THE GREATEST BIBLE PROPHECY
(from the Breath of Life Series by C. D. Brooks)
transcribed and edited by Derek Morris
Our topic tonight is “The Greatest Bible Prophecy”--soon to be fulfilled. Just before our Lord Jesus ascended back to His father, He gave this certain prediction concerning the future. John 14:1-3. Please write it down. The Bible says, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there ye may be also.” Four words of certainty: I will come again.
This great prophecy was confirmed at the time of His ascension by two angels of God. The text is Acts 1:9-11. The Bible says, “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus will so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” If that’s clear, would you say Amen? Angels of God confirmed that this great prophecy of Jesus is true. “This same Jesus will so come in like manner as you have seen Him go.”
|Pastor CD Brooks pic|
I’d like to start out this evening by suggesting to you that this sin-sick world is almost over. The handwriting of God’s judgment is on the wall, and though people laugh at the idea of the second coming of Jesus, that does not change the certainty of His words. Jesus said, “I will come again.” Did you know that the skeptical attitude of many concerning the return of Jesus was predicted in Bible prophecy? The test is 2 Peter 3:3-4. “Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’” In which days? In the last days. They laugh. They scoff. I read the words of a religious leader just this past week. He called the second coming of Jesus a “bizarre idea.” The question is, who are you going to believe? The skeptics? The scoffers? Or the Word of God?
Thinking men and women today sense that there is a global storm brewing on the horizon. We’ve come to the place where simply reading the newspaper can be a disturbing experience. When you watch the news on television you have to prepare your nerves for shock. We’ve come to a time when it’s an awful experience just going from day to day, and becoming aware of what’s going on in this world of ours.
At the same time we’re becoming accustomed to horror and terror. We’ve come to the place where we can sit in front of a television and watch someone blow another man’s head off and enjoy it. We are being entertained by blood and gore and carnage. The world has become a dangerous place to live. Sorrow and hatred and fear and sin have full sway. Men seem unrestrained in the things they are attempting today. Men are working day and night perfecting ways by which we may die together, and yet we’ll not use the common sense to work out plans whereby we may live together.
Tonight, skeptics and scientists, and war men and statesmen, and old men and young men all realize that it’s possible for the whole world to be destroyed. The TV special The Day After gave us a glimpse of that. We have the weapons to destroy life on this planet, now, and still men flirt with nuclear holocaust and fight silly senseless wars like children squabbling on a playground. Men seem to be determined to have nothing to do with God. But I want to tell you, Ladies and Gentlemen, men are beginning to wear out the patience of God.
The Bible has told us to look for certain omens to let us know that we are approaching the end of the age. Signs that show His coming near are fast fulfilling year by year. In a time of decision, in a time of great urgency--it’s a time of impending calamity--men are impervious to God’s appeal. They’re going about their own way, doing as they please, having nothing to do with the Prince of Peace, and we’re reaping a harvest of calamity. In the beginning, God made man upright. God made man in His own image. Man never experienced hatred. Man had no headaches, no emotional strains, no desire to sin. It was not until Man disobeyed God and went in rebellion to His Word that the life’s forces broke down. Tonight while we sit here, we are aware that the cities of the earth are full of violence, war, immorality, fear, pollution and poverty. Ladies and Gentlemen, God never intended that we should live this way. God never intended that we should live under strain and stress twenty-four hours a day. And because we’re constantly filled with tension, our minds are affected. A New York newspaper said that 86 percent of all the people in Manhattan need psychiatric care, and when you see what’s going on, when you read the newspapers, you are tempted to agree with that estimate. Heinous, unspeakable crimes are being perpetrated all about us. There was a time that you read about it in another city, another place. Now it’s next door; it’s on the street where you live. We have stranglers and “Sons of Sam” and certifiable madmen walking the streets, their minds destroyed by drugs and liquor and abuse, not worth a dime mentally, morally, or any other way. They prey upon society, and awful are the results.
