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Harbingers of Hope

Chris Buttery
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The book of Revelation outlines events that will take place prior to the return of Jesus so that we might know ho near we are. In chapter 13 the writer highlights two nations that will spearhead the enforcement of the universal mark. Who is this second beast, what is its image, and how can we be ready for what is bound to take the world as na overwhelming surprise? Although serious, these are harbingers of hope!

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  • October 10, 2015
    11:30 AM
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I. My. Was. Was to go now is that was. Was. Loses the meat was Jews and then the name of the game. Then it was. Was was was. And. Was no. Was that what. Well this morning's message is entitled ha binges ha binges of hope. So in a stroller we would say ha been goes. But here is hob inches and so when America do as Americans how binges of hope now is something that announces or signals the approach of something else. And when you come to the Bible the Bible is replete with those whether they be in the form of a warning or simply as an outline of the Vince that will unfold Oh ah. The folding right before our very eyes. God's last hasn't left his children on planet Earth to stumble around in the dock with regard to the events taking place on planet earth has given us His word which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our Paul the wood of. God presents in clearest pitches the things that will take place prior to Jesus' return some of you may be familiar with what we're talking about some of you may be familiar with a novel that was written not too long ago that received a lot of attention it was called the Harbinger written by Rabbi Jonathan Kohn a Messianic Jew He says that it's a fictional story which is nevertheless concerned with a real life connection. He says it's a connection. It's about a prophecy about ancient Israel. That was eventually fulfilled in the eighth century that's a fact when Israel was destroyed and Sudanese events and facts related to the nine eleven terrorist attacks on the US in two thousand and one can Cole's these events and facts. And argues that they show a connection between one thousand Israel's destruction and a possible coming destruction of present day United States now even though the nine Harbinger has referred to in the book appear to be lacking biblical evidence. Many are seeking incomes understanding of Bible prophecy something to consider and certainly if a country fails to fulfill God's purposes and divine will. The one who sets up kings and takes down Kings will allow that nation to pass from the stage of history to only be read about in history books centuries later. But what we need today friends is not some fictitious book guiding us and directing us what we need is a clear understanding of the issues and to gain a clear understanding of the issues we must have a clear understanding of the prophetic word of God Amen. Certainly. Now what is America's destiny because that is the question looming large here this morning. Will it end up being besieged and destroyed like Israel of old or does it have a different deaths and they won that most have never thought about or even considered. The United States of America one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for. All this great nation was founded on the basis of freedom and quickly became a refuge from many parts of the people from many parts of the globe. This was a nation where the dream could be realized. Of having a church without a pope and a nation without a king and the Declaration of Independence contains these marvelous words We hold these truths to be self-evident that all Ming are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness even the currency makes the wonderful statement in God we trust God has certainly blessed America and through it. It has blessed the entire world. Surely God was responsible for the founding of the United States Lady Liberty. She stands there in New York Harbor proudly proclaiming give me your paw give me your tired your medal to the huddled masses yearning to breathe free the wretched refuse of your teeming shores send those homeless tempest tossed to me I lift up my lamp beside the golden door and this nation continues to profoundly affect what takes place on planet earth today and you could expect that with America having such a profound influence in the world today you'd expect that the Bible would talk about the United States. Now I understand that the Bible doesn't talk about every nation on planet Earth. I'd have to disappoint a good friend of mine when I have to have to tell him when that New Zealand is not mentioned in the Bible but a stroller. Is mentioned in the Bible for says Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden you see. Now the Bible doesn't talk about Peru the Bible doesn't talk about South Africa doesn't talk about Fiji It doesn't talk even about China. So why does the Bible talk about some the. Actions and not other nations the Baba brings into view those nations that have a direct impact on the people of God For example you have Abraham Abraham he came out of the earth of the cal these and so the Bible mentions Mesopotamia. It was through Abraham Abraham God blessed him and the messianic line came through Abraham. You've also got Egypt that nation from which Israel was born and would be a constant form in the flesh throughout the history of Israel and then there was Babylon who won the never can. There's a besieged and destroys and Daniel and easy kill both live there you have the joint Empire of the Medes and the Persians who let the children of captivity go back to rebuild their nation and then you have Greece who ruled over the region and greatly affected and in some ways influence God's people to embrace certain Iranian. Beliefs Rome who ruled during the time of Christ we know Christ was nailed on a Roman cross and his tomb was sealed with a Roman seal and later on. You've got Asia Minor or turkey and then you've got Europe where the Gospel was spread these were all brought to light because they impacted God's people in a particular and in a certain definite way thinking about it this way it would be surprising if the United States was not mentioned in the Bible. This is the first time in the history of the world that a nation was founded on a republic on the principle of civil and religious liberty and today the United States is the sole world power and everybody knows it. Writing in a newspaper in my home country. It is said that Americans should admit the truth and face up to their responsibility as the undisputed masters of the world. The fact is. No country has been a dominant as dominant culturally economically technologically and militarily in the history of the world since