor of Christ.
38:57 It's about the glory of Christ.
39:06 We exist by the will of God.
39:08 We were brought into existence by God's will.
39:11 We were created by a loving Christ and redeemed by
39:14 a loving Christ. And one day we will be ushered into eternity
39:18 by that loving Christ.
39:20 Now in Revelation chapter 5 it builds on Revelation 4.
39:23 In Revelation chapter 5 John sees the scene.
39:26 There is a being with a scroll.
39:28 The scroll is sealed with seven seals.
39:31 John asks the question: "Who can open the scroll? "
39:34 John senses that this is the scroll of judgment.
39:36 He senses that if nobody can open that scroll
39:39 the sins of humanity are there.
39:41 He watches as Jesus comes forth.
39:44 First John is weeping because it appears nobody can open
39:47 the scroll. But then Jesus steps forth
39:50 and Jesus is worthy to open the scroll.
39:53 The question is asked, Revelation 5 verse 2:
39:56 The answer: Revelation 5:3:
40:04 Nobody in heaven, nobody in earth could open it
40:06 except who? Except Jesus!
40:09 No angel could ensure your salvation.
40:13 No cherubim or seraphim could ensure your salvation.
40:17 No being on earth could ensure your salvation.
40:20 But there is One who can! In the judgment
40:23 Jesus... the living Christ. John says:
40:35 There before the judgment bar of God
40:37 is the picture of a slain lamb:
40:40 the living Christ who has died for you and for me.
41:03 Here is the incredible good news:
41:06 Before the judgment bar of God
41:10 the authority of all heaven
41:14 before all of that authority of heaven
41:17 Jesus steps forth. He is given the kingdom!
41:22 Salvation is given to His people.
41:25 Why? Because Christ has provided ransom.
41:38 We need not fear at the judgment.
41:41 Some time ago, it's a fascinating story
41:44 that took place in New York City.
41:47 There was a judge who was known to be very kind
41:51 and very compassionate.
41:53 And as this judge was trying a particular case
41:56 a man came in before him.
41:58 And the man was tried because he was a thief.
42:02 He was arrested as a thief.
42:03 He had gone into a bakery
42:06 and he had stolen 8 or 10 loaves of bread.
42:10 And as he was leaving with the bread
42:12 the police had apprehended him
42:14 because the owner of the bakery had pressed the alarm.
42:17 The police came
42:20 and they arrested this man.
42:23 He was brought to court, and when he was brought before
42:26 the judge the judge said to him:
42:28 "You stole that bread? " "I did. "
42:32 "Do you confess to stealing it? " "I do. "
42:35 "Do you deem that you're guilty? " "I do. "
42:38 And the judge said: "I have a question for you:
42:40 why did you steal the bread? "
42:43 The man said this: "I have a wife
42:46 and I have four children.
42:48 I tried to get a job but I have not been able
42:51 to get a job. I've been out of work for months.
42:55 My money had run out; my kids were starving
42:59 so I therefore went down to find out
43:03 where I could possibly get them some food.
43:06 And in a weakened moment I went into the bakery
43:09 and stole that bread. "
43:11 The judge looked at him and he said: "You're guilty.
43:15 And what I'm going to do is charge you
43:17 a $50 fine. "
43:19 But he said: "Look, any man in my city
43:24 that has to steal bread to feed his children... "
43:27 he said: "I am taking off my judge's cloak right now
43:32 and I am coming down by your side
43:35 to pay the $50 in your behalf.
43:38 And I want to invite you and your wife and your family
43:41 to my home to eat with me tonight. "
43:44 Jesus says to you and Jesus says to me:
43:48 "I'm stepping out of the judgment seat.
43:51 I'm coming by your side.
43:53 I'm putting My arm around you.
43:55 I'm paying the price for you
43:58 and I want to invite you home. "
44:00 "I want to invite you home. "
44:01 Jesus wants more than anything else
44:04 to have you at home with Him.
44:07 And that's what the universe sees.
44:09 That's what the universe sees in the judgment:
44:11 this amazing manifestation of the love of God.
44:15 And that's why the universe sings: "Worthy, worthy
44:18 is the Lamb. " They have seen a manifestation
44:21 of His love on the cross.
