1546 What Will We Do In Heaven?

Have you ever considered what you will do in Heaven? Some people have the idea we will nap on clouds all day or play endless rounds of our favorite sports. Others think they would be bored. But what does the Bible say about our future activities in Heaven?

ROBERT >> I once dreamed that I died and went to heaven. And when I looked around, I found a beautiful golf course. The grass was green, the flowers were in bloom, everything was well manicured, and there on the first tee box was a bag of new Callaway golf clubs. A white tee was already placed there in the ground for the ball. But as I stepped onto the tee box for that first drive down the long, narrow fairway, I realized there were no golf balls. Yes, I had gone to the wrong place.

A lot of people have a lot of ideas about what we’ll do in heaven, from playing golf to polishing the foundation stones, to taking one long, endless nap on a fluffy cloud; but actually in heaven we’re going to be doing some of the same things we do here on the earth, only with some marked differences.

Today we want to consider some of these points as I have taken from an article written by Mike Vestal, and I hope you’ll stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> As we think this morning about what we’ll do in heaven, the first point is this: In heaven we’ll worship without distraction. I want to go with you to the book of Revelation, where John was able to see into heaven. He was given a look, a glimpse into the heavenly real, and the first thing that he saw was God sitting on his magnificent throne.

Let me read to you from Revelation 4:3. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

There John saw God. And the angelic beings that surrounded that throne, he went on to describe proclaiming, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come! And at the same time there were 24 elders, representing all of God’s people, and they fell down before God and they worshiped him.

And look what they said in verse 11: You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.

You look a little further after this in Revelation chapter 5, and John saw Jesus, Jesus in the midst of that throng, being worshiped by all. Here the Bible says in Revelation 5:11, Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing! And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying, Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever! And then the four living creatures said, Amen! And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.

And that’s not the end of the visions of John. Turn over to Revelation chapter 7. Once again he’s able to see into that heavenly realm, and here he sees the faithful, the faithful who had died, who had gone to heaven, who had engaged in the worship of God and Jesus and the Lamb. Revelation 7, beginning in verse 9: After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! 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, saying, Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.

When we get to heaven, worship will be one of the great and continuous activities. All the redeemed in heaven will continuously worship the Lord. We’ll truly know what it means to worship. And worship will never be forced or manipulated or contrived, and all the pretense and impropriety that sometimes we see here on earth, that will be lost in praise to God. The worship in heaven will be spontaneous and genuine, and everyone there will participate. The singing of hallelujahs to the Lord will ring forth.

All of us will lose ourselves in the joy of telling our wonderful God just how much we adore him. In heaven there’ll be no distractions. That’s for sure.

But let’s notice a second point: In heaven we’ll serve without exhaustion.

I don’t know all the specifics about what we’ll be doing, but we’ll be busy serving God. Read again with me from Revelation 7:15. 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, the Bible says.

Look at it in Revelation chapter 22, as once again John gives us a vision of that heavenly realm. In chapter 22 verse 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.

It seems that God has built into man a creative drive to produce something, to be productive, to be busy, to be at work. We get great pleasure from a job well done, from knowing that others are pleased with our service. And how true this will especially be of serving God in heaven. Sometimes service is difficult here on earth; but in heaven it will always be a matter of delight and devotion to the almighty God.

It’ll be service without time demands. It’ll be service without frustration. It’ll be service without limitations and without growing tired.

Let me read to you again from Revelation the 7th chapter, and let’s read verse 15 all the way through verse 17. 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. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 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.

That’s right. That’s the kind of service that we’ll enjoy in heaven, without exhaustion. Look at chapter 21 of Revelation and verse 4. Here he says, And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, no crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

There’s an old hymn entitled, Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All. And how right that old hymn is, particularly when it says, Often I’m hindered on my way, burdened so heavy I almost fall, and then I hear Jesus sweetly say heaven will surely be worth it all.

So there’ll be worship without distraction, there’ll be service without exhaustion; but in heaven, point number three, we will administrate without failure.

The Bible indicates that we will reign with Christ in eternity. We’ll be a part of his administration over all. Look in 2 Timothy 2:11-12, where the apostle Paul reminds the young preacher here, This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us. So we will reign with Christ. We will serve with him and share with him in his power.

In Revelation 22:5, notice what it says. 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.

God has delegated to us a great deal of responsibility, and we often feel the pressure and the guilt of not being able to measure up to our own self-imposed expectations; and how guilty we feel when we don’t measure up to what God expects. But in heaven, we’ll never have to face failure. The one who overcomes will be privileged to sit down with Jesus around the throne.

In Revelation 3:21 he reminded those persecuted saints of this great place with Jesus in heaven. He said here in Revelation 3:21, To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

You remember the words of Matthew 25:21, how encouraging they are as we work and we strive and we continue to trust Jesus for our heavenly home. Here Jesus says, His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.

Finally today, I want to make this point: In heaven we will fellowship without suspicion. There’s no way a human being can really comprehend the beauty of heavenly fellowship.

We’ll be privileged to commune with all of the patriarchs of old who had been faithful, and we’ll be able to see them there.

In Matthew 8:11 Jesus describes what it’ll be like in that everlasting kingdom. In Matthew chapter 8, let me read verse 11. And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

The Hebrew writer also reminds us of these faithful men and women of old, these who have gone before us and who will share with us in the joys of heaven in that wonderful fellowship. In Hebrews 11:10, speaking of Abraham, For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. And then in verse 13 through 16, speaking of the many faithful like Abraham, These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly, country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

All these patriarchs of old, the faithful of the Old Testament, as well as the faithful of Christianity throughout all the ages, the babies, the little children who pass from this life before reaching an accountable age, most important, will enjoy the fellowship of God.

Let me read to you another passage concerning that place on the other side of death and the fellowship we enjoy there. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:6-8. 2 Corinthians 5, beginning verse 6, So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Oh, what it’ll be like to not only have all of these who have gone before us, but to be in the presence of God himself.

In Philippians 1:23 the apostle Paul spoke of this great desire, he says, to depart and to be with Christ.

And in Revelation 21:3, hear these words: 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 His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

And finally let me read Revelation 22:4, They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. To see God, to be with him face to face, that’s the glory and that’s the joy of heaven.

What limitless possibilities for fellowship will exist in heaven. The lure of heaven should be that irresistible thing that keeps us going here on the earth when the sin and the death and the pain and the struggle threaten to overwhelm us. Don’t forget about our hope.

Look at 1 Peter chapter 1 beginning in verse 3. Peter wants to encourage us in the trials of this life, pointing us to that wonderful fellowship in heaven. He says here in chapter 1 beginning in verse 3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.

It’s no wonder that God spared us a completely detailed description of heaven. We couldn’t wait had he told us more.

Let me add this one point before we leave today. In heaven we’re going to rest. And we’re going to rest without boredom.

One of the many horrible characteristics of hell is that those who are lost will never rest from their torment day or night. You read about it in Revelation chapter 14 beginning verse 10, where the Bible says, He himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.

We see here that those who are lost will never rest from their torment day or night.

One of the great beatitudes of the Revelation promises rest to the faithful. In Revelation 14:13, John writes, Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.

Perhaps the thought of rest does not sound particularly appealing to some people. After all, some like to keep moving, don’t they? They’re always on the go, and when they’re not, they’re miserable. How can the rest of heaven possibly be so wonderful for them?

Well, the answer hinges on how one defines heavenly rest. The rest of heaven, it means that we’ll never be tired, we’ll never be weak and sick and unfulfilled or interrupted.

A glorified spiritual body that we’ll enjoy in heaven, it’s going to know nothing of fatigue or exhaustion. The rest that God promised will not be rest from all work, but rather a rest from all want. That’s one of the reasons why in 2 Thessalonians 1:7, that’s one of the reasons why that verse should be so precious to the Christian.

Look what it says here as Paul writes to the churches of Thessalonica in 2 Thessalonians 1:7. Here he says, And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels. That precious rest.

Let’s don’t be discouraged. Rest and relief are in sight. That’s the message of God. That’s what it’s going to be like to be in heaven.

