EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 31-Aug-2008


by Robert Daniels


I would like to look at this question of what ought to be our response to this wonderful news of 2011.  It is only a few months away and it is also very important that we look honestly at ourselves and make sure that we are a child of God.  It does not make a difference who that person is, “but the end of all things is at hand.”  And the Bible uses that phrase, “the end of all things is at hand,” judgment day.  What is your response to it? 

You know, there are many people who are saying, “Not so, Lord,” not so, because I believe many of them have a love for this world.  They do not want to see this world end.  And you wonder why; why do I not want to see this world come to an end? 

Look at the world today.  Sin is multiplying and man’s rebellion against God, and it goes on and on and on.  But yet, there are those who say they are true believers and yet they are saying to themselves, “Not so, Lord,” it cannot be, it cannot be.  You thought that this “Word of God” that they were worshipping—do you not want to see Him?  Do you not want to be with Him for all eternity in the New Heaven and the New Earth, with no more sin, no more cares of this life any longer?  But there are those who do not want to see that happen. 

Recently I was speaking to someone who is an avid listener to Family Radio and he is still in the church.  I was speaking to him and I told him to get out of the church, get out; there is no more salvation there; Satan rules there.  And he turned to me with this answer and he said, “You know, Robert, I will wait and see.  I will wait and see if the world comes to an end in 2011.”  And many people who claim to love the Lord, they are playing a “wait and see” attitude.  How foolish that is, because when May of 2011 comes and the Lord returns there is no more mercy.  The day of salvation has come to an end and if you are not saved then it is to late.  And that is what his response is, he will wait and see.  He will wait and see what happens, because he said to me, “I have heard this before so what is the difference?  I have heard it before.  I have heard that, I have heard this, I have heard that and nothing happened, so I will wait and see.” 

I hope none of us here have that attitude of waiting and seeing if it is going to happen.  When it does happen then it is too late.  It is too late to cry for mercy; the day of mercy has come to an end.  So we should not have that attitude of “waiting and seeing,” see if it is going to happen and then it will be too late. 

I have heard many reactions, and one of the big things that many people do who are still in the church, they take this verse, no one can know the day or the hour, and they hide behind it.  “See, no one can know the day or the hour, no one.  How can you know?”  They take that verse from the Bible and they run with it.  They are living in total ignorance, total denial that this world is at its end.  And many people, especially those people within the churches, they use that particular verse and they take it and that is it.  No matter how you try to tell them, “No, that is not what that verse means,” they do not want to hear it.  It is like someone who believes in speaking in tongues.  They say they find verses to prove that it is still going on today.  No matter what you say to them, they are locked in.  That is it.  They are locked in on these verses and that is it. 

We are going to turn over to Hebrews 2:1.  I will look at some of these verses and see some reactions that God has written within the “Word of God” about how some people react to the “Word of God.”  In Hebrews 2:1-3, we read:

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, …

And especially in our day.  Here we are living at the end of the world.  The warning has gone out and there are those who say, “Oh well, so what is new.”  They just continue on living their lives like we are going to be here for another 300 years.  But here, God is telling us we have to:

… give the more earnest heed to the things …

Listen very closely to it:

… lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, …

Here God is giving us a warning.  Escape what?  God’s judgment:

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

See that word there, “neglect.”  It is a very important word in that particular verse.  It is translated in Matthew 22; it is used over here in Matthew 22:5.  There are many people when they hear about 2011 who are not taking this seriously at all.  In Matthew 22:5, we read:

But they made light of it, …

That is the word “neglect.”  It is translated in this verse as “making light of.”  There are those that hear the warning, they hear about May 21, 2011, but they are making “light of it.”  They do not take it seriously at all.  It is just in one ear and out the next, and they continue on with their head buried in the sand and it has no effect.  They are making “light of it.”  Let us read verse 5 again:

But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

See, they are making light of this issue of 2011.  They are not taking it seriously at all.  They hide behind these verses in the Bible, no one can know the day or the hour, and they continue to live their lives like, “Oh well, it is another day.”  It is sad; they are making light of this warning, “light of it.”  We should never, never, never do that! 

Let us look at another verse in Genesis.  Remember the account with Sodom and Gomorrah?  In Genesis 19, God is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, and there are people there who did not take seriously the warning that God was going to destroy the city, these cities around it.  In Genesis 19:12-13, we read:

And the men …

There were two angels that came to Lot in Sodom:

 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

It is about to be destroyed.  And verse 14:

And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked …

See the response?  Judgment is about to be brought upon the city of Sodom by God and look at their response.  In other words, they are making “light of it.”  They mocked, they laughed.  How could this be?  It cannot happen.  And many people today respond just like this.  You tell them about 2011 and what is their response?  They laugh.  They laugh, they do not want to hear it, they go on to deny it, and they go on about their business.  They are planning their lives. 