44:24 They have seen His intent in the judgment
44:27 to save every human being.
44:29 They've seen the ways that He was wooed human hearts.
44:44 Daniel and Revelation describe powers that rise.
44:48 They describe Babylon that rises but it does not reign forever.
44:52 It falls. Medo-Persia rises but it does not reign forever.
44:56 It falls. Greece rises but it does not reign forever.
44:59 It falls. Rome rises but it does not reign forever.
45:01 It falls. The kingdoms of this world rise.
45:05 There is a power that rises that unites church and state.
45:11 Rome is divided
45:13 and out of Rome there's this power that rises.
45:15 In Daniel 7 it's called the "little horn"
45:18 with eyes like the eyes of a man.
45:19 We're going to study that in this series to understand
45:21 the whole issue of the anti- Christ, the mark of the beast.
45:23 But here's the point: political kingdoms rise
45:28 A religious-political kingdom rises.
45:30 But then Daniel's eyes are taken away from earth.
45:33 They're pointed to heaven.
45:35 John in Revelation points us to heaven
45:37 and says: "Beyond what is
45:38 there will be the eternal kingdom of God. "
45:41 All the universe one day will worship Christ
45:44 and live with Him forever and ever and ever and ever
45:47 through the ceaseless ages of eternity.
45:50 Christ's kingdom will never come to an end!
45:52 In the judgment the whole universe will see
45:55 the glory, the magnificence, the beauty
45:58 of the plan of salvation.
46:00 They will say: "Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb! "
46:13 Christ will step forth; judgment is made
46:16 in favor of the saints of God.
46:19 One night Martin Luther was sleeping.
46:22 And as he was sleeping he had this terrible dream.
46:26 He dreamed that the devil came to him
46:28 and he dreamed that there was a scroll in the devil's hand
46:31 and the devil unrolled the scroll.
46:33 And he saw this hideous, evil angel
46:35 and he saw a list of all his sins.
46:37 It was the judgment and it was before the judgment bar of God.
46:41 And in Luther's dream he said:
46:45 "Those are my sins! " And the devil said:
46:47 "Are they your sins? " "Yes they are. "
46:49 "Are you guilty of every one? " "Yes, I am. "
46:51 "Is the wages of sin death? " "Yes it is. "
46:55 "Do you deserve to die eternally? " "Yes! "
46:57 And the devil said: "You're condemned! "
46:59 But then Luther saw the devil's hand on top of that scroll
47:02 and he said: "In the name of Christ move your hand. "
47:04 And the devil said: "No. " "In the name of Christ
47:06 move your hand. " The devil moved his hand.
47:07 It said: "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses Martin Luther
47:10 from all his sins. " In the judgment
47:13 NOT good deeds against bad deeds.
47:16 Our deeds reflect our faith.
47:19 Our deeds are important because they reflect
47:22 whether or not we made a full commitment to Christ.
47:25 In the judgment Jesus wants to step forth for you.
47:28 In the judgment Jesus says that He wants to make judgment
47:32 in favor of the saints in the judgment.
47:35 All evil powers will be destroyed.
47:37 In the judgment all wicked powers will crumble.
47:40 In the judgment Christ will be exalted as Lord of all.
47:59 In the judgment the Father gives to the Son the kingdom,
48:03 and you and I participate as the royal line in that kingdom.
48:08 We become princes and princesses and sit on thrones
48:12 with Christ and worship with Him through the ceaseless ages
48:15 of all eternity. Would it not be foolish...
48:18 would it not be foolish?
48:23 I was thinking of another word but that's the only word
48:25 I can think of: FOOLISH. Wouldn't it be a foolish choice
48:29 to turn your back on that love of Christ?
48:32 To turn your back on that invi- tation to be with Him in heaven?
48:36 Wouldn't it be foolish to make choices
48:40 for the tawdry pleasures of this world
48:43 when Jesus offers us eternity?
48:46 When we can sit on a throne with Him?
48:48 When we can worship with Him?
48:49 When we can travel from star to star and planet to planet
48:53 and see the vast technology of civilizations that have
48:57 never fallen by sin?
