Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Gary Petty] In Jesus Christ's lifetime, many people doubted who He was and what He taught. Incredibly, the same doubt is alive and well today in popular Christianity. Let's take a look.
I recently read a blog where the author went through numerous passages in the Biblical gospels to prove that many times Jesus acted in an un-Jesus way. Well, the author was obviously anti-Christian. But there are many Christians who would actually believe and support some of the things He said. You see, if you believe that Jesus's message is love without bounds, acceptance without conditions, then you might agree that He would never have violently overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple or deliberately told parables so that people would not understand His messages. He actually said that. He warned people about eternal punishment. He actually withered a tree once just to use it as an object lesson. You know the Bible records Jesus doing all of these things. The Christian Gospel is centered on the message of the love of God exhibited through Christ. Jesus came to bring salvation to a lost humanity. And everyone was made in God's image and He wants all of us to come to Him to be restored as His children. Most Christians would agree with that. That's the basic premise of Christianity. The New Testament calls Jesus Christ the Lamb of God. That's to show His humility and His willingness to be sacrificed for the spiritual healing and salvation of all of us.
But there is another Biblical message about the Lamb of God. In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John describes a vision he saw about the return of Jesus Christ. So let me read a little bit what he wrote here and this vision that he saw. He says, "I looked, and He opened a sixth seal. Behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair and the moon became like blood." It's a terrible catastrophe he's describing here. He talks about how it looks like there's stars falling from heaven, and the sky scrolls back, and all the mountains and all the islands are shaking, the whole world is being shaken. Now this is what he's describing.
He says, "And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave, and every free man hid themselves in the caves, and in the rocks, in the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on a throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.' The great day of His wrath has come and who is able to stand?" The wrath of the lamb? I mean, how could this be true? I mean, this is Jesus. He is the Lamb of God. I mean doesn't Jesus accept us without any conditions, right? This would be one of the places where our blogger, the one I talked about at the beginning, would say, "Wow, He's acting very un-Jesus-like." Well later in the program I want to show you what the Bible says about the wrath of the Lamb because this is part of the forgotten message of Jesus Christ.
But first let's look at a misconception many people have about the real Jesus. And it may be a misconception that you've been taught in your church. You know in the Gospel of Matthew, there's recorded an incident where Jesus was eating with a group of people who are known to be immoral and live unlawful lifestyle. And He's approached by a group of religious leaders who are perplexed. I mean how could He run around with these rabble-rousers and sinners? So Jesus' answer here to them is very important, and here's what He said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick." Christ came as a spiritual physician to heal the sickness that is deep inside the core of every human being. You know if you have the honesty and if you have the courage, just sit quietly and think about it, think about the depths of your very own heart, your anger, your greed, your envy, your lust, your hatred, your anxiety, your depression, you know you need spiritual healing.
You know in this time of COVID-19 everyone has become aware of the symptoms of the virus, haven't we? We worry about having a temperature, losing the senses of taste and smell, and having trouble breathing. When was the last time you heard a sermon about the symptoms of spiritual disease? Now, you may have heard sermons about how Jesus accepts everyone, no matter their sexual orientation, no matter their lifestyle choices, and how Jesus never condemns or rejects anyone. Well as we go through today, I want you to remember something. Remember what Jesus said to the religious leaders who criticized Him for eating a meal with people who disobeyed what's in the Bible. He said that He had come to heal them. You know to heal somebody means that you change them from being sick to healthy. There's a change that takes place. To be confronted by the real Jesus Christ is to become acutely aware of your spiritual sickness and need of healing from the great physician, not just accepting the physician but receiving healing from the physician.
You know there's another story in the life of Jesus when a religious leader named Nicodemus approached Him. And he came at night, possibly so no one would recognize that he was coming. And Nicodemus honored Jesus as a teacher come from God. We know that Jesus Christ is much more, much more than a simple teacher. What Christ said to the Jewish leaders is one of the most often quoted verses in the Bible and many of you know it by heart, right? "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." These are the direct words of Jesus. And this is actually the bedrock, the foundation of Christianity. God has supplied a way for every human being to become His child. But the problem is, is we stop there. We read those couple verses and we don't read what Jesus said next because that wasn't all of what He said to Nicodemus that night, and what He said next is just as important.
So we know that what Jesus taught there was that salvation comes from the grace of God and sacrifice of Jesus, of Him, the Lamb of God. But listen to what He says next. "And this is the condemnation, that the light is coming to the world and men love darkness rather than light." Now He uses the word condemnation here. We'll come back to this in a minute. "Because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen that they have been done in God."
