Friday Funnies

Baseball In Heaven?

Two old men had been best friends for years, and they both live to their early 90’s, when one of them suddenly falls deathly ill. His friend comes to visit him on his deathbed, and they’re reminiscing about their long friendship, when the dying man’s friend asks, “Listen, when you die, do me a favor. I want to know if there’s baseball in heaven.”

The dying man said, “We’ve been friends for years, this I’ll do for you.” And then he dies.

A couple days later, his surviving friend is sleeping when he hears his friend’s voice. The voice says, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there’s baseball in heaven.”

“What’s the bad news?”

“You’re pitching on Wednesday.”

RIGHT ANSWER?

One morning in elementary school, the students were going to a geography class. The teacher wanted to show the students where cities and states are.

The teacher asks the class, “Does anyone know where Pittsburgh is?” Billy raises up his hand and says, “Yeah, Pennsylvania!”. The teacher replies, “Very good, Billy!, now can anyone tell me were Detroit is?”

Suzy raises her hand and says, “That’s in Michigan!” The teacher again says, “Very good.”

Trying to confuse the children, she now asks, “Where’s Kansas City?” Tommy raises his hand and says, “Oh Oh Pick me!!!, I know?” The teacher says, “OK, Tommy where is Kansas City?”

“Last place.”

KID’S CORNER

Q: What did the glove say to the ball? A: Catch ya later. 

Q: Do you know what cupcakes and a baseball team have in common? A: They both count on the batter! 

Q: What was the frog doing on the baseball field? A: Catching flies. 

 

Bible Study

A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN Revelation 19:1-9

We all know that weddings can be spectacular. Wedding in heaven  will be even more spectacular! You see, for the church, the end times shape up like this: In the Rapture, we will be Caught Up; at the Judgment Seat of Christ, we will be Cleaned Up; and at the marriage supper of the Lamb, we will be Cheered Up!         

  

I.  THE EXALTATION OF THE SAVIOR  V. 1-6            

A.  V. 1 The Hallelujah Of God’s Salvation – Heaven praises the Lord for all He has done for them, (The cross, the blood, the empty grave, etc.) They are saved, they are in Heaven and they have a reason to shout!

B.  V. 2-3 The Hallelujah Of God’s Sentence – The residents of Heaven praise the Lord for executing His judgment upon a lost, sinful and rebellious world! They know that His judgments are fair, they are right and they are perfect.  Therefore, they praise His name!

C.  V. 4-5 The Hallelujah Of God’s Sovereignty – If you take the time to look at the book of Revelation, these 24 elders who are mentioned show up about 6 times, (4:10; 5:8; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16; 19:4), and, every time they do, they are doing the same thing: falling on their faces and worshiping the Lord! Just to let you in on a secret, those 24 elders represent the redeemed of God. If you are saved, they picture YOU! Well, why are they praising the Lord so much?  In Heaven, they are finally free from the limitations of the flesh and they can see God like He really is!

D.  V. 6 The Hallelujah Of God’s Supremacy – Then, they praise the Lord for His reign. They glorify the Lord that, at last, He is honored, exalted and worshiped by all His creation! Thank God, there is coming a day when the Lord will have the glory and honor He deserves all the time. I look forward to being in that number when we stand around the throne and lift our “Hallelujahs” to the glory of God!

 

II. THE EXCITEMENT OF THE SUPPER   V. 7-8              

A.  V. 7a The Excitement Of A Completed Plan – Notice the words “is come”. These words imply a sense of relief that a long anticipated event has finally arrived.  Nothing could be truer!

At this moment, God’s plan for the ages is finally complete. Since man sinned in the Garden of Eden, God has been working to bring man back into fellowship with Him. This was accomplished when Jesus died on the cross for the sins of humanity. Now, all those who place their faith in Jesus are saved by the grace of God and brought nigh unto Him!

1 Thess. 4:17…we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

B.  V. 7-8 The Excitement Of A Completed Presentation – It might help us to understand a little of the background for weddings of this type. In oriental weddings, there were typically three stages. There was the Betrothal Stage, the Presentation Stage and the Celebration Stage.

1.  The Betrothal Stage – This was something like what we know in the west as an engagement. However, the major difference lies in the fact that this was a binding agreement! When a couple was betrothed, they were considered married! There was no getting out of it, except through a divorce or death! The bride of Christ is in the midst of this betrothal period right now!  We have been picked by the Heavenly Father and we are married to Jesus right now!  We are just waiting to go to Him.

