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Jack Graham - Is There Hope For America?

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    Jack Graham - Is There Hope For America?
TOPICS: All Things New, Book of Revelation, End times, Hope, America, USA

We're asking the question: Is There Hope for America? Beyond that: is there hope for the world? And our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the promise of His return! The solution to our problems are not political solutions really, though we believe in participating in the political system. We have the right, the freedom, you should be a voter. What makes a person a good Christian also makes them a good citizen of their country. And as citizens of the United States what a great freedom. There are many who may be listening to me right now around the world online who do not have the freedoms of elections, and selecting their leadership. We have that. And it's unfortunate that so many Christians do not vote. We're going to make sure this fall that every person who's a member of Prestonwood is registered to vote and participating in the process.

The Scripture tells us, the Bible says, Proverbs 29:2, "When the righteous rule then the people rejoice". And I'm grateful for those, including those in our church who are serving our community, our city, our state, our nation, whether it be in military or in politics, in political service, statesmanship. I'm grateful for those who serve in the political process, who serve God by serving others and our nation. But having said that we know that ultimately the solution for our problems, the many problems that we're facing as a country right now is not a political solution. Our greatest need is God! Our only hope is Jesus. Ronald Reagan was a great American, the president of the United States. He said this: "America needs God more than God needs America. If we ever forget that we are one nation under God then we shall be a nation gone under".

And it's true, isn't it. We are one nation under God. That is our spiritual heritage, but we need today to pray for America. We sing God Bless America; we need to pray that God's hand of blessing would remain upon America. We need to pray and not give up. We need to pray and work for spiritual awakening, for ministry in our community, for revival in the church. So many people need Jesus and the fact is so much of the upheaval, the chaos in people's lives today is a result of a desire to know God, to know and experience a relationship with God! And it's time for the church to wake up and to rise up and to meet the challenges of our times. Because we do this with a sense of urgency and even emergency in these days, knowing that Christ is at the door, and that the Rapture of the church, the taking away, the translation of the church into heaven could happen at any time, and then the Tribulation!

We ask the question: Can things get worse in America? Can things become more tragic in the world? And the answer is yes, they will. The Tribulation is the worst that is yet to come. But at the end of the Great Tribulation on earth is judgment on the earth, the arrival and the rule of the antichrist and the false prophet, and the release of demons, and the havoc and hell that is released on earth at the end of that period! There will be a final world battle on the plains of Megiddo in Israel and at that moment Christ will return and we will be with Him and we will reign with Him. That's what verse 11 is talking about.

"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! And the one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and oh his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. There are mysteries about who God is and the depths of His wisdom and His glory that are unknowable to the human mind; only God knows. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God". John in his Gospel said, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word is God". The Word is Jesus. Verse 14: "And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. And on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords". The King is coming!

Three simple points to this important message in answering the question: Is there hope for the world? Is there hope for America? The hope is in the Blessed Hope, the return of Jesus. So who is the one who is coming? Who is coming at the Second Coming? Well, it's clear if you're a follower of Jesus because we know that Jesus promised to come back, not only out of the grave, but once He was out of the grave, He ascended and He promised that He would return. He said, "I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there you may be also". Again and again Jesus spoke of His Second Advent, His Second Coming. Now there's a big contrast, of course, to the first coming of Jesus and the second coming of Jesus. He came the first time to save, "to seek and to save the lost". But when He comes again He will judge all unbelievers. He will judge the lost. The first time He came in humility and in grace; but when He comes again here at the Second Coming of Jesus He will come in great honor and great glory and great power. When He came the first time, He came into the city of Jerusalem riding on a humble donkey, but when He comes again He will be riding a white horse, a white stallion.

My friend Levi Lusko called this called this air horse one. You know the president rides in Air Force One. Well, our King is coming on air horse one! Riding a white horse! And that represents a conquering king. When He came the first time He came to a cross, but when He comes again as we just read, He's coming with many crowns! And I can't wait to sing "Crown Him with many Crowns, The Lord upon His throne". And while in heaven we will celebrate forever His blood, as we'll see in just a moment what He has accomplished for us, the cross cannot contain our Jesus! The tomb can't contain our Jesus! Heaven and earth can't contain or control our Jesus! He came the first time as the Lamb to take away the sin of the world, but when He comes again He comes as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah to reign and to rule! This same Jesus. "He is faithful and He is true"!