No, the Bible doesn’t tell us everything about heaven and what we’re going to do when we get there. What it does say should cause us to forever praise our God. When we consider what we were apart from Christ and what we will enjoy in heaven because of Christ, it should cause us to live more humbly, to love more deeply, to serve more willfully, and to behave more obediently.

Yes, how beautiful heaven must be. Don’t miss out on what God has prepared for us all. Turn from your sins today and get right with God. If you’ve never been baptized into Christ, trusting him to save you from your sins, do that today. If you’re a Christian, but you’ve sinned before others, you openly, honestly confess it.

Let God’s people pray for you. Get your heart right with God. Let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

>> In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land. The battle belongs to the Lord. No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand. The battle belongs to the Lord. And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. When the power of darkness comes in like a flood, the battle belongs to the Lord. He’s raised up a standard, the power of his blood. The battle belongs to the Lord. And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. When your enemy presses in hard, do not fear. The battle belongs to the Lord. Take courage, my friend, your redemption is near. The battle belongs to the Lord. And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.

>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name, let angels prostrate fall. Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all. Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all. Oh, that with yonder sacred throng we at his feet may fall. We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all. We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.

ROBERT >> I want to thank you for watching our program today. And we would really like to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. And we want to thank the many churches of Christ who help support this program and encourage you to visit one of them in your area very soon. Their names will be scrolled on the screen at the end of our program. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace. From the toils that bind me it will bring release. Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow. Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all. Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go. When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song. Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1545 How Many Will Go To Heaven?

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Most people believe they are going to Heaven, but Jesus said there would not be many who make it. Just how many will go there? And more importantly, will you be one of them?

ROBERT >> How many will go to heaven? Some believe everybody’s going, or at least most will go there, that we’re all going to heaven, we’re just taking different roads to get there. Picture a mountain with heaven at the top and everyone climbing up different paths to get there. But the picture the Bible gives is much different.

>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Throughout the history of the Bible we see that in every age, only a remnant has been saved. Only eight of all the world were saved from the flood of Noah’s day; only a remnant was saved out of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; and only a remnant of Israel was saved from the scattering and destruction of the Jews; and Jesus plainly taught that most people will not go to heaven. I want to read to you today from Matthew 7:13-14, at the end of Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. Listen to his words here.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

That’s right. According to Jesus, not everyone is going to heaven. In fact, not even most are going to heaven, only a few. And we need to recognize that there are not many ways to heaven, but only one way; and that is the way of Christ. In John 14:6, we see the words of Jesus again where Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes unto the Father but by Me. Jesus is the only way.

In Acts the 4th chapter we notice in verse 12 where the apostle Peter said that, There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. It is only through Jesus Christ that anyone will get to heaven. And so let’s ask again the question this morning, and let’s take a close look at it.

How many will go to heaven? And I want us to look for the answers to that question in the book of Revelation, Revelation chapter 21 and chapter 22, that describes for us that wonderful, eternal state with God in heaven. And there are several answers that I want us to notice here from these chapters.

First of all, let’s look at Revelation 21:6. Here the Bible says, 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.

Let’s put it like this: How many will get to heaven? As many as want it more than anything else. Thirst is one of the strongest desires of the flesh. We cannot live without water.

Imagine, if you could, being out in the desert, and you’re dying of thirst, and you’re searching for water. He says that kind of longing, that kind of thirst we must have for the fountain of life so that we might be saved, so that we might enjoy eternal life. I want you to look with me for just a moment in John the 4th chapter as Jesus used this same figure when he was talking to a woman at a well in Samaria.

In John chapter 4, let’s pick up the story in verse 5. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink. For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. And then the woman of Samaria said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

Let me stop here for just a moment. And you’ll notice that when this woman came to the well, that Jesus spoke to her, and he asked her for a drink of water. And the woman here was a little set back because normally the Jews didn’t have any dealings with the Samaritans. But Jesus was interested in her soul, and Jesus wanted to teach her about eternal life, and he wanted to use water to help her to understand it. Look a little further in verse 10.

Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. And the woman said to Him, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?

Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

And the woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.

This woman still had in mind the physical water that would quench her physical thirst; but Jesus here is emphasizing the same thing that we read in Revelation chapter 21, that there is a living water of eternal life that we must thirst for, that we must long for, just as this woman longed for the drink from the well of Jacob. Now, Jesus Christ is the one who gives us that living water, but we must thirst for it, we must long for it. And so I want to ask you this morning, what are you longing for? What are you thirsting for? Where is your heart at?

I remember the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:23 as he considered the work that he was doing here upon this earth, but also how much he wanted to go to heaven and to be with Christ. Let me read what he wrote here to you, Philippians 1:23, For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. Paul had a desire to stay and to help the church here, but he knew it was far better to depart and to be with Christ. And that must be our heart.

Look at it in Colossians chapter 3 beginning in verse 1. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth; for you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Here the apostle Paul reminds the church at Colosse how they had died with Christ, been buried with him, and had now been raised with him in the waters of baptism when they became a Christian, as Paul described it in Romans the 6th chapter. And he said, remembering that, you need to set your mind on things above.

You need to set your mind on Christ, on heavenly things. In fact, look what he says in verse 4 of this chapter. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. He wants us to long for that day when Christ will come again and we’ll share in his glory in that heavenly realm. Look at 1 John 2:15-17.

John recognizes that it’s very easy for any of us to get caught up in the world and the things of the world and to set our hearts on this world rather than the heavenly world that God has for us.

Here he says, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. So then instead of following the desires of our flesh and going after the things of the world, let’s set our hearts on heaven, let’s set our hearts on the Father and to be with him for all of eternity.

What is your priority? What is your passion in life? Where is your heart at? Look with me in Philippians once again, in Philippians 3:12-14, where the apostle Paul helps us to see where we really ought to put our focus and our attention. Here in this passage beginning in verse 12, the apostle Paul writes, Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul said he had one passion, one priority, one thing he was doing, and that was to be perfect like Jesus Christ so that he might attain that heavenly calling. The apostle Paul had his mind, his heart set on heaven. Where is your heart? Where is your priority? Where is your passion? Where is your home?

In Philippians 3:20, the apostle Paul said this: For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not this earth, it’s not this planet, it’s not this world. Let’s not settle down here and become so comfortable that we forget that our real home, that our true home, that our eternal home is in heaven. Do you really want to go to heaven?

Those who go to heaven are those who really want to go to heaven.

Turning back to Revelation chapter 22, let me read verse 17, the invitation of our Lord here. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Yes, heaven is there, it’s available for all who would long for it more than anything else. But now let’s notice something else from the Revelation concerning how many will go to heaven. Look at Revelation 21:7.

In Revelation 21:7 the Bible says, He who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be My son. In other words, as many as will fight for it with their life, as many as will overcome in order to receive it.

Those in the Revelation, they suffered severely for their faith. They were threatened, they were beaten and tortured. They were imprisoned, even persecuted to death. So at the end of each of the letters to the churches that Jesus wrote here in the book of Revelation, guess what he promises? He promises the rewards of heaven to those who overcome.

Johnny Ramsey, gospel preacher, once said, Those who overcome get to come over. You see, getting to heaven, being able to go to heaven is a fight. It’s a fight for your very life. It’s a fight of faith.

Look with me in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, where the apostle Paul speaks of this fight that we’re involved in as Christians. In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainly. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

It’s like running a race. It’s like fighting a fight. It’s giving your all, disciplining yourself so that you can obtain the heavenly home that God has prepared for us.

In 1 Timothy 6:12, this is what the apostle Paul told the young evangelist Timothy. In chapter 6 verse 12, Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. It would not be easy. It would be a struggle. But if we fight that good fight, we’re able to lay hold on eternal life for us in heaven. Look in 2 Timothy chapter 4, where the apostle Paul speaks of the end of his life, of his desire for heaven, and of the fight that he fought in order that he might obtain it.

Here in 2 Timothy 4 beginning in verse 6 he says, For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

You see, heaven is promised for those who will struggle, who will strive, who will fight to get there.

1 John 5:4, the Bible tells us, This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. And Jesus himself promised in Revelation 2:10, at the end of that verse to these suffering martyrs of Christ, Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Will you fight to the very end? In the very face of death, in the very hour of death, will you fight to the end for heaven?

