Adrian Rogers - When Prophets Are Persecuted
Would you take God's Word and find Revelation chapter 11? And today our subject is this, "When Prophets Are Persecuted". Now let me ask you a question. Are you being persecuted for Jesus? Second question, if not, why not? Somebody said, "The problem with Christians today is nobody wants to kill them anymore". Well they are killing some of them around the world. Do you know why some are persecuted and some are not persecuted? The Bible says this in Second Timothy 3 verse 12, "Yea, and all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution". All shall suffer persecution if they're living Godly in Christ Jesus. So, if you're not living godly in Christ Jesus, yes, you're not going to suffer persecution.
Now, let's look in this eleventh chapter of the book of the Revelation 11 verses 1 and 2, "And there was given unto me a reed like unto a rod: and the Angel stood, saying, 'Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without," or outside, "the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city," underscore the phrase, "the holy city," "and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.'" The place: the holy city, Jerusalem. The time: the Great Tribulation. That is the period of time that we're in in Revelation 11. There is coming a time upon this earth that Jesus said is called Great Tribulation.
As so that's the time and the place. So it brings our focus to the land of Israel. Well, you didn't need the Word of God to do that. You could pick up the newspaper and put your focus on the land of Israel. You could pick up the newspaper and focus on the holy city, Jerusalem. Because the Jews are the people of destiny, Jerusalem is the city of destiny. And we need to see what God has to say. Now, there are some amazing end-time prophecies. Some have been fulfilled before our very eyes. For example, God said that He's going to regather the people of Israel and bring them back to their land. Put in your margin Ezekiel 36 verse 24. God said to Israel, "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land". By the way, that answers the question also as to who owns the land. "I will gather you out of all countries, and bring you back into your own land".
Now, that we've seen fulfilled with our very eyes. But there's another prophecy that is to be fulfilled, and that is in Jerusalem the Temple will be rebuilt. Look again in this Scripture, Revelation 11 verse 1, "And there was given to me a reed, say, like unto a rod: and the Angel stood, saying, 'Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.'" Now remember this is future and John is told to measure the Temple. Now you can't measure something that is not there.
Now if you were to go to Jerusalem today, as I've done many times, you wouldn't find a Temple. You wouldn't find a trace of the temple. All you would find is the temple mount, the most contested piece of real estate in the whole wide world, the temple mount. On that temple mount today is a Muslim Mosque, the Mosque of Omar. Or what some call the Dome of the Rock. But there's no temple there, not a shred of a temple. Why? Jesus said in Matthew chapter 24 verse 2, concerning the temple of His day, "Not one stone will be left upon another". The only part of that temple that you could find today is not really a part but the base that went around it. The platform on which it was built.
And the western part of that platform remains known as what? The Western Wall or the Wailing Wall. Because, shortly after Jesus made that prediction in 70 A.D., a Roman general named Titus came against Jerusalem and laid siege against Jerusalem. The Romans did not destroy temples; they preserved temples. And Titus gave word that Herod's temple, the temple that was there in Jerusalem was to be preserved. But somehow it caught on fire. And when it caught on fire, that rich cedar and other beams began to burn. Well the temple, parts of it, were overlaid with gold. And everybody had a suspicion that down in the vaults underneath were great treasures. And so when the temple burned, what happened? The gold melted and ran into the crevices. People took great pry bars and pried those stones apart and left not one stone upon another.
So there's no temple there today. But this Scripture says today that the temple will be rebuilt. And did you know that there are religious Jews today who are making plans to rebuild the temple? I have been to Israel. I have seen the yeshivas; the rabbinic schools, where they're training the young priests, the descendants of Levi, to offer sacrifices in the temple. I have been to the Temple Institute where they are weaving clothing as the Bible describes for the priests to wear, where the artisans are making vessels of silver and gold for the carrying out of the temple worship, where they're making musical instruments as they did according to the prescriptions of the Bible. They are getting ready to rebuild the temple.
