Who told you to flee from the wrath to come? Find out with hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: October 15, 2022
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Tim Moore: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Blessed Hope, and welcome again to Christ in Prophecy! We have embarked on a series about a very important end times topic, one that God has laid heavy on our hearts — the urgency of the Rapture.
Nathan Jones: Well, so far in our Storm Warning: The Urgency of the Rapture series, our special speakers have covered the end times sign of nature and the spiritual signs, the signs of technology and society, as well as the signs of Israel and world politics, and the recent phenomenon — the convergence of signs. All of these signs, increasing in both frequency and intensity, point to the soon return of Jesus Christ. And so, in the last episode, Jeff Kinley brought us his special message about the urgency of Bible prophecy in our day.
While we so wish we had the time to show you each of our dynamic speakers’ sermons in their entirety, you can watch the Storm Warning Conference on our Christ in Prophecy YouTube channel. And, for those who prefer DVDs, we’re offering the entire album for a donation of $25 or more, and that includes shipping. Check out ordering details in the next segment and on our website at lamblion.com. And, please, share these videos as the time is short.
Tim Moore: And now, I will conclude this series by addressing John the Baptist’s challenge from Matthew 3:7 — “Who Told You to Flee from the Wrath to Come?”
Tim Moore: Well, what a joy it’s been to be here with you today to really celebrate the Lord’s goodness in bringing us to this point in human history. You know, Christians throughout the ages would be righteously jealous of you. Do you ever think about that? They wish they could see and witness what we see and witness right before our very eyes, if we have eyes to see, ears to hear and are discerning.
Our conference theme throughout this day and yesterday evening as well has been “Storm Warning: The Urgency of the Rapture.” The imminence of Jesus coming for us, His bride. My topic this hour will be taken from Matthew 3:7 when John the Baptist asked, “Who told you to flee from the wrath to come?”
You know, Lamb and Lion Ministries has existed for 41 years, thanks to the vision of Dr. David Reagan and the call of the Lord placed on his life. Our mission is to proclaim the soon return of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. And that mission will continue until the Lord calls us home. In doing so, we are following in the footsteps of none other than John the Baptist, who was foretold by Isaiah to be one who would have the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make ready the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.”
Do you ever think about what John the Baptist’s message actually was? It was very straightforward at its core. John the Baptist said, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Now, we could talk about John the Baptist, he was kind of a counter cultural guy, you might say. He liked to dress in camel hair and ate locusts and wild honey. He would not have been accused then or now of worldliness, but his message had a clarity and an urgency that contrasts with the smarmy promises of utopian prosperity in this life. You know, there are a lot of people who are going to wake up soon and realize that the prosperity gospel, as it’s called, offers everything that Satan offered Jesus Christ.
What does the world offer? What are its false promises? Well, it offers health, wealth, success and power. And as Todd said, some of those things for a time are Satan’s to offer. But what a false hope and a false promise they represent. But John the Baptist was not alone in proclaiming this message. Jesus Christ Himself also preached when He began His ministry, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” You know, what’s interesting, it was right after saying these words that He called his disciples to “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” In other words, turn around from the path your life is on and follow after Me on the straight and narrow path.
So, for just a few moments this afternoon, actually, long as I need, because there’s nobody after me, right? For a few moments this afternoon, I want you to consider a few things. I want you to consider the urgency of the message John and Jesus preached. I want you to consider the reason it was timely then and why it is still timely now. I want you to consider the prophetic significance of the timing of Jesus’ first Advent, the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the opportunity that is presented to you today. You say, “Well, I already know Jesus Christ. I’ve already accepted Him as Lord and Savior.” Is that the end of the conversation? Well, you’re still here on this earth. So as Jeff just said, your work is not done, brother and sister. So, let’s consider opportunities the Lord gives to us.
I want you to think back for a moment, 281 years, nobody was here, even our most-seasoned attendee today. But 281 years ago this month, a pastor by the name of Jonathan Edwards preached what is arguably the most famous sermon in American history, it was called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” And Edwards does not have great emotion and bombastic delivery. He just proclaimed the inevitable fate of every person upon whom the wrath of God abides, as Dr. Reagan shared from John 3:36.
You know, today we hear so much about the love, the mercy and the grace of God, and all those are attributes that we have to emphasize, but our God is also holy and righteous and His righteousness will not be mocked. God Himself will not be mocked, and He cannot countenance sin. Rightfully understood His wrath is not something that is merely aroused by unbelief. It abides on those who do not believe in the Son and thereby gain eternal life.