But thirdly, let’s notice another passage from Revelation chapter 21 that helps us to understand how many will go to heaven. In verse 24, And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Yes, those who will go to heaven are as many as depend upon the savior for it. We cannot get to heaven on our own. As Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

We could never earn our salvation. And certainly we don’t deserve our salvation. It’s God’s gift through Jesus Christ. As Paul stated in Romans 6:23, The wages of sin is death. That’s what we’ve earned for ourselves. That’s what we deserve. But the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. We’ve got to hear it and we’ve got to believe it and we’ve got to call on him for salvation. That’s what we do in the waters of baptism. As the preacher said in Acts 22:16, Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Are you trusting the savior to get to heaven? That’s the only way.

But then let’s also notice in Revelation 21:27, here the Bible says, But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

How many will go to heaven? As many as have their names written there in the Lamb’s book of life. These are those who belong to Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, John 1:29.

This is the church, those who labor in the gospel, the workers of God’s kingdom, like those mentioned in Philippians 4:3. Our names are registered in heaven according to Hebrews 12:23.

You can be blotted out of that book, like Psalm 69:28 warns us, Let them be blotted out of the book of life and not be written with the righteous. But those who overcome, those who are faithful to the end will not be blotted out. That’s the promise of Revelation 3:5. And so the book of life will be opened at judgment day, and if you’re not in that book, you’ll be cast into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:15.

If you’re in that book, you’ll be delivered and you’ll be raised to everlasting life.

Is your name written in the heaven?

I know when I first started preaching, I used to save everything that had my name on it. I liked to see my name on the list of speakers on a gospel meeting, an ad with my picture in a lectureship book. And once an article with my picture was put in the local paper about me and the meeting I was preaching. Seeing your name and your face in the paper, that was pretty cool. And then I made a hole in one out on the golf course, and it too went in the paper. I cut out the notice. I saved it.

But folks, that really doesn’t mean anything. More than anything else, I want to see my name in the book of life. If my name never gets mentioned in a paper ever again, that’s all right, just as long as my name gets mentioned in heaven.

If they’ll let me, when I get to heaven, I’m going to look over the shoulder of the angel who’s reading off the names in the book of life just to make sure. We all want to make sure that our names are found there.

Let me ask you this: How many of you want to hear your name when that roll is called up yonder? How many of you want to hear Jesus say, Well done, good and faithful servant; enter in to the joy of the Lord? Well, then look at Revelation 22:14.

Here’s what the Bible says: Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through into the gates of the city.

How many will go to heaven? As many as follow the instructions to get there.

The commandments of God, remember, are for our good always, Deuteronomy 6:24. But we all try to go on our own without following his instructions, and we get lost every time. Yes, there is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death, Proverbs 14:12.

We all need God’s guidance, his direction, his instructions. Maybe you’re like me, and you try to follow your GPS. You thought you knew better, maybe, and you quit following those instructions. I’ve tried that before, but I never get there. And if you don’t follow the instructions that God has given us to get to heaven, it’s not going to work. You’ll never make it.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, Not everyone that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Are you just going on through life without paying attention to what God says, or are you following his commandments?

How many will go to heaven? A lot of folks won’t go to heaven. But it’s not because God doesn’t want them to or that he’s not made a way for them to go to heaven. No, God so loved that world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Folks, what matters most is whether or not you’ll go to heaven.

>> All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give. I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all. All to Jesus I surrender. Lord, I give myself to thee. Fill me with thy love and power, let thy blessing fall on me. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all.

>> Years I spent in vanity and pride, caring not my Lord was crucified, knowing not it was for me he died on Calvary. Mercy there was great, and grace was free, pardon there was multiplied to me, there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary. Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan; oh, the grace that brought it down to man; oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary. Mercy there was great, and grace was free, pardon there was multiplied to me, there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you, so let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, your comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

And remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace. From the toils that bind me it will bring release. Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow. Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all. Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go. When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song. Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1544 Is Heaven Real?

Is heaven real? What do we know about it? How do we know it exists? This encouraging lesson will remind you that this world is not our home.

ROBERT >> When I was just a boy, I was amazed with space travel and rockets. I used to come home from school and watch Lost In Space, and then later the episodes of Star Trek. It seemed impossible to me that someone could have landed on the moon, and I know that many an astronaut today would like to be the first to land on the planet Mars. What if you could go beyond this world, out of this world, into heaven itself? Stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> As we begin to consider the idea of going outside of this world into heaven itself, let’s ask a question this morning: How real is heaven?

I want you to notice that the Bible speaks of more than one heaven. It actually speaks of three heavens. Look back with me, if you will, in the book of Genesis when God created this universe.

In Genesis 1:20 the Bible says, “Then God said, Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”

The first heaven, our atmosphere, the sky where the birds fly is what the Bible speaks of in Genesis 1:20. Jesus spoke of the birds of the air in Matthew 6:26, and James 5:18 mentions how the heavens gave rain. They were all talking about the first heaven, our sky, our atmosphere around the planet earth. But the Bible also speaks of a second heaven: Outer space.

Look at Genesis chapter 1 again, in verses 14 through 19. Here the Bible says, “Then God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

So here we read about that second heaven beyond the sky, our atmosphere around the earth, into outer space, where God set the sun and the moon and the stars. Hebrews 11:12 speaks of the stars of the sky. And so we see the first heaven where the birds fly, our atmosphere; the second heaven, outer space, where we find the sun and the moon and the stars; but there’s also a third heaven.

Look with me in 2 Corinthians 12:2, where the apostle Paul speaks of one who ascends into the third heaven. And I believe he’s talking about himself. But I want you to notice how he describes this for us here. 2 Corinthians 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a one was caught up into the third heaven.”

Here you see he went beyond the first heaven, beyond the second heaven, into the third heaven. Outside of this universe, outside of this world, beyond this world. 1 Kings 8:27 talks about the heaven of heavens, and Ephesians 4:10 talks about Christ who ascended far above all heavens; in Hebrews 1:3, how that Jesus Christ sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high.

So it’s this third heaven that we want to focus on today and in the lessons ahead. We can see the first two heavens, and we know they exist; but what about the third heaven? Is it just a fairy tale that we have made up to make us feel better, or can we really know there is a heaven beyond this world?

Let’s notice today first of all that it’s as real as God. If we know there’s a God, then we can know there is a heaven.

Where else is God going to live?

Where did God live before this world was created?

And where is he going to live after this world is destroyed?

There is a God.

In Genesis 1:1, you open your Bibles to that very first verse, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

He was already there in existence.

Look with me in Psalm 19:1, where the Psalmist looks up into the sky, and this is what he writes: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. As you look and you see this universe about you, the only reasonable, logical explanation is that there is a God, that there is a supreme being that’s powerful, that’s always been here, that eternal one who brought this world into existence.

The apostle Paul made this very argument in Romans 1:20 when he reminded us of God’s existence there. Here’s what he says: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

There’s no reason why anyone should not understand and know there is a God.

Hebrews 3:4 gives us a good principle that will help us to understand what Paul was talking about in Romans 1. Here’s what the Hebrew writer says: “For every house is built by someone; but He who built all things is God.”

We understand when we go down the road and we see a house, we understand that somebody built it. Somebody had to design it and construct it. That house is evidence of an architect, of a designer, of a constructor. And as we look at this universe about us, when we look at all things, we recognize that they must have been made by someone, some eternal, divine, powerful being. Design demands a designer. And folks, heaven is where that designer lives. It’s where God lives. It’s his throne. His throne is in heaven. Where God is, there is heaven.

So how real is heaven?

It’s just as real as God. But let’s also notice that it’s just as real as Jesus Christ. If we know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then we can know there is a heaven.

Where else could Jesus have come from?

And after his resurrection, where else could he have ascended, but into heaven?

Understand that Jesus Christ, like God our Father, already existed before the world was. He was with God and he was God.

Look at John 1:1. As you open this great gospel of the Lord and savior Jesus Christ, he begins by telling us about the eternal nature of this one.