As a matter of fact, some have even tried to lay a foundation stone of the new temple. It caused all kinds of mayhem there in Israel. I have been through that Hasmonean tunnel called the Rabbi Tunnel. It is a labyrinthian way as you go there along, ah, the temple mount. And it's very interesting and intriguing in some places; a hairy experience to go through those narrow passageways. You'll come to a spot where there's a sign on the wall that says this spot is closest to the Holy of Holies. They are trying to designate where the Holy of Holies is. So that this temple, when the time comes, will be rebuilt. If you'd go and find those Hasidic Jews there bobbing their head at the Western Wall, they're praying. And you ask many of them, what are you praying for? "Praying for Messiah to come". What are you praying for? "Praying for the temple to be rebuilt". Well, one day it will be, according to this passage of Scripture. Because God says to John, "Measure the temple".
Now the interesting thing is this, that this temple is the precursor of antichrist and his power. Because Jesus said that antichrist is going to enter into that temple and he's going to abominate or make that desolate. Let me give a Scripture; put this down in your margin, Matthew 24, beginning in verse 15 and 16, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation". Boy, that's a rich description, isn't it? "Abomination of desolation". "When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place". Now the holy place is a part of the temple. Daniel the prophet said, "There's coming an abomination of desolations who is gonna stand in the holy place". Jesus says, "Whoso readeth, let him understand. Then let them which be in Judea flee to the mountains".
Now verse 21, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be". Who said that, some wild-eyed preacher? No, Jesus. Jesus said, "When you see what Daniel prophesied, the abomination of desolation in the holy place, then get out of town. There will be great tribulation. Nothing like it in all of history". Now the Apostle Paul spoke of the same thing. Put this verse down. It's very interesting. In Second Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 1 through 5, Paul is looking out into the future. He's talking about what's going to happen.
Listen to it carefully. Put it in your margin, Second Thessalonians 2 verse 1 through 5, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," now he's talking about the Second Coming, "and by our gathering together unto Him." he's talking about the rapture, "that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, or by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand". There had gone out a spurious letter saying that we were already in the great tribulation. Paul said no, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first". That's the word for apostasy. "And the man of sin be revealed". The man of sin. You know we got in trouble with the sin of man. It's gonna end up with the man of sin. He's gonna be the epitome of sin, the quintessential representative of sin, the antichrist, the beast.
"The man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition". Now watch this, "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped". Now listen to this next phrase, "So that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God". That is the abomination of desolation. There is one day coming a temple that's going to be rebuilt on the temple mount. There is coming a world leader who one day ensconce himself in that temple in the holy place and say, "You, you've been looking for God, here I am. Here I am". This man of sin, this abomination of desolation in the temple of God declaring himself to be God.
Now, that's very deep. We'll get into that a little bit later. Because what I'm trying to do is to set the stage. When this happens, when that man moves into the temple of God showing himself that he is God, he will do it in the middle of a sevenyear period known as the Great Tribulation. And we have seen in that Great Tribulation, the opening of seven seals and we are getting ready for the blowing of seven trumpets. Right in the middle of this period, which is seven years according to the prophet Daniel in Daniel chapter 9. Right in the middle of this period, this antichrist is going to move into the temple of God showing himself that he is God. That's the reason you're gonna find in the Scripture that we're reading today the phrase forty-two months, or 1,260 days, or time and times and half a time.
All of these refer to 3 and a half years. Forty-two months, 3 and a half years. 1,260 days, 3 and a half years. Right in the middle of this seven-year period. Seven is the number of perfection. Why 3 and a half? 3 and a half speaks of division, danger, when this man moves into the temple showing himself that he is God. Now, God has given a warning as to what will happen. God brings; God will bring His ministers, His messengers, two mighty prophets. We're going to study those prophets today. Hence the title of the message, "When Prophets are Persecuted". There are two witnesses who are going to rise up during this horrendous period of time to prophesy and teach. And may I say parenthetically that God always has His prophets. Did you know that? There's never a time when God doesn't have His prophets.
Amos Chapter 3 verse 7, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets". God does not move without letting a prophet know somewhere what's about to happen. God sent Enoch and Noah before the flood. And God sent Elijah and Jeremiah and all of these before the exile. God doesn't move except He sends His prophets. May I say also today that God has His prophets? Now there are charlatans today. And there are quacks and there are fakes. But this world has been warned. You're being warned. You, dear friend, are being warned. God does nothing but what He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
So in this time God raises up two prophets. Now, we're going to look at five factors concerning these two prophets. Okay? And as we look at these factors, we're going to see what happened to them because in many ways we can apply it to ourselves. Now we're not those two prophets, but there're some lessons we're gonna learn about what happens when prophets are persecuted. Now I've set the stage, the temple is rebuilt. The antichrist is ready to ensconce himself. Here are some factors about these prophets.
