Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

WATCH AND BE SOBER

by David Wilkerson | August 28, 2014

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God is calling His people to watch and be sober as the day of destruction nears. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). Paul exhorts the brethren, “Ye . . . are not in darkness. . . . Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (5:4-5). What he is saying is this: “What is to this world a tragic night of darkness and fiery destruction is the dawning of a new day to you who watch and are sober!”

As surely as we are not of this world, we are not destined for darkness and destruction, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:9).

The increasing intensity of labor pains means something glorious to Christ’s Bride—we are one crisis closer to home! It is the world’s countdown to destruction but it is our countdown to glory! It is their appointment with wrath and our appointment with resurrection! While they weep and gnash their teeth, we will rejoice and shout for joy! Those who are the children of this gross darkness, this night of destruction, are drunken and asleep: “For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night” (5:7). “Let us who are of the day be sober” (5:8). This has to do with any kind of earthly intoxication. “To intoxicate” means “to excite the human spirit to a point of frenzy.” This is a powerful warning to us from the apostle Paul. He is warning us not to get excited over earthly things on the eve of destruction—not to become intoxicated (high) over anything but Christ.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). We must occupy until He comes and remain diligent in all things. But, above all, we must be sober and watchful. The word “sober” here means “discerning, cautious.” In other words, don’t let anything take your heart. Do not get too involved, too excited, or too wrapped up in things of this life.

Be warned! Right now you may be drinking the devil’s wine of distraction—the wine of busyness. The Bible warns that Satan will attempt to deceive, if it were possible, even the elect. I have often wondered how that could be possible. I believe it is not by adultery, pride or evil habits but by letting something worthwhile take the heart—by using what is legitimate to obsess and consume all one’s time.
 

HEADED FOR THE LABOR ROOM

by David Wilkerson | August 27, 2014

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“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

This is God’s inspired Word and every word was chosen carefully. Destruction is coming suddenly as the birth pangs of a woman about to deliver a child. The woman here is a lost, wicked, godless society and judgments are going to come like labor pains. When the moment of birth draws near, the pains begin to increase both in number and intensity. They can be an hour apart, then half an hour, then ten minutes apart. She is taken to a hospital, and the pains keep increasing. Suddenly, constant labor pains—travail. Its spiritual application is that the final destruction will begin with painful warnings which will intensify and become accelerated.

I believe America is already headed for the labor room. When hundreds of American marines were suddenly destroyed in Beirut, Lebanon, without a warning, we stood by—helpless! A few years later when America’s space shuttle Challenger blew up in the heavens, the world watched in horror as seven astronauts plunged to earth—and again we were helpless.

AIDS was declared a plague upon America by alarmed doctors and its spread was terrifying. Drugs have exploded upon our society—another plague. Drug abuse is spreading like the black plague of past centuries. Gangs now roam New York, Los Angeles, Chicago—killing, robbing, mugging! Paul warns us that it is all going to intensify, and God is now quickening the pace of troubles and sorrows.

The Holy Spirit is also blowing the trumpet louder and it sounds more ominous. Never have we heard so many warnings. Never have there been more watchmen crying from the wall. In fact, there have been so many warnings that many of God’s people have turned a deaf ear. Society is in travail—judgment is breaking out—and people are turning to idols and toys. Jesus said we are to rejoice when we see all these things coming to pass because it means our redemption is near.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).
 

“PLEASE SAY IT ISN’T SO”

by David Wilkerson | August 26, 2014

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The church awoke one day to a horrible scandal. We blushed to hear that a preacher of the gospel had spent millions of dollars on fancy cars, lavish jewelry, luxury homes, expensive wines! The ungodly laughed and mocked, and the name of Jesus became the butt of jokes and satire. And then the world was told that the nation’s number one “sin preacher” had been caught in sin! Again God’s people cried, “Please say it isn’t so!” And we watched the awesome decline of some ministries. Amidst it all, these sobering words rang so true: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).

Why was the church so shocked? We had been warning that judgment was at the door, and it must begin in God’s house. God is willing to let His name be mocked just to wake up the church and give one last trump to the world. “And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:17-18). God’s judgments in His house are so sudden and frightful, men’s ears tingle when they hear of them. When God judged the house of Eli, He said, “I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. . . . I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth” (1 Samuel 3:11 and 13).