the Roman Empire. Now more than one person has described the United States as being the new Rome. Now down here at the close of time friends. The question of liberty looms large again. And as we ask this morning in the Bible calls and response will the United States of America down here at the close of time still allow freedom. To ring. Now most of us sitting here today know the answer to that question but for those who be viewing this later on. And for those of you who are city you don't know the answer to that I'm going to back up a little bit and give a little history and then we're going to step into today and look at things that are happening today that binges of Hope things that are telling us. Jesus is coming in now John the Revelator he was the author of The Book of Revelation that we have your Bibles turn with me to the Book of Revelation. He was under house arrest on the island of Patmos a little pile of rocks in the midst of the beautiful clear waters of the Aegean Sea and he wrote from his vantage point on the Isle of Patmos the following words and they found in Revelation Chapter thirteen versus one and two John said then I stood on the sand of the sea and I saw a Big East rise up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns. And on his horns ten crowns and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard his feet with the feet of a bed his mouth was the mouth of a lion the dragon gave him his power his throne and great or now a beast in Bible prophecy What does that represent the Bible says it represents a nation you just go to Daniel Chapter seven verses seventeen and twenty three. Daniel sees four bass coming up out of the sea you put them all together they look lie. It is a composite based that John saw here revelation. He sees him coming up and the angel interprets and helps Daniel understand that the beasts represent kingdoms all nations when we see the word base in Bible prophecy is not an epithet. It's not a put down. It's not an insult based just simply represents a kingdom or a nation. Now this small nation. Mentioned here in Revelation Chapter thirteen those one is the same power mentioned in Daniel Chapter seven as the Little Horn. Pull writing to the church in Thessalonica cold that power. The man of sin and so commentators and many people understand Christians alike understand that those entities all represent the same power. And those that power is none other than Vatican City. Now they all understand that all three of these a little hole in the base power the menace in all of the same thing but they are variety of different thoughts out there regarding what that is but in the presentation that they gave not too long ago. All the world wonders we gave ten identifying features of that beast pile. If you haven't one here when you say when when I presented that message when I invite you to go back to our website and look for that message under all the world wanted it gives you the ten identifying features of this power and that power can be none other than Vatican the Vatican Vatican City. Now the Bible said that this small nation would be given power. It would be given C. and would be given great all for a T. How did that happen. Well the Vatican herself said in the American Catholic Quarterly Review and meekly stepping to the throne of the sea. The Vicar of Christ took up the SEPTA to which the Emperors and kings of Europe were to bow in reverence through so many ages and what happened was Constantine he left Rome and he relocated his seat to the Roman Empire to Constantinople. Will you stand. There was a power vacuum that was left down there in Rome and off he was given to the Church of Rome and they stepped into this breach. Thus becoming a very powerful nation question is what would ultimately happen look at verse three. It says and I saw one of his heads as it were mortally wounded now jump down a verse ten. It says He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity. He who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword here is the patience and the faith of the saints Now this is a prediction friends of when the papacy received a mortal fatal wound which occurred in the year seventeen ninety eight the conclusion of that great one thousand two hundred sixty year prophecy spoken of in the same chapter mentions forty two months and in Daniel Chapter seven it's spoken of as the time times of the dividing of times or twelve hundred sixty Prophetic days which equal years. So the this mortal wound was inflicted in seventeen ninety eight and that was the in the Poland's general birthday went down into that it can city where he took the pope captive the pope was put in exile and thus the power of Vatican of the Vatican was stripped away in that same year. This is a prophecy that we just read in verse three in ten of when the papacy received it's deadly wound. Now we see another beast. Coming up on the prophetic picture and we read that in verse eleven. Then I saw another beast. Coming up out of the earth and he had two horns like a lead. So just hold it right there. We'll get to the rest of the verse in just a moment here we see another beast coming on the prophetic saying what does a bass represent again a Bible prophecy. Represents a nation that's exactly right. Or a kingdom that's exactly right. We can know some things about this nation when we review and when we read this text first. Well we know that this power rises around the years seventeen ninety eight. How do we know that because in verse ten. We're told here that the beast was receiving a deadly wound he was the pope was going into captivity and seventeen ninety eight and then John sees another beast coming up out of the earth around the same time. So the first identifying feature we have of this power is that this beast this nation would arise it would emerge around seventeen ninety eight. You see. Those eleven tells us also that this base would rise up out of the world out of the sea or out of the Earth would rise up out of the earth. Now according to Revelation Chapter seventeen in verse fifteen the Bible says that the seed waters represents peoples multitudes nations and tongues peoples people groups large populated areas and so this particular nation would be coming up not out of the sea out of heavily or densely populated places but out of a sparsely populated or comparatively unpopulated area where there were no masses of people. This is where the second nation would come up from now the bible also says in verse eleven that it had two horns like a land now when you read in the book of revelation about a lamb. Generally it is referring to Jesus Christ. Except this particular time. This time is talking about something else something that is going to be Jesus' life or lamb like the other nations have horns and when you read. They have horns with crowns on them they have crowns on them. You see and wherever we see a crown. We understand