Our text today is Romans 13. If you would come over here to the book of Romans in your Bible. I have a feeling that we are basically all asleep. We all need awakening by our father. And, I believe God has sent us this book (the book of Romans) to awaken us. I think we need to be studying this book. Romans 13:11 says, And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. And then it goes on to say that we need to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. We're in our pajamas. We're asleep. Instead, we need to be awake and we need to be clothed with Jesus. We need to be clothes with Jesus Christ. Instead of doing that here in America, in this world, we are studying how to gratify the lusts of the flesh. I wonder how wicked God will allow the world to get before He steps in and says, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is enough. It's gone far enough. You're wicked enough." It's time for us to go home. And the wicked are going to be wicked still and the righteous will be righteous still. I think that God has a clear boundary line that He has established that wickedness can go this far and no further. And I think we're nearing that mark.
Since 1798, the beginning of the time of the end, America has made a meteoric descent into spiritual darkness. It just seems like each year we get a little more wicked, a little more sinful. I don't know where this is going to end. We have thrown prayer out of public schools. We are teaching the theory of evolution, and it's just a theory. That's all it is. Teachers are telling young people that they came from animals, and then when the kids behave like animals, Well, it's no wonder because that's where you came from. Why should we be surprised if they act like animals? If forty thousand spotted owls were dying every day there would be an outrage like you wouldn't believe here in America. But the truth is that forty thousand children in this world are dying every day now, and nobody seems to care. We care more about spotted owls than we do about spotted children.
Students are killing teachers. Crazy men are killing little children. Children are killing their parents. We are in a mess! Consider Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania right near Kinzer. A milk man, of all people, drove to a quiet one room Amish school house surrounded by corn fields and brought in three guns and 600 rounds of ammunition and began boarding up the school. He dismissed the teachers and the boys. He kept all the girls. He bound them and then shot the girls. All this because he had a 20 year grudge against somebody. He had to "get even". Before the days was over, the Amish were at the door of his relatives saying, "We forgive. We forgive your husband. It's okay. We don't hold a grudge against you. That's the true spirit that we ought to have. But this man had to get even. We ought to be a forgiving people.
Why can't we forgive? Why do we have to carry a chip on our shoulder? Don't do that! Let it go. When you are wronged, do what Jesus did. Did Jesus, when He was wronged, did Jesus go get a machine gun and mow the Pharisees down and slaughter them and kill them when they criticized Him? He let us know which side He was on, but he did not take that type of an action. You go ahead and live a good and respectable life. Get rid of that grudge. Forgive others. Jesus said: Father Forgive them for they know not what they are doing.1 If you want to be a winner, then you've got to control your Anger.
Look at Ephesians 4:31,32; 5:1. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God. We need to be like God. We need to be like Jesus. We need to forgive one another. We need to control our anger. When you have a grudge against somebody, you're going to harm yourself, and you're going to harm others. Don't carry that grudge. Forgive them.
Another sign of the end is what is happening right here in America. Revelation 13:11 says, Then I saw another beast coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He was out of control. He was angry. This is a depiction of the United States of America, the people. Out of control. Angry. This says that the United States of America will be the superpower of the world, will cause, will control, will make people do certain things or they can't buy or sell. America used to be a great nation for God. Before America disappears and slide off into the oblivion of history, Jesus will come. This is the last nation pictured in the Bible. It seems to me like America is going down hill. Look at our national debt. Now we are so far in debt that it amounts to a stack of one dollar bills stacked so high that it goes from here to the moon and all the way back again! Eight and a half trillion dollars in debt, the last time I saw. That's a lot of debt! I have no idea how much debt that is. Each American now carries about twenty-eight thousand dollars of this debt on their shoulders. Our national debt increases One and a half billion dollars every day! That's a lot of money. In not too long the grand total will probably be a Zillion dollars! I don't know. It's just a terrible thing. We are actually bankrupt! 2 Timothy 3:1 - But mark this, there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited. Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. Terrible times in the last days. Americans are no longer living in a great and strong Christian nation. In this nation we are lovers of sin!
One out of every three children that you see here in America was born illegitimately. In the inner cities it is three out of four. 2 This old world is winding down. The end is near. The birds are disappearing. Have you noticed that? Two thirds of with bird species are on the decline. Bird-watching is the most favorite hobby of all Americans. One out of ten birds are near extinction. Destructive insects are thriving on most of the strongest poisons that we can squirt at them. Seventeen species are now unaffected by any and all insecticide. The weeds are winning. Roundup won't round everything up anymore. There are many weeds that are immune to Roundup. Our weeds doing very well. And Aids. More than twenty-five million people have died of AIDS since 1981. Africa alone has twelve million children are AIDS orphans.3
People are getting desperate. Some have become so desperate as to try to clone Jesus. Several high ranking church leaders support human embryo cloning. The church leaders hope to reproduce Jesus Christ from DNA fibers found on the Shroud of Turin!4 Do you know what we ought to be trying to do is to reproduce Him in our heart. That's what Seventh-day Adventists ought to be doing. You don't want to reproduce the anger of the devil in your hearts, you want to reproduce the love of Jesus in your life.
