Let us have grace…
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
As we continue our study through Revelation and learn about the future time of transition and tribulation, we get a glimpse of just how terrible that time will be. The trumpet judgements in Revelation 8 and 9 are truly terrifying, yet the outpouring of God’s wrath is not complete.
But we do know that at the end of the book of Revelation, Jesus says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” In response, John says, “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!” Knowing what he knew—knowing what would have to happen in order for Jesus to come again—he still said, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
And until He returns, until His kingdom comes—a kingdom that will not be shaken—let us have grace. Let us have grace so that we can turn away from sin and run towards a loving God who uses wrath for the purposes of repentance.
Let us have grace that motivates us to reach the lost and rescue them from the future tribulation.
And let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
Revelation 8-9 - The Trumpets Sound
An earthquake is a terrible event. When the first tremor strikes, there’s nothing you can do but drop, cover, and hold on until it’s over. And when the ground is finally done shaking, you quickly discover what structures still have integrity and which ones had a poor foundation.
In Revelation 8 and 9, we discover what material and philosophical foundations will remain as God shakes what can be shaken in the trumpet judgements. This shaking isn’t just limited to the earth. As we read in Hebrews 12, heaven will also be shook, giving mankind an even greater incentive to repent. Unfortunately, some will still refuse. But what remains after this shaking will be a kingdom which can never be shaken.
Listen to our study of Revelation 8 and 9 and wonder at God’s ability to shake what can be shaken.
A Great Multitude…
This great multitude of people from every nation, tribe, people, and language will stand before the throne of God. Unfortunately, the only way they made it out of the tribulation was by being martyred—killed for their faith in Jesus.
There will be terrible temptations during the tribulation to turn away from God and give your allegiance to the Antichrist. That allegiance will be an irreversible, irrevocable, and eternal decision. Please do not think, “I’ll just wait until it’s obvious and this so-called ‘rapture’ takes place.” If you find it difficult to live for Jesus now, what makes you think that you’ll have to courage to die for Jesus then?
Make your decision today for Jesus and be sealed by Him for all of eternity (see 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 and Ephesians 1:13, 4:30). Because soon and very soon Jesus will return to pick up those He purchased with His blood—those who are sealed and genuinely His. He wants you to be His. He wants to be with you forever. He has gone to the most incredible lengths to save you so that He could be with you.
The way to be saved hasn’t changed since last week! God’s plan for salvation is the same. His Word is clear—if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. You can do that right now! Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as Lord.
Revelation 7 - Wrath Mixed With Mercy
As we continue our study in Revelation, we’ve been considering the wrath of God—its power, purpose, and place in history and the future. The prophet Habakkuk asked God to remember mercy when He poured out wrath (Habakkuk 3:2). We see both the wrath of God and the mercy of God in the book of Revelation—sometimes in ways we wouldn’t have imagined. In His infinite wisdom, God administers His wrath with the included purpose of bringing people to eternal repentance.
Last week, we discussed the question asked in Revelation 6:17: who is able to stand on the great day of God’s wrath? This past Sunday, we were introduced to two groups who will be able to stand on that great day—a numbered multitude and an innumerable multitude.
Listen to Sunday’s study of Revelation 7 as we discovered the identities of these two groups and how they will be able to stand.
Who is Able to Stand?
Make no mistake about it—the period known as the Tribulation will be the worst time in human history…in every category. When the Restrainer—the Holy Spirit—is removed, sin will flood in and saturate everything in society on a path of death and destruction.
Things will be so bad, so rotten, and so despondent, that the world leaders will cry out—but not to God. Hidden in their mountain bunkers, they will cry out to the rocks that surround them to fall on them to hide from the wrath of God—“For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
It’s a great question to ask—sooner rather than later. It’s the question we all need to answer—better to answer it now in advance of that great day. For there will be a day when God finally says, “Enough is enough!”
Will you be able to stand on that day?
God’s word says that there is a way to be delivered from God’s wrath. There is a way to be able to stand before God. Jesus—The Way, The Truth, The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.
If you haven’t already done so, receive Jesus today. God’s Word says if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. You can do that right now! Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as Lord.
On Sunday, we restarted our study in the book of Revelation. Picking up where we left off in chapter 6, we considered what will happen when the Holy Spirit is removed and sin is allowed to fully saturate society. We looked into the future with John as the next two seals were opened—and it isn’t pretty. As bad as things are today, it pales in comparison with a world saturated with sin. It will be the worst time in human history—even Jesus warned about how dark this time would be (see Matthew 24).
But take heart! There is a way to be delivered from God’s wrath. Listen to our study from Revelation 6:9-17 and learn how to be able to stand before God.
The book of Acts chronicles the birth of the church—believers coming together being the body of Christ. In Acts 2:42, we read specifically what they did when they came together—a model we strive to follow to this day:
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
They studied what the apostles taught. They shared life together. They broke bread with each other—during meals and in communion. And they prayed. Studying God’s Word, fellowship, communion, and prayer—these are not a holy to-do list that we check off every week. These are things we strive to do out of hearts overflowing with love and appreciation for our Lord. It might not seem like much, but it’s all we really need.
Notice the key phrase at the beginning of this short list…”they continued steadfastly.” These believers were resolutely firm and unwavering in these things. Should we be any less?
This year, it would be good for us to be steadfastly committed to developing daily Godly disciplines. Read your Bible. Talk to God. Tell someone honestly how you are doing when asked. Have communion. And continue steadfastly as you follow Jesus.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Vision Sunday 2020
On the first Sunday of every year, we review the history, vision, purpose, and practice of Calvary Chapel Saint Cloud to confidently answer these questions:
What are we doing? Why are we doing it? What does it look like?
Year after year, this study hasn’t really changed—but we sure have! As we behold the glory of God in the face of Christ, the Spirit of God transforms us from the inside out (2 Corinthians 3 and 4). That’s a promise God makes and fulfills through His Word.
And so we turn again to His Word to find the answers to the important questions asked above.
Listen to our study from Sunday as we reviewed God’s vision for God’s church.
Let Not Your Heart be Troubled
What troubles your heart today? Maybe it’s current events. Maybe it’s past or present hurts that come from living in an imperfect world with death, disease, and disappointment. Or maybe it’s the anticipation of difficult days ahead.
Whatever the burden you’re carrying, consider the words of Jesus: “Let not your heart be troubled…” But how? Doesn’t Jesus know what we’re going through? Doesn’t He see what’s going on? Doesn’t He care?
YES! He knows. He sees. He cares. And it’s because He knows all, sees all, and cares about all the details of your life that He gives you the key for settling a troubled heart—“…you believe in God, believe also in Me.”
Because of His faithfulness, we can choose to believe Him. You have the ability to set your troubled heart at rest by believing in God. You see, belief isn’t just storing information in your brain. It’s a choice that you can make every day—a choice that leads to hope and a settled heart.
God makes that choice a little easier for you because of who He is, what He has said, and what He has done. You have the word of the prophets made more certain on this side of their exact fulfillment. Even more, you have the words of Jesus Himself—words of hope and a promise to return to bring you to the place He has prepared for you so you can be with Him forever!
“Let not your heart be troubled,”
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth
But one step I may see:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends
Strengthened by grace is the Bible Teaching ministry of Pastor Dominic Dinger.
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