— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, there’s a song that we sing in the choir from time to time that’s always had a special meaning for me, and a special memory and that’s, “What a Day That Will Be.” And I know I’ve probably shared this on different occasions and I don’t know if this is all repetitious, you forgive me.
But, I guess my sense about that song goes back to a time when Sue and I were in college and we used to go…we’d get up a carload many times on a Sunday evening and drive from several miles north of New York City, at the campus, into New York and then over into Brooklyn. And there was a church there, at the time, that really had a lot of life and it was a tremendous help to us at the time.
And basically, something happened on one particular night. There was a…it was one of those churches, a lot like the Brooklyn Tabernacle, just not as big. But, they tend to give an invitation at the end of a service and this particular time the invitation had to do with people who needed the Lord, needed to come to the Lord, needed to come to faith.
And, instead of singing a song like, “Come” or one of those invitation songs that we typically use, they sang this song, “What a Day That Will Be.” And I mean, they sang it, and we sang it, and it got way beyond just the emotion of religious people singing. God came down. I mean, you remember…if you’re in an occasion when the Lord’s presence really comes down in a manifest way, wow!
And we must have sung that 15 times or more, just over and over again until people’s hands were in the air. I mean, I still choke up thinking about it. There were tears running down people’s face. I can’t imagine how anybody who didn’t know the Lord wouldn’t be shaken and awakened at a time like this. It was real!
And it was like the Lord was saying, yeah, I’m looking forward to that day, too! Praise God, it’s coming! And I want everyone to realize the reality of that. And I guess, that’s kind of the area of thought that I’ve had. If I had to give a title to this, and for the sake of our folks in the room there who want a title early, “There is coming a day…” is the first line. Might be as good a title as any, “There Is Coming a Day.” Folks, thank God there’s coming a day! That’s the hope of everyone in here who knows the Lord.
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There is coming a day, regardless of where things are at right now, what we see in the world, what we experience personally, there is coming a day, and that’s our hope.
You know, we live in the middle of a world that’s got its own expectations. You’ve got some people who are terrified at what’s going on and they’re expecting bad stuff and they’re prepping. You’ve got rich people that are building bunkers underground ‘cause they’re afraid of what’s coming.
But you’ve got a lot of people who believe in human potential, and believe that we are meant to evolve into much more than we are. We’re gonna conquer the stars. We’re gonna conquer everything and we’re gonna be great and we don’t need God anymore.
I’ll tell you, there’s coming a day. And it’s gonna be an amazing time. I thought about…just as a simple place to start. I’ve got a lot of scripture. We may skip over some of it. But I just want to have what the Lord wants to say.
But in Luke chapter 17, it’s a scripture we’ve used a lot. In fact, I don’t think I’m gonna say anything you haven’t heard, but my prayer is that God will make it real. And God will apply it to the present company, and all who may hear this other ways and will touch every heart, beginning with mine. I sure need Him this morning, don’t you?
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Praise God! I’m subject to the same needs and weaknesses that you are. But anyway, there was an occasion in Luke chapter 17 where the Pharisees came to Him and you know they had their religious glasses on. They had the blindness of their religion, and so they had a concept of this Kingdom that God had promised in the Old Testament and all they were thinking about was an earthly kingdom where Israel would be exalted above the nations, set free from tyranny like Rome and all of that. And so, they asked Jesus, when is the Kingdom of God coming?
Well, Jesus took the opportunity to say, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation.” (NIV). That’s a key principle that a lot of people need to realize. God’s Kingdom is not about this present world. It will never be a visible, political, whatever, kind of kingdom, over this present planet.
And I believe what God is telling us to expect is something we need to be…we need to have this as a world view, if you will. It needs to dominate our thinking that there is coming a day and we need to know about that day, and we need to be ready for it.
So anyway, Jesus wanted to let them know that that’s not the way God’s Kingdom works, in this present world. God’s Kingdom is not visible but it’s within. It’s something that you cannot see.
