The Sixth Trumpet – The Army from the East

Revelation 9.13-21

The sixth angel sounds his trumpet and the four angels bound at the Euphrates River will lead forth another demon army 200 million strong to kill a third of mankind. Those who remain, instead of repenting, will harden their hearts.

God is gracious and compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, and relenting of evil. He is mighty to save, and He’s provided a way to be saved through His Son Jesus. The Lamb who was slain so that He might purchase with His blood, folks from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, to make us a kingdom and priests to God and to reign with Him forever and ever. No one has to face these terrible judgments. All can be saved.

But not all will be. Even in the face of the fierceness of God’s wrath, still some will refuse to repent of their idolatry and the worship of demons. They will love their destructive lifestyle more than even the chance at life itself. And yet they will still shake their fists at the sky and claim it’s God’s fault. Like Pharaoh, God’s mercy only serves to harden their hearts.

I don’t want that to be you. All can be saved. You can be saved. It’s as simple as admitting that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Believing that Jesus came to save you from your sin. He lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death on your behalf, and was raised the third day, so that we might have forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Him.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the iTunes App Store, Google Play or the Amazon App Store.

The Fifth Trumpet – The Abyss

Revelation 9.1-12

But even as we see these horrifying judgments playing out, God’s mercy is still evident. Even until the end, He’s giving folks time to repent. And as we saw several weeks ago, a great multitude which no one can count from all nations and every tribe and people and tongue will do just that. They will repent and respond in faith. They will trust in Jesus.

What does that mean for us? For those of us who have trusted in Jesus, we need not fear the coming judgments. We are already on the winning side. Ours is just not to give up or give in. It’s to share our story with others…to share the hope that we have found in Jesus…with a sense of urgency.

No one wants to think about judgment day. We like to hear about heaven, but hell…no. But hell is a real place, and unfortunately, many of the folks you know are headed that direction. Some of them knowingly. But most without a clue. The great multitude gathered before the throne are there because someone told them about Jesus. They heard, and they believed. Who are you telling about Him? Who are you sharing your story with?

If you have not trusted in Jesus yet, I might sound like a broken record…but I feel compelled week after week to remind you that the time is short. Your time is short. Please don’t put off the most important decision of your life. The one that impacts your eternal destiny. 

What does it mean to trust Jesus? It’s as simple as admitting that you are a sinner in need of a Savior and believing that Jesus came to save you from your sin. He lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death on your behalf, and was raised the third day, so that you might have forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Him. And when we believe that, the Bible says we pass from death to life. Jesus is no longer our Judge, but our King. And we get to live and reign with Him forever.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the iTunes App Store, Google Play or the Amazon App Store.

The First Four Trumpets

Revelation 8.6-13

The first four trumpets are sounded and a third of the created order feels the effects. God’s judgment is sure, but His mercy is still present.

Many these days go about their lives unaware or indifferent about the choices they are making that have eternal consequences. Like Pharaoh, many see God’s patience…His mercy…as an indication that if their actions have no immediate consequences, then they must not have any consequences. But they are wrong. God will deal with sin. It may not be today. Or tomorrow. Or the next. But eventually the day will come. And in the day of God’s wrath, who is able to stand?

The answer is simple…those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Those of us who have done that…those of us who have trusted in Jesus need not fear the coming judgment. We are on the winning side. Jesus is our Resurrected King who has conquered death and satisfied God’s wrath on sin.

We live in uncertain times. The world is shaking all around us. The trumpets haven’t sounded yet, and yet we see our world fractured and coming apart at the seems. Almost daily we are reminded of how fleeting life is. But the fact that you’re still here means that you still have work to do. If you’ve trusted in Jesus, your job is to keep sharing your story with those around you who don’t know Him. Your job is kingdom impact. It’s to point others to Jesus.

If you haven’t trusted in Jesus, the fact that you’re still here is God’s mercy. Hang with me. With each trumpet blast a third of the earth is impacted in some way. But that gives two thirds of the earth time to repent. When you see how fleeting life is, how fragile life is…the fact that you are still here is God’s mercy. You still have time. But that time is running out. So don’t wait. Jesus is either your King or He will be your Judge.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the iTunes App Store, Google Play or the Amazon App Store.

