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Facing Crisis

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • February 13, 2016
    11:30 AM
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We hear it often the Lord is coming soon we're living in the last days do you believe it. I believe that to be true but if it's true the reality is that it is going to get worse before it gets better how does that settle with you so my question for this morning for us is do you have hope for these last days are you fearful are your thoughts filled with doom and gloom does your stomach go into knots as you think about the coming crisis is it anticipated or is it dreaded do you hope you live to see it or die before it happens this week we were reading a devotional book by Eric B. Hare I think it's been republished because it doesn't have an antique cover on it but we were looking at a story this week about how the escaped a war that was going on in Burma where they were and they had to get out that time was very. Apparent to them that they had to leave and so they packed up their car and they made their way and when they got to a river that they had to cross and go on a ferry and all that kind of thing when they got there the ferry had stopped running they had flown as well and so their hair family was by the river there in Burma knowing they needed to leave but wondering how they were going to get their car packed with their few things across are we going to have to go by canoe to the other side and if so then we're on foot and you know we're limited in what we can carry which is probably not much of anything so they hired 2 boats and lashed them together and the plan was to drive their small little car on top and to have these boats ferry them across this river. But their plan was for it when they went and search of lumber they could drive their car onto and couldn't find any there was a mill there in town but the mill was closed they had fled as well it was all locked up and chained and all the rest and so they were left wondering what to do and so they prayed and they prayed fervently midnight came nothing happened 1 o'clock 2 o'clock came I should tell you the boat drivers were getting a little bit excited they were saying they're going to have to leave their car here I want this steering wheel I'm going to take a suitcase and they were during ingesting while it was at 4 o'clock in the morning that Eric woke up with a strong Since go back to the lumber mill now OK And so he got one of the both drivers and they got a bullet in a cart and they went at 4 in the morning in the dark about 3 miles over to this mill and sure enough just as they were there there was somebody at the gate filling with the lock and they opened up the gate and they were going inside it was the son who owned the mill who is coming to get some papers in the middle of the night and sneak back to his refuge and explain the situation they got the lumber that they needed and they were on their way back and one of the boat driver said your god did speak to you tonight didn't he because just as they were leaving you was locking up the gate putting the chains around perfect timing and sure enough they drove their car on top and made it safely across the river I tell you is God in control does God look after his children and does he provide for them I believe Jesus ever has his eye on us and he provides for us you see we can have an understanding of the crisis without an understanding of the Christ. And not be able to go through the crisis and understand the pain without understand the promises only leaves you to struggle an understanding of doom without understanding deliverance only leaves you depressed and so we not only want to face what is coming but we want to face it confidently and courageously in Jesus Christ amen and so today we're going to begin a series we're going to go for I think 6 Sabbaths here with hope in the last days is what we're going to call it is based largely on a series that Mark Finley did it to you I see years ago I believe it was back in 2007 and I listen to that series so many times it had a profound impact on me in fact when I was training for this half marathon this last fall my mind would not be helpful in that training process so I would turn on Mark Finley in this series and it would help me to keep going. So I'm going to share some of that series with you but our goal is to focus on Jesus on every single sermon focus on the things that God has chosen to clearly reveal to us through His word and through the Spirit of Prophecy that he has given to guide this church at this time and so there's several things we're going to look at today is the coming crisis anticipated or dreaded and then next week we'll look at revival genuine or counterfeit we're going to look at Satan strategies for the unconverted the converted and even 7th Day Adventists we're going to look at Satan's faults miracle Satan's faults religious revivals and spiritual ism when latter rain will be poured out and how to be a recipient of the Latter Rain then the following Saturday we're going to look at shaken or sealed What's the difference between the shaking and the ceiling there are specific examples of those in scripture that were shaken how many will leave God's church. What will cause the shaking and how like be aware of that then in the middle of March when look at worship and the national Sunday law we're going look at the misapprehension that some world leaders going to come on to the scene and pass some kind of religious legislation but we will see that how that is contrary to both the Bible and the writings of Ellen White rather the Sunday law is going to come not from the top down but from the bottom up it's going to be demanded by the people that you will keep us safe and so to be elected they will simply ballot to the public favor of the people we've even seen that in the Supreme Court here recently haven't we what is changed the favor of the people also in March we're going to look at the close of probation and the 7 last plagues we will look at the plagues and the promises and see how Christ is in every single play