The First 4 Trumpets


Series: Revelation

Passage: Revelation 8:1-13

Speaker: Jeff Thompson

As the wrath of The Tribulation resumes, we discover that the 7th and final seal judgment consists of 7 trumpet judgments. In this study, we'll look at the first 4 - The Judgment of the Thirds.

Transcript (automatically-generated):

Let me encourage you to have a physical Bible open with you, a pen that you can use to underline words, print off the outline if you can even have a notebook ready to jot down other thoughts and questions and things that stick out to you because all of those things show that we are in the ready position, expecting to hear from God as we study His Word. And when we bring that faith and that expectation every time we open His Word, God is always faithful to speak to us.

So I want to encourage you, get yourself in that ready position to hear from God and expect them to speak to you as we study Revelation chapter eight today, and I just wanted to mention that before I address a rumor that you might have heard floating around town unbelievably, there are still those who are saying that the Book of Revelation is hard to understand, but subterfuge say, we for you see the word itself. Revelation means that something has been revealed. And the first words of this book tell us exactly who it is that's being revealed.

It's the revelation of Jesus Christ. And God wanted us to read this book so much that he promised those who take the time to read and respond to it a special blessing. And we find that in chapter one, verses three, let's claim it together in faith. It says, Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it for the time is near. But God knew there would still be those who say, hey, the blessing is great, but I can't understand it.

And so to make this book easy to understand, the Lord also included a simple, easy to follow outline and that's found in chapter one, verses 19, where Jesus gives John these instructions, he says, Write the things which you have seen. That was the resurrected and glorified Jesus. In chapter one, he says, Write the things which are that refers to the Church page, which began around 32 Ad, continues to the present day and is prophesied in chapters two and three. And then finally, John is told to write about the things which will take place after this future events that will take place after the Church age ends, and those future events will make up the third act of Revelation.

And they begin in chapter four.

Verses one, let me read it to you, John says, after these things I looked and behold a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard that was the voice of Jesus. In chapter one was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this. And up John goes, serving as a picture of the believer, a picture of the Church who will be raptured to be with the Lord. Jesus takes all of chapters four and five to make sure that we don't miss the fact that the Church is with him in heaven before his wrath is poured out on the Earth that has rejected him.

In chapter six, verses 16, those on the Earth reveal that they know and understand the source of their catastrophes, identifying it as the wrath of the Lamb. And in Scripture we know that the Lamb is a reference to who Jesus. Chapter One introduces the focus of Revelation Jesus Christ, chapters two and three prophesy and take us through the Church age up to the present day. Then the Church goes up. In chapter four, verses one, we see her safe, secure, experiencing euphoria in heaven for chapters four and five before wrath is poured out on the Earth.

In chapter six, that wrath will continue for seven years and covers a time period known as the Tribulation, and it's documented in chapter six through 19, at which time Jesus returns to the Earth with his Saints in the event known as the Second Coming. And there will be even more revealed later in our study through this incredible book. But here's what we know. If you love Jesus, then your story ends with the words and they lived happily ever after. In Revelation chapter six, we saw Jesus the Lamb of God opened the first six seals of the title deed to the Earth unleashing wrath upon the Earth that rejected him.

In chapter seven, God pushed the pause button to do something amazing. In the tribulation he sealed, he marked he set apart are hundred and 44,000 Jewish men to be evangelists, sparking the greatest revival the world will ever see. And here in Revelation chapter eight, in most likely the second half of the tribulation, God is about to push the play button again, and what is going to unfold will be fascinating and shocking. As we enter what can seem like a very dark section of the Book of Revelation.

We should remember that God's wrath is not a trivial matter.

My prayer is that as we study, we will be moved by what we've been saved from. And in contrast, what we've been saved to let's read together Revelation chapter Eight verses One when he that's Jesus opened the 7th seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. As the 7th and final seal is opened, we see heaven fall so silent you could hear a pin drop. Why? Because everyone in heaven understands the gravity of the coming judgment.

