Truth Is Irresistible – Jesus is drawing every person. No one is immune to the draw of Jesus. A primary reason is Jesus knew Truth is Irresistible. We believe that the church should be simply irresistible. When people come, they should experience strategic environments that cause them to want to come back even if they have not received Jesus as Lord and Savior. Every part of their experience should be so excellent that they cannot help but come back. We should be able to draw all men.
Simply Irresistible Kingdom
by Delbert Young
Scriptures: John 12:32, 1 Timothy 3:15, Luke 9:27, Mark 9:1, Luke 16:16, Matthew 11:12, John 3:3, 5, Luke 12:32, Matthew 24:21, Matthew 21:31, Matthew 21:43-45,Matthew 23:13, 33, 35-38,Matthew 24:21-22, 20, 34, Matthew 24:2, Daniel 7:13-14
We want to continue in our series called SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. I am trying to show us that the kingdom ofGod is SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. Jesus said,
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will DRAW ALL MEN unto me. [John 12:32]
Today, I want to talk about IRRESISTIBLE TRUTH. I have pondered this lesson and given it a lot of thought. It should be so thought provoking for many of you that it fills your mind with questions. That is my goal. Others of you will enjoy hearing it again to be reassured of your stand and equipped with answers to questions from others to whom you talk. I intend to so provoke your thinking today that I have planned a special time tonight to give you a place to ask any question you may have.
There are many “truths” and when we go to church, we are supposed to hear truth.
1 Timothy 3:15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the TRUTH.
For the most part, we do hear truth in church. We hear that Jesus died for our sins. We hear that because of Jesus, God has forgiven our sins. We hear that there is eternal life for those who believe in Jesus and for those who do not believe, there is an eternal hell.
However, I do not feel that we hear the IRRESISTIBLE TRUTH about the eternal kingdom of God that inspires us to be overcomers and live the victorious life of which Jesus spoke. What we typically hear about the kingdom ofGod in the “Bible Belt” is something like this: One day Jesus will come and set up his kingdom, but first Jesus will rapture the church. At that time, a great tribulation will begin, lasting seven years. During those seven years, an antichrist will rule who will kill people not receiving the mark of the beast. During those seven years, horrible things happen – stars fall upon the earth, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, etc. In addition, during that time, God renews his covenant with Israel and 144,000 elite Jews evangelize the world. They rebuild the temple in Jerusalemwhere God reinstitutes animal sacrifices and the circumcision as worship to God. At the end of the seven-year great tribulation, Jesus comes again, defeats the antichrist, and throws the devil into a bottomless pit. At that time, Jesus begins his kingdom, which will last for 1,000 years.
That is the contemporary “end time” teaching. Is that sort of what most of us either believe or have been told to believe? Why do you, or did you, believe that? The reason is someone taught that teaching to you in church as truth, but, what if I told you that is not truth? You will not get that from the Bible. What if I told you that a group called the Plymouth Brethren created that entire doctrine in Ireland in the 1800’s? It became a doctrine around the same time that cults such as Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Seventh-Day Adventist, Modern Spiritism, etc. came into existence. What if I told you that doctrine came from a 16-year-old girl named Margaret McDonald who had a “vision” while sick with a fever? Suppose I told you the apostles did not teach that doctrine? What if I told you that doctrine was not taught in the U.S. until the early 1900’s when men like John Darby, C.I. Scofield, and Larson with his charts brought and taught it here? I am somewhat afraid to tell you. Sometimes it is easier to believe an untruth once accepted as truth than it is to change and believe the truth. That is where the Pharisees had problems.
The truth is the kingdom of God is in existence and operating right now. Allow me to spend the remainder of our time together and show you that I know about what I speak. I want to do things a little different today. Occasionally, I will ask you to read a verse and then you tell me what the verse says.
Jesus talking to his disciples around A.D. 33 said,
I tell you the TRUTH, some who are standing here will not taste death before THEY SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD. [Luke 9:27]
You got that one. Let’s look at another. Jesus repeated this statement on another occasion.
Mark 9:1 And he said to them, “I tell you the TRUTH, some who are standing here will not taste death before they SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD COME WITH POWER.”
What do those verses mean? Do some of those disciples who stood there that day remain alive today, 2,000 years later? Is this a misprint? Was Jesus incorrect? Or, did the kingdom of God come WITH POWER before some of them died? Jesus said that he was about to tell them an IRRESISTIBLE TRUTH. The kingdom was there and they would see it.
The truth is that Jesus preached the kingdom of God as present tense and watched people force their way through anything holding them back and enter into the kingdom then in the first century.
Luke 16:16 The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached,AND EVERYONE IS FORCING HIS WAY INTO IT.
Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN HAS BEEN FORCEFULLY ADVANCING, and forceful men lay hold of it.
Jesus clearly said that up to the time of John the Baptist, the Law of Moses was in affect. Now, after John, thekingdom of God is here and is advancing.
Here are some verses that I need you to look at for me.
John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the TRUTH, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the TRUTH, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
I need you to tell me, according to those verses, why are we born again? Why are we born of water and Spirit? It is not only so we “can go to heaven when we die.” The true reason for being born again is so we can SEE and thenENTER the kingdom of God. It does not require a rapture, tribulation, or antichrist. Jesus said that here was another IRRESISTIBLE TRUTH. The kingdom is available now!
Father God has given us the kingdom – past tense.
Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
The kingdom of God is not future tense or a future event that will come one day. It is here now.
“But Delbert, what about “The Great Tribulation?” I know that Jesus said there would be “A Great Tribulation.” Let’s take a minute and look at that. The great tribulation is one of the most incorrectly taught and consequently misunderstood of all the teachings of Jesus. At the same time, it is one of the MOST IMPORTANT of all the teachings of Jesus.
Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
If you hear me teach much, you have heard me talk about the three primary rules of interpretation that I use – word definition, context, and first use. Using those three rules will keep anyone from teaching or believing bad doctrine. The rule of context is major concerning the great tribulation. When people see the true context of the great tribulation, their entire concept about the kingdom will change. The context of the great tribulation was the last six days before the crucifixion of Christ. It began with Sunday’s triumphal entry on a donkey recorded in Matthew 21 and ends at the end of Matthew 24. Please do not allow chapter breaks to disrupt the continuation of the context. Of course, we cannot cover all those scriptures in this lesson. I have taught it in our Revelation class and there are CD’s in the bookstore. If you have your Bible follow with me through this. If you will take the time, you will see exactly what Jesus said concerning the great tribulation. It will change your life.
The triumphal entrance began many heated confrontational debates with the Pharisees and religious leaders during those six days. At the end of one such debate, Jesus said to them,
…Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. [Matthew 21:31]
To tell a religious person that God would receive social rejects and prostitutes before he would receive them was worse than slapping them in the face. The Jews thought that they were the “eternally secure” children of the kingdom and sole possessors of it. However, in one of the heated debates during those six days Jesus said,
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be CRUSHED.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. [Matthew 21:43-45]
Jesus had just told the parable of the landowner. It is about God destroying the people who killed his son. Thepeople to whom God would give the kingdom was/is the church. The term CRUSHED is extremely important, as we will see in a few minutes. For now, remember that the stone they rejected would CRUSH them.
Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites saying repeatedly, “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites.” Here is one of the many times Jesus said, “Woe unto you…”
Matthew 23:13 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Woe is the Greek word ouai (Strong’s #3759) and means an exclamation of grief. Jesus was saying “Grief unto you teachers of the law and Pharisees.” It is interesting that wrong spiritual leaders can and do stop us from entering the kingdom of heaven. I am trying my best to get you to see AND enter into it.
Jesus came to his summation of the confrontations in Matthew 23:32 and told those religious leaders that they were serpents and a generation of vipers who could not escape hell.
Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
The tension and animosity between the Pharisees and Jesus was extreme. At this point, Jesus prophetically spoke their destruction. Please pay attention here.
Matthew 23:35-38 And so UPON YOU will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom YOU murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell YOU the TRUTH, ALL THIS WILL COME UPON THIS GENERATION. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, YOU who kill the prophets and stone those sent to YOU, how often I have longed to gather YOUR children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but YOU were not willing. LOOK, YOUR HO– USE IS LEFT TO YOU DESOLATE.
I need to ask you again to tell me what that passage said. Upon whom would the judgment of God come for all the innocent blood shed from Abel until then? Jesus said it would COME UPON THIS GENERATION meaning the generation to which he stood and spoke. What was the specific target of that judgment? The target wasJerusalem and that temple. Another IRRESISTIBLE TRUTH was that Judaism, Jerusalem, and the temple was about to experience desolation.
The disciples immediately asked Jesus about this. They wanted to know when that desolation would happen (Mat 24:1-3). Jesus told them there would be a short period of time that would include people saying they were Christ, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, and false prophets during which time the kingdom of God would advance as it was preached to all the known world (Mat 24:4-14). Jesus said at that time the horrible tribulation would take place (Mat 24:15-28).
Matthew 24:21-22 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 except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
It would be “lights out” for that religious system. Theologically it is called “collapsing-universe terminology,” which means the end of a society (Mat 24:29-31). Here is how Jesus said it.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
In other words, that distress would terminate that society. It does not literally mean that stars fall, etc. It does mean the termination of a society. Jesus once again said,
Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS, TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED. [Matthew 24:34]
Again, Jesus said the generation to which he spoke was the generation that would experience great tribulation, not a generation 2,000 – 3,000 years later.
Now we need to ask, “Did something happen to the magnitude Jesus spoke and did it happen before that generation passed.” Yes! Any historic publication records it. Any encyclopedia tells the story. A generation in the Bible is 40 years (Num 32:13). Jesus said this about A.D. 33. So, something must happen before A.D. 73. In A.D. 66, the Roman armies invaded Palestine by crossing the Euphrates and camping in the valley of Miggedo (Armageddon – Rev 16:12, 16) just as the Revelation said. The Roman armies laid the land desolate destroying every city. The Romans set Jerusalem in siege (Luk 21:20). Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70. The armies burned the temple and dismantled it stone by stone just as Jesus said.
Matthew 24:2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the TRUTH, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
The IRRESISTIBLE TRUTH is that the temple’s destruction was the great tribulation of which Jesus spoke. It happened in A.D. 70 and nothing like it will ever happen again. The ancient historian Josephus wrote, “Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege eleven hundred thousand [1,100,000]…”
But Delbert, isn’t the book of Revelation about “The Great Tribulation” that comes on the earth one day? Why don’t we talk about that tonight? I hope I have totally messed up some of you. I hope I have filled your mind with questions. So, write them down and come tonight, WITH YOUR BIBLES, and we will answer them.
I have attempted to show you that Jesus came to bring the kingdom of God to us. We are today living in thekingdom of God. Please do not miss it. Don’t allow bad teaching to keep you out. The IRRESISTIBLE TRUTH is that the kingdom of God is eternal, ever expanding, and officially began at the ascension of Jesus.
Daniel 7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: HIS DOMINION IS AN EVERLASTING DOMINION, WHICH SHALL NOT PASS AWAY, AND HIS KINGDOM THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED.
The kingdom is eternal and everlasting. I will not experience a 7-year disruption or a 3 ½-year disruption. No antichrist will take the kingdom from Jesus.
Other Related Sermons:
Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, ix, 3