you're not going to want to miss that one are these plagues arbitrary acts of God or do these plagues have something to do with the plan of salvation and then finally the 1st Sabbath in April heaven and eternity is heaven for real but as we begin our study I want to start in Revelation 11 The Book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him to show his servants things which must shortly take place of all the books in the Bible Revelation outlines the events that will occur at end time revelations been written for a last day generation that would go through the end of the Earth's history and it's not just merely a book of signs and symbols but it's a revelation of Jesus himself. And in fact we see several contrasts and revelation of outlined 7 here but in Revelation we see 2 leaders the lamb and the Dragon 2 signs the seal of God in the Mark of the beast 2 cities Jerusalem and Babylon 2 women the bride of Christ and the harlot woman to harvest scolding grain and Gauri grapes 2 spirits the Holy Spirit in the spirit of demons and lastly 2 choices the righteous and the unrighteous 7 contrast virtually contrast in the same thing aren't they at the end of time everyone will identify with one of those 2 groups and at the end every human being will line up under one of those 2 choices people either follow the dragon or the land that way they have the seal of God or the mark of the beast and we find also in Revelation that there are 2 great objectives the 1st to reveal the plans of God and secondly to unmask the plans of Satan if we distill it down that's what we have in the Book of Revelation and so we're going to now open up our Bibles I may put a few texts on the screen at the end but right now we're going to focus again on the 3 angels messages of Revelation chapter 14 and I want you to see it and to read it out of your own Bible there's something powerful about seeing the words on your own written pages in there. And so I invited throwing in a Revelation Chapter 14 beginning verse 6 Revelation Chapter 14 verse 6. And there we read then I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation tribe tongue and people today I believe our young people want to be part of something huge something big the greatest evangelist meetings I believe are yet to be held the greatest crowds are yet to come to our meetings you know this as message has been preached around the world sometimes to a crowd of over 100000 people and Papa New Guinea where 20000 people come to the front at an altar call 20000 I believe we're going to see things bigger than that where thousands are being converted and we see that happening in Brazil and African other plays and I want to field school in Africa I was amazed at how many people has anybody ever witnessed a mass baptism where literally there were I don't remember how many sites maybe 2030 sites around Kenya and then on that final Sabbath all of the people that want to be baptized came to this lympics sized pool and for hours and hours and hours and some ways at a microphone and they're calling out and reading in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost over and over and again boom there's about $50.00 to $100.00 people being baptized and AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN and you sit there and it's all day long it's powerful I believe that not only will be repeated that will be exceeded before Jesus comes. Then we read verse 7 saying with a loud voice Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of his judgment has come and worship Him who made the heaven and earth the sea and springs of water 1st 2 words of that message fear God. Pastor Hyman last week did a beautiful job of breaking down exactly what that word means how when we genuinely fear God it will lead to a change in our behavior and our actions how fearing God gives us wisdom how will also enable us to keep the 10 Commandments to share the final warnings to the world how fearing God will lead us to hate evil to worship God the Creator to love Him with all our heart to fear God is to give him reverence and reverential obedience and then last week you also shared how God will help us to do all those things through his power I believe at this time of moral relativism when the prevailing thought pattern is there is no objective standard truth you have your truth I have my truth whatever you want to believe that's OK It really doesn't matter there still is a message calling men and women back to fear God God still says I am the supreme authority not the self in your heart fear God Secondly give glory to Him Sometimes you hear people talk about oh that's just social gospel what is social gospel what is a promise Well if you listen long enough social gospel promises health wealth and prosperity where is the focus me myself and. The Gospel the New Testament the 7th Day Adventists and clearly here in Revelation is a 1000000 miles away from this gospel that so prevalent today is not an ego centric gospel focused on who I am but focuses on who he is there's a difference it's not focused on the improvement of me but on the submission to him again there's a difference. If in my giving glory to Him He blesses my life with health and wealth and prosperity that's up to him but if my lot is one of poverty and sickness that's up to him 2 of greater importance to me must be that Jesus is glorified in my life whatever LOT My life may take whatever direction it may be fear God give glory to Him for the hour of his judgment has come Judgment speaks about accountability moral responsibility the significance of our actions and lastly worship him in an age of evolution we are directed to the Creator only then as we move along there's a contrast between verse 7 and verse 8 and Revelation verse 7 we have a call to true worship there is a call to obey God to give glory to Him in everything we do what I eat what I drink my lifestyle there is more responsibility in light of the judgement there's a call to worship the creator in the age of evolution with the Sabbath as the symbol of his creative authority and then and Revelation verse 8 we read another angel followed saying Babylon is fall in