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Pandemics, Plagues, And Natural Disasters Interview Part 4

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
October 15, 2020 1:00 am

Pandemics, Plagues, And Natural Disasters Interview Part 4

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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October 15, 2020 1:00 am

The COVID-19 blame game has not helped. Pointing the political finger does not bring back the lives of those lost. But what if global death and destruction is only beginning? What if our present distress is only a foretaste? In this message we take a frank look at the biblical future for fallen humanity, and what we as believers must learn if we’re to be victorious in this dark time.

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Looking to Jesus. 19 blame game is not helped pointing the political finger does not bring back the lives of those lost. But what if global death and destruction is only beginning.

What if our present distress is only a foretaste today Frank look at the biblical future for fallen humanity and what we as believers must learn if we are to be victorious in this dark time from the Moody Church in Chicago.

This is running to win with Dr. Erwin lutes are as clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line to help us hear what God is saying in the midst of this disaster here once again is Erwin lutes are all business pastoralists are and once again I want to welcome you to a very special program here on running to win my good friend Larry McCarthy is with me here in the studio. He's a pastor here at the Moody church and were discussing a new book I click on entitled pandemics, plagues and natural disasters and Larry as we emphasized last time, it is very important for us to realize what the subtitle is what is God saying man is that so relevant for today we went. We need to know what God is saying about these things but pastor I got a candidate with you when we were getting here in chapter 6 of this topic of the worst is yet to come. I was with you in these other sessions when you talk about the sovereignty of God and he talked about the lessons that we can learn from natural disasters and even the call to repentance. But this the worst is yet to come. How can it get any worse will let me begin differently and say that is that if you been to a movie you know that oftentimes you see a preview. Yes, in fact, I like to go to a movie if I ever do that happens maybe once every two years. I like to go a little bit late to miss the other previews but the previews are there to let you know what is coming. Okay. Natural disasters are a preview of the worst but is still to come home. I recently I read the book of Revelation with one idea in mind how many different judgments are there in the book of Revelation that we already see in this life.

For example, Jesus said in Luke chapter 21 verse 11.

He talked about the time when pestilences going to come well is cold that that pestilence know but I think that culvert is a preview of the pestilence that is to come. He talked about you know what you speak. For example in the book of Revelation about earthquakes which we know happened today. Famine and then we have such things as wind mentioned great wins in the book of Revelation. We also have locusts now you know that there has been a great plague of locusts in certain parts of Africa in last months, and perhaps continuing and of this prefigures the fact that someday there's going to be a huge plague of locusts. That's going to be far worse in people's I will pastoralists or you have to understand that the book of Revelation is filled with symbolism. Yeah, I know. But whatever those locusts are there gonna be far worse than the locusts we have now, so here's the point I want to make if you look at the return of Jesus. For example, you know there's got to be signs in the sun and the moon, and so forth. And then you read the book of Revelation and you see stars falling onto the earth, so to speak, and you see all of these judgments pounding the earth, you realize that the worst is yet to come.

To use a colloquial phrase we ain't seen him in accordance with what is still to come. So as we emphasized last time there lessons that we have to emphasize when it comes to natural disasters, but we also have to realize that these lessons have to be learned in this life because for many people.

When the worst is going to come, they will not be ready for it.

Now this is one of the most chilling things, and in a moment, were actually going to be talking about the doctrine of hell, if you're talking about. The worst is yet to come. If you read in the book of Revelation that all of the wrath of the Lamb that comes the wrath of the Lamb has come, and who is able to stand.

The Bible says that men will hide in the clefts and in the rocks of the mountains and say to the mountains and rocks, fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. Now all of the things that are happening in this world are preview and that's why I say that the worst is yet to come. While that's really instructive pastor.

I was thinking about the passage in Joel where he says that God can restore with the locusts have eaten in the near book you say that there is a way of escape.

Yeah, it's so call my ever glad for that and that's actually the next chapter, but let's go there because we have to go there before we go there, though I do want to emphasize the fact that hell exists is not overreacting with glucosamine. This is a little bit of a severe punishment. Actually when you think of helping eternal. This is the most sobering thing I remember here at the Moody church. I preached on hell maybe twice. I do recall that the night before. I preached on it from the book of Revelation. I can scarcely sleep because it is so sobering because I'll answer your question directly, as best as I'm able to answer it. What if Jonathan Edwards is right when he says the greatness of the sin is measured by the greatness of the being against whom it is committed. For example, if you throw a snowball at your brother, you're okay. If you throw a snowball at the mailman.

If you still have a mailman site you can get by with that if you throw a snowball at a policeman you might be in some serious trouble if you throw one at the president of the United States, you will be locked up.