2.  The Presentation Stage – When the time of the wedding arrived, the Father of the groom would send the bridegroom and his friends to the bride’s home. They would get her and bring her back to the groom’s house, which he had prepared for her, with great celebration and joy. That is what we are waiting on today! We are married, we are just waiting on the Bridegroom to come and call His bride to come meet Him. Friend, that day is coming!  Are you ready to meet Him when He comes?

3.  The Festival Stage – Following the wedding, the couple, their friends and their families would enter a time of celebration. We will deal with that thought in a little more depth in a few moments.

 

C.  V. 7b-8 The Excitement Of A Completed Preparation – Notice that the text says “his wife hath made herself ready.”  Typically, oriental brides prepared their own wedding garments. It could be as elaborate our as simple as they chose to make it. Usually, it consisted of two pieces. One, an inner garment called a tunic and two, the outer garment called a toga. It was the bride’s responsibility to get herself ready for the wedding!

 verse 8 says that the Bride of Christ will be clothed in white linen and that this linen is the righteousness of the saints! I take that to imply that how simply or how elaborately we are dressed may depend on the kind of life we lived while we were in this world!

There are three kinds of righteousness that a person can have.

1.  Personal Righteousness – This is the righteousness you can produce all by yourself. It is basically evil and no good at all can come from it – Isa. 64:6. In our own righteousness, we are literally dressed in rags before the Lord.

2.  Provided Righteousness – This is the righteousness we are given when we trust the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior – 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:21-22. This refers to that tunic, or inner garment. We have been provided with a spotless inner garment of righteousness!

3.  Practical Righteousness – This is the righteousness we live out each day we are in this world. It refers to how we conduct ourselves. How well we submit to authority.  And. How we use the opportunities, gifts, responsibilities and privileges we are given as children of God. This speaks of the outer garment, or the toga, that the world sees. It is pure speculation, but how well we are dressed at the Wedding may depend on how we live here! It may be that the wedding garments will be handed out at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Matt. 22:1-12, and that they will reflect how we lived life here below! It is something worth thinking about!)

  

III.  V. 9-10          THE EXPECTATION OF THE SAINTS

A.  The Guests At The Wedding Supper – there will be guests at this heavenly wedding. Who? Well, it will be the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints. It will be a group made up of all Jews and Gentiles who were saved before Pentecost and after the Rapture! That will be quite an assembly!

B.  The Glory Of The Wedding Supper – After an oriental wedding, there was always a celebration. The length and the opulence all depended on the wealth of the Bridegroom. When rich men married, their wedding celebrations might last up to 7 days!

The Lord Jesus is going to present His Bride with a celebration that will last 1,000 years! After the wedding, we will return with Him to this earth. He will put down His enemies and establish His throne on this earth. Then, He and His bride will reign together, during the millennium, for 1,000 years!)

 

C.  The Groom At The Wedding Supper – In a typical oriental wedding celebration, the groom would mingle with the guests to be sure that everyone had every need met.

Imagine what it will be to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus and have Him be occupied with seeing that our joy is full!  Jesus will actually serve His people in that day, Luke 12:37!  My, that is almost beyond the grasp of my mind!

 

The King Is Coming Revelation 19:11-21

When Jesus was here on the earth, He made many promises to His followers, but perhaps none is so great as His promise that He will indeed return to this earth one day, Matt. 24:27-30. In fact, the last recorded words of the Lord Jesus in the Bible are these, “Surely I come quickly.”, Rev. 22:20!

The fact of the matter is, Jesus is coming again! We have already seen that He will return in the Rapture to claim His people and take them to Heaven, John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:13-17. However, just as every coin in your pocket has two parts, so does the return of Jesus. The first part is when He returns in the clouds to receive His bride and the second part is when He returns in glory to defeat His enemies and to reign upon the earth.

IV. V. 11-16 HIS COMING WILL BE VISIBLE

When Jesus returns the second time in glory and power, everyone, everywhere will know about it, Rev. 1:7. Look at what these first verse tell us about this visible event.

A. V. 11-13, 16 The Appearance Of Jesus

These precious verses tell us something of what Jesus will look like when He returns to the earth the second time. Notice what the Bible says about The Appearance Of Jesus.

1. V. 11-12 His Nature – From this description, it is clear to see that Jesus is a little different than He was the first time He came!

A. V. 12 He Is Full Of Glory – This verse tells us that Jesus Christ wears on His head many crowns. These are not crowns like the Anti-Christ wore! In Rev. 6:2, we are told that he was “given” “a” crown. The word used there refers to a victors crown, a “stephanos”. Very literally, it has reference to the olive leaf crowns that were given to the victors in the Greek Olympic games.

On the other hand, Jesus wear many crowns. This word is “diadems” and refers to the crowns of royalty. While Anti-Christ had to be given a crown, Jesus already wears them!