Number one, they are spiritually prepared. Do you have it? They are spiritually prepared. Look in Revelation 11 verses 3 and 4, "And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth". Now these men are described as olive trees and candlesticks. Literally the Greek is lampstands. A candle burns a wick. A lampstand burns oil. And the Greek word is really lampstand. And so God says, "I've got two prophets". They are olive trees. That speaks of fruitfulness. They are lampstands. That speaks of light. And that speaks of every witness. We're to be fruitful and we're to give light. The light in the lampstand in the temple burned olive oil. And this is symbolic. Oil in the Bible is an emblem, a symbol, of the Holy Spirit of God.
How does our light shine? Well, we're to be like olive trees. The oil of God's Spirit is to be in us. We're to be like lampstands. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said, "You are the light of the world". These are two witnesses. Did you ever sing that little chorus, "Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, keep me burning"? That's what this is talking about. We are witnesses of the Lord. And so, these witnesses were spiritually prepared. And by the way, if you're going to let your light shine, learn to burn the oil and not the wick. You burn the wick you're going to burn out and you're going to make a lot of smoke. You're not going to give much light. How important it is that we understand what Jesus taught.
Acts 1:8, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto Me". That's the symbolic lesson of the olive trees and the lampstand. It is foolish and it is wicked to try to do God's work without God's power. And I am going to tell you this. I prayed before I came out here. And I would never think of preaching without asking God for power. We are witnesses. These two men, whoever they may be, were spiritually prepared. They are olive trees and lampstands. And they're clothed in sackcloth.
What is sackcloth? It's the drab garment that a person would wear when in mourning and sorrow. They're going to preach judgment. I believe in hell. I believe that if we had more hell in our pulpits, we would have less in our community. I believe in hell. Have you ever seen a preacher preach on hell seem to have a glee on his face and just vindictiveness and meanness in his heart? No, if you preach judgment you ought to do it in sackcloth. There ought to be a broken heart and we ought to have a heart that is broken for those multitudes that are marching into hell. The first thing about these prophets that I want you to see is they are spiritually, spiritually prepared.
Number two. Secondly, they are sovereignly protected. Look in Revelation 11 verses 5 and 6, "And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies". Is this literal fire? I think not. I think it speaks of the power of their word. You know, speaking of Jesus, when He comes again. The Bible says there's a sharp two-edged sword goes out of His mouth. I mean, do you picture Jesus with a literal blade coming of His mouth. No. The Word of God is as sharp, quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword. Fire comes out of their mouth to devour their enemies. "And if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut Heaven". The word power means authority. "That it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will".
Look at it, power over death. Power over drought. Power over disease. What is all of this talking about? Jesus said when He sent out His apostles in the Gospel of Luke chapter 10 and verse 19, "I give you power over all of the power of the enemy". You say, "Well, does that mean I don't have to be afraid of the devil anymore"? No, it means the devil ought to be afraid of you. Here these men have power. Now, who are these two witnesses? Well, notice the kind of power that they have. They have power over plagues and power over drought and so forth. They remind us of Elijah and Moses. I think these two men come in the spirit of Elijah and Moses. When we think of Elijah we think of the prophets. When we think of Moses we think of the law.
Now, what is the purpose of the law and the prophets? There's a body of literature in the Old Testament called the law, the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The law, basically the Ten Commandments and then the prophets, the great prophets in the Bible. Now, these two witnesses represent the law and the prophets to me. Some say that they are Moses and Elijah come back. Be that as it may, the Bible doesn't say, I can't say. But I will tell you this, that the law and the prophets witness the Lord Jesus Christ. They witnessed to Him. Luke 24, Jesus in His own words, verse 27, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself". Never make the mistake of thinking that the Old Testament is about Judaism and the New Testament is about Jesus.
