So many wars and natural disasters! Is there any hope for this world? Find out with speaker Ed Hindson on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Air Date: September 24, 2017
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Dr. Reagan: We live in a world that is growing increasingly dark. Immorality and violence are multiplying exponentially. And the threat of war seems to loom over almost every continent. Is there any hope for this world? Stay tuned for a fascinating and encouraging message about the hope that we have as believers in Jesus.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Each year our ministry sponsors a Bible conference that is held in the Dallas, Texas area in mid-July. In 2017 our conference theme was “Living with Hope in the End Times.” The keynote speaker at the conference was Dr. Ed Hindson. He is the Dean of the School of Divinity at Liberty University, but don’t let that scare you, because, as you will see, he knows how to communicate. Dr. Hindson is the author of more than 40 books, and he serves as the featured speaker on the King is Coming television program. In response to the theme of the conference, “Living with Hope in the End Times,” Dr. Hindson presented a sweeping overview called, “The Believer’s Exciting Future.” Here now is Dr. Hindson.
Dr. Hindson’s Presentation
Dr. Hindson: Now what I want to do tonight is talk to you about the believers exciting future, and I want to pick up our theme of hope in the end times. I don’t need to remind this audience that we are facing some of the most precarious times in the history of the Western world. Certainly some of the most precarious times in American history; that the whole future of our nation in many senses is really at stake. And we can focus on the problems, the challenges, and the need of the hour. And sometimes if we get over focused on that, we forget what our real goal is, what our real destiny is. And I’m reminded of the words of the Apostle John who in the third chapter of his letter said that, “We know that when He appears we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. And he that has this–” What? “Hope in Him purifies himself even as He is pure.” There is something about the hope of the coming of Christ that gives us hope for the challenges of life here below.
It’s interesting to me in 50 years in the ministry I’ve discovered that everybody wants to go to Heaven; and nobody is in a hurry to get there. If the destination is so great why do we go kicking and screaming? I heard a joke recently where a guy and his wife turned 50 and they were starting to age a little bit. And she said, “You know what we need to do? We need to go on a healthy diet. We just need to eat health food. We’ll live a lot longer if we eat health food.” So, she put him on a strict diet. It was like poppy seed, and asparagus and all kinds of awful stuff. They are on that diet for a couple of years. In fact they were on the diet for ten years, and she was just sure they were going to live a long time. And one day they were driving along on the highway, they got hit by a truck, killed them both. They got up to Heaven and they walked in, and man, there was food everywhere. And you could eat and not gain weight. There were golf courses all over the place. There was all kinds of fabulous stuff. And she looked at him and said, “Isn’t this great!” And he goes, “Yeah, and if it wasn’t for you and that darned health food we could have been here ten years ago!” Remember the destination. If Heaven is real, as we believe it is, then we ought to have a driving compassion to want to be there. Not to rush the timing of God, but to anticipate all that the Lord has for us.
Now, of all audiences, you’re well taught. I don’t need to remind you that the next major event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture of the Church; the rapture of the Believers. There are a lot of things that might happen before the Rapture occurs. But there is nothing that has to happen before the archangel shouts, and the trumpet sounds, and we’re out of here to the glory of God. The belief in the Rapture is a fundamental truth of Bible theology. And yet, so many people today are abandoning a belief in the Rapture. I was sitting in a church where a friend of mine of another denomination was the pastor, he was preaching an entire sermon against the Rapture. And after about 50 minutes he said, “And so we see there never will be a Rapture. All we have to look forward to is trouble, trouble, and more trouble.” He ended the sermon and his own congregation moaned right out loud. Now you’ve got to hit Presbyterians real hard to get anything out of them, let alone a moan. I was tempted to stand up in the back and shout, “Therefore comfort one another with those words.” But I didn’t. I talked to him after the service. I said, “Wilson, look, I know you are an Amillennialist, I get it. But, we both know there has to be a Rapture. There has to be a time when the dead are raised, and the living are caught up. We just differ on when it’s going to happen.” So, don’t let people say to you, “Oh, there’s never going to be a Rapture.” No, there has to be a Rapture, or the Bible is not true. There has to be a time when the archangel shouts, when the trumpet sounds, and the dead in Christ are raised. And then we which are alive and remain are what? Caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
You’ll hear people today say, “Well, the word Rapture is not in the Bible. So why should I believe in the Rapture, it’s not in the Bible? I’ve looked in the concordance I can’t find the Rapture anywhere?” Right, because it’s translated what? Caught up. It’s in the Greek New Testament, “harpazo.” You say, “Wow, that’s a Greek word! What does that mean?” Zap, you’re out of here, to the glory of God. That’s what it means. I would remind us the word Trinity is not in the Bible, but we believe in the triune God, the co-equal deity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but the word’s not in the Bible, the concept is. The word Sunday is not in the Bible but we worship on Sunday as the Lord’s Day because that’s when the early Church assembled, etcetera. A concept can be taught in scripture whether the word appears there in English or not.