Faithful and true which means He comes to judge the world with righteousness. Not only faithful and true, His eyes are flashing, the Scripture says, meaning that He sees and knows everything. There are no secrets. The things that we attempt to cover up He ultimately uncovers. You know the Gospel, the grace of God means that when we confess our sin He covers our sin. He covers it up, cleanses our sin when we confess our sin. But if we continue in our sin and try to cover our own sin, cover our own tracks ultimately Jesus said that which was done in secret will be shouted from the rooftops. He was talking about a day like this day in the Scripture when everything we will know even as we have been known! "On His head," verse 12 says, "there are many diadems". Crowns. A diadem is not the stephanos which is the victory crown given to perhaps athletes after great competition; that's the stephanos. But this is the diadem which is crown of royalty, the crown of a king. And verse 13 says that He is "clothed in a robe dipped in blood".

Now what is this robe dipped in blood? Some say, well that is the blood of His enemies. That when He comes to take out all the enemies and eradicate evil that the blood splatters on His vesture. I don't believe so. I believe this blood on His garment is His own precious, yet powerful blood. The blood that will never lose its power! The blood that conquers sin, death and hell! In heaven we will be forever grateful We will be celebrating forever with our Lord, and yet we will never fail to remember the cost and the price and the sacrifice that was made when Jesus died for us. So His very robe is splattered with blood. Jesus comes again! "Out of His mouth is a sharp sword of which to strike down the nations and He will rule them with a rod of iron". More about that in just a bit. But this is Jesus who comes again. My second question regards the Second Coming is the when of the Second Coming. The Who of the second Coming is Jesus, reigning, ruling, returning, but the when is a question, of course, we ask. "Lord, when are You coming"?

Now in case you're a little bit, maybe you're just catching up with us in the Revelation study, maybe this is your first time with us, so let me remind you of something about the return of Jesus. It comes actually in two sections, two phases, two stages, if you will. First, in the Rapture when we are taken, translated instantaneously, immediately, in the twinkling of an eye, mysteriously, supernaturally we who are believers will be "caught up with the Lord and the resurrected dead in the air to meet the Lord in the air, and so will we ever be with the Lord". That can happen at any time! There's nothing else we're waiting for. We're not looking for something else to come in order to fulfill a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. No, the Rapture of the church will take place like a thief in the night, the Scripture says. He will come like a thief in the night. In once sense secretly.

People will be wondering "Where did all those crazy Christians go? Good riddance! Get rid of all those fundamentalist Christians"! "Where'd they go? Must have been some kind of judgment! They're out of here"! It will be a mystery. 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52, "Behold, I show you a mystery... we shall all be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye". That was represented in Revelation chapter 4 when John saw an open door in heaven and he was taken up into heaven. That's the Rapture of the church, and again, be ready for the Rapture because it can happen now, it could happen today. Following the Rapture comes the Great Tribulation. That's where we've been all these weeks and months in the Revelation series, this Great Tribulation. The antichrist is revealed, demons are released, false prophets and kingdoms and wars and devastation and disease and disaster, and on and on.

And at the end of the Tribulation, when evil has its final hour, that's when the revelation, the return of Christ, the revealing of Christ takes place. And that's chapter 19, verse 11. So you get that? You got that? First, the Rapture, then the return. At the Rapture Jesus, check this out, Jesus is coming for His bride. But at the Second Coming we're coming with Him; we are joining Him as the armies of heaven. He's coming for His bride at the Rapture; He's coming with His Bride, you and me as followers, at His return. So we're in heaven and we get married to Christ, and we're happy, we're excited. And He tells us we're going on a honeymoon. "Okay, Lord, where are we going"? You know where we're going? We're going to the Holy Land! That's right! Read about it right here! We leave the wedding and we go to war! And that's why it tells us that we're riding horses with Him, that we're with Him in the sky.

What a picture this is of Jesus coming with us and we are following Him. And we go to the plains of Megiddo, and there the final force. And we'll talk about this in next week's message, but the final force and fury of evil against God! Amazing, man is still fighting God; still rebelling against God! And we return with Him. So the Rapture is secret, supernatural; the return is sovereign and powerful and glorious. Verse 14 says, "And the armies of heaven arrayed in fine linen white and pure, were following Him on white horses". When we go to war with our King, we won't be wearing camo; we'll be arrayed in fine white linen, dressed in His righteousness alone! The sin and the stain and splatters, the filth of this world has been removed, and we are arrayed beautifully white and radiant as we return with our Lord. And when the war is fought, we may be ready to go.