Well, Edwards’ sermon inspired men and women in that day and age to fall out of their pews, crying out for the mercy of God and declaring faith in Jesus Christ. And it led to a revival that is known to this day as a time of Great Awakening. Boy, wouldn’t we like to see a great awakening in our land again today? So, let’s be clear, to repent simply means to turn back as I’ve already said, to turn back from a life of sin and rebellion to the narrow path that Jesus calls us to follow Him along.
I could give a whole sermon on following Him on that path. As a pilot I like to pick out and a point way in the distance and say, “All right, God, I know where you’re taking me.” No, He just says, “Follow Me wherever I lead” because He knows better than I do where those still waters are, where those good pastures are, and He leads me and you like a good shepherd, as long as we repent. And again, that’s exactly what John the Baptist and Jesus called people to do. And this repentance is not to be taken lightly. It is motivated by a deep sense of regret or contrition. It says if a person realizes that they’re speeding toward a cliff and they abruptly stop and change course. But to the world, oblivious to the peril that lies ahead, such a reversal seems absolutely unnecessary or even insane. But if disaster lies ahead, turning back is the sanest thing a person can do.
Let’s think about it. There are all sorts of things that come across as warnings. You’ve heard Amber Alerts this weekend. If your phone is on, I promise you, an urgent warning of a critical need. Well, there’s all sorts of other warnings that we have in this life. Throughout the Midwest there are sirens that go off any time a tornado is coming by. They have the same kind of sirens in Hawaii to warn of tsunamis that are approaching. These are located in every coastal area of the world today. Military bases have sirens of an impending attack. I’ve heard many of them given as exercise alarms.
How would you like to have woken up to this message on your phone? This happened this last year in Hawaii when this occurred at 8:07 on a Saturday morning. “Warning. Emergency. Ballistic missile threat inbound. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” Now, why didn’t more people have heart attacks? Because who’s awake at 8:00 on Saturday morning in Hawaii? But can you imagine the panic that this would cause if you recognized that this was real and that that warning was absolutely urgent? And yet the world, ah, the world goes about its business, absolutely ignorant, or seeking shelter that is ridiculously inadequate.
Like ole Wile E. Coyote right here, they’re like a people or a person that might be falling to earth without a parachute, saying, “So far, so good. So far, so good.” But the end is coming, and it’s coming soon. The fate that awaits people, even who are blissfully ignorant, is too horrific to imagine. Perched on the edge of eternity, they sometimes are oblivious of the peril that they’re in, even if they’re causing their own fate.
Well, as I’ve said, both Jesus and John declared that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Why was that a timely message then, and is it or why is it a timely message now? I’ll ask this in another way, how did John know that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand in his day and age? Well, first of all, we know that John was filled with the Holy Spirit. When? From his very conception. So much for the idea that human beings don’t gain personhood until they take their first breath. The Lord God declared that while he was still in the womb, John leapt in the presence of a Lord Jesus Christ. He knew that point and forward that he had a special call upon his life, and he preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins with great urgency. We know that Jesus came to John to be baptized, not because He needed to seek forgiveness for any sin that He had actually done, but because, as He said, it was fitting to fulfill all righteousness. Whose righteousness was Jesus modeling as he appealed to John to permit him to be baptized? Yours and mine. Our righteousness was being modeled by Jesus Christ, even as He testified through baptism. And in the fullness of His time on the Earth, Jesus paid for our righteousness by suffering in our place on Calvary. Well, Jesus and John both declared that the Kingdom of God was at hand then, and yet it is still coming in its ultimate fullness. And yet this is in itself another example of an already, but not yet, prophetic fulfillment. That is why we are told that when Jerusalem is renamed Yahweh Shammah, meaning the Lord is there, Jesus will reign as King and be called Yahweh Tsidkenu, His righteousness He earned will become His title forever: The Lord, our Righteousness.
So as a prophetic ministry, we often point to the coming of the Kingdom of God, the coming Kingdom that will consist first of the earthly reign of Jesus Christ during the Millennium but will be followed by an eternal kingdom where sin and death are destroyed forever. Can you only imagine? Can you only imagine? God Almighty, who says “I make all things new,” giving you not just a new body, a new mind, a new heart, but making all things new.
We recently interviewed Joni Eareckson Tada. That program will air tomorrow. I pray that you are able to watch. I pray you will watch online streaming. Joni is such a joy-filled witness to the joy of the Lord. This lady who has been wracked by pain that is unimaginable, every day she wakes up in excruciating pain, but her heart overflowing with joy. Does that describe you? Boy, what a blessing she was. I hope we have that same kind of enthusiasm in praising our Lord. You need to watch the program.
