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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Jan. 9, 2007

  • 2007 Jan 09
  • COMMENTS


Seven Prophetic Steps from Today to Eternity

Matthew 24:3, 8, 33

 

God left us the greatest book ever written. He watched over every word that is in this book. This book is our guide, our plan for how to live every day of our lives until Christ comes or calls.

 

As we saw this morning, this book is a book or books. I hold in my hand the ONE Book that God wrote—the Bible. That one book has TWO parts—the Old Testament and the New Testament. Those two parts are made up of SIXTY-SIX individual books we call the 39 Old Testament books and the 27 New Testament books. This one book, made up of 66 books has a total of 31,103 verses.

 

Of all the verses in the Bible 8,352 verse are prophetic or spoke to future events. All Biblical predictions about the future in these thousands verses can be grouped into 737 different predictions.

 

Of these 8,352 verses, 6,312 (or 522 different predictions) have already happened to the letter, JUST LIKE God’s Word said they would.

 

That leaves just about 2,040 verses with 215 specific predictions from God about the end of the world that are in process of being fulfilled.

 

This series that I am calling “What’s Next?” is a look at the clear and well described events that lay ahead for us who know Jesus, and for planet earth. There are seven major events. All remaining prophecies in the Bible are tied to one of these events. These are the seven steps that each of us should have marked in our Bibles and lodged in our hearts.

 

With each of these steps there is an affirmation God wants uis to make for Him. I hope that you will do so with me as we study this evening!

 

I call these seven steps from Now to Eternity!

 

 

 

RAPTURE

  I THESS. 4

  BE READY – Christ is Coming for me

 

JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

  2 CORIN. 5

  BE HOLY – Christ will test my life.

 

TRIBULATION

  REV. 6-19

  BE THANKFUL – Christ will keep me from the hour.

 

SECOND COMING

  REV. 19

  BE PATIENT – Christ will right all wrongs.

 

MILLENNIUM

  REV. 20

  BE FOCUSED – Christ will perfect the earth

 

GREAT WHITE THRONE

  REV. 20

  BE FAITHFUL – I will point people to Christ.

 

HEAVEN

  REV. 21-22

  BE INVESTING – I will lay up treasure in Heaven.

 

 

Rapture: Be Ready--1 Thessalonians 4:13-18              Christ is Coming for me!

 

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

 

How did Paul minister to them? He gave them the same plan he gave any other sinner. God’s recovery program is sanctification! When Paul proclaimed Christ to those deep in the dungeon of sin, he offered a recovery program. The vice grip of sin could be destroyed and the sin appetite abated.

Did Paul see lasting change? Resoundingly the Scriptures say YES! The vivid reality of   washed saints, cleansed from the filth of sin’s prison, is the grandest picture the first-century church passed on to us.

Excavating the secret of this recovery program takes us to one of the ancient provinces of Rome and the city of Thessalonica

 

The CITY

 

Early this century a group of French archaeologists began to excavate the ancient ruins of a city along the coast of the Aegean Sea. As the work progressed they came to the NECROPOLIS or "City of the Dead".   Apart from the Necropolis was a separate area - a CEMETERY "sleeping place" KOIMEO. To the amazement of the archeologists was the presence of a unique word seldom if ever used in the ancient world: AMEMPTOS. Across each white marble slab deeply cut was a message that crossed the dust of centuries.

 

There are many illustrations of Christ's deliverance of His own before times of great judgment. Here are just two to ponder.

 

The Flood : Noah was kept through the Flood (a picture of the Jews), the world perished in the Flood, and Enoch was evacuated before the Flood (a picture of the church).

The Fiery Furnace : The three Hebrew youth (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were kept safe through the fire (a picture of the Jews), the soldiers were destroyed in the fire, and Daniel was out of town before the fire (a picture of the Jews) as he was not present at the huge image festival so he had to have been away on the King’s business.

Christ's Judgment Bema: Be Holy--2 Corinthians 5:1-10    Christ will test my life.

 

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

 

Tribulation: Be Thankful—Revelation 6:1-17         Christ will keep me from that hour!

 

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. 3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. 5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” 7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. 9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. 12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

 

Christ's Second Coming: Be Patient--Revelation 19:1-21 Christ will right all wrongs.

 

After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” 3 Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” 6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” 11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

 

Millennium: Be Focused—Revelation 20:1-10              Christ will perfect the earth.

 

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

 

Great White Throne: Be Faithful—Rev20:11-15    I will point people to Jesus.

 

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

Heaven: Be Investing—Rev21:1-7; 22:1-5     I will lay up treasures in Heaven.

 

Revelation 21:1-22:21 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.       22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

 

What are you intensely asking (begging) God to be doing through your life that will last forever?

 

Christ said here is something anyone in my family can do! Here is what you do that I love, and I make your investments in these areas last forever. Jesus said:

 

I collect all of your prayers - PRAY!       Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. (KJV)

 

I multiply sacrificial gifts - GIVE!       Mark 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. (KJV) do rest

 

I count souls you lead to me - WIN!      Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.      Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. 1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. (KJV) 1st Thess. 2.19

 

I remember humble service - SERVE!       Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. (KJV) do rest

 

I love missionaries that do outreach - GO!       Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. (KJV)

 

To obey Jesus we must “watch and pray”. That is how we can resist the temptations that lure us. Then we will be ready when our Lord returns.

 

Christ's Throne of Judgment is a part of His overall plan. Remember GOD’S PANORAMA OF AGES? These are the steps from here tonight to Eternity that God's Word has mapped out for all who study His Word.

 

 

 

RAPTURE

  I THESS. 4

  BE READY – Christ is Coming for me

 

JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

  2 CORIN. 5

  BE HOLY – Christ will test my life.

 

TRIBULATION

  REV. 6-19

  BE THANKFUL – Christ will keep me from the hour.

 

SECOND COMING

  REV. 19

  BE PATIENT – Christ will right all wrongs.

 

MILLENNIUM

  REV. 20

  BE FOCUSED – Christ will perfect the earth

 

GREAT WHITE THRONE

  REV. 20

  BE FAITHFUL – I will point people to Christ.

 

HEAVEN

  REV. 21-22

  BE INVESTING – I will lay up treasure in Heaven.

 

What does the Judgment Seat of Christ always boil down to? TIME. Time is the only thing we can’t recover, earn more of, get from someone else, or do over again. It is an irreversible river flowing by ceaselessly at sixty seconds per minute, sixty minutes per hour. Are you giving significant, regular, sacrificial time to God?

 

Bible Prophecies can be divided into EIGHTEEN chronological categories (by the timing of the events). There are only FIVE categories of the eighteen left to be fulfilled. They are: church prophecies, Second Coming prophecies, Millennial prophecies, Final Judgment prophecies, and New Jerusalem prophecies.

 

J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980), pp. 631-675.

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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