Friend, all of the Bible is about Jesus Christ. The law is about Jesus. The prophets are about Jesus. And these two men, I think, represent the law and the prophets. There were two false witnesses that condemn the Lord Jesus Christ when He was crucified the first time. These witnesses are coming representing all that is in the Bible, the law and the prophets, testifying of the Lord Jesus Christ. Well what is the principle here? When I said they are sovereignly protected. Listen to me precious friend. The man of God, the woman of God, in the will of God, speaking the Word of God, is immortal until his work is finished. I believe that. God's work done in God's way will never, ever want for God's provision or God's protection. When you're in the will of God. These men, these two witnesses are sovereignly protected. Third thing. They are satanically persecuted.
Now begin in Revelation 11:7, "And when they shall have finished their testimony," underscore that, "finished their testimony. The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them". Now the beast that comes out of the bottomless pit is the same one that will sit in the temple showing himself that he is God. Words for the antichrist. Like many criminals, he has many aliases, he's called the beast. He's called the man of sin. He's called the son of perdition. He's called the wicked one. He's called the little horn. Here he is described as a beast ascending out of the abyss. That is, he is going to be released this malevolent person.
Look in Revelation 11 verses 7 and 8, "The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them". Who? These two witnesses. "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". Well, what is that? Sodom with its vice and Egypt with its vanity. Which, "Where also our Lord was crucified". Now Jerusalem, the holy city has become the hellish city, the central point, the place where they crucified Jesus. The holy city is now described in Revelation 11 verses 8 through 10 like, "Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth".
Now the fury of hell is going to burst upon these two witnesses. They must not have been reading the modern books on user-friendly evangelism. All of hell comes down upon these men. Why? Because they were tormented by the preaching of the Word of God. And there are people who are not gonna like the preacher who preaches the Word of God. You're not going to win any popularity contests. A lady told me, "You know Pastor, just everybody loves you". I said to myself, "No, they don't, they don't all love you". Jesus said, "Beware when all men speak well of you". Luke 6 verse 26. As the days get darker, the persecution will get more intense and hatred against the godly will intensify. And this fury is going to come against these two witnesses from antichrist himself.
Well you say, "Now wait a minute Adrian, I have a problem. You said just a few moments ago that the man of God is immortal until he has finished the task that God has given him to do". That's my point. Now notice again. Look if you will in revelation 11 verse 7, "And when they shall have finished their testimony". Then that's when they are put to death. The Apostle Paul, one of the greatest missionaries who ever lived, and finally they cut off his head but not before he said, "I have finished my course". They nailed our dear Lord upon the cross and He died in agony and blood but He bowed His head and said what? "It is finished". "It is finished". You can find that in John 19 and verse 30. So don't get the idea that the devil has won. No, the devil makes a great strategic blunder.
When a child of God, when a martyr dies, that doesn't mean that the devil has won. It means that the devil has lost. He has lost. If you were to go to the next chapter, and we will get to that next week, but in chapter 12 verse 11. "And they overcame him," the devil, "by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony;" now listen, "and they loved not their lives unto the death". By dying they overcame the devil. I've told you before Joseph Tson, my dear Romanian friend, the communist tried to kill Joseph Tson. They sent a man to say, "Joseph, if you don't knuckle under, we're going to kill you". And he said, "Before you kill me, I want to tell you your chief weapon is killing but my chief weapon is dying".
"Say, what do you mean"? He said, "If you kill me, you'll sprinkle every sermon I've ever preached with my blood, every book I've ever written with my blood and people will know I love the Lord enough to die for Him. So your chief weapon is killing but mine is dying. And I want to warn you that if you use yours I am going to be forced to use mine". And he went away saying, "Leave Joseph alone. He's crazy". He's crazy. No. The devil didn't win when he killed these two witnesses. They had finished their testimony. When they had finished, then they're killed. And the killing of these two is going to catapult this beast of a man into great fame and popularity. It's at this time that he is going to be seen as the mighty one because he's gotten rid of these tormentors. And they're going to take the dead bodies of these two witnesses and leave them in the streets of Jerusalem. There will be no decent burial. They will stand around and gloat over them. Some of you are old enough to remember what happened to Mussolini. How they gloated over his dead body.
