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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1270

A Time to Prepare
Part One

February 5, 2017

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1270 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, Matt mentioned this morning that it is the New Year. And I know a lot of you, if you’ve paid attention to the news at all, you know that the year we just came from has been kind of an unsettling one in many ways. We see, particularly those of God’s people, see beyond just the superficial, the news headlines and all those kind of things, we see the hand of Satan at work, manipulating events, using people, pulling the strings behind movements, pulling the strings behind governments, simply moving us in the direction of his vision. And his vision has always been to rule over this planet and to drive the influence of God out of it.

And we see those kinds of things happening and, of course, a lot of people are reacting as Jesus said. There would be, “Men’s hearts…” he said on one occasion, “…failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” (KJV). And you know, from the things the Lord has shown us in the Word, that’s enough, but also confirmed it in many other ways over the years, is that we are heading down toward the climax of history.

And, we know what…we have a sense of what it’s going to look like because God has been striving with man for 2,000 years. The Gospel has gone out and there has been a reach of God to hearts, but there’s also something else that’s going on. And that’s when people come in contact with truth, they come in contact with God and with His effort to reach their hearts, and they go up like this and they say, no!

And what happens when that happens, long enough? When people say, no, there comes a point when God says, all right you can have what you want. And I believe we are seeing that more and more. And the vision of the end is going to be a time of darkness greater than this world has ever seen.

You know, it’s easy for us here in America to suppose that the way of life that we have inherited here with its freedoms, its relative prosperity, its relative peace…yes, there have been shakings here and there, but basically we have had a stable society. We suppose that this is normal and that if there’s a place in the earth where Christians are being persecuted, that’s the exception. That’s something that’s terrible. It’s awful if it’s happening.

And you know, the truth is, it’s the other way around. I’ll tell you what, we…I’ve said this before and I just have this sense, because what’s on my mind and my heart is looking ahead and things that God wants us to be aware of and wants us to be becoming ready for because, I’ll tell you, Christians in America are not ready for what’s coming right now. Even those of us who know, who mentally know what’s coming, I’ll guarantee there’s not a person here, if we were to go around to poll people’s lives and hearts, we’re not ready for what’s coming.

And I believe that’s what’s on God’s heart, is getting God’s people ready to stand for Him in an hour of darkness. He has never…so much of what’s been said, so much of what’s been sung has been exactly in line with what I’ve been feeling. God has also said, He’d never leave us or forsake us, hasn’t He? Praise God!

I don’t know exactly what order to say what I’ve had on my heart. I started to say that people of the world are really uneasy. I mean, they’re beginning to realize there’s no place safe. We could wake up one morning and suddenly there’d be a terrorist attack right in our midst. But I’ll tell you, I believe with all my heart that God is going to bring His people to a place where we are going to able to come through whatever comes upon this world.

And I want to say today…I have no idea about time frame. I know a lot of people…I think I mentioned this a while back…a lot of people thought something terrible was gonna happen last September. They had all the dates calculated and it was gonna be…you know, all hell was gonna break loose.

And I was just walking the other day and meditating on why in the world things are going on in this country. It was 50 years ago that people were quoting the saying…I’m not sure who originated it, but quoting the saying, “If God does not judge America, He’s going to have to resurrect Sodom and Gomorrah and apologize.” That was 50 years ago! Look at what’s going on today. We’ve seen judgments happen on this country, but…I mean, is that true?

( congregational response ).

With judgment…on the whole world for that matter, but with judgment on America with what we have had as a heritage and what the movers and shakers of our society, the ones that are driving our culture, what they’re doing, the utter shaking their fists in God’s face…judgment is not a matter of ‘if’; judgment is simply a matter of when.

And I was just thinking about this, and just sort of musing…and sort of unconsciously asking, Lord, why? Why hasn’t judgment come? And I had this sense in my spirit…it’s a time to prepare. God is merciful to His people and God, I believe with all my heart, is seeking to work in us to help us get ready. He’s not just gonna, all of sudden, wham, for people that have not had an opportunity to get ready.

Sadly, I think there are gonna be a lot of people that aren’t ready. But I want to be one that says, Lord, my life is not about this world. My life is about serving You. My life is…help me to get my priorities right. Help me to understand what’s going on. Help me to understand where this world is going.

Folks, if you are just living your life and thinking, the world is simply going to go on, one generation will follow another, and we’ll have our lives, our families, our careers. We’ll go to church and participate in that, and it’s just basically gonna go on. I’ll tell you what, I think you’re gonna have a rude awakening at some point. It simply isn’t gonna happen, because this world does have a climax.

It’s just like it was in the days of Noah. I mean, the people who were not tuned in to God had reached a point where, as far as they were concerned, we’re just gonna eat, drink and be merry, tomorrow is gonna be like today, life is good, we’re just gonna go on. And all of a sudden, disaster hit them.

