God’s design is to prove a liar. Jesus came down the stairways of the stars to atone for our sins and to vanquish forever Satan and his host.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. I’m fine, happy in the Lord. Glad, oh, so glad and grateful to be back with you, my precious friend. And I trust that as the hours of the day go by, or if you’re listening late at night, as some of you do, as the hours go by, you’ll be sweetly held in the very presence of your Lord. Jesus our Lord said, “No man is able to take them,” that is His precious ones, “out of my hand,” said He. “My Father who gave them me is greater than all, and no man is able to take them out of His hand.” So you’re held today in the pierced hand, and in turn, in the Almighty grasp of Jehovah God. “Underneath,” the Bible said, “are the everlasting arms.” You can be safe in his presence, thank God.
Well, Christmas is coming, and a year or so ago, Jim Clouser, one of our distinguished graduates, he served as president of the Alumni Association some years back, as I recall. Now serving a church over in Paramus, he sent me a poem that he himself had written, he put it in his church bulletin. And although Christmas is not quite here, I think this may ring a familiar bell, and I’m gonna just read it. Now, don’t write and ask me for copies because I don’t have copies of it, but I’m gonna share it with you anyway. “The Month After Christmas,” it’s called. “‘Twas the month after Christmas, a grey dismal time. Not a dollar was stirring, not even a dime. The kids were decked out in new Izods, and Kleins, while keeping an eye on the latest designs.”
“I worried all night as I lay on my bed, and visions of poor-houses danced in my head. I woke at first light in a house I might lose, having barely completed a brief winter snooze. Went out on the lawn, there rose such a noise. It seemed like an earthquake, or a bomb, or some boys. But what did I see on the street, then the curb? My hideous postman, I’ll just call him Herb. More rabid than eagles, this doom-bearer came, as he whistled and shouted and called them by name, ‘Now Visa, now Bloomies, now Saxon, now Sears, on Macy’s, on pennies, I’ll drive you to tears.'” [laughter] That’s something, ain’t it?
So he goes on. “As I pondered with torture, the bills that I owe, a thought came to me that I thought you should know. No matter how much we may buy or may own, computer or clothing or cellular phone, the thought of the season’s not price tag or gift, nor bundles of presence our kids cannot lift. True Christmas is simple, it’s Jesus, God’s Son. He came down to Earth to become the dear one who saves all from darkness, from self, and from sin. He quietly asks, ‘Why not let me come in? Allow me the chance to create a new you, to help with the burden that’s burying you. Then Christmas will be so much more than just mirth. It will be the day that you find the new birth.'” That’s good, Jim, thank you.
I thought maybe you’d appreciate that, sharing it with you. I don’t read many poems, but I thought that was a good one. You and I are in First Peter, and we are in the fourth chapter now, starting with Verse 7. “The end of all things is at hand,” says He. “Be therefore sober and watch unto prayer, and above all things, have fervent charity.” That’s our word, Calvary love, agape. “Fervent Calvary love among yourselves, for love shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging, as every man hath received the gift. Even so minister the same one to another as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God.” Pause there. That’s quite a mouthful, and we won’t get anywhere near through it today or tomorrow, but we’ll take a look at it in the details. He says, “The end of all things is at hand.” Now, that word “end” is related to our concept of design.
Telos is the word in your Greek New Testament, from which we get, for instance, the teleological argument for the existence of God, the argument from design. The universe could not possibly have formed itself with the magnificence and intricate attention to detail if it were simply the result of chance. You take all the parts of a watch and shake them up for a million years and you won’t create a watch. Design is there. So he said, “The end of all things is at hand.” The proof of God’s final design is at hand. Well, if this were true when Peter wrote it, it certainly is much more true now as we come to what many of us think is the end of the Age of Grace.
God’s design, overall, has been to prove Satan a liar. Satan began lying about God in the Garden of Eden, “Yea, hath God said you shall surely die? Ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day you eat thereof, you shall be as gods knowing good and evil.” A half-truth smearing the reputation of God and accusing him of dishonesty and false motives. And Satan has been doing that all through the thousands of years of human history. God’s design is to prove him a liar. Jesus came down the stairways of the stars to atone for our sins, and to vanquish forever Satan and his hosts. Paul, in writing to the people at Colossae, said that Our Lord Jesus nailed the handwriting of ordinances to the cross and spoiled principalities and powers, that’s Satan and his hosts. Having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in His cross.