Wickedness is increasing at a breathtaking rate. Just like it was in the beginning. We're studying in our Sabbath School lessons about Creation and the beginnings. What great lessons these are going to be this quarter. But I will tell you that back in Genesis 6:5, The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become. Every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. And that's about what you have today.
Not only do we repeat the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah on a daily basis, but we record these evil sins in videos that are sold everywhere. That's so we can enjoy watching this, and so we can make money off of it. "These sins have been done before but never have they been so open and bold. We have Public marches that are called 'Gay Pride.'"5 Everything is in the open now.
Revelation 11:18 tells us that God will come and destroy those who destroy the earth. Are we destroying the world? I think we are. If you sail your yacht to the North Pacific you will come to a sluggish quiet area where the currants and winds are very slow. In this area you will find a huge island floating made up of discarded styrofoam cups, plastic caps, plastic laundry baskets, foam rubber sandals and tons of other garbage. It has a name: The Eastern Garbage Patch by the people in the Hawaiian Islands. This floating dump is located between California and Hawaii. It is twice the size of Texas!6 from the LA Times.
TIME, April 3, 2006 had a special on climate change and the damage to our earth. The headline on the front says: Be Worried. Be VERY worried. Newsweek, August 28, 2006 says that we are in a global war and we are now going to live with terror. We have entered the "New age of Terror". Liquid explosives have caused a ban on all commercial aircraft of even bottled water. Our days are changing. You know, our national magazines are preaching sermons on last-day events. We're in a quandary in our lives. We, as Seventh-day Adventists, believe in last-day events but we are liquefying our religion in the work-place and in many other areas, in our sports.
Time is almost extinct. We are in the last movements of a dying clock of time. The new millennium is almost 7 years old now.
Our generation now lives in the 7th millennium of time. I found that forty-two times, Ellen White says that this world is almost six thousand years old. Great Controversy, p. 656 - "For six thousand years the Great Controversy has been in progress... Now all have made their decisions...- The time has come for God to vindicate His law."
By reading these statements it sounds like after six thousand years Jesus will come. Now. I believe that. I don't know when the exact date of Creation was, some people say four thousand years before the birth of Jesus, but we don't really know the exact date. We don't know the time when Jesus will come. We don't know that. But I believe that there will be six periods of time each a thousand years long, and then it sounds like at the beginning of the seventh, Jesus will come and take His people home. Of course we have no idea as to the day or the hour or even the year of Jesus coming. But God does. Matthew 24:36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
And the devil only guesses when the Jesus comes better than we do. He doesn't know the day nor the hour, but Revelation 12:12 says that the devil knows his time is short! Satan has studied these great prophecies here in the Bible. You know, we ought to be studying them, too. The devil has studied these things and He knows closer than most of us the date of the close of probation. He has set all his evil agents to feverish work to deceive, delude, occupy and entertain until the big heavy door of probation slams shut and as many as possible are lost! The devil has become a master tempter. When you turn on your TV you'll see a lot of wickedness. Maybe you ought to turn the thing off. If you can't control it you ought to unplug it, or give it to the Samaritan Center. Just get rid of it. Satan is in much of the modern music that some of our kids listen to. I read that "Teens steeped in raunchy pop songs with explicit sexual lyrics lose their virginity earlier". Such music lowers kids' inhibitions.7
I believe that here we are six thousand years after creation, probation will be over, the seven last plagues will fall and Jesus will come. This old world is plenty wicked. We who have been living in the prison house of the devil will be set free. And we need to go home.8
Ellen White talks about the desolation of the earth for 1000 years,-- "For 6000 years Satan's work of rebellion has made the earth to tremble. For 6000 years his prison house has received God's people...but Christ has broken his bonds and set the prisoners free!"9 When will we escape this old world?- after 6000 years!
It makes sense to me that God has set a period of 7000 years for this world to be contaminated by sin. 1000 years for each day of Creation. The seventh and final 1000 years will be the time when the planet will rest from all the sin and woe that it has been exposed to. This time we call the millennium. And then Jesus will come.
John Nevins Andrews, for which Andrews University was named, our first Seventh-day Adventist missionary, a very intelligent man. He could read the Bible in seven different languages. In fact, he had the entire New Testament memorized. And he believed and he taught that after six thousand years Jesus would come. He said, "For six thousand years the earth has been cultivated by its inhabitants, and it will remain uncultivated and desolate during the seventh period of a thousand years while the judgment takes place.10 Thus the earth will have its jubilee.