You know, I thought of a scripture that I don’t know if I’ve used it very many times but it really kind of highlights this in John…just hold that place…but turn over to John 14, just for a moment. And this is a…you know, Jesus said a lot of things to the disciples the night before He was crucified and I’ll guarantee you they didn’t understand much of it. An awful lot of what He said they did not understand until later.
But there was one thing that He said in, oh, beginning in verse 21. “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” See, that’s a key.
The disciples at least picked up on this. Said, “…Judas (not Judas Iscariot)…” who was gone now, but another disciple, “…said, But Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Do you see the principle that Jesus was talking about earlier, when He’s talking about a kind of seeing, a kind of revelation, a kind of making known that happens to some but not to the world? All right?
It says, “Jesus replied, if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” That’s what the Kingdom of God is about in this world. It’s God making a home in a human heart. The Kingdom of God is when the King comes to reign, not over an earthly, political kingdom, but in the kingdom of the heart.
Is your heart part of His Kingdom this morning? That’s a critical question. Because I don’t care…you can go to…somebody can go to church all their lives and Jesus never reigns here. That’s the key. And I’ll tell you, there is an amazing blindness in the world today.
But go back to Luke chapter 17, because Jesus takes this opportunity to talk to the disciples about something. And He says, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, There he is! or Here he is! Do not go running after them. For the Son of Man in his day…” Now, there’s that singular word ‘day.’ “…the Son of Man in his day….” There is coming a day.
So, what’s it like? “…The Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.”
So, Jesus is looking down the stream of time saying, yeah, there’s coming a day. It’s My day. It’s the day when I show Myself to the world and I’ll tell you, things will be over when I show Myself to the world. It won’t be something secret. It will be open. Everybody will know it. It will be as sudden and shocking as lightning. But boy, there’s coming a day. Okay?
So then, He says…now He’s comparing this, and I don’t want to belabor this because we’ve talked about it so many times, but He compares His coming to two different historical events. One of them had to do with Noah and his day. The other one had to do with Lot being rescued out of Sodom.
Now what are the characteristics of both of them? There was a world that had reached a place, spiritually, of no return. Do you know that can happen? Do you know that there comes a time when God ceases to strive with someone who just does like this and says, no!
When God works, and like He says in Noah’s day, “…My spirit shall not always strive with man…” (KJV). That tells me that God had, for a long time, a lot longer than I would have had patience to do it, but God’s patience was demonstrated in continually reaching out to convict the generation of that day, through Noah’s preaching, no doubt through many other ways, God was trying to speak and they were saying, no, we’re gonna go our way. We’ve got our life. This is my life, I’m gonna live it. Just go away and leave me alone. And finally, He did.
How many of you are gonna look back and say, wait a minute, I had plans? My wedding was next week. I had a business deal I was…oh, we were just getting ready to go on vacation. There are a thousand and one things that people value in this world.
I’ll tell you, if God truly transforms us, not just on the outside to make us religious, but I mean transforms us right down to the bottom of our being…I’ll tell you, if your heart is a part of what Jesus is talking about, there won’t be any looking back. Man, it will be, thank God, I get out of this place! Lord, You’ve kept me in it and you’ve even blessed. There are things that you’ve allowed me to enjoy here, but this is not where my life is. Oh God, come! “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
And yet, don’t come until everyone that’s gonna come in, comes in. Oh, there’s that tension between wanting to go and wanting it to be over, and saying, oh Lord, don’t hurry too fast. Don’t leave anybody behind. Do you believe He’s gonna leave anybody behind? I don’t either. He isn’t. Thank God!
But I’ll tell you, there is a sober warning to everybody. This has got to be a heart issue with every single one of us. You know, I was thinking about this business of how people could get in that kind of a condition where, as Jesus said in Matthew 24, I’ll just refer to a scripture there where He says, “And knew not…” talking about the people of Noah’s day. They didn’t know what was gonna happen.