that that ruling power has a monarchy and so the third identifying feature of this particular base power this nation that comes up out of the earth. It has no crowns therefore we can understand that this nation has no monarchy it has no. KING. All right. Unlike those other beasts of Revelation thirteen and Daniel seven that were beasts of prey this particular animal is not a beast of prey. It doesn't subjugate other great powers on its way to prominence this part this nation does not conquer any of the great nations that were ruling at the time and so this power. This this nation comes to power somewhat peacefully somewhat peacefully. When compared to how these other nations are rose in power there would no be there would not be any well wide conflict as they were when these other nations were rising to Pallas So here you have your for identifying features of this second beast power of Revelation Chapter thirteen team. So as we look at this this morning we must be convinced. From what the Bible says that there is only one nation on planet Earth that we can possibly meet these identifying characteristics. I would say based upon the Word of God says Geographic geographically religiously politically that this nation can be none other than the United States of America. It can be no other nation that this second beast power refers to. Now when it was when it rose to power was that it was known as the new world. It was a haven for people that was seeking new life for people seeking for escape from religious persecution and was founded on the great principles of civil and religious liberty and freedom. But between then and now a great change has taken place in these this wonderful country and I'm not going to tell you today that this nation still isn't great. This nation is great but it's not the nation. It used to be it's not the same as George Washington left behind or James Madison left behind or Thomas Madison Thomas Jefferson rather left behind. There's been a change in this and I. And I'm sure you can clearly see what I'm referring to you see this nation stands for freedom and with freedom as we discussed earlier comes responsibility Thankfully in this country you are free. You are free to do is as ever you are free to do as ever you please within the confines of the lore of course you are free to fly a plane just as long as you don't take that plane and fly it into something you're free to have cell phones and you're free to use those cell phones and you're free to take pictures and selfies and unfortunately people unfortunately take those pictures and they do the most vile and reprehensible things that end up being circulated all over the Internet with them with freedom always however comes responsibility and this nation was a refuge for those who wanted to worship God and now it has turned into a paradise for those who do not want to worship God. Furthermore these same individuals want to get in the way and oppose those who do want to worship God You see there is a change that has taken place in this great nation forces that are directly opposed to the gospel of God have infiltrated it seems every level of society today society is corrupted by immorality and immorality with that gets you notoriety and notoriety gets you on television and getting on television makes you rich. Even if you are morally bankrupt. You are rewarded right here in the United States anything goes on T.V. Just as long as it doesn't get in the way of the ratings and the fault simply doesn't lie with Hollywood and the networks. You see this is a nation filled with individuals filled with people who consume this type of thing they don't react to things that not long ago I would have thought of we would have thought of being scandalous you see you see there's a change that is taking place popular music which makes its way to the top of the charts and immortality and even Murda this is the tragic age in which we live. People seem to have no shame anymore. And so we asked the question this. Morning What on earth has happened to America. I'll tell you since this nation has come into existence God has been chased out of the classrooms. God has been chased out of the courtroom and worst of all God has been chased out of most family living rooms and we never wrecked it. Their own home altars. To gods of their own devising this nation essentially in general terms has forgotten the one who has made it great speaking in general terms as a nation we have forgotten God Many people see that the only solution for this nation even this planet is to return to the one who once made it. Who made it great. The Bible says In Proverbs Chapter fourteen verse thirty four righteousness exults And then when all and rather when he goes on to say but sin is a reproach to any people and when a nation is down and when an individual doesn't have any hope the best thing to do certainly is turn to Jesus Christ the Savior of the world to see if this nation could find its soul again and turn to God we might see some things turn around. I wish we could tell you today. I could tell you today that things are going to get better that this nation will find its soul but I have read in the Bible in the Bible tells another story. The Bible predicts a tremendous change that would come over these United States but with the verse eleven. Now I saw another beast coming up out of the earth and he had two horns like a lamb and what happens. And he spoke like a dragon a great change comes over this nation. Now it speaks like a dragon who does the dragon represent. That's right. Revelation Chapter twelve The dragon is represented there. It's represents the devil you see Jesus says and by the way how does. How does a nation speak or how do we speak. How would there be a change. How do we speak. Jesus said in Matthew twelve verse thirty four out of the abundance of the high. Not the mouth speaks and the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks so here is a prediction in the Bible that there is going to be a change at the hot of this nation of this lamb like a nation which now speaks always going to speak as a dragon speak as though it is an emissary of the enemy of souls. Now how does a nation speak. How does the United States Nation. How does this nation speak. We speak through our legislature. That's right through our laws through it's a legal assembly. So if we understand that the nation is going to speak as a dragon according to what the Bible says there will be laws that will be passed and mandated that would reflect a change at the very hot of this nation we see here a prediction in Revelation Chapter thirteen and verse eleven that the new world the United States of America this new world is going to revert back to the old world look with mere Revelation thirteen those twelve we go on and we keep reading and he he. That is this nation he exercises all the authority of who the first beast in his presence. Now