48:59 And be His honored convoy, sharing with the universe
49:02 the depths of His love and the glory of His grace.
49:17 We with the angels and the redeemed of all ages:
49:34 What was that message of Revelation 14 verse 6?
49:37 "I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven
49:39 having the everlasting gospel... to every nation, kindred,
49:42 tongue, and people. " Here it is:
49:43 Now those that have accepted that message, those that have
49:47 responded to this message of the three angels,
49:51 those who have understood these three cosmic messages
49:54 in earth's last hour.
50:09 We are kings and priests of God!
50:12 Do not throw away your heritage.
50:14 Do not turn your back on a love that is appealing to you.
50:18 Many years ago there was a farmer
50:22 who visited London for the very very first time.
50:26 He had never been to London before,
50:28 and he was awed by things like the London Bridge.
50:33 Awed by things like Big Ben and the Parliament.
50:38 One day he had a little time so he decided
50:41 that he would go to one of London's famous art galleries.
50:44 This farmer was a Christian.
50:47 And as he was walking through the art gallery
50:49 he came to a picture. It was a picture
50:53 of Christ hanging on the cross.
50:55 He stood there.
50:57 Was gripped by that picture.
51:01 Overwhelmed again by the thought of Jesus
51:05 with nails through His hands,
51:08 blood running down His wrists,
51:10 with a crown of thorns upon His head,
51:14 bearing the sin and the guilt of all humanity.
51:19 And as this man stood there
51:23 15 minutes went by, 20 minutes went by.
51:26 Soon there were tears running down his face.
51:32 And all he said was... all he could say was:
51:40 Somebody standing by heard the old man.
51:44 Stood by his side and looked at the picture and said:
51:46 "I love Him, too. "
51:47 Somebody else stood by his side and said: "I love Him, too. "
51:51 Pretty soon there was a group of people there...
51:54 arms around one another.
51:57 Riveted to that picture, they made a decision in their life.
52:01 "I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold.
52:06 I'd rather have Jesus than riches untold. "
52:13 In the judgment you need not fear.
52:17 Christ reaches out to you right now.
52:20 Deep within your heart as Charles sings
52:23 would you like to say "I'd rather have Jesus? "
52:35 I'd rather have Jesus
52:40 than silver or gold.
52:45 I'd rather be His
52:49 than have riches untold.
52:55 I'd rather have Jesus
53:00 than houses or lands.
53:04 I'd rather be led
53:09 by His nail-pierced hand.
53:14 Than to be
53:17 the king of
53:19 a vast domain
53:24 or be held in sin's
53:28 dread sway.
53:33 I would rather have Jesus
53:38 than anything
53:43 this world
53:46 affords today.
53:53 I would rather have Jesus
53:57 than men's applause.
54:03 I'd rather be faithful
54:07 to His dear cause.
54:12 I'd rather have Jesus
54:17 than world-wide fame,
54:21 I'd rather be true
54:26 to His holy name.
54:30 Than to be the king
54:35 of a vast domain
54:39 and be held
54:42 in sin's dread sway.
54:48 I'd rather have Jesus
54:53 than anything
54:58 this world
55:00 affords today.
55:07 Yes, He's fairer than lilies
55:12 of rarest bloom.
55:16 He is sweeter than honey
55:21 out of the comb.
55:26 He's all that my hungering
55:31 spirit needs.
55:35 I'd rather have Jesus
55:39 and let Him lead.
55:44 Than to be the king
55:48 of a vast domain
55:53 and be held
55:55 in sin's dread sway.
56:03 I'd rather have Jesus
56:08 than anything...
56:16 anything
56:25 this world
56:30 affords
56:35 today.
56:48 Will you open your heart to pray with me
56:52 right now?
56:54 Father in heaven,
56:56 we have heard the appeal of the song
57:00 and deep within our hearts we respond
57:03 that we would rather have Jesus.
57:06 Help us each day
57:09 to make those eternal decisions:
57:12 decisions prompted and guided by Your Spirit.
57:17 Enable us today deep within our hearts
57:21 to say: "I would rather have Jesus. "
57:24 In Christ's name, Amen.


Revised 2020-06-23