As year 2000 approached, bringing in new millennium, all kinds of prophecies
were made about what would happen that year.

Here are just some of those predictions:

Second coming of Christ would take place.

Biblical Battle of Armageddon would begin.

Antichrist:evil political military leader would arrive.

Tribulation:supposed 7-year time of great suffering and death, would begin.

Comet would strike earth and destroy it.

Earth will be destroyed in nuclear war.

Worldwide epidemic will wipe out all life on earth.

Y2K computer bug would trigger worldwide depression and financial collapse.

Alignment of planets will tilt earth off–axis, creating worldwide catastrophe.

All–God’s true people will be snatched away from earth in secret rapture.

Well, friends, several years gone by now. How many of these things happened?

Here in early part of this new millennium, series of religious books has become one of the most astonishing successes in world’s history of publishing. Widely translated and published all around the globe, each new title of “Left Behind” series becomes instant best seller.

This entire series, of course is based on the idea:
–Christ’s coming will be in secret
–that His saints will be “raptured” or snatched away from earth to heaven at any time.

But friends, should we learn what’s just ahead of us
by reading tabloid newspaper predictions?

Should we find out what God’s future plans for this world are by reading some man’s idea even if it becomes the best selling book?

Let me suggest to you that the only reliable source for predictions about the future is just one book. God’s Book: the Holy Bible.

We can go directly to the Bible and discover truth. The Bible reveals the events which surround the
second coming of Christ.

Matthew chapter 16:27: “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his
Father with his angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

This one text debunks New Age movement.
-Christ descends from the sky in glory of His Father
–Solution of sin is NOT one world government
–OR union of church and state.
–Christ comes–reign from heaven

What about rapture?
Answer:
–Christ coming is not secret.
–His coming, with dazzling brightness
Matthew 24:27 says:
“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes
to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

Nothing secret: Jesus coming
with splendor of glory, majesty with dazzling brightness to redeem His children.

What events will occur during the second coming of Christ?
What about…
–righteous living on earth?
–righteous died in ages past?
–wicked people living on earth, do they stay living after Jesus comes?

1 Thessalonians 4:16: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”

Language is clear
–Christ is coming with power, glory
–Dead in Christ rise when? Answer: First

When Jesus comes those who died ages past…
–believing–loving–serving and obeying God resurrect first and caught up to meet Jesus in the air.
–Families reunited again

Have you laid some husband or wife to rest?
–Wife died with cancer? Husband, heart attack?
–There is hope! The dead in Christ will rise first.

Your child was killed in car accident, died of leukemia?
There’s hope! Jesus is coming

Friends of ours lost two babies and they are lying side by side in the cemetery awaiting this glorious day.
Imagine when Jesus comes and graves open and angel places babies in parents’ arms.

John 5:28-29 promises:
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth;…”

“…they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

How many resurrections are there? Answer: Two
–Resurrection of life
–Resurrection of damnation.

The resurrection of life takes place, when?
–Dead in Christ–rise first
–Resurrection of damnation–second

Resurrection of life happens at second coming. Jesus returns with dazzling brightness, graves opened and the righteous come out with new life.

The blind will see; crippled will be whole, cancer/arthritis patients will be healthy, with vibrant bodies after the resurrection.

Righteous living–what happens?
Answer:
1 Cor. 15:52, 53: “…we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17 adds: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

When Christ comes…
–Righteous dead–resurrected–receive new bodies
–are changed
–Righteous living–we (who are alive) caught up together with them (the righteous who were raised)
to meet the Lord in the air…

And thus, we shall always be with the Lord

When Christ comes–righteous dead resurrects
–The righteous go to heaven.

What about the lost?
Are they left alive on the earth?

Bible is very plain
2 Thessalonians 1:8: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jesus longs to save everybody but some refuse His mercy, reject His sovereign majesty and authority.
“They don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Sin is combustible material in the presence of a Holy God. Those that love Him are drawn to Him.
Remember the same sun hardens clay and melts wax.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 says: “…whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming.”

God gives sinners chance after chance but rebellious hearts turned back on God and God allows sin to have its final course. Wages of sin is…death

Wicked living at second coming are destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming

Is there anybody left alive on earth?

Jeremiah 25:33 answers–question: “And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth…”

“…They shall not be lamented [that means sorrowed over], or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.”

Bible says that they will not be buried
–Why? Answer: Nobody left to bury them, all sinners dead.

At Christ’s coming righteous dead raised to join righteous living to meet Lord in the air. Only wicked (dead and living) left on the earth. Wicked living will be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming.
Earth is left desolate.

Review it once more
–Righteous living ascend
–Righteous dead–resurrected and join righteous living
–wicked living are slain
–Nobody left alive on the earth

What is the condition of the earth?
–It is destroyed by fire

Does God leave it destroyed forever?