that first base we understand to be whom Vatican City or the Church of Rome That's right. Let's continue reading verse thirteen verse twelve rather vote and the second part he exercises all the authority of the first base and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beasts whose Deadly Wound was healed whose Deadly Wound was healed. Now what's another word for a cause force right now the word for cause is force. This means it means coersion or it forces the nations of the earth to turn back. And worship the first nation the first the beast. According to what we read in the Bible in some way the U.S. the United States of America will impose inforce laws that were late to the worship of all of the or obedience to the Vatican and who is behind the Vatican. We're told that that beast received its authority in power from whom say that's exactly right. The devil this is his great counterfeit system and I want to say this for the in the hearing of somebody just in case you misunderstand here today. This is not a this is not a denouncement upon anyone who attends that church. Anyone who belongs to that church. God is dealing here with a system a system that appears to be good on the outside but is doing things opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ appears to follow Jesus but it also has as things that are opposed to Jesus. You have instead of the Bible. You've got tradition. Instead of the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary you've got you've got the Eucharist and the mass instead of the the holy Sabbath day. You've got Sunday worship you see a counterfeit that they established on that. They set up instead of sleep in there you've got the promulgation the teaching of the immortality of the soul. Instead of instead of hell fire being and annihilation. You have the concept of the eternally burning hell. And so although it appears to be good. It undermines the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible predicts that this nation will pass laws that will cause this nation and the rest of the world to wonder after and follow and worship the beast and in so doing they will end up worshipping Who the devil. Now isn't that what the devil is always wanted the devil never comes out on the OUT IN THE OPEN and says hey I'm the devil. I'm a deceiver and I'm about to deceive you doesn't hand out business cards you know that he doesn't do that. He works through systems and and things to get his way back in chapter fourteen. Verses twelve to fourteen Lucifer that once covering cherub he said I want to be like the most high and that's been his agenda all along and through this beast power in the end of time the devil is seeking to get what he could not get in heaven and he's going to try to get that here on planet earth and he's going to do that through the beast pal and he's going to do that through the second Beast of Revelation Chapter thirteen that will cause everyone to follow and worship. The first base. Now we ought not be too terribly surprised by any of this because in recent years the United States has forged very strong ties with Vatican City the Bible says that the US will use its power to elevate the papacy and put her back in the place she once occupied when she reigned supreme in the world according to the Bible an act of worship will be in force. What is the act of worship look with me at verses sixteen and seventeen. Notice what the Bible says He causes all both small and great doesn't matter doesn't matter who you are rich and poor free enslaved to receive a wad a mock on their right hand or on their foreheads and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name. There isn't any confusion over what the mark of the beast is the second nation the United States is going to enforce upon the entire world a mark of Allegiance a mark of obedience to the first nation that we read about in Revelation thirteen Vatican City the papacy now we're essentially wading into some pretty deep waters here and getting into topics that the Bible has spoken about for two thousand or two thousand years. These are the sorts of subjects people have studied and wondered about for years. Truth is as we discover more exciting than fiction and some may even. Stranger than Fiction. What does the Bible also tell us in verse fourteen. Let's take a look. Those fourteen and he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the side of the base telling those who dwell on the earth to do wot make an image to the beast make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. What is the image to the beast that is going to be erected that is going to be established. Well when you look in the mirror and you see look in the mirror what do you see you see an image of yourself reflected there is a likeness the same this of yourself there the Bible says that there will be an image erected that will reflect or look like the first obese. It won't be the beast but it will look a lot like the first beast. What is that image but we understand that the first Beast of Revelation thirteen is essentially a conglomeration of church and state it is a union of church and state the Bible is telling us friends that again church and state are going to unite the Vatican is going to provide the influence and spiritual authority and the US is going to back it up with civil power now understand that recent the recent rise of the Vatican has been breathtaking. I'm going to step back a little bit and we're going to move forward and we can look at some other things here. The Holy See continues to play an important role as a diplomatic force while maintaining formal relations with a one hundred and eighty countries of the world a number that is only supposed by the United States century old barriers preventing the unity between the mother church and her children being removed and Protestants making him. Incredible compromises at there as a result of the Second Vatican Council I'm going to step back and move forward Second Vatican Vatican Council the Lutheran Roman Catholic dialogue began culminating in the joint statement on the doctrine of Justification by Faith in one thousand nine hundred three. And the joint declaration on justification in one thousand nine hundred nine. Martin Luther would be rolling in his grave if he knew in one thousand nine hundred nine the London's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported the pope was recognized as the overall authority in the Christian world by an Anglican and Roman Catholic Commission which described him as a quote gift to be received by the church's. Now that's a breathtaking historical departure from where the church churches were some years ago in two thousand and four another has historic ecumenical event occurred the formation of the Christian alliance called Christian churches together in the United States and the goal of the organization is to enable all churches to grow closer together