feast: The Certainty of God's Promises
Given 07-Oct-12; Sermon #FT12-12; 50 minutes
If we measure God's promises by our own behavior, it would be discouraging and disappointing. But God Almighty can be absolutely trusted to keep all of His promises, including the blessings to Abraham and his descendants. We know for sure that Jesus Christ will return, that we, as God's called -out ones , will serve with Him for a thousand years. Massive physical blessings were given to ancient Israel during King David's and King Solomon's reign so that gold and silver were as common as field stone. King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, indicating that the country was excessively wealthy. Ephraim and Manasseh have become highly influential, protected and insulated geographically (islands, island continents, and ocean buffers) by Almighty God. Historically Britain and America have been successful militarily and economically. We need to see God in history, in current events, and in our own personal lives. God gave Britain the victory over the most massive empires. Britain became a community of nations; the sun never set on the British Empire. Then God transferred the balance of power to Manasseh, routing the mighty British military with a rag-tag group of amateur militias. America and Britain combined control 2/3 of the world's wealth. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob could have never fathomed the vastness of their offspring's holdings. The promise given to God's called out ones (Eternal Life and membership in His family) far outstrips even the physical promises to Abraham. God's laws protect us from the curses of sin while enabling us to live an abundant life. Young people, who have left God's church, have ended up in mental institutions, contracted venereal diseases, including AIDS. Without God's calling, even if we achieved all of our physical goals, perfect health, and
Now we are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, which is a promise from God: First, Jesus Christ, His Son, will return to this earth to set up His government which will be completely opposite to the government mankind has experienced to this point. Second, we—me and you—as first fruits will become spirit beings and will be given eternal life. Third, this period of time will last for 1,000 years before the Kingdom of God will start with the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven. Now that is quite a fabulous promise.
There are many promises that God makes in His Word, the Bible, but does God really keep His promises? Is God's Word really any good? Does God do what He says He will do? Is God's Word true and sure? Can we depend on God's Word? Can we rely on it, or are His promises and His words like ours?
You and I make promises—we give our word—but a lot of times we do not do what we say we are going to do. We have all kinds of reasons why we do not do what we say we will do. We have all experienced this and we have all been involved in this at one time or another. We have good intentions, do we not? But our words fall short. Our promises are not kept.
What about God? Can we really rely on and believe what He says, or does He just have good intentions like us? Is there really a difference between God's promises and ours?
Genesis 12:1-3 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all families of the earth shall be blessed.”
God promises in these three verses that Abraham's offspring would become a great nation. God also says that Abraham's offspring would be blessed and that his name will be great. He also says that others will be blessed through Abraham's offspring, and also those that do no harm to them will be blessed. But to those who do harm to Abraham’s offspring, He will punish.
These are all great promises, are they not? But does God really keep His Word—that is the question.
Genesis 22:18 “. . . in your seed all nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
So here God tells Abraham why all these promises will be kept by Him and the reason is because Abraham obeyed God in everything. Abraham did not question God; he did not quibble; he did not resist; he did not argue or rebel. Now we are really good at all this. We quibble; we justify everything we do; we resist; we argue; and we rebel.
Genesis 28:14 “. . . also your descendants shall be of the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Now God expands His promises in this verse. God says that his offspring will multiply to more people than you can imagine. God also says that his offspring will spread all over the earth; then God repeats His promise that all nations of the earth will be blessed through his offspring, and it will start with one son born to him and Sarah: Isaac. It started with one child.
Let us just look at one part of God's promise to Abraham here in Genesis 15:18.
Genesis 15:18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates.
Did God keep this one part of His promise to Abraham to give his seed this land and to make a great nation of them? Most of us, even in God's church, do not really understand the full extent of what God did in His fulfillment of this promise. This part of the promise to Abraham was fulfilled during the reigns of King David and King Solomon.
