Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
Faithfulness – A Key Step to Happiness
Dec 9 2012: “Tomorrow may be too late!”
Sun AM Worship I know who I am and I know who God say I am and what God says I can do.
Text Rev 20:11-15 (King James Version)
“Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people.”
The Fields are
white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, “If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if
the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;”
The pastor of a church is
in a precarious position; he can’t please everyone! It has been said:
If he is young, he lacks experience; if his hair is grey, he’s too old for the young people.
If he has several children, he has too many; if he has no children, he’s setting a bad example.
If he preaches from his notes, he has canned sermons and is too dry; if he doesn’t use notes, he has not studied and is not deep.
If he is attentive to the poor people in the church, they claim he is playing to the grandstand; if he pays attention to the wealthy, he is trying to be an aristocrat.
If he suggests changes for improvement of the church, he is a dictator; if he makes no suggestions, he is a figurehead.
If he uses too many illustrations, he neglects the Bible; if he doesn’t use enough illustrations, he isn’t clear.
If he condemns wrong, he is cranky; if he doesn’t preach against sin, he’s a compromiser.
If he fails to please somebody, he’s hurting the church and ought to leave; if he tries to please everyone, he is a fool.
If he preaches about money, he’s a money grabber; if he doesn’t preach spiritual giving, he is failing to develop the people.
If he drives an old car, he shames his congregation; if he drives a new car, he is setting his affection on earthly things.
If he preaches all the time, the people get tired of hearing one man; if he invites guest speakers, he is shirking his responsibility.
If he receives a large salary, he’s mercenary; if he receives only a small salary, well-it proves he isn’t worth much anyway.
According to the Pastor Care Network:
80% of pastors believe ministry has negatively affected their families.
33% say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their families.
75% report a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they started.
40% report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
70% do not have somebody they consider a close friend.
50% have considered leaving the ministry in the last three months.
50% of those who go into full time ministry drop out in five years.
94% of clergy families feel the pressures of the pastor’s ministry.
Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Let’s pray. Father, Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear
Your voice. Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
If you are a Christian,
you are born TWICE … AND … you die once.
If you are LOST, you are born once, and you DIE twice. This 2nd death is the gateway to the Lake of Fire.
Every one of us is only a breath away from this announcement, that our tomorrow has been cancelled.
James tells us that we should live our lives with the realization that our plans, our very lives, are not certain. What seems to us so stable and sure is what we have “in this present world.” Yet what we have in this “present world” may crumble and fall today.
To many people this is the “real world.” To them there is no other world. To them this is all that life has to offer.
Most people say – “Yes, it’s the real world and you only go around once so you’d better grab all the gusto you can get.”
Be careful how you get attached to this present world.
WHAT IF TOMORROW WAS CANCELLED?
The world’s philosophy is “Take care of number one!” Notice the repeated word “my” which points to this man’s ingrained selfishness.
Death has no favorites. It doesn’t respect age, position, importance, prosperity or anything else. Young people hear me, just because you are young and have your whole future ahead of you don’t think you can’t hear those words, YOUR TOMORROW HAS BEEN CANCELLED! There may be some here today who would say, I’m a good person, I treat people fair so I should live a while yet but you could also hear those words, YOUR TOMORROW HAS BEEN CANCELLE!
James said: “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). Life is short. Listen to the Word of God:
Job 14:1-2 – “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue.”
Proverbs 27:1 – “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
1 Peter 1:24 – “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away.”
James could have easily said, “Today or tomorrow I’ll travel the world…I’ll buy that house…I’ll write that book…I’ll finish that project…I’ll…I’ll.”
All of this presumes that
tomorrow will not be cancelled.
We are a presumptuous people. We presume that we will have a tomorrow to deal with our sin or to do what we have been putting off for some time now. But what if tomorrow was cancelled and you were not able to take care of that sin that you have been dealing with?
Each one of our lives hangs by a thread.
Anyone of us could be called upon at any time to stand before God and give an account of himself. What if tomorrow were cancelled for you? For me?
The bad news is that if tomorrow is cancelled and you aren’t ready to meet God then you will have to spend eternity in hell, banished from the presence of God. Don’t put off what you must do today, now.
"The Great White Throne Judgment"
There is NO GENERAL
judgment, where the lost and the saved stand at the same judgment seat. Some
people get the idea that we will all stand together in Heaven, with the “goats”
on 1 side, and the “sheep” on the other side.
They think that there will be some kind of a “balance” in Heaven … a “scale”, which weighs the good against the bad. If the good outweighs the bad, you will go to Heaven. If the bad outweighs the good, you will go to Hell.