But Noah had just been preaching about it for 120 years and building a boat and they didn’t know? There’s a kind of ‘not knowing’ that has a lot more to do with willfulness than ignorance. This was a deliberate ‘not knowing.’
And I thought about the process that leads to this. How many of you remember, and I’ll just refer to something that you’ve heard before? How many of you remember the parable Jesus told about the wheat and the weeds, or the tares, in Matthew chapter 13? And they’re wondering, how in the world? Lord, you planted good seed in the earth, where did all this come from? He says an enemy did this.
And the Lord said, don’t you try to separate them. Don’t you try to figure it all out. You just…you wait. There’s a harvest coming. What was the first part of the harvest? How many remember?
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Gather the weeds out from the wheat. “…Bind them in bundles…” To do what?
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“…To burn them.” How many of you remember Brother Thomas talking about some of this? I believe he was exactly right. What are some of those bundles? What does that mean about being bound together? I mean, you think, oh yeah, throw them in a pile, they’re gonna be…no! There’s a binding.
I’ll tell you, we live in a world of ideas, of religious deception, of political ideas, of social ideas, of lifestyles, you name it, there are a thousand and one things going on in our world that have captured people’s minds to the point where they think that is what my life is about. This is what I’m living for. Not only that, I’m not the only one and so I feel strengthened because I have these people that I can associate with and…I’ll tell you, there’s a strength when people begin to bind together.
And I’ll tell you, God allows people to make choices like that. He will strive, but He is not gonna override the choices that men make. And so, there comes a time when people are so bound up you couldn’t explain it to them. You couldn’t talk to them. I’ll tell you, it’s amazing what it takes to wake up.
And you think about that day that is coming. I’ve just wrestled with how to…the order in which to develop the thought. But I’ll tell you, I’m gonna drop something in that touches on what I ministered on several weeks ago.
What do the people of this world really have to look forward to, if they knew what was coming? In the first place, this world is going to be destroyed. Everything is gonna be destroyed. Everyone in it that doesn’t know Christ is gonna die! Is that the end? Is that the end? What does the scripture say that they have to look forward to?
You want to write a scripture down, look at Hebrews chapter 10, verse 26 and 27. There is a looking forward, “…fearful looking for of judgment….” And what’s beyond judgment? “…Fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (NIV).
Is that plain? You see these physical bodies that we live in, yeah, they’re gonna die, but that’s not the end of it. There’s still that person that has lived in here and has been in rebellion against God, or has known Him. You see where there’s gonna be such a radical, radical separation of the entire human race and it’s gonna happen on that day. It’s gonna happen at the same time.
I’ll tell you what…you remember what Jesus said? He said, no one knows the time. You know the crazy people that come along every so often and say, Jesus is coming on such and such a day. Jesus doesn’t know when He’s coming, for crying out loud! How do they know? But I’ll tell you, He is coming.
And there’s one thing that, besides this fact that there is coming a day, that needs to be burned into everybody’s consciousness. But there’s something else that needs to be burned into everybody’s consciousness. Jesus said, in the context of talking about His coming, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Let that sink in. This world is planning for all kinds of things. Some of the things are things that might happen. Some of the things are things they hope will happen. But here is something that will happen. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Man, that’s what I want to bank on! That’s what I want to live for! How about you?
And so, we see, on the one hand we see Jesus talking about a time when the Kingdom of God will literally be in the earth but it will not be visible. Then He’s talking about a day that’s coming when everything will be visible and everything will be concluded. Okay?
You remember Jesus said something at the end of Matthew. He encouraged the disciples shortly before He went…this was the risen Christ now. They had gone through this period of time when the disciples themselves didn’t know what was going on. They were discouraged. They were defeated. They were confused.
And all of a sudden, Jesus shows up, raised from the dead and He has a body that’s different from theirs. It’s real. He eats fish with them. They can touch Him. But it’s not like their body. None of sin and death, none of the things that we live with in this world afflicted that body.
And so, He declared to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Yeah, that’s something we need to put in our pipe and smoke, as the expression goes. This is something we need to understand. In every situation of life, no matter what it looks like, no matter what the facts that we observe are, there is One who has all authority in heaven and earth.