is fallen that great city because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication in verse 8 those churches who reject the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ that is to go to the ends of the earth they have rejected the concept of giving glory to Him they failed to understand that we are living in the judgement hour a unique time in earth's history they have turned their back on the symbol of the worship of the Creator namely the Sabbath and so it says Babel in is fallen is fallen wine unfermented wine is true doctrine. But wine that is tainted or fermented is false doctrine it effects the forebrain makes you shoot dolphins right so wine a babbling gives people intoxicated Oh as long as I love Jesus I can and dabble in this a little bit I can dabble in that little bit it's not going to make a big difference in fact it doesn't make any difference at all I'm saved by grace and that's sad as you all are such legal lists when it comes to the Sabbath come to our side were saved by grace the intoxication of false doctrine but the Bible says Babylon is what fallen now this goes without saying but the 2nd angel's message follows the 1st angel's message so we're still awake but the 2nd angel's message is not only follows the 1st but is a consequence of the 1st so the true church preaches the 1st angels message of the in the earth body temple judgement Sabbath the fallen churches of Babylon reject the 1st angels message and that's why they become Bablon but Babel is what is fallen so here's the question and this is a little aside but if Babylon is fallen and you are looking up to Babylon imitating their methods admiring their strategies and going to their seminars where are you just think about them will go on so Revelation 7 says to worship the creator Revelation Chapter 14 verse 9 says do not worship the beast. Or verse 8 I suppose now what happens to those that worship the beast. Well as read about Reverse 9 let's go ahead and do that then a 3rd angel followed them saying with a loud voice if any one worships the beast and his image and receive his mark on his forehead or on his hand he himself will also drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out full strength into the cup of his indignation and he should be tormented with fire and brimstone the presence of the holy angels in the presence of the Lamb So again verse 7 is to worship the creator of verse 9 says you not worship the beast and now what is the wine of the wrath of God You may be asking there in verse 10 well if you just keep your finger there and you go to Chapter 15 verse one it will tell you then I saw another sign in the heavens great marvelous 7 angels having the 7 last plagues for in them the what wrath of God is complete so the wind of God's wrath is the 7 last player who will look more fully at those but I want you to understand the wrath of God is not at all the anger of God we throw that around don't mess with me or you'll experience my raft that's not what this is talking about has to do with the judgments of God against sin and we'll look at that in more detail but if we look at the big picture as the Gospel goes to the end of the earth it will be a reaction for or against the gospel the unique aspects of the Gospel go to the ends of the earth and what are they obedience to God Body temple judgement Sabbath and churches that reject that become Babylon most of God's people today are still in people in Babylon and I say most of God's people are still in Babylon but God is calling them out of Babylon sometimes people have issue with us making friends and mingling with people that are not of our denomination folks where are most of God's people. Out there don't we want to be friend them get to know them share the love of Christ with them so God is calling them out of Babylon then the devil's in the Gospel going rapidly around the earth comes out with a counterfeit revival with signs Americans and wonders and so you have 2 things happening simultaneously the mighty working of the Holy Spirit and the marvelous working of demons and as this comes to a crescendo all hell breaks loose on earth natural disasters economic disasters war conflict strife in the midst of all this the honest and heart are brought to the surface and the mighty ladder rain comes with a loud cry and when every human being has had opportunity be fully sold out for Christ or against Christ human probation closes and the 7 last plagues report out this is in essence a summary of Revelation Chapter 141-516-1718 then we read in Revelation Chapter 14 verse 12 here is that patients of the Saints Here are those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus for 7 worship the creator of verse 8 Babylon is fallen because he is turned from true worship verse 9 says do not worship the beast and verse 12 is an appeal that those who do not take the mark of the beast or drink the wine of Babylon hears the end Durance of the saints that's believers and who are they they keep the commandments of God They have the faith of Jesus that is the say they are committed to Christ as a result of that commitment they live a life of obedience to him not to earn it but because it's been freely given. And this brings a crisis and crisis comes when everyone must decide followed by the close of probation the 7 last plagues and Jesus' return so we have 4 key events the 1st the proclamation of the Gospel by use of every means at our disposal satellite radio T.V. internet thousands of 7th Day Adventists around the world sharing this message as we speak one day churches one day schools secondly it's an announcement of the judgment those who proclaim the gospel announced the pre Advent judgement no longer time as usual but we are living in the judgment now we are living in the in time. Thirdly it's a call to worship the creator 7th Day Adventists call people back to worship the Creator God we not believe we evolved by chance and there were some genetic biological accident we do not believe that we are simply a collection of chemical molecules that exist because some right combination came together no we were formed in the mind of God before you were