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

You see, in the beginning was the Word. It was already there. He, the Word, that logos, that one who is the very expression and image of God, he was there already in the beginning. And he was with God, and he was God. Now, I’ve never seen heaven; but Jesus has. And he descended from heaven to the earth. And after his death and resurrection, he ascended back into heaven. And he’s coming again to bring us home to heaven.

I want you to notice how he described this to his apostles in John 14:1-3. Here he says, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Jesus Christ did not come from this world. He came from out of this world. But then I also want to remind us of this: Heaven is just as real as God, just as real as Jesus Christ, but it is also just as real as the Bible you hold in your hand. If we know the Bible is the word of God, then we can know there is a heaven.

And where else could this Bible have come from?

Notice what the Bible says about itself in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Here we learn from the apostle Paul, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Yes, the Bible claims to be the inspired word of God; that is, it came from his mouth. It’s God-breathed, literally. It’s God’s book. God has delivered this and preserved this for us today. The book itself is evidence of this divine being, God. Consider the amazing unity of the Bible. If you think about this Bible, it’s actually a library of books, some 66 books, books that were written over a period of some 1400, 1500 years. This library of books written by many different men, some 40 different men, and they all had different backgrounds. They spoke different languages, they were raised in different cultures. And yet you put all of these writings together, and you see this harmonious whole. You see from the beginning of the Bible to the end of the Bible this one theme running all the way through it, that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world. In the Old Testament, how Jesus is coming, and in New Testament, how he has come and he is coming back again. This amazing unity could only be explained by the fact that each of these writers were guided by one great mind, God. God was able through these writers to reveal all things from the beginning to the end that he wanted for us to have, his will for our life. And all of that’s been preserved for us in this book.

Consider the amazing scientific foreknowledge of the Bible. In Genesis 1:1 where we just read earlier, and we’ll read it again here, we’ll notice how everything had its beginning. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

There we see that our world did have a beginning. It has not always been here. Something that it took hundreds and hundreds of years for scientists to discover, but now they agree, yes, just as the Bible said long ago, it had a beginning.

Job 26:7 says that the earth hangs upon nothing. It talks about how God hangs the earth on nothing. What better description could we with find of how the Earth, that planet, is just suspended in space, how unlike the many ideas of the day that it was supported by some firm, stable pillars or some kind of structure. No, it hangs on nothing.

Isaiah 40:22 speaks of the circle of the earth. While man believed for many years it was a flat earth, the Bible writers always recognized that it was a globe, the circle of the earth. And consider the fulfilled prophecy of the Bible. You know, the Bible has many prophecies in the Old Testament which are fulfilled, have been fulfilled in history and continue to be fulfilled in Christ and his church; but particularly amazing are the many prophecies concerning Jesus the Christ, the Messiah who was to come, about where he would be born, about how he would be born, of whom he would be born, about how he would live his life, the miracles he would perform, the parables that he would teach, how that he would die, suffer an awful death upon the cross, his hands and his feet being nailed, how that he would be raised again the third day, ascend on high to sit at God’s right hand to establish his kingdom on the earth, his church. All of this, his entire life, spelled out in the scriptures hundreds of years before he was ever born, again, evidence of a divine mind guiding the writings of each one of the writers of the Bible. Oh, the Bible is so powerful in its effect on all those who will believe it, who will follow it. We cannot argue with the many lives who’ve been rescued from sin and wonderfully changed forever. All of these things are evidence of the fact that there is a God, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that the Bible is the word of God. Folks, the Bible did not come from this world. It came from out of this world. Heaven is real. It’s just as real as God, it’s just as real as Jesus Christ, it’s just as real as the Bible, and it’s just as real as death. If we know death is real, and we all must accept that reality, then we can know heaven is real.

We only have to ask, what happens to the spirit when it can no longer live in this body?

We know how the body returns to the earth. We observe that when somebody dies. But the spirit returns to God who gave it. This is what is written in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 12:7. Here we see the wise man, Solomon, speak of what happens when somebody dies. Here is how he put it: “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”

You see, man is more than just flesh and blood. In fact, we only have to go back to Genesis chapter 2, where we read about the creation of the very first man, Adam.

And look what it says in Genesis 2:7. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. God breathed life into the dust from which man was made.”

This body, apart from the spirit, is dead.

James 2:26 tells us explicitly that when the spirit leaves this body, the body apart from the spirit is dead. That’s physical death. But understand the spirit lives on. And there are so many passages that speak of this.

For example, in Job, one of the oldest books of the Bible, if not the oldest, in Job chapter 14, and look with me in verse 14. Here the Bible says, “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes.”

Even this one recognized there was something beyond this life.

And you look a little further in Job 19, look at verse 25 and 26. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.”

In the New Testament, John 11:25-26, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he said on that occasion, I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes on Me, though he die, yet shall he live again.

Indeed, it’s appointed unto man once to die, Hebrews 9:27, but after this the judgment. The spirit of man cannot remain in this world, but goes out of this world.

But finally, let me say that heaven is just as real as hell. If we know there’s a hell for the devil and his angels and all those who would follow him, just as surely there is a heaven for God and his angels and all those who would follow him.

Where else could they go but to be with God in heaven?

And we know hell is as real as the devil, it’s as real as sin, it’s as real as the cross of Jesus, where our sins were paid for. Jesus didn’t die just so we could escape the condemnation of hell; but he was raised up to give us the assurance of eternal life in heaven with God.

1 Peter 1:3-5 reminds us how we’ve been begotten again unto a living hope, reserved in heaven for you. It’ll be out of this world. Undefiled, incorruptible, Peter said.

One Sunday morning in a children’s Bible class the teacher asked her students, How many of you want to go to heaven? And they all raised their hands except one little boy. And she asked him, Why didn’t you raise your hand?

Don’t you want to go to heaven? He said, Oh, yes, but I thought you were getting a bus load to go right now.

Well, now that I’m grown, and especially as I grow older, I have no desire to ever take a rocket into space, but I can hardly wait to go home to be with my God in heaven. How about you? You know heaven is as real as God. It’s as real as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It’s as real as this Bible I have here in my hand today. It’s as real as the word of God. It’s as real as death and hell. And God has done everything so that you do not have to miss out on it. Won’t you trust in him for that today and let us know how we can help you towards heaven?

SINGING>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name,
let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem
and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem
and crown him Lord of all.
Oh, that with yonder sacred throng
we at his feet may fall.
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.

SINGING>> We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else,
all else, and we come to you and worship at your feet.
We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else, all else,
and we come to you and worship at your feet.
And we come to you and worship at your feet.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. We’re interested in your soul. We want you to join us in heaven for all of eternity. I hope that if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and your savior today, that you’ll come to faith in him, that you’ll make that decision to turn away from your sins, that you’ll confess your faith in him as the Christ, the Son of God, and give yourself wholly and completely to him in the waters of baptism, that you might be raised up to walk in newness of life. The Bible says, Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. You can do that today.

We want to hear from you. We want to hear about your decision. We want to help you to be obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me encourage you to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or requests at TTIL, The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

All our materials, our services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know if we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1543 Righteousness Exalts A Nation

There’s been a lot of talking lately about making Americal great again. This is not a political program, but the idea is certainly a biblical one. Any nation on earth can be greater by following the principles of the Bible. Let’s make America great in the eyes of God!

ROBERT >> I’m sure you haven’t tuned in today to hear about Donald Trump and the politics of the day. And I’m not going to do that. I’m not entering into the political debate about what makes a nation great; but I do want to see what the Bible says. If you’re interested, stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment. <br><br>

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, <br> speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love. <br><br>

ROBERT >> God said it long ago: Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people, Proverbs 14:34. <br><br> This is the Bible answer to the question, What makes a nation great? <br><br> And we may look at that from two perspectives today. <br><br> First of all, I want you to see it positively, and then I want you to see it from the negative perspective. Positively, God says righteousness exalts a nation. The very first word of our verse is righteousness. It’s a word that is seldom uttered outside of conservative churches today. You don’t hear our politicians talk about righteousness, and you don’t hear the news media say anything about it. But righteousness has been defined by some as right living. Righteousness is to live righteously, to live rightly before God. And it’s also been defined as a right relationship with God, being right with God. You put these two things together, and we can say that if we have a right relationship with God, then the product of our lives is right living. If we really want to solve the problems of our country today, we must present Jesus Christ as the answer, because it is only through his righteousness that we obtain the righteousness of God. I want to read this passage to you from 2 Corinthians 5:21, where the apostle Paul spoke of obtaining the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. Here he reminds us of the great sacrifice of Christ that was necessary for our righteousness. Here he says, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Yes, righteousness is found in Jesus Christ. The one who knew no sin was made to be sin for us. That is, he became our sin offering. Having paid the price for our sins, we could be made right with God. But now let’s also notice that Jesus defines what it means to live a righteous life. Humankind has a varied idea of righteousness. We could never in a million years agree on what is righteous and what is unrighteous. We’ve all got different opinions and ideas about it. But Jesus sets the standard. And he does that not only by his teachings, but also by his life. I love in Acts the 1st chapter when he describes Jesus among his apostles after his resurrection, and he describes the life that Jesus lived with them on the earth, and he says here in Acts 1:1, Jesus began both to do and teach. Yes, Jesus not only taught righteous living, but he set an example. <br><br> In 1 Peter 2:21, He suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps. Society today, they don’t want a standard. They’ll not even acknowledge that one exists. And this is the main reason that the word of God has been attacked and ridiculed by unbelievers for generations. At the founding of our nation, however, the Bible was held, at least by many, in high esteem. And this is what exalts a nation. <br><br> It’s what makes a nation great. And yet today many are doing everything they can to remove the Bible from our country, to destroy the influence of Christ in our nation. So we’ve looked at the idea of what makes a nation great from the positive standpoint in Proverbs 14:34, where the Bible says that righteousness exalts a nation. But now let’s take a look at the other side of the coin. <br><br> Negatively, the same Proverb says, Sin is a reproach to any people. As surely as righteousness exalts a nation, sin destroys it. <br><br> Today, many people want a God who’s merciful and loving and kind; but the God of mercy and love is also the God of judgment and damnation. People turn away from such a God. But here’s a problem. <br><br> This verse, Proverbs 14:34, is a couplet. It has two parts. And these parts are opposite, they’re contrasting. One cannot be accepted without the other. They stand together as a testimony of God’s unapproachable holiness. The truth is that God will judge sin. He will not wink at it, he will not forget it, and he will not misplace his records. To understand this truth, let’s examine the meaning of the word sin. <br><br> Let’s notice first of all from 1 John 3:4 what the Bible says. “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” <br><br>That’s right. Sin is lawlessness. As a nation loses respect for the law of God, a nation loses then its greatness. America does not demand this greatness of itself anymore. We don’t honor what’s good and right. Contrary wise, we honor and reward the evil and the wrong. <br><br> Look at our culture. The bad guy is now the norm. The good guy is the potential hypocrite who bears watching. The immoral and the ungodly are celebrated while those who speak out about such sinfulness are assailed as intolerant bigots and punished by society. The bad guy has been turned into the good guy, and the good guy has been turned into the bad guy. This has happened before. <br><br> The same kind of confusion about good and evil is what brought God’s judgment upon the nation of Israel. If you go back to Isaiah chapter 5, I want you to hear how the prophet indicted God’s people, the nation of Israel, long ago. <br><br> In Isaiah 5:20, here’s what it says: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” <br><br> We, too, need to take heed to this warning if we want to be great. Sin is a reproach to any people. Sin brings a reproach, whether it’s in the life of the individual or in the timeline of a nation. Israel’s sin, it caused them to go into captivity, their capital city stood in ruins, they were mocked and ridiculed by the other nations, they were disgraced before the world. Don’t think that it cannot happen to America. God is bound to judge sin, and he’ll not turn a blind eye to America’s foolishness. As he judged Israel and the heathen nations, he will also judge us. <br><br> What would God’s personal message to America be? <br><br> If he spoke to us audibly in this day, I believe he’d say, Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. <br><br> What do we do with that? <br><br> I want to leave you with some things today, two facts to remember. Let’s all remember that God is sovereign. We need to remember that no matter what happens, God is still in control of our nation. <br><br> I want you to notice what Daniel said in Daniel 4:25. At the end of that verse he reminds us that, “The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and He gives it to whomever He chooses. Proverbs 21:1 tells us that, The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wishes.” <br><br> We’re to trust in God and not in any man or woman or any party for America and for the world. <br><br> Psalm 46:10, you may remember the Psalmist and where he wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God.” <br><br> To be still means to cast down, to let fall, and it’s the idea of not putting forth exertion. The picture is of letting our hands fall to our sides as we leave matters with God. We’re not to just have a moment of silence or even just be quiet. The purpose is so that we can know God. And to know God means to acknowledge and to comprehend, to discover God. We can’t even begin to know God this way until we become still before him. And this is actually a rebuke, that we’re to quit striving and working in our own self-effort, and submit ourselves to God. <br><br> When it seems that everyone has turned against us, be still, and know that the Lord promised never to leave us or to forsake us, Hebrews 13:5-6. <br><br> When the storms of life, both physical and emotional, are raging about us, be still, the Psalmist says. <br><br> Know that God will be our shelter in any storm that the devil could throw at us. Listen to these reassuring words from the book of Romans. Romans chapter 8. Paul wrote this chapter to encourage the Christian. <br><br> Notice what he says here, Romans 8, beginning in verse 35. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” <br><br> As it is written: For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. <br> <br> “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” <br><br> When our future looks dark and dim, be still and know that God is already there, that there’s nothing that he doesn’t know, that he can’t handle. You might want to open up your Bibles to Psalm 139 and just spend some time there to see how precious you are to God and the many thoughts that God has toward you every day. <br><br> Let’s also notice something else here that we need to remember, and that is that Jesus Christ is the savior. He is the only one. Only he could and only he did pay the price for our sins. <br><br> In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; and no one comes unto the Father but by Me.” <br><br> You see, I couldn’t die for you, and you could not die for me, because we all have our own sins. It took the sacrifice of a perfect one. And so God’s son left heaven to become one of us. <br><br> And having lived a perfect life, he gave himself for us. This is what Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 5:19 when he said that, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses against them. <br><br> John says that Jesus became flesh, and He dwelt among us, in John 1:14. Matthew and Luke both explain how he was born of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. <br><br> And the Hebrew writer tells us that he was tempted like we are, but he was without sin, Hebrews 4:15. “And that being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him,” Hebrews 5:8-9. <br><br> Many great heroes have made great sacrifices for this country of ours; but Jesus Christ made the greatest sacrifice of all for the salvation of all people. I want you to see how the apostle Paul spoke of this and how he reminds us of the wonderful sacrifice that Jesus made for us all. <br><br> In Romans chapter 5, beginning in verse 6, here’s what he writes: “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” <br><br> This is the good news of the gospel as Paul outlined it in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, how that Christ died for us according to the scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised again the third day according to the scriptures. Our faith for this country and this world is not in any man or any woman or in any political party, but it is found in God’s son, our savior, Jesus Christ. Still there are some things that we need to do. We need to pray. And we need to pray diligently. <br><br> Look with me in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, where the apostle Paul reminded the young preacher to remind the Christians of his day first of all to pray. <br><br>In 1 Timothy chapter 2 beginning in verse 1 the Bible says, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” <br><br> Instead of bashing and criticizing and condemning, let’s pray. Let’s give thanks for all people of all nations, for our president, for all other government leaders here and around the world. Now, some of you are going to have a hard time with this, maybe because your man or your woman didn’t win, because we have enemies, because people are evil. Imagine what Timothy thought when he received this letter from the apostle Paul, and Nero, a pagan, a great persecutor of Christians, was king. Pray for that one, he says. And Paul says that we are to do this so that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. That’s the way real Christians live out of respect for God. <br><br> We’re not troublemakers, we’re not seeking a fight, but we do all that we can to get along with others and to please our God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 I think will help us to put all of this together well. <br><br> Here the Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, listen to this promise: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” <br><br> A great nation is a praying nation. Things truly happen when God’s people pray. But let’s also remember that we must be salt and light. Go back with me to Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, where he describes those who make up his wonderful kingdom. And he describes them as the salt and light. <br><br> Here it says, Matthew 5, beginning in verse 14, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. He says you are the light of the world.” <br><br> And notice in verse 13, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” <br><br>. You are the salt of the earth, he says, you are the light of the world. Salt may be used to preserve meat from rotting, and light dispels darkness, exposing and guiding us. We’re to be such a preserving and transforming influence upon this world for Jesus Christ. God told Abraham that he would not destroy wicked Sodom if he could find ten righteous people; but they were not to be found. It is the righteous that will preserve this nation. But we must not let the world influence us; we must influence the world. We’re in the world, but not of the world, as Jesus prayed in John chapter 17. <br><br> When the world gets in the church, we’re all in trouble. But finally, let me say to you today, trust God. Trust God. And I want you to hear these words of faith given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ himself just before going to the cross for the sins of the world. <br><br> In John chapter 14 beginning verse 1, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” <br><br> Yes, Jesus Christ is coming again to take us back home with him. <br><br> He will deliver the faithful. 2 Corinthians 1:10 reminds us about how he delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us, in whom we trust, that he will still deliver us. He has delivered us, he is delivering us, and he will still deliver us. We need to trust God for our deliverance. <br><br> Galatians 1:4 reminds us of the one who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father. <br><br> Yes, as John said in 1 John 5:4, “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” <br><br> And so Jesus promises, Be faithful unto death, and I’ll give you the crown of life. Have you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? <br><br> Have you confessed him as your Lord and your savior? <br><br> Have you given yourself to him in the waters of baptism, turning from sin, to be raised up to live a new life with him? <br><br> If not, I hope that you’ll make that decision for Jesus today and join with all of us who are Christians in being the salt of the earth, the light of the world, to help this nation and this world be great through the power of Jesus Christ. <br><br> If you’ve fallen, if you’ve left the Lord, if your faith is struggling, let us know. Confess this before God, be made right with God. Let us pray with you and for you. Whatever your need, I hope that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today. <br><br>