But I thank God that God’s people are not in that place. Praise the Lord! As I said, this is something that could cause fear in a lot of us and I do not believe that’s what God wants. There’s no cause to be afraid, but there is a cause to wake up and realize.

You know, I had occasion also to watch a movie that I had picked up. It was a Christian movie that was never in the theaters, but I was just curious about it. And one little incident in the movie was worth the price of the movie. And it was an observation that one character made to another who was kind of in a weak place spiritually. And then it was followed by a question. And the observation was that, a lot of people become Christians by ‘add-ition’ and others by ‘sub-mission.’

Those who come to Christ, supposedly at least, by addition are basically adding Jesus to their life. But those who obviously come by submission, it’s an entirely a different thing. It becomes not your life anymore, it becomes His life. And so, he looked the other character, this young man looked at the other character in her eyes and said, “Which one are you?” And in the story, the Lord used that to convict her and bring her to a place of real submission and repentance.

I might ask that question to everybody here and everybody who may hear this. Which are you? Have you simply, at some point, added Jesus to your life? You figure if I just go to church and acknowledge Him and believe in Him in some sense, everything is gonna be all right.

I’ll tell you what, we’re gonna come down to a place where someone may hold a sword to your neck and say, “Are you a Christian?” I want to be like that one who was able to say, “Jesus, I love You, I commit myself into Your hands.” She felt perfect peace in that.

And I know the reaction of almost everybody would be the same as mine. I’m not like that. I’m not that strong. I couldn’t do something like that. And the answer is, you’re right. But the answer is that whatever God calls us to endure, whatever He calls us to go through, His enabling power will be there when we need it.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! You remember…I think I’ve used this example before and it was from the life of Corrie ten Boom when they were facing what they were facing in World War II. And she asked her father…or they were talking, and as best as I remember her reaction was, I couldn’t do that. What if we’re persecuted? What if we’re thrown in prison for this? What if we’re…and of course, all that happened later. But, what if? And the idea was, I couldn’t do that. I’m not strong.

And wise man that he was, he referred to times when they would travel somewhere and they would get on a bus or a train, or something like that. And he says, when we travel like that, when do I give you the ticket, she being a little girl? And she said, well, when we’re ready to step on the train. And he said, that’s exactly how God will be with His people.

When you and I have to step into something, when you and I have to face something, that’s when help comes. That’s when God gives the grace that He has promised. There’s not a person here who is able to even begin to face things that God will allow in this world and in our lives.

How many of you have been in situations in your life already? You’ve already tasted what I’m talking about. There are things that there’s no way you could have faced it. There’s no way going in, you could feel, hey I can handle this.

You know something? We are so deluded by thinking we can do stuff. I’ve said it before. We have this “delusion of adequacy” — let alone, delusions of grandeur. I’m talking about delusions that we can actually handle life and handle stuff that comes along.

And I’ll tell you, salvation is not about God bucking us up and trying to encourage us and be a cheerleader so we can be strong. It’s about replacing all that we are with all that Christ is! It’s not about gearing up your strength and your will to face something. It’s about saying, oh God, this is completely beyond my power. This is…I’m in the deep end of the pool here and there’s no possible way I can face what You’ve allowed to happen in my life. But Lord, I just cast it upon You. And you know, we can sing about that all we want, but do you know how we learn that?

( congregation inaudible ).

Would that it were some other way, in our thinking. But there’s only one way that you and I will ever learn that His grace, His strength is enough. It’s when that’s the only thing standing between us and catastrophe…His strength. When we are brought to that place when all we can do is throw up our hands and say, oh God, I’m helpless here.

But do you know every aspect of salvation, every aspect of our lives is about that? I mean, there are things that the Lord is dealing with me about. Anybody else here? Yeah. Areas of struggle, areas of defeat, even, areas of weakness.

And I come to realize more and more that the reason that I have a problem is that I keep trying to fix it! That’s not how it works! That’s not how salvation works! It’s bringing my brokenness, my weakness, my nothingness to Him, laying it at His feet and simply taking that perfect provision of the cross and the resurrection! Praise God! Anybody here know what I’m talking about in any measure at all?

( congregational response ).

But I sense going forward…from one standpoint we’ve got…there are a lot of fearful things coming on this world. But I believe, as I’ve said, with all my heart, God is going to have a people that will be brought through. Some of them will come through by laying down their lives and getting a quick one-way ride to heaven. Praise God!

In some ways, that’s the…you’d almost rather. You get into a situation that’s so bad, you just say, okay Lord, I’m ready for You to take me home. I’m done with this world. But in other cases, God is going to miraculously bring people through, just like He did with that lady and her daughter, because He’s not done and there’s a testimony that’s gonna go forth.