Now King David defeated many nations including Assyria. This is recorded in I Chronicles 19-20. These victories secured all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates River. This is a huge piece of territory which includes today's nations of Israel, Sinai—which is part of Egypt, the country of Jordan, a large part of the country of Syria, and a large part of the country of Iraq.
During King David's and King Solomon’s reigns, Israel was the dominant power economically and militarily in the Middle East. Israel had colonies all over the western Mediterranean. Remember the story of Jonah? Jonah fled from God. Where did he go? The Bible says he went to Tarshish. Where was Tarshish? It was probably an Israelitish colony on the coast of southern Spain. There were also colonies in the British Isles and especially in Ireland.
God had blessed Israel through King David and King Solomon far more than Abraham could have ever imagined.
Genesis 12:2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.
Do we realize just how great ancient Israel had become? Let us turn to I Chronicles 22. Now this is King David talking here. He says:
I Chronicles 22:14-16 Indeed I have taken much trouble [his trouble was that he fought many wars. He was at war quite a bit of the time.] to prepare for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them [telling Solomon that he could add to more of it if he wanted]. Moreover there are workmen with you in abundance: hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all types of skillful men for every kind of work. Of gold and silver and bronze and iron there is no limit. Arise and begin working and the Lord will be with you.
Do you know what a talent weighs? It weighs 67 lbs. or 1,072 ounces. Today gold is worth about $1,600 per ounce. So one talent would be worth about $1,715,200. 100,000 talents of gold would be worth $171,520,000,000; that is a huge chunk of change, would not you say?
God promised that Israel would control all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates River. In it huge material blessings for Israel were included, including the most powerful army in the known world at that time and a great fleet (navy), and great prestige among other nations at that time.
If King David could put together this much wealth for the Temple, how do you think the average Joe was doing? Pretty good; he was rich. Things were very good in Israel at that time. The nations had many physical blessings and much wealth during Kind David's and King Solomon’s reign.
I Kings 10:27 The king [Solomon] made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as sycamores which are in the low land.
Do you know what he is saying here? There were no sycamore trees in Israel; they did not grow there. They grow in Lebanon. They were imported from Tyre and King Hiram. Sycamore trees grow abundantly there. The nation was so wealthy during Solomon’s reign that silver was as common as rocks in the capital city of Jerusalem. Let us look at one more part of this in I Kings 10.
I Kings 10:22 For the king had merchant ships at sea with the fleet of Hiram. [Who the Greeks, by the way, called Phoenicians. This navy was made up of Israelites mostly, but also Egyptians and Phoenicians. So when you are reading history about the Phoenicians, you are reading about the Israelites.] Once every three years the merchant ships came bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.
The nation of Israel at this time was enjoying all the good things the earth had to offer. God made Israel a very great and powerful nation because He promised Abraham He would.
I Kings 11:3 And he [Solomon] had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines [can you imagine that?]; and his wives turned away his heart.
Now what was this all about? It does not make sense. What man in his right mind would want 700 wives and 300 concubines? You would go crazy in about a week. Now all of you women think that I am picking on you, but let us flip the coin over here. How would you ladies like to have 700 husbands and 300 lovers? That is a recipe for hara-kiri, is it not, and it would not take a week. I do not think that anybody in their right mind would want 700 mates and 300 lovers, especially not the wisest man in the world, King Solomon.
Do you know why God recorded this in His Word? God is showing all of humanity how great He is and how abundantly He keeps His promises. What was going on with Israel and Solomon and his 700 wives and 300 lovers was Israel was a great and powerful nation. Solomon was the wisest man in the world; he controlled the very powerful navy and army, and other countries all over the Middle East paid Solomon tribute. Israel was very wealthy.
All the countries in the Middle East wanted and made treaties, agreements, pacts, and alliances with Solomon. They cemented all this by sending Solomon their daughters and their princesses. The Bible says that Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter of Egypt. Solomon also had wives and lovers that were Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, Hittites, and the list goes on. Even the Queen of Sheba came to Solomon.