I believe that God will come on schedule. Habakkuk 2:3 says, For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. The second coming may appear to be delayed to us, but our God is right on schedule. Even Jesus was born and baptized and died right on an exact time schedule. He had a time frame. God is never late. We have no way to know when the 6000 years will be over. But we do know that the end is extremely close.
Another sign, according to our understanding is that Jesus' soon return may be staring us in the face. Have you read Revelation 17 lately? Someone pointed it out to me the other day, and I thought, 'This could be right.' If this scenario is true, then we're neat the end. You go home and study this. Revelation 17 speaks about the Papacy which sits on seven hills. We understand that as Seventh-day Adventist Christians. Verse 10 is speaking about the Popes, I feel, after the deadly wound of the papacy was healed in 1929 with the Laterin Treaty.
Revelation 17:9 begins with a phrase that says, This calls for a mind with wisdom. You're really going to have to put on your thinking cap to understand this. And then in Revelation 17:10, 11 it says, "They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven, and is going to his destruction. Notice the vocabulary of the angel in verse 10. He says, "One is." Apparently John the revelator is taken forward in time travel to the period of time where this one is. And within the beast power, the deadly wound was healed in 1929, and the sixth king, or the sixth Pope was John Paul II.
If you count them 11 the seventh Pope after the deadly wound was healed is none other than our currant Pope Benedict the sixteenth. If this is the case, then he will only continue a short time (Verse 10) and then the Eighth Pope will be a continuation of one of the seven Popes. Well, that's strange. The most popular of these seven Popes, I think, was Pope John Paul II. How would John Paul II be a Pope again if he were to be one of the seven? He would have to be "reincarnated" or something, and come back to life. Since we do not believe in such a thing, what this really means is that a "devil" would have to impersonate him. I will tell you, If that should happen, the last events would come slamming down upon the world in great intensity. Not long afterwards the Devil himself would personate the Second Coming of Jesus, which we know he will. We could be very close to the end of time. We don't know. If this scenario is true, we'll find out. It won't take long. Even Pope Benedict said, "I won't be here very long." And the Bible says that the seventh one will not be very long. So, is this really it? Well, I don't know. But I do know one thing: We as a people ought to b studying our road map. We're on a journey, not a journey to anywhere, but a journey to the New Jerusalem. We ought to be studying our map.
Are we wide awake? Is there a modern warning for us here in these verses. It is time to wake up! We will soon know if this interpretation is true. We as a people are on a journey. We ought to be studying the map. As Christians, We ought to be studying the prophecies. Devotional books are fine, but study the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:15(KJV) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Is this really it? Is this the end? Well, I don't know. Which of the two following statements are true? 1- Is the work going to be cut short in righteousness? Yes. Or, 2- has God delayed His coming? Yes. Both are correct. Eventually God will suddenly cut short every event and every schedule. But in the mean time God seems to have delayed His coming. Jesus could have returned prior to 1888.
So why are we still here? "It is the unbelief, the worldliness, nonconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years." EV 696. That's why we're here. We need the oil of the Holy Spirit.
"The return of Christ to our world will not be long delayed. Let this be the keynote of every (sermon)"12 So what time is it? It is high time for us be wide awake. Now come back to Romans 13:11-14(KJV). And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor if light.
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
A)-- Put on the armor of Light= Jesus
B)--Clothe yourselves with the Lord = Accept the Righteousness of Jesus as your own.
Won't you decide right now to stand with Jesus in these last days? The time appointed for Jesus to come is almost here. It is time to wake up!
1. Luke 23:34.
2. Chattanooga Times Free Press, 6/15/94
3. UN AIDS/World Health Organization, May 2006.
4. Chattanooga Times Free Press, 7/20/94
5. Reader's Digest, October 1993, p. 69.
6. The Week Aug 18, 2006, page 16 (from the LA Times)
7. The Week, August 25, 2006 p. 21.
8. Isaiah 14:12-17.
9. Great Controversy by EG White, p.659.
10. Review and Herald, 8211883.
11. List of Popes after the healing of the deadly wound
1. Pius XI 1922-1939
2- Pius XII 1939-1958
3- John XXIII 1958-1963
4- Paul VI 1963-1978
5- John Paul I 1978
6- John Paul II 1978-2005
7- Benedict XVI 2005-
12. Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, by Ellen G. White p. 337
Hymn of Praise: #21, Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise Scripture: John 14:1-3 Hymn of Response: #448, O, When Shall I See Jesus>
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last updated 09/10/06 byBob Beckett.