Then there is the sickness of war that we’ve already alluded to. Tonight the nations of the world have weapons that are destructive beyond imagination. We are thinking now of building a bomb that will fall on a city and destroy every living creature and leave the buildings intact. It seems that material things are certainly more important than people. We’ve got airplanes now to deliver those bombs faster than a rifle ball fired from a gun. I have read that five bombs dropped strategically from Maine to Florida would kill every man, woman, and child; every cow, horse, every dog, and cat; every living thing. They can kill more people in sixty seconds than have died in all the wars ever fought in the history of the planet. One of previous presidents said, “In the first wave 100 million would die in the United States alone and a comparable number in the Soviet Union, should these great titans go at each other.” You and I don’t even know how to receive that. These are alarming facts, Ladies and Gentlemen, but this is an alarming age, and the result is that men are filled with fear. Men know that it is possible now for the whole world to seethe and boil with nuclear heat. They go to bed at night with this burden on their minds. No wonder men’s hearts are failing them for fear. Hearts are beating faster than they ever did before, and about forty billion aspirin tablets are taken every year in the United States alone, as nerve twisting tensions explode into nightmares of blood and smoke and scorched flesh. Before 1910, a heart attack was hardly heard of. In our day, it is the number one killer in our country. Indeed, as Jesus said, in the last days men’s hearts will fail them for fear.
And then, Ladies and Gentlemen, there is the sickening pollution of morals. That’s a part of the sickness of this earth. It seems that men are determined to turn this world into a pig pen. A few years ago there broke out what they called the new gospel of the age, the new morality. The concept is that nothing in itself is wrong. This concept breeds contempt for authority, contempt for rules, contempt for standards, and worst of all contempt for God and His Word. It has become fashionable to laugh at God tonight. I wonder how much more God can stand, don’t you? College professors go on television defending the basest kind of fornication and adultery calling it sexual honesty. I saw a man of the cloth sitting before a panel of teenagers, and asked him the direct question, “Is it all right to sleep together?” and he was afraid to give God’s answer. He said, “If you have a meaningful relationship.” I’m so sick of these clichés! I don’t know what to do. Somebody’s got to tell young people it is wrong! They stand up and say, “As long as you’re not guilty,” as though man determines guilt. I want us all to realize anew tonight that sitting on the Throne of the Universe is a pure and holy God whose eyes are offended by the slightest sin. It is He who determines our guilt and it is He who will ultimately punish us for our guilt, or save us from it.
And then there was that idea of situational ethics. The concept is that the character is controlled by the situation. If you happen to be a good man, that’s okay but if you happen to be at home and your wife is a thousand miles away, then the situation calls for a girlfriend. That doctrine was born in hell.
Ladies and Gentlemen, when Rome fell, it was due not so much to the battering of outside armies, but due to internal wickedness and corruption. The Romans had too much money, too many slaves, and too much leisure, and this brought about low morals, low minds, and low characters. You can’t live crooked and think straight. Immorality is a progression of excesses. People who start out doing wrong are never satisfied to do the same thing. They have to find something a little worse and a little worse. Edward Gibbon, who wrote the classic The Fall of the Roman Empire, said that “Rome with increasing lewdness and immorality saw its men lose their virility and put on feminine clothes and feminine hairdos.” The nation of Rome became a nation of homosexuals. There’s a word you’ve heard something about lately. Ladies and Gentlemen, no civilization can survive when men stop being men and start being women. But today homosexuals are bold and daring and clamoring for the right to marry, and to live together. Men are interested in men and women are interested in women, as though the Bible had nothing to say about it.
The Bible says in Romans 1:22, “Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.” Now, that’s how God looks at it. No need to get angry with me; God said it, and Ladies and Gentlemen, God is not subject to popular vote. God is not waiting to see how you take it. The truth of God stands no matter what you think. The Word of God is true no matter what you believe. God wants us to be brought into harmony with His truth. He will never change His Word to come into harmony with the corrupt lives of men and women, to make them comfortable in their sin. For:
Truth never dies, though ages come and go.
