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Sunday Sermon -- June 11, 2000 -- Joel 3:14 -- Armageddon

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Megiddo (Armageddon)

Place of Troops

  • City conquered by Joshua (Joshua 12:21)
  • Assigned to Manasseh (Joshua 17:11)
  • Inhabitants made slaves (Judges 1:27-28
  • Cananites defeated here (Judges 5:19-21)
  • Fortified by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15-19)
  • King Ahaziah died here (2 Kings 9:27)
  • King Josiah killed here (2 Kings 23:29,30)
  • Mentioned in prophesy (Zechariah 12:11)
  • Site of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16)

 "Multitudes, multitudes, in the Valley of Decision" (Joel 3:14)

A reading of Joel, of Isaiah 66 and Revelation 16, leaves no doubt there will be a final Judgment upon the people of this earth.  And there’s more: at the conclusion of Isaiah (66:24), we find those "who have transgressed against Me, their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched."   Jesus utilized precisely this language (Mark 9:44 & context) and just as Isaiah did, applied it to a literal hell, a place of eternal suffering.  Those who do not want God will get their way.  They will be set apart from Him - forever.

Jonathan Edwards wrote an excellent sermon a couple of hundred years ago (in the 1700’s), entitled "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God," utilizing as a text "Their foot shall slide in due time" (Deuteronomy 32:35).  His concluding statement:  "Let everyone that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come… The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation.  Let every one fly out of Sodom.  Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you; escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed."

He did not deliver this sermon to the world, but to the visible church, and the response was overwhelming - thousands repented and turned to the Lord.  It is not that we are somehow "OK" with the Lord, because we go to a specific building on certain days, and perform rituals of one kind or another.  Religion is not enough to make us right with God, and our good works, though possibly commendable, will not do the job, either.  God’s work, in the Son, is infinitely better than our own

The book "I’m OK, You’re OK" is interesting and has a point, but fails as a concept, because it does not look at us from the perspective of God.  We are not "OK", and for a surprising reason - He loves us.

All of us need to take a sober look at this world - something is not right with people.   And since we are "people," we have a problem with God (or rather, God has a problem with us).

Years ago, when I first read the Book of Leviticus, I did not see what all those sacrifices were all about.  Then I understood.  Those sacrifices tell us that we are not OK, before a Holy God, for they signify 1) We are abject sinners in a cruel world (if an innocent animal has to die on our behalf; God is telling us something); and 2) He loves us so much, that He has provided a Way, for you and me.   The "way" of the unblemished animal is a picture of much more.

The fact of Armageddon signifies that God will end this world, as we know it.  The hopes, dreams and selfishness of this place, will soon be gone.  All the sacrifices point to our need and God’s Solution.  Ye’shua (Jesus) is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world.  We "must now awake" as Jonathan Edwards said, and "flee from the wrath to come."  We must turn to the Lord.

We are, in this life, in the "Valley of Decision" (Joel 3:14).  What will we do?  Those who do not know Him, need to receive Him.   Those of us who do know Him, must tell others.  There is a Judgment and there is a Remedy for sin.

Father, we stand in the place of judgment, as do all people.  We receive the Son, Who is acceptable, that we may be right before You.  He is "OK" but we are not, and it is only in Him, that we may be restored in the sight of a Holy God.  We confess our lack, and ask You, please forgive us, send Your Spirit, Lord, and make us whole.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
www.fridaystudy.org
E-mail:
Ron@FridayStudy.org

Tel: (562) 688-5559
PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

 

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