So, what is the prophetic significance of the timing of Jesus’ first advent? You know, when He read from Isaiah 61 in the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim the release of the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who were oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” And closing the book or the scroll, He sat down and said what? “Today the Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Now pointedly, if you go back to the original passage in Isaiah, Jesus stopped reading at what we would call the first half of Isaiah 61:2. The portion of the verse that He did not read goes on to say, “And the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.” Obviously, Jesus was saying that a portion of Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled literally in the hearing of the men there in Nazareth. But the remainder of that passage would await fulfillment at another time. Now remember, Jesus’ message began and was the same as John the Baptist’s. Mark recorded it this way. “The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
I’ll give you three insights just from this one verse. First of all, the prophecies concerning the kingdom, regarding the appearance of the Messiah had come true. He was there in the flesh, in person.
Two, there had been a time set by God for those prophecies to come to pass, and it had finally arrived, praise the Lord, within the hearing of those people gathered there and in that synagogue in the middle of nowhere. When you come to Israel, I love to go to the Galilee. I tell people, being from Kentucky, I feel right at home because back in that day and age that was like going to the hillbilly country. What good thing can come out of Nazareth? Who in Galilee has any insight or discernment? Those people are backward. And yet that’s where the Lord came. And that’s where most of his ministry was performed. He came from glory in humility to the most lowly, including me.
But the third point I bring up from this passage is that the pathway to true reconciliation with God, the Gospel itself, was now open. Well, we can simply say that the long wait for his arrival was fulfilled as He spoke, but I think there is a prophetic significance to the timing of His first advent. For example, and I can give you many others, and this is worthy of a whole hour of which I won’t take right now. But the canon of Old Testament scripture at that point was closed. There’d been a long period with no word from the Lord in terms of Scripture. The oppression and persecution of the Jewish people was greatly increased. They were crying out much like they had done while living in bondage in Egypt. Hope and the expectation of the true Messiah were beginning to fade. How do I prove that? Because only two people are documented as having been looking for the Messiah, the real Messiah, not some political figure, not some military figure who would lead them to cast off Roman shackles, but the true Messiah —Simeon and Anna.
And finally, we know that a historical window was narrowing. What window? Well, the scepter would soon depart from Israel. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that right after Jesus’ birth in A.D. 70, the Romans removed the power of the Sanhedrin, something Dave talked about earlier to pronounce the death penalty. They had lost complete sovereignty, even over their own affairs, which is why they had to come to Pilate’s seeking permission to put the Messiah to death. And genealogy at that point was still traceable. In A.D. 70, when the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem, those genealogical records were lost to history.
Now, you could say, well, God could have delayed, He could have controlled, He certainly could. He was not limited. But certainly, as He allowed human history to move forward, the Messiah came during that window of opportunity. Why? Because the appointed time had arrived. Again, God is not constrained by history, but He weaves His will and His plan into human history as we know it. And you and I just have the blessing of being able to see again the fulfillment of Bible prophecy that Christians for 2,000 years have longed to witness.
If you go back 100 years and read some of the writings of people who are looking forward to, yearning, the Lord’s return, they said, I can’t imagine how Israel is going to come back about as an independent nation, but I trust the Word of God it’s going to happen. Don’t know how he’s going to do it. Those Jews are so happy in places like Germany and Hungary. But the Lord has accomplished a mighty work, in the day and age of some of the people sitting in this room. The churches realize what was happening before our very eyes, or are we too distracted? Well, again, with only Simeon and Anna eagerly anticipating the Messiah’s arrival when Jesus was born, the principle of an appointed time was laid down long before.
Consider Abraham. Abraham, who was looking for a city whose architect and builder is God, and the reality of God’s perfect timing was spoken in His life when our pre-incarnate Lord said to him at the appointed time, “I will return to you.” I like to talk about Abraham as an exemplar in a whole different message. He never witnessed all the promises of God fulfilled in his life, but he believed. He said, “Even if he tarries, I know He will keep His promises to me.” Promises for descendants that outnumber the stars, promises for a city, even though this man lived in a tent his entire life. Abraham was a man with absolute faith.
Well, this appointed time for Jesus’ return has been set by who? By Tim Moore? No. As I’ve said, he would have already been here. Aren’t you glad I’m not the one who decides? Yeah, because maybe you would not have trusted in Christ. Or maybe this young man would not have had the opportunity to embrace Jesus as his Savior. The person who determines the appointed time is none other than the Father Himself, who will say, “Go and get your bride.”
