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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - After This I Looked - Part 3

Beth Moore - After This I Looked - Part 3

Beth Moore - After This I Looked - Part 3
TOPICS: Tribulation, End times

The Word of God talks about tribulation from the beginning. The word that you would see if you looked up the word, sometimes even "trial" is a pressure, stress. Those words that are translated in various translations of the Scriptures, very often they're coming from the same Greek word or a form of that same Greek word. Even when Jesus said in John chapter 16 and verse 33, when he said, "In this world you will have trouble, but you need to take heart. I have overcome this world". Said from the very beginning, I mean from the get-go, from the get-go, there was going to be tribulation. There will not be a time on this planet in the kingdom agenda that there will not be tribulation for the saints and tribulation for the globe. There just will be.

But we can all see that he's talking right here, in particular, he's using that word "the," and so that makes us, that draws our attention to that, going like, "Okay, what's going on here"? Well, this is gonna tie, and we're not gonna take time to look right now, but do jot it down if you would like to go look at the background of this. Almost certainly, this is tying to Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21, which is Christ drawing from some of those images in Daniel, both those, I'll say 'em again, Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21, that talk about when there will be a time of tribulation on the earth that will be unlike any other, unlike any other.

Now, the question inevitably becomes: "Is that what we're going through"? "The great tribulation," that word "great". "The," of course, is what's making it stick out to us and asking questions. The superlative "great," the great tribulation, is a form of our English word, "mega". Mega tribulation. I mean, like, big tribulation, and most likely in reference to the final era of this present age we're living in. So, the inevitable question is this: "Is this the great tribulation"? I'mma tell you something: trying to demand an answer to that question is going to do nothing but derail us. Every generation that has seen great ordeals on this earth has believed they were in the great tribulation. We won't know it was the great tribulation till we're done, you understand? I mean, if they're the ones that see the sky roll back like a scroll and Jesus coming through it, that, yeah, I can know they're the ones, they're the ones. But until then, here's where the truth is.

This is where I implore you to set your gaze regarding tribulation. Whether or not we are in the great tribulation, which I don't, it would not be my take. I believe that it would be far more intense even than this. But this is for certain, we are in a great tribulation. Oh yes, we are, oh yes, we are. When things are just, like, unprecedented in what we know to be the state and condition of this world, I think we can say with confidence a great tribulation to be sure, but here's the bottom line of it. It's the only time we're here anyway. So whether it's a tribulation or the tribulation, it's what you got. And so whether it's a tribulation or the tribulation, it is where you and I who are in Christ, listen carefully, because we are so fragile and so wimpy, and please forgive me, the later it gets in the lesson, the bolder I get, so it's rough from this point on. We get so wimpy, we don't understand that what he's saying is "I called you to this". You were called to this era.

When you look around you and I look around you and we go, "What in this world is happening," this moment on the kingdom calendar was entrusted to you. The Word of God is explicit that God lays out the generations from beginning to end. He did not accidentally put you on the earth and call you to be his own and then look up and go, "You know what? They really were not the ones to entrust with that generation. It really should have been another group". I wonder, you know, we got eternity, so think about all the testimonies we'll be able to give and all, I just can't wait to listen to the apostles talk about different scenes with him, like, "Tell me, what was the look on his face when he said that"?

I wanna hear about the early church fathers. I wanna hear about all of the generations. I wanna hear what it was like during the Reformation. I wanna hear all of those things. Somewhere along the way you think, you just picture that an angel's gonna say, "Now, will the class of 2020 please stand up"? And you know, the shock of it is that we thought it was gonna stay in 2020, and it didn't. Like, who didn't turn off 2020? That's what I wanna know. Like, why does it just keep going and going and going and going and here we are? Does anybody know what year it is? A great tribulation. And what Revelation is calling for, it says it from the very beginning. In Revelation chapter 1, he says, "I, John," this is in verse 9 of Revelation 1, "your brother and partner in the affliction, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus". "The affliction, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus".