in Jesus not necessarily in the truth of God's word in order to strengthen the Christian witness in the world. It sounds good. It sounds good but is somewhat deadly in two thousand and five we also read what Billy Graham said of the pope is called him. Unquestionably the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last one hundred years and he also called the Pope the moral the then Pope the moral conscience of the West you read that in Newsweek April eleventh and when Pope John Paul the second died of accolades praising him came in from all over the world and we know that at his funeral kings and queens prime ministers and presidents from all from about one hundred nations were in attendance and even Prince Charles of Great Britain even postponed his wedding to attend the event. What we see friends is Christianity and the world at large running to embrace the papacy while Pope John Paul the SEC. And started. Pope Benedict continued with full vigor as has Pope Francis affectionately known as the people's pope in two thousand and fourteen. You remember Kenneth Copeland ministries. Ministers convention where hundreds of Pentecostal pastors from across the United States assembled Pope Francis gave a stirring appeal in favor of Christian unity. It appeared the message was well received by these charismatic ministers. Prior to the pope's video message late Tony Palmer an Anglican bishop warned of the crowd more the crowd up by telling them that the Protestant Reformation was over and that the basis of Christian unity was not doctrine but merely love for one another in July of two thousand and fourteen Senate reported that Pope Francis had appointed a new consult you consult as to the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian unity in the same month of the same year. Pope Francis became the first pope to visit a Pentecostal church pressing his outreach to evangelicals to represent Catholics greatest competition for Christian souls around the globe in the same month July thirtieth Center reported that the head of the World Evangelical Alliance applauded. Pope Francis is meeting with Pentecostals in Italy and responded to the pope's apology for a lack of understanding by Catholics with their own request for forgiveness for evangelicals who have discriminated against Catholics over recent years the World Evangelical Alliance which represents some six hundred and fifty million Christians around the world has had growing interaction with Vatican and the Catholic Church recently concluding their second official theological dialogue. Now in December of that same year that was just last year in Christianity Today the featured article was in titled why everyone loves the pope and. USA Today reported that Pope Francis would make an unprecedented address to the United States Congress on September the twenty fourth during his visit to the U.S. according to the U.S. House historian's office. No pope or official religious leader who serves as head of state has ever addressed Congress more on that in a minute now we must understand. As we look at this through the lens of Bible prophecy. What the aim of the Vatican really is according to Vatican insider he who wrote the book Keys of this blood. He said the Vatican's goal is a geo political structure. Listen carefully a geo political structure for the society of nations designed and maintained according to the ethical plans and doctrinal outlines of Christianity as taught and promised propagated by the Roman pontiff as the earthly Vicar of Christ the previous Pope Benedict the sixteenth echoed sentiments of similar sentiments of a global or thirty when in response to the world financial crisis. Called for the formation of a true political or true world political or. This new authority would in force global economic environment economic environment and immigration policies to help construct a social order that quote conforms to the moral order. Obviously the moral authority he was referring to was his own church and others clearly see that the Vatican what the Vatican is after in a September editorial last month in Huffington Post the heading says it all. Pope Francis wants to be president of the world and the globe the global editor for the magazine went on to say but shrewdly methodically and with a showman's flare the softspoken seventy eight year old Argentinian. Jesuit priest named George Mario Bergoglio pro Francis showed Thursday that he was running to become president of the planet. He did so in a congressional ceremony of secular civic pub in a massive legislative building that after all harkens back to ancient Rome as devout as he years ago the editor goes on to say and has focused on the Faith and Practice of the Catholic Church Francis is also campaigning to lead public secular political discourse worldwide. He is arguing that the two realms of faith and politics are one and that the moral and spiritual teachings of faith should conform should inform and guide political decisions for our quote common home so friends as we sit here this morning Vatican is working to establish essentially a new world order based on Vatican principles with the Vatican sitting at its head. The Bible says that that would happen two thousand years ago and while we are here today the very predictions the Bible made millennia back. Being fulfilled to the very letter as we read the Bible. We understand that there will be laws passed governing worship or influencing worship the mark of the beast will be a mark of authority and forcing in some way the worship of the base and will and and some might even say that cannot be possible that cannot happen in these United States and we know what the mark of the beast is and they'll be another presentation a little later on talking about that but some are going to say that can't be possible that can happen here in the United States of America. Not too many years ago in two thousand and seven. An acronym for the Association of religious data. Surveyed a comprehensive survey of the American people about the attitude toward Christian Nationalism and one question asked to war. What extent do you agree or disagree that the federal government should defend Christian values and they surveyed. The survey came up with a response fifty nine percent of people surveyed agreed. That's nearly two out of three people in the United States. Another question To what extent do you agree or disagree that the federal government should advocate Christian values. Here's how many people responded in the affirmative just under fifty percent forty eight percent nearly one out of two people surveyed now a survey some years back in the Atlanta Journal Constitution revealed something equally interesting. The statement was made the United States is a Christian nation and the government should make laws to keep it that way that was the statement. How do you think people responded in the non-self one in every