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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1364

Lift Up Your Heads

November 25, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: But I’ll tell you, we have a God who is absolutely on schedule doing something that is eternal and the patience that He has — think of the horror that you and I sometimes feel as we look at stuff that’s happening. Oh, my God! And you think of the pain that must be in God’s heart as He looks at His creation and sees the stuff that’s happening. You think He doesn’t care?

But I’ll tell you what, there is a faithfulness, there is a capacity — I can’t even put it into words. The God that we serve, the amazing love and mercy that He has, that He’s not gonna just get angry and blow off and react emotionally and just do like we would do and say, the heck with all of them! I’m doing away with it! This is a God who is going to finish what He started.

And when we get there, we will stand before the judgment, and everybody will know, God, You have done exactly what is right. Lord, we can do nothing but acknowledge that You are right in everything, every judgement You have made. Everybody’s got exactly what they deserve.

Of course, those who’ve come to Him, we haven’t gotten what we deserve. He got what we deserved. Thank God! So anyway, there’s this sense. You know, why is the delay, why the delay? Why are so many bad things happening in the world?

But then he says, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” That’s something that you know, was pictured so many times years ago in very graphic visions the Lord gave where God’s people were lifted up from the earth and as they were lifted up, fire was falling. Folks, it’s gonna be real. It’s gonna be real.

And there’s a part of me that says, hasten the day. At the same time, Lord, don’t do this until the last one could get in. God, get hold of hearts. God, do what it takes. God don’t leave so and so out. Don’t leave anybody out that can possibly surrender to You. Oh God, don’t be in a hurry.

That’s the only reason that He’s not in a hurry. He’s focused, not on the terribleness of the world, He’s focused on His kingdom and what He’s doing that’s eternal. Folks, it’s gonna be right when it gets done.

But now, the implications for God’s people: “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?” Hmm, good question. I mean, you know, when we think about living our lives in this world in the light of what we know! I mean, if God’s word is true, and God’s word will never pass away, shouldn’t we take this seriously? Should we not see our world and our society and our own lives in it in the light of this?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah, God, help us. Man, it’s so easy to just tune stuff out. I confess, I find myself doing that. I mean there’s so much stuff that’s going on, you say, oh, the heck with it. I’m just gonna live my life. I mean, it’s just terror here, trouble there, disaster there, crime there. But I’ll tell you, God wants us to reckon on what’s happening and be aware and awake in the midst of it.

“…What kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God….” Look forward! Isn’t that something? It’s the same kind of sense — Peter was there when he heard Jesus’ words when Jesus spoke those earlier words about when you see this, stand up, and lift up your heads. See, he’s reiterating that same sense in what he’s writing here.

“…Look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.” You know, you think about it. A God who can simply speak and everything happens, can just as easily speak and make it go away. Man, you think there’s a solidity to this universe? God is bigger than all of this, everything you can possibly see, everything the scientists think they’ve discovered.

“But in keeping with his promise….” Oh, there’s one of those great “buts” again. “But in keeping with his promise…” See, we’re not worried about that part of it. “…We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”

Now, I know we sing about it, but nowhere in the Word are we told we’re gonna live in heaven forever. Did you know that? There’s no place where it says we’re going to heaven, and we’re gonna live there forever. The picture in Revelation is something coming down from heaven to earth, and it’s a new earth. It’s not this earth. God is gonna create a perfect world, another planet beyond anything we can imagine here, and it will be inhabited by all of His people from all the ages. Praise God!

There won’t even be any sea there. Now, sorry if you like to sail, but I mean, there’ll probably be water, but there won’t be any seas to separate mankind. We’re gonna all be one. Praise God! That’s what we’re looking for, folks. Are we living in the light of that? Are our daily lives lived with the sense, this is where I’m going?

I see what’s happening. I pray that God’s will will be done in the midst of all the chaos, but I also pray that God will keep me awake and help His people to wake up, save everyone He’s gonna and that His kingdom will simply go forward, and I’ll be part of that. And He will strengthen me, because I’m gonna have to stand against a world that is under the dominion of Satan.

You know, I’ve noticed many times and I’ve taken note, I guess, and I’ve made the point before in Revelation 20. I’m not gonna turn over there, but you get this picture of Satan being loosed. What does he do? He gathers the nations against the people of God. And the picture there is of a camp. I mean, this is all pictured in symbolic terms. But there is a picture of a world under Satan’s dominion that has surrounded the camp of the saints.

It doesn’t sound like it’s gonna look good. It’s gonna look like Satan has won. I don’t know how many saints will still be here. We know some will. I don’t know how many will go by way of the bullet or the sword. But I know where we’re going regardless of how we get there. Praise God!