B. V. 11 He Is Faithful And True – I am sure for many that it looked like Jesus would never return, but He is Faithful and True! He can be depended on to keep His Word forever! What He says He will do, He will do!

C. V. 11 He Fights In Righteousness – All down through history, there have been wars. Many have been fought for foolish reasons. In fact, all wars boil down to one thing: sin! They all come from the fact that men want to be God. They try to place themselves in a position where they will be in total charge of the world. When they do this, other men stand up and say, “No, you will not reign over us!” And, a war is the result.

Jesus, on the other hand, wages righteous war! His cause is a just cause! He fights the battle of the Lord! We may like to think of Jesus as a Man of peace, and He is the Prince of Peace! However, the Bible also makes it clear that He is a Man of War, Ex. 15:3! Certainly, God will pursue peace, but if man will not repent, there will come a day when that man must do battle with the Lord. He will not allow unrighteousness and sin to go unchallenged! He will make war with the enemies of God!

2. V. 12-13, 16 His Names – When the Lord Jesus returns, three new names are attached to Him. These names reveal much about His character and Person.

A. V. 12 The Name Of Mystery – The Bible tells us that Jesus has a name written on Him that no man can know. It seems that refused to know the Name of Jesus except as a by-word, now they cannot know Him at all!

(Friend, the time to know Jesus is now! He is revealing Himself to men as the Savior of the sinner’s soul. However, there is coming a day when men will not be able to know Him as Savior, but only as Judge! I beg you to call on the name of Jesus while He is still saving souls. Do not wait until He returns in judgment. In that day you will not even be able to know His Name!)

B. V. 13 The Name Of Ministry – He is also called the Word of God. This is the name of His ministry. Ever since He stepped onto the scene, Jesus has ministered through His Word. In Genesis 1, He merely spoke and this vast universe and all it contains came into being. When He walked in this world, He made the Word of God live in the eyes of men, John 1:1; 14. When He returns in power and glory, He will speak the word and all His enemies will be slain before Him in that day!

(Ill. My I say to you that Jesus is ministering right now through His Word! It is the Word of God that reveals our sins. It is the Word of God that points us to a redeeming Savior. It is the Word of God that tells us how to live! Today, that Word can be such a blessing in your life! However, if you refuse to receive the Word of God and come to Jesus for salvation. One day, you will face the Word of God in judgment. In that day, it will contain no words of mercy for you, but only damnation and judgment. Today is the only time you really have to get ready to meet the Lord, 2 Cor. 6:2.)

C. V. 16 The Name of Majesty – This verse tells us that when Jesus returns, He will have a name embroided on the thigh of His garment. This name is a title that He has always deserved, but has one which has never been acknowledged by men. In fact, while He was here on earth, His own people refused to acknowledge Him as King, John 19:15. Pilate, the Roman Governor, placed a cruel mocking title over His head as He hung on the cross, Matt. 27:37 which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” My friends, Jesus is far more than just the king of the Jews, Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! One day, He will return in power and the world will be forced to admit that which they have always denied: that Jesus is indeed King! What a day that will be!

B. V. 14 The Armies Of Jesus – Every king has an army and the Lord Jesus is no exception. He has an army that large and of a special nature. Notice how His army is dressed. They are wearing “fine linen, white and clean”. There is no armor and no mention of them having weapons. Isn’t this a strange way of sending soldiers into battle? Well, it would be if it were any other army! But, this is the army of Heaven and the King, Jesus Christ, does all the fighting Himself!

(Ill. Who is in this army? Well, the attire gives us a little clue. Look at verse 14 and then look at verse 8. It would appear from the apparel that this army is the Bride of Christ. In other words, it is made up of you and me. We will be riding in that army when the Lord Jesus returns to claim victory over His enemies. If you don’t know how to ride a horse, don’t worry, you’ll know then!)

C. V. 15 The Armaments Of Jesus – When Jesus returns to fight this battle, He doesn’t bring guns, tanks, artillery, or nuclear weapons. He merely brings His Word! Remember that His Word is “sharper than any two-edged word.”, Heb. 4:12. It has the power to help men and it has the power to judge men. Instead of needing vast arsenals of weaponry, all Jesus needs is a Word and His enemies are forever defeated! Notice the words of Isaiah 11:4, “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”


I. His Coming Will Be Visible

II. V. 17-18 HIS COMING WILL BE VIOLENT

A. V. 17 The Fowls Are To Be Called – The slaughter will be so great when the Lord does battle, that God calls for the fowls of the air to come and help dispose of the bodies of the slain. Revelation 14:20 tells us that the blood will be to the horse’s bridle! What a slaughter that will be!