third people agreed with that statement and we need to understand the importance of that some people are ready to pass laws and forcing Christianity on other people and I could wish and we could wish that Christian Christianity people would be Christian and people would serve Jesus but frankly I'm glad that we're not in the business of enforcing a particular brand of religiousness on people who don't agree with us we would encourage an appeal perhaps but we would never in force or coerce one in three in the non South agree that the United States is a Christian nation and the government should make laws to keep it that way now in the self. It was different. One an out of every two persons living in the South said that the government ought to make laws that keep America a Christian nation and this question belies a certain lack of understanding you understand that the United States is not a Christian nation the United States is simply a nation. Christianity is a prominent Yes and prevalent prominent problem but that does not. Make it a Christian nation. You can be whatever you want and we will respect that here in the United States the U.S. is a nation that was founded on Christian principles but the idea that we need to enforce Christianity here as much as we like Christianity practiced here from sea to shining shoes sea is not an idea that springs from the heart of Jesus who said give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and give to God the things that belong to God But the idea of separating church and state in this nation is an idea whose time is just about past in the minds of many it's one thing for the church to influence the government but it's an entirely different thing for the government to go ahead and pass laws in forcing worship. Whenever that has happened throughout history. The result has been absolutely disastrous. Clearly this is a nation that is ready to accept laws of a religious nature. Now while this is going on. You'll find a very interesting that the Vatican has been saying and what the Vatican has been saying under the title Christian faith urged to unite and that under the Vatican the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the pope. This is going back to Pope John Paul the Second has called for all Christian face to be unified under the banner of the Vatican for the first time in a thousand years. However he stopped short of suggesting his primacy as a leader of the world's one billion Catholics. Let me say that again. However he stopped short of suggesting his primacy as leader of the world's one billion Catholics could be relinquished underlying the view held within the church as leadership that unity would be under the papacy. That's what he said that's what was reported that you get there. Come back together. Let's put that. Let's place all come back together. Let's all come back under the Church of Rome let Church of Rome that the Vatican be number one we see the time is coming when the Bible says that that is going to be so. And now you understand that the political machine. Enery has already been turning to bring this about the Vatican is dedicated to bringing this about in October to twenty five two thousand and fifteen Gulf News ran this headline Pope Benedict steps up drive for Christian unity. It said since he became Pope Benedict has set the promotion of Christian unity as a main goal of his papacy and called several times for a new dialogue with author docs Christians and Protestants Christianity Today in March two thousand two thousand and thirteen ran an article entitled The pope for all Christians as the world waited for the election of a new pope after Benedict resigned. The article said one consequence of globalization is that the walls that have long divided Catholics from orthodox mainline Protestants evangelicals and Paul and promised and Pentecostals eroding relations between Catholics and Protestants. Then ever. And then Senate reported about Pope Francis's call for unity among Christians back in June of two thousand and thirteen. It said he emphasized the need for unity among all Christian communities saying that in order for the body to live all its limbs must be united unity he exclaimed is beyond all conflict. So even if you didn't hear about this. It's not going to be done in a vacuum the papal administration is very very committed to their agenda in February of two thousand and fifteen CNS News interviewed evangelical pastor Rick Warren who leads the largest church here in the United States Saddleback Church and he's the author of the hugely popular book The Purpose Driven Life according to the article he said that Protestants and Catholics must form a unity of missions to defend the sanctity of life sex and the family stressing that quote If you love Jesus. We're all on the same team in terms of unity among Protestants and Catholics Warren said. Now there's still now there's still rule. Differences no doubt about that but the most important thing is if you love Jesus. We're all on the same page. He went on to say the unity that I think we would see realistically is not a structural unity but a unity of mission from the Bible is very very clear we can all see how the world is rapidly declining morally and spiritually. You don't have to look too far to realize that this world is not your grandfather's world evident evidentially people are going to be looking for solutions we can all agree surely that the only solution to this world's problems that will be real and lasting is a spiritual solution. There's no doubt about that if the world return to God that would be great. That would be wonderful but here's the problem. Here's the problem. Eventually laws are going to be passed mandating people return to the principles of Almighty God and instead of these laws actually fixing the problem. Things will only get a whole lot worse. You can you can imagine it can you can imagine what it's going to be like let's pass laws that will cause people to honor God as noble as that idea seems seems ultimately that this idea will simply lead to this on uring God and His law and instead cause people to honor and obey the first nation of Revelation Chapter thirteen the time friends is not far off already. The two nations have been working together when the wall came down in Berlin who did Time magazine credit with bringing it down. The fact of the matter is the former president Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul the second work together to bring down communism the Vatican and the U.S. work together and and so you can see how the nations working together can influence other the nations is the Vatican being looked to for guidance and leadership in the world by the world's major political figures today. Yes they are President Bush has. This to say the opening of the Pope John Paul the second cultural center in March of two thousand and one he said few imagine the course his life