He is absolutely carrying out the Father’s intent that He declared in His own sovereign will before the world ever was, this is what this creation is about. This is where I’m headed. This is my endgame. Jesus reached a point in carrying out the Father’s will where everything was put in His hand for Him to reign.
So, what was that reign about? One of the things it was about was, “Therefore go and make disciples….” I’ll be with you till the end of the world. It’s spreading the news about this Kingdom! Okay?
You know, I thought about another scripture that we’ve used from time to time and it’s in 1st Corinthians chapter 15. And this is where Paul is trying to deal with some craziness that has gotten into the Corinthian church. It seemed like they had a lot of problems and yet, I’ll tell you, it’s a comfort and blessing to me to see God dealing with people that He loves and yet they had real problems.
I can identify with that. I can be thankful that here was a church that came behind in no gift, and yet look at all the stuff that was wrong. And you actually had people telling other people, or trying to teach the idea that there is no resurrection. Well, good grief! What are we living for Christ for? What good does that do? We need to just, eat, drink and be merry, and tomorrow we die. That’s the end of it.
That’s what the world thinks! The world has just done away with the idea of God. We’re gonna just do our own thing. But I’ll tell you what, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and that is the evidence that everything He has ever said we can bank on. If there’s nothing else that you believe, believe what Jesus has declared to be the truth, because He is the Son of God. God authenticated everything about Him when He brought Him forth, conquered the grave, conquered our sins, conquered everything! Every enemy is under His feet! Okay?
So that’s where Paul’s getting here. And so, in verse 19 he says, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But…” Oh, praise God for the buts! “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
I’ll tell you, God has a plan to bring forth those who have died, because death is a part of this creation. Ever since sin entered, death reigns. But there is a victory over death and the beginning evidence of that, the firstfruits of a harvest, if you will, was Jesus Himself being raised from the dead. He’s the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, or have died. Okay?
“For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” Are you in Christ today? Praise God! There is a certainty of hope not based upon your qualifications, but based upon the purpose of God.
But here’s the thing. “But each in his own turn.” There is a time schedule. “Christ, the firstfruits.” That’s the evidence. That’s the reason you and I can have hope this morning, because Jesus was raised. God has a purpose of raising every one of us up, whether we die first, or whether we meet Him in the air on that day when we’re here when He returns.
It says, “Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
So, we have a reign of Christ. We had His own declaration that all authority and power in heaven and earth had been given to Him, so what was He doing with this? Is He, as some teach, basically just sort of sitting in heaven, waiting to come back and reign? You awake?
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Is that what this is about? No! He went to a throne and He began reigning. That was what Pentecost was about! What was the evidence that Jesus was on a throne reigning? It was the outpouring of His Spirit and the calling of people into His Kingdom, the beginning of the building of His church, and the beginning of the Gospel going out to the ends of the earth.
That’s the reign of Christ! That’s what it’s about! It is about calling people out of this world! It is about a transformation of hearts and characters. It is about the blotting out of sins! It is about defeating every kind of stronghold of Satan in lives! It’s about preparing a people to live with Him in a perfect place forever! Only God can do that! That’s what it’s about.
Do you want to know what the time frame of this thing is, and the evidence of it? Listen to what He says, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” Okay? When does that happen? When is death destroyed? Look at the end of this chapter. These are truths that we have heard preached over the years and we need to have a grasp of them. I want God’s people to know what they believe and know why they believe it, know where it is in the Word.
The scripture that we use so often, at the end of this passage, has to do with the coming of Christ. It’s sudden, and how we’re gonna be changed and transformed and gathered to Him. But listen to…well, listen to what he says in verse 31, well, verse 50. You want to know why God’s doing what He’s doing?
He says, “I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” That’s why the Kingdom of God has to be something that’s in here. And I’ll tell you, when it comes into…when it becomes visible to everybody, these bodies will be done away and changed!