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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Adrian Rogers » Adrian Rogers - Waiting for Jesus

Adrian Rogers - Waiting for Jesus

Adrian Rogers - Waiting for Jesus
TOPICS: Remembering Tomorrow, End times, Second Coming

Turn to First Thessalonians chapter 1. And I want you to see three of the richest verses on Bible prophecy in all of the Bible. And God has put three incredible thoughts in these short verses. Look if you will in First Thessalonians chapter 1 now and verse 7 through 10, "So that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God were to spread abroad so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from Heaven whom He raised from the dead; even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come". Especially notice verse 10, "To wait for His Son from Heaven whom He raised from the dead; even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come".

Ladies and gentlemen, we are on a collision course with destiny and we cannot afford to be ignorant. The signs of Jesus' coming are so many; I have stopped looking for the signs, I'm listening for the shout. I believe that Jesus is at the door. One of the most blessed truths that I know, and it is a wonderful, blessed and biblical truth, is this: that His coming is eminent. That means that He may come at any moment. We're not looking for some event in history; we are looking for Jesus Christ Himself. The last prayer in the Bible, do you know what the last prayer in the Bible is? It is Revelation 22 verse 20, "Even so, come Lord Jesus". And what that last prayer is, ought to be our prayer today and every waking day. "Even so, come Lord Jesus". For that's exactly what Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:10, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven".

Now there's a dark side to this verse. Look at it if you will in First Thessalonians 1 verse 10, "And wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come". "The wrath to come," underscore that; look at it, meditate on it. There is impending wrath. What is this wrath to come? It's the Great Tribulation. The Bible teaches that there are dark days coming on this Earth. You say, "Pastor, we're already having tribulation". Friend, when the Great Tribulation comes, it will make the tribulation of today look like a Sunday school picnic. The Bible calls it, "The wrath to come". Look at it, it's right there, "The wrath to come". This is not some scare tactic that I have conjured up.

I want to tell you that the Bible teaches clearly, plainly, solemnly, that there is a dark, devilish, devastating day that is coming. The Bible calls it, "The wrath to come". The prophet Daniel talked about it. Back in Daniel chapter 12 and verse 1; and he said in that verse, "For there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time". There will be a time of trouble like there has never, ever, ever been. Jesus warned about it. Remember last week, we were in Matthew chapter 24 talking about the signs of the times. And Jesus wrapped that up in verses 21 and 22 and He said, "For then should be great tribulation". Now this is the word of Jesus, listen to it, "For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time; no nor ever shall be".

There has never been anything like it since the beginning, since the dawn of history, till the time that Jesus was speaking. Nor any other time that would come after that time until the Great Tribulation comes. Daniel said, "There is nothing like it". Jesus said, "There is nothing like it". The apostle Paul said, "The wrath is coming". Look if you will in the book of the Revelation. Just leave First Thessalonians. Put your book mark there and turn to Revelation chapter 6. I think we'll see a little more about this impending wrath. Look if you will in Revelation chapter 6. Let's begin in verse 15; it tells about that time. And it says, "And the kings of the Earth and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne,'" now watch this, "and from the wrath of the Lamb".

Can you imagine putting those words together, "The wrath of the Lamb"? The Lamb is Jesus. "The wrath of the Lamb". And then notice verse 17, "For the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand"? That's what Paul is talking about in our text, this wrath. And notice the sixth chapter of Revelation; let's just stay here for just a moment, because this wrath to come is preceded by four horsemen. We call those the four horsemen of the apocalypse. And if you'll listen today, you can hear distant thunder. You can hear today the hoof beats of those four horsemen that are coming over the horizon. It is getting closer, and closer, and closer, and closer.

Look at these four horsemen that precede this great day of wrath. Revelation chapter 6 verses 1 through 2, "And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals and heard as it were the noise of thunder. And one of the four beasts saying, 'Come and see.'" Now look in verse 2, "And I saw and behold a white horse and he that sat on him had a bow and a crown was given unto him. And he went forth conquering and to conquer". Who is this rider on this white horse? He is the antichrist. Now he is on a white horse. A white horse is a symbol of triumph. Rulers of that day, when they triumphed would prance around on a white horse. The rider of this horse has a bow in his hand. That's a weapon of war. It is a symbol of power. There is coming a conqueror with power.

This verse says, "He has a crown upon his head". That is, he is a ruler. It's the word, stephanos. It's a crown given to a king. And the Bible says, "He goes forth to conquer". There is coming a malevolent, wicked, horrible, indescribably powerful world ruler, the Bible calls, "The beast, the man of sin, the antichrist, the son of perdition, the wicked one," and he will be the last world dictator. Riding upon his white horse with his bow in his hand, his crown on his head. The Bible says, "He will go forth to conquer". Jesus predicted this. Jesus said, "I've come in My Father's name, you wouldn't receive Me". But Jesus said in John chapter 5 verse 43, "If another shall come in his own name, him you will receive". Don't think that it will not happen. Do you know what the Bible says about the antichrist?

