Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds the final rebellion of humankind against God when Satan is released at the end of Christ's millennial reign.
[Message] We’re looking at Revelation chapter 20 and verse 7 through verse 10 for our Scripture reading. So if you have your Bibles or New Testaments turn there and follow along as I read these verses, Revelation chapter 20, verse 7 through verse 10. Last Sunday, you who were here will remember that we considered the great passage in which the rule and reign with Lord of the saints for a thousand years is set forth, and now we continue the account with verse 7. “And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.”
I would like to say just one thing about the expression, Gog and Magog. You will recognize if you are a reader of Scripture that these terms are derived from Ezekiel chapter 38 and 39. And in Ezekiel, Gog is a person, a ruler of a land to the north of the land of Palestine, and Magog is the name of the land. So it’s Gog from the land of Magog. Now John is using this in a different sense, as you can see, because when he puts these two words together, he does not say, Gog of Magog, but Gog and Magog. Now these terms came to have a symbolic sense in Rabbinic literature. In fact, they are used in rabbinic literature of the great mass of the nations who are rebellious toward the Lord God in heaven.
Since the Book of Revelation has a great deal of symbolism within it, it’s almost the unanimous view of students of the Book of Revelation that the words here are used symbolically. That is, of the great masses of people who at this particular time will rise in rebellion against the Lord, and that’s the sense in which, I think, they are to be taken in the Rabbinic literature. If we have time later on I will quote a passage in which that sense is found. Now verse 9, “And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
May the Lord bless this reading of his word, and let’s bow together now in a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Our heavenly Father, we turn to Thee in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and thank Thee for the Bible which we hold in our hands, the word of God which gives us light upon our daily path, not only now but throughout the ages that are to come. We thank Thee for the great purpose of our triune God manifested in it, and we thank Thee for the glorious consummation to which we are moving as believers in our Lord and Savior.
We ask Thy blessing upon this country today, for our president and others associated with him in government. We pray for the whole church of Jesus Christ, wherever the word of God goes forth today, not simply here but wherever individuals gather in the name of our Lord and the word of God is preached in faithfulness and simplicity and truth. Oh God, through the Holy Spirit, use the word to build up the body of Christ and to increase it in number if it should please Thee. We pray that Thy hand may be laid upon all of the elect of God, and may they all be brought to know him, whom to know is life eternal.
We pray especially for the sick and those who have requested our prayers whose names are in our calends of concern. We especially remember them. We pray that Thou will give healing in accordance with Thy perfect will. That Thou wilt encourage and build up and supply the needs that exist, and not only for those who are ill, but for those who minister to them. We pray for them as well.
We are grateful, Lord, for all of the blessings of life, including the rain that we are having. We thank Thee that these blessings of common grace, which are blessings in which all individuals participate, reflect the goodness, and mercy, and loving kindness of our heavenly Father. We give Thee thanks.
We pray that in our meeting, now, that Jesus Christ may be lifted up and honored, and that through the ministry of the word of God, we may be brought to know him, who to know is life eternal, to be built up in our faith. We commit the singing of the hymn, the reading of the Scripture, and the exposition to Thee for Thy blessing upon it. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
[Message] One of the stock arguments again a sense of sin, especially when it is intense, is that it has a tendency to make its possessors morbid, and that’s indeed true. It is true, that some, who have a great sense of sin, also have had periods of morbidity. One can think of Bunyan for example. One can think of a number of other of the great saints of God, who before they came to their salvation, had deep senses of sin, and even afterwards fell into deep depression on account of their sin. Of course, man is a sinner, and that is always a danger, the sense of morbidity. Only angels can afford to go to extremes without peril or injury.
But absence of a guilt feeling is a still greater peril for man, and the entire human adventure than the possibility of a sense of morbidity. The morbidity, which may develop from a sense of sin, as one of the men whose writings I have enjoyed says, “Is a jovial sanity compared to the morbidity which most certainly does develop from the absence of it. The sickness which sense of sin may produce is much better for civilization in the European future,” He was a European, “than the diseased mentality engendered by the lack of it.” Not a Calvinist, but a good Christian man.