Preparation for the Trumpets

Revelation 8.1-5

The Lamb breaks the seventh seal, and there is silence as both heaven and earth await the coming of the trumpet judgments.

As the events of the tribulation unfold, persecution becomes more and more severe. The number of martyrs continues to increase at a staggering rate. From an earthly perspective it appears that those who have chosen to follow Jesus have chosen the loosing side. But they are wrong. You see, death is not the end. All will die, but not all will truly live. Only those who have trusted in Jesus. Only they will escape the wrath of God soon to be poured out.

And it’s the prayers of the saints that are continually going up before the throne. God hears when you call out to Him, and He cares about what happens to you, and He is working out His purposes for your good and His glory. He will deal with sin. And He will make all things right. Ours is just to trust Him.

The time to trust in Jesus is now. God’s wrath on sin is sure. And the only way we can stand in the day of His wrath is by trusting in Jesus. You see, Jesus suffered the wrath of God for sin when He died on the cross. The penalty has already been taken care of. We simply have to believe in Him. But if we don’t, then we are left to suffer the wrath of God for ourselves. Please don’t make that choice. Choose Jesus today.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the app store or google play.

The Great Multitude

Revelation 7.9-17

A great multitude from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues are standing before the throne and before the Lamb. A couple of weeks ago we saw those facing the great day of God’s wrath crying out, “who is able to stand?” And the answer is…those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. All those who have trusted in Jesus.

Judgment is for sure a pervasive theme throughout the book of Revelation. But so is mercy. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19.10).

Jesus came to save us from our sin and the wrath of God that we rightly deserve. We are/were dead in our trespasses and sins, but He came to give us life. And if we will trust in Him, He will do just that. And although the tribulation will be a time of intense suffering and persecution, it will also be a time when many come to faith. A great multitude. From every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues.

It’s a beautiful picture of what God intended. All the families of the earth. Every crayon in the box, not just one or two.

One of the most stirring pictures of God’s love is the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 (recap)…this son of mine was dead, but has come to life again. He was lost and has been found. That’s God’s heart for the lost.

If you have not yet trusted in Jesus, please don’t wait. God is patient and He’s provided a way for you to be saved, but there will come a time when it is too late. So don’t put it off any longer. Make today the day.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the app store or google play.

The 144,000

Revelation 7.1-8

The 144,000 are sealed for the coming days of judgment. It’s not clear as of yet what God has in store for them, but we will find out in the coming weeks.

God is in control, and He has a plan. His ways are not our ways, and while we won’t understand everything, we can trust in a God who does. He has a plan for Israel, He has a plan for the 144,000, and He has a plan for you and me.

If you have trusted in Jesus, you too have been sealed. Sealed with the Holy Spirit that Paul says is a downpayment on our future inheritance. So we need not be afraid. We belong to God. We are His, and no one can snatch us out of His hand.

If you have not yet trusted in Jesus, please don’t wait. No one can stand on their own in the day of God’s wrath. I know that’s not easy to hear. I know it’s not popular to talk about. God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil. But He is also just. And there will come a day when it’s too late. So don’t wait.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the app store or google play.

Martyrs and Terror

Revelation 6.9-17

The Lamb breaks the fifth and sixth seals. The martyrs in heaven cry out, “How long?” And the answer is not very before the catastrophic destruction of the created order begins.

The lines have been drawn. It’s becoming more and more difficult to ride the fence. The decision to give up or give in is an ever present temptation. Many will choose that route and shipwreck their faith. They may not lose their salvation, but they will lose the life that Jesus saved them for. For those who overcome, for those who hold fast their testimony, for those who don’t give up or give in, not only does the kingdom await, now they experience the fullness of joy and abundance of life that Jesus saved us for.