Though mountains wear away and the seas retire.
Destruction lays earth’s mighty cities low
And empires, states and dynasties expire;
But caught and handed onward to the wise,
Truth never dies (author unknown).
Now, that’s what God says about it. Now, I want to add that God doesn’t say that homosexuals will be lost. I’m not condemning homosexuals; I’m condemning homosexuality, because the Bible does. And if there’s someone here this evening who has fallen into this trap of the Devil, I want to tell you that God can save you, but you’ve got to turn your back on your sin, like every other sinner must give up his sin.
Nudity on our beaches, in films, and on the streets where we live is turning our lovely country into a nation of flesh worshippers. They can’t even advertise toothpaste or wheelbarrows without half-naked women on magazines and on commercials. At the same time, sex crimes are increasing by the alarming rate of 180 percent per year. Not only crimes of men against women, but against little boys and little girls and very old women. The most recent disgrace: kiddy pornography. Men who have lost all of their humanity, and every touch of the mystery of grace sit down and drool in their lustful, darkened minds for little children. Sick. Sick minds fevered with passion.
I wish I could paint a rosy picture tonight, but the Bible does not. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:1, “This know also, that in the last days”--which days? “perilous times shall come.” What kind of times? Ladies and Gentlemen, that word “perilous” means dangerous--are we there? Why? It says, “for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,”--does that ring a bell? “unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers”--men who won’t keep their word and won’t keep their vows. Did you know that one out of every two marriages will end in divorce? One out of two. That’s alarming. We’ve come a long way, baby. The question is: how are we turning out today? If we’re so smart, why don’t we have good strong homes so that our children can grow up secure? If we’re smarter than the old folks, then why aren’t we happier? Why do we cast away the ones we love the most? What’s wrong with us? What kind of madness is this? The Bible goes on to say “There will be false accusers.” They’ll lie about you. “Incontinent.” They can’t control themselves. The Bible goes on to say they are “fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” And verse 5 says, “Having a form of godliness.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, please get that. The folk the Bible is talking about are not just the people out there in the streets; these folk are religious people. They have a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. What does that mean? It means that they have a religion, but a religion without power. I want to tell you something tonight: one of the reasons that young people are not interested in joining the church is that they’re tired of the lack of commitment in the church. They’re tired of people who say one thing and do another. They’re tired of parents who tell them not to smoke and yet smoke themselves. They’re tired of parents who tell them not to drink, and yet they sit down to cocktails. They’re tired of parents who go and do whatever they’re big enough to do and yet are always counseling them. They are tired of double standards and hypocritical lives. These abstractions have turned a whole generation away from God. It’s not safe to have a generation of young people turned off from God, and we must bear the responsibility. If you belong to Jesus there is supposed to be an effect in your life, and that effect is power in your life. Power to shut up and stop gossiping. Power to straighten up and stop being crooked. Power to put away your bottle and walk sober before God and your family. Power to be true to your wife.
But the Bible says they have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.” And what is the result? Listen to the Word of the Lord. Ezekiel 7:22 says, “My face will I turn from them, for the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence.” I read to you from Hosea 4:1. It says, “Hear the word of the Lord”--who’s word? “for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, no mercy, no knowledge of God in the land, by swearing and lying and stealing and committing adultery they break out and blood touches blood.”
God says, If you can hear, listen to what I’m saying to you. It is impossible to have a home without a strong moral influence, without worship and without prayer and without Bible study and then expect the children of that home to grow up as pure as flowers. It is impossible. You will not find it at the movie house. You will not find it at a picnic. You will not find it at a disco. Somebody’s got to get on his knees before God and acknowledge that God lives and commit himself to God to be brought into harmony with God and with His will.