Now I would remind us that promise of the Rapture that is found in several places, but that key passage in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. If you read the book of Acts the Apostle Paul went to Thessalonica on his second missionary journey. How long did he stay there? Three weeks. That’s all. Three weeks. When he got there, there were no Christians in that town. The town still exists I’ve been there in Greece today. When he got there, there were no believers. He preached the Gospel. People were saved. He planted a church. He taught them the basics of Bible theology. And three weeks later he left town and went to the next place. Later he writes the first and second letter to the Thessalonians to help them clearly understand that even if you died since I’ve preached this, about six months earlier or so, that doesn’t mean you’ve missed the Second Coming. No, when we die your spirit goes to Heaven to be with the Lord. Absent from the body is what? Present with the Lord.
The body however goes to the grave, to the dust or the ashes of time or whatever, but the promise of the resurrection in that passage is because we believe that Jesus died, and He rose again. Well how did He rise? Literally. Bodily. Physically. In a glorified body, yes, but in a real literal body. So that He could say to the disciples, “Touch Me and see that I’m real. Thomas, put your finger in the nail print and be not be faithless but believing.” Somebody asked me once, “Do you think there will be anything manmade in Heaven?” I thought about that for a moment, and I think the answer is, yes. If nothing else those wounds of Christ, the nail prints in His hands and feet. For after the resurrection in a risen glorified body He still had the nail prints that shout to us for all eternity, I love you. I love you. I love you. I did it all for you. When you and I step from earth to Heaven one day the hand that reaches out to welcome you home will probably be that nail pierced hand of the Savior who will remind us, I did it all for you.
Somebody told me earlier tonight in the hallway, “You know when we get to Heaven people talk about meeting their dad, and their mom and their relatives and their friends. Man, I’m going to be so excited to see Jesus I don’t care if I see anybody else. It’s really all about Him.” When He appeared to John on the Island of Patmos as we heard about earlier in the song. John remember was His own personal disciple; the one that sat next to Him at the Last Supper. The only disciple who showed up at the cross. The one to whom Jesus entrusted the earthly care of His mother. And yet, John said, “When I saw Him in all of His glory, and all of His majesty. I did what?” Fell at His feet as though dead. Don’t think it will be a casual thing one day to just kind of wander into Heaven. “Hi! I’m here. Where’s Jesus?” If John’s on His face. Where do you think we’ll be? On our face worshipping the Savior, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. The One who loved us, died for us, and gave Himself for us.” And because we believe He literally rose from the dead, the promise then is so will we.
Now we’re living in a time when people don’t get the literal parts of the Bible. I’ve had students say to me, “Well if you die and go to Heaven you’re spirit, isn’t that good enough?” No, because the promise is your body will be literally resurrected one day, and reunited with your spirit at the time of the Rapture. The Lord will bring with Him those that have departed, raise the dead bodies, Rapture the living, and we’ll be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. Now people will sometimes cynically say, “Oh, yeah, you’re just going to go right thru the ceiling?” Well, do you think a dead body is going to come right up out of the ground? Right up out of a casket or whatever? If He can do that, He can get you up thru the ceiling. All those other silly questions that go along with that. What about cars that crash? And planes that crash? And what all? I don’t find that in the Bible. Yeah, they didn’t have cars and planes, whatever. But I cannot image at the time of the Rapture everybody is a pedestrian. I don’t know what is going to happen.
In prophecy the main things are the plain things. The facts are clear. Jesus said if I go back to the Father’s house I will do what? Come again. And receive you, the believers unto Myself. He said that after Judas left the room in John 14. That promise was only for the 11 believing disciples, and it’s a promise for every believer of all time. God has promised us the return of Christ. The interpretation of the when, and the how, and the timing, those are matters of interpretation of the facts. And beyond that everything else is pure speculation.
My dear friend Tim LaHaye that went to be with the Lord last year, Tim liked to always say, “Well, I think when you go up in the Rapture all your clothes fall off. They are left behind in a nice neat pile as a testimony of the fact you’ve been raptured away.” I used to like to say, “Tim, what about your glasses? What about false teeth? Filings? Artificial parts? Some of us would have more left behind then gone.” “Now, Matt there’s Grandma, she left a pile, none of that was real.” I don’t know. Those things will become obvious when they occur.
But the truth of the Bible is there has to be a Rapture. There has to be a catching up. There has to be a time when the dead believers are raised, and the living are caught up into the presence of God. Somebody doesn’t believe in the Pre-Tribulational Rapture they should not go around saying, “Well, I don’t believe there is going to be a Rapture.” I know what they mean by that, they don’t agree on the timing. But the fact of the Rapture is clear in the Bible. If you say you don’t believe in the Rapture you don’t believe the Bible. You have thrown–you might as well rip 1 Thessalonians 4 out of the Bible and throw it away. That’s the whole basis of that promise. “Well, I don’t think all those things are really essential doctrine.” Paul was only in Thessalonica three weeks, and he taught them about the Second Coming in that amount of time. And two of the earliest letters written in the New Testament both deal with issues related to the coming of Christ, it is an essential part of Christian teaching, and Christian faith. If there were a person today that was the most significant person in your life and they told you, “I’m going away on a long trip. I’m going to be gone for a long time, but I will be back.” If that was somebody that you loved dearly with all your heart and soul, and life, somebody that you were really engaged with, committed to, etcetera, you’d be watching for them to do what? Come back, to keep the promise. Well that promise was not just made by a human being; it was made by the Son of God Himself. I will return, and I’m coming back for you.
Now, I want to encourage you tonight. I don’t care how old you are here tonight. You have more living ahead of you then you do behind you. I want to give you seven things, the Rapture is just the first one. The trumpet will sound, the Archangel will shout. The dead will be resurrected, and we that are alive and remain will be whoosh, “harpazo”, caught up to be with Him.
Number two, where are we going? We are going to the Father’s house. Why? Because Jesus promises to take the Bride home to the Father’s house. Dr. Ice will probably talk on this when he talks on the Rapture tomorrow and go into those details. In My Father’s house there are many rooms. And I’m sorry but that is technically what the Greek says. Why? Because it is one big house, with lots of rooms. It’s not like lots of streets with lots of mansions. Somebody gets a big one, somebody gets a little one. It’s one big house. It’s one big cube. Remember? And everybody who is saved is there. If it were not so I would have told you, Aand I’m going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come back and take you to be with me, that where I am there you may be also. The Rapture has to occur at some point in order to take the bride to the Father’s house. Now people can argue on the details of the timing. They can say, “Well, I think the Rapture is before the Tribulation.” Yeah, right. Or in the middle of the Tribulation, or it is at the end of the Tribulation, or there is no Tribulation, or all the Church Age is Tribulation. It’s before the Millennium, it’s after the Millennium, there is no Millennium. It’s before eternity. Yeah, you’ve got to put it somewhere. You can’t just throw it away, you have to place it somewhere and then you have to ask yourself why? What are the factors in the timing? At some point the Lord has to come in the clouds, resurrect the dead, rapture the living, and take the bride to the Father’s house. Now He’s been preparing that place for almost 2,000 years. If He could create the world instantly and it’s as beautiful as it is even under the curse of sin, imagine what Heaven will look like. He’s been working on it for all this time. And when the Father says, “Go get the bride, bring her to the Father’s house.” Then Jesus will come for His own.
Thirdly, we go to the Father’s house to the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:10, “We shall all appear before that Bema Seat, the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive the things done in the body.” You are going to the platform to receive your rewards for serving the Lord, for faithfulness of service. So that you may think, “Well, nobody knows me. Nobody really understands what I do for God, etcetera.” God does. The Lord does. God keeps the record book, and you will not go unrewarded for all those things. The promise of that runs all the way thru Scripture. Now, yes, there will be the challenge of loss of rewards and loss of opportunities perhaps. And again somebody will speak on that in detail. But the truth is we’re all headed to the Bema Seat where the Lord Himself will give those final rewards. Now if you’re really one day excited about seeing Jesus, when I go to Heaven I’m going to see Jesus, right in the Father’s House at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If you’re going to face Him face-to-face, then you better ask yourself am I doing in the meantime what He would want me to do so I’ll hear Him say, “Well done.” What? “Good and faithful servant.” It is interesting He said, “Good and faithful servant.” Didn’t necessarily say, “Good and successful servant.” He didn’t say, “Good and famous servant.” “Good and faithful servant.” Your faithfulness will be rewarded by the Lord Himself.