When God judged Israel and the house of Manasseh for corruption, He said, “I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle” (2 Kings 21:12). God told Jeremiah that such awesome judgments were soon to fall on the house of Israel that “whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle” (Jeremiah 19:3). In Hebrew, to “tingle” the ears meant to rattle the ears and make them red with shame. Even the wicked will have blushing ears!

If God will rattle the ears of this nation by what they see and hear of His judgment upon the church, what kind of sudden, fearful judgments will fall upon this society? The media of this nation has delighted in making sport of religion. They have made the nation distrust all holiness preaching and made all ministers out to be charlatans and crooks. People lift their drinks to toast, jeering, “Here’s to all hell-fire preachers!” But it is all going to change overnight. God will tingle the ears of the world because there will be sudden ruin! Sudden death! But we can look up and rejoice because we know that our redemption draws near (see Luke 21:28).
 

A LIFE OF FAITH

by Gary Wilkerson | August 25, 2014

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To have the kind of faith that pleases God, we often must be taken through frustrating, irritating, fist-clenching experiences. Maybe you’ve been at the point where you cried, “Lord, You gave me a promise, but now You have taken away everything that could make that promise possible!”

Why does God do this? Why does He remove all natural means through which His promise could be fulfilled? Often, it is so our relationship with Him will be pleasurable rather than dutiful. You see, if His promises could be fulfilled through our abilities, we would be in performance mode 24/7. That is not His way. Instead, He asks us into an ongoing relationship, one that requires the trust of our whole hearts.

That’s how the great cloud of witnesses before us made it into His Hall of Faith. Scripture says that when God promised to make Abraham the father of all nations, Abraham “figured his body was as good as dead” (Romans 4:19, NLT). That word “figured” is a mathematical term. Abraham realized that nothing in his life “added up” to see this promise fulfilled. Nothing in his power could make it work. And yet we read, “Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger” (4:20).

Here is a picture of Jesus initiating and perfecting a godly man’s faith. The more Abraham figured, “I can’t do this,” the stronger His faith in God’s ability grew. And through the death of his flesh came a power that was not of himself—it was the power of the Holy Spirit.

I wanted to see my prodigal son return to the Lord and in order to see that accomplished, I put my faith in God’s power to draw him with overwhelming love. I am happy to report that my son has been gloriously reconciled to God and to his family.

I want to see thousands of lost people in our city come to Jesus. Yet I know that will never happen by strategizing, planning or putting programs into place. Those things may be useful, but only Jesus can initiate anything for His kingdom. Only He can perfect in us the trusting faith required to see multitudes of souls brought into eternal life.

Yes, we are called to do the things we can do for Christ’s kingdom. But we are also called to more. Do you want to see God’s purposes accomplished in your community, His promises fulfilled in your life? He asks only that you trust Him by living a life of faith.
 

REDEEM THE TIME

by Claude Houde | August 23, 2014

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“Redeeming the time” (Ephesians 5:16).

When you read the word “time” in the gospels, please know that two different words are most often used in the Greek language of the New Testament: the words chronos and kairos. The word chronos simply speaks of time in its chronological sequence: seconds, minutes, hours that become days, weeks, months and years. Time flies fast, time goes by. The word kairos is different. It is often translated with expressions such as “When the times were fulfilled; in the fullness of time; when the time had come for such and such to happen.”

I suggest that the spiritual application is vital. What I want you to see is that in every day, in each moment, resides the opportunity to make a decision (a resolution) to transform the time that is just “passing by” and wasted, into a divine moment in which “by faith with the resolution” we release something supernatural and redemptive that can revolutionize our lives.

Please pay close attention to this important key. One of the Greek words from which we draw the word “moment” is the word atomos. You can easily note that the words “atom” and “atomic” find their root in atomos. It is the perfect picture of what is hidden in the moment. The image of the atom reminds us how we can so easily miss a moment and underestimate its potential and possibilities. The atom is considered to be the symbol of perfect unity, the smallest particle of an element, most commonly called an irreducible unit. The idea is that it is impossible to find anything smaller. This is why we can so easily miss our moment. Like atoms, these moments with God come and go and are available to us in infinite numbers which can appear insignificant in stature or importance because they are so minute.