Jesus said that there is a condemnation, strong word, for those who reject Him as the light of God. Wow. I mean Jesus seems rather harsh here, doesn't He? Very un-Jesus-like if you have a shallow understanding of the real teachings of Jesus Christ, which includes the wrath of the Lamb. You can't ignore these teachings of Jesus and claim to be His disciple. You have to understand who the real Jesus is and what He actually taught. And we need to explore what Jesus is teaching about in this passage.
But first, let me tell you about today's free study guide. Why is there so much violence and war? Why are governments so inept? I mean, are you fed up with political confusion? I know I am. There is a reason why our world is in such a mess. And the problems can't be solved with good intentions. They can't. And there's only one solution. And you can discover that solution by reading the free study guide that we're offering today, "Christ's Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like." And there's two important sections in the study guide that will help you understand the anger and angst that is so much at the core of our problems. The sections are the two titles, "Causes Of War," and "The Way Of Peace." This study guide will take you to dozens of Biblical passages that will help you understand why no political party, no political action group can solve this. Now we want to send you this right now, this free copy, right now. To get your copy, call the toll-free number that's on your screen or you can go to beyondtoday.tv where you can download a copy and order your own free copy of "Christ's Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like."
Now let's go back here and review what we just read here a minute ago. Let's go back and review the words of Jesus Christ, remember, after He said that God had sent Him to die for humanity. This is the only hope we have. So it seems, oh, good. He accepts all of us. I mean He obviously loves us. So does this mean complete acceptance? If we're going to understand the wrath of the lamb, we have to understand this. In fact, for those of you at home, I want you to read this with me, okay? "And this is the condemnation, that the light..." Jesus speaking of Himself, "The light has come into the world and men love darkness rather than the light and look the reason why because their deeds were evil." You have to understand something about the teaching of Jesus Christ. There is absolute good and absolute evil.
You know one of the most common philosophies today is that all good and all evil, you know, they're not absolute. There are no absolutes. It's how you feel. You know that's not a teaching of Jesus. Good and evil have nothing to do with how we feel. It has to do what's real, what's reality, what's been created by God. Absolute good and absolute evil. And He said that people won't come to Him. They believe in Him. They have sort of an idea of what Jesus is like, but much of what they read in the Bible, that's pretty un-Jesus, isn't it? No, they don't understand who He really is because they don't accept His teachings.
He says then, "For everyone practicing evil hates the light." So it's possible to say you're a believer in Jesus Christ and actually hate the light. Remember the light here is Him and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. People don't want to really know who Jesus is. They want to believe in Him. They want to believe they get something from God because of Him but they don't want to know who He really is because they don't want to deal with their own lives. And then here's what Jesus said, "But He who does the truth..." That's very interesting. That's a verb, okay? It doesn't just believe the truth. You have to live it. "He who does the truth,” okay, “that his deeds may be clearly seen that they have been done in God.” So what's the point Jesus is making here?
Okay let's get down to what He's really saying. Jesus clearly teaches that salvation is through God's grace, right? You have to accept Him as the Lamb of God for the spiritual forgiveness that we need, the forgiveness of our spiritual sickness. He also clearly teaches that we must submit to His work to receive healing. We have to come into the light. The followers of Jesus Christ must come out of the darkness and into His light. By coming into the light, our actions, our lifestyles are exposed as either good or evil. So here's the part of what is forgotten about the teachings of Jesus Christ. And often, to tell you the truth, it's often distorted at the modern pulpit. God's grace doesn't mean unconditional acceptance by God. Well you got to grab hold of this one for a minute because this is what many people believe and don't understand. God's grace doesn't mean unconditional acceptance. Okay. If that's not what it means, what does it mean? I mean, grace is God giving us something we can't get ourselves. So what do we do now to be accepted?
Well let's use a physical analogy. You become sick, okay. Think about it. You're sick, you're out of work, and you have no insurance. You have no way to contact any physician, especially the greatest physician in the world, but one day the greatest physician in the world calls you. He says he understands your plight and through his mercy he agrees to treat you even though you can't pay for it. There's nothing you can do. He's going to give you this treatment for free. So he actually diagnoses you and he tells you, "Oh, no, you have a terminal illness," so you have to be treated. He gives you free medicine. He gives you free instructions. He tells you how to take care of yourself so that you can get well. He gives you permission to call Him anytime to have a relationship with Him so he will give you help and advice. And this physician does this entirely because he's kind. It's by his grace. And then you go home and you refuse to take the medicine or follow any of the instructions. Are you going to get better? No. Whose fault is it that you're sick?