What about the thousand years?
With year 2000, we’ve just begun a new millennium but Bible talks of another new millennium soon to begin.
Christ comes, Bible says the righteous ascend, wicked
destroyed and millennial period: thousand years begins.

Revelation 20:1, 2: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand…”

“…He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is
the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand
years.”

This is the only place the Bible talks about the thousand years or millennium

Millennium–two Latin words:
“mille” = “thousand,” and “Annum”= “years”

One thousand years of what?

What is the condition of earth during 1,000 year period?
What does it mean that Satan is “bound” for a thousand years?

Text says angel “laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”

Where is Satan bound? Is it some pit–subterranean cavern?

Revelation 20:2, 3 says: “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;..”

“and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him
up, and set a seal on him,”

“so that he should deceive the nations no more till the
thousand years were finished. But after these things he
must be released for a little while.”

Why couldn’t Satan deceive nations?
Where are the righteous–during thousand years?
Answer:In heaven

What happened to the wicked?
Answer: all dead

Who does Satan have to tempt?
The Righteous are in heaven and the wicked are all dead so Satan left alone.

Bible says that Satan is bound in bottomless pit.
–What is bottomless pit?
–Why he’s bound till thousand years are finished
–After the thousand years Satan is released a little while.

NT–written Greek language
Greek word “bottomless pit” means abussos

This same word was used to translate Hebrew in Genesis 1:2
–that in English says: “without form and void”
–abussos means–“place of darkness and desolation”

So it means Satan is bound in chains of darkness on this desolate earth for 1,000 years.
–For thousands of years, Satan perhaps the original “workaholic” has worked tirelessly to battle against God. He has tempt human beings and spread his cancer of selfishness But now he is confined to earth where he will spend 1,000 years, whether he likes it or not, in solitary confinement. Thinking about all he has done since he first turned against God.

The Bible says the earth during the millennium is left dark and desolate.
–Why would God leave the earth desolate?
Answers: Satan wanders in the desolate cities and sees death, devastation he is responsible and recalls Garden of Eden.

Bible is the story of Eden lost and Eden regained
–Genesis 1 and 2 depict a perfect world
–Revelation 21 and 22 also describe a perfect world
–Eden restored
–Between two–world destroyed by sin
–Even Satan acknowledges that wages of sin is death

Look at earth is anybody here? Jeremiah 4:23-26: “I beheld the earth, and it was without form and void;…”
Is this at creation? Not at all. From heaven, we, the righteous, can behold the earth: “…and the heavens, they had no light….”

“…I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth…”

“…I beheld, and indeed there was no man. And all the birds of the heavens had fled….”

“…I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all the cities were broken down…”

“…at the presence of the Lord, by His fierce anger.”

What about God’s people?
–Where are we during that time?
Answer: We read dead in Christ resurrected and meet Him in the air.

Remember Jesus promised in John 14:2: “I will come again and receive you to Myself: that where I am, there you may be also.” So, we are caught up to meet Christ. We go where He is.

Then, Revelation 20:6 says: “…they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

We sit on thrones. We reign with God and Christ.
You are a child of the King of the universe. You’ll reign with Him.
Before earth is recreated we have a task to do.

Bible describes the task in 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?… Do you not know that we shall judge angels.”

Incredible thought:Before God destroys sin and Satan, before the wicked are raised in the second resurrection we sit with God and He asks, “Could I have done anything more to save them?”

Revelation 20:4 says: “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them…”

In heaven, suppose you are there and son or daughter or a friend is not there then you wonder why. Jesus says:Here’s record of my attempts to save them.

God answers every question we might have–our heartaches and sorrows–disappointments.
God did everything to save every being on earth. God is not responsible for suffering, pain and evil.

Let me be clear:Lucifer is mastermind behind it all.

One day we will sing Revelation 16:7: “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”

During the millennium…
–the righteous are in heaven
–the earth is desolate

Finally the millennium comes to an end–Then what?

Revelation 20:7, 8 says: “Now when the thousand years have expired …”
–Simply means–concluded, come to an end.
“…Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations.”
I thought everybody, dead.
How will Satan go out to deceive the nations?