Moments are easy to miss or to ignore. At the same time, we find a picture of the atom in the moment. In this nucleus, so incredibly small, is also found nuclear capacity and the release of
nuclear fusion in all its magnitude.

I would say it this way, “When you seize the moment with God through prayer and by faith with a resolution, you can release a supernatural reaction of atomic spiritual proportions!”

 

 

Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.
 

OBSESSED WITH PROSPERITY

by David Wilkerson | August 22, 2014

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The Day of Judgment is coming as society becomes increasingly obsessed with prosperity and security.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). The Greek word Paul uses for peace is “eirene” which implies prosperity. Sudden destruction is about to break forth in that day when men’s minds are focused on riches. Money madness! Greed! Accumulating! Hoarding! Jesus warned us it will be a time when men’s hearts would fail them for fear, watching the terrible things coming upon the earth. Men will yearn for something certain, something secure. It does not say it will be a time of peace and safety, only that they will say, “Peace and safety.” It will be all they talk about. Their conversation will be about money, possessions, investments, how to find a secure haven for their assets!

Never in world history have men become so driven by a quest for money. Prosperity is the American dream! The stock market has become one gigantic gambling casino. Millions of Americans gamble by playing the lottery or visiting casinos, hoping to get rich overnight. Why such an obsession to make it big? Because everyone knows a storm is coming. The entire world awaits with anxiety that one day when a financial meltdown hits. They are trying to secure themselves against that awful time, hoping to outride the storm.

The obsession for prosperity has even corrupted the church. How Paul would have grieved had he known a day would come when ministers of the gospel turned Christ's covenant into a covenant of cash. The church once stood before the world as a testimony against greed and materialism, against the love of things, against self-love, hoarding and covetousness. But now the world sees the church as its biggest competitor for the good life. The world laughs and mocks at Christians reject the sufferings of Christ to indulge in the riches of this age.

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

THE DAY WILL COME SUDDENLY

by David Wilkerson | August 21, 2014

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“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).

The judgments of God strike suddenly, but not without warning. God promised that He would do nothing, including sending judgment, without telling His prophets what was coming. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing [unless] he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). God promises that a trumpet will be sounded; He will roar like a lion to awaken the people prior to judgment. “And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet” (Zechariah 9:14).

God blows the trumpet, a reverberating blast, a warning, through the voice of His watchmen and prophets. Paul warned, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). “At the last trump” suggests there were other trumpet blasts. I believe this means that just prior to the change that will come “in the twinkling of an eye,” the Holy Spirit will have all His watchmen at their posts, all seeing eye to eye, all giving forth the last call—the final warning!

No wonder Paul wrote these words to the church at Thessalonica. Why should it be perfectly clear to them that God’s Day of Judgment would come suddenly? The church in Thessalonica was only about six months old when this letter was received. Paul probably preached about Noah and Lot and the sudden destruction of Israel and they had all the same Old Testament examples we have. Paul is saying: “It is perfectly clear that God’s judgments will fall suddenly, like a thief in the night! Yet, no believer should ever be surprised.” That day should not overtake God’s people unexpectedly. We should know how God works, because we have His record.

A SUPERNATURAL SHAKING

by David Wilkerson | August 20, 2014

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According to Hebrews, the sole reason Jesus will pour out His Spirit in these last days is to shake up God's house. Everything that is unholy, unclean or of flesh will be shaken, swept up, wiped out.

Our ministry receives heartrending letters from precious saints who grieve over what they see happening in their churches. There is a constant clamor for “new works,” and horrendous things are being introduced daily—fleshly manifestations, foolish practices. One person writes that every week his church features punk rock concerts, with performers who look and act like secular, devil-influenced groups. Still others write of empty, dry, permissive preaching.