B. V. 18 The Flesh Is To Be Consumed – Notice that all levels of the army of God’s enemies are on the menu for this great supper. In life, they were separated by class and by rank. Here we see slave and freeman; small and great. All are reduced to nothing more than food for the scavengers in that day!

I. His Coming Will Be Visible

II. His Coming Will Be Violent

III. V. 19-21 HIS COMING WILL BE VICTORIOUS

A. V. 19 Earth’s Armies Will Be Drawn To Armageddon – All the armies of the world, armies that are enemies today, will join together to fight against the Lord Jesus when He returns. Armies that were fighting with one another just before Jesus comes back will join forces in an effort to defeat the Lord and His army. But, this is meant to be! God will raw them here to His killing field so that He might execute His wrath upon all the enemies of the Lord! Their desire shall be to put an end to the Lord and all He represents. They will fail miserably!

B. V. 20-21 Earth’s Armies Will Be Destroyed At Armageddon – the two verses tell us the amazing news of how this battle turns out.

1. V. 20 The Devilish Duo Are Destroyed – Throughout the Tribulation Period, the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet had lead people to believe that they were superhuman. They had used deception to convince the word that the Anti-Christ was, in fact, God. Their plan was so convincing that the world bowed down in reverence to the beast.

However, when the Lord returns, it quickly becomes apparent that these men, despite all their bluster and their miracles, were nothing more than men. These men are taken and they receive a fate worse than death. They are cast alive into the Lake of Fire! They are sent directly into Hell. Jesus will claim absolute victory over these men.

2. V. 21 The Doomed Multitudes Are Destroyed – With the image of the great leaders being taken alive and cast into Hell still burning before their eyes, the Lord Jesus will speak the Word and all these armies will be destroyed in an instant of time! Their blood will saturate the cloths of the Lord Jesus, verse 13, and the fowls of the air will devour their rotting flesh. Without firing a single shot, Jesus will prove Himself greater than every opposing army and greater than all the military might men can muster against Him. What a horrible day that will be for all the enemies of the Lord! But, what a glorious day it will be for those who love Him, look for Him and for those special ones who ride with Him!

Victory Baptist Church 09 October 2019 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

Give Me Patience—Now!

By Jim Long

If the only way to develop patience is to go through difficulty, we’d probably just as soon skip it. Every day brings some exasperation—some need, small or great, that forces us to exercise patience. Patience is just part of the equipment we need if we are going to cope with life.

Think through the past few weeks. Who or what has tested your patience? A teacher who didn’t understand you? A friend who annoyed you? A brother or sister in an obnoxious mood? A parent’s expectations that seemed unreasonable? A disappointing grade? A broken-down car? Other drivers? Sickness?

  1. Now which of those situations did you have any control over? Probably not many. Yes, it’s good to try to control those things you can control, just to simplify your life. But usually, the things that test our patience are simply out of our control. We just have to live with them. So, now what?

Paul tells us to be “strengthened with all power according to [God’s] glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:11).

Yes, God can actually give us the power to be patient.

Think of it another way. What if the only thing you ever had to wait for was God? If the only thing that demanded your patience was someone who loved you, who ruled the universe, and who always had your best interest at heart, wouldn’t patience come easier? We struggle with patience because we don’t like the circumstances we face. Patience is difficult because things feel out of control. The timing seems wrong; the wait drags on and on.

And yet, because God is in control, we can be patient. Because God loves us, we can relax. Because God’s wisdom is flawless, we can wait.

The only thing that ever demands our patience is the wise God who loves us. When we want circumstances to change, we wait for God to change those circumstances—or help us to change them. Or help us to accept whatever circumstances we’re in.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7).

When hardships test our patience, it is the powerful, loving, wise God who will, in time, lift our burdens—and give us the patience to wait for better things.

Tuesday With Karen

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by Karen Icenhour

He Thinks of His Children

He thinks of His children, when He lets the sun rise,

Watching o’er us daily, more than we ever realize;

Serving the Lord is a sweet, Godly choice

Even the birds in the sky know to sing & rejoice!

He thinks of His children, every minute of every day,

There is not one second He thinks of walking way;

Sin might betray us & make the devil smile,

The Lord is still loving & leading us all the while!

He thinks of His children, when He hears our prayers,

Just to know He listens shows His gracious care;

When we see His answers, however great or small,

The Lord is never too busy to hear us when we call!