But I’ll tell you, the picture there is Satan has — it looks like he has taken over. He is ready to stamp out the name of God, the name of Jesus from the world and just utterly crush the saints and go on and live in his kingdom. At that time, God’s gonna come, and that’s gonna be curtains for this world. Praise God! We know, like Jimmy Robbins says, we know, we’ve read the last chapter and we know how it turns out. Praise God! I want to be part of that, don’t you?

So, “…we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation….”

Now see, he’s making the same point again. You want to know why God’s waiting? You want to know why God doesn’t intervene in every little thing and stop all the bad stuff? He is being patient, because His purpose, in the midst of all of this, is being fulfilled. That’s what the heart of God is wrapped up in. Don’t worry, He will take care of everything else and straighten it all out when the time comes. But God is focused on the people that He is calling to something that is eternal.

Folks, that’s what we need to be focused on. We need to be awake and aware and looking to Him and learning from Him. God is doing things in our lives right now, because it may well be the calm before the storm. You’re saying, boy, if this is the calm, I don’t want the storm. Well, God is getting us ready right now with the things that we are learning from Him. We are learning how to handle things. We are learning how to find rest in Him, find hope in Him in the midst of difficult circumstances.

We’re coming to the point where people are passing on to the other side, and we’re learning how to rest and rejoice and see beyond the grave and beyond all the things that pertain to this world. God is taking us exactly where we need to be to prepare us for whatever is coming. And the same God who has done that will be with us no matter what happens. That’s His promise. He’ll be with us ‘til the end of the age. Thank God!

So now, Peter’s reiterating this that he said earlier. “Bear in mind…” don’t forget, “…that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.” So, praise God! I mean, there are so many things you could get into here, but it’s difficult to do this without going back to a very wonderful passage that’s in Romans chapter 8.

You know, thinking about this, there are several aspects of truth that I believe God wants us to focus on. One, is simply that we live with the awareness of what’s happening. We know where the world is going. We don’t have to be surprised by it. We need to have a clear reckoning and not be surprised and not say, oh, my God, we’ve got to fix this like we’re gonna straighten it out and turn everything around in the world. We can stand against it and stand for what’s right, but we’re not gonna change the trajectory of the world.

We need to understand where it’s going and why it’s going and realize this is time to lift up our heads. This is time to be awake and aware, okay? But he also wants us not to be afraid. There is no reason for any of us to sit here and cower in fear. Oh, my God, what’s going to happen?

I’ve — you know, God wants us to realize that He’s gonna be with us however He takes us out of this world. Our hope does not lie here. Folks, if you know Him, if we know Him, we have nothing to be ultimately afraid about. God will take us through.

So, anyway, but also, He wants us to know that we need to be ready to stand. We need to be learning from Him, drawing upon Him so that we will be able to overcome and stand, and we will not give in to what the devil wants to do in our lives. He would destroy us and take away our confidence, cause us to run the other way. And God is gonna bring us through if we’ll look to Him. So anyway, praise the Lord!

Where do you start here? Verse 18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.”

That’s what’s gonna happen when Jesus comes. See, there’s going to be a glory, a radiance. Jesus spoke about it that we will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of our Father. That’s amazing. Only God could do such a thing. But there’s gonna come a day when Jesus is gonna unveil every one of His sons, every one of His sons and daughters, every one of His children. And we will be radiant in white, delivered from all of this.

And He’s gonna be able to point to us and point us out to the world and say, this is what I’ve been doing. I’m revealing right now in the coming of Christ exactly what I have been doing. There’s coming a day when that’s gonna be revealed.

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” That’s the new creation.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit…” See, we’ve been born of His Spirit. He lives in here now. “…Groan inwardly as wait eagerly for our adoption as sons.” Now, what does that mean? What are we looking for? What are we groaning about, especially when you get older?

( laughter ).

It’s the redemption of our bodies. God’s gonna take us out of this. We don’t have to live with these old dying bodies anymore. Praise God! Won’t that be awesome? The redemption of our bodies is the hope.

“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all.” See, hope is a future thing. “Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Because hope is not just a “hope so,” wishful thinking kind of thing. This is a confident expectation powered by God’s Spirit about something that has not happened yet. It’s something that is able to carry us through today, because we know by the authority of what God has said that it’s coming, and it’s real. I’ll tell you, if you know Him, that’s available to you.

Now, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

Now, you’ve never heard this verse before, have you? “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

Now how certain is this? “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who stands outside of time. He can call all of these things as though they’d already happened. He’s not bound by anything that binds us. Praise God! That’s the God we serve.

“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Folks, that’s something we need to live in the light of every single day. When you read the headlines, when you look at what has happened, is happening, might happen, if God is for you, who can be against you? Who can be against you?

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Why would God do all of that and then say, oh well, I ain’t gonna follow through. No! He’s gonna give everything. He’s gonna do everything He has ever promised! That is the down payment! That’s the thing that gives us certainty, is what He did through His Son, not just the death, but the resurrection that authenticated everything He ever did and ever accomplished.