Now let's take that a step higher goals. Sin is a violation of God's holiness and part of the reason why we struggle with the doctrine of hell is the fact that we do not understand how holy God actually is, say the soap from our standpoint, it looks as if it's an overreaction, but you read the book of Revelation and you realize that forever we are going to be saying just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints men, but now to your question Larry is that you raised a moment ago.

Is there a way of escape.

Love that passage in the 12th chapter of the book of Hebrews. Now I don't have an open before me, but I know exactly where I'm going and I would say to all of our listeners. If you have a Bible that you can immediately access. Don't do it if you're driving. But if you're sitting somewhere return to the 12 chapter the book of Hebrews to author their talks about two mountains there's Mount Sinai with all of its judgments, you know, God says I'm coming, stand back if you get close to the mountain. If the beast gets close and you touch the beast you're gonna die. So you have to shoot at them with an arrow. God is saying, stay away because this is my holiness coming and God the sentence on Mount Sinai with smoke and with earthquake and everything else that's connected with Mount Sinai almost gives you chills. You can imagine how afraid the people were standing there and seeing God come on Sinai and God saying stand back okay, there's that mountain Mount Sinai, but in the very same breath. The author says, but now we come to Mount Zion now. Zion actually is a poetic name for the city of Jerusalem. He saying we are coming to Mount Zion where Jesus died and he talks about the fact that Jesus Christ died for us now. Here's what really gets me excited. Actually, Larry. Throughout the years when I preach the gospel.

This is the heart of it right here. This is what it's all about okay if the terrors of Sinai is can be exchanged for the grace and the blessing of Calvary.

Mount Calvary is an earthquake of Mount Calvary to noise we've emphasized in our times together how important it is to see God in natural disasters, so you have an earthquake in Sinai. You also have an earthquake. When Jesus dies on the cross and what happens the veil in the temple is torn into top to bottom with sconces on the one doing this entry now into the presence of God and your received, and you're welcome, then you become a child of God forever Sinai under the law stay away and that's why all of those sacrifices were offered. That's a very complicated issue, but in the Old Testament.

What God was saying with all those sacrifices is this I want to have fellowship with people without compromising my holiness.

If so, you have this whole system of sacrifices and lateral ends with Jesus and what God is saying to us today and I'm so glad Larry that I'm living under grace of God of your own favor both of you. Thank God that Bailey absolutely that under the protection of Jesus. What we have is and in the book I list a number of different verses. I don't have it before me, but verses like this from Thessalonians that Jesus Christ saves us from the wrath to come to us and how he came to deliver us from God's wrath and it is so critical for us to emphasize the fact that Jesus bore I've ever put it this way before, but is just coming to mind Jesus bore Sinai for us so that we could receive the grace and forgiveness and the protection of Mount Calvary.

He did that for us.

Amen. And so that's the way of escape.

I love that the part of the book and because they take those two things when God shook things up those two examples of how he revealed himself. Each time he used those those earthquakes to shake things up, so to speak, to reveal himself to talk about this little is okay we have this way of escape, of their people faster for them to be honest today. They're angry with God now I am going to get to that in the second out to get one illustration and I'll get into the greatly angry people because we we promised the people in an earlier program okay to answer this is our last time together. Believe it or not. Say it ain't saving so that meant so we have to hurry. Okay, back in the days when there where the prairies and farmers would have land. They knew that they could have a prairie fire so what they would do is to take their buildings and when the weather was favorable, and the wind was blowing in the right direction. They would burn around their holdings, their house, their barn yet so forth, and they burn huge patches of grass around their buildings and then they do that if the fire came. It wouldn't touch those buildings because the buildings were where the fire had already been give. Jesus says in this. I plead with people who are listening would never come to Christ as Savior. Jesus says that if you admit your sinfulness and receive my grace. You'll be standing where the fire of God has already been and are God is a consuming fire.

Amen we should go on yet. I believe that we should. But here now. You asked me a question. People are angry pastor and there is no there angry the circumstance angry at other people there angry for governments, but there angry at God all will tell you something there plenty of people who are so turned off to God for many different reasons, some because of the home life that they believed in some because he hasn't answered their prayers are never a man who lost a child said God isn't worth a plug nickel to me. Why should I bother with him if he doesn't bother with me.

If he doesn't answer my prayers. So the question is how do we answer that yes so what I do in the book is tell a story. Rebecca and I have a repair man that comes to our home. This was many years ago. I forget what he came some electrical issue or whatever and we have course discussed because I love to pick up conversations with people and he says to me, in effect, I'm an atheist he said if there is a God and I have to burn in hell I will defy him in anger for ever hopeless for you help us. So what do you say to a person like that. First of all, you say, I'm really glad that you understand that our God is a consuming fire needs to be feared. We have too many conceptions of God out there that are sort of fuzzy. He loves everybody and everybody's going to get in at the end of the day so take the fact that you understand that God is a consuming fire.