Some of you remember in the Iranian crisis where our Americans were killed and they gloated over the dead bodies. Some of you remember that Wall Street reporter whose body was dismembered. They gloated over his dead body. So when you see this happening, these dead bodies are going to be left there in the street of Jerusalem. And the Bible says, "That all the world will see it". Well you say, "How could that be"? Well your great grand pappy may not have understood it but I can just see the cameras right there. The whole world will see it. Things that seemed unthinkable before are not unthinkable today. But whether or not we can think them doesn't mean that they can't come to pass just because we don't have the information.
Now, what is the lesson that we're gonna learn here during this great tribulation? I'm telling you that coming events cast their shadows ahead of time and we can expect increasing persecution. So, if you live for the Lord Jesus Christ, it doesn't mean everybody's going to love you. That's okay. Now, here's the fourth principle. These two witnesses are not only satanically persecuted but they are supernaturally preserved. Now begin in verse 11 of chapter 11 and let's read through verse 12, "And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from Heaven saying unto them, 'Come up hither.' And they ascended up to Heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them".
You say, "Adrian, that sounds supernatural". You've got it. You've got it. I mean, here they are. People are walking around kicking at them, looking at them. There are their dead bodies, bloated; their skin now is beginning to crack. Rigor mortis is setting in. They're pallid, gangrenous, and then all of a sudden the glow of health begins to change that pallid color to a rosy color. And a finger twitches. And a hand moves. And limbs straighten. And the glow of health comes. And these sit up and they stretch and they stand up in front of these people. Can you imagine what it would be? And then a voice from Heaven saying, "Children, welcome home". And up they rise. Just like we're going to rise in the rapture. What a day that is going to be. Supernaturally preserved. When I read that, I thought of the old proverb, "He who laughs last laughs best".
Now what is the lesson here? Well this is supernatural, obviously. But there is a lesson. And what is the lesson, that we need not fear ultimate destruction. We are preserved until we finish our task. God has Satan on a leash. He may be able to put us to death but we are still supernaturally preserved. Now here's a key verse. In Luke chapter 21 verses 12 through 15, I've read this often. I always smile every time I read it. Luke Chapter 21, beginning in verse 12, "But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake". He's talking to His own, talking about us. "And it shall turn to you for a testimony".
Now friend, when we are persecuted, it is one of the greatest platforms we'll ever have. Now notice what Jesus said, "Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist". Have you ever thought about this? What if they were to take you and say deny Christ or I will kill you? You'd say, "Well kill me, I am going to Heaven". What if they said, "Deny Christ or I'll dismember your wife in front of your eyes"? Then what would you say? Or they say, "Deny Christ or I, we will begin to mutilate your grandchildren". Then what would you do? What would you do?
You say, "I don't know Pastor, don't ask that question". Good, I won't ask it because Jesus said, "Don't worry about what you're going to say when these things happen". Listen, listen to Luke 21 verses 14 to 18. God says, "Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you," listen, "shall they cause to be put to death". No fine print here. "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake". Now here's the part that always causes me to smile. "But there shall not a hair of your head perish". I said, now wait a minute Jesus, am I going to be killed? I'm going to be put in prison and put to death and then not a hair of my head will perish? That's exactly right.
You see, what He is saying is, "Fear not them that kill the body but not able to kill the soul but rather fear him who's able to destroy both soul and body in hell". There is a "gettin up morning". Do you believe that? Now listen, until you're no longer afraid to die you're not ready to live. There is a God in glory and there is nothing the devil can ultimately do to you. You better remember that. Because if you don't, he'll have you stampeded. Now friend, they are supernaturally preserved. And these two men rise up. Now here is the fifth principle. They have successfully prophesied. They didn't fail. They succeeded.
Now notice Revelation 11 verses 13 to 14, "And the same hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand," this phrase, "slain of men," seems to imply men of renown. "And the remnant were affrighted," now notice this, "and gave glory to the God of Heaven". The people left, that don't die in the earthquake, give glory to the God of Heaven. "The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly". They're glorifying God. That doesn't mean that they're saved. It just means they have to admit this is a God thing. Pharaoh had to do that. Saul had to do that. The demons in hell will one day glorify God, not that they are going to be saved. Every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess. But the point is that these witnesses have witnessed. And God has gotten the glory.