The Bible doesn’t speak of this anywhere. The “sheep” and the “goats” of Matthew 25 is not talking about “The Great White Throne Judgment”, but entry into the Millennial Kingdom.
I.- THE TIME –
A. This judgment takes place 1000 years after the Rapture of the Church
B.… after the Tribulation Period
1. … after the Millennial Kingdom
2.… after the 1000 year captivity of Satan in Hell
3.… after the final battle of Gog and Magog
4.… after Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire
5.This will happen just before the new Heaven and the new Earth are created for us to enjoy for eternity.
C. This judgment will take place at the “throne” of God – 20:11--11Then 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.
1. It is called “great” and “white”. “Great” because there is none greater.
2. It is God’s final court … there is no higher court to which you can appeal.
3. It is the Supreme Court of Heaven.
4. It is HIS Throne of Judgment … SO … it is called “great”.
5. It is “white”. WHY? BECAUSE … of the purity of His judgment and justice. There’s no politics involved … no bribery … no plea bargaining … no gain time. JUST … the pure holy, and righteous justice of God being poured out.
6. It’s at the “throne”. This isn’t like the “throne” in Revelation 4:2-3 where we see a
rainbow … mercy. There is no mercy at this throne … only justice.
II.- THE PARTICIPANTS – The Accused v. 12 1st phrase
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:
and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of
those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
A. The big shots and the nobodies/up and comers and down and outers/CEO and lowest
employee/professors and uneducated/kings and homeless…they all are the accused on
that day if they die lost.
1. v. 13 This is the 2nd resurrection…the resurrection of the lost. The 1st resurrection was of saints more than 1000 years before this.
2. In other words, this isn’t about whether they are guilty or innocent…it is clear that they are guilty.
3. This is not a trial to see whether they go free or not. This is not about allegations…this is making it clear WHY they ARE going to hell for all eternity.
4. They have already been in hell, awaiting this judgment.
Ill.—2 WORDS FOR HELL IN SCRIPTURE...HELL AND HEHENNA,WHICH CAN BE LIKENED TO A LOCAL JAIL AND PRISON...THE ONE IS A TEMPORARY HOLDING PLACE, NO LESS VILE,JUST LESS PUNISHMEN.
6. There is no appeal and no parole.
4 GROUPS AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE.
THE SINNERS…the ones who hate God and don’t mind speaking out…they hate the
Church, don’t believe the Bible, and are in your face…like Madelyn Murray O’Hare.
THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS…who think they will go to heaven because they live a good life
. They think the gospel is for perverts, thieves, murderers, and don’t see themselves as the
real sinners. [Pharisee and publican…both prayed at the same altar. And only he got saved that day. There are no big and little sins…it takes only 1 sin to send to hell!] No one can get to heaven by good works.
Isaiah 64:6 AND ALLOUR RIGHTEOUSNESSES ARE AS FILTHY
The slow deciders…they know they need to get saved, they want to get saved, and
they’re “gonna” get saved…someday. But they keep putting it off. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” But the Bible makes it plain how important it is to deal with this immediately.
…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
THE SUNDAY CHURCH GOERS.…the ones who have their name on the church roll but not in the Lamb’s Book of Life. They’ll go to hell w/ a Bible in their hand, so to speak. And the devil doesn’t mind that at all…
They may have a fancy suit or nice dresses, a s.s. attendance pin or an offering statement, but they never truly accepted Christ for themselves! “Ye must be born again.”
How about you? Do you fit into one of these groups?
B. Only the LOST will be at “The Great White Throne” judgment.
1. There is no separation of the “sheep” and the “goats”.
2. Everyone here will enter into the Lake of Fire to be eternally condemned with Satan.
NOTICE WHO THEY ARE – 20:12. 12And 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.
1. “DEAD” – These are the Spiritually “dead” … “dead” in trespasses and sins. They are not right with God. Jesus came to give us “life” … BUT … they are Spiritually “dead”.
2. “SMALL ANDGREAT” – TURN to Romans Chapter 2.
2:11 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
3. – Social status doesn’t matter with God. He isn’t influenced by money, reputation, or even morality.
1 Samuel 16:7 – “for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Both the “small and great” will stand before God … and they will stand CONDEMNED because of their sin.
4. How much sin does it take to condemn a person?
5. How much poison does it take in a glass of water to make it deadly? The glass may
contain 99% water, and only 1% poison … but the whole glass is condemned as deadly.
6. How much sin does it take to condemn a person to Hell? Since we were BORN in sin, and we are 100% sinful by nature, that question isn’t even relevant. The glass contains 100% poison.