conceived in the womb of your mother a loving God formed you and shaped you and fashioned you you're not a biological accident you're not simply skin covering bone you have purpose and meaning and direction in an age of evolution when people have lost hope they've lost meaning they've lost purpose in their lives if all I am is skin and bones where does life have purpose whereas I have meaning if the grave is the end and I'm simply in a large species of animal creation if I am simply an intelligent ape if that is all that I am. If there is no conscience no reason if there's no judgment I'm just a biological animal and if my only hope is in a dark hole in the ground and of death is a long night without a morning then survival of the fittest does make the most sense and it's an adequate approach to life if that's what I believe and if I'm just an intelligent aid then I'm a squeeze out every inch of pleasure I can before I die because that's it but if I'm created in the image of God If the purpose of life is to glorify Him and if one day I can live with him in a land where there is no sickness or suffering or death for all eternity that gives life meaning that gives life focus that gives life hope doesn't and the message of the Sabbath leading the world back to The Creator is the answer to the problem of low self-esteem the purposelessness and meaninglessness no sense of direction talk about the postmodern mind God knew what he was doing when he crafted the advent message to philosophically tailor it to meet the minds of a generation that have lost hope the avenues message is not some antiquated 19th century mentality that was developed by a bunch of bearded old fanatics the 3 angels message I believe was crafted by God and given to intelligent intellectual pioneers and it becomes not less relevant as time goes on but more relevant as time goes on great controversy is not becoming expired as a book it is more and more proving it's inspired as a book I believe our message becomes more and more relevant every day soon as you hear people say you know we've been preaching this message for over 150 years and we revise our theology revise our theology. I mean I know exactly when the Lord's going to come but I know we're 150 years closer not a 100 years further away when communism fell MARK FINDLAY was invited to shake as a university in Hungary and I have to share this story because it's fascinating to me he describes it as one of the most secular godless universities in the world and it's filled with intellectual geniuses and the president invited him Mark Finley to come to a lecture on astronomy and he said elder friendly you speak on astronomy for one hour then we're going to have an atheist speak on astronomy for one hour then we're going to open it up for the students and they can ask you questions how do you like that invitation passage and they respond that's a wonderful idea but once you let your astronomy professor speak 1st and let me speak 2nd since I'm your guest he says I'm doing I do a lot better at asking questions than about being targeted questions so we'll just let him go 1st so the university present said No problem no problem we can do that and they arranged the whole thing and when the day came another family showed up and the president found me said Mr Fenley there's a problem there's a big problem what seems to be the problem with the other professor had an emergency and he can show up. The other thing he said praise the lower. He's been raptured I was praying the rapture. He didn't say that out loud he stayed calm cool and collected He said there's no problem I can just speak for 2 hours and so he did he spoke for 2 hours on the existence of God The philosophical and psychological evidence of the Creator God and at the end of that lecture I tell you there's going to be some question an answer and the faculty were sitting on one side the students were everywhere else but he could tell that this one student had been prompted by the faculty to ask a specific question. And he knew that he couldn't debate them on science but he knew that you could debate them on philosophy because the philosophical underpinnings of atheism are really barren and there's nothing atheism that gives any kind of morality at all and so that was his approach they had to attack so the student stood up and he said Mr Fenley I have a question Sure go ahead what's your question when the Soviet Cosmin the year e Ghar Ghar when circled the stratosphere in the Sputnik he said he never saw God Have you ever seen God and he says at that moment the Lord gave him an answer that he had never thought contemplated before and he said this I want to ask you a question I want to leave God out of it I will leave the Bible out of it I want to leave faith out of it I just want to talk about intellectual things of all the knowledge that there is in the world how much knowledge you students suppose that you have let's say for example there's 2800 languages in the world how many of those you speak you speak 100 languages do you speak 200 languages how many languages do you speak of all the knowledge of chemistry there is in the world how much knowledge of chemistry do you have let's suppose there's 500 new books written in the last 510 years on chemistry how many of those of you read of all the knowledge of astrophysics there is in the world let's talk about China let's talk about the Ming Dynasty always you take out a piece of paper I want to write down the 17 emperors of the main dynasty I want you to write who they married there are 38 sons daughters or whatever all that is of all the knowledge of the world of all the books printed just this year of all the thousands and thousands of books all the scientific knowledge how much would you say that you have didn't really know how to respond would you say you know 50 percent. Of all that there is to know from the intellectual intellectual standpoint Oh no no we don't know 50 percent you know 25 percent know we don't know 25 percent 10 percent I don't know we're not 10 percent fine he looked over at the group of professors on this side and he said teachers just had to give me this one