- Pastor Steve Conley
Jesus is Coming Again Part 3
The Holy Scriptures have painted a good picture of the time to come. Let's now consider what we know about the final seven years of this age.
· The Antichrist confirms a covenant with the people of Israel beginning the seven-year period.
· The Antichrist' lust for power will initiate a period of world war, famine, pestilence, and death after which he will rule over a new world order.
· Michael the archangel who is currently hindering the working of Satan ("the mystery of iniquity") shall fight a war with Satan and his angels in heaven and cast them out freeing Satan to reveal the man of sin (the Antichrist) in the Temple in Jerusalem. By this, the Temple is defiled ending the Jew's daily sacrifice and oblation.
· There will be a great departure from the Christian faith because of deception and persecution. Many true Christians will be betrayed unto death by those in close relationship to them.
· The Great Tribulation will begin when the Antichrist stands in the temple and demands to be worshiped as God. He shall require that the whole world worship him receiving his mark without which no one can buy or sell. Those who refuse to worship him will have their heads cut off.
· Most of the Earth's population will be deceived by the miracles done by the false prophet and will worship the Beast taking his mark in their right hand or forehead.
· The slaughter of true Christians will be so great that God shortens those days to save some of the elect alive at His coming.
So, what happens next?
Jesus tells us that:
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. (Mar 13:24-27)
Jesus says that after the Great Tribulation the sun, moon, and stars go dark. This is what the Prophet Joel said would precede the Day of the LORD.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. (Joel 2:31)
When the slaughter of Christians becomes so great that it seems as though the Beast will kill every last one remaining upon the earth, God intervenes. There is a great earthquake affecting the whole earth. Everything goes dark. The whole earth sees Jesus and the armies of Heaven (the angels) coming in the clouds.
Jesus tells His persecuted saints:
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luk 21:28)
Those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord look up because their rescue has come. The deliverance that Daniel the Prophet foretold is at hand.
...and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Dan 12:1-2)
Every born again child of God that is left alive is caught up, raptured, to meet Jesus in the clouds. At the same moment, all the dead in Christ shall be raised. God, at that time, resurrects all the saints who have died.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1Th 4:15-17)
This is the blessed hope and glorious appearing (Titus 2:13) that every true child of God looks for. In the darkest hour, Jesus sends his angels and gathers His elect to himself.
However, when the sun, moon, and stars go dark and Jesus appears in the heavens the unbelievers who have worshiped the Beast and persecuted the saints will wail in grief, run, and hide.
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Mat 24:30)
John describes seeing this:
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev 6:12-17)
This time has been one long party to those who have worshiped the Beast, but the Day of the LORD has caught them like a thief in the night.
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1Th 5:2-3)
The very same day that Jesus catches up His saints, His wrath begins to be poured out upon those who dwell upon the earth.
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)
I think we have almost enough information to answer the question: Why is God so angry? However, there is one other important thing to look at that will make it all more clear.
Revelation Chapters 17 and 18 identify a mystery city (Rev. 17:18) that God has called “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." To understand what city this is we must pay close attention to what is said about her. John says that she (the city) was "drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." This city or its inhabitants will be and/or have been responsible for the murder of Christians. Revelation 18:24 says "in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." This city is said to be responsible for the murders of prophets, saints, and all those slain upon the Earth.
During the Great Tribulation, what city will be responsible for the deaths of the saints? What city does the Antichrist rule from? What city are the two witnesses slain in? What is the only earthly city which is called great in the book of Revelation? What city was Jesus crucified in? What city did Jesus say the blood of all the prophets from the foundation of the world would be required upon? What is the city of the people who killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and persecuted the apostles? What city did Jesus say that a prophet cannot perish outside of? What city did Jesus charge with killing the prophets? The following verses give us the single answer.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (Rev 11:7-8)
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. (Rev 16:6)
Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation. (Luke 11:47-51)
Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: (Act 7:52)
Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: (1Th 2:15)
Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Luke 13:33-35)
The answer to each of those questions is the same, it is eschatological Jerusalem.
The angel that spoke to John called the city the great whore and said that the kings of the Earth have committed fornication with her and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. Jerusalem is called a whore, because the Jews who dwell there have forsaken their God, Jehovah, to worship another. The city represents the people of Israel who are no longer faithful to the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Isaiah the prophet cried out:
How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. (Isa 1:21)
Instead of being the faithful wife of the one true God Jerusalem will embrace the Antichrist. Having rejected their one true Messiah, Jesus Christ, two thousand years ago, the Jews will believe the Beast is their longed-for Messiah. Jesus said that "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (Joh 5:43) referring to the Antichrist. Since the Antichrist defeats many of the presently Muslim nations (Dan 11:40-45) which are the enemies of Israel, the Jews will herald him as their Messiah. It is the exuberance of their worship of the Antichrist that causes the nations to worship him also. The inhabitants of the Earth are made drunk with the wine of Jerusalem's worship of this man. The world will look to him as the greatest leader that has ever been. He will have all the answers. They say "Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"
(I want to interject here that, although the Scriptural evidence appears compelling, it is entirely possible that this future city is Mecca or another like it that is yet to come. The proposed city of NEOM could very well be this city that rides the Beast. No matter what city it is, it is complicit in the persecution of the saints and therefore will receive God's wrath.)
I think we have enough information now to answer the question: Why is God so angry? Why is it that when Jesus returns to the earth as He promised He comes with vengeance?
God is angry, because the nation he chose to call His own and bless unlike any other, the nation of Israel, has forsaken Him and is worshiping the Antichrist and Satan who gives the Beast his power. God is angry, because the Beast, the False Prophet, and all those who have taken his mark are persecuting and killing His saints. God is angry, because that after 6000 years of human history, in which God has given mankind ample time to repent, the majority of mankind still loves their sin more than the Lord God. God is angry, because after He gave that which was most precious to Him, God’s only Son, to save rebellious mankind from destruction, Jesus was rejected. God is angry, with the wicked every day and when the Day of the LORD comes His time of patience is over.
Jesus is Coming Again, Are you ready?
Can I ask you a personal question? Seeing what the Bible says will take place in the future, where do you see yourself? When the Antichrist stands in the Temple in Jerusalem and demands to be worshiped as god will you save your life by taking his mark and worshiping him or will you be among the hundreds of millions who love Jesus and would rather die than deny Him? If the Day of the LORD comes in your lifetime will it be the day of your rescue or the day of God’s wrath upon you?
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (2Th 1:7-9)
Believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ, He wants to save you today.
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Heb 9:28)
He came the first time two thousand years ago, as a baby in a manger, only to grow up and offer Himself as the propitiation or payment that satisfies the justice of God concerning our sins. All those who put their full faith and trust in Him are saved from the eternal consequence of their sins.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1Co 15:3-4)
…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom 10:9-13)