We are being prepared for a kingdom. We will live ever with everlasting joy, but for right now, we have difficult times and it's gonna take patience and it's gonna take endurance and it's gonna take us standing back up and stopping all the whining and being who we've been called to be and getting in the Scriptures instead of living our whole days on social media. Listen, I'm for keeping up with the news, I'm for being informed, I'm for giving and I'm for praying and interceding and acting, and I believe in action, but let me tell you, y'all, we have got to be a people of the Scriptures. Have got to. I wouldn't dare set myself up as some example for you because, oh my goodness, you talk about somebody that has been a train wreck in the course of her life, but I'll tell you one thing: what are you filling your head with? Because you have got a job to do. Are you doing it? Am I doing it?

We are called to be faithful witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has allowed these fires to come upon us according to 1 Peter chapter 1 because what these fires, these fiery trials do is they refine us better than gold, and it says that gold that is tested by fire, in other words, the hotter that fire gets, the more the dross comes to the surface and then the refiner can skim off the dross and purify the gold. And in layman's terms, what these fiery trials are for is to burn the fake out of us. I promise you that Jesus is after my fake and he's after yours. Don't doubt it for a minute. He is going for it. Where we are duplicitous, and we are pretending and where we are acting like something that we're not, and where we're boastful, he's coming straight for it, straight for it, straight for it, 'cause it's his job. And he's gonna turn that fire up and turn that fire up and turn that fire up until what's on the outside matches what is on the inside and we live not perfect lives but, listen carefully, faithful lives.

Whether you have been left or betrayed or broken or been through all manner of Hades, you're still called and I am still called to live faithful lives. When we think to ourselves, "I don't have any choices here, I don't have any choices here, I don't, all of this has happened to me, there's nothing I can do to change it, I have no choices here". Yes, you do. Oh yes, you do. You can choose whether or not you're gonna be faithful in that situation. Oh yes, you do. I can decide right here, am I gonna be faithful in this time and this trial that has been entrusted to me? Oh, I have a choice. I have a choice. Faithful. We are so busy fighting that we have forgotten faithfulness.

I wanna go back and circle back that last couple of minutes to the whole idea of worship. And I wanna remind you as we look at these passages, and the Word of God is telling us, it tells us in Isaiah chapter 6 that worship is always going on in heaven around the throne. And it tells us again right here about the worship going on. Revelation chapter 4 says the same thing Isaiah chapter 6 does, essentially, which is day and night, never cease, sang, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God who was and is and is to come". And I love knowing that every single time we worship, whether it's in your car when you're driving or whether it's here in corporate worship, or whether in your church on Sunday, or whether online, watching a service, whatever it may be, that every single time we worship, we are joining with angels. And I don't know, maybe you've heard that a thousand times, maybe that doesn't mean a lot anymore, but something about that is just, like, miraculous. And I wonder every now and then, every now and then, do they think we sounded good enough that maybe they join in with us?

As it describes, they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. It begins now to do this whole paradoxical thing because, you see, the kingdom way of thinking is absolutely upside down from this world, because how in the world would you make anything white by washing it in blood? Now we know it's the purification of the cross, the blood shed for us on the cross, but all of it is just turned upside down and he's just going like, "This, this is what I have done for you". Made them white in the blood of the Lamb, the bleaching power of the blood, the victory of what looked like catastrophe. The Lamb, who we're gonna find out in just a moment, shepherds; and in Revelation 5, the Lion that turns out to be the Lamb. And here's the interesting part, that in Revelation what made one victorious was not surviving the calamities of earth, somebody needs to hear this. This is hard for us. We want it to be different than this.

Can God spare our lives? Oh, my mercies, yes, of course he can. Of course that's what we pray for. But I need you to understand that according to the Word of God and according to these worship scenes in Revelation, the point of life on earth is not just surviving all our calamities; that's not the big victory. The big victory is that we kept our faith in the middle of those calamities when it may be that through one of those calamities we are taken home. But we went home with our faith. Kept the faith, I finished the race. Says they will no longer hunger nor thirst. You've got to remember that John is on the island, so he is experiencing, he knows what it's like. When I got to go to Patmos, I got to be there and get a little bit of an inside kind of look at it that anybody would get, sitting there on that island, looking around how stark it is, and how there's just nothing to sit under. I mean, he knew thirst, he knew hunger. He knew what it was like to feel scorched. No longer, no longer, no longer.