I hope we all understand that while it is right for God to judge sin, it's never something to celebrate when a person hardens their heart and chooses to live as God's enemy. That's why heaven is silent here. God's wrath is just and righteous, but is also a serious and somber affair. I can only compare it to the moment in a court case when the judge is about to read the verdict and the whole courtroom holds their collective breath in anticipation of what is about to be revealed, and God is not rushing to judgment here.

He's waited until the last possible moment to render his verdict.

In Zechariah one seven, the Prophet captures this moment perfectly, writing be silent in the presence of the Lord for the day of the Lord is at hand. Half an hour may not seem like a long time, but it's a long time to wait in absolute silence with a massive group of people. Such a reaction was appropriate given the weight of what was about to unfold. Verses Two and I saw the seven Angels who stand before God and to them were given seven trumpets underlying seven trumpets. And this is going to be your first fill in, too, because here we discover that the 7th Seal judgment consists of seven trumpet judgments, seven sub judgments.

And later we're going to learn that the 7th trumpet judgment is made up of seven bold judgments. Seven more subjudgments the trumpet judgments will be worse than the seal judgments, and the bold judgments will be worse than the trumpet judgments, just like the signs of the end times, these judgments get increasingly frequent and more and more intense, exponentially intense. The period of silence followed by seven trumpets recalls the fall of Jericho in Joshua chapter six, where the Israelites circled in silence for seven days before seven priests blew seven trumpets, resulting in the destruction of the city.

And there's some further parallels there that you can explore in your own studies if you'd like to do that. The Bible reveals that the Lord's Angels are organized by rank like an army, and it's clear that these seven Angels are a higher rank because they are called the seven Angels who stand before God.

And later these same seven Angels will be tasked with pouring out the seven bowls of wrath as well. Verses Three then another angel, having a golden censor, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense that he should offer it with the prayers of all the Saints upon the golden altar, which he underlined. The golden altar, which was before the throne, and the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the Saints ascended before God from the Angel's hand in both the Tabernacle and the temples.

Every morning and evening, a priest would he a sensor to scoop hot coals from the brazen altar, where sacrifices were offered and carry them into the Holy place.

In the Holy place, there was a golden altar upon which rested a bowl containing incense, and as he placed the coals into this bowl, it would ignite and vaporize the incense, releasing its smoke and fragrance, which served as a physical representation of the prayers of God's people rising to him. God wanted his people to understand that he viewed their prayers as sacred and beautiful. He received them as one would a sweet smelling fragrance, and of course, that's still true today. All of this is referenced in Luke chapter in verses eight and ten.

Regarding Zechariah, the Father of John the Baptist, he was a Levite, and therefore he was on the rotation of those who served in the temple as priests.

It says so. It was that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord, and the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Do you see the picture? The people would pray outside the Holy place while a priest went in and offered incense, which represented the prayers of those outside rising up to the throne of God in heaven.

Switching our view back to heaven, we know that the earthly Tabernacle and temples were copies of the heavenly temple.

Hebrews Eight Five talks about those who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the Tabernacle, for he that's God said, see that you make all things according to the patterns shown you on the mountain. This is why we find a golden altar and bowls of incense in heaven in Revelation as well. In Revelation Five eight, John saw golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the Saints. And in Revelation 69, John wrote, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.

And we learned those were Tribulation martyrs, people who came to faith in Jesus during the Tribulation and were then murdered for making that choice.

In the days of the Tabernacle and temple, there was a connection between sacrifice and prayers being offered to God. Remember, the priest would take hot coals from the brazen altar where sacrifices were made and used them to ignite the incense, which represented the prayers of God's people here in Revelation Eight, in Heaven we see a connection between the sacrifice of the Tribulation martyrs who have laid down their lives for Jesus and the prayers being offered to God. You might recall in chapter 610, those same Tribulation martyrs offered up this prayer.

How long, O Lord, Holy and true until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the Earth? The picture here is the prayers of those Tribulation martyrs mixing with the prayers of all the Saints, the great multitude who have been saved thus far in the Tribulation, the Church and the Old Testament Saints and all mixing together, rising up to the throne of God, enveloping him in the smoke and fragrance of incense.