He thinks of His children, giving peace that remains,

Caring for us each day, in ways words can’t explain;

Praise Him for His grace, it forgives our every sin,

We don’t have to worry about being loved by Him

Journey

from our daily bread

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1

My friend Frank Tanana, who pitched the Detroit Tigers into the American League Championship Series, has an interesting take on baseball fans. He pitched a stellar game against the Toronto Blue Jays to win the final game in the division playoff. His picture was front page and he was, hands down, the town hero in Detroit. But when his turn in the rotation put him on the mound in the ALCS, his performance was not so stellar, and the Tigers lost their chance to go to the World Series. I asked Frank how he handled being town hero one day and “tarred and feathered” a few days later. I’ll never forget his quick reply. He said, “I learned a long time ago that with baseball fans it’s ‘what have you done for me lately’ that counts!”

I’ve often thought about Frank’s answer when it comes to how we feel about God. Going to a small group meeting where everyone else is telling about how God has supplied for their needs and miraculously answered prayer can make a lot of us pretty grumpy about God because it seems like He doesn’t do much for us. We still have long-awaited, unanswered prayers on our lists and unfulfilled expectations that seemingly have gone unnoticed while He has been busy blessing others. But be careful. This kind of spiritual grumpiness will make you ungrateful, unworshipful, and ready for a major fall into the spiritual dumpster.

So, for all of us who tend to be out on God for His seeming lack of living up to our expectations, let me help you out of your grumpiness with a list of how wonderfully good He is to you every day.

  • If He never does anything else but save your soul from hell and guarantee you an eternal home with Him in heaven, He has already done far more than you or I deserve and enough to keep us grateful to Him for the rest of our lives.

But thankfully there’s more . . .

  • If it is true that He never leaves you nor forsakes you, then you have a lot to be thankful for (Hebrews 13:5).
  • If you can be sure that His mercies are new to you every morning, then you can make it through the day as weak and frail as you are (Lamentations 3:22-24).
  • If He guards our lives so that nothing comes in that is not ultimately for His glory and our good, then we are among the truly blessed ones (Romans 8:28).
  • If, when you put your head on your pillow at the end of the day, you think He didn’t show up for you, think about all the things you don’t know that He kept from you which may have “done you in” had He permitted them (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  • If He gave you His Word to guide, comfort, inspire, convict and assure you of His unfailing love and mercy, then you have enough to cancel your grumpiness and make you grateful (Psalm 119:97-103).
  • And, since He is far more than we ever bargained for or deserved, we have the high privilege of demonstrating to our world that our God is worthy to be trusted, worshiped, adored and praised—regardless (Job 13:15)!
  • So the next time you start wondering what He has done for you lately, check the list. There’s a lot to be thankful for! Which leaves only one more question: Is He wondering what you have done for Him lately?

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • How does it make you feel when others talk about the great things God has done for them? Do you feel left out, or do you respond with a heart that is happy for them and grateful for what He has done for you?
  • Take some time to look up the Scripture references listed above. It may just help you build a biblical perspective of gratitude for all the things God does for you on a continual basis!
  • If you were to answer the question, “What have you done for God lately?” how would you respond? Think of something you can do for Him today as an expression of your love and gratitude for all He has done for you!

Standing

by Charles Stanley

Revelation 2:12-17

We all admire men and women of principle who are ready to pay a heavy price for what they believe. At the same time, we do well not to trust everyone who displays conviction. As we see all too often in the news, it is possible to have unsound beliefs that are not based on Scripture.

Even as Christians, we have to be careful, or we could easily mistake personal preferences for convictions. We cannot afford to build our life’s foundation with any materials that are not totally scriptural. The apostle Paul told us that the quality of each man’s work will be tested by fire (1 Cor. 3:13), and that includes what we believe.

Such a test came to a church in a little town called Pergamum in Asia Minor. It was a foul place—Jesus even said that Satan’s throne was there. Evil men were disseminating the teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans throughout the local church. A man named Antipas, however, felt strongly that this teaching was wrong and should be confronted. So he stepped forward to oppose it, at the cost of his life.

Yes, Antipas was killed, but listen to the tribute the Lord Himself gave: He referred to this saint as “My witness, My faithful one.” And He commended the church in Pergamum with these words: “You hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas” (Rev. 2:13).

Thank God that the trial of our faith, even though tested by fire, will “result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

 

Friday Funnies

Texas Hospitality

I once heard about a wealthy Texan who had an impressive ranch in Texas. On his ranch, he had a HUGE floodlit swimming pool and in this swimming pool he kept a SHARK. The rich Texan loved to throw lavish dinner parties and would invite his guests up around the pool afterwards. Then he would say to them, “If any of you will swim a length of this pool then I will give you one of three things: $10 million, or half of my estate, or the hand of my daughter in marriage.”

He always said before he finished, “but I must warn you before you do so, there is a shark in the pool.”