Think of this: Abraham had 3 wives and Jacob had 4 wives. How many family problems and how much heartache did this cause for both of them? Now do the math on this: 700 wives and 300 lovers. What kind of problems do you think this would create? Solomon was smarter than that. He was not actively pursuing 1000 women; this had to do with just how great our God is, how much He had blessed Israel, and how great Israel had become. God had kept His promise.
Now do you think Abraham, who was a nomad and lived in tents, and Isaac and Jacob, ever in their wildest dreams could have imagined how great their offspring would become because of a promise that God gave to Abraham and one child, Isaac?
Genesis 15:18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates.”
God did this and much more. What God did for Israel would have blown Abraham’s mind if he could have seen Israel during King David's and King Solomon's reigns. Now does God keep His promises or what? Is He going to keep His promises to us?
There is a lot more to this story, so let us turn to Genesis 48. This is the account of Jacob passing on the blessing he had received from his father, Isaac, and his father, Abraham, and ultimately from God to his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh.
Genesis 48:4 "Behold I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you, as an everlasting possession."
Genesis 48:16 The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; let my name be named upon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
Genesis 48:19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people [talking about America] and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.
We know the younger brother is Ephraim, Great Britain, and the older brother is Manasseh, the United States. Let us take a look at God's promise to Ephraim, Great Britain, first. Think about this, what did God do with Ephraim? First, He put them where they would be easily protected from their enemies. Where is Great Britain? It is on an island behind the English Channel—safe from invasion. Where is New Zealand? It is on an island. Where is Australia? It is on a whole continent that is an island. Where is South Africa? On the horn of Africa—safe from invasion—because the nations to the north of them are fairly weak countries militarily. Where is Canada? It is in northern America with the Pacific Ocean on one side the Atlantic Ocean on the other side, and the Arctic Ocean to the north, and a brother nation to the south, America, with the longest undefended border in the world between them.
Do you know that during the Cold War the Soviet Union had 20 divisions stationed on its border with China? But the border between Canada and America is undefended. It is hard to tell the difference between a Canadian and an American. If a Canadian did not say “eh” all the time, you would not know who they were; you could not tell the difference.
God put Ephraim where He could easily defend them and where they would be hard to invade. It was good that God did this; He put Great Britain on an island to protect them.
The Spanish King Philip sent his navy, the great Spanish Armada, to invade great Britain on Sunday, August 7, 1588. The fleet of the Spanish Armada landed on the English Channel, close to the cliffs of Calais, off the French coast. The Spanish fleet intended to mount the invasion and conquest of England.
King Philip of Spain controlled the strongest army and navy in Europe at that time. The success of the Spanish Armada would mean that Queen Elizabeth, viewed as a Protestant heretic, would be deposed and English people would then be subject to Spanish rule and forcibly converted back to Catholicism.
The English were fighting for their very lives, their freedom, and their way of life against the most powerful nation in Europe. Now do you know what happened? The English attacked the Spanish fleet with fire ships, and you do know what it did? Almost nothing. Two Spanish ships collided, and the Spanish abandoned them. Then the English attacked the Spanish fleet with their whole navy, and do you know what happened then? Absolutely nothing. They did not accomplish a thing.
Then the Spanish fleet, still intact, sailed up the north coast of Scotland. The Armada met very stormy weather. Who controls the weather, brethren? Many Spanish ships were wrecked and sunk. Of the 150 ships that set out from Spain, this great Armada, only 65 ships returned to Lisbon, Portugal.
God had protected Ephraim. He had sunk or destroyed 85 Spanish ships. He did what the English Navy failed to do. But King Philip of Spain did not give up; he was still the most powerful monarch in Europe. The following year King Philip sent another smaller Armada of about 100 ships to defeat the British Navy so that he could then invade Great Britain. This fleet also was defeated by stormy weather off Cornwall. The British Navy was not even engaged. God did it all, and they returned battered and beaten back to Spain.
