Jesus was clear when he said, that one of the characteristics of the last days is that the love of the most is going to wax cold on account of the increase in evil. What temperature is your heart registering in the measure of love? In the measure of kindness? In the measure of mercy? In the measure of compassion? In the measure of forgiveness? How soft are our hearts — are they like a tender piece of fresh chicken or are like a hardened piece of steak that has been left out in the sun? What a challenge, to keep them soft and tender in the days in which we’re living.
My precious Brethren, I want to exhort you as much as I want to exhort myself this morning; “...brethren, be not weary in well doing” (2 Thess. 2:13) —do not lose heart, do not lose courage, do not become faint in doing well!! “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
I believe that key to rightly dividing the book of Revelation, is to recognise that the events recorded in this book can be broadly divided into two parallel blocks — chapters 4 through to 11 forming the first block, and chapters 12 through to 20 forming the second block. When one understands that these two blocks of Scripture are complementary in nature—that is, they run parallel to one another covering the same period of time in the Tribulation—one is then able to rightly divide the book of Revelation making sense of its chronology and the events that happen within it.
In this teaching, we endeavour to compare side-by-side, the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8, 9 and 11, with the vial judgments of chapter 16. In doing this, we discover that whilst there are slight discrepancies between the two accounts, the overwhelming similarities between the two necessitate that they are referring to the same event. Take a listen and decide for yourself.
The conscience of man has been likened by some to a living organ. Like all organs, the conscience has a primary function; the primary function of the heart is to pump blood around the body, the kidneys remove waste products and excess fluids from the body; the liver helps break down food in digestion and rids the body of toxins. The primary function of the conscience is to sound to man objective and unaltering morality so as to point him in the way of righteousness. There are many similarities between a conscience and an organ, and perhaps chief among them is the ability to render corrupt and ineffective, that once-living organ through repeated abuse! Paul referred to a people who had seared their consciences. You say, how does one sear their conscience? Simple, just keep sinning against your better conscience, keep on ignoring its accusing voice and it will eventually cease to work!!
It’s one thing to harden one’s heart against his conscience, but what happens when a man hardens his heart against the voice of God! What happens, when God the Holy Spirit brings conviction to bear in such a palpable and overwhelming manner such that you know that you know this is the voice of God and yet you choose to continue on in the sin God’s convicting you of? What happens, when God brings His written Word to bear in your hearts shedding revelatory light such that the cloak of sin is blown away and your sin is laid bare before you, and yet, you make excuses and take again the cloak of sin? I tell you what happens...God the Holy Spirit is grieved; the conscience is wounded and the heart is hardened. A word of warning goes out in this sermon, “Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts…”.
It never ceases to amaze me, how our great and awesome God takes the nothings of this world to confound and bring to naught the somethings of this world! God took a man by the name of Gideon and with 300 men, defeated the mighty army of the Midianites. God took a nothing man by the name of Abraham—an idolater from a far-away land—and made of him a great nation through which to bless the world!! God takes a nothing shepherd boy by the name of David and makes him a king!! God takes a Christian persecuting Pharisee by the name of Saul and made him an apostle of Jesus Christ. Biblical history proves that without a shadow of a doubt, the few with God make up the majority!
This sermon is an exhortation for the Body of Christ not to despise the day of small beginnings. Where two or three are gathered together, there the Lord is in the midst! Will we not give ourselves wholeheartedly to prayer; even the small meetings where few are present, as though there was a thousand present and see what God will do!!
John sees in vision, a sign in heaven, great and marvellous. Seven angels coming out of the temple in heaven having the seven last plagues. To these seven are given seven golden vials full of the wrath of Almighty God. This chapter serves as an introduction to what will take place in chapter 16 as the seven bowls of God’s wrath are poured out upon the earth.
2 Corinthians 5:7-15
A word of warning and exhortation is given regarding the coming day when all believers shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ! In light of this awesome day, what manner of people ought we to be? How ought we to be spending our time? What ought to be our priorities? The cry of Brian's heart is that we might not stand on that day with regrets of what could have been, if only we had lived in light of eternity.
A great Word of encouragement is brought forth in this sermon by Brother Brian. In the days in which we are living, God is calling His people to feed those who He brings across our path. Yet, are we the people of God prepared to carry the compassion of the Lord for those who He died for? Are we willing to be inconvenienced? Are we willing to be broken that He might fill us and use us for the glory of His name?
2 Samuel 9:1-8
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, t'was blind but now I see. What does it mean to be in wonder of the grace of God? His saving mercy; His saving grace! Those who have this wonder and who are in awe of God’s grace, will follow Him and won’t turn back!
Is the Church of Jesus Christ necessary for one’s sanctification? Perhaps this is something that you’ve not before considered and so understandably, you may need time to ponder this pertinent question. I say pertinent, because we are living in a day where there is a small but increasing number of Christians, whose attitude towards the local visible Church Body is one of disdain and scorn. Content they are to stay at home and to find their fellowship in the world of virtual reality. This my friends will never do!!
From the Churches inception, those whom the Lord added to His Church, met together, and it is the coming together with other believers – skin touching skin– that we grow in holiness as we learn to forbear with one another in love, forgiving one another as Christ forgave us. At what cost are you prepared to be found in such sanctifying fellowship? May God give us ears to hear.
Having seen the wonder of God’s greatness, Brian now turns to share on the wonder of God’s glory!! Even the sun in all its brilliance; the stars in their glory; do not compare to the glory and the majesty of the One who brought them into existence in a moment!
Oh, that God would come again and reveal His glory in revival! God is willing, but the question is, are we? Who is willing to carry this burden of revival, which at its centre has to do with the very glory of God?