We are living in a time of distress. Men are seeking answers, but they are looking in the wrong places. They think they can find it in dope, in the escape that liquor offers, in gambling, in taking part in state lotteries and dreaming of a windfall. We are looking for peace, but we can’t find it. Isaiah 57:21: “There is not peace, says my God, to the wicked.” And even if people announce that peace has come, 1 Thessalonians 5:3 declares, “When they shall cry peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, the truth is we are headed to the last round-up. We’re almost there. And men who think have told us so. Tonight I declare to you that the only solution to man’s dilemma rests with God. The Prince of Peace stands outside the door while men futilely seek peace. I tell you tonight, if war and hatred and immorality and fear and tension keep mounting, soon God will stand up and say, “It is finished” and the end will come. We need a solution.
Over nineteen hundred years ago, Jesus gave a solution. In John 14:1-3 Jesus tells when the sickness of this world will be cured. Ladies and Gentlemen, you may not hear much about it, but the solution to this world’s problems is the coming of Christ. Paul says until then evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13), so we might as well brace ourselves for it. But I don’t live my life in fear, because I’ve got what the Apostle Paul calls the “Blessed Hope.” Jesus said, “I go and I will come again.”
What is the coming of Jesus going to be like? Some say that Jesus has already come. But if you read Matthew 24:23-27 Jesus is talking about His coming and said, When people tell you that I’m in isolated place, not only should you not believe it, but don’t even go to see. For when the Lord comes, the Bible says “Every eye shall see Him” (Revelation 1:7). Jesus said, “As the lightning shines out of the east, even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” I want to tell you something else. We’ll not only see Him, but we’re going to hear Him. For 1 Thessalonians 4:16 says, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, when Christ puts on His appearance, the earth will be thrown into convulsions. When Jesus puts in His appearance, mountains will move out of their places. The Bible says when the trumpet sounds, graves are going to pop open, like popcorn popping on a hot stove, and sleeping saints are coming out of those graves to meet the Lord in the air. This is no secret happening. Jesus will come with a full announcement, befitting One who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Bible says further in Philippians 3:20-21, “We look for a Savior who shall change our vile bodies that they might be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” When Jesus comes, the things that plague us down here will be gone forever. You know, some of us are too short and some of us are too tall and some of us are too fat and some of us are too thin. Now, I don’t know exactly what we’re going to look like, but I do know that we’re going to be satisfied, for the Bible says we’re going to be like Him. You’re going to throw away your eyeglasses when Jesus comes. You’re not going to need a wheelchair when Jesus comes. The blind are going sight-seeing, and the lame are going for a stroll. When Jesus comes, whatever has gone wrong with the body He is going to fix forever. And the Bible declares in Revelation 21:4, “There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor sighing, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are fast approaching the coming of our Lord, the only sure cure for earth’s sickness. Jesus stands ready to accept you if you will only surrender your life to Him. It’s up to you. What will you decide? But I want you to go home with this understanding tonight: No matter what you decide, Christ is coming soon. When He left His disciples He said, “I go to prepare a place for you and if I go, I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there ye may be also.” When Jesus comes we are going to see civilization end as we know it. And many will not be ready.
There are some who ask the question, “Well, why hasn’t He come already?” Peter answers that question in 2 Peter 3:9 where he says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness...” If there’s any delay, Peter says it is because the Lord is “not willing that any should perish.” Christ is waiting for men and women tonight right here in this area to become aware and then make a decision that they’re going to serve Christ rather than the Devil. Ladies and Gentlemen, it makes sense to make that kind of decision, for Christ has not forgotten His promise. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “The Lord Himself shall descend”--that means come down “from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive shall be caught up together with them in the air.” Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to be ready, don’t you? But remember: we’re running out of time. If you plan to get right with God, now is the time. If you plan to make a decision to spend eternity with Christ, now it the time. Don’t go home tonight without thinking very seriously about it.
Many in that day are going to run in terror. John the Revelator prophesied that they would cry for the rocks to fall on them and hide them from Jesus (Revelation 6:16). They’ll run in terror too late. But I’ve got some good news for you. There are going to be some who are going to be ready when Jesus comes. Somebody here tonight is going to be glad to see Jesus come. The prophet Isaiah says that God’s people will look up and say, “Lo, this is our God we have waited for Him and He will save us” (Isaiah 25:9). Don’t you want to be in that number? I don’t want to be running in terror when Jesus comes, do you?