He said, “Calvinism, for example, is much less of a peril to western civilization than to Nazism, or communism, or some of the other isms with which you are familiar. However successful our generation may be in suppressing its sense of guilt, in tucking away it out of sight, its success in this is the chief cause of contemporary social failure. Complete success is impossible. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. It returns in some guise or other. Neurosis conveys it, or hysteria. Even Hitler was not immune to the stirring of conscience, even though he may never have recognized it or admitted it as conscience. For example, you may be familiar with the fact that Hitler had periodic nightmares, an evidence of the fact that there was a sense of conscience and a sense of sin, but nothing can allay the eternal restlessness of mortal man. There is no thicket in which he can hide himself from storms of self-accusation, no shore that cannot be washed by the recurrent tides of brooding awareness.”
And then my friend says, “The sense of guilt is universal in time and space. The jauntiest and cockiest of generations and individual sin sits domically in presence. Indeed and indeed, whatever may be ghostly in the being and character of God, it will not be his holiness. All history thunders it to the heavy ears of mankind.”
The Bible is the book of the coming one, we have been saying. And the second coming of the Lord Jesus is the poll star of the Christian church. It’s that to which we look forward. It’s the book also of man’s condemnation, the Bible, because it unfolds God’s great purpose after the fall to show man his sin and to show him the Savior that may be his. What man did in the beginning was to depart from the creation independence in which he was created. Man was created freely dependent upon God. Let us remember that. He was not created free, but created in free dependence upon God. He was dependent upon the Lord and thus not totally free. A self-determining individual exercised his power of self-determination and conjures voluntary subjection to God, happily, freely, dependent upon God. He joyfully acknowledged god’s sovereignty over him. Man’s original state was freedom in subjection, never let us forget that. When people say we are absolutely free, they are reflecting an independence of God in which state they were never created.
Now the primal disaster of humanity, of which history is the consequence, is that man departed from that original relation of freedom and subjection to God and appropriated to himself the sole divine right and prerogative of sovereignty. Instead of continuing freely to acknowledge God as supreme and sovereign, man claimed the supremacy for himself. He attempted to rest from God what only God can exercise. That was humanity’s fall into the self-centeredness that resulted from unbelief of the divine record as he knew it. It was his initial sin. Original sin is a theological term that has to do with the nature we derive from Adam’s fall, but the initial sin was that sin. It was a declaration of cosmic civil war by the affirmation of his own ego against God. Man endeavored to deprive the Lord God of his unique right of sovereignty. And the holiness of God consists of his divine determination not to surrender his supremacy. When we say God is holy, we mean he is different from you and me.
Karl Barth was absolutely right, as well as others, in saying that God was the Holy other one, the set apart one. And so, the holiness of God is inclusive of his determination not to surrender his supremacy, his right to rule, to sinful man. His holiness in one sense is his eternal, “No,” to man in history. It’s God saying to man, “Thou shalt not triumph.” He’s supreme. So it’s his eternal, “No.” It’s his eternal “Nein.” It’s his eternal; I know you want me to be relevant, his eternal, “Nyet.” And it’s his eternal, “Nay.” History is a protracted civil war between man and God for the right of sovereignty. And in this universe there can only be one sovereign, and God has made that plain, will make it plain, he is determined that man shall not be sovereign. “The Lord thy God is a jealous God,” Scripture says, and he is especially jealous of his sovereignty, because he wouldn’t be God if he weren’t sovereign. He wouldn’t be God if he were not the holy one, and fortunately for us, he wouldn’t be God if he weren’t also a Savior. That he is. So we say the holiness of God lies in his unsurrendered and unsurrenderable sovereignty.
Now you might say, well, what does that have to do with this passage we are looking at? Certainly in the kingdom of God there is no democracy in the sense in which we think of democracy. We talked about that last week, but there is a democracy. There is not democracy like the democracy of original sin, and everybody participates in that. What does it have to do with the millennium? Or why do we have a millennium? And why do we have the binding of Satan? These are very interesting questions, and we are going to try to look at that in the remainder of our message.
Last Sunday, if you will remember, I suggested to you, this is not original with me, I suggested to you that since man fell in history, our history, and since Christ died and accomplished the atoning sacrifice, and rose in our history, that its reasonable and in fact to be expected that the consummation and the fulfillment of the promises of God, those covenantal promises, should be in history. That is, in the scene in which sin took place, in the scene in which the cross occurred, in that scene men shall see God’s faithfulness and his truth with reference to the promises that he has given down through the centuries in his covenants. The Abrahamic Covenant, the New Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, we shall fulfilled in history, in the very place where the story has been carried on down through the centuries. That’s one reason that we have a kingdom of God upon the earth. That’s why in the 5th chapter we read, “They shall rule and reign with him, on the earth.”
But there are other reasons. Man’s rebellion, although manifested through satanic deception, lies deep in the heart of man. Satan is not responsible for the sin that we have. Satan was an instrument in the revelation of the potentialities within man, and was the instrument, by which there was a fall of man into sin, and since then he has been the instrument by which that sin is manifested in many cases, but the deception lies deep within the heart of man. In other words, sin is not the result of deception, except only incidentally, nor is sin the result of the environment in which we live. Sin is from man.
We learn another thing here, and we learn that of course, because with Satan bound for a thousand years, man is still as such that he may be deceived by Satan. We learn, too, that time does not alter evil. In other words, eliminate Satan for a thousand years, and man’s still a sinner. It doesn’t alter deception. And of course, we also learn by the successful conclusion of the description of the rebellion that Satan raises here, the invulnerability of God’s city and God’s people. He shall rule and reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet, and we shall look forward to the day when they are all under his feet, as the word of God sets forth.
Now we turn to the passage, and we’ll look at verse 7, where we read of the release of Satan. “And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison.” Now it’s evident that the kingdom is not the full consummation of the purpose of God. Sin, death, and the curse are still present. In fact, in the Old Testament, in Isaiah chapter 65, in verse 20, one gains some insight into this in the context of revelation concerning the future that the Prophet Isaiah speaks about. In the 20th verse of Isaiah 65 we read these words, “No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed.” So what we have there is a suggestion of the fact, that while in the kingdom there will be some changes in man’s nature, so far as length of days and things like that. Death still is there. Sin, death, and the curse are still present. Righteousness rules in the kingdom, but it does not dwell, if I may make that distinction in words in the earth, as Peter tells us in the 3rd chapter of his epistle.
In other words, by the release of Satan two things are accomplished, and incidentally, when Satan is released and again begins his work among men, one can call that the second coming of Satan. Because in chapter 12, remember Satan was cast out of heaven in his first coming, and began to persecute the woman, that we identified as related to the nation Israel. Now in his second coming, after having been in the abyss for a thousand years, we learn some things about him. We learn Satan’s incorrigibility. One thousand years have elapsed as he has been imprisoned in the abyss, but he’s still the same old deceiver. We learn another thing, which we’ve been talking about. We learn of human depravity. The leopard, we say, cannot change its spots. The Bible, as a matter of fact, says that. The sin nature is still present, and it is propagated.
The man who led me to the Lord, to whom I so often refer, in one of his articles that he wrote in one of the magazines that he edited for a number of years, mentioned an incident that occurred in his ministry in the city of Boston. He was preaching in Boston, and someone in the audience who was a genuine believer, had a young son who was an instructor at Harvard University, and so anxious for him to have contact with Dr. Barnhouse, the person induced the young man to call Dr. Barnhouse and make an appointment with him. And he came to see Dr. Barnhouse, and as he describes it, he says, “The young man was simply not interested in the gospel.” That “his eagerness to terminate the appointment made by some loving relative of his was very evident from the time [they] began to talk. He wasn’t interested in the gospel,” he said. And he said, “I took him to the word of God to show him why this was true, that he wasn’t interested.” He said, “I read to him John 3:19, and this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” He said, “The young man was immediately roused to anger, and spoke against those of us who are always looking for evil in the lives of other people.” The doctor said, “I stopped him, and I said, ‘Do not misunderstand. I am not accusing you of having killed anybody, or of having spent the weekend in immorality, or of having plagiarized another man’s thesis.’ Your evil deed may consist of sitting in the stacks of the library thrilling with joy because you’ve discovered the answer to some problem about Shakespeare’s plays which had puzzled scholars. It keeps you away from God. The world of books is as evil as the world of banditry or the world of lust.'” He said, “He was mollified a bit, quite willing to be kept from God by the world of learning, and somewhat proud that he belonged to that world and glad it could be recognized that he didn’t belong to the worlds of moral evil.” And then in concluding Dr. Barnhouse wrote this sentence, “He was a good man, with a world between him and God.” How true that is. You see, it doesn’t make a bit of difference whether its morality or immorality, or something moral or something immoral if it keeps us from God, its evil. That’s what it is. It’s a reflection of our nature. Your business, your family, your friends, your children, if those things keep you from God, keep you from the Lord God, they are evil. I’m not accusing you of being immoral, just evil. That’s what God says in his word. “Thou shall love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, thy neighbor as thyself.” That’s what sin is all about. Pardon me for using that expression, I hate it, “that’s what this is all about,” it just came out, [laughter] sin in speech. [Laughter] But nevertheless that is the nature of evil. Let us never forget it.
