I. THE WORLD IS RIPE FOR THE JUDGMENT OF GOD.
A. God has brought His judgment upon man in the past.
1. The great flood of Noah's day.
a. The things that provoked the wrath of God against man.
1. The wickedness of man was great upon the earth.
2. That the imagination of man's heart was only evil continually.
3. The earth was corrupt.
4. The earth was filled with violence.
b. God's declaration:
1. "My Spirit will not always strive with man."
a. God who is longsuffering, merciful, kind, has His limits, and you can go beyond the grace of God into His wrath.
2. "I will destroy man from the face of the earth."
3. "I will bring a flood of water and destroy all flesh."
c. The result of God's judgment.
And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
All in whose nostrils [was] the breath of life, of all that [was] in the dry [land], died.
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained [alive], and they that [were] with him in the ark.
2. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
a. The things that provoked the judgment of God on Sodom.
1. The men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked.
2. Their sin was very grievous.
b. The angel said, "We are going to destroy this place.
1. They told Lot to hurry to escape from that place for they could do nothing until he was out of there.
c. The result of God's judgment.
Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
3. The nation of Israel.
a. The things that provoked the judgment of God.
And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, [even] two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
1. "Made a grove is a reference to the worship of the sex goddess Ashtoreth."
2. She was the goddess of pornography.
3. Caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, is a reference of offering their children as human sacrifices to the god Molech.
4. Heightened sexual arrousal leads to promiscuous sex which leads to unwanted pregnancies which leads to abortion on demand.
b. God said:
They have moved me to jealousy with [that which is] not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with [those which are] not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
[They shall be] burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling [also] with the man of gray hairs.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; This [is] Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries [that are] round about her.
And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that [are] round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that [are] round about you, [and] have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that [are] round about you;
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, [am] against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.
And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.
Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
II. GOD HAS PROMISED THAT HIS JUDGMENT IS GOING TO COME UPON THE EARTH IN THE LAST DAYS.
A. It will be more severe than at any time in the history of man.
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
B. God has promised to spare His people from the day of wrath and judgment.
1. Daniel 12:1
"And at that time Thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."
2. In Isaiah, we read:
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
3. When Jesus was talking about the events of the great tribulation He said,
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come upon you unexpected.
For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
4. In our text this morning the Lord promised to the faithful in the church of Philadelphia,
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
III. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TRIBULATION THE CHURCH WILL EXPERIENCE, AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION.
A. Jesus said to His disciples, "In this world, you will have tribulation."
1. The source of the tribulation that we face is Satan.