would take or the history of his life would shape. This is not a pope from Poland this is a pope from Galilee the best way to on a Pope John Paul the second truly one of the great men is to take his teaching seriously is to listen to his words and put his words and teaching into action here in America. This is a challenge. He went on to say that we must accept and it's interesting in October third of October two thousand and thirteen in an editorial piece in the Unite in the USA Today newspaper former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and author of the book the global Vatican wrote the following The U.S. must embrace hope the Holy See Francis Rooney said no institution on earth has both the international stature and the global reach of the Holy See the United States and the Holy See remain two of the most significant institutions in world history one beacon of democracy in progress. The other a symptom of faith and allegiance to timeless principles he went on to say that the Holy See is at once a universally recognized sovereign representing more than a billion people one seventh of this world's population and the civil government of the smallest nation on the earth but it has greater reach and influence than most nations friends the Bible said it long ago that Vatican City would come back and occupies center stage and in the minds of many thinking people. She's already back. She's already returned. Should be a person on planet Earth who after coming to terms with what the Bible has predicted and he sees the steady and ever widening influence of the Vatican along with the marked global strength of America and the intermittent collaboration of these two nations cannot ignore where this thing is. Heading. We are right on track. My friends. We are right on track. We know what happened here. September twenty fourth two thousand and fifteen for the first time in American history a pope of Rome addressed the lawmakers of this nation. This was huge. This was huge but not in the way some people are suggesting for just a few moments as I said to wrap up now. I hope you just permit me to share just a few reflections with you first. I know this will frustrate some when I say this but the pope's coming to America did not spell the immediate end of all things. It's not going to immediately are sharin the mark of the Big East. The stock market isn't going to crash as was predicted back in September. We've already passed the date. It didn't happen the seven last plagues are not going to fall tomorrow. Now are these things going to happen. Absolutely absolutely. Yes. Actually we're reminded that national apostasy will be followed by national room when the mark of the beast is a stablished then the economic bottom is going to fall out from underneath these United States you see not prior to the mark of the beast enforcement but as a result of mark of the beast and for some of the stages said there's no doubt about that eighteen trillion dollars in debt is there really a way out of that is there a way out of there. No really the experts will tell us that but the thing coming of the pope does not equal the coming of catastrophic catastrophe. At least not yet it's coming but it's not going to happen immediately. It's going to continue to continue to unravel a second. The second thing I'd like to share what we witness was huge on several from several different perspectives several different reasons. Number one we didn't think we would ever see the pope invited to address the country's lawmakers our prefer. Ticks in the area of friends is rolling right along as predicted often told what we witnessed is affirming and should be affirming to our faith in God and His Word. We all ought to be strengthened by what is happening and not disheartened we ought to be drawing nearer to Jesus for what we are witnessing this time. This is not a time for us to fear but a time to gain courage and to make a recommitment to Jesus Christ to make every day a calling. And I will lection sure that's what these things. Tell us you see. Secondly understand that the pope was invited by the lawmakers to address Congress. This tells me that what he has to say is considered to be highly important by some of our living men and women of this nation that they our lawmakers should remind us of John's prediction that this nation would end up speaking like a dragon of this nation would have a change of heart and pass laws that would trample on the consciences of people not saying that that's going to happen a couple of weeks from now just saying that the table is set. It's happening as God predicted and it's going to continue to move in that direction. Number three never has Congress opened the door opened its floor to a leader of another church or another religion. Never never. While some might say the pope is just a religious man. But head of his state and that would be absolutely true. That's that's for sure. The problem is that he is head of both He's head of both and I would say primarily the religious head. That is problematic from a prophetic standpoint for a couple of reasons. Again no one no other religious leader has been invited to be addressed to address the Congress. Why the head of the Vatican. Why not. The president of the Baptist church. Why not. The president of the Lutheran Church. Why not. The president of any church for that matter What did John the Revelator say all the world wondered after. The base. Also it's disturbing that the head of a church state enterprise would be allowed to address the House of Representatives of a nation that believes in the separation of church and state as outlined by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States as I listen to and as I read the pontiffs address. I couldn't help notice the number of times he alluded to insinuated or stated the idea of togetherness oneness and commonness with these United States. He said I would like to think that the reason for this is that I am to a son of this great continent from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility. He said in his address. We must move forward to gether as one and he goes on to say for the common good. What is the common good of all according to the Vatican. I want to thank my friend Pastor Steve Walberg for sharing this he pulled this from the Catechism of the Catholic Church page five hundred and twenty. What is the common good of all the Catechism of the Catholic Church says sanctifying Sundays requires a common effort in respecting religious liberty and the common good of all Christians should seek recognition of Sunday as a legal holiday. What does prophesy have to say is a possible that this is what the Vatican is truly after what we've got coming friends is a subtle argument extremely subtle as any good counterfeit does it always runs very closely to the genuine thing and image to the beast is going to be formed. According. The Bible again church