The Bible says in Daniel 8:25, "Through peace he will destroy many". Not through war, but through peace. That is, he will come as the world's messiah offering peace. And then who's the next rider? Look if you will in Revelation 6 verse 4, "And there went out another horse that was red and power was given to him that sat there on to take peace from the Earth that they should kill one another. And there was given unto him a great sword". The first horse, the white horse, that's dominion. The red horse; that is destruction. Red is the power of blood. When this devil inspired leader, the antichrist, goes forth to conquer and when he gets the idea of world conquest in his evil brain, what is going to follow? First sin, then war, then havoc and then destruction.

Didn't Jesus warn us in Matthew 24 verse 6, in our message last week as we studied His words, that there would be, "Wars and rumors of wars". It will not get better, it will get worse. A general of yesteryear, General Omar Bradley, said these words, "We know more about war than peace, more about killing than about living. This is the twentieth century's claim to progress, knowledge of science outstrips capacity for control. We have too many men of science and too few men of God. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience, a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants". We have enough nuclear weapons stockpiled in the world today to kill everybody on Earth 150 times.

How many times can you die? But war is coming. And the spirit of antichrist will inflame men's hearts with hatred and cause brother to rise up against brother. Child arise up against parent. Nation to rise against nation. They did not want the Prince of Peace and now there will be unrestrained war and dripping swords will be drenched with blood and the streets will be filled with the decaying, bloated bodies of those who have died. There will be the groans of the living. When Jesus Christ spoke about this in Matthew 24, He said, "You better pray it doesn't come on the Sabbath day". Because the Orthodox Jews would not flee Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And He said in Matthew 24 verses 19 and 20, "Woe unto those who are with child". These people who are carrying babies in their womb or a little suckling children. Then what follows?

First, the white horse, dominion. Secondly, the red horse, destruction. Thirdly, the black horse, deprivation. Look if you will in Revelation 6 verses 5 and 6, "And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, 'Come and see.' And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat upon him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts saying, 'A measure of wheat for a penny.'" A measure of wheat, that's one meal. A penny, a denarias. That's a day's labor. It would be the same as paying $100 of more for a loaf of bread and three measures of barley for a penny. Barley is hardly fit to eat.

We spoke last week about what the Lord Jesus had to say about famines coming. One half of the world already goes to bed hungry. But when you take the able bodied men of this world and put them to war, who's going to till the fields? How are you going to get food to the hungry? And there will come massive starvation. When Titus, the Roman general, surrounded Jerusalem in 70 A.D. One of the things he did was to cut the city off from food. The people could not go out into the fields where there was ripening grain. The people became maniacal, starved, half crazed. And historians tell us that women killed and cooked and ate their own babies. Cannibalism, I believe, will be seen again in the Great Tribulation. Dominion, destruction, deprivation and last of all decimation and death.

Look at the next horse, Revelation 6 verses 7 and 8, "And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth beast say, 'Come and see,' and I looked and behold a pale horse". The word pale there is the word cloros. It's the word we get chlorine from. It means a ghastly green, putrid; the color of decaying, deadly flesh. "A pale horse, and his name that sat on him was death, and Hell followed with him; and power was given unto them over the fourth part of the Earth". More than a billion people will die. "To kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the Earth". Stay tuned. I'm going to talk about the beasts of the Earth in just a moment. Do you see the chain reaction?

First of all, the antichrist; dominion. Then war; destruction. Then famine; deprivation. And then death. It's a chain reaction. Sin causes hatred. Hatred causes war and bloodshed. War causes famine. Famine produces death. But listen, death is not all. Look at this verse, look at it. In verse 8, "And his name that sat on him was death," now watch, "and Hell followed with him". "Hell followed with him". Don't get the idea that death will end it all. As a matter of fact, the Bible teaches in Revelation 9:6, "In these days men will seek death and death will flee from them". But even if they do die, they cannot crawl up in the grave and pull the dirt over their face and hide from God because death gets the body, Hell gets the soul. It is death and Hell. I say, if you listen, if you read the newspapers, if you watch, you can hear the hoof beats. You can hear the distant thunder.

These four horsemen are ready to ride. And when they ride, go back again now to verse 17 of Revelation 6, "For the great day of his wrath is come". That's the reason I said Paul's Scripture was a great Scripture because it says in First Thessalonians 1:10 that, "We are waiting for Jesus who has delivered us from the wrath to come". He didn't say the wrath that might come. He said it's coming. Now we said that this last horse, this pale horse reminds us of the beasts of the Earth. Look if you will the last phrase in verse 8. With that in mind, just fast forward to Revelation chapter 9 for a moment. What are these beasts of the Earth? Some people say they may be rats or other creatures like that. I believe he's using symbolic language. The antichrist is a beast and he has a number of beasts that will follow him. They will be demon spirits.