Revelation 20:5: “But the rest of the dead…”

Who are “the rest of the dead?” Answer:the wicked

“But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished…”

How many resurrections are there? Answer:Two.
1) Resurrection of life–beginning of the thousand years

2) Resurrection of damnation(the wicked)–end of the 1,000 years
Wicked dead are resurrected–resurrection of damnation
–suddenly earth is populated
–Satan goes out to deceive the nations and tell them to come and rebuild the planet and throw God off His throne

Two resurrections
–First:second coming–the righteous
–Second:end of thousand years–the wicked

Then Revelation 21:2: “Then I, John, saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Holy City descends from God’s throne
–universe revolves around God’s throne
–universe’s cosmic command center is God’s throne

John says in Revelation 21:3
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,…”
(Divine announcement is made that God is moving His capital from heaven to earth)

“…‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them,…”

“…and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God…They shall see his face…”

End of thousand years:Holy City descends
–Drama of the ages is coming to close
–End of controversy between good and evil

Holy city descends and wicked resurrected
–Satan and evil host see the Holy city
–Satan says, “We can take it”

Bible says–Revelation 20:9:
“They went up on the breadth of the earth and
surrounded camp of the saints and the beloved city….”

Satan, all angels of hell and wicked of all ages surround that city.

Then what happens?

Answer:Bible says, Revelation 20:9:
“…And fire came down from God out of heaven and
devoured them.”

Fire from God’s presence devours Satan and evil angels.
–earth is consumed in the flames
–flames purify the earth

Bible says, Revelation 20:14:
“…this is the second death.”

Death is no more
–death itself is cast into the lake of fire

What happens to the righteous during destruction?

2 Peter 2:9 says: “…the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.”

Sin, Satan, wickedness, evil and rebellion–All are gone.
Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

Then the Bible says, 2 Peter 3:13:
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

Out of ashes of the old world God creates garden of Eden here again.
Earth is carpeted with living green
–Pure brooks, streams flow pristine lakes–dot landscape

Flowers: golds, reds, purples, oranges blossom paint earth with bright colors.

Fruit trees and fields of waving grain
Earth is made over: It is heaven on earth

Holy City descends and God’s capital is here
–Garden of Eden–reestablished on earth
–God fellowships with us
–There is no sin–heartache–disappointment
–Earth recreated–comes from hand of the Creator

If God can take sin-filled world and recreate it;
–polluted air and remake it into pure air
–take blind eyes and open them; deaf ears and open them
–Think of what that same God can do with your life!

Whatever disappointments there is Christ arms wide open and He wants to save you. He wants to change your life.

At earth’s final hour there will only be two classes of people
–Those who love and serve God and those who reject His authority
–Those who are saved and those who are lost

When Christ comes–you either
–meet the Lord in the air and saved forever
OR
–destroyed with the brightness of His coming
–stay in the grave because of rebellion in your heart.

When Christ comes second time to earth there will be a resurrection. When He comes–third time–thousand years later: there will be another resurrection. Two resurrections–1,000 years apart

During the thousand years there are only two classes:
–righteous in heaven with Christ worshiping around His throne
–wicked bodies are on the earth

When Jesus Christ comes–third time–end of the millennium:
–He descends from heaven with the Holy City

Only two classes of people:
–Either with Christ in the city OR with Satan attacking the city

What is the difference between being saved or lost?
Answer: It is Choice and not God’s
He has done everything possible to save you but the Difference is your choice.
–Our choices for or against God get stronger as we repeat them
–Today is another chance to make a strong, decided choice for Him

Past is a memory and future is a dream But this moment is yours.
–No one can force your choice–you are totally free to choose today
–But maybe there is something that makes it hard for you to choose for God today…

As we bow our heads to pray…
–Is there anything in your life that’s keeping you from full surrender to Christ?

–Is it worth holding onto?–selfish habit–money–relationship?
–Why not say, Jesus, my heart is Yours–I want to live with You forever
–Lord, break my heart–take away anything that is not in harmony with Your will.

Today, Father, the desire of our hearts is for You to have Your own way
in our lives. The choices are eternal–serving Christ, or serving the evil one.
There are habits in our lives–habits that grip us. Tonight, we come and say,
Jesus, take them away. Have Your own way. Some habits we dearly love,
but they are not good for us, and they stand between us and total
commitment to you. There are also attitudes in our lives that shackle us like
great chains. Lord, break the habits–break the chains, tonight. Have Your
own way.

1) Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way.
Thou are the Potter; I am the clay.
Mold me and make me, After Thy will,
While I am waiting, Yielded and still
2) have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way.
Search me and try me, Master, today.
Whiter than snow, Lord, Wash me just now.
As in Thy presence Humbly I bow
4) have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way.
Hold o’er my being Absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit Till all shall see
Christ only, always, Living in me!

Father, some of us have been struggling with new truths that we’ve
discovered here. And today, we pray that You’ll have Your own way. Help
us to take a step closer to You, Father. Have Your own way. And Lord,
today, where we have been hesitant, where we have been fearful, where
we have held back–we don’t want to do that any more, Father. All we want
to say, Jesus, is to have Your own way in our life. And we give You our all,
in Christ’s name. Amen.

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