“It is God who justifies.” He’s the One who declare people righteous. See, He’s the One we need to be right with. How is that achieved? Certainly not by anything we do! But I’ll tell you, God is able to justify, to declare righteous, not because I earned it or deserved it, but because I put my faith in what He did for me, end of story. One hundred percent of my hope is based on Him, nothing in me.

So now, who’s gonna say, you’re condemned? “It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more that that, who was raised to life—is at the right of God and is also interceding for us.” Praise God!

Now, this is something we need, as we go forward, and, young people, like I say, I don’t know what you may face as in this world. I don’t know what us older ones may face in this world. I don’t know what’s gonna happen and I don’t know when it’s gonna happen. But I know things are not gonna go good for this world. And I’ll tell you, the Lord wants us to get this, and to have it so embedded in our hearts and minds, that we will stand fast and look to God regardless of how it plays out.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble…” You know, we blow right through this sometimes. “…Or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” We’ve got brothers and sisters right now, this morning who are facing these things in many parts of the world. Has God failed them? God is absolutely working out a purpose that is eternal.

Some of our brothers and sisters are getting a one-way ticket to Glory. Isn’t that an awesome thing? If we live here, we get to serve Him, and we get to stand here and give Him honor by standing in the face of the darkness. If they kill us for it — you know, Jesus said, don’t be afraid of somebody who can kill the body. After they kill the body, that’s all they can do! It’s over! They — yeah, what are they gonna do? Bury it? I mean, so what? God’s gonna raise it up. They can’t touch what God has done in the heart of anyone who’s been born of His Spirit. It cannot be touched!

( congregational amens ).

It’s eternal! Thank God for what He’s done for us. So, any of these things, “Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Now, that’s something we’ve talked about lately. Our life in this world is not about living life to the full in this world. It’s about something dying. That’s different for every single person, as to how that plays out. But folks, my purpose in this world is not to preserve this, ultimately! It’s to serve Him regardless! It’s to say, God, my life is in Your hands! I am Yours! What You have put in here will live forever! However this needs to die in order to allow that to live, You work that out. Nothing can separate me from You.

Folks, if your life is something you’re gonna cling to and hang on to like this is all you’ve got, that’s all you’ve got. You need to think about that.

“No…” Paul says, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors….” Not just a conqueror. That would be great, but more than conquerors! How? Through our great strength and holiness? No, this is through Him. “…Through him who loved us.”

Now, here’s something that’s amazing. You think about the miracle God performed in this man’s life. He was a man who went around murdering Christians thinking he was serving God. You think God can’t save somebody who’s in that condition? God can save anybody. That was Paul’s testimony. If He can save me, He can save anybody. We need to pray and trust God to do what He’s able to do.

But here’s a man who went from that kind of a conviction. I’ve got to kill these people! They’re enemies of God! Do away with them! I’m serving God in doing that! He says now, “I am convinced…” I’m persuaded! “…That neither death nor life…” none of these things, “…neither angels nor demons…” You don’t have to be afraid of the Devil. “…Neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, now anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Praise God!

What a simple, powerful message. And you can go on and on through the scriptures. But you see? You get the tenor of this. God wants us to know what’s gonna happen, not be surprised by it, not be dismayed by it, not be fearful along with the people of the world who will be afraid, but to recognize the trend and where we’re going, and to say, God, these are signs that our time is up. Time is coming! The Kingdom is getting nearer and nearer, and I’m looking forward to that! I’m expecting it!

Oh God, give me the strength. Give me the conviction to be able to stand in the face of this. I don’t have it in myself, Lord. But You do. You can help me. So, I’m trusting in You. And I absolutely stake everything on the promises of God, that He will be with His own until the end, and there will come a day when all will be put right. He will come. His angels will go out, as Jesus said in Matthew 24, and they will gather His own people.

The graves of His people will be emptied. We will appear with Him in the heavens in white, and the world will look on in terror and realize they have been on the wrong side. And yet, when they stand there they can’t blame God for it. They’re gonna have to say, I heard His voice, and I said, no. I heard it again, and I said, no!

That’s where things are headed. Oh folks, lift up your heads. You see all the stuff that’s going on in the world. Lift up your heads. Your redemption is drawing nigh. We have every reason to be serious and sober, but joyful at the same time, trusting in His righteousness, trusting in His purpose, because nothing will stop it!

We’re on the winning side, because Jesus is the ultimate winner. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings! He’s on a throne! He reigns! He is the Judge before whom we will stand! And yet, it’s on the basis of what He did that we will stand before Him and say, thank You, Lord. You’re my Judge, but You’re my Savior, too. Praise God! Praise the Lord!