let's just suppose let's say that your students because you're all on your faculty you have so many Ph D.'s you're so smart your students are so bright let's say that all of your students know 5 percent of all the knowledge that there is to know I only have one question if by your admission you don't know 95 percent of all that there is to know Could God exist and that 95 percent of knowledge that you don't have in Elders Finlayson from an intellectual standpoint I should respond they respond to him he said from stem point you know it's true he said let me ask another question if there are only 2 alternatives and I'm not asking you to believe but one is a loving god that created you He fashioned you he shaped you he's with you in your life He will give you purpose and meaning and hope beyond the grave and you can live with him for eternity and there will be no sickness there or suffering or death now I'm not asking you to believe I'm just saying if that is one alternative and if the 2nd alternative is that there really is no meaning to life you are in large animal you're a little higher than the apes you have no direction or purpose in life and when you die you go into the grave and Russian worms eat your body now that's the only 2 choices you have which one are you going to take I'm not asking you to believe I'm just asking of those are 2 choices you have which you going to take and I say Well obviously the 1st one he said well then you're not an atheist because an atheist says I know God doesn't exist. But you just told me that you know that or that you don't know 95 percent of all the knowledge that exists and that God could exist in that 95 percent of knowledge so you're not atheists I also know that you're not acknowledge sticks because an exhausted set is God may exist probably doesn't exist but if he does I don't even care but you just told me that you did care you know what you are he says you're seekers whose minds have been programmed with atheistic knowledge and you have heard only one side of the question and that's why I came today because you all really seekers they were seekers weren't they but they know that somebody had to go and tell them and I believe the reason they functioned as they did because their minds were saturated in a different way an atheistic way of thinking and other family said at the conclusion of that assembly or whatever it was called he says I brought 25 miles with me if there are any seekers here that would like to come down from Afterwards he said I thought there was going to be a riot as students jumped over each other and pushed each other out of the way to grab one of those 25 Bibles he said they practically mauled him why I believe because the message of a creator god is the message that our hearts long for we don't want to be a speck of cosmic dust in the universe the Creator God is at the heart of the 3 angels message at the heart of Adventism and the world is done for that and lastly we've got to go here warning against false worship. The great issue throughout is loyalty to God The question is do you have an undivided heart in the coming crisis God will not abandon his children God will not leave us I don't know we really have time to unpack this chart don't be overwhelmed. But there are so many parallels in Daniel Chapter 3 and Revelation Chapter 13 and both you have a universal world leader and both you have a counterfeit image in both Even the dimensions 60 and 6 and 666 are similar you have a command to worship you have a universal death decree God's people are persecuted and oppressed but ultimately what happens as a result are they spared from ever being thrown into the fiery furnace no they go and they get thrown in but notice the only ones who died that day were the persecutors not the persecuted they cast them in Bam But now they are loosed the only things that the flames did was burn up the ties that bound them to this earth and so we read in Daniel chapter 3 verse 25 looks as never can is or I see 4 men walk in the midst of the fire and they are not heard and the form of the 4th is like the Son of God in the midst of their crisis moment God was with them verse 27 in the sap. The governors and kings councillors gathered together everyone was watching and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power the hair of their head was not singed nor their garments affected the smell of fire was not even on them this is incredible and the Mirror images are in Revelation 13 they come a little bit later but the whole I'm coming is a thief bless it is he who watch and keeps his garments last he walk naked and they see his shame and in $1009.00 plus or those who are called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb friends there's a fiery trial coming but as we lift our eyes in faith the only thing the trial does is purify our faith so we long for heaven more the trial does not destroy us. It burns up and consumes all those things that bind us to this earth praise the Lord and Romans remind us who shall separate us from the love of Christ shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword and all these things we are more than conquers through him who loved us for I am persuaded neither death nor life nor angle nor prisoner Pallies nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord we need not fear the crisis that is coming because we know the Christ of that crisis we not be fearful of the pain but we are standing on God's promises we not to be filled with doom for God has offered us deliverance in the coming crisis God will not abandon his children as we trust in Him we have nothing to fear dear Heavenly Father you have reminded us today that despite what is coming we have no reason to fear as long as we cling to your hand or we thank you for this beautiful message that you have given and intrusted to us Lord may we not hide it under a bushel. But when we proclaim it with all love insensitivity but with boldness and with courage because it is your message for this world for this time in your name we pray name in. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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