Does God protect His people? Does God keep His promises? Yes, He does. The British were not capable of defeating the Spanish without the help of God, so God said, “This is as far as you are gonna go and that's it.” If the Spanish army could have gotten into Britain, it would have been game over for Britain. The Spanish, at that time, were the dominant military force in the world.
Now here is the question, “Do you see God in history? Do you see God in world events?” And more important than that, “Do you see God in your life?” How about all you young people, “Do you recognize God in your life?” I hope you do because if you do not you will not see the promise God has for you.
Again, on October 21, 1805, Ephraim was aided by where God had placed them on an island. This time in history the French under Napoleon were the strongest nation in the world. Napoleon had made plans to invade Britain, but he had a problem: the British Navy and the English Channel.
Napoleon ordered the French and Spanish fleets to attack and sink the British Navy so the English Channel would be open for the French invasion. Then, on October 21, 1805, the British fleet met the combined French and Spanish fleets off the Volga. The British fleet consisted of 27 ships. The 3 biggest ships mounted 100 guns each. The French and Spanish fleets outnumbered them. They had 33 ships, and 3 of them were the biggest war ships in the world. The Santisima Trinidad, which mounted 136 guns, and there were 2 smaller ships that mounted 112 guns each. Do you know what the result of this battle was? The combined French and Spanish fleets had 22 ships sunk with much loss of life. Ephraim, the British, did not lose one ship, not one. This was the most lopsided victory the British Navy ever fought.
If Reuben—France—under Napoleon could have gotten at the British army, it would have been game over again. The French army was by far the strongest military force in Europe. Napoleon and the French had defeated the Austrians, the Italians, the Germans, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Belgians, and later the Russians.
Napoleon was defeated by the weather in Russia, not the Russian army. The Russian army was in full retreat, and Napoleon even took their capitol, Moscow. The French army was unbeatable on land until the weather in Russia defeated them.
God allows things to go so far and no farther. If the British fleet would have lost the battle, the British Isles would have been open to invasion by the very powerful French army. Now do you know what the British Empire consisted of at its zenith? It consisted of 63 different countries, islands, sea gates, and mandates. The sun was always shining somewhere on the British Empire.
Another promise by God was that Israel, or Ephraim and Manasseh, would control the gates of their enemies. These are some of the gates the British and America controlled: Gibraltar, Malta, Aden, Hong Kong, the Panama Canal, union of South Africa, the Falkland Islands, the Suez Canal, the Gilbert Islands, Trinidad, the Solomon Islands, Jamaica, Singapore, the Maldives Islands, the Khyber Pass, Crete, and Cyprus.
Does God keep his promises? Yes, He does. It is very important for all of us to be able to see God working in our lives.
Then God shifts gears and starts to make Manasseh, America, a great nation. America fights its second war for independence in 1812; and do you know what happened there, brethren? In 1812 Great Britain was the greatest nation on earth, both economically and militarily. Britain had the strongest navy in the world. The sun never set on the British Empire at that time. Britannia ruled the waves. The British Navy was unchallenged in strength, and now the British were at war with the upstart Americans.
A few years before the war, the United States Congress had allocated money to strengthen the American navy. The plan was to build six 50-gun ships, one of them being "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution. These ships were to be the backbone of the U.S Navy.
Remember now in 1805, just a few years earlier, the British Navy had ships that were twice as big as the new American warships. They mounted 100 guns and the British Navy also had lots of 72-gun ships of the line.
The British Admiralty looked at the American Navy as nothing more than an irritant to them. After the British Navy had lost 5 warships to one of America’s new ships, the USS Constitution, the British Admiralty did something they had never done before (Not even in 100 years with France.) They ordered the British Navy not to engage American warships unless they outnumbered them 2:1.
How could this happen? America had a weak navy compared to the great powers of the world at that time.