What was the reaction when God was about to destroy the world by a flood in Noah’s day?  God has given us insight; what were they doing?  Eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage.  It was business as usual.  And here this man Noah for over some 100 years, and God tells us plainly in the Bible that he was “a preacher of righteousness.”  And if you are a faithful teacher of the Bible, what are you going to bring?  Judgment, judgment, judgment is coming.  Did they listen?  And probably it was tens of thousands of people living in that day.  You could see the skeptics, you could see the gainsayers, you could see all these people going about their business, their daily routine, going to school, going to the farm.  They were doing what?  And he was telling them the flood is coming.  God is going to destroy the world by a flood.  And as we know the account, no one listened, but Noah and his family entered into the ark and God saved them. 

Do you think it is going to be any different in our day?  People are people, you know.  We all have something in common, we are sinners.  Look at the reaction of Lot’s sons-in-law: they mocked, they laughed, they did not take it seriously.  They just laughed, because when you are laughing at something like this, you just totally dismiss it.  And yet, it did happen.  It did happen to these people in that day. 

What is your response?  What is my response to this warning, to this most important situation?  We only have a few more months left in this world.  What are you thinking?  Especially you children, what is your response to 2011, that you are not going to be an adult?  Many children here are not going to be an adult.  It is less than three years away, how old will you be?  Some of you will still be in your teens and you will not make it through high school.  You will not have that career, you will not have this or you will not have that.  What is your response to this? 

You know, I work with a young lady.  She is probably about my age or a little bit younger, and she has three children.  One is a college graduate, one of them received a four year scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania, and the younger one, he is 14 and he is very bright, and he is on that same path too.  Do you know what happened to him last Sunday?  That 14-year-old boy, God took him out just like that.  His funeral was this past Friday.  God took him just like that; that boy died.  And I am pretty sure, I have a son that is 14 and two of you guys here are around the age of 14, he was a healthy boy making plans to go back to school in September just like any kids here today.  (My children already started school—some have not started school yet.)  He was making plans to go to school in September.  He lives in Philadelphia, so they are not starting school until after the holiday.  14 years old, and God took him out just like that; he died. 

So you see, children, the Lord could take any one of you at any time.  You do not have to be old and walking on a cane or whatever, God took this child out.  Now I do not know whether he was saved or not, but he died.  It was a shock to everyone in the hospital.  We did not know he was sick.  We did not know this, we did not know that, but he was 14 and yet the Lord took him in death.  All I know, speaking to his mother, was that he was healthy like any 14-year-old running around, not thinking that today would be his last. 

Today could be the last day for me, you, or anyone.  So when you hear about the Gospel, 2011, do not let it go through this ear and come out the next ear.  Here you have a Mom and a Dad who love the Lord and they are speaking to you about the Gospel, you are having fellowship time at home with your family, and your mind is a thousand miles away not listening.  And as soon as the fellowship is done, you go right back to whatever you were doing, not hearing a thing, not hearing a thing what the Bible is saying because you are so caught up with your own interests.  That should not be. 

We are at the end of the world whether we like it or not.  We are at the end of the world and you had better start listening to the Bible because death could happen to any one of us.  This boy was 14 years old and yet the Lord took him.  See how serious this is?  The only thing that we are guaranteed is our next breath and the Lord could take us.  I am not sure what he died from, but he died.  The Lord took him. 

So you see, we are hearing about 2011.  Children, are you listening?  Are you really listening to this or are you not?  This is deadly serious, because when that day comes and the Lord takes His people up with Him, if you are not ready, if you are not born again, then you are going to be remaining here to face the wrath of God on your own.  Mom cannot help you, your Mom cannot save you, and Dad cannot save you, only the Lord.  Can the Lord save a child?  Of course He can, just as quickly as He saves a 90 year old, or a 50 year old, or anyone else.  The Bible is for all of us no matter our age.  A one year old, whatever your age might be, if God is speaking to you from the pages of the Bible, we had better listen.  Do not take it lightly as we saw in Matthew 5, taking lightly these things, because it is God who is speaking to us from the pages of the Bible.  We must listen to what the Bible is saying or else we are in trouble and we are going to be destroyed on the last day.

But let us look at what our response ought to be.  Remember in Jonah, remember that account?  (Obadiah, after Obadiah is Jonah.)  Jonah 3, we are going to read through that chapter.  This ought to be our response.  We should stop right in our tracks.  It should stop us right in our tracks.  It should stop us so we face this issue.  The end of the world and judgment day, is this so?  Not in an unbelieving way, but is this so?  Is this what the Bible is teaching that we are so close to the end of the world in 2011?  Where do I stand before God?  See where we have to be looking?  Where do I stand before God?  Am I truly a child of God?  This is the question we have to be asking our own self: am I born again? 