I tell you, all that is about to change. The Lord is going to speak powerfully, exposing everything that is false. How will this shaking and exposing happen? It will happen through a man—Jesus! He vows to speak to all who are living in sin, disobedient, clinging to things His word has condemned. And His voice will be unmistakably clear.

First, He will speak tenderly to every backslider who has strayed, saying, “Why have you not listened to My plea for you to return? Why have you turned a deaf ear to My call to repent and be restored? Come to Me now, before your life is shaken to the foundation.”

Jesus will also speak to godly men and women who pursue truth, purity and holiness. Even now He is raising up a people whose hearts have received His shaking, convicting word. They are shut in with the Lord—and He is going to give them power to speak for Him.

So, how will the Lord speak to you? Are you receiving His word of shaking, allowing it to work in your heart? Or are you living a double life—still indulging in fornication, adultery, hatred, bitterness? If you claim, “Christ is my Lord,” yet still have hidden sin in your life, you can know you’ll hear Him say, “Why haven’t you come back to My grace? Why have you continually rejected it? You’ve heard My loving call and tasted my loving-kindness yet you’re going your own way. Why?”

Here is the good news: This supernatural shaking—God’s housecleaning, in both the nation and the church—will result in an unshakable foundation. It will produce a holy, pruned church—boasting a remnant of saints who walk in the fear of God and the righteousness of Christ.

GOD DOES THE COUNTING

by David Wilkerson | August 19, 2014

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Many Christians have become barren from sitting in a dead church and listening to a pastor who has no anointing from God. In the process they have become spiritually starved, with no spiritual authority. Families suffer; children backslide; marriages fall apart. There are many Ishmaels being born in churches today. Ishmael stands for “flesh” and many Christians are bound by flesh, claiming to be heirs of righteousness.

God is going to cleanse and heal children after His heart and give them to the church. “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 54:1). God is not talking about simply emptying the houses of Ishmael and giving the crowds to the righteous. It is much deeper than crowds, numbers, and success and He is going to do the counting, not man. “Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?” (Micah 6:11).

“The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there” (Psalm 87:6). Look at any great gathering of Christians and they may all be singing loud praises with upraised hands. But God is not impressed by the crowds. Rock bands draw huge crowds but there is no praise to God there. He knows who is holy and those who mourn for sin.

This last revival will come because God will pity His own name. He will sanctify His name before the whole world. Let me share with you a great prophecy from Ezekiel. “But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes” (Ezekiel 36:21-23).
 

THE PERFECTER OF OUR FAITH

by Gary Wilkerson | August 18, 2014

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“Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, NLT). There are many things I sincerely hope for, but some are not initiated by God. For example, I hope with all my heart that our church in Colorado Springs will see tens of thousands of people come to Christ in the coming decades. God has not promised this to me, but still I hope and pray that He will bring the lost into His loving arms.

We all need to be careful about taking our hopes and making them into promises. We can only be assured something is a promise from God when it is confirmed through Scripture, prayer and sometimes fellow Christians.

It is possible for us to hear the voice of our own ambitions and desires and mistake it for the voice of God. We may hope for certain things, including good things, and yet, as James writes, God won’t give us those requests because they are born out of our own striving and flesh.

Instead, God perfects our faith by putting those things away. Speaking as a man in midlife, I am so glad the Lord does this. There are many things I wanted in my thirties that I’m glad He never gave me. In His mercy God saw what I needed, and He didn’t allow the things I wanted. By perfecting our faith, the desires He initiates—those things born of Him and not of ourselves—begin to rise up in our hearts.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen” (11:1). As God purifies our faith, our confidence builds. We grow in discernment, saying, “Ah, yes, this is the word of the Lord, and that other word is not. He is confirming His promise to me—through Scripture, prayer and the witness of my brothers and sisters.” Faith begins to settle the matter within us, so that as Hebrews 11:1 says, we have “confidence that what we hope for will actually happen.”

This kind of faith was perfected in those listed in the Hall of Faith (see Hebrews 11). According to that chapter, God commended Abel not for his worthy sacrifice of worship but for his faith. Noah wasn’t commended for being a preacher of righteousness but for his faith. Likewise, Moses wasn’t commended for being a bold deliverer but for his faith.
 

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