The next thing I want to recognize is the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the reality that we are all sinners in need of a savior. We accept the Gospel as proclaimed by Jesus and His disciples. The faith which was once for all handed down to the saints, Jude 1 tells us. And what is that good news? That Jesus, through His coming in a sacrificial death, has assured us that our sins can be forgiven, although they are deserving of condemnation. This eternally good news is available to all who have sinned and deserves God’s condemnation. But through Christ, we can be reconciled with Him and be assured that we will live with God forever.
So, if we put our faith in Him, what are we to do while we’re left in this earth? Just wait in limbo until he calls us to himself? No, we are told to be, as I said already, fishers of men. “How can we do that?” you say. “I don’t have the skills. I don’t have the ability.” Well, consider the power that came upon this ragtag bunch called Disciples when the Holy Spirit descended upon them. The Lord said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, even to the remotest part of the Earth.” And let’s be very frank, those fellows didn’t reach the remotest part of the Earth in their day and age, but this promise is echoed forward through the centuries, and now we have the privilege of helping ensure that the remotest parts of the Earth, every tribe, tongue, and nation is hearing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we are on the verge of reaching every people group.
Well, I’m encouraged that there are some who demonstrate this kind of tough faith. The people who take seriously Jesus’ charge in Matthew 16, that we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. He said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it. Whoever loses his life, for My sake will find it.”
I’m reminded of the 21 young men who were marched out to a beach in Libya by ISIS terrorists and had their throats slit and their heads cut off. You know, the fact of the matter is, 20 of them were Christians. One of them was not. But he was marched out with the others. And as the story goes, all 20 Christians were given the chance to recant their faith in Jesus Christ, and they would not. And one by one, they were slaughtered. Finally, the 21st young man was asked, “So what about you?” He could have been saved. But he said, having witnessed the boldness and the confident faith of those 20, he said, “I, too, will put my trust in Jesus Christ,” and he was killed on the spot. Are you motivated by their lack of fear and their bold confidence in their eternal destination? Again, Jesus Christ called us to be fishers of men and to serve the living God, even if it leads to death at the hands of evil men on a Libyan beach. How can we have this kind of confident faith? Because we serve a risen Savior.
And that brings me to the point of my entire presentation and what I want you to walk away from here today thinking about. You know, folks, a storm is brewing and not just in our nation. We’re so American centric we think that the whole world revolves around USA. But the whole world is going into a period of increasing darkness and a storm is coming. The tempest of God’s holy wrath is about to be unleashed upon the world. And already even those who are spiritually undiscerning are beginning to realize that something is terribly amiss.
But I’m reminded, do you remember when Elijah sent his servant during a time of great drought, to look and see what was happening over the Mediterranean Sea? Six times a servant came back and said, “There’s not a cloud in the sky.” But the seventh time he said, “There’s a tiny cloud as small as a man’s hand coming up from the sea.” And the great prophet recognized that a storm was brewing and that rain would soon sweep over the land in a torrent. And he ran ahead of the downfall, outrunning even Ahab in his chariot.
Folks, a storm has been brewing in our nation and around the world for many years. We see signs of the times all around us, and some do recognize there is a spiritual dimension to this. They somehow sense, and the world is inclined to react in one of two ways, either willful ignorance or seeking comfort in false hopes. While too many fail to realize the truth that we should be sharing, and that is this: Almighty God is preparing to pour out His indignation and wrath upon the whole Earth, not just our country. And there will be no safe harbor, no port to weather this storm, save one. That safe harbor is at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. And unless a person comes in repentance to accept Christ as their Savior, the wrath of God will pour over them. Those who do accept Christ will ground themselves on a rock that cannot be moved even as the storms of this life rage. As the writer of Hebrews says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” But we are not simply meant to build our own house on the rock and hunker down and wait. We are to be sending out light to all those who are being swamped in the darkness.
Nathan Jones: Well, we hope that this Storm Warning: The Urgency of the Rapture series has been a blessing to you and has helped you understand how vital it is that Christians get the hope-filled message of Jesus Christ’s soon return out to a lost and dying world. Billions of people will be going to Hell without ever having accepted the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, rise up, Church, for the time is short! Proclaim to the world that God has sent own His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, and that He beat death so that we can share in His victory. God promises that everyone who in faith and repentance calls on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. We must all grab hold of that promise.
Tim Moore: Until next time, whether here or in the air, look up and be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near. Godspeed!
End of Program