Well one evening as he was saying this, there was a splash, and a man, very nicely dressed, swam the entire length of the pool chased by the shark.  He got out of the pool just in time as the shark thudded into the wall.

The Texan said, “Congratulations! You are the first person who has ever done that!!Now what would you like? Would you like $10 million?”

The man gasped, “No thank you.”

He said, “Would you like half of my estate?”

The man said, “No thank you.”

He said, “Ahh, you want the hand of my daughter in marriage?”

The exasperated man said, “No thank you!”

So the Texan said to him, “Well what do you want?”

He said, “I want the name of the man who pushed me in.”

 

Her Mother’s Prayer

My wife invited some people to dinner.

At the table, she turned to our six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”

“I wouldn’t know what to say, ” she replied. “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” my wife said.

Our daughter bowed her head and said: “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

Bible Study

THE DESTRUCTION OF ECONOMIC BABYLON  Revelation 18:1-24

In our last study, we considered the destruction of religious Babylon. The Bible paints a horrific picture of the end of all false religion. One day, every belief system in the world that bypasses the Lord Jesus Christ will be utterly destroyed and will cease to exist. That will be a devastating day for the devil and his followers, but it will be a glorious day for the God of Heaven and for His Son Jesus.

        While chapter 17 reveals the demise of ecumenical Babylon, this chapter reveals the doom of economic Babylon. In verses 1-2a, a mighty angel, shining with the glory of Heaven, appears on the scene. This angel comes to announce the condition and the condemnation of this world’s economic system. Mankind will not only be deprived of the religion he created; he will also suffer the loss of the wealth he craves.

        Nothing seems to devastate people more than destitution. Take away a man’s money and often you have taken away his reason for living. This was the case in 1929 when the stock market crashes. October 29, 1929 became known as “Black Tuesday”. When the stock market crashed, the world was plunged into “The Great Depression”. Over the next few years the economic structure of the U.S. economy was nearly destroyed. Over 9,000 banks closed their doors between 1930 and 1933. Production in U.S. manufacturing plants ground to a halt, leaving millions unemployed. Many thousands lost their homes to foreclosure; many others lost their health to malnutrition. All across this nation, people waited in soup lines for their meals. All across this nation, “hobo jungles” and “Hoovervilles” sprang up. The “hobo jungles” were places near train yards where the hobos who travelled the country on freight cars set up camp. “Hoovervilles” were shanty towns filled with shacks made from crates and other cheap materials. They were named after President Hoover, who received much of the blame for the economic conditions of the times. People who lived through those dark and difficult days were changed forever by the hardships they suffered.

        These verses tell us of an economic collapse that will make the stock market crash of 1929 seem like nothing! This economic disaster will be worldwide in its scope and it will take away mankind’s favorite god: money! Our money has the words “In God We Trust” printed or stamped on every piece. For far too many, the “god” they trust is that piece of money they hold in their hands. We have already considered the destruction of the one world religious system that will dominate the end times. In this study, we will consider the demise of the one world economic system that will dominate the world in those days. By the way, whether we realize it or not, the world’s economy is already headed toward being one vast system. Just a few weeks ago, a sharp decline in China’s stock market impacted stock markets all around the world. These verses talk about a time when the entire economic structure of the world will come crashing down in a moment of time.

       

  I.  v. 2b-8                     A SYSTEM CORRUPTED

A.  v. 2b  The Spirit Of This System – The angel tells us about the spirit behind the system. It will be a system energized and controlled by demons and evil spirits. It will be utterly vile and corrupt. We look at our world today and think that it can’t get much worse. What this verse describes is a world that has literally gone to the devil. Things can get worse and they will!

B.  v. 3  The Seduction Of This System – This Babylonian system will seduce the entire world. Kings and merchants will all tie their futures to what happens in this economic boom. Billions of dollars will be made as the wealthy people of the earth give everything they have to get their hands on all they can get. We live in a world obsessed with money. How many of us have sat around and imagined what we would do if we had millions of dollars? How many are spending money they don’t have buying lottery tickets to try and get rich quick? How many always have some scheme cooking in their head that they think will make them rich? The love of money is the greatest corrupter of mankind ever conceived, 1 Tim. 6:10. Money in and of itself is not evil. But, when a person loves money to the point that it controls their life and lifestyle, it becomes evil.

C.  v. 4-8  The Sentence Of This System – The angel is preparing to pronounce God’s judgment upon this corrupt system. Before he does, he calls for God’s people to avoid being caught up in the wickedness of that hour. The angel calls for the people of God to reject this system and the sins of this system. God expects His people to come out of this world’s system and to be different, 2 Cor. 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord”. He expects us to be motivated by a different set of values.

