Faithlife Sermons

In Those Days

Pastor Randy Bradley
The Book of Joel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  24:20
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"In Those Days" and the Great and Awesome Day of the Lord, some will stand before Him in the valley of decision, others will stand beside Him as He rules and reigns. If we Trust in Christ we will stand beside Him, if we trust in our selves we will stand in that valley.

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1 WHEN I WAS JUST A LITTLE FELLA • I USED TO LOVE RIDING AROUND ON MY DAD’S SHOULDERS • IT FELT LIKE I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD…. SO HIGH UP • NOW, THE TRUTH IS WAS NOT ALL THAT HIGH UP • BUT AT 3 OR 4 YEARS OLD THAT FELT REALLY HIGH UP • WHEN I WAS 9 OR TEN I TOOK A FALL OFF A ROOF TOP • NOW, THAT FELT LIKE A LONG FALL • LIKE I HAD BEEN WAY UP HIGH… • I GOT BRUISED AND BANGED UP • BUT I HEALED UP JUST FINE • WHEN I WAS ABOUT 13 OR 14 I LEARNED WHAT • REALLY HIGH UP MEANT… • ON A FAMILY VACATION • WE WENT TO ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE • IT IS ONE OF THE HIGHEST BRIDGES IN THE COUNTRY • THE DROP IS ALMOST 1000 FEET. • STANDING THERE ON THE EDGE OF THAT 1000 FOOT DROP • LOOKING OVER THAT BRIDGE • I REALLY UNDERSTOOD WHAT A LONG FALL WOULD BE… • IN LIFE SOMETIMES WE FACE A ROUGH TIME… A STRUGGLE • AND WE THINK WE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO SUFFER • AND THEN MAYBE GOD SHOWS US WE WERE NOT • AS HIGH UP AS WE THOUGHT WE WERE • HE LETS US FALL A LITTLE FATHER • AND THEN HE CATCHES US … • GOD USES THE BUMPS AND BRUISES WE GET IN THIS LIFE • TO HELP US UNDERSTAND OUR NEED FOR HIM • TO HELP US UNDERSTAND OUR ETERNAL POSITION….. • EVERY HUMAN BEING IS ACTUAL STANDING • ON THE EDGE OF A 1000 FOOT DROP • WE ARE GIVEN A CHOICE • WE CAN TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WORK ON THE CROSS • OR WE CAN TRUST IN OUR SELVES • IF WE TRUST IN CHRIST, WE ARE LIFTED HIGH ABOVE THAT 1000 FOOT DROP • IF WE REJECT CHRIST, WE TAKE THAT LONG FALL • ALL