Now having spoken of the release, John goes on to talk about the rebellion of the nations, and he writes, “and Satan will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth,” after all, it’s been a world wide kingdom, and so the deception is also world wide, “four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”
Now, when one looks at this you cannot help but have some interesting reflections if you are thinking about the word of God. How is it possible, in a one thousand year kingdom of our Lord in person, on the earth, for such a rebellion to be raised? Well, if you will think about the Bible for a moment, I think you’ll realize that it’s not so incredible as you might think. For example, let’s go back to some of the things that are mentioned in the Old Testament. Is it incredible that after ten plagues, supernaturally sent and confessed to be from God as Pharaoh confessed it, that Pharaoh in his heart and his hosts should still assail the people of Israel, visibly defended by a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire? Do you find that incredible? I do. I find that incredible, but yet credible, if we understand the nature of man. Is it incredible that after the earth has opened up and swallowed the congregation of Dathan and Abiron, and the fire of God has struck dead two hundred and fifty presumptuous sinners, burners of incense, that the next day all of the congregation of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” Incredible? Only incredible if you do not understand the nature of the heart of man. Well, now when we turn to this is it incredible? No, it’s not incredible. It’s in thorough harmony with what we find in the Bible.
There is a passage in the 66th Psalm that is very interesting, the first 3 verses; I’m going to read them. The Psalmist, he calls out to the earth to shout joyfully to the Lord. “Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; Sing the glory of His name; Make His praise glorious. Say to God, How awesome are Thy works! Because of the greatness of Thy power Thine enemies will give feigned obedience to Thee. All the earth will worship Thee, and will sing praises to Thee; they will sing praises to Thy name.” Did you notice that line in the 3rd verse, “Thine enemies will give feigned obedience to Thee”? Now, in the great day of the kingdom of God upon the earth, is it incredible that individuals who have entered the kingdom shall give feigned obedience to the Son of God? The individuals are still propagating themselves, and they propagate sinners. We propagate sinners. I was responsible for the propagation of two sinners, my daughter and my son. And while I don’t claim all the blame for their sin, nevertheless, my children are sinners. Their children are sinners and so on. And everybody in this audience is the result of the fall in the Garden of Eden and you all have participated in that fall. Look inside your heart, and you will recognize, “Yes, I belong. I’m in that democracy, no doubt about it.”
Well, I suggest to you that perhaps this is the background of the statement in Psalm 110, “Rule thou in the midst of your enemies.” And in the kingdom of God, when Jesus exercises absolute authority and rules with a rod of iron, as the Scriptures say, there are individuals who yield, ultimately in that kingdom yield feigned obedience. And so Satan is released, and he goes out, and his method is to deceive. How will he be able to deceive? That’s a very interesting question, and now we are in the realm of speculation, because we do not have anything in the Bible that specifically states how he will accomplish the deception.
Some commentators have suggested that perhaps he will take advantage of anti-Semitism, because anti-Semitism will still prevail at that time. Remember, in the kingdom of God upon the earth, according to the prophecies of the Old Testament, Israel has a favored position. Even John Calvin, in his exposition of Romans chapter 11, acknowledges that fact, that Israel will have a certain preeminence. And that’s sufficient to stir up anti-Semitism. Really, the whole origin of anti-Semitism, in my opinion, is directed toward God for his sovereign, elective choice in grace. And so we look at Israel, and we recognize these are the people who are the children of Abraham, and they have been chosen for a special place in history. And because we are not friendly with the doctrine of distinguishing grace, as is evident, we don’t like that, and we don’t like them, and so we take every advantage that we can to persecute them, and we have anti-Semitism down through the years, not simply professing Christians, but the world, guilty of that. We have eighty million or so Arabs over there who would love to do nothing else than to exterminate the land of Israel right at this very moment. It’s there.