I know, here's what's going to happen. Someone's going to say, "This guy's now teaching some kind of salvation by works." Okay. Let's get this straight. Let's get this straight. The greatest physician heals you strictly from the goodness of his heart, okay? You can't get to him. He comes to you. You can't afford to pay and you can't heal yourself, right? He gives you free instructions. He pays for your medicine. Now if you accept the great physician's grace and kindness, listen to his instructions and take the medicine he gives you, does that mean you're making yourself well? Well of course not. It means you're doing what he gives you in order to get well. How do you pay for that? You can't. Does this mean somehow you're earning your wellness? No he's giving it to you. But you still have to take the medicine. You still have to follow the instructions or you don't get well because it's your fault you don't get well. And this brings us to a very important point.
God is not just offering you forgiveness. He's offering you healing, spiritual healing. But we have to follow the great physician's instructions. Understand, just believing in the doctor doesn't make you well. "Oh, I believe in a doctor. I'm okay now." That's not how it works. What is the core problem inside each of us? We need a heart transplant, not of our physical heart but our spiritual heart. And our free study guide, "Christ's Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like," there's a section titled, "What the World Needs Now is a Heart Transplant." When Jesus Christ returns He will remove Satan as the source of evil and bring physical and spiritual healing to a devastated world. And God wants to give you that healing right now. Spiritual healing and the promise of Christ's return. So you need to get your free copy of "Christ's Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like." Call the number on your screen or go to beyondtoday.tv and discover the prophecies about Christ's return. Remember the study guide is free and you can download a copy or we'll send you one.
To become a child of God is more than acceptance of Jesus Christ. It is to know the real Jesus Christ. It is to accept your spiritual sickness and seek the great physician. It is to submit to the healing power of God. You know if we don't approach Jesus Christ in this manner we will be in danger of His wrath, the wrath we talked about at the beginning of the program. Here's the forgotten message. Jesus Christ returns to accomplish two steps in God's plan for humanity. He returns to subdue the nations. And what's that mean? He has to. Jesus Christ has to return to subdue the nations because the world is hopelessly broken and it's terminally ill. People are sinful and Jesus is against sin. Oh there's that dirty word, sin. It sounds so un-Jesus-like. Well He's coming to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth and rid that kingdom of sin. To be spiritually healed sin, which is the cause of our spiritual sickness, must be put out of our lives. And Jesus is looking for those who are willing to be transformed by the power of God. Man, think of that. This is so important to understand. God is loving, patient, and kind, but He will only tolerate evil for so long. And do not confuse God's remarkable patience and mercy with an unending tolerance of evil. And just how invasive is this human evil?
You know one of the great tragedies of all history is that nations will come together to fight against Jesus Christ at His return. But Jesus isn't returning this time as the baby in the manger. He's returning as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, which we read earlier, will pour out God's wrath on all evil people. And this is the part that's forgotten by so many Christians. Let me read this. Let's go to Revelation here and read a little bit of the description of this. John sees this vision of Christ's return, "And I saw heaven open and behold a white horse, and He who sat on him was called faithful and true, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” This supernatural being is coming to make 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 and He was clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God." We know from the Gospel of John that Jesus is the Word of God. So this is Jesus Christ.
He says then, "Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword and 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 side a name written King of Kings and Lord of Lords." You have to understand, God won't put up with this forever. And at this time that we just read about, Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives and in a climactic battle He will subdue all nations and establish the sovereignty, His sovereignty, over all the earth. This is a part of the good news. They say, "Wait a minute, how can it be part of the good news? War, this is bad news." Well, understand this isn't the end of the story. Jesus returns to subdue the nations because of evil. He then establishes the goodness of God's Kingdom on Earth.
That's the amazing promise God makes to the true disciples of Jesus Christ. When Christ returns the first thing He's going to do is gather all His disciples together and they will become the eternal children of God. His disciples are those who are not only accepting Jesus but are healed by the power of the indwelling of God's Spirit. Are you being spiritually healed by the power of God? Remember the great physician wants to give you a heart transplant so that you can meet Jesus Christ in the air, face-to-face at His return. And what's it going to be like after the wrath of the lamb is poured out? When evil humanity is finally subdued, Christ is going to rule the earth from Jerusalem for 1,000 years. The Old Testament prophets tell us that He will eradicate hunger and poverty. One prophet declared that during this time He actually will create a situation where they will learn war no more. And He's going to heal the environment. Can you just for a moment imagine a world without hurricanes or earthquakes? Imagine a global government that gives everyone an education, everyone owns property, and no one lives in fear of crime.