THE WAGES OFSIN IS DEATH...YOURS...… OR JESUS!.
III. - THE JUDGE –
A. The Judge isn’t named here … BUT …we know who He is. John 5:22 – “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:”
1. Jesus has the right to be the judge, jury, prosecuting attorney and witness. After all, it was His grace that was spurned
2. … He is the One who was rejected. It is only fair that Jesus is the One to be the judge at the “Great White Throne”.
3.Rom. 2:2 2:2 – Jesus is the God of TRUTH. Jesus said in John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
4. Man tries to hide his sins under the blanket of respectability … decorating his immorality with bows and ribbons.
5. BUT … the TRUTH will come out in this judgment. They will be seen for who they
are … Spiritually dead.
6. They haven’t gotten away with sin. “Be sure your sins will find you out
7. BUT … this is the “Great White Throne” judgment. Nothing has escaped the eye of the
8. – All secrets will be revealed … secret sins, secret thoughts … the secret intents of the
9. The EVIDENCE will be presented. No high paid defense attorney to get you off. No hung jury. No loophole in the law. No evidence that has been compromised or withheld.
Everything will be revealed. The Judge is in charge.
IV.THE EVIDENCE – What will be judged? Back to Revelation Chapter 20.
20:12 – 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were
opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
A. The EVIDENCE will all be there … written down … in the “books”. Every thought, word, and deed has been recorded. Nothing has been left out … nothing too small or incidental to be recorded.
1. “But what about all the GOOD things that I did … won’t they count for anything?
2. I went to church … I tithed … I was a pillar in the community …
3 I was a good father, wife, neighbor!” LISTEN to Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it
is impossible to please him:” Romans 14:23 – “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
4. Multitudes say that they want to be judged by their good works. That’s what they’re
counting on. BUT … Ephes. 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. The PURPOSE of the “Great White Throne” judgment is to reward the wicked for their wickedness. They AREN’T judged out of the “book of life” … they’re judged out of
the “books” … of works. There are no good works that they can point to … BECAUSE …
salvation doesn’t come by “works”.
6. Their monuments that they built will be gone. The charities that they gave to will be
destroyed. The churches that they attended have been dissolved. They have no treasures
stored up in Heaven. They have no inheritance, because they aren’t a child of God. Their
whole life centered on planet earth … AND … now it’s GONE! They have nothing to point
to … it’s all GONE.
7. The “books” will condemn them. The “book of life” is just there to SUPPORT the verdict
… an awful BLANK with your name no where to be seen.
8. In 20:13 we see the TRIAL. All the LOST will appear. The SEA will give up its dead. The
2nd RESURRECTION will take place … the resurrection of all the LOST.
9. John 5:28-29 – “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto
the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
V. THE VERDICT!
A. There’s 1000 years that separate the 2 resurrections.
1. When Jesus comes at the Rapture, those Christians who have already died will come
with Him to receive their glorified bodies … the 1st RESURRECTION.
2. Those of us who are taken in the Rapture, our bodies will instantly be changed into our
new glorified bodies.
B. What about the resurrection of the LOST? They will ALSO receive a resurrected body …
ONLY … it will be different. It will be a body fitted for destruction. They will be able to burn in the Lake of Fire for eternity … YET … never be burned up.
C. - THE REWARDS – The PURPOSE of the “Judgment Seat Of Christ” is to reward His bride.
The PURPOSE of the “Great White Throne” judgment is to REWARD those who rejected Him.
TAKE A LOOK ATTHE VERDICT – 20:14. 14Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second £death.The 2nd Resurrection results in the 2nd DEATH. You see, the 1st DEATH doesn’t end it all, does it? There IS life after death. Hebrews 9:27 – “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
DEATH is just the beginning of eternity.
WHERE you spend eternity is determined BEFORE you die the 1st time. Afterwards, it’s too late.
If you are a Christian, you are born TWICE … AND … you die once.
If you are LOST, you are born once, and you DIE twice. This 2nd death is the gateway to the Lake of Fire.
See 20:15 – There is NO APPEAL … the verdict is FINAL. The PENALTY is eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. No hope … no peace … no end. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Jesus offers an alternative to the Lake of Fire. Jesus said in John 6:37 – “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Jesus wants to save you from the penalty of your sins … AND … be the Lord of your life. If you’ve never come to Him, won’t you come to Him tonight.
The good news is this – that if tomorrow is cancelled, and you are in Christ – don’t worry about it. Because the day after tomorrow has already been planned for you. You will spend eternity in heaven before the Lord. The choice is yours and you must make it before tomorrow is cancelled.