America was a third world nation in 1812 with a small navy, small population, and a small economy; yet the American Navy had achieved what the French could not achieve in 100 years of war with the British. America still lost that war, but we had made quite an impression on the British
Now do you see God in history, world events, and in your life? The treaty of Ghent, which was signed on December 24, 1814, ended the war of 1812. On January 8, 1815, one more battle was fought: the battle of New Orleans. Another upstart American named Andrew Jackson decided to stand and fight one of the greatest armies in the world, the British.
Do you know what Jackson’s army consisted of? This is quite amazing, really. The Louisiana Militia, the Kentucky Militia, the Tennessee Militia, Choctaw Indians, and Jean Lafitte's pirates. This totaled 4,000 troops. This was a ramshackle force at best.
The British, under General Pakenham, had 8,000 British regulars (twice Jackson’s number) plus he had 3,000 more sailors and British marines. What General Pakenham had in mind was to take New Orleans and the vast territory America acquired from France, known as the Louisiana Purchase. He was going to take it back.
When the battle was over, you know what the result was? The British were defeated. The British had lost 2,024 causalities: 291 including General Pakenham and another General, General Gibbs; they had 1,267 wounded including another general, General Keane, and they had 484 captured. Do you know what American losses were? 71 causalities: 13 dead, 39 wounded, and 19 missing in action. How could this happen? This was a turning point for America.
Do you see God in world events and more importantly, do you see God in your life?
The War of 1812 and the Treaty of Ghent allowed America to grow economically, militarily, in population, in territory, and in prestige among the great nations of the world. Britain and America both came to national power and greatness among nations as no other nations have ever done. They grew and multiplied in wealth, resources, and power almost miraculously because of God's promises.
By 1804 London had become the financial hub of the world, and thanks to France, the original 13 colonies with the purchased Louisianan territory, we had doubled in size. At the height of the power of the United States and British Commonwealth, do you know what we possessed? We possessed two-thirds to three-fourths of the whole world’s wealth and industrial might.
Think of where we are today, brethren. We possess 75% of all gold reserves, 90% of all appliances, 80% of all aluminum, 67% of all electricity, 75% of all steel production, 58% of all pig iron, 60% of all crude oil, 75% of all zinc, 95% of all nickel, 60% of all coal that is mined, 51% of all the railroads of the world, and 80% of all the automobiles. Does God keep His promises? Yes, He does.
Do you think Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in their wildest dreams could have ever imagined what the blessing their offspring would receive from God in just a few obscure verses in the Bible?
A lot of God's Word does not go into great detail; that is what faith is all about, brethren. When you read the promises God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Bible, you have a hard time imagining what God really had in store for them. It is really mind boggling.
Now you are probably saying to yourself, “Great history lesson. What does this have to do with what we are celebrating in keeping the Feast of Tabernacles?” This has to do with the promise God has given us, you and me. It is not a physical promise that has an end to it; it is a promise of eternal life that never ends—first in the Millennium, then in the Kingdom of God forever.
This is the greatest promise in all of creation but the question is, “Do you believe that God will keep His promise?” He kept His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did He not? We are living part of that promise. Let us turn to Matthew 25. I am going to read this out of the Amplified Version.
Matthew 25:46 Then they will go away into eternal punishment, but those who are just and upright and in right standing with God into eternal life.
That is our promise. Think of the promise, brethren.
Luke 20:36 Nor can they die anymore for they are equal to the angels and are the sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Another promise, brethren, but will He keep His promise?
John 6:27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you [to each one of you, even you young people too], because God the Father has set His seal on Him.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not fully understand the magnitude of the physical blessings and promises God had for their descendants. Do you see and understand the promise God has for you? The greatest promise of God in all creation. Can you see the promise? Can you see God in your life? In Isaiah 56, God gives us an idea of what the Kingdom of God will be like, but God does not go into a lot of detail on this subject. John Reid went into more detail than God goes in to ["The Harvest is Almost In "]. Just like He did with the physical promises He gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is why faith is so important, brethren.
Can you see God in your life? If you cannot, you will not see the promise. Some of the promises are unbelievable that John went over. A new heaven and a new earth, think about that. I mean things that He does not go into detail on. God is working in our lives.
