Picture of Pastor Gettys

Sermon delivered May 6, 2006 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Time is Short

(RealAudio Version available)

We face the most dangerous times. Matthew 24:21 speaks of the last days: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Luke 21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

Can you imagine the fact that 39 million people in our world are starving to death right now? In Angola, Rwanda, Sudan, Liberia, Somalia, Mozambique, Haiti, Afghanistan, Bosnia, etc.10 The whole world is in a crisis and yet we spend our time absorbed with who the survivor will be. Our desperate need is to spend time with Jesus. To make sure of our salvation.

Things are changing so fast we hardly seem to notice. Take for instance when I was a boy (1950) only 6% of American children lived in a home without a father. That was to be expected because we had just emerged from WWII. Today "half of all kids in America will sleep in a house where their biological father does not live."- Week, April 7, 2006 p. 12 As a result of these fatherless homes, and other evils, kids are growing up half wild. Malachi 4:6 predicts the presence of bad fathers in the last days.

The absence of fathers contributes to a lack of love and discipline and morality. Teenagers now account for 25% of ALL violent crime in America.11 The last thing we need in America is a population surge of teenage boys growing up in a single parent home, and yet that is exactly what we have. The mother of most fatherless homes has to work and the kids largely grow up by themselves.

Did you know that just in nearby Atlanta one in every 18 students in grades 9-12 carried a gun in the past month! Guns kill more US teenagers than ALL natural diseases combined! In just 16 years (since 1979) more than 50,000 children (under 20) have been killed here in America! That is more casualties than in the whole Vietnam War!12

We are surrounded with Violence. By the time a youngster is 18 he or she will see over 200,000 acts of violence including 18,000 make-believe murders on TV alone.13 They do what they see. Somebody must take action before the whole of society goes down the drain.... Sewer would be a better word! Atheistic TV producers seem to be in charge of educating our vulnerable children. Toy manufactures invent evil toys and evil games. No one seems to be able to stop our immoral slide toward self destruction. No one!

Except the church. The church is doing something. And here is one of the greatest signs of the times in my life time! Religion is beginning to stand up for the right. Today you are witnessing one of the greatest changes in the lifetime of everybody sitting here today. America is right now in the process of shifting from liberal secular values to conservative values. The great pendulum is fast swinging to the right side.

You have heard about the Republican contract with America. Powerful organized Conservative Christians propose to make America into a Christian nation thereby turn this nation around. And they are becoming successful. They represent the most successful penetration into the government of any religious organization in this century. They are growing fast. They are the Walmart of American politics. Both Catholics and Jews are included. The wall of separation of church and state is crumbling.

All this is predicted in the book of Revelation. If you look at Revelation 13:3--you see that God predicts a very religious world just before the second coming of Jesus. Whole World followed the beast. Men worshiped the beast. Verse 8: ALL will worship the beast (except Christ's followers). 15: All who do not worship will be killed. So what you have is a global political authority that is controlled by religion. A kowtowing beast controlled by woman riding on its back.

    The Christian Coalition's goals:
  1. Re-Establish Prayer in public places.
  2. Restrict Abortions
  3. Establish IRA's for mothers and homemakers.
  4. Abolish the National Endowment for the Arts
  5. Abolish the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  6. End the Department of Education
  7. Amend the Constitution.
  8. Bring the 10 Commandments back to public view.
14

These are all worthy goals. But Their goal is to "impose" their version of a Bible-backed morality on the public at large.15 They want no condom distribution in our schools, no sex education classes, no homosexual adoptions, no legal gay marriages. Now many of these goals sound great don't they? But, do you see any danger? The state must stop making laws against religion. And religion must not use government to enforce its desires.

The first annual ten commandment day is tomorrow. Adventists fully support all 10 of God's holy commandments. This includes the fourth which requires the observance of the seventh day of the week as God's true Sabbath. That is Saturday. Not Sunday. We urge everybody to keep all 10 commandments. I don't know the ultimate purposes of the national 10 commandment day. But I wonder if the ultimate objective is to bring about a law to enforce church attendance on Sunday. The bottom line is that all this could be a set up to accomplish a Sunday law? It is very interesting that our U.S. Supreme Court now has a majority of Catholic Justices who could authorize such a law. Bad things happen when religion controls government.