These are prayers for God to judge wickedness, avenge believers who were martyred, destroy sin and Satan, and take full control of the Earth. Before the Church was established, Jesus told his disciples to pray your Kingdom come. Your will be done. And we've been praying that ever since for almost 2000 years. Have you noticed the Kingdom has not come to Earth yet?

Well, what happens next is God responding to all of those prayers? Verses Five Then the angel took the censor, filled it with fire from the altar and threw it to the Earth. And there were noises, thunderings, Lightnings, and an earthquake. Fire is often associated with judgment in the scriptures. In Ezekiel chapter to verses two, the Prophet sees a vision of a man scattering hot coals over Jerusalem as a picture of God judging wickedness in that city.

That's what's happening here. In verses five, the prayers of God's people are in alignment with His will. And so he moves to act and continue his escalating judgment of the wickedness of the Earth. As those in heaven watch the angel cast down fire upon the Earth. Those on the Earth will see fire fall from the heavens over these first three trumpet judgments.

Verses Six So the seven Angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The seven trumpets can be divided into two simple categories. The first four affect thirds of the environment, and you'll see what I mean. As we get further into the text, the last three trumpets will affect every person on Earth. Whatever your stance on global warming, this chapter should settle one thing one way or another.

The Earth is destined to experience catastrophic global warming. It's coming no matter what and when it hits, nobody is going to stop it by driving electric cars or eating more vegetables. To be clear, I believe in the biblical principle of stewardship when it comes to the environment. But Christian, please hear me on this. According to the Bible, according to the words of Jesus, we are not going to succeed in environmentally saving a planet that God has promised to devastate in the tribulation and destroy at the end of the Millennium.

God's plan for saving the planet does not include more rigid recycling legislation. His plan is to simply remake the Earth and undo all of the damage that we have done. And to that I say, Amen, Amen. So take care of the Earth that God has put you on. But keep in mind that He's also promised it's going to cease to exist one day, steward the Earth, but don't worship the Earth.

Verses Seven The first angel sounded and hail and fire followed mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the Earth and a third of the trees were burned up and all green grass was burned up. The 7th seal has been opened unleashing a wave of seven trumpet judgments. The original Greek word translated here, grass refers to vegetation that provides food for people and animals. We're talking about things like hay crops, et cetera. After the hyperinflation and famine brought on by the first Four Horsemen or the Four Horsemen.

Sorry over the first four seal judgments, things get even worse as this judgment causes massive hail and most likely lightning storms that destroy a third of the fields still producing food on the Earth. So write this down. Trumpet number one is a third of the world's food providing vegetation destroyed. A third of the world's food providing vegetation is destroyed. This parallels the 7th plague of Egypt, and in fact, there's going to be some glaring and obvious parallels to the plagues of Egypt across these first five trumpet judgments.

It's a project that you can dig into again in your own studies, if you'd like. But I'll let you know the punchline that the plagues of Egypt and the exodus of the Jewish people is also a type a prophetic foreshadowing of the Tribulation. And I believe that one of the reasons God does this is to make it clear that these events in Revelation are literal. They're literal, they're really going to happen. The plagues of Egypt were literal, and so shall the judgments of the Tribulation be.

There are some who believe the first four trumpet judgments are the result of a nuclear Holocaust, either entirely or partially due to the fact that everyone understands these disasters to be judgments from God. We saw that in chapter in verses 16 and 17. So due to the fact that everyone on the Earth understands these judgments are from God and from the Lamb, from Jesus. Specifically, I personally believe these first four trumpet judgments are pretty much including the fifth one just decreed by God. And they happen just as the plagues of Egypt literally happened.

The hail is hail. A fire that comes down from heaven is lightning based upon Exodus 923. And the blood is just that. A horrific reign of blood from the heavens supernatural in its origins. In Luke chapter 20 in verses 25 through 26, Jesus shares what will be unfolding on the Earth during the back half of the tribulation.

The time we're reading about here in Revelation chapter eight, and Jesus says there will be signs in the sun, in the moon and in the stars and on the Earth, distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves, roaring men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the Earth. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Regarding the phrase powers of the heavens will be shaken. The original Greek word translated powers is dunymus. From where we get the word Dynamite.