We will never win the world by being like them! We will impact the world the most when we separate from their ways and allow them to see Jesus living through our lives!

The Lord’s sentence is passed on the Babylonian economic system.                               

1.  v. 5  Her Deeds – The sins of this system have “reached unto heaven”. The word “reached” means “to glue, to cement, to fasten together”. The ancient tower of Babel failed to reach the heavens, but the sins of this system have succeeded in reaching the throne of God. God, in His patience, has held back His judgment. Now, the sins of Babylon come up in the remembrance of God and the day of His judgment has arrived.

I praise the Lord that those who are in Jesus do not have to worry about their sins being remembered. Consider the wonderful promise of Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

2.  v. 6  Her Doom – The word “reward” here means “to pay a debt; to give back that which is due”. Babylon has sin much and she is about to be punished much! Her sins have been doubled and her punishment will be doubled too!

You never get away with sin! Gal. 6:7 tells us that we always reap what we sow. The problem with this sowing and reaping business is that we always reap more than we sow and later than we sow. Many people think they are getting away with sin, but they aren’t! There will come a reaping day and the reaping will far exceed the sowing! Payday some Day.

3.  v. 7  Her Deception – This system glorifies itself. It thinks it is so powerful and so glorious that it is above sorrow and judgment. The Babylonian system is about to learn a harsh lesson.

Lots of people have this same attitude about their lives. They think that they are safe and that they will never be judged. God has a word for people with that attitude, 1 Thes. 5:3, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

4.  v. 8a  Her Destruction – Her power, her glory and her pride will not stave off the judgment of the Lord. Her destruction will be swift and sure. In one day all that man has built over thousands of years will be brought to nothing! Judgment will come and there will be no escape. It is settled!

5.  v. 8b  Her Destroyer – God makes promises and not threats. This system has defied His Word and defiled His ways. He will come in judgment and none will be able to stay His hand or stop His purposes. He is able to judge the world and none can stop Him!

 

  I.  A System Corrupted

 

 II.  v. 9-20                   A SYSTEM CONSIDERED

(Ill. When the Babylonian economic system is judged, the entire world is plunged into grief. The world cries “Alas, Alas” as they realize that their wealth and power is gone. Notice how the different groups react to the fall of Babylon.)

A.  v. 9-10  The Monarchs Of The Earth Consider Her – All the leaders of the nations of the earth who have risen to power and prosperity on the back of this system now mourn over her destruction. Every economy of every nation on the earth will crash to the ground in a moment of time. The crash of this system will be accompanied by the wailing and weeping of the rulers of the world.

B.  v. 11-17a  The Merchants Of The Earth Consider Her – These merchants are the business men and CEO’s of the great businesses of the world. In an instant their financial empires are brought to desolation. They weep and mourn because no one has any money with which to buy their goods, v. 12. All of a sudden all their goods, which were worth so much, v. 13-14, are worth nothing! Verse 12 tells us that the luxuries of life are out of reach. Houses, cars, jewelry, and other fine things of life will be unobtainable. Verse 13 tells us that the basic necessities of life will be impossible to obtain. Spices, bread, meat and others foods will be out of the reach of every man. Verse 14 tells us that the exotic things that men long for will be taken away too. (Ill. Notice this list. The first item is “gold”, verse 12. The last item is “the souls of men”, v. 13. This reveals where this world system places its priorities. It elevates profits over people. This system has built its power and gained its prosperity through oppression and enslavement of the common man. Those days are over!)

Verse 15-17a shows the formerly wealthy merchants weeping over the destruction of the city. They have witnessed the devastation of the word’s economic system and they are shattered by what they have seen.

We live in an hour when anything we want is readily available, and most people in our society are able to afford about anything they want. People talk about the economic downturn in our area, but you can’t prove it by the parking lot at Wal-Mart! People still have plenty of money. That will change one day! The money of the world will be worth nothing. Good’s will cease to be available. The world will be brought to its knees by the destruction of economic Babylon.

C.  v. 17b-19  The Mariners Of The Earth Consider Her – All the people who made a fortune carrying the goods produced by this system mourn when they see its destruction. Their source of wealth is taken away and they are left destitute. All hope of profit and prosperity are taken away in an instant.

D.  v. 20  The Multitudes Of Heaven Consider Her – While earth weeps over the fall of Babylon, Heaven worships! This system has been responsible for the death and destruction of many of God’s people. Now, this system is judged and Heaven is filled with joy. It is interesting to observe Heaven’s perspective concerning the events of earth. What brings sadness to the hearts of earthly men brings shouting to the hearts of heavenly men. One day we will have a heavenly perspective, we should pray that God will give us some of that today!