Look if you will in Revelation chapter 9 and verse 1, "And the fifth angel sounded and I saw a star fall from Heaven unto the Earth". Who is that star? His name is Satan. He's Hell's hero. "And I saw a star fall from Heaven unto the Earth. And to him was given the key of the bottomless pit". The bottomless pit is the penitentiary for the most malevolent and wicked, evil, demon spirits. So vile, so wicked, that God has incarcerated them in a bottomless pit. But now Satan is handed the keys. And notice what happens in Revelation 9 verse 2 and 3, "And he opened the bottomless pit and there arose a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit and there came out of the smoke locusts upon the Earth". These are the beasts I believe he's talking about.

You see, the fallen star is Lucifer himself. And he is going to loose demon spirits during the Great Tribulation upon the Earth. They come out of the abyss, the penitentiary of evil spirits. They are described as locusts. If you had lived in the Middle East, you would know what an invasion of locusts would do. They would come in such swarms that they would fill the air. They would be choking by their presence. There would be so many of them. They would blot out the sun. You could not even see there would be so many of them. "The sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit". A locust in the Middle East would devour everything in sight. They would eat the leaves. They would eat the branches. They would strip the bark from the trees and leave nothing but devastation. Only these locusts will not feed on green things. They will feed and feast on men.

Look if you will in Revelation 9 verse 4, "And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the Earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads". Can you imagine what he's describing here? Demon spirits, insatiable in their appetite to feed and feast on men, devouring all with their demonic power. And look how they're described in Revelation 9 verse 5, "Like scorpions also. And to them it was given that they should kill that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented. Five months and their torment was as of the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man".

Have you ever been bitten by a scorpion? I have. Can you imagine not one scorpion, but the air filled with scorpions? The torment! That's the reason why I said death would be a welcome release. Look in Revelation 9 verse 6, "And in those days shall men seek death and shall not find it and shall desire to die. And death shall flee from them". Well, you say, "I'll get away from these demon spirits". No you won't. Look in verse 7, "And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses". What are the beasts now? First locust, now scorpions, now horses. "Prepared unto battle. And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold". A horse can outrun a man. These are coming with rapid progress, irresistibility. And you will not be able to withstand them because they are in control. Satan now has put the crown upon his imps, his demons, and they are following Satan.

Well, you say, "I will out smart them. Oh, no you won't. Because it says in Revelation 9 verse 7, 'Their faces were like the faces of men.'" The face of a man in Bible typology speaks of human wisdom, human intelligence. And of course today, we are worshiping human wisdom and human intelligence. "Thus sayeth the mind of man," rather than, "Thus saying the Word of God". I get so put out by some of these, so-called, Bible scholars today who're trying to take the Bible apart and judge the Bible. They were never meant to judge the Bible, the Bible was meant to judge them. And listen, you say, "Well, they won't fool me". Oh yes they will. They're very seductive. Notice in Revelation 9 verse 8, "And they had hair as the hair of women". A face like a man, intelligent, but, "Hair like the hair of women".

What does that speak of? Exactly what the apostle Paul spoke of when he said seducing spirits. They will be seductive, alluring. Satan comes either as an angel of light or as a roaring lion. Hair like women, but wait a minute. Continue to read in Revelation 9:8, "Teeth like lions". The beasts of the Earth that come out of the bottomless pit. A face like a man, intelligence. Hair like a woman, seductive. Teeth like a lion, to bite, and shred, and rip, and tear, and devour. You don't want to be here during the Great Tribulation. Now you listen to me, you do not want to be here. You say, "Well, Pastor, that is symbolic language". Well, what is the symbol talking about? Why has God taken these figures of speech to give us this language to describe to us what is happening upon this Earth? You say, "Well, we will destroy them". No you will not.

Look in verse 9 of this same chapter, "And they had breastplates as it were, breastplates of iron". What does that speak of? They are invincible. You will not be able to destroy them. Sinful men will do them no good to fight back. Don't you underestimate the power of Satan without the power of Jesus Christ to overcome him! He has a breastplate like iron. Look again in verse 9. You're not going to be able to outwit or outrun him. The Bible says, "And the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots, many horses running to battle".

Now, wings, chariots, horses, lions, scorpions, locusts, the beasts of the Earth. You'll not outwit them, you'll not outrun them. Look if you will in Revelation 9 verse 10 if you think that Satan has taken over. He hasn't taken over however. And the Bible says, "And their power was to hurt men five months". That is, God has put brackets around everything that Satan does. Five months is the life span of a locust. What does that mean? It means that our God is still in control. Now go back to our text. And we haven't been there for a long time, so go back to First Thessalonians if you will. I just wanted to take that little bypath to help you understand some of the things that Apostle Paul is saying when he is saying here that, "Jesus has delivered us from the wrath to come".