But look at the response of the Ninevites.  Here is Jonah.  God sent him to this city of thousands of people, and you see their response to his warning?  God gave them 40 days.  How much time has He given us?  A little over three years now since we heard this warning.  But time is winding down; how many days do we have left?  990 plus days.  See, the days are getting short.  If you have never taken this seriously before, we had better listen to what the Bible says.  We had better start taking this seriously.  But here is the response of the people in Nineveh in Jonah 3:1-2:

And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

The preaching that God bid them from the Bible.  When we are bringing the Gospel, we do not bring anything out of our own understanding or out of our own mind.  We bring directly from the Bible.  We do not sugar coat it, we do not doctor it up, but we preach the Gospel from the Bible.  In Jonah 3:3-4:

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

God was about to destroy it; forty days.  All this time He has given us—the Gospel being proclaimed in this Fellowship, in our homes, over Family Radio.  It is a great blessing, you know children, for us to have Family Radio.  You could get up and you know what time it comes on, 9:30 is the Bible study.  Time out, you listen, not only sit and be quiet—anyone could sit and be quiet—but you have to actually be listening to it.  Then we have Open Forum, listen to it.  Not only be quiet, because you could be quiet and your mind is a thousand miles away on something that is not even related to anything, but listen.  Actually you need to listen to the Bible, to the Open Forum, to the Bible studies and to the Bible.  Listen to it and beseech God that He will give you an heart to be obedient to His commandments, obedience.  Then verse 5 says:

So the people of Nineveh believed God, …

See whom they believed?  God.  When you are believing the Bible, although God is using human instruments to bring the Gospel, yet you are believing God.  You believe God and you check that person/teacher out to make sure they are being faithful and you are believing God.  You are not believing Brother Camping, or Chris, or me; you believe God.  So whom did they believe?  They did not believe Jonah, but they believed God because Jonah was a prophet of God.  Let us go on in verses 5-6:

… and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king …

From top down, it “came unto the king,” and you see his response:

For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Total brokenness at the warning.  When we hear about 2011, is this our response?  Is this how we are thinking in brokenness, “Oh, is this so,” and start beseeching God for His mercy?  Verses 7-8 say:

And he …

This is the king here, and God is telling us:

And he caused it to be proclaimed …

He wants everyone to know:

… to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: …

Here this 2011 has come down on you.  It has hit you very hard and you are trembling, you are nervous, you are all this.  Where do we go?  We “cry mightily unto God” because He is the only One who could save us.  He is the One that we go to and we beseech Him, we beg Him, “Could it be that You might save me.”  And you start doing what?  Start reading the Bible.  Put yourself in that situation where God, if He is going to save you, that He will do it. 

We are living in a very literate society; I believe everyone here can read.  One of the beautiful things about the Bible, apart from the names (some of the names I cannot pronounce, but apart from the names), it is not a very difficult book to read.  God could have used these long words, but He did not.  He used simple words that a second grader or a third grader could read.  These words that I am seeing here are not difficult.  God has written the Bible with words that the average child, as soon as they learn to read, could really read in the Bible.  In verses 8-9:

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, …

We have to turn away from our sins.  It does not mean that this is going to save us by turning away, but turn away from it:

… turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, …

Here you are frightened of 2011.  “Who can tell if God” might save me.  You do not know whether you are God’s elect or not, but at least you are beseeching Him and you start thinking about the verses in the Bible, how God says He is merciful, it is one of His attributes.  He is patient, He is plenteous in mercy, and you start thinking about this verse; “Could it be that You might give me Thy mercy, that You will be merciful to me.”  And it says in verse 9:

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, …

Remember, God tells us that He “is angry with the wicked every day,” and, “Ye are yet in your sins.”  God’s righteous anger is upon you.  He might: 

… turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

And we have to be very careful with verse 10, we have to be very careful with that.  It says:

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Remember, we have to keep in mind that our works do not save us.  “Oh, if I do this He will…”  No, it is the work of Christ that saves us.  But we are going to turn away from our sin as best we can.  We are not going to be continuing in sin.  How can you be beseeching God for mercy and yet you are continuing “yet in your sins”?  You turn away from it.  Remember, is that not what God tells us in Isaiah 55:6?  This is a command of God.  We know that God has to do all the work of joining us to Himself and all these things, but here is the command in Isaiah 55:6:

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, …

Is that not something?  “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found.”  What is that telling you?  The day is coming when He will no longer be found.  When May 21, 2011 comes, the day of salvation, God can no longer be found any more.  There is no more salvation.  Isaiah 55:6 says:

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

God is near to us; the very “Word of God” is in our hands.  It is on our lips, we can read it.  He is near to us.  It says in verse 7:

Let the wicked forsake his way, …

We are the wicked.  Remember what God says in Psalm 58, as soon as we be born speaking lies.  We are wicked; we go astray as soon as we are born.  Verse 7:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: …

Our thought life, you know, is just as important as if we are doing it.  All you have to do is think it sinfully and it is just as sin in God’s eyes as if you did it outwardly.  In our thoughts, now that is another study, but our thoughts, what are we thinking about?  Me, myself, and I all the time?  How I could get rich, and all these things?  No:

… and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

See how wonderful God is.  This salvation is still available in our day; the Lord Jesus can still be found.  But what if He comes like He came and He took this 14-year-old boy in death and you are not saved?  What if He comes to any one of us tonight and you are not saved?  Then all hope is gone.  Hope still exists while you are still alive—while the blood is warm in our veins salvation is still possible—but if the Lord comes for you in death or on the last day then it is hopeless, it is hopeless. 

Let us go on a little bit further while we are right here in Isaiah, and let us look at Isaiah 45.  God is the only One who could save us.  Here you are troubled, you are scared, you are frightened about this.  You are not sure you are saved.  We have to look to Christ because God commands us to look to God, He is the Savior.  Isaiah 45:19-22:

I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

There is none else:

Look unto me, …

See, we have to look to God for salvation.  We have to look to God: 

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

That is the One we have to go to for salvation.  And as we know, wonderfully this salvation is still possible in our day.  God is still saving people. 

Let us look at another verse along that line.  Let us turn over to Joel (Hosea, after Hosea there is the little book of Joel), Joel 2.  Here God is telling us about His great mercy.  Let us read verses 10-14:

The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Here is God’s warning to us.  Here is God’s mercy:

Therefore also now, …

The Gospel, you cannot delay.  It is an urgency; it is very urgent.  It says:

Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, …

And as we know, who has to do the turning?  God has to turn me.  It is not of ourselves, but God has to turn me and then He draws me to Him and I will beseech Him with all my heart.  It is God’s actions, “turn ye even to me with all your heart,” and the only way we are going to do that is when God gives us a new heart:

… and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is


… gracious …

He is gracious; it is one of God’s attributes:

… and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, …

It is the same language that we read in the book of Jonah, about the king: 

Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; …

What blessing do we need?  Salvation, the blessing of salvation:

Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?

Here we are at the very end of the world.  God is still saving people.  There is no excuse.  What is the excuse?  There is no excuse for any one of us not to go and start beseeching God for His mercy because we see here He tells us that He is gracious, He is merciful, He is slow to anger, and of great kindness.  God is very kind to us.  We do not deserve this salvation.  We are sinners under the wrath of God and He should destroy all of us, but yet He tells us these wonderful things here in the Bible that we should beseech Him for His mercy.  It might be that I may be one of God’s elect, it might be.  Turn over to Psalm 103:8:

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

These are words from the pages of God’s Word, the Bible.  You say, “He is merciful?”  Yes!  “But I am such a sinner.”  Well, whom did He come into the world to save, the righteous?  No, He came to call sinners to repentance, even though some of us have lived horrible lives in the past.  You have done things that you would not want anyone to hear or know or else they would run from you, and yet God will forgive me?  Yes, there is nothing impossible for God to do.  He came for dirty, rotten, filthy sinners who have lived all their lives—what if you are 80 and 70 of those years you spent in total rebellion against God and you have committed tens of thousands of sins in your lifetime, which is a small number, and yet God can forgive, God can forgive.  Let us read on a little bit further.  Verses 9-13 say:

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; …

And God has a perfect right to do that.  After we sin, He could just wipe us out, but He does not:

… nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

See, when He forgives, He forgives all of our sins.  He wipes them out; He blots them out, the Bible uses that word, He blots them out; they are all forgotten by God:

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Verse 17:

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting …

See how God is going over this wonderful thing.  When He forgives you, His mercy “is from everlasting to everlasting.”  He remembers our sins no more.  This salvation is still possible in our day.  So when those people hear about 2011 and they mock this, they scoff at it, and they go into denial, or they walk away in ignorance, they do not realize what they are doing. 

Here God has let us know this wonderful information of how close we are to the end of the world.  Wow, it boggles the mind, and you hear that He is still saving people today, what should we be doing?  Get with it.  Do not sit there in total rebellion.  “Oh well, I will just go on with my life.  He will not come for another two-to-three hundred years.  I have been hearing this all my life that judgment day is coming and it is not here yet, so why should I even bother?”  We know that this world is going to end—that is a given.  Everyone knows that, but here the closeness of it should really ring this home to us, that we are right there at the end of the world, we are right there.  So there is no time to delay because at any moment, as God took this 14-year-old boy Sunday, just like that in death, He could come for any one of us at any given time without notice, without warning.  You could collapse of a heart attack, anything, you could be gone in a moment.  And if you are not ready, then it is too late.