I know some of you type A's, some of you former soldiers, you're ready to go fight right now. Let's go! But this war will be won with the Word of God, the Word of Jesus, not with weapons. Jesus will speak and it will be over. Jesus will say the word of God. Verse 15, "From His mouth a sharp sword to strike down the nations and he will rule them with a rod of iron". He speaks and it's over! He speaks and the antichrist, the beast and the false prophet, and ultimately Satan himself are casted into the Lake of Fire. And birds swarm, birds of prey swarm to devour the flesh of these armies of evil as evil is now eradicated! God's word is fulfilled; God's truth marches on. Jesus prophesied that all this would happen. It will happen, and I promise you, just as prophecy has already been fulfilled in precision, these prophecies will be fulfilled. No one knows exactly when Christ is coming again.

If anybody tells you they do, don't pay any attention to them, because Jesus said in Matthew 24:42 that we need to wake up because no one knows! You do not know on what day your Lord is coming, so be ready! Verse 44 of chapter 24 says, "But know this, therefore you must be ready for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you do not expect". So regarding the Rapture, could come at any hour that you do not expect. The return of Jesus Christ is on God's calendar and I do believe we're on the clock. And Jesus will arrive just as He promised, just as He predicted! Count on it! And with Him 10,000 of His saints, the angels of God, the armies of God, Old Testament saints, New Testament believers, Tribulation saints. And all of us together will be there to experience this epic, eternal event when Christ comes back!

One final word: the why of His coming. That should be obvious, right? To establish His kingdom. It's what this Bible is all about the kingdom of God. The reign and the rule of God in people's lives, in the universe. God has a kingdom. Jesus came speaking words about the kingdom! Now the kingdom is within you, Jesus said, "But one day the kingdom will be with out". The kingdom of heaven is coming to this earth, and it will be an earthly, physical, visible kingdom. It's called the millennial kingdom. Chapter 20 in Revelation describes it. We'll talk about it the next time. But Jesus will establish His golden era, the golden reign of Christ, what the philosophers have dreamed about. What politicians have sought and promised, the peace that is predicted and desired in the hearts of all human beings, that perfect world, that perfect universe is coming when Jesus returns!

And one reason that it gets here when Jesus comes is because the kingdoms of man, the kingdoms of evil will be destroyed. Jesus will take all that out. It says that He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. If you have your Bibles turn to 2 Thessalonians chapter 1. I have a scripture I want to show you. Second part of verse seven, it says: "when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels", it's right there in your Bible, that's Revelation 19, "in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ".

Do you obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ? If you do, the Second Coming is going to be a glorious experience for you, a joyous experience! If you don't, there will be hell to pay and punishment is on the way. That's what the Scripture says. Verse 9 says, "They will suffer punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might, when He comes on that day to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you is believed". What a marvelous day it's going to be for the believer! But for the unbeliever a bad, bad day.

You say "I don't, I don't like to think about a God like that! Don't talk to me, Jack, about a God of judgment! I'm out on that! I believe God is too good to punish people"! Well, friend, I believe God is too good not to punish people. God is good, God is love: no question about that, and He is so good and so holy and so perfect that He cannot tolerate sin in any way. And if you continue your rebellion and your unrepentance before God then ultimately the only thing that can happen to you is what will happen to the beast, to the devil himself, and that is to be casted into the lake of fire. I'm just telling you what the Bible says. Don't argue with me. And I don't say it with any sense of joy or satisfaction. The fact is that because God loves people, we love people and we want to take as many people with us to heaven as possible. We want to make it hard to go to hell from our community. And that means we tell people the truth! Because God will not be mocked!

When people celebrate sin, nobody wins! Nobody wins! It's a wicked thing to celebrate sin. Ultimately sin will be condemned and judged. And when Jesus establishes His kingdom, can you imagine a world where there's no more sin and therefore, no more consequences of sin, no more mental institutions, no more hospitals, no more prisons, no more pain because sin and the suffering that results is forever removed in the new heavens and the new earth and Jesus will reign. The kingdom of our God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. That's what we're looking for. We're looking for our King. And yes, we do love America, but Jesus and His kingdom is not just for the Americans. There are many of you who are listening across the world right now, watching by television, on the internet as well. And please don't hear us saying that Jesus is the American God. He's the God of this nation and the God of all nations ultimately. He's the King of kings and Lord of lords! And we celebrate Him today. Our King is coming again!
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