Now I think this verse will make more sense to you in First Thessalonians chapter 1 verse 10, "That we're to wait for His Son from Heaven whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus," now listen to this, "which delivered us from the wrath to come". Say, "Amen"! Say, "Hallelujah"! Listen folks, I'm telling you, you better thank God for Jesus. The wrath is coming. No, maybe so, it is coming. And only Jesus can deliver you from the wrath to come. Now we're waiting for Jesus. We're not waiting for the Antichrist. Some people think the church is going to go through the Great Tribulation. But that isn't what this says. It says, "Jesus delivered us from the wrath to come".

Go to First Thessalonians chapter 5 and look if you will, verses 1 through 4, "But the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, 'Peace and safety,' then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape". But notice verse 4, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day shall overtake you as a thief". And then look if you will in verses 9 through 11 of this same chapter, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath". The great day of His wrath is come, but that's not for us. "God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation," that means deliverance, "by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves and edify one another, even as you do".

You see, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is a comfort. If I don't believe that Jesus can come at any moment. If I'm looking for the Great Tribulation, if I'm waiting for the antichrist rather than looking for the true Christ, rather than looking up I'm looking around. There's no comfort to say I'm going into the Great Tribulation. But God is not going to pour out His wrath upon His own dear children. Before God destroyed Sodom with fire and brimstone, what did He do? He took Lot out. The angel said, "I can't do anything until you've gotten out of here". Before God sent the flood to destroy the world in Noah's day, what did He do? He put Noah in the ark before the flood came. "God hath not appointed us to wrath".

God never pours out His wrath upon His children. He chastises His children. His wrath is for the unsaved, those who don't know the Lord Jesus Christ. And one of these days the great day of His wrath is going to come. Oh, there're so many Scriptures that teach this. Revelation 3 verse 10, "Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of trial, the hour temptation which shall come upon all the world to test them that dwell upon the Earth". Jesus is coming at any moment.

Now folks, I took too long with the first part of this message. So let me just give you the bottom line. All right, look again if you will in First Thessalonians chapter 1 and look in verse 7. What should we be doing while we're waiting for Jesus? "So that ye were examples to all that believe". Do you believe? Then these people were an example to you. Verse 8, "For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith to God-ward is spread abroad so that we need not speak any thing". Paul said, "When I got there to preach, you'd already been there. You were sounding out the Word of God". "For they themselves," that is, your converts, "show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you. How ye turned to God from idols to serve the true, the living and the true God, and to wait for His Son from Heaven".

Now folks, while you're waiting you need to be serving. Why have I linked prophecy with One Step Higher? Because that is what it is all about. If we believe that Jesus is coming, and we do, we need to turn from idols. You say, "Well I don't worship idols". Anything you love more, serve more, trust more, or fear more than almighty God is an idol. To turn to God from idols. To serve the living God. Waiting for Jesus. We sing it, "We'll work till Jesus comes and then we'll be gathered home". He's coming, and when He comes, we're going up higher. Until He comes we need to be moving up higher. One Step Higher. Now listen, folks, when the Bible says here, "They were waiting for Jesus".

Not only were they expecting Him, they were anticipating Him. A man was a station master. He was in the railroad station waiting for the train to come. A young lady was there, she was waiting for the same train. The young lady had her fiancé on that train, she was waiting to meet him and greet him and they were to be married. What was the difference between the station master and the young lady? The station master knew the train was coming, he had his charts. The young lady could hardly wait for it to get there. That's it. I can hardly wait! "Even so, come, Lord Jesus". We're to be waiting, "Waiting for His Son from Heaven". Looking, learning, longing, laboring till Jesus comes and we'll be gathered home. Thank God for Jesus who has delivered us from the wrath to come. Bow your heads in prayer.

Lord Jesus, I just pray that today many will say yes to You and be saved.

While heads are bowed, if you're not saved today, you can be saved right now where you are, forever, if you'll receive Christ. Because of Calvary's sacrifice and because of the power of the blood you can be saved. Would you pray this way:

God, I am a sinner, I acknowledge my sin. My sin deserves judgment but I want mercy. I want to be delivered from the wrath to come. Thank You Lord that You've not appointed those who believe in Jesus to wrath but to obtain salvation. Lord Jesus, I trust You to save me. (Would you tell Him that?) Lord Jesus, I trust You to save me. Right now, this moment, with all of my heart I trust You. Come into my heart, forgive my sin, cleanse me, wash me, save me, Lord Jesus! Thank You for doing it. I receive it by faith and that settles it. Amen and Amen.

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