THE END DAYS
2 Chron 32:24-33
This Message I call The End Days. We all have a special warning from God. I know He has warned us in many places in the Scriptures about the Last Days and the results that will still be forthcoming, but this warning is not about the End Days as such; it is about the end of our own personal life here on earth. Most people are so tied up worrying about what they are doing today, that they really forget about tomorrow, and when they think about tomorrow, it is about putting off until tomorrow! I know that Jesus said that we are not to worry about tomorrow for tomorrow brings about other worries. Jesus was talking here about the material things. What the majority forget about is the future of their souls. Read about this subject in Luke 12:22-34. When approached, we get the familiar excuse: Tomorrow is another day, I’ll think about it then, don’t bother me now!
How wrong we are when we have this kind of approach to the call of the Master on our life! We think of the material, but Jesus says, NO! Think about your SOUL! Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and then ALL these things, the material, will be added to you.
1.HEZEKIAH’S ILLNESS AND GOD’S SIGN vs 24
It must have been very soon after the saving of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria that Hezekiah became very ill. We read in the Book of Kings that it was a boil that he was infected with. This boil must have been severely neglected because we read that he was at the point of death. How often don’t we have a small infection and we neglect to treat it properly? Similarly, how often don’t we have a small spiritual infection and we ignore it. We let it go on and on until a time comes when we suddenly realize that it has infected the whole body, soul and spirit. We then try to put the spiritual poultice on the infection but it does not respond to treatment.
For the period of time between verses 24 and 25 of this morning’s reading we have to go to the second Book of Kings chapter 20:1-11. I am not going to read the whole section now, you can read it later, but briefly the following happened:
Hezekiah was told to put his house in order because his time of death was upon him. Realizing that God had given him a warning he turned his face to the wall and prayed that God would heal him. He wept bitterly as he reminded the Lord just how he had kept all that God had asked him to do, how he had honoured God in all the things he had done in the past. When Isaiah come with a message from the Lord telling him that God would spare him another 15 years he did not believe it. So he asked for a sign. O! How we ourselves fail in this respect! We ask for healing, or whatever, and when God answers we don’t believe it; we ask for a sign. Listener, when we ask God for a sign it shows that we are not fully trusting God’s promises. We must not get into the habit of putting out the fleece every time God answers our prayers. More than that, often we do not recognize God’s answering of our prayers, because we are not listening for it, or we are not believing that it will happen. God supplies the boat at the harbour but we look right past it to another boat way out at sea. At the appointed time the boat leaves the harbour but we have missed it! The boat is on its way and we have missed it!
Please don’t let this happen to you. So often you have heard the Lord calling you to His bosom on this channel; calling you to a be a citizen of His kingdom. If you constantly ignore the calling, it is the same as looking right past the boat in the harbour. When the boat sets sail at the end of our sojourn here on earth and there is NO second chance. “But now he (Jesus) has appeared ONCE for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die ONCE, and AFTER that to face the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:26-27)
Listener, have you climbed aboard the Ship of Heaven?
2.HEZEKIAH’S PRIDE vs 25
As a result of his sickness, envoys from Babylon came to visit him. Suddenly pride got hold of him and he boasted about all his riches. He even allowed the envoy right into the treasure house of the temple.. they saw EVERYTHING! O! How we are to be so careful of being caught up with pride. And it is so easy to do so! Satan visits us when our defenses are down, and when he visits us in this condition we are so befuddled that we do not recognise him as such. We fall prey to compliments. Jesus warned us not to cast our pearls before the swine because swines are always in the mud hole and they will trample the pearls until they disappear in the mud.
3.HEZEKIAH’S REPENTANCE vs 26
At first Hezekiah did not repent and we read that the wrath of God fell upon the whole of Judah and Jerusalem as well as upon him. When someone in the body of Christ does something wrong then ultimately the whole of the Body suffers. When Jimmy Swaggart had that trouble I went through quite a tough time here at work, through people throwing Christianity in my face, and that by so-called Christians! Praise the Lord, Jimmy Swaggart repented, openly, of his sin and he openly asked God’s firgiveness. Jimmy is now a forgiven sinner, but the crux of the matter is this: As YOU also a forgiven sinner? Have YOU personally come before Jesus? Asking His forgiveness in YOUR life? Until you do so then you have missed the boat! Unless you have a ticket, as it were, you will not be allowed on board. To qualify for this “Ticket” you have to accept Jesus into your heart; you have to have asked for forgiveness of your sins and you need to follow Him all the way right up to the end, up the gangway into the ship. If you do not follow Jesus right up to the end of your life here on earth it would be just the same as if you go right up to the gangplank but refuse to go up it onto the ship. Fortunately with repentance comes restoration and this brings us to point 4
4.HEZEKIAH WAS RESTORED AND HAD SUCCESS vs 27-30
In Luke 15:11-32 we read of the Prodical Son, who squandered his inheritance, throwing it before the swine. A time came when he suddenly came to his senses and returned to his father, asking his forgiveness. We read how the father killed the fatted lamb and restored him by giving the son his ring. The ring here meant authority. Are some of you not perhaps like the Prodical Son? Won’t you come to your senses and get down on your knees and ask God’s forgiveness, right now, even as the service is being held? Forget about the service for a moment. For you to ask God’s forgiveness and to be restored in His presence is of more importance! Do it now before it is too late! Restoration and blessings will follow you all the rest of your days. Praise the Lord for His promises. Hallelujah!
5.HEZEKIAH’S TESTING vs 31
“God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.” except for one instance in Malachi we are told not to test the Lord our God. However the Lord tests us. Just why is it that we are not allowed to test God while He is allowed to test us? The answer is really very very simple. So simple that in fact we look right past it. The Kingdom of Heaven BELONGS to God and as such He has the right to set the standards and the conditions whereby we will be allowed to enter it. Men, through the ages, have tried to set their own standards for entering God’s kingdom and because of this they have led millions astray. God’s standards are very clearly written in the Scriptures, so clear that even a child cannot miss them.. as “grown-ups” we have covered up the truth. Get beneath the cover, become like a child, and you cannot but see the Truth.
6.HEZEKIAH’S RECORDS vs 32
“His acts of devotion are written.. in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.” What a testimony of a man, who lived the way the Lord wanted him to live. Being a human being he also had his faults just like the rest of us. His greatest achievement was not his successes during his lifetime, but in his act of repentance. When he repented he did his best not to repeat his sins. That is why he was classed with the likes of king David. Listener, repentance is not easy to do; it cost us something, it cost us our pride. Pride will never get our name into the Book of the Lamb. Let us practice humility until it becomes part of us. Let humility be our strength and not our weakness for while displaying humility we are still to be strong in the Lord and take our stand against the world for Him.
7.HEZEKIAH’S RESTING PLACE vs 33
Hezekiah had the honour of being buried in the resting place of king David’s descendants. A statement we seem to just glance over in the Scripture, yet it has tremendous meaning for the true Christian. The term “Son of David” appears many times in the New Testament and refers to Jesus Himself. For the true Christian the resting place is Jesus Himself, for He is our Rest. Strive hard to keep on the narrow Road, Strive hard to live for Jesus, strive hard to keep right on to the end of our days.
May God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be YOUR rest, right INTO ETERNITY!