Light for the Last Days

SHORT TALK

For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 1.9-10

John goes on to say that you should ‘flee the wrath to come’. ‘FLEE THE WRATH TO COME‘.

There is a day of wrath coming on sin and wickedness. Perhaps we don’t like to talk about the wrath of God but it’s there in the Bible, isn’t it?

I remember when I first became a Christian with my first wife Nikki who’s gone to be the Lord now, we used to go down to Speaker’s Corner and we had a book stall there.

At the time, you could do it. The police have cleared them all away now. We had a book stall, we gave out leaflets and had had pamphlets. We were surrounded by communists, mainly, there was a guy sending Mao’s little red book next to us who we got quite friendly with us. And we got some other people round about us. They were all Communists but I remember one of the things which was featured at that time.

There was a man who stood in the middle of Speaker’s Corner with a huge banner saying “Flee the wrath to come”. It wasn’t a great witness because he was surrounded by all kinds of crazy people and there were also all kinds people mocking and ridiculing him, but he stood there with his banner saying: ‘FLEE THE WRATH TO COME

And it was quite powerful in a sense, because you saw that message and you thought, ‘Wow, is there a wrath to come? Should we flee from it?’

As I say, we complain about the state of the world but God complains about it even more. God is actually angry with sinners. It says in the Psalms, in Psalm 7.11

11 God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day.

Psalm 7.11

When God looks at the world, He is angry with the wickedness which is taking place. Sometimes, when you watch the news, you get angry at what people are doing. I heard this week about this girl who killed the transgender woman. Apparently, she spent her time watching torture videos and she identified as ‘a satanist’.

I get angry with her, but I get even more angry with the people who have allowed this to happen in our society so that we have a generation growing up which is feeding on all kinds of filth and wickedness, and that, somehow, you cannot be surprised at what comes out of them. If you feed dung and crash into them, then you’re going to get wickedness coming out of them.

That is one of the really evil things which God gets angry about in our society. I guess we get angry about it too. But God is going to have a day when He is going to deal with it.

All this reminds us of the time of Noah, when

… the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

Genesis 6.5-7

God saw the corruption on the earth and He saw the wickedness which was there, and said, ‘I’m going to make an end of it, I’m going to destroy all flesh on the earth‘. And he chose Noah. Noah was righteous in the eyes of the Lord, and God told him to make an ark and to go into the ark and save himself and his family together with the animals that they all be saved from the wrath of God which was coming on the earth.

Was God justified in doing that? Some people think it was a bit cruel of God to wipe out all those people. But the fact is that if they had continued in that way, then such behaviour would have brought the earth into such a state of degradation that it would have been the end of any kind of decent living on the earth.

One has to say, when you look at the state of the world today, that we see so many signs of wickedness here and around the world: in Russia, in China, in the Muslim world. And we see all the powers of darkness coming together with forces of evil which are threatening to overthrow any kind of decent and honourable society and replace it with the most cruel and wicked societies which are effectively under God’s judgment.

Therefore, God is angry with the wicked all the day long and even if we would much rather talk about the love of God than the wrath of God, the wrath of God is there there.

Note that even the verse which is most associated with the love of God actually does contain a message which points to the alternative, to His wrath.

John 3.16 says,

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3.16

You see that, in that verse, there are two possibilities: either you perish, or you have everlasting life. And it all depends on your faith in the Messiah, in Jesus the Messiah.

It is also interesting that the chapter ends with the word in John 3.36:

36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

John 3.36

Okay, so you have two choices there: either you believe in Jesus and you have everlasting life, or you don’t believe in Jesus and the wrath of God abides upon you.

It’s a very stark choice, and some people get really annoyed when you tell them that. They say, ‘Well, I’m a good person. You’re not saying that I’m a wicked sinner, are you?

Yes, there are people out there, many of them who are relatively good people, but none of us is righteous enough to escape God’s judgment unless we put Jesus in our lives and we receive His goodness, His righteousness in place of our unrighteousness. Because He did in fact bear the wrath of God against sin in Himself on the cross.

So, it’s very important that we believe in Jesus, that we obtain eternal life through faith in Him, and that we come out from under the wrath of God into the place of protection just like Noah and his family came out from under the wrath of God, from under the punishment which was coming in the flood because of sin, and go into the ark which gave them salvation.

Jesus said it would be ‘as in the days of Noah in the last days’.

26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

Luke 17.26-30

In the last days, we’re going to see the wrath of God poured out on the world at the time which we call the Great Tribulation, which ends with the passage of Revelation chapter 6 verse 12 where it says:

12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Revelation 6.12-17

The wrath of the Lamb‘ is a bit of a strange expression, isn’t it? Because you think of a lamb being a nice and cuddly little animal. But in Revelation John is speaking about the Lamb of God in His Second Coming. Jesus is coming this time as the King of kings and Lord of lords, and His wrath will come upon the wicked.

We don’t like to speak about it, but it’s there in the Bible. Sometimes, people say the Old Testament is full of God’s anger and judgments, but, in fact, if you look in the New Testament there is much more that speaks about God’s wrath and God’s judgment. There’s much more said about hell in the New Testament than there is in the Old Testament.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20.11-15

The New Testament begins with the message to repent and it ends with the most graphic descriptions of what happens if you don’t repent. It ends with Revelation 20 and a description of the wicked being thrown into the Lake of Fire. God forbid that any of us should end up in that place.

And we don’t have to because, if we repent and believe, we have eternal life through faith in Jesus.

22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

Luke 10.22

Yes, it’s a very stark choice and often, as a preacher, I don’t like to speak about it. I’d much rather speak about the love of God, but it’s there in the Bible and you can’t get away from it. Therefore, it’s very important that everybody who hears this message should repent, believe the Gospel, and follow Jesus Christ to eternal life.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14.6

There is no other way to get into the Kingdom of God except through faith in Jesus.

Tony Pearce

2 comments

  • 2 Timothy 4:1-4
    I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine
    ( teaching). For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ,but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

    Thank you Tony for preaching the word faithfully and courageously whether people listen or not and repent or not. ………The love of God has been poured into your heart by the Holy Spirit , (from Romans 5)

    • Thank you Carolyn. Your encouraging words and your reminder of scripture make it a little easier to ‘be ready in season and out of season’.
      The Lord bless you and keep you.