This year at the Feast of Tabernacles, there are people that are missing in action, like there is every year. They are not here; they lost sight of the promise; they could not see God in history, in world events, and in their lives, so they are not here this year; they quit. Some of the people that quit and could not see the promise were young people in their teens and twenties.
Now I would like to ask all you young people a question. Why do so many of you young people give up on your calling, lose sight of the promise, and doubt the promise of eternal life? Why is that? Why do so many of you think that God's way of life is like having handcuffs on? Why do we think that, brethren?
God's laws are designed to protect you. God's laws are not designed to handcuff you and hinder you and put you in chains. God wants all of His people to enjoy their physical life within His laws, though. God wants you to have good health and a long life. If you live your life by God's laws, then those laws will protect you.
Now you are probably saying, “How do God's laws protect us?” God's laws protect us from STDs, AIDS, venereal diseases, from drugs, and from becoming an alcoholic. It protects girls from having several kids by different men and having to raise them by yourself, and then becoming middle aged and being all alone because you are all used up.
It protects men from having several kids by different women scattered all over the country and then becoming middle aged paying child support and alimony and end up being broke. I know of so many that are broke because of their lifestyles, and they have had so many kids.
God's laws protect us from these things. It protects us from having kids that would break our hearts, because we raised them God's way, the only way, which is becoming rarer all the time in God's church. It protects us from being married multiple times and having her kids, my kids, your kids, and someone else's kids, which is extremely hard to deal with.
You see God's laws protect us from all these things. It protects us from all the nonsense that goes on in the world. But the beauty of God's laws is that we get to make choices; we get to decide. We have free moral agency; we can go God's way and reap the benefits, or we can go our way and reap the consequences. It is your choice; you get to choose.
Now you are going to think that what I am about to say is blasphemy and that anybody that does these things has one foot on a banana peel and the other foot in the church. I am talking to you young people. Think of this: there are people in God's church that have ski boats, blasphemy. They have a pilot's license and like to fly planes, some bungee jump, some have hot rod cars, some surf, some have wave runners, some golf, some belong to bowling leagues, some belong to softball leagues, some skydive, some parasail, some even put on leather and ride motorcycles. They have quads; they go to the drag strip; they have motor homes; they camp; they fish; they hunt. Brethren, I was saying that facetiously for you.
You can live within God's laws and have a good life and enjoy your life. God's laws are not confining. God wants us to enjoy our physical lives, but we must do it within God's laws. If you cannot see God in history, world events, and in your life, then you cannot see the promise God has for us, and then you make bad choices.
Now I know a lot of you young people have a hard time seeing the promise sometimes. But you know what? I have known a lot of young people over the years. I spent 20 years hauling young people around in Y.O.U. I coached kids. I talked to them and everything else. Now these are my statistics. 80% of the kids that I have known of and have left the church, they failed, brethren. Some were into drugs, some were alcoholics, some have even ended up in the loony bin; they have had mental breakdowns. Some have destroyed their health physically, and they are a wreck; some have AIDS.
I am going to tell you a story. There was a young man that was in love with my oldest daughter. He was nice young man. He went to college, went to AC, and graduated from AC, knew Mr. Armstrong. And do you know that when he was in his mid 20's I visited him the hospital 3-4 weeks before he died. He had AIDS. He went out, and he could not see the promise. He could not see what God had for him, and he went out and did what he wanted to do in life. He died prematurely. As I sat there and talked to him, my stomach did flip-flops. Have you ever seen a person dying with AIDS? They have sores all over them about as big as a fifty cent piece; they were all oozy and running. He was a wreck.
God is working in all of our lives, but people lose sight of the promise and just quit. God does not expect you or want you to have blind faith, brethren. He does not want you to believe in little green guys with antennas, orange stripes, and yellow dots. He does not want you to believe in Bigfoot, like so many Oregonians believe.