I love that it says, "They'll no longer hunger and no longer thirst". But it's not just what they'll no longer do, it's not just about the absence. It's about what will be present. Would you go, would you just take just two minutes with me to go to Isaiah 25? I want to show you something. Isaiah 25. You're leaving something there in Revelation 7. Isaiah chapter 25, 'cause it's gonna give us a little Old Testament point of view of that feast we have coming. Isaiah 25, I'm starting to read at 6 and I will read through 10. "On this mountain, the LORD of Armies will prepare for all the peoples a feast of choice meat". I love that the Lord himself is preparing the meal. "A feast of aged wine, prime cuts of choice meat, fine vintage wine".

I just love the thought of it. I just love the thought of it, 'cause all the Baptists that for all this time, whether they have had a glass of wine in private or not, if they have been out at a restaurant, they've put their hand over the top of that glass every single time. But not this time. Vintage wine, aged wine, choice meat. "On this mountain He will destroy the burial shroud, the shroud over all the peoples, the sheet covering all the nations". That sheet, picture that sheet just thrown over something that is dead. "He will destroy death forever. And the LORD God," you heard it in Revelation 7. "The LORD God will wipe away the tears from every face and remove His people's disgrace from the whole earth, for the LORD has spoken. And on that day it will be said, 'Look, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He's saved us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.' For the LORD'S power will rest on this mountain".

He will wipe away, he himself will wipe away every tear from every face. That means yours, that God will touch your face and you will not pick up a virus from him. And every tear. And you think, "What, do we get one last really big cry"? I don't know, I don't know. Is it all the tears, that they'll all have ended? We don't know. But I can tell you this. To have to wipe away your tears, he has to touch you. Touch your sweet face and wipe them all away. And we are going to live happily ever after in the new heavens, in the new earth. I want you to write down three words that I say over and over and over to myself: "This, then bliss". This, then bliss. No matter what "this" is. No matter how hard it gets. No matter what you go through. No matter what I go through. No matter what this world goes through, there's this, and then what's coming next?

Somebody tell me. Then there's bliss. And this "this" is temporary, but we got an everlasting bliss coming. Isaiah 51:11 says: "So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, and everlasting joy on their heads. And they shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and sighing shall flee away". Psalm 16:11: "You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; And in Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore". The best thing we could do is that 7th chapter of Revelation ends with a picture of the Lamb, who is at the center of the throne. It says, "He will shepherd them. He will guide them to springs of the water of life; and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes". "Shepherd them".

You remember in Luke chapter 15 when Jesus leaves the 99 sheep and he goes after the one; he just carries it. He just carries it on his shoulders. There's a picture in Isaiah of him carrying the sheep, this Lamb who is both lamb and shepherd. It's the most precious picture. And we'll be sheltered. Of all things, as I look back on the course of my life, I had good things and bad things in my life, just like you did. Just like many of you did, I have a background of abuse. And as I look back over my childhood, the one thing I can tell you that I was not, just not, just not ever, I was loved by a number of people, and I was taken care of in the physical ways and in a number of emotional ways, but nothing of my life could I say over that I was sheltered.

Some of you have led a sheltered life. I was the antithesis of that. I was not sheltered from harm. We will be sheltered. No lion will devour us; no abuser, no misuser will be able to touch us. I wondered if it might be appropriate for us to end with a little different point of view about Psalm 23. I wonder if you would say the 23rd Psalm with me in the New King James, that's what I thought would sound the most familiar to us. And would you listen to what you are saying? Because you know one reason why we're fighting so much is because we are afraid. It's so much easier to be mad than sad, isn't it? But if we really heard these words of the Psalmist David, Psalm 23? Would you say these words with me?

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil". I think we're gonna need to say that again. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil".

I think we need to say it just one more time. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me". Oh, say it again. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow", oh no, convince me you believe what you're saying. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever". Where will you dwell? And for how long will you dwell? I will see you there, brothers and sisters. Be faithful to the last breath.
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