There are others that are gonna have ‘Jesus dreams.’ They’re gonna meet the Man in white and wonder about Him, and need to know, and need to find out that there’s hope beyond what they’ve been brought up in. I’ll tell you what, God is using the things that are…the chaos in the Middle East right now. God is using it in amazing ways! If we could see it from heaven’s point of view, it would blow our minds to see the impossibility of situation, after situation, after situation, and yet God invades!

Jesus said, “…Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” And boy, you’ve got areas of the world where Satan has closed his gates and set guards by them and done everything possible to trap people inside systems that are just gonna take them to Hell and Jesus doesn’t pay a bit of attention to that. He goes right in after the ones that He’s gonna reach.

We’ve got an awesome Savior! We’ve got an awesome God! There’s nothing impossible with Him! And these are the lessons that He’s longing to teach us in our lives.

I want to say…I’ll just make a comment about one thing. I referred to that verse where Jesus said, “…he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” It’s not about being strong! It’s not about having willpower and a forceful personality and self-control in the human sense! The weakest child who has been born of God’s Spirit will overcome the world!

If people can meet this Jesus in the Middle East, know Him for days and weeks, and have a faith that can stand up and be courageous and bold in the face of that, knowing that at any moment someone is gonna attack them and they’re gonna die, it’s not human strength. This is a supernatural salvation that God has given to us and what He gives us will be enough. The smallest child can look somebody in the eye, powered by Jesus, powered by the Christ within, and look the Devil in the eye and say, Devil, I love Jesus, I’m His! Whether I live or die, I’m His! Praise God! It’s not about how strong we are!

But I’ll tell you, it’s about whether we’ve been born of His Spirit! That’s what’s going on in America. You’ve got so many that have filled churches that have never been born of His Spirit! But I’ll tell you, there are those who have and God is going to use the darkness of the end of the age to make a difference. And He’s going to show forth, He is going to demonstrate to the powers of darkness what His salvation is about.

Didn’t He say that in Ephesians…Ephesians 3, I believe…that we are actually a demonstration, not of our strength? God’s not gonna say, oh, look at them. They were worthy, they were strong. He’s gonna say, look at them, they were nothing, but they put their trust in Me and look what I was able to do. Praise God!

It’s not about being strong! It’s not about being anything! It’s not about being smart! When you think about how the faith breaks down to something so simple as, Jesus, I love You and I’m following You, and that conveys the idea that I am trusting, I am depending on You, I have given You my life, because it really means that, doesn’t it? Praise God!

Well, I was just thinking of a Scripture, just sitting with a cup of coffee the other morning, and just saying to myself, well, I wonder what a good Scripture would be to read. And it just came into my mind to open to the Psalms, so I did. And this was one of those times where Bible roulette worked.

( laughter ).

You open your Bible and you find your guidance by opening your Bible and pointing. But anyway, Psalm 46 was where the Bible fell to. And it just…what a tremendous Scripture in the face of what our world is going to become and what God is going to be to us, the preparation that He wants to do in our lives, for us to be able to come down to the kind of world we’re heading into, and yet to be okay, and yet to be strong, and to be all that we need to be.

And this is, let me just begin to read this. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (NIV). Boy, that’s a rich Scripture, isn’t it? Wow! “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

That sounds like pretty dramatic stuff, doesn’t it? I mean, that’s almost more than most of the Doomsday Preppers think might happen. But you know Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” And I’ll tell you what, I know from my own heart, we can read these Scriptures, we can believe them, we can profess them, we can sing about them, but somehow until we experience God in times like He’s describing here…maybe not that dramatic, but you know what I’m talking about. Until we truly experience what we sing about, the faithfulness of God in impossible situations, it’s just kind of theory.

And I sense that is what God is doing in many lives. He certainly is in mine, in one way or another. God is bringing us into situations — and this is not new Truth at all — where we have been tossed into the deep end of the pool, and we’ve been brought into a circumstance where there is no answer except, God, You’re gonna have to fix it. God, You’re going to have to act. I can do nothing about this situation, about this need. I just give You the whole issue. I’m not strong enough. I mean, it covers the whole gamut of what we experience that’s negative and difficult. How many of you know what I’m talking about?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. So, if things are not happening in your life now, they will! But you know what? God is going to do whatever it takes to break that self-reliance that is so much a barrier to what God wants to do in us and what He wants to do through us. As long as we’re trusting in ourselves, we’re gonna keep trying to ‘do.’ And God is the only One that can do what needs to be done.

And oh, I’ll tell you what, we’re gonna be…we can come to a place like he describes here. This is the voice of experience writing this, isn’t it? This is not somebody who’s just learned this in Bible School. This is somebody who’s been through some stuff that has brought them to a place of confidence! It’s brought them to a place of hope, of rest, where they actually are able to say, therefore, we will not fear.