I want to finish the meeting tonight by telling you about that Jesus whose coming. He’s already been here before. He came in the flesh, to establish a link between sinful man and a sinless God. He came to reconcile God to man, reaching down as it were, holding God with one hand and man with the other. And the rich, the educated. He reached all the way down to the bottom and there is nobody here tonight who is beyond the reach of Jesus Christ our Lord. The sorriest person in this auditorium can go to heaven if he wants to, and if you’ve got good sense you ought to want to.
From His earliest days Jesus was abused and hounded and tempted by the Devil. The Devil tried when Jesus was just two years old to take His life, and after that Christ was the constant target of the Devil’s attacks. He not only tried to destroy Him but he tried over and over and over to get our Lord to sin. If Jesus had sinned we would have no Savior. But Christ in the flesh overcame sin, and finally on a night He went out into the Garden of Gethsemane, and there He wrestled with the forces of hell in such furious passion that His blood vessels ruptured behind His skin and the blood poured through His pores. I want you to see Him out there in your mind’s eye, as He wrestles with the forces of hell, taking on Himself the struggle that was yours and mine. Hear Him groaning and crying and praying with such furious passion for you. The Bible says had not an angel come down He would have died right there in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus cried, “Father, let this cup pass from Me,” but then remembering you tonight, and remembering Derek Morris tonight, He said, “Father, not My will but Thine be done.”
I want you to see Him out there: the Lord, going through what we deserve that we might be where He deserves. See His fist clenched in agony and anguish. He falls prostrate to the earth. Christ facing the conflict. Treading the winepress. Winning the right to become our Savior. Not only did He go through all that anguish, but that night He was arrested by a mob. They dragged Him off and after a farce of a trial they started laying in the whip. They opened up His back until it was totally raw. They pressed a crown of thorns upon His head. They spat in His face until it dripped out of His beard. And then in harmony with prophesy, they grabbed the hair in His face and ripped out His beard. Christ suffered all that abuse for you.
Then they stretched Him out on the cross, placed a huge iron spike on the palm of His hand, and brought the hammer down. You can almost hear it now, ringing across the Judean hills, calling attention to the fact that God is dying, that men might be saved. They nailed Him to the cross and then hoisted Him up in the air suspended between God and man--a fit way for a Savior to die. And when He hung there, but even while He was hanging there on the cross, He stopped death’s process long enough to save a lost thief. And as the Father looked down, He not only saw His only begotten Son; He also saw a new son who had just been saved by the blood of the Lamb.
And finally when His hour had come, He dropped His head in the hollow of His shoulder, screamed in the darkness and died. They took Him down and laid him in Joseph’s tomb, but I’ve got news for you: That tomb is empty. For early Sunday morning God sent an angel down and as the angel approached the garden, the guards fell as dead men. And the Devil and all of his host had to take off. That angel rolled the stone away as though it were a marble. He cried into the mouth of the darkened tomb, “Jesus, Son of God, Your Father calls You.” And Christ rose up from the dead. He’s gone back to glory to plead your case and my case and He’s coming back again, for those who will accept Him. Christ is the answer to our dilemma.
I want to close this service by asking you a question tonight. Having seen all that Jesus suffered for you, and knowing that He’s coming soon, do you want to be ready when Jesus comes? If every person in this auditorium wants to be ready I want you all to stand up right now and bow your heads, and let’s tell the Lord that we want to be ready when Jesus comes.
O blessed Lord, we thank You so much for this meeting. We thank You so much for Your people. We thank You for Your word and the promises that You have made. We believe Your Word that the end is coming soon. But there’s something infinitely sweeter than that we believe. We believe that through Jesus Christ we may be ready when Jesus comes. Through Christ we believe that we can have pardon for our sins and victory over our sins. Give us through grace to reach out and accept it. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.