Like I said earlier…we aren’t in the Shire anymore. We’re on the hunt for a dragon. We are in dangerous territory, and it may well cost us our lives. But if so, our voices will be joined with the heroic tribe of martyrs who have gone before. “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” – Jim Elliot

Make no mistake…God will deal with sin. Though we may not be called to give up our life, if we are following Jesus, we will in some way suffer for our faith. Maybe it’s being overlooked or left out. Or maybe it’s something worse. And sometimes it’s the suffering that living in a broken world brings that we experience even as we try to walk in obedience (loss, loneliness, sickness, death, betrayal, etc.). We too can think, “How long?” And if we are being honest, we are sometimes tempted to think that somehow God doesn’t know or doesn’t care or maybe can’t help us in our suffering. But the martyrs remind us that God does know and care about our suffering, that He is working out a bigger plan, and in His wisdom and timing He will deal with sin and make all things right. 

If you have not yet trusted in Jesus, maybe you’ve written God off, thinking how can a good God allow such evil? Make no mistake…God will deal with sin. He does not take it lightly…in fact, He takes it so seriously that He says someone will die for it. And so He sent Jesus to die on a cross…to take on the wrath of God against the sin of the world. We are mistaken if we think God doesn’t care about the suffering in this world (or that we care about it more than He does). So we have a choice…we can allow Jesus to take on God’s wrath for our sin, or we will have to take it on ourselves. Choose wisely.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the app store or google play.

The Four Horsemen

Revelation 6.1-8

The Lamb breaks the first four seals of the great scroll, unleashing the four horsemen of the apocalypse. A terrifying reminder that God takes sin seriously. The final reconciliation between heaven and earth has begun.

For those who belong to the Lamb, there’s nothing to fear. Their hope is being realized. Their King is coming. And He will set all things right.

For those who are enemies of the Lamb, there’s every reason to fear. Their is no hope. Their Judge is coming. And He will set all things right. But…there’s still time repent. There’s still time to switch sides. But don’t wait.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Worship of the Lamb

Revelation 5.1-14

All of creation will one day worship God. Some will do it willingly, some will do it unwillingly. But all will do it. The Lamb is worthy…He has the right to rule and to execute judgment and to establish His kingdom. He purchased that right with His own blood.

Jesus came first as a Lamb…a Lamb who would sacrifice Himself for the sins of the world. He will return as a Lion to execute judgment and reign over the earth. The irony is…it’s the Lamb who has overcome. By His weakness He defeated the might of the enemy. The cross was the serpent’s undoing. He sealed his own fate when he thought he was sealing Jesus’.

Jesus is coming back. And He’s coming as a Lion. As the Lion, He will either be King or Judge. For those who have trusted in Him, He comes as King to welcome us into His kingdom. For those who have not trusted in Him, He comes as Judge. And you don’t want Him as Judge. You see, heaven and hell are real, and our decisions now have eternal consequences for our future. So don’t wait. If you have not trusted in Jesus, make today the day.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Worship of Him Who Sits on the Throne

Revelation 4.1-11

John is caught up to see the great throne room in heaven. And He who sits on the throne. The Sovereign Lord. Mighty God. Eternal Father. King of the universe. There is none like Him. He’s in a category all His own.

The contrast between the dire circumstances of the churches and the scene in heaven is astonishing. Even among His people, the situation on earth is a mess. Unlike heaven. On earth, the problem is folks giving up or giving in. Worship is sporadic at best. In heaven, all attention is given to Him who sits on the throne, and worship is continuous.

And so the great reconciliation is about to begin. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The battle lines are drawn, and like He did on Mount Sinai, the Lord is about to visit the world He created in awesome power and great terror. And like the Flood, it will be a time of judgment…but also of mercy.

Heaven responds with worship. Shouldn’t we? The redeemed? Those who have been bought with the blood of the Lamb?

This scene in heaven is a reminder that no matter how chaotic our lives may seem, God is still on the throne. He’s still in control. And He is mighty to save. He’s the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of the streets, He builds up the age-old foundations. He’s the Rebuilder of the broken down, the Healer of the brokenhearted, the Finder of lost things. The Maker of a way when there seems to be none. The Help of the helpless and the Hope of the hopeless. The Father to the fatherless, the Husband to the widow, the Support for the Stranger. His mercies are new every morning. He brings beauty from ashes and gives life to the dead. He makes all things new. And He is our God!

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This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster