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Monday, November 20, 2017

Soon!-The Millennial Reign of Christ (Pt. 2)

“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 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[a] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.-Revelation 20:7-10

Satan upon his release will once again go out an deceive the nations. There will be a new generation of people, who although they have lived on earth during this amazing time of peace, will still buy into Satan’s lies and will join him in battle one last time against God. 

They will surround Jerusalem and once again the devil will be defeated, but this time he will be cast into the Lake of Fire (eternal punishment) for all eternity. 

It is hard to fathom how after 1,000 years of peace and Jesus reigning on the earth, how the devil could deceive anyone into following him into a battle against Jesus. However, it is important to remember that generations will be born that did not know the days that we live in, nor will they recall the rapture, the tribulation or Armegeddon. 

Knowing that this is going to happen, why would God even allow this to begin with? I think it is to teach us an important truth-Our sinfulness is not Satan’s fault! He is a liar, thief, tempter and bent on destruction; however for a 1,000 years he is held captive and yet men’s hearts still wax cold. They cannot blame Satan for their sinful hearts, but it is only when Satan is released that their true heart condition is revealed. They reject Christ’s kingship over their lives to follow their own sinful desires. This proves what God has been declaring from the very beginning; mankind needs a Savior! 

Once Satan is defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire, then comes God’s final judgment on wicked mankind:

“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 I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”-Revelation 20:11-15

The dead, both small and great, are raised. They will be judged according to the books, but it is because their names are not recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life; they too will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity. It is a place of eternal punishment and torment that is described in Mark 9:48 as where ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ It is known as the second death, but it never ends. 

It will be occupied, according to Revelation 21:8, by the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murders, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars; by those who have rejected the free gift of salvation offered to us through Jesus Christ. 

All of us will one day stand before Jesus. The question is will we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive our eternal rewards or will we stand before the Great White Throne judgement only to receive eternal death. It all hinges upon one decision! Did you accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life?

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Soon!-The Millennial Reign of Christ (Pt.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.”-Revelation 20:1-3

Last week we looked at the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. We learned how the nations of this world will drawn to the doorsteps of Jerusalem for a great battle at which the Lord Himself will return and will destroy them with the Word of His mouth (Rev. 19:11-16). The Anti-Christ and False Prophet will be thrown into the Lake of Fire and the nations will be judged. After the carnage of that day, Jesus will take His rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords upon this earth.

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms[a] of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”-Revelation 11:15

This will be a very unique time in the history of humanity as Christ will reign on the earth for 1,000 years. However, it will also be unique as Satan will have no influence over mankind for 1,000 years. According to Revelation 20, an angel will come down and bind Satan with a chain for 1,000 years. He will be cast into the bottomless pit. It will be shut and sealed so that he cannot deceive the nations until the 1,000 years is finished. But, after it, he will be released for  a little while.

According to Revelation 20:4-6, at the beginning of the 1,000 years there will be a resurrection of the dead:

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. 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[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.”

This is a resurrection of those who believed in Christ during the tribulation and were killed for their faith. The rest of the dead will not live again until the end of the 1,000 years.

What then will life be like during the 1,000 year reign?
The 1,000 years will be an unprecedented time of peace and healing with Jerusalem at the epicenter of worship:

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”-Isaiah 2:2-4

Harmony will once again be restored in nature. Life will continue on earth. It will look vastly different, however, with Jesus reigning on the earth, Satan bound for 1,000 years, world-wide peace and nature back in balance. 

Nevertheless, at the end of the 1,000 years something mind-boggling happens!

Pastor Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Soon!-Armageddon & the Second Coming of Christ

“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.”-Revelation 16:15-16

As the seven years of tribulation draws to a close there is still yet another battle that will be fought. This one will take place just outside of Jerusalem and is known in Hebrew, as Armageddon.

Here the nations of the earth will be gathered together for a great battle at which Jerusalem will be the center.

"I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.”-Joel 3:2

However, this battle will be unique in that Jesus, Himself has promised that He will come and fight on Israel’s behalf:

“Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west,
making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.”-Zechariah 14:3-4

He is coming to execute judgment and pour out on them His righteous indignation:

“Therefore wait for Me,” says the Lord, “Until the day I rise up for plunder;
My determination is to gather the nations to My assembly of kingdoms, to pour on them My indignation, all My fierce anger; all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy.”-Zephaniah 3:8

The Book of Revelation is clear that when Christ returns, He will come dressed for battle!

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,[b] followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”- Revelation 19:19:11-16

With just the word of His mouth Jesus will destroy those nations and will establish Himself as King over all the earth and will then turn His attention towards His long time adversary:

“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.”-Revelation 20:1-3

With the binding of Satan the earth will enter into an amazing time of rest known as the millennial reign of Christ.

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Soon!-The Great Tribulation (Pt.2)

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”-2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

During this seven year period known as the Great Tribulation the Anti-Christ will exercise tremendous control over multiple arenas including the world’s economy (Rev. 13:16-17), religion (Revelation 13:8), governments (Rev. 17:12-13), and military (Daniel 7:8). Once he reveals his true nature, he will attempt to annihilate the people of God; Jew and Gentile:

“And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation.”-Revelation 13:7

It is during this seven year period that God will begin to execute judgment upon the earth. The judgments will become increasingly more devastating midway through the tribulation period. The remaining 3 1/2 years are referred to as the times of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).

The judgments consist of 7 seal judgments which release conflict upon the earth, scarcity/famine, widespread death, increased martyrdom and cosmic disturbances (Revelation 6:15-17). Revelation 9:20-21 describe for us the trumpet judgments that are responsible for the destruction of 1/3 of the vegetation, seas, fresh water, and the heavens. All of these still yet to be followed by the bowl judgments that conclude God’s wrath upon the earth with loathsome sores, the sea and fresh water being turned to blood, men scorched by the sun, intense darkness/pain, earthquakes and massive hailstones (Revelation 16:21).

However, despite the severity of these judgments, Scripture tells us that the people of this world will blaspheme God because of the these plagues; but refuse to repent and give God glory.

Yet, in the midst of all these things, God continues to extend His hand of mercy towards those who have rejected Christ.

We see His mercy extended in several ways throughout the book of Revelation. In Revelation 7:3-4 we see that God seals 144,000 Jews (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel). They are a mighty witness of God’s faithfulness on the earth during the tribulation period. We also read about two witnesses clothed in burlap who are given the power to prophecy for 3 1/2 years. They will boldly proclaim the glory of God before they are ultimately martyred and then raised from the dead for all to see. However, if that isn’t enough, Revelation 14:12-13 declares that God in His great mercy will send forth an angel to declare the gospel to all nations, tribes, and peoples; so that all might hear the truth of God’s goodness:

“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.”-Revelation 14:6

Knowledge of these events can be very overwhelming, however, they are not intended to instill fear, but rather to incite faith. How do we respond to such treacherous times? By placing our faith in Christ:  “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”-Revelation 14:12.

Pastor Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church