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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - July 30, 2007

  • 2007 Jul 30
  • COMMENTS
 

Apocalyptic Evangelism—

Letting All the Nations Hear at the End of Days

 

 

 

 

 

The good news is that God is going to have a great multitude of born again Muslims worshiping around His Throne. We see that as we open to Revelation 7:9 and enter the darkest hour of earth’s history. It’s called the Great Tribulation.

 

In a few moments we will read v. 9-17.

 

We live in the most written about period of history for planet Earth in God's Word. Fully 20% of the Bible is consumed with describing the events that God calls the end of days. Those end of days are more described and detailed for us—more than even the days when Christ walked the shores of Galilee.

 

Yet with all that God has told us, we often miss how God connects evangelism and prophetic events. An understanding of the prophetic word gives boldness and confidence, encouragement and hope as we go into all the world.

 

We should accept and understand that we may very well be living in apocalyptic times. The true meaning of apocalypse in Greek is ‘unveiled, unveiling’. It describes something that is revealed that was formerly hidden. The last book of the Bible is called the Apocalupsis of Jesus Christ--The unveiling of Jesus Christ. In that book God reveals the end of days—and we see Christ's Glory in the events, and how He settles the problem of sin in the universe.[1]

 

And what is one of the biggest themes in those 22 chapters of Revelation? Evangelism! Think of the scenes God gave John to record in this book for us.

 

  • We have two chapters (Revelation 7 & 14) that are focused upon God’s special operations missionaries called the 144,000 who go to preach the Gospel to every people group on the planet.
  • Just after they are deployed we find that God sends out an powerful missionary pair called the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11) that all the world watches on TV “seen by every eye”.
  • Then finally after the 144,000 are recalled to Heaven, God sends one final missionary to circle the globe and audibly “preach” the Gospel “to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people (Revelation 14:6).”

 

With all the wars and plagues, angels and Throne scenes, it is often overlooked that the Tribulation is one of the greatest times of evangelism in all of God's Word!

 

We see repeatedly that multitudes, countless multitudes are saved out of that period of horror God calls the Tribulation.

 

Please stand and follow along with me in your Bibles.

 

Revelation 7:9-17 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues[2], standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,12 saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” 13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.16 “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;17 “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

 

What should be our perspective when we leave this conference tonight? Two words sum up my thoughts—Apocalyptic Evangelism.

 

The single greatest time of evangelism may be just ahead of us, at the darkest hour of Earth’s history—the light of the Gospel shines brightest!

 

God has revealed that the greatest harvest of souls for His Glory will be concentrated in the period He calls the Tribulation. From an examination of Revelation 6:11 and 7:14 it appears that those countless multitudes ‘of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues’ in “white robes” (7:9) are martyrs. Individuals who come to Christ and then are killed in the horrific violence of those last days.

 

If we are on the edge of those times, that should be our goal and desire? We should be praying for all the kingdoms, tongues, tribes and nations—to be saved. To come and bow at the feet of Jesus Christ in worship and eternal adoration.

 

Now let’s narrow our focus to one of the most urgent and vexing issues our world is facing, and that is Islam.

 

END TIMES PROPHECIES AND ISLAM

God has always had big plans for the Middle East—and God Rules over the Nations.

 

It is no accident that Islam is the dominant force in the Middle East and fast becoming a global force to be feared. But always remember that God deeply loves the people of the Middle East.

  • In Genesis 1-2, God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a garden in the heart of the Middle East.
  • In Genesis 11, God chose an Iraqi by the name of Abraham to bless all the people on the earth.
  • In Exodus 1, God chose a Hebrew raised in Egypt by the name of Moses to deliver His law and demonstrate His power.
  • From Exodus 2 to Matthew 3, for 1,500 years God sent one prophet after another to the Middle East to bless all the peoples of the region.
  • Finally starting in Matthew 1, God actually sent the Lord Jesus Christ, His own Son, to be born in the Middle East, to teach there, to do miracles there, to die on a cross and rise again from the dead there.
  • In Matthew 15, Jesus even traveled into the region of Tyre and Sidon (in what is today southern Lebanon), to tell people how much God loved them.
  • From the Gospels through the Book of Revelation, God wrote the Scriptures mostly through Middle Easterners (all except Luke who was from Greece) known as the Apostles and their helpers (like Mark).
  • In the Early Church after the time of the Apostles most of the first followers of Christ lived in the Middle East.
  • And to this day, God still wants everyone in the region -- Jews, Arabs, Iranians, Turks and others -- to come to a personal relationship with Him through faith in Jesus.

 

Jesus told us that "God so loved the [whole] world that He gave His only begotten Son, and whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

The Apostle Peter told us that "The Lord...is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

The Hebrew Prophet Joel and the Apostle Paul both told us that "whoever will call on the Name of the Lord will be saved." (Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13)

This is the good news--that despite terrorists suicide bombers, death squads, threats of WMD’s, war and rumors of wars and man's cruelty to man, God deeply loves the people of the Middle East, just as He loves us all.

 

The big question is whether the people of the Middle East are going to love Him back and to follow His ways as explained to us in the Bible. We need to be praying all the more for the people of the Middle East. Why? Go a few verses into chapter 8.

 

In Revelation 8:4 God is pouring out (answering according to His will) the collected prayers of ‘all the saints’ that is ours and all other true believers prayers of all times. We are to pray for all the peoples of the world to come and bow in saving faith and worship before Christ even if we never see God visibly answer. God holds on to all those prayers and as Revelation 8:4 tells us—will pour them out at the exact time He knows is best. So PRAY!

 

This sermon will continue tomorrow July 31st and conclude on August 1st.



[1] Paul once summed up earthly life for a believer with these words, ‘When Christ who is our life appears…” (Col. 3:4).

 

Jesus Christ is the theme of this church,

He is the subject of this conference

Christ's work on the Cross is the message of evangelism and missions.

Christ's return is the culmination of history.

Christ's Voice is heard in all of Scripture.

Christ's Glory is most clearly seen in the Book of the Revelation.

 

[2] “nations” ethnos # 1484 ‘nation, race’; “tribes” phule # 5443 ‘tribe, clan’; “peoples” laos # 2992 ‘people group’; “tongues” glossa # 100 ‘dialect, language’. Interestingly enough the ‘Great Commission’ was specifically to the “nations” Greek word ethnos # 1484 each time Christ gave it in Matthew 24:14; 28:19; Mark 13:10; and Luke 24:47. The other tribes and people groups seems to be only in Revelation in a Tribulation context.

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

 

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