The one Greek word every pastor knows shaken means to be set off balance. In my opinion, this lines up with the idea again that something changes dramatically when the 6th seal is opened, the veil keeping the supernatural world hidden from those on the Earth begins to dissolve, which is why those on the Earth recognize these judgments as being from God, from the Lamb and Jesus. Specifically, when men look up at the sky in this time it will be terrifying. They will see fire, smoke, hail glimpses of heaven ending down judgment, supernatural beings.

Who knows what else?

Verses Eight then the second angel sounded and something like underline that word, like something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died and a third of the ships were destroyed. So the second trumpet destroys all life in a third of the world's oceans. Write that down trumpet two. A third of the world's oceans are destroyed.

Now notice again that John uses the word like that's always important because this means John isn't describing exactly what he saw. He's using his vocabulary and experiences which are limited to describe what he's seen. And in this instance, he tells us what he sees looks like a mountain. It's not a mountain, but it looks like a mountain on fire falling from the sky and crashing into the ocean. I think it is interpreting the text very literally to assume that this is almost certainly a meteor.

This is what a large meteor looks like. It's a giant piece of rock. It would literally look like a mountain on fire as it falls through the atmosphere and slams into the oceans. I personally believe this is almost certainly a meteor that falls into one of the Earth's three main oceans, destroying all sea life from its impact and shockwaves, knocking out all boats and ships in that specific ocean and assumably launching countless tsunamis to the surrounding coastlines. Because of the obvious parallels to the first plague of Egypt, I believe this ocean will literally turn to blood, literally, just as the Nile literally turned to blood in Exodus chapter seven, everything in one of the Earth's three main oceans will be destroyed.

Interestingly, almost exactly. A third of the world's seawater is contained in the Atlantic Ocean. That's the size of the calamity. We're talking about every ship, every sea creature in the Atlantic Ocean destroyed, and the water turned to blood. Verses Ten then the third angel sounded and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the Rivers and on the Springs of water.

The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became Wormwood, and many men died from the water because it was made bitter. So the third trumpet judgment sees a third of the world's fresh water destroyed. Made unusable trumpet number three. A third of the world's freshwater is destroyed.

For centuries, people have debated the meaning of this great star being named Wormwood. It seems like every time NASA tells us there's a meteor that has a chance of hitting the Earth, I see tabloids and online articles exclaiming it's Wormwood, the ancient doomsday biblical prophecy. But I don't think it's a meteor, and my reason for that is that John describes the second and third trumpets differently, meaning they can't both be meteors and the results of the second trumpet seem to imply a meteor much more strongly than the results of the third trumpet.

In fact, the results of this third trumpet actually seemed like they would he completely unrelated to a meteor. So what could this third trumpet judgment be?

Now, as always, it could just literally be that God throws a star to the Earth. But I have good reason to think it might be something else. Firstly, that the only way that a single star could poison a third of the world's fresh water would essentially be a massive object and an object big enough to do that would simply destroy the entire planet. It would destroy the whole world. Now, I know God is not bound in any way, but that still seems unlikely.

And the fact that it poisons the water is also not in keeping with Comets or meteors or anything like that. And so these cause me to suspect that this is not a literal star. I think there's actually a very good chance in this case that this is a nuclear weapon or multiple nuclear weapons that explode in the atmosphere, causing radiation to fall and descend upon a third of the world's fresh water supply, Lakes, Rivers, et cetera. It could be that Antichrist is at war with a nation that won't submit to him like China, and they're firing missiles at each other, which God causes to explode in mid flight.

Or it could be that as those on the Earth begin to actually see God pouring these judgments upon them from heaven, that they attempt to launch nuclear missiles of God.

And if you think that sounds crazy and you don't think people would ever try to do something like that, just sneak a peek ahead at Revelation 1919 or chapter 20, verses seven through nine, did you know that all the way back in 1086, America developed the LGM 118 missile, which can be launched into space, where it then releases ten nuclear warheads that can be precision guided to different targets. We're not talking about theoretical warfare. We're talking about weapons that were operational over 35 years ago. And here's what we know.