I know this sounds, you know, well, this can't be true. But understand, and if you go to our study guide, you'll see all kinds of Scriptures of the promises of what Christ is going to do. You see the wrath of the lamb is part of the forgotten message of Jesus Christ but so is the promise of His coming to save and heal the world. It's the message God wants you to hear and He wants you to embrace this. God is calling you to the forgotten message of Jesus Christ. God wants to heal you and fulfill you and give you purpose to be His child in His Kingdom. And this includes, by the way, then the promises of the future Kingdom that's beyond your imagination. Call right now the numbers at the bottom of your screen or go to beyondtoday.tv and order your free copy of "Christ's Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like." We want you to go there right now. You can also, by the way when you're there, you can order or download a copy, right into your computer, "Christ's Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like."
The vision of the return of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God on Earth became real to me as a child. I actually saw it as a child. I mean as a teenager I wanted to change the world but I couldn't. I found out that the love and peace of the Woodstock era was just as dysfunctional as what they were trying to fix. It just didn't work. But as I began to understand who the God of the Bible really is and the authentic teachings of Jesus Christ, I began to live for the vision of a hope. It became part of my life. As a teenager I began to believe there would come a time when no child would starve. I began to believe there's a time when there'd be no despair because of abject poverty. I began to believe that there would come a time where a mother would never receive a message that her child had died in a drive-by shooting. And this vision of a better world isn't just another meaningless dream. It's the promise of the Creator God. Jesus told His disciples, "I go to prepare a place for you and I will return." That's the promise. And you and I can't solve all of these problems but we can live for a time now, we can be part of our lives where we live for this time when God will solve all these problems through Jesus Christ.
What I want to do is end today's program by going to the last couple of paragraphs in the booklet. I want to read this to you. So that I want you to get this study guide and understand what we're saying. Everyone has a choice, a choice between life and death, good and evil, and between God's Kingdom and Satan's. That's the only choices we have. We think there's a lot of choices. We choose between God and His way, and Satan's and His way, and the world you and I live in, and Satan's way, and that's why it'll never work. It's dysfunctional. Only God can solve this. And you want a change in your life now, I found that Woodstock doesn't work. Seemed like it would. It doesn't work. Whatever you're trying now won't work. Only God can fix it. But He can change you now, so you live for this future.
But soon a New Kingdom is coming, not ruled by chaos and self-will but by a King who loves peace, and will reign and service and love to all mankind. He will cease and replace war with nations, brother and sister nations, who will worship together in spirit and in truth. Sickness and disease will be cured and the city streets will be filled with joy and laughter. These are actually from prophecies that are in the Old Testament about the time of the Messianic reign on the earth. And then this is real important. The choice is set before you. When you get this, you will read this. If you're watching this, this is the whole purpose of what we're talking about. The choices set before you, what will you choose? Will you choose Satan's way of self-will and destruction, the way of life around us we see every day, or will you choose God's way of a Christ-like life built on love and service and living for this Kingdom and this will be the norm? Don't wait because His Kingdom is coming. Don't wait, choose God's Kingdom. Choose life. Choose it. Choose it today.
[Narrator] Call now to receive the free booklet offered on today's program, "Christ's Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like." Today's world is filled with ever-growing problems. When you look around at world conditions, do you ever wonder what lies ahead for humanity? Are you hopeful about the future? This free study aid, "Christ's Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like," has the answers. You will read from your Bible how Christ will replace all human governments with His own Kingdom, bringing peace and joy to all mankind. Learn the wonderful good news of what Christ's reign will be like. Order now. Call toll free 1-888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen. Discover what Jesus' reign on earth will look like and how you can be there to see it.
When you order this free study aid, we'll also send you a complimentary one-year subscription to "Beyond Today" magazine. "Beyond Today" magazine brings you understanding of today's world and hope for the future. Six times a year, you'll read about current world events in the light of the Bible prophecy, as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage and family and Godly principles to guide you toward a life that leads to peace. Call today to receive your free booklet, "Christ's Reign on Earth: What It Will Be Like," and your free one-year subscription to "Beyond Today" magazine." 1-888-866-8632 or go online to beyondtoday.tv.