Notice Revelation 17:3 A prostitute riding a beast! The wicked woman is a church. Not God's true church. No! This is the fallen false church of the last days. This sounds very much like the movement that we see trying to control the government today. It looks like the woman is about to mount the beast again. This time, for the last time. Just as the rider on a horse controls the actions of the horse, just so when the church rides on the back of the state, they control direction of the state. Don't look for conservative Republicans to protect us from religious persecution in the end time because at that time the government will be controlled by the apostate church.

You know what is wrong with the whole thing? We don't solve the moral problems of a nation by looking to government. We must look to Jesus.

Mark Finley tells this story: It was good Friday morning in 1987. Debbie Williams and 6 other friends jumped out of an airplane at 12,000' in the clear skies near Phoenix. These experienced skydivers planned to link up into a mid air formation. Debbie was one of the last ones out and had to catch up to the others. She went into a fast dive but she miscalculated her speed and slammed into another diver at a 50 MPH impact. She was knocked unconscious. She then fell out of control like a limp rag doll. Her parachute was unopened. She was doomed to die. (Channels, spring/summer 1995) As she fell down she went past her Jump Master- Gregory Robertson. He saw the blood covering her face. Immediately he went into a NO-LIFT dive. Head tucked into his chest, toes pointed, arms flat. Now he was diving at 180 MPH. Debbie seemed to be falling away from him. He must reach her and pull her rip cord.

He kept going as the horizon came up to meet him. It took all his years of skill and practice to maneuver his body and still maintain top speed. After what seemed to be an eternity he finally reached her. He reached out and grabbed Debbies reserve cord. Yanking it hard, he quickly moved away. Her chute opened and she began drifting slowly toward the ground. At 2000 feet, only 12 seconds from impact, Greg managed to open his own chute. Debbie and her savior both survived. Debbie recovered fully from her injuries. She is so grateful to Greg, her superman, who miraculously snatched her from a fatal impact.

Today, We are like Debbie. We are rushing headlong toward an impact with the events of the end of time. We can see that the last moments are indeed rapid ones. This old world is plummeting toward ground Zero! Every one of us knows that we do not have much longer. The tragedy is that almost everybody we see is just like Debbie... Oblivious to the true dangers of the times and events that are about to happen. Asleep. Many do not even have a parachute on. Their Christian experience is languishing.

But the good news is that even at this late hour, God has planned a mid-air rescue. Jesus is coming to save us. We will meet Him in the air. There are not a variety of parachutes around. There is just one: Jesus Christ! He died on the old rugged cross and completely paid for your sins. Put on Jesus. Accept Him. Like Debbie's parachute, when His robe of righteousness is placed over us, we are saved!

Are you yearning to be saved? Take one of the decision cards you will find in the back of your pew. Make the decision that Jesus wants you to make. Hand it to a pastor or put it upside down in the offering plate. Let's get ready for Jesus to come.


Endnotes:

1. The Week, December 9, 2005, Washington Post.

2. Time, April 3, 2006, p. 30.

3. Newsweek, Ostober 31, 2005, p. 46.

4. Week, April 17, 2006, p. 16.

5. US News and World Report, April 10, 2006, pp. 34-37.

6. National Conservative Weekly.

7. CNFP 10-20-2005, "Call to Action" - Editorial by Michael Tackett

8. Time, April 3, 2006, p. 39.

9. USNWR, May 22, 1995, p. 45.

10. CFP 2795.

11. Paul McNulty, CFP 3495.

12. Friendly Exchange, Summer, 1995, p. 24. (magazine of Farmer's Insurance Companies)

13. Ibid.

14. Time, May 15, 1995, p.31.

15. Ibid.


 Hymn of Praise: #7,  The Lord in Zion Reigneth
Scripture:  Revelation 12:10-12
Hymn of Response: #213,  Jesus Is Coming Again
204DJG51995



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