Since then, the destruction or missiles can cause has not decreased.

One of the isotopes released into the atmosphere by a nuclear explosion is known as Strontium 90 or SR 90. Dr. J. Gould of the Radiation and Public Health Project, wrote, Radioactive SR 90 is one of the deadliest elements released by nuclear facilities. The chemical structure of SR 90 is so similar to that of calcium that the body gets fooled and deposits SR 90 in the bones and teeth where it remains, continually emitting cancercausing.

Radiation. Manmade nuclear fission products like radioactive iodine and strontium, which did not exist in nature prior to 1945, are created in nuclear weapons and reactors and are released into the atmosphere contaminating soil, food and water. From 1945 to 1963, fallout from above ground nuclear bomb tests deposited huge amounts of lethal fission products, particularly affecting baby boomers born during these years, strontium 90 is the reason that above ground nuclear testing was banned. Currently, all nuclear tests are allegedly performed underground to prevent the release of hazardous isotopes into the atmosphere.

This great star, no matter what your view, is contaminates one third of the world's fresh water, causing them to die from drinking it.

And that's very interesting in light of what we know about the effects of nuclear fallout. But what about the star's mysterious name, Wormwood? The original Greek means bitterness, literally or figuratively, and or calamity, figuratively. And the potent Lacura known as absence derives its name from the Greek. Wormwood is one of the most bitter herbs in existence, and it's bitterness is a warning as it causes convulsions, paralysis, and even death if taken in larger doses.

In the Old Testament, it is used in relation to the bitter consequences of immorality, specifically forcing the hand of God in judgment. Revelation chapter Eight verses eleven is the only appearance of the word in the New Testament. Incredibly, there is a city on the Earth today named Warmwood, but nobody lives there. It's a ghost town. It's not referred to by the name Wormwood because it's known by its Russian name Chernobyl.

Chernobyl. Inevitably, some on the Internet have gone wild with this and decided that this proves we're living in the Tribulation because the Chernobyl meltdown infamously occurred in 1986. Here's what those Internet scholars need to remember. According to the Bible, when warm wood hits the Earth, one third of the world's freshwater is going to become contaminated. That's a really specific result, and that did not happen when the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl went into meltdown.

The Lord put these specifics in Scripture so that we need not be confused. But I think there may be a clue in all of this, and I personally find it very difficult to believe that the Chernobyl Wormwood nuclear link is purely coincidental. I think there's a clue in here. Verses twelve, then the fourth angel sounded and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon and a third of the stars so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine.

And likewise, the night. I do not believe that God is saying here that a third of the sun vaporizes and a third of the moon is chipped out and a third of the stars die. I don't think John is saying that the length of the day changed in terms of time because John says, and likewise, the night. The most reasonable interpretation would seem to be that what happens is the brightness of the sun, moon and stars is diminished by a third to those on the Earth. So write this down, trumpet four.

The sun, moon and stars lose a third of their brightness because of the intentional parallels here to the 9th plague of Egypt. The plague of darkness. I believe this is simply God turning down the brightness dial on the celestial bodies. Others suspect it may be the results of nuclear weapons detonating as the third trumpet. As we just talked about, this may be one of the results of what's known as a nuclear winter.

Hiroshima's little boy bomb was tiny by today's standards. But scientists tell us that if 50 of those were detonated anywhere on the Earth around the same time, the average temperature on Earth would drop by nine and a half degrees Celsius. Due to the effect, it would he on the atmosphere and the way it would block out the sun with all those particulates in the air. Despite all of this, most people on the Earth still will not repent, and things are about to get even worse. The first four trumpets are sometimes called the Judgment of the Thirds, because we see destruction to a third of the world's food producing vegetation, a third of the world's oceans, a third of the world's fresh water, a third of the brightness of the sun, moon, and stars.

In contrast, the bold judgments will be whole judgments, meaning they're going to affect all the Earth, not just one third, just as the seal judgments were warning of what was to come in the trumpet judgments. These trumpet judgments, terrifyingly are only warning of what is to come in the bold judgments. Verses 13 John says, And I looked and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven. Some other translations rendered the term mid heaven. It's just a reference to what we would call the sky as we see it from here on the Earth, saying with a loud voice to the inhabitants of the Earth underlying the inhabitants of the Earth.