 

  I.  A System Corrupted

 II.  A System Considered

 

III.  v. 21-24               A SYSTEM CONDEMNED

(Ill. These last few verses bring the judgment of economic Babylon to a conclusion. Let’s consider how this evil system will be condemned.)

A.  v. 21  Her Condemnation Characterized – A mighty angel casts a millstone into the sea. A millstone was a huge, round stone used to grind grain. A typical millstone was around four to five feet in diameter and about a foot thick. A stone of that nature would sink to the bottom of the sea and it would not float back to the surface.

This stone is used to illustrate the judgment that is coming upon Babylon. Babylon will be destroyed and it will not rise to power ever again. This is what Jeremiah prophesied many years ago. Jeremiah 51:64, “And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.” The judgment of Babylon will be sudden, swift and sure. It is also a judgment that is forever settled!

B.  v. 22-23a  Her Condemnation Completed – When Babylon is judged and ceases to exist, her passing will also signal the passing of life as the world knows it.

There will be no more music, verse 22. Music has always been associated with happiness and joy. There will be no more reason for rejoicing. Music will cease.

There will be no more manufacturing, verse 22. People have always been industrious. Man has always found a way to work with his hands and provide for his family. Man works because he has hope for the future. When Babylon falls, all hope for the future vanishes with her.

There will be no more merriment, verse 23. The “light of a candle” speaks of habitation and home. A light in the window of a home suggest happiness, hope, family and home. All these are taken away when Babylon falls. The homes of the world will be plunged into darkness and despair!

There will be no more marriages, verse 23. No longer will love bring hopeful couple to an altar to exchange their vow. When Babylon falls, there will be no more love, no more marriages and no more hope for the future!

C.  v. 23b-24  Her Condemnation Contemplated – This system is judged because she stood for everything God was against. This system was domineering. A few got rich while the rest suffered, v. 23b.

This system was deceptive, v. 23b. People were lead to believe that salvation was in achieving riches and success. That is the lie of the devil! It is better to have none of this world’s goods, than for this world’s goods to have you. Listen to the Word of God: Pro. 11:4, “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.” Pro. 11:28, “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.”

This system was deadly, v. 24. The Babylonian system has been responsible for the deaths of many of God’s precious people down through the ages. In fact, most of the faithful martyrs that have been killed have been sacrificed on the altar of power and profit.

 

This world economic system that has caused so much pain is going to be destroyed one day. My advice to you is to be sure that your treasure is in the right place. Matt. 6:19-21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Victory Baptist Church 02 October 2019 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

Obedience or Preference

By Dr. Charles Stanley

Every believer must choose whether he will live by the principle of obedience or follow his preferences. When a person commits to doing the Lord’s will, then every situation and decision is sifted through the standard of “God said it, so I’m going to do it—and that’s the end of it.” He or she may complain, weep, or try to argue. But in the end, the individual will be obedient, no matter what.

I recall being invited years ago to interview with a church in Atlanta. During the entire trip, I told the Lord that I didn’t want to move. I fussed and carried on a good while, but I knew Atlanta would be my new home. I didn’t like the idea, but the alternative was unimaginable: There are few things more unpleasant than living with the nagging anxiety that you missed out on something good.

The Lord certainly understands our need to question, cry out, and petition Him for the strength to do what He commands. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that we have a high priest who can sympathize with us. Jesus wasn’t excited or happy about the cross. He grieved over the coming separation from His Father. Nevertheless, He was committed to following God’s will (Matt. 26:39). No one took Christ’s life from Him; He laid it down (John 10:18).

Our lives are about fulfilling the heavenly Father’s purpose. Many people miss out on its goodness because they choose to follow personal preferences instead, believing their own choices are better. Obedience is sometimes hard, but the struggle and sacrifice are worth it. The Lord’s ways and principles lead believers to joy and peace.

Tuesday With Karen

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America Needs God Again
America needs God to show the way again,
To rescue her out of a horrible life of sin;
He uses men to lead in the right direction,
Oh, how we need His guidance & affection!!
America needs God now, more than ever before,
We long for His wisdom as our Advisor and Lord;
We need Him to lead our steps as we daily live,
Our errors & mistakes, we need Him to forgive!
America needs God to make her well by His hand,
We need His blessing to again be upon our land;
We long for our leaders to stand on God’s word,
So the work they do is for our good, not our hurt!
Oh God, we pray You’ll come upon us once again,
Cleanse us from this evil, beginning from within;
The only way You’ll forgive us of our sin & shame,
God, help America again to call upon Your name!