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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012


Jesus spake a parable unto them that they ought always pray and not to faint saying, there was in a city a judge who feared not God, nor regarded man. A poor widow came and besought him to avenge her of her adversary.

This is a prayer that every Christian needs to pray every day, “Lord, avenge me of mine adversary,” because every Christian from the most astute scholar, down to the grade-school dropout, must deal with the same adversary. Peter identifies our adversary in the 5th chapter of his first epistle, “Be sober, be vigilant, for your adversary the Devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he might devour.” And that adversary has devoured many; he especially likes to devour liberal scholars. In fact, he has swallowed many of them whole; and it always gives him a bad case of acid reflux. Avenge me of mine adversary.

Jesus also advised us to pray always. We can always pray on our bed like Hezekiah who hearing that he would die turned his face to the wall, and prayed a prayer that went right through the plaster, took a right angle turn and went straight up to God, and his prayer was answered. Pray without ceasing. You can pray always like Hannah, who prayed without words, but merely moved her lips. They thought she was drunk, but God read her lips, and she had a son named Samuel. The list goes on: you can pray in the wilderness like Hagar, you can pray like Paul and Silas at midnight, you can pray like Peter on the housetop, you can pray like Jesus on the mountaintop, you can pray like David in a cave, you can pray like Simeon in his old age, when he found the Lord as an infant, and you can pray like Stephen at the moment of death. Pray without ceasing. You can pray a short prayer like Peter when he tried to walk on the water, and began to sink; he prayed, “Lord, save me!” The Lord lifted him up, and while he and the Lord walked back to the boat, the other Apostles were singing, “I was sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore.”

And remember, if Jonah could pray in the belly of a whale, you can pray anywhere. Pray without ceasing.

If the Christian prays always, he has a pretty good shot of having his prayer answered, because Jesus said, “If the unjust judge granted her request, just to get rid of her, how much more shall God avenge His elect, and yet He is long-suffering over them.” But remember, even the unjust judge answered her prayer only after a while. And sometimes the Lord who loves us will answer our prayers after a while, like Elijah prayed for rain on the mountain, and had to pray seven times before he got it. Pray without ceasing.

But the Christian has the greatest advantage in prayer because he is one of the elect, one of those who have been predestined to go to Heaven. Many in various groups believe in predestination; everything in life is a part of God’s plan. One woman told me she believed in predestination so much, that she believed what will be, will be, even if it never comes to pass.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I too, believe in the doctrine of election. It works this way, God votes for you to go to Heaven, the Devil votes for you to go to Hell, and then you cast the deciding vote. If you cast your vote for the Heaven party, you will win the election by a landslide. As long as there is a “Whosoever will” in the Bible, I have something to say about my salvation. Peter said on the Day of Pentecost, “Save yourselves from this evil generation.” Pray without ceasing.

And then Jesus made this statement, “But when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” We may wonder why Jesus referred to His Second Coming, when He was telling us to pray. And then we look back, and notice that when Jesus told this parable in Luke 18, it was the continuation of the speech He was making in the 17th chapter about unbelief of the world in the last days, about the Second Coming of Jesus. When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth? Pray without ceasing.

Regarding the Second Coming in the previous chapter, Jesus said, “For as the lightning, when it lighteneth out of one part of the Heaven, shineth unto the other part under Heaven, so shall the Son of Man be in His day.”

When we see the lighting there is always a clap of thunder that follows. Peter says, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief and the heavens will pass away with a great noise. The elements being on fire will melt with a fervent heat, and the earth and all things therein shall be burned up.” The great noise must be the sound of celestial thunder that will attend the Lord’s lightning-fast return. No wonder He said, “When the Son of Man cometh shall he find faith on the earth?” Pray without ceasing.

The day of the Lord will come as Jesus promised; that day when the sun is turned into darkness, the moon into blood, the heavens removed as a scroll, the stars falling from Heaven as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken by great wind, and the Lord shall descend with a shout, and the trumpet sound, the dead in Christ raised up, and death swallowed up in victory. No wonder Jesus said, “When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?” Pray without ceasing.

So the Lord instructs us by comparing the last days with the days of three individuals: NOAH, LOT, and LOT’S WIFE. Regarding NOAH, Moses said, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, and the earth also was corrupt before God.” It is the opinion of the advertisers that Americans are a people who think evil continually. The shows on television and the porn magazines are specially made for a people who are spiritually and sexually depraved. In addition to this, the world in the days of Noah was filled with violence. These words give us some insight as to the spiritual conditions of the people in the days of Noah. Violence is also one of the characteristics of people just before the Lord’s return. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man. When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth? Pray without ceasing.

Note also what the people of Noah’s day had in common with today, is their lack of faith in the Word of God. God told Noah, “I, even I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh.” He told Noah to build the ark, and Noah believed the Lord. While Noah built the ark, he preached with the Bible in one hand, and a hammer in the other. Aside from his own family he did not see one convert to his ministry. Next, Moses talked about the days of LOT.

As it was in the days of Lot so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man. Both Jude and Peter give us some insight. Jude says, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, going after strange flesh are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Then Peter says, “Lot was vexed with the filthy lifestyle of the wicked: for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.”

Whenever you read of the city of Sodom in the Bible, everybody knows what made them famous, or infamous, whichever the case may be. And remember Jesus said, “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from Heaven, and destroyed them all.” The moral fiber of people in both cases had been shredded and had disintegrated. Lot was vexed by the lifestyle of the Sodomites, yet did not seem to be in any hurry to leave. The angels took him, his wife and two daughters by the hand to lead them out of the city and said, “Escape for thy life!”

Sometimes the Church seems to linger in evangelism when they should be crying out to the world, “Escape for thy life!” There needs to be a sense of urgency in the invitation as the terms of pardon are laid out, “Escape for thy life!” In most congregations the emphasis is on making the assembly feel comfortable and full of self-esteem, and inspired, instead of being troubled with their spiritual life. Escape for thy life!

On this broadcast we continue to sound forth the fire alarm, “Escape for thy life!” We remind you of the terms of pardon laid down by Peter on the Day of Pentecost, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The message should come through loud and clear, “Escape for thy life!” As it was in the days of Lot so shall it be in the days when the Son of Man shall be revealed. Pray without ceasing.

And then Moses mentioned LOT'’S WIFE, “Remember Lot’s wife?” What can we remember about this woman? Remember her because she is lost for all eternity in spite of the fact that she was a member of the saved community. She was personally acquainted with Uncle Abraham, yet she was lost. Remember Lot’s wife!

Remember her in spite of the fact that she was married to a pious husband. Years later, Peter would call him righteous Lot. She could not ride to Heaven on the coattails of Lot. Remember Lot’s wife!

Remember her because she entertained heavenly visitors in her home. Two angels had spent the night with her family, and yet she was lost. We also have entertained a heavenly visitor. Many a person who has received the gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit has fallen away. Remember Lot’s wife!

Remember her because she looked back from behind. She was leaving Sodom, but Sodom had not left her. Many a person has come into the fellowship of the Church of Christ, left the world, but the world is still in them. They look back from behind. Remember Lot’s wife! As it was in the days of Lot’s wife so shall it be when the Son of Man shall be revealed. Pray without ceasing.

As you read this account someone might notice that the Lord did not mention the sins listed in the Old Testament. His comment on the conditions of the last days regarded some things that don’t appear wrong at all. He mentioned such things as eating and drinking, of marrying and giving in marriage. Then again how about what He said about buying, selling, planting, and building. What is wrong with any of those things? They are all necessary. What’s wrong with marrying? What’s wrong with planting? If the farmers don’t plant this year we all are in real trouble. What’s wrong with that? What is wrong with buying and selling? I would hate to think that if I went to the super market I would find the place pad-locked and they could not sell, and I could not buy. What is wrong with buying a house, or a car, or selling such things? Nothing! Then why did Jesus bring it up? There are at least two reasons.

The first reason: Jesus went back to the days before the flood, thousands of years ago, to show us that the nature of people has not changed. They ate, drank, planted, bought, sold, married, were given in marriage, and then they committed the same sins that people do today. They were on a collision course with destruction; some now are on a collision course with hell fire.

The second reason Jesus mentioned these things that are alright in themselves was to point out the fact that these ancients were just like us also, in spite of all our advancements in science. I read a sermon preached by Martin Luther in the year 1522 in which he predicted the end of the world was coming soon because they had advanced so much in knowledge. He said we now have the printing press, and have invented gunpowder. The only difference now, and in the ancient world, and the days of Martin Luther, is the fact that all our learning and inventions have taught us how to kill each other quicker, and with greater dispatch.

The good things we have now as well as then, have not changed. They thought, “Let the good times roll, they will never end. They go on forever, nothing can stop it; my house, my car, my family, my money, my sports team, my television programs, my movies, and my job.” This is the sum total of life. It goes on and on and on endlessly. And then one day, surprise, surprise, the flood came in Noah’s day, and the fire fell on Sodom, the twin towers fall; Americans get antsy for a few days. The biggest sin of all in both cases was greater than all their violence, perversion, and corruption. The greatest sin of all is that they, like us, lived with no preparation for eternity. When the Son of Man cometh will He find faith on the earth? Pray without ceasing.

There is one statement that Jesus made regarding Lot’s wife that needs emphasis. He said it six times; twice in Matthew, once in Mark, twice in Luke, and once in John. He repeated it more than any other statement that He made while on earth, “Whosoever shall seek to gain his life shall lose it: but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Jesus concluded His message on His Second Coming with these words, “And he said unto them, wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” Eagles seem to be a generic term for buzzards since the eagle does not eat dead meat. Wherever you find a dead body you will see the buzzards gather together.

The lesson of Jesus on the buzzards is clear. Whenever this world becomes as morally rotten, putrefied, and stinking, as it was in the days of Noah, Lot, and Lot’s wife, that condition will draw the Judgment of God.

At such a time as this just look up, and by the eye of faith you can see the buzzards making lazy circles in the sky over the rotting carcass of humanity. How long can God endure the stench, the foul odor of a drug-infested, sports-crazed, sexually-perverted, and violent, pleasure-mad world? It is in days like these that Jesus referred when He said, “When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”