Because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three Angels who are about to sound. This angel is not saying because of what has happened or what is happening, but because of what is about to happen over the remaining three trumpet judgments. Hence the threefold use of the word woe. I've shared my belief that the six seal judgment began to dissolve the veil, concealing the supernatural world from those on the Earth. In the next chapter of Revelation, the judgments will become entirely supernatural in nature.

They'll become demonic in nature. We're seeing that foreshadowed here as this angel flies across the sky, visible and audible to everyone on the Earth. This is part of what Jesus meant when he described the Tribulation as something the world has never seen before, nor will ever see again. The supernatural and natural worlds are going to collide like never before. In verses 13, I had you underline the phrase the inhabitants of the Earth because this is referring specifically to the people on the Earth who have rejected Jesus and are determined to reject Him no matter what.

As we've mentioned before, Revelation also refers to this group as those who dwell on the Earth Earth dwellers and by several other terms, they do not include tribulation Saints. These are those who have determined that the Earth is their home. They are very different from believers who quickly realize, like us, the Earth is not their home. You'll recall that the Bible calls believers sowjourners and pilgrims on the Earth. The angel in verses 13 reminds us again that the Lord takes no pleasure in judging the wicked because he's Holy.

He must judge sin. The Earth and its people cannot reject him forever. At some point the issue must be dealt with. The angel is making this proclamation for one reason to call the people of the Earth to repent. He is warning the people of the Earth that this is not just a season.

This is not something that will simply pass, allowing them to go back to life as normal. No, they must choose between Jesus and Satan, the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of this world. God's heart will surely be breaking as the sunfolds and hours along with His, not because it's wrong or unjust, but because it is tragic to behold hardhearted people who would rather serve Satan than Jesus, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

I'll wrap up with this. If we truly believe all these things are imminent, how should we live? How should we live? I'd like to highlight a few verses that I think can offer us a little bit of guidance. When Peter was writing about the end times scenario we've studied in this chapter, he said, therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in Holy conduct and Godliness looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire and the elements will melt with fervent heat.

Nevertheless, we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new Earth in which righteousness dwells. Peter says, Listen, Jesus is coming. Listen, everything on the Earth that is material that we value is going to be destroyed, he says, you know this. Your hope is in heaven. Your hope is in the righteousness of Jesus in a new heaven and in a new Earth.

So he says, knowing that, how should you live? How do you think you should live? We're not going to save the Earth by going green. I think that's pretty obvious. Even within Christianity.

I hear a lot of talk about how we're going to redeem the Earth and we're going to partner with God and making all things new right now because we're trending up. I don't know how you can believe that, but that's not what's happening in real life. And to reach that conclusion, all you have to do is look at the world around you and pay a modicum of attention. The Bible doesn't teach that things are going to gradually improve. In fact, it teaches the exact opposite.

Things are going to get worse. We're raptured. Amen. Hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus.

Then things get way worse. Then Jesus pushes the reset button and makes all things new. Peter tells us here's what you should be doing in light of all that live your life in Holiness. You know how the story ends. You have insider information.

So live your life in a Holiness. We represent the Lord. And right now, he wants to use every single one of us to bring as many people to Him as possible in this very special and unique season of history. And even when people aren't responding as much as we'd like, we're called to be a city on a Hill. We're called to be a Holy people living for Jesus in the midst of a world falling ever deeper into darkness.

Churches that love Jesus and believe the Bible are prophetic outposts scattered all over the world. Not every Prophet gets to see a great harvest of souls. Sometimes the Prophet's job is to be there declaring the truth so that no one can say. I didn't know or I couldn't find out. We're called to represent Jesus to the moment our time on Earth is over.

The truth is that this is not heaven. This is not heaven. And that's why heaven, where we'll be with Jesus is our hope. If you call yourself a Christian, but all your hope is in things here on the Earth. Everything you're living for, everything that motivates you is here on the Earth.