SINGING>> I know that my redeemer lives and ever prays for me. <br> I know eternal life he gives from sin and sorrow free. <br> I know, I know that my redeemer lives. <br> I know, I know eternal life he gives. <br> I know, I know that my redeemer lives. I know that over yonder stands a place prepared for me, a home, a house not made with hands, most wonderful to see. <br> I know, I know that my redeemer lives. <br> I know, I know eternal life he gives. <br> I know, I know that my redeemer lives. <br><br>

SINGING>> All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give. <br> I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live. <br> I surrender all. <br> I surrender all. <br> All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all. <br> All to Jesus I surrender. <br> Lord, I give myself to thee. <br> Fill me with thy love and power. <br> Let thy blessing fall on me. <br> I surrender all. <br> I surrender all. <br> All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all. <br><br>

ROBERT >> I want to thank you for watching our program today, and we’d really like to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. <br><br> You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv. <br><br> Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. <br><br> Also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. <br><br> All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. And we want to thank the many churches of Christ who help support this program, and encourage you to visit one of them in your area very soon. Their names will be scrolled on the screen at the end of our program. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please, join us next time right here on The Truth In Love. <br><br>

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace. <br> From the toils that bind me it will bring release. <br> Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, <br> showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow. <br> Sing to me of heaven, <br><br>let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. <br> Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, <br> sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all. <br> Sing to me of heaven tenderly and <br> low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go. <br> When my heart is weary, when the day is long, <br> sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song. <br> Sing to me of heaven, <br> let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. <br> Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, <br> sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1542 End Times-The Conclusion

In this final episode in our series on the End Times, Robert reviews the things we learned and appeals to us to be ready for that coming Day of Judgment.

ROBERT >> Thank you for joining us this week on The Truth In Love. For the last many weeks we have been studying Bible Prophecy and the Last Days, examining popular end time teachings with the Bible. This Sunday we want to review those teachings, and we want to summarize what the Bible really says about the end times. I hope you’ll stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> What have we learned about Bible prophecy and the last days?

Well, let’s remember that the last days of Bible prophecy refer to the last period of history. This began with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts chapter 2, and it will continue until Christ comes again on the last day of the last days at the end of the world.

We also learned that there will be no signs of Christ’s coming at the end of the world. The signs that so many talk about mentioned in Matthew chapter 24 would precede the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. They had nothing to do with the end of the world when Jesus comes again. Only God knows when Christ will come at the end of the world. He will come suddenly and unexpectedly like a thief in the night. And therefore, we must always be ready for his coming.

We learned that Christ will not come secretly to rapture just the church, leaving all others behind, no; but rather, when Jesus comes, every eye will see him. The dead will be raised, all will be judged, and this world will be destroyed. There’ll be no great tribulation led by the antichrist destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the world. There have been many antichrists in the world since the first century, and there always will be, according to the scriptures, those who are against Christ.

The world and the church have suffered great tribulation many times, including the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Battle of Armageddon that we read about in the book of Revelation is a symbol, but it’s a symbol for the fall of Rome, the enemy and persecutor who brought great tribulation upon the church in the first centuries. And the many prophecies concerning the restoration of Israel and Judah back to Palestine to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, those were fulfilled in their return from captivity in Babylon long before Christ ever came, and they were fulfilled in the first coming of Christ and the building of his church.

Christ will not come again to the earth to establish the kingdom of God and reign on David’s throne for a thousand years. His kingdom is not an earthly, military, or political kingdom, but a heavenly, spiritual kingdom.

He established his kingdom upon his first coming, after his crucifixion and resurrection when he ascended into heaven to sit on David’s throne at God’s right hand, ruling over his kingdom, the church; and he will continue to reign until the last enemy, death, is put under his feet at his coming and the resurrection of the dead. Then he’ll turn the kingdom over to his Father.

The vision of Gog and Magog in Revelation does not refer to a great military war launched against Christ’s kingdom at the end of the world. It refers to the spiritual battle between Satan and the church. And it assures us that no matter how great an attack Satan may bring against God’s people, he will not be successful.

So let us summarize for just a moment what the Bible really says about the end times. And let’s notice that most of the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled before or with the first coming of Christ and the establishment of his kingdom, the church. This is what Jesus was trying to teach his apostles when he was with them here on the earth after his resurrection.

Read with me in Luke chapter 24 beginning in verse 44. Here it says, “Then He said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the scriptures. Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you’re endued with power from on high.”

Yes, the Old Testament prophets were speaking of Christ and his first coming, his suffering, his resurrection, and the establishment of his kingdom on this earth, the church, with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts the 2nd chapter.

Something else we need to notice: The last book of the New Testament, the book of Revelation. It is especially concerned not with things at the end times, the very end of this world, but things that are going on in the first centuries after Christ.

Notice what we read about it in Revelation 1:1-3. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

So John said at the very beginning of his book that these are things which must shortly take place. These are things which are near, they’re at hand, they’re close by. And you read the book of Revelation, and you see indeed it was about the persecution of the church by the Roman empire in the first centuries after Christ. And not only that, but it assures the fall of that enemy and the victory of the faithful.

In Revelation 1:4 it says, “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia.”

This book was originally written and directed toward those churches of the first century that were then being persecuted.

Look what he said in Revelation 1:9. “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, who was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

It’s clear from this passage that the kingdom of Christ had already been established, that John and those to whom he was writing were fellow companions in this kingdom, and they were going to share in the tribulation of that day.

In Revelation 2:10, notice this promise from Christ: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

Jesus was promising victory to those who would be faithful in the face of the persecution that they were then experiencing and that was only going to get worse.”

We read in Revelation chapter 17 and 18 and 19 and 20 about that great persecutor, Rome, and how that great empire would fall into the dust of the earth, totally and completely defeated; but how that God’s people, who were faithful through all of this persecution and tribulation, would be victorious and share in the reign of Jesus Christ from heaven. I especially want you to notice Revelation chapter 22, and look at verse 6 as John closes out this great story of victory over the enemy of Christ’s church.

He says in Revelation 22:6, “Then he said to me, These words are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.”

Just as at the beginning John made it clear the things he was writing about were shortly to take place, so now having gone through the entire message, he comes to the end and emphasizes that very same point.

We read it also in chapter 22 and verse 10: “And he said to me, Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.”