Number four we have to go to the Marriage of the Lamb in Heaven. Revelation 19 as the book builds to the great climax before the return of Christ you’re introduced to the marriage. The chapter opens with a chorus of hallelujahs. And then it says in Revelation 19:7, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory, for the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride, the Church, the true believers, has made herself ready in fine linen bright and clean was given her to wear.” You get this picture of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven.
Oh well, how did they get there? Well there had to be a Rapture. You got to get her up to get her to the marriage. There’s got to be a time when you go up in the Rapture in order to go to the marriage in Heaven. So if there is going to be a marriage that clearly, and in this context in Heaven then the Rapture has to proceed that. And at the marriage you receive the white robe of the gift of righteousness from Christ Himself. Did you ever ask yourself, “Why do brides in the Western world wear white robes? White dresses?” They get that right out of the book of Revelation. That concept came in Christian marriage right from the book of Revelation. So the next time you go to a wedding of an unbeliever and she wears a white dress say, “Great, I didn’t know you’d been reading the book of Revelation.” That’s exactly what the bride of Christ is going to be adorned in, a robe of white. The idea is we will receive a gift of righteousness, we do not deserve, did not earn, cannot really work for, and we receive it by His, what? Grace. As a gift to us and we receive it by faith. It’s by God’s grace to that response of faith. We’re headed to a marriage.
Now, again I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care how long you’ve been married. I don’t even care how many times you’ve been married, etcetera. We have a lady in our church back in Virginia she’s been widowed about three times, and she’s chasing number four right now. And everybody’s like, “Don’t marry her man, they all die. She always collects the insurance.” Whatever. I don’t care how many times. You’re headed to a wedding and that wedding of course is a spiritual determination, a spiritual designation for that intimate relationship with Christ, that in Heaven we will see His face, and have an audience with the King, and we will be united to Him forever.
The Rapture has to proceed the Judgment Seat of Christ. It has to proceed the marriage in heaven because– You say, “How do you know it’s in Heaven?” Well, read Revelation 19. Where are they? They’re up in Heaven. What do they receive? The robe of white in verse 8. But then if you go to verse 14 the triumphal return it says, “And the armies of Heaven followed Him riding on white horses dressed in,” catch this, “fine linen, white and clean.” Where did they get that? At the marriage. So the marriage has to proceed the triumphal return. Where is He coming? From heaven. To what? Returning to earth. And we’re coming with Him. So there has to be a rapture to take us up to heaven to the judgment seat, to the marriage, in order to be ready to come back with Him at the return.
Again, I don’t care how old you are here tonight, you’re coming back again. Say, “No, Ed, I’m almost out of here.” You know. “I hope He comes soon because I’m running out of time.” Whatever. And the younger you are you’re like, “I’m not in a hurry for Him to come. I have a whole life.” My students at Liberty, “I have a whole life to live, He’s not going to come too soon is He?” “Why” “I’m not married. I hope He doesn’t come before I can get married.” Six months after they’re married they want to know, “How soon is He coming?” You know back-check.
Dr. Reagan: Well, now you know what I mean when I said at the beginning of the program that Dr. Hindson knows how to communicate. What you have just viewed is about half of the presentation that he made at our conference. He continued talking about future blessings that believers can expect to receive, and in the process, he discussed in detail the Millennial reign of Jesus and what our lives will be like in the Eternal State that will be ushered in after Jesus’ thousand year reign here on the earth.
In a moment our announcer will tell you how you can get a video album that contains a full copy of Dr. Hindson’s presentation, together with the other five presentations that were made at our 2017 Bible conference. This program has been made possible by the donations of our Prophecy Partners, and we invite you to become one. For more detailed information about the program, please visit our website. And while you are on our website, be sure to check out our online store.
Well, that’s our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope, the Lord willing, that you will be back with us next week. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”
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