Here's what I can guarantee you. You're in for a life of great disappointment. Great disappointment because our hope as believers is that we're going to leave all this and be United with the Lord. Considering what Peter says, I think it's wise for us to continually examine our lives and if need be reprioritize our lives around the things that matter in the Kingdom of God, around things that are eternal. Don't let your life be entirely consumed by things which do not matter.

That don't mean anything. We've all heard people say, hey, if you had six months to live, what would you do? Most of us would probably write some sort of bucket list in the hopes of making the most of our remaining time. I wonder if the Lord might be saying, hey, if you knew the Rapture was going to happen in six months, what would you do? What changes would you make to how you live, what would become important and what would immediately become unimportant?

I don't think it's for me to tell you, but I think it's worth you taking some time to pray, seek the Lord and ask Him, just offer your life to Him and say, Lord, is there something I'm spending a lot of time, effort and resources on that is ultimately worthless. Is there something else you'd rather have me doing? Would you rather have me invest my life in a better, different way? See what the Lord might want to say to you? Secondly, I'm reminded of the parable of the talents or the parable of the minus found in Luke chapter 19.

At the time, talents represented a sum of money, and in the parable they represent resources like money, but also actual talents, abilities and other resources. And in this parable, the nobleman who represents the Lord has to leave for a time. But before he leaves, he tells his servants who represent us, do business till I come, till I return God's word to those of us who are wondering what we should do while Jesus is away is do the best you can with what I've given you. Put it to work.

Don't just sit around and wait for me to return.

Don't spend all day gazing up at the sky. Don't hide in a bunker. You've got work to do. You've got people to bless. You've got a gospel to preach.

The King James Version has the nobleman saying, Occupy till I come as believers await the Lord Jesus. There's no call to retreat or to hide, only the call to go forward in the things that God has called you to, regardless of what's going on around you. A lot of believers are talking about things like bunkers and trying to find ways to remove themselves from the cities and suburbs. Listen, Church. We are called to be the light of Jesus in a very dark world, no matter what.

Even if it puts our lives in danger. And as we do our best to live this out, we should remember the many times in Scripture that God has promised to show up in the life of a believer in the midst of a world falling apart. So many of the great stories in the Bible document God showing up when everything is unraveling around a man around a woman. Which is why David writes in Psalm 23 five, you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil.

My cup runs over the picture David is painting is the Lord blessing Him preparing a table for him, anointing his head with oil, providing for him materially, spiritually and emotionally while he's surrounded by people who want to kill him. He says, My Cup runs over. So when is David's life overflowing with blessings? When the whole world seems to be against him? The Lord loves to give believers this type of testimony now is not the time to run and hide or try to blend in.

It's time to live by radical faith because the Lord has said, do business till I come. Everything we read about in this chapter is really going to happen one day soon. That's why we need to be shining. We need to be taking steps of faith. We need to be living fearlessly, doing business until he comes.

And living lives that are Holy. Don't get distracted. If you're living a sold out life for Jesus, then you will be ready for whatever comes next, whatever it is, whenever it is, let's pray together. Would you buy your head and close your eyes, Lord, as always, thank you so much for your word. Thank you for speaking to us.

And, Lord, thank you that you share your future plans with us because you love us and you love to involve us in conversation with you. You love to involve us in your good plans, Lord. And so, Lord, we just continue to pray that you would speak to us by your spirit and help us to not waste our lives, but to invest them fully in the Kingdom of God, doing the things that you have called us to do collectively and also uniquely and personally. Lord. So we just give you access and we invite you to highlight those things in our lives so that we can change so that we can live lives that are profitable.

Eternally. Lord, we also continue to pray for those friends and those families. Those coworkers, those fellow students, those neighbors who don't know you, Lord, reveal yourself to them. And if there's any way that you would he us be a part of that happening, Lord, give us the faithfulness and the boldness to step out and be used by you in that way. Give us opportunities to reveal your goodness and your Grace and your truth to those who don't know.

You bring the loss to you, Lord, in our lives and in our community. Jesus, we love you. We bless you. We're so thankful for you. We can't wait to be with you soon.

Your name we pray. Amen.

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