Prepare Yourself for Jesus’ Return (Part 6) Faith will enable you to overcome!
August 13, 2023
Prepare Yourself for Jesus’ Return (Part 6)
Faith will enable you to overcome!
Ephesians 1:10 (JB Phillips Translation)
For God had allowed us to know the secret of His plan, and it is this: He purposes in his sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in Him.
We are living in an unprecedented time just prior to Jesus’ return.
This is part 6.
We’ve talked about the time period we are in as the time period at the close of the age of Grace and the time just before Jesus returns.
It is a time of judgment.
It is a time of God’s miracle-working power helping His people in not only meeting their needs, but in helping them minister to people who have no clue what is going on.
It’s a time of getting close to God and keeping your heart clean and open to Him.
It’s a time of getting serious with the Bible and letting it fill your mind and heart!
Last time (7.16.2023) I talked about Jesus opening the scroll in God’s right hand.
Revelation 4 shows God as the creator and sustainer of all things.
Revelation 5 shows God with a scroll in His right hand.
Revelation 6 shows Jesus breaking the seals on the scroll so it can be opened.
Revelation 8 begins the events of the trumpet judgments, as the Day of the Lord wrath of God is poured out on earth after the rapture of the church.
It looks as though we will be here for the first few years of what people typically call the tribulation ( Daniel’s 70th week from Daniel 9:24-27). We will experience persecution at the hands of the global government and the leader of that government the Bible calls the antiChrist!
When the rapture occurs just before the wrath of God comes with the Day of the Lord, we will have gone through a period of intense challenge.
Our faith is what will get us through that time period in our future!
Today – Faith will enable you to overcome!
Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Understand that there will be a challenge to faith just before Jesus returns.
Luke 18:8 (NKJV)
I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?
1 Timothy 4:1 (NLT)
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 (AMP)
Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed],
Until Jesus returns, faith should be our response to the pressures of living in chaotic times.
Matthew 24:13 (NLT)
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Now is the time to be living by faith and getting accustomed to operating in life by faith!
When I came to Jesus in 1976, I had attended church all of my 18 years of life, mostly 3 times a week – Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.
Yet, I knew very little about faith other than being saved by faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
The concept of living by this faith in the daily grind of life was a foreign concept to me.
The idea that you could actually trust God in the details of life in family, career, finances, health, relationships, and in all sorts of tough places, was foreign to me.
I have found that most believers have not heard the simple principles of how to apply faith to every single element of life.
So I want to give a quick primer this morning on how to apply faith to the details of life.
Do you live by faith or by feelings and circumstances?
Do you act as though God is answering prayer or do you constantly worry about how things will work out?
Do you follow the crowd? Or do you follow God’s Word in spite of what others think?
Do you believe that the Bible is inspired? Do you allow what the Bible says to counteract and override what you see and feel?
Does the Bible affect how you spend your time, what you spend time with online, who you hang out with as friends, how you spend your money, what you do with your physical body?
Do you expect God to bring His word to pass in your life?
1. The New Testament emphasizes living by faith.
1 John 5:4 (NKJV)
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 John 5:4 (AMP)
For everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world—our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God.
1 John 5:4 (TPT)
You see, every child of God overcomes the world, for our faith is the victorious power that triumphs over the world.
Ephesians 6:16 (NKJV)
Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2. Living by faith means taking God at His word even when you don’t see it working or feel that it is making a difference!
Philippians 4:11 (A.S.Way Translation)
No, I have learned in whatever condition I am, to be independent of circumstances. I am schooled to bear the depths of poverty; I am schooled to bear abundance. In life as a whole, and all its circumstances, I have mastered the secret of living – how to be the same amidst repletion and starvation, amidst abundance and privation. I am equal to every lot through the help of Him who gives me inward strength.
There is an optimism based solely on the power of the human will to endure hardship.
And, there is an optimism and hope based on the promises of God to those who believe the Bible!
So, you have 5 senses on one side – and faith on the other side.
We must have an active faith to navigate the dark world climate and circumstances it produces for us today!
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NKJV)
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT)
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
3. Living by faith means believing right now that what God says in the Bible is true, even when it contradicts what you see and feel!
Most people say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” That is the natural human’s way of living.
But when you choose to live by faith, you choose to look beyond your feelings, your thoughts, your circumstances, the opinions of others (even your family sometimes), and you choose to believe what God says about what you are dealing with.
It may at the moment seem untrue, but you just keep your focus on God’s Word, and act like you believe it, period!
Faith is for what God has provided for you but you can’t see, feel, or experience at the moment.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Substance – Greek – Hupostasis – Hupo = under, stasis = a standing
A standing under, that which stands, or is set, under, a foundation. Used in the technical sense of a title deed, standing under the claim to the property to support its validity.
Something that furnishes or tends to furnish proof; that which supports the existence of something.
Footprints on the shoreline
A wake following a ship
A white streak in the sky
Toys scattered in the yard of a home – kid lives there!
Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
And our personal faith connects us to God’s place of living – the spiritual world, and to what we have asked for – until it manifests.
Dr. J. Oswald Sanders Quote:
Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.
Faith acts like God has answered prayer and is honoring His Word even while nothing seems to change!
Faith is a gap-stander. It stands in for what God has promised you in His Word until it shows up.
4. Everything we need already exists in the spiritual world. Our faith brings it into the physical world.
Everything exists in two realms – first the spiritual realm, then the physical realm.
Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
There is an emerging generation that wants experience first, so for instance many of our songs speak of feeling the Presence and don’t speak much about believing without feeling!
Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV)
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Colossians 1:15-16 (NKJV)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NKJV)
While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
John 20:29 (NKJV)
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Hebrews 11:1 (NCV)
Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.
Elisha and his servant’s experience with being surrounded by the enemy is a great illustration of things existing in the spiritual world and then manifesting in the physical world.
Through the word of knowledge, Elisha was telling the king of Israel where the Syrian troops were. The Syrian King found out what Elisha was doing and came after him!
2 Kings 6:13-17 (NLT)
Go and find out where he is, the king commanded, so I can send troops to seize him. And the report came back: “Elisha is at Dothan.” 14 So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city. 15 When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha. 16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
It is the same with us. What we need exists the moment we ask God for it!
God Himself has made sure that you have the means to be helped by Him and to connect with His provisions for life – He gives you a measure of His own faith.
If you want to pick up the internet from your phone, you have to turn on the wifi receiver and connect. It’s the same with faith.
God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are in the realm of the spirit. And it takes faith to connect to them to receive what you need.
5. Living by faith means that I choose to believe that I receive right now,what God promises.
Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Mark 11:24 (AMPC)
For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
Mark 11:24 (NCV)
So I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.
Mark 11:24 (God’s Word)
That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24 (ESV)
I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.
Mark 11:24 (Complete Jewish Bible)
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, trust that you are receiving it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24 (BBE)
For this reason I say to you, Whatever you make a request for in prayer, have faith that it has been given to you, and you will have it.
Hebrews 11:1 (NCV)
Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.
6. Living by faith and living a dedicated life for God go hand in hand.
You must give God your all for faith to bring results!
- Do you live by faith in God’s Word, or do you change as your circumstances and feelings change?
- Do you practice believing that you receive what you pray for even before you can see or feel it?
- When looking to receive from the Lord, do you believe that the answer is coming one day, or do you believe that you have what you asked for right now?