It was not to be sealed up for some future generations. It was needed for that first-century church and those who would follow soon, suffering the persecution of the Roman empire. It was at hand. It was close by. Something else that we need to emphasize today, and that is that many New Testament passages make reference to the final coming of Christ.

Let’s notice some of those and what they clearly teach us about the second coming of Christ.

Notice John the 14th chapter and the first three verses, where Jesus is with his apostles, and he wants to comfort them, encourage them, and assure them as he is about to go to the cross, and ultimately having died and been raised, to ascend back into heaven and leave them here on the earth. And so this is what he told them before they faced seeing him being tortured and put upon the cross.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also

It’s clear, yes, Jesus Christ is coming again, and he is going to receive us so we can be where he went, into that heavenly realm; not upon this earth, but to live with him forever in that place called heaven.

In Acts 1:9-11, you read where they were gathered with Jesus after his resurrection, and he gave them his last words, and they saw him go up into the clouds. And having seen him disappear into the clouds in the air, the angels standing by told the apostles that he would come again in that very same manner. And so we look for that day when Jesus will return again in the clouds to receive us home to glory.

Read about it with me in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. “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. 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. Yes, Jesus will come again, and he’ll come himself. He’s not going to send a chauffeur to pick us up. But he himself will descend from heaven, and he’ll take us back home to glory.”

All of these passages we’ve been looking at remind us that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophets, and that having done so and made a way of salvation for us through the cross, being raised again that third day, that he will come again to receive us home. But the Bible also clearly teaches us that no one but God will know when Christ will come again.

In fact, Jesus explicitly said so in Matthew 24:36. He had just said in verse 35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” And then he says in verse 36 concerning this day, the end of the world when he comes again, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”

It is true that his coming will be sudden and unexpected without any signs, as he went on to explain in verse 37 of Matthew 24, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

That’s right. Everything will be normal, just like it would be any other day when our Lord comes and takes us away.

In 1 Thessalonians the 5th chapter, notice with me verses 1 through 3, where again the apostle Paul emphasizes this suddenness and unexpectedness of the return of Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians chapter 5, “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”

That’s right. Jesus Christ will come suddenly, he will come unexpectedly. Nobody knows when he’s going to come again.

I want you to notice what’s going to happen when he does on that last day, according to 1 Corinthians chapter 15.

Notice what it says here in verses 23 and 24. And this, by the way, is Paul’s chapter concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resurrection at the last day.

In 1 Corinthians 15:23, “But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. Jesus will come, and it’ll be on the last day when we’ll all be raised, and he’ll then turn the kingdom over to the Father.”

It’s not when he begins ruling and reigning. He began ruling and reigning in Acts chapter 2 when he was seated at God’s right hand. And he’ll continue to reign until he comes again and all are raised, he defeats the last enemy, death, he turns the kingdom over to the Father.

Look at verse 52 of 1 Corinthians chapter 15, where Paul says, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

It’s the last trumpet. It’s the last day. 2 Peter 3:10, Peter speaks of the fact that Jesus will come and put an end to this old world.

And here in this second letter of Peter in chapter 3 and verse 10, we have those words: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

Just as this physical universe had a beginning long ago, so it will come to an end when our Lord returns. And all the dead are going to be raised. Look what John says very clearly in John 5:28-29, as he speaks of that last day of the last days, the very end of this world.

In John 5:28-29, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

So Jesus will come and put this world to an end, and all the dead will be raised, both the just and the unjust. And that having been accomplished, all will be judged, sent to heaven or hell for eternity.

Let me read Matthew 25 as we look at the parable of Jesus concerning his coming again at the end of the world.

In Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.”

And you’ll notice as you go on down in the parable how they’ll be separated. In verse 41, “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

And at the end of that chapter, in verse 46, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

When Jesus comes and all are raised and all are judged, sent to heaven or hell for eternity, at the same time, this world will be completely destroyed, as we read in 2 Peter 3:10. It’ll be no more.

Heaven and earth will pass away, Matthew 24:35. And according to Revelation chapter 20, it will cease to exist.

Look in Revelation chapter 20, where we read about God on the great throne of judgment. And this is what it says here in verse 11. Notice verse 11 with me. “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. And finally, in Revelation 21:1, “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.”

Yes, all of this world will be gone someday, and God will have for us a new habitation, a heavenly one for all of eternity if we’re ready and if we’re prepared for his coming again.

If all of this world is going to be gone one day, doesn’t that make a difference in how we live our lives today?

What are you living for?

Is ti for this world, the things of this world, or are you living for Jesus Christ? Put your trust in him today, the one who died for you, the one who rose again, and the one who wants to come and take you home. Let us know how we here at The Truth In Love can help you towards heaven today.

singing>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name,
let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.
Oh that with yonder sacred throng we at his feet may fall.
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.

ROBERT >> I’d like to thank you for watching our program today. Our interest in our viewers with regard to our program is about eternal salvation. It’s not about money. It’s not about anything like that. We’re interested in your soul. The Bible says that for a person to be saved, they have to first of all believe in Jesus Christ; but not just believe in him generally, you must believe that he is indeed the Son of God.

He said, Except you believe that I am He, you’ll die in your sins,” John 8:24.

But he also said that a person must repent of sins. That means to change your mind about your sinful past, to decide to change your action and live for God. “Except you repent, you will perish,” Jesus said in Luke 13:3.

Paul said that, “God commands all men everywhere to repent,” Acts 17:30.

But the Bible also teaches us that in order to be saved, we have to be willing to verbally confess to others our faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 10:10, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

But even that’s not enough, because the Bible also teaches that a person must be immersed in water to have their sins washed away by the blood of Christ.

Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those who asked what they must do to be saved, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” Acts 2:38.

Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” Mark 16:16.

When a person does that, they don’t earn their salvation. That’s just the moment at which the blood of Christ washes sins.

Revelation 1:5 tells us that it is the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins.

And so Acts 22:16 tells us when that blood washes. “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

I hope you’ll study these things for yourself to see if they be so, and I hope and pray that if you’ve not obeyed the gospel, that you will before it’s eternally too late. If you have questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like information about the lesson today or like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

Or e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

You may call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site, www.ttil.tv.

All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1541 The 1000 Year Reign, Part 5: Gog And Magog

The ancient prophecy of Gog and Magog is a fascinating account that many have thought relate to the end of the world. The Book of Revelation tells us about Gog and Magog, but is this really about the end of the world? The account in Revelation is pulled from more ancient prophecy. What did those prophecies mean? Robert gives us insight in this lesson.

ROBERT >> Thank you for joining us today on The Truth In Love as we continue our series on Bible prophecy and the last days. Today we ask the question, Will the devil gather Gog and Magog for a final attack against Christ’s kingdom? Stay tuned. We’ll be right back.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Some teach that a great evil military force will attack Christ’s kingdom in Israel at the end of the world, but will be completely destroyed by God. The Bible identifies this as Gog and Magog. But will the devil gather Gog and Magog for a final attack against Christ’s kingdom?

Let’s see what the Bible has to say about Gog and Magog and what the Biblical teaching is concerning this attack that we read about in the scriptures.

Notice first of all that Magog was a grandson of Noah we read about in Genesis 10:2. His descendants, according to the table there in the book of Genesis, settled up in the north. But the identity of Gog is quite uncertain. He was an evil entity, and there’s long been a controversy among Bible scholars exactly who Gog refers to; but it’s very clear from Ezekiel’s Gog that we want to read about this morning that he represented a sinister power that came against ancient Israel, but was defeated. According to Ezekiel, Gog lived in the land of Magog and was the prince of Rosh, or the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. These are tribes in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey.

Let me read this to you from Ezekiel 38:1-3. Here the Bible says, “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, or chief prince of Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.”

So here we read about this one Gog in the land of Magog, and we see here that he was this chief prince over these tribes in what we might dub as Asia Minor or modern-day Turkey. Now as you read on in Ezekiel, you’ll notice that he comes against Israel in the last days with a vast army.

Ezekiel chapter 38, let’s read on beginning in verse 4. “I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops – many people are with you. Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you. And so here you see this description of this vast army in the last days coming against Israel.”