The Bible prophesies about events hundreds or thousands years before the events ever happen. There is no blind faith here, brethren. But whatever God promises or prophesies always happens. History and world events confirm this. That is why I went through what I did.
This is why God tells us in His Word to watch. He is not telling you to watch because you can do anything about what is coming. He is telling you to watch how He is working things out so that you will see what He has in store for you. You will see the promise, brethren, the promise of eternal life.
I know that all of you young people have wants, desires, and dreams; and you think you have the world by the tail. You think you can fulfill all your dreams and desires if you leave the church. I understand that. I used to be young just like you.
Now let us say that you quit your calling, and you achieved all your dreams; you achieved everything you wanted to do. You became rich like Bill Gates; you became stupid rich, and you could buy anything you wanted. You could go anywhere you wished, and you could live like a king. On top of that you had a perfect mate—the most beautiful and gifted mate you could imagine. You never fight, you never argue, and you had the perfect relationship. On top of that you had 3 perfect kids, straight “A” students, all valedictorians. They were perfect in every way, never fought, never got into trouble, never made a mess, and they were even potty trained at birth.
So now you are rich, you have the perfect mate, you have the perfect kids, and you can buy and do whatever you want. What else is there in physical life? I am going to give you two more things. 1) You and your family have perfect health. Your whole family feels like they are 18 their whole life. 2) You and your whole family lives to be 90 years old, and then you die in your sleep. That is a perfect physical life, but what are the chances of that, brethren? They are slim to none. But then what happens? They throw dirt in your face, and you wake up on the wrong side of the grass, do you not?
You know what bothers me with so many of God's people, especially so many of our young people? When it comes to math, so many of us are just plain stupid. I really hope you young people can do math. Now let me explain what I mean by that. I want you to write the number 1 down on your paper and put as many zeros behind it as you think represents eternity, and then subtract 90 years of perfect physical health and all the other stuff from it. What do you have? Eternity verses 90 years and dirt in your face.
You and I cannot understand eternity. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not fully understand the physical blessings God promised them either. You and I are the recipients of part of this physical promise God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There is no comparison between your dreams, desires, and wants to what God has promised us in eternal life described in Isaiah 65. You guys look at it and think about it. It is vague, just like the promises He gave to Abraham, but they are mind blowing.
We need to be able to see God in history and in our lives because God is working with each one of us; and if you are watching, you can see God in your life. Do you realize that God gave Abraham the promise 400 years before the promise ever began, but God kept His promise?
Do you know that in 1921 Great Britain had a population of only 42,769,196 people? Yet they controlled so much of the world that the sun never set on the empire, and that was only a physical promise to a small group of people. That is how great the physical promise was to Abraham's seed. Brethren, we need to have patience, and we need to have faith, not blind faith. We know God exists, we can see it around us in everything, and we can see it in our lives if we are aware and praying and studying.
God keeps His promises and our destiny is recorded in Romans 8. I am going to read this out of the Amplified version.
Romans 8:28-29 We are assured to know that God being a partner in our labor all things work together and are fitted into a plan for good to those who love God and are called according to His design and to His purpose. [Everything is for His purpose, brethren, and you are a part of that purpose.] For those of whom He foreknew of whom He was aware and loved beforehand, He also destined from the beginning, ordained them to be molded into the image of His Son and share inwardly His likeness, that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.
The promises to us are so far superior to the promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob it is almost unimaginable, yet some of you will not be here next year. Their promises were: physical national wealth and predominance, ours is spiritual: to be like Christ and to be part of the Family of God forever and ever. It is eternal; there is no comparison.
Let us look at Romans 3. I am going to read out of the Living New Testament.
Romans 3:3-4 True some of them were unfaithful, but just because they broke their promise to God, does that mean God will break his promise to those who love him? Of course not, though everyone else in the world is a liar God is not.
And, brethren, I know that we fall short of our promises, but God never falls short. Look for God working in your life and do the math before you make some crazy, insane, and stupid decision in your life that will take you out of the church because God will keep His promise to us.