If you're a preacher here today, don't be naive enough to think that every time you preach every unsaved person is going to hear the Gospel or you will have failed. No. The Gospel is a two-edged sword. It cuts as a saber of life unto life or death unto death. I am successful today in preaching the message if you don't get saved but if you heard the message. And I've told you before; God will hold you responsible for what you hear. And He'll hold you responsible for what you would have heard had you listened. See it's a saber of life unto life or death unto death. But God has said. Listen to Ezekiel 55:11, what an encouragement this is to me. "My Word will not return unto Me void". And the only thing the preacher has to really determine and the soul-winner has to really determine is, "Have I been faithful with the Word"? The rest of it is none of your business. The rest of it is God's business.
I was preaching a revival meeting, holding a revival meeting in a South Louisiana county seat town. I must have been holding it, it never got loose. We weren't having revival folks. I was preaching my heart out. I fasted, I prayed, I wept, I examined my heart, my life. I wanted to make certain my heart was clean, my motives were pure, the Word was true. Nothing was happening. I would give an invitation and a few people would come forward out of sympathy for me but it wasn't revival. And I got frustrated. You're not supposed to be frustrated if you're a preacher. But I got frustrated. We're in the middle of the invitation, asking people to come forward. They had a couple of chairs up there on the platform the preachers sit in.
I went and sat down in that big chair. I said, "Pastor, you take the invitation". I went down and I began to pray. I said, "God, I don't understand it. God, I've preached Your Word. Lord, I've prayed. Lord, I've fasted. Why, why God? I'm so frustrated". I said, "God give me a Word". And I opened my Bible at random and put my finger on a verse. And when I read it, I almost came unglued. It was Ezekiel 2:7. And it said, "And thou shalt speak My Words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious". "Whether they hear or whether they don't, speak My Word". I thought boy, they haven't rejected me Lord, they've rejected You. Why am I feeling sorry for myself? And I said, "Lord that is so good, give me another one".
I looked away and put my finger on another verse. And I'm telling you this time, folks, I could hardly contain myself. It was Ezekiel 2 verse 5. And here's what it said. "And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, for they are a rebellious house, yet shall they know that there hath been a prophet among them". Can you imagine? God said to me. "Adrian, whether they hear you or whether they don't, they will know that I sent My man". Whether they hear or whether they don't hear. You see that's not my responsibility. My responsibility, your responsibility is to declare the Word of God in this generation whether they hear or whether they will not hear.
Now folks, persecution is going to come. Is that bad? No, that's good. It's a great platform for a testimony. The Bible says in Second Timothy 3 verse 12, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution". If I had time, I could finish this chapter and show you where the hallelujah chorus begins, where it says, "The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ. And He shall reign forever and ever". You almost expect to hear Handel's Hallelujah Chorus begin don't you? Let me tell you something now folks. We are on the winning side. When you read all of this, when you see what God has said, and you see everything fitting into the sockets of prophecy, you know that we're on the winning side.
Now the question is, when all of this is going on, where will you be? What is your relationship to God? I'm not asking are you a Baptist or are you a nice person. I want to know do you know Jesus Christ personally? Do you have the assurance, the wonderful assurance that your sin is under the blood? That God's Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you're a child of God. And you know no matter what happens or whatever comes that you're ready to live or to die for Jesus Christ.
Would you bow your heads in prayer? Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. If you're not really truly, truly certain that you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, today would be a good day for you to say once and for all now and forever an everlasting yes to Jesus.
Father I pray this morning for many who will say yes to Jesus, trust Him as their personal Lord and Savior. And Lord I pray this morning for a harvest of souls.
And precious friend, if you're not certain that you're saved, this is the day you need to get it settled. Would you pray a pray like this? "Dear God," pray it out of your heart:
Dear God, I know that You love me and I know that You want to save me. Jesus, You died to save me and You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You.
Tell Him that, tell Him:
I do trust You. Now, with all of my heart, I turn from my sin, I receive You into my life as my Savior and Lord. I don't look for a sign, I don't ask for a feeling. I just stand on Your Word. I trust You. And because I trust You, I will acknowledge You. I will make it public. I will not be ashamed of You. In Your name I pray, Amen.