Notice, this is at a time when Israel was dwelling in peace, dwelling in safety in cities, the Bible says, without walls. Read it further beginning in verse 10 of Ezekiel 38. “Thus says the Lord God: On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: You will say, I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates – to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder? Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God: On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. And you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days and I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes. Thus says the Lord God: Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?”

Yes, they would come against Israel, and yet there would be a time of safety, they’d be there without walls. What would happen is that God would totally defeat Gog and his armies with great natural disasters so that everybody would know that he is Lord. And that’s what we discover as we continue on through this chapter and on into chapter 39.

If you look with me in Ezekiel 38:18, notice what it says. “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel, says the Lord God, that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.”

And he goes on to describe this tremendous earthquake, the shaking of the earth. Notice also in verse 21, “And I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains, says the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”

Again, this is further described as you go on into chapter 39. We won’t be reading all of those passages this morning. But I want you to notice in all of this that this prophecy is apocalyptic and should not be taken literally. Gog’s identity is something that we’ve already talked about; and it is less significant than what he symbolizes. We may not be able to perfectly identify who exactly Gog is, this sinister evil that comes against Israel, but we see what he symbolizes: Namely, this personified head of the forces of evil intent on destroying God’s people. Notice in the description of this attack, this army is an ancient army with ancient weapons.

Again, Ezekiel 38, let me read verse 21. “I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains, says the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother.”

And you see it further when you look over into chapter 39. Look at verse 3. “Then I will knock the bow of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand.”

And then notice verse 9 of chapter 39. “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years.”

This is not some modern warfare with planes and bombs and all of these kinds of things, but this is an ancient army with ancient weapons. It’s all symbolic of the greater spiritual war that Satan wages against the Israel of God today, the true people of God, the church of God.

We read about this in Ephesians 6:12, where the apostle Paul reminds us that we are in a struggle every day with Satan, temptation, with sin.

In Ephesians 6, let me read how Paul put it here beginning in verse 12. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Those who want to insist on a literal interpretation cannot consistently argue for a modern-day war at the end times as they try to do. There are many indications, as we’ve already seen, that this is symbolic of something greater than what we’re reading about here literally.

Look at the repeated use of the number seven in Ezekiel chapter 39, another indication of the symbolic nature of this prophecy. In chapter 39 verse 9 it says, “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears, and they will make fires with them for seven years. Until they’re completely destroyed.”

And it’s going to take a long time. But again, not to be taken literally, a seven-year fire. That would be impossible. What we’re talking about here is something that is pointing to a greater symbol, a greater spiritual reality. And that’s that war between God’s people and Satan, that spiritual battle that we have to fight.

Notice this in verse 11 and verse 12 of Ezekiel 39. “It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land.”

Again, not literally seven months, not a literal battle, a physical battle, but this is a spiritual battle.

Look at it in verse 14. “They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search.”

These sevens are just another symbolic number showing the nature of this prophecy. Ezekiel had already spoken in his book of the captivity of Judah, how they were taken by Babylon away from their city, away from their land, and then Ezekiel also talked about how they returned back into their land. And he looked for a new day, a new day of peace under the Messiah. This prophecy was a warning, a warning that enemies would attack God’s people again, but no matter how great the enemy, God would defeat them. This was the very same message of all the prophets concerning the Messiah and his everlasting kingdom, the church.

Look with me again at a few passages here from Ezekiel 38. In Ezekiel chapter 38, look at verse 17. “Thus says the Lord God: Are ye he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?”

See, God had always said the prophets had warned continuously that, yes, Satan would bring this awful force against his people. And here in Ezekiel they’re being reminded of this again as they look forward to the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of his kingdom on this earth, his church.

Look further with me in Ezekiel 39:8. Here he says, “Surely it is coming, and it shall be done, says the Lord God. This is the day of which I have spoken.”

All of this was really the promise of Jesus when he built his church. That is, when Jesus came and he promised to build his church, you remember what he said in Matthew 16:18? “Upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

Nothing was going to stop Jesus from establishing his church, and nothing would overcome and conquer his church. It was indeed an everlasting kingdom. And so as we read Ezekiel chapter 38 and chapter 39, we see that Ezekiel is looking at an ancient army coming against Israel, but that army being completely defeated. This is apocalyptic literature, a symbol pointing to a greater spiritual battle of Satan against Christ’s church in the last period of history that began with the establishment of his church, the pouring out of his Holy Spirit recorded for us in Acts the 2nd chapter. Now, the only other place where we read about Gog and Magog is in the book of Revelation. So I want us to turn there and take a look at Revelation 20:7-10.

Revelation chapter 20 borrows the figure from Ezekiel and gives us this picture, Revelation 20, beginning in verse 7. “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 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. They went up on the breadth of the earth, and they surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 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.”

Just like in Ezekiel, this is apocalyptic, not a literal description. No, here Gog and Magog represent the nations of the earth, deceived by Satan, gathered to attack the camp of the saints and the beloved city with a vast army; but God devours them with fire. Now let’s see the context of Revelation 20 particularly in view of the lessons that we’ve had before concerning the thousand-year reign of Christ. If you’ll remember, earlier in Revelation 20 in the first verses John had just described how Satan was totally defeated in his effort to destroy the church through the Roman empire. The Roman empire had been persecuting the first-century saints. That persecution would only grow worse. But eventually the Roman empire would fall into the dust of the earth. But the faithful saints would be totally victorious over them.

Look with me in Revelation chapter 20 beginning in verse 1. “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 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.”

Here in these first three verses we see that Satan was defeated totally in his work through the persecution of the Roman empire. At the same time, we see a picture of a complete victory of the faithful saints over them.

Look in verse 4 of Revelation 20. “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And 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. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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.”

Yes, here is the picture of this complete victory, those martyred saints reigning with Christ, sharing with him in his reign from heaven, their enemy having been defeated, but they enjoying victory until he comes again.

Now, Satan, folks, will never give up on attacking God’s people. Yes, he lost in his efforts through the Roman empire in persecuting God’s church and trying to destroy it; but he’s going to keep trying again and again.

We just read in Revelation 20:3 at the end of that verse how he must be released for a little while. Well, Satan will come and attack the church again and again and again. And this vision here in Revelation 20 concerning Gog and Magog is a vision given to assure all Christians, no matter how great an attack Satan may bring upon the church, God will completely defeat him and ultimately cast him into hell.

Let’s notice that neither Ezekiel nor Revelation speak of a literal military war against the physical nation of Israel at the very end of the world. No, they are both apocalyptic visions given to assure God’s people in this last period of history that he will put every one of Christ’s enemies under his feet.

You remember when Jesus was proclaimed as Lord and Christ in Acts the 2nd chapter, verses 33 through 36?

And when the people heard that, they were cut to the heart. But they were reminded that Jesus Christ now sits at God’s right hand until he puts all enemies under his feet. When they realized that they had put to death their king, their Lord, their savior, they wanted to know what to do to be saved, and they said, what shall we do?

And Peter said,” Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

“That day about three thousand souls gladly received his word and were baptized” according to Acts 2:41.

Listen. Satan will be completely defeated by God in any and every attempt to destroy Christ’s church. And that’s why it’s so important that you’re standing with Jesus Christ today.

Will you put your faith in him?

Will you be baptized into Jesus Christ?

Will you continue to walk with him and stand with him faithful no matter what Satan may bring against you?

And will you let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today?

SINGING>> All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust him,
in his presence daily live.
I surrender all.
I surrender all.
All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender. Lord, I give myself to thee. Fill me with thy love and power,
let thy blessing fall on me.
I surrender all. I surrender all.
All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all.

SINGING>> I know that my redeemer lives and ever prays for me.
I know eternal life he gives from sin and sorrow free.
I know, I know that my redeemer lives.
I know, I know eternal life he gives.
< I know, I know that my redeemer lives.
I know that over yonder stands a place prepared for me,
a home, a house not made with hands most wonderful to see.
I know, I know that my redeemer lives. I know, I know eternal life he gives.
I know, I know that my redeemer lives.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you, so let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

And you may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

Remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven.

So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly
and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary,
when the day is long, sing to me of heaven,
sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.