One of the commentators has suggested that perhaps, that’s the way in which this particular type of thing will take place, and that therefore because of anti-Semitism, the result will be that Satan will be able to stir up a rebellion. In fact, one of them has gone so far as to say that we’ll stir up Gentiles against the Jews. It’s natural to man to be jealous of a superior. The Jew, during the Millennium is made to take a height above the nation, or the Gentiles, and these are what he suggests. “Here then is the fuel which he will know how to kindle. Gentiles are you poor spirited enough to submit any longer to the Jews, that ill-favored, money-getting, abject race whom your fathers despised and loathed? Whose are the great warriors of whom history speaks? Whose the mighty kings, the great in arts, the giant discoverers of science? Gentiles.” Actually, that’s wrong, because many of the leaders in the arts and the scientists have been from Israel. “Your fathers. Will you then any longer tamely bow at the feet of these outcasts? Why should the Jew hold the primacy? Go up to Jerusalem once more, not to pay homage there, not to confess that the metropolis of the earth, but to destroy it, and set up a center of your own.” Those are his words.
There’s a certain plausibility that one of the ways by which he will deceive will be through anti-Semitism, but one thing you can say from his account, it underlines the fact that when individuals are born, even though they may have come to know our Lord, and enter the kingdom as individuals who are believers, justified, sanctified, soon to be ultimately glorified, their children still are infected with sin. Regenerated parents, let me say this with as much emphasis as I can, regenerated parents do not guarantee a regenerated progeny. Never forget that. Never forget it. Your children, because you are a believer, have no other hope of being a believer other than the influence that you and other Christians have upon them. No certainty to possess eternal life, until by God’s grace, they come to the same faith that you possess. Sanctified, they are, according to the word of God, the influence of Christ in the home, a great advantage, great potential, but at the same time, great responsibility. So you who are parents, or grandparents, your responsibility is that your children personally enter into the faith that you possess. That’s so important.
So from a world wide kingdom, there comes world wide rebellion. And isn’t it interesting that the first rebellion which occurred in the Garden of Eden, a visible or a rebellion against a visible Lord, is followed here with the last rebellion which is also a rebellion against a visible lordship of the eternal God? In other words, Genesis in chapter 3 is in certain respects repeated again, and in fact paradise of the earlier chapters of Genesis, as we shall see in the last two chapters will ultimately have its fruition again. Well, the mobilization of them is described here. The method of it is not described. It could be since the feast of tabernacles, we are told, is celebrated every year in the kingdom of God upon the earth, that this time instead of going up for worship they will go up for war. As I say, not incredible, in the light of chapter 17, in verse 14, where the beast makes war with the lamb; or in chapter 19, and verse 19, “And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.” Can you imagine it? The beast and his armies, those human, fallible individuals seeking to war against the infallible Son of God, who returns from heaven in the glory of his eternal God head, but they will fight. So I know this, the Psalmist says, “Put them in fear, oh Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men.” And one time in the future, he will make it plain. They will be put in fear. They will know themselves to be but men, and sinful men.
Now we read that they are destroyed, in verse 9, by fire that comes down from heaven and devours them, the fire of divine execution. And I find that greatly comforting. Do you know why? Because the supremacy of the eternal God, is the security of eternity. We have someone such as he, who supports his people. That’s comforting. That’s comforting for people who are in the midst of trials. It must have been comforting to those who first read the apocalypse, who were being persecuted by Rome. The comfort they received from the knowledge that the purposes of God would be ultimately accomplished as written in Scripture, not as speculated, but as written in Scripture, great comfort. So the last of the infernal trinity is judged and the self-revelation of Satan finds its conclusion in the lake of fire, and God’s self-revelation finds its, at least conclusion beyond the time, in the blessing of the people of God.
In verse 10 we read, “The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are also.” We will save for next week discussion of the consequences of that, “and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” So the last of the infernal trinity is judged and Satan, he too, has eternal security, but his eternal security is the security of the lake of fire and brimstone from which he does not escape. This is a great verse for annihilationists, because after a thousand years the beast and false prophet are still there. And it’s a great verse for second chancers, because it says here that they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Why is it called a lake of fire? Well I don’t know really, but I suggest that perhaps the reason is that a lake has no outlet, and the very fact that it’s called a lake suggests that those who are in it are in it for good, the lake of fire. Well there are deep, solemn reflections that one engages in as he thinks over Satan’s story. He was in the garden of God. Ezekiel said that at one time he was “the anointed cherub that covereth.” Evidently, the prince of the angelic creation, the greatest of the angelic hosts, then from the garden of God he fell, iniquity was found in him. He came to the Garden of Eden, and there was the instrumentality in the fall of man, then the Old Testament is a lengthy story of the trail of the serpent through the incidence of the Old Testament.
Over and over again he appears in the history, seeking to counteract the word of God. Ultimately, at the cross, he seeks to overthrow the work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but there he is defeated in the cross of our Lord. He is, throughout the church age, or the age of the church on earth, he is the roaring lion seeking whom he may devour as he goes about. And then in the future, ejected from heaven, comes to earth, does everything that he can to thwart the purpose of God, fails, seeks to attack our Lord Jesus Christ himself, is consigned to the abyss for a thousand years, and then ultimately that doesn’t seem to do him any good, and in finally the lake of fire.
We learn that the highest may become the lowest. The first may become the last. The brightest may become the basest, and the mystery of the devil is entwined with the mystery of God’s purpose, a secret into which we do not have all of the knowledge. We know this, the mystery of the devil, like the mystery of evil itself, lies hidden in the depths of the mystery of God’s eternal purposes. In the last analysis, what is so interesting about it and what’s so significant is that Satan himself is forced to contribute to the purpose of God. He cannot frustrate the purpose of God. He is a great being by creation, but he too was created in dependence, but abandoned it. So for the original readers of the Revelation that would have been a source of no little comfort, and it’s, as I say, a source of no little to me as I think about the word of God.
We might offer Satan a question. Lucifer, thou son of the morning, was it worth it? Was it worth rebellion against God to spend eternity in the lake of fire? You were the anointed cherub that covereth, but now according to Scripture, you are in the lake of fire forever. You said, “I will be like the most high.” You said you were going to take over. You were going to be God. You were going to be sovereign, but now your kingdom is lost, and your kingdom, if you have a kingdom, is a kingdom in the lake of fire, and your subjects are those who writhe and mourn and are in torment, just as you are.
Sin did it, yet men love this monstrous beast. They like, if they possibly can, to avoid it, and so they use the term, sickness. Everything is becoming sickness. We avoid every mention of things that might suggest that we are really sinners; if sin was played out on our TV screens just in the past week, monstrous evil committed by man in abuse. And so, what does he say. He says, “I realize I’m sick. I need help.” Sick? No not sick. Evil, sinful, a rebel against God, a rebel against God, far more than the euphemistic sickness. Everything has become sickness, but sickness is a far cry from what Scripture says about the evil of rebellion against God.
You know, there are two great words, put them together and they’re enough to make all of us fearful of the future. One is the word death, and then put the adjective eternal with it, and then you have that of which Scripture says is the destiny of those without Christ. If you are here today and you do not have our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Scripture says you face eternal death. May God, in his marvelous grace, so touch your heart that you recognize the remedy in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has suffered for sinners. “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”, as he bore the eternal judgment. Come to Christ, believe in him, trust in him, recognize your lost condition. Don’t wait a moment. Don’t leave this auditorium without the assurance of everlasting life. “He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life. He that believeth not shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Come to Christ, believe in him. Let’s stand for the benediction.
[Prayer] Father, these are very solemn words. We acknowledge that we do not understand everything that is found in the word of God, but what we do see is sufficient to make it very plain to us that the destiny of the lost is grievous indeed. And, oh God, if there should be one person in this auditorium who hears what I am saying now, who has never come to Christ, oh, through the Holy Spirit so touch them at this very moment that they say to Thee, “Lord, I am a sinner. I know it. Christ has died for sinners, you have said in your word. I am fleeing to him for the forgiveness of my sins.” May God in his grace move you to trust him, and receive as a free gift eternal life. “For by grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any one should boast.” Go with us Lord. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.