So the battle’s won, and Satan is a defeated foe, although there are still pockets of resistance, so to speak, in this world. And his final demise, his final judgment, is chronicled for us in the Book of the Revelation. So he says, “The end of all things.” The end means the culmination of God’s grand design is at hand. How do you react to the idea that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again and that His coming may indeed be very soon? You don’t hear all that many sermons preached on The Second Coming. It goes in cycles, I guess. Back in the 1920s, there was a great deal of prophetic interest. And even today, you have the occasional, what we call, prophetic conference.
And Dr. John Walvoord and some of the others will come because they’re experts in all of this, and they’ll speak about fulfilled prophecies and those that are yet to be fulfilled. But by and large, we don’t hear too many sermons on the second coming. The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ could indeed be here any time, because all of the major prophecies that need to be fulfilled before his coming have been fulfilled. Egypt, or Israel, I should say, is back in the land, although harassed and hated by her neighbors, now a sovereign nation. The nations of Europe are being welded together in the rough format of the old Roman Empire. The Russian bear is looking southward for certain gains, and evil is increasing, overt evil and violence is increasing, unbelief is increasing. Jesus said, “When the Son of Man cometh, do you think he’ll even find faith on the Earth?” Apostasy is increasing. Liberalism, which is really apostasy with a tuxedo on, is increasing.
Oh, so many things are happening that are foretold in the Word of God. Even traffic gridlock, as suggested in the book of Daniel, the chariots would be crashing each other in the streets. [chuckle] Well, Alright, you can laugh if you want. I chuckle too sometimes, but the Bible has a way of foretelling things that are to happen centuries, even millennia, ahead of time, and they all come true. So I say, every major prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the second coming of the Lord Jesus is fulfilled. The concept of one world and one religion and one world leader is not too far out in left field now, people keep talking about it. One world currency is presently being suggested. And of course, now, we have what’s called the cashless society. More and more, you’re able to shop electronically without using any actual money.
And we’re coming to what my good friend, Jack Norton, mentioned a number of years ago, as he foresaw it. He said we’ll have the cashless society. Well, that’s part of the setup in that day when no man will be able to buy and sell without the mark of the beast in the Great Tribulation after the rapture of the church. Now, I’ve been talking about all these different things, not trying to preach about them, just ticking them off for your own consideration. And so I come back to the question with which I started this little homily about six minutes ago. Have you thought seriously about your relationship to the end of the age, the second coming of Christ? Number one, if you’re not saved, you’re already lost, and you’ll be left when He comes for His saints, to go through that terrible Great Tribulation.
It’s not a pleasant prospect. And if you have never given your heart to the Lord Jesus, my dear friend, I wish you would right now. You don’t have to listen to the rest of the broadcast, just right now, say, “Lord Jesus, come into my heart and forgive my sin. Be my Savior and my Lord.” Pray that prayer, right now, if you’ve never done it before. Oh, I want you to be among those who are with us when He comes to get His saints. So then what? Well, John says, “Little children, abide in Him that when He shall appear we may have confidence before Him and not be ashamed away from Him at His coming.” A little child that’s into mischief, climbing up on a chair to reach into the pantry to get a jar of jam and hears a footstep behind him, what does he do? He shrinks away. Why? Because he’s ashamed of having been caught with his larcenous little fingers in the jam pot. “Ashamed away from Him at His coming.” What does he mean? He means don’t be doing things that you will not want to have been doing if Jesus were to come that moment.
Oh, that’s a big concept, and one that you and I need to think about, and frankly, we need to pray about it. He said, “The end of all things is at hand. Be therefore sober and watch onto prayer.” There are two things, and time is going now, and we’ll have to get at this the next time we get together, but there are two concepts here that apply in terms of my attitude toward the second coming of Christ. One is, I need to have a mindset that is really a Christian, born again, saved mindset. That word “sober” means a saved mind. Combination of two Greek words, sózo and frain. And then he says, “Watch onto prayer.” I need to be praying my way through the day and watching for God’s leading and His will to be done in my life. We’ll talk about that the next time we get together.
Dear Heavenly Father, help us to live today in the light of the soon coming of our Lord Jesus. I ask in His name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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