Understand that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. So I said to him, if you want to walk away from God and on the basis of that I'm sure you have lots of company because there are a lot of people were taking that direction, but that is so foolish wisdom would dictate that what you should do is to flee to the refuge that has been provided for you in Jesus Christ who saves you from the wrath to come. Why try to take on an infinite God. You think God is going to be impressed. Although there's this guy in hell who's defying me are you kidding. What we need to do. Larry is to understand that thanks to Jesus. We do have a way of escape, and it is the wise thing to do and then you can give them some of the verses that we've already emphasize that Jesus comes to save us from the wrath to come. Why take on an omnipotent God and think you're going to win the onion. If you have a rowboat going to take on an aircraft carrier gives you no I mean really who are you to say you're going to just be thankful that talks about anger. But what about that person who's listening even now who's having doubt, pastor in the face of all the disasters there counting hope I Larry, the clock is running down here select a really hurry, don't I first of all, the Bible makes it very clear that God doesn't have to answer our prayers or deliver us in order to be faithful.

The apostle Paul says in Romans eight About seven or eight things that will not separate us from the love of Christ include spam and it includes destitution.

It includes poverty and includes all this that we are still profoundly love yes so we need to keep that in mind. The other thing though regarding doubt and I do have a section on the book on doubt. It's okay if you doubt.

As long as your doubts are honest, what God doesn't have much patience with his dishonest outers. People who don't want to believe, but if you are honest, it's okay to have doubts. Best example in the Bible, John the Baptist flocked there is a lot of imprisonment so he says to his disciples go talk to Jesus are thou he that should come or should we look for another lesson in here because I should be in your exactly know you're the king you're the Messiah theorized later on he gets beheaded as a matter fact and what does Jesus say Jesus said to the disciples, you know, go tell John that the debtor being raised and so forth and I could expound on that passage a little bit more but we have to hurry. But here's what Jesus says among those born of women, none is greater than John the Baptist. Now think about that. Jesus said that at the very time that John was sitting in prison doubting yes. Whether or not Jesus was the Messiah.

While no pastor. We might talk about our faith in times that are really just trying in that heart use a wonderful illustration of the end of this book about this woman in Haiti owned by her faith in all I want everyone who's listening to listen carefully to this and understand what an emotional moment. This is communal described as best I can.

Here's Haiti 10 years ago terrible earthquake. The young woman is about to board a bus.

Others have gone onto the bus ahead of her.

She is a baby in one arm and a reporter asks her what happened to you and she says I lost my child 18 months old he was killed in the rubble and the reporter says, were you able to bury him, and she says no. I had to.

This is a direct quote. I had to throw him away because of what happened now. The camera zeros in on this woman and I notice that in her backpack. There's a Bible is very clear by now she is ready to get onto the bus. She has no clue where she's going except that the buses there to rescue them to take them. God knows where she is a baby in her arms. She has a dead baby that she wasn't even able to bury.

And she's about to get onto the bus and she says God is our refuge and strength a very present help in time of need. And with that she disappeared when that was over, Larry.

I just kept staring at that TV sentencing. What is it that I just saw here is a woman who is quoting Psalm 46 God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble. Notice therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed of the mountains be cast into the depths of the sea. Talk about a natural disaster. Yes, we've never seen well maybe small mountains cast into the depths of the sea, but we've never seen the mountains cast into the depths of the sea. I will go on believing him and all of us know that that's Psalm which we ought to read occasionally and I memorized years ago. But in the King James version of the Bible it ends by talking about the fact that to you know God is the one who does all kinds of things minutes is be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The fact is that this woman experiencing this terrible natural disaster was willing to go on believing that Larry I think that in the day and we stand before Jesus yes you and I will probably not see her. She's going to be so close to the Lord so far back that will probably not meet go on believing no matter what Larry this is been a tremendous time and we've come to the end of the program. I've written a book entitled pandemics, plagues and natural disasters in the subtitle very important. What is God saying to us. Five chapters on what God is saying to us to chapters on what we should be saying to God and the purpose of the book is to explain God's sovereignty and why we can trust him even when things don't get better and why it is that he is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble. Even if the earth is removed and mountains are cast into the depths of the sea. This is our last time together.

God bless you Erwin Lussier with Larry McCarthy ripping up a discussion of pandemics plagues and natural disasters ever feel like a square peg in a round hole. Try as you might, you don't seem to fit in with others. Happily, there is a solution God has a place of service for every Christian and a spiritual gift every Christian can use to benefit others in that place of service. Next time I'm going to win. We begin a series on finding where you fit will learn how to identify our gifts and how to put them to work. Pastor Luther's new book on pandemics plagues and natural disasters will be sent as our gift to you as you support running to win with your gift of any amount. Just call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 or rights to assess running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online reach that's RTW Thanks for listening for director Erwin loser this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the booty church

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