and state will one day unite worship will be the main issue. Will you worship God in Spirit and in truth or will you follow the teachings and traditions of men. We've seen it before in the Bible and we're going to see it again friends what I've shared with you today are really harbinger of hope. I want to just read a verse for you found in Luke Chapter twenty one. As we close now. Luke Chapter twenty one. He's a harbinger of hope we've shared this today. Not to distress anyone. Not to cause fear to come to your heart with these things with you today for you to panic and to freak out share the the steady progression of events as prophecy has declared them so that your faith will be strengthened. So that your heart might be cheated that you might know that we are on the road on the way to that eternal kingdom when Jesus will return. Luke Chapter twenty one verse twenty six twenty eight. Notice what Jesus said Luke Chapter twenty one verses twenty six to twenty eight. I get that right. I did he said men's hearts talking about the days and age in which we live men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth is he talking about those in the church is he talking about God's people following him staying connected to Jesus following his word or the church should be free. Now would say if you are outside of Jesus. I would say that if you don't have his word hidden in your heart. I would say that if you are not connected to Jesus then you ought to feel you ought to feel what's coming upon this world. That's what Jesus said people of filled with fear. Today looking for the things that are coming on the earth for the powers of the heavens will be shaken then then they will see the sign of the sign. See the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory now. When these things begin to happen. What did Jesus said. Bury your head in the sand. Cower in fear. Be disheartened and discouraged be panic stricken. What did Jesus say what did he say right there in those verses. He said Now when these things begin to happen. Look up lift up your heads because friends your redemption draws not friends all these things are not Harbinger is a fear these a harbinger of Jesus Christ is coming back again. So it's not far to know exactly when not going to set a date not going to tell you exactly when that's going to become Mendoza day or the hour we can know from what we've been studying from what we read and there's more there's more you've got to go to that powerful book the great controversy and you've got to read those chapters the impending conflict liberty of conscience threaten all those others that talk about these things in greater detail these things are coming upon the world and innovations strike out in the fear of you or I should cause us to hope hope in the one who loves us hope in the one who died to save us hope in the one who is coming back again it's a cause us to know the arm which we live in the being more earnest about doing the work that God has given us to do being more earnest about the ministry He's called us each to perform to be in earnest about sacrificing time talents and outrageous to the cause to the work of God friends today. Today I want to lift up your head once you lift up your heads in hope in recognition that Jesus Christ is coming. So we're going to sing a closing him here today. It's called Look for the way MOX is an old hymn. But it talks about looking for those those events that the Bible predicts knowing that they coming knowing that they have. And knowing our Judy as a result as a result of knowing the times in which we live so we're going to sing that him at this time ninety six look by the way. You're sure you're you're you're. This is being such an important message and I don't want to in the service without making a an appeal and calling for anyone here today who's not made that decision in the hot to follow Jesus Christ all the way. Maybe you've accepted Jesus as your savior but really he's not your Lord and you're reading in the WOULD OF GOD certain things that he's asking you to do when you're not you know following him today. If you'd like to either make a commitment to Jesus Christ for the first time or if you like to make a recommitment to Him as Lord of your life and then invite you. When we sing in the last for us to come down stand right down here we'll have a special pray for you right after we conclude the song Come on down as we sing the closing of this him. Thank you so much and invites us to come and stand by these precious people here today just to show your support. If you don't mind and we'll pray for them in a special way. Let's pray together Eternal Lord. We've shared a lot of information here today. This has been a big big sermon a big message. But you are a big God and you can help us take the information we've received and work through it and process. And receive it fully into our hearts and into our lives to the extent that we know that we are close to home to the extent that we know that Jesus is coming soon to the extent that we will allow the Spirit of God to do that. Finishing work in our hearts and in our lives to the extent that we allow the Spirit of God to drive us into mission to drive us into Mission ministry. To to use our time talents and treasures for the furtherance and the finishing of your work on earth. Oh Lord. There are some individuals that have come down here this morning that want to make a recommitment to you. And want to open their hearts to say yes to you as Lord and Savior. They want to say yes to you dear Lord and I pray that you will hear they cry that you receive them to yourself and may they leave here today knowing knowing that they are your children that you call them their son your sons and your daughters because they've opened their hearts to you and they've received you by faith. If not for the first time. Once again. May we experience that ourselves knowing that we are your children for we must know that we are in this day and age we must know what it is to live as sons and daughters of the most high God. Thank you Father for loving us. Thank you for warning us of what is to come upon the world and that is coming and that is nearly here and that is happening. Thank you Lord for the assurance that you'll be with us all the way through to the end. Thank you that this isn't a day of hope a day of rejoicing because Jesus is coming soon. However however if there is somebody still wrestling with the decision to give over their hearts and lives to Jesus. This is not a day of hope and rejoicing. This is a day of trembling and Ophelia where they must they must must give their lives to Jesus and find themselves secure in his eternal and safe embrace and alms Thank you Father for being with us during this hour. Thank you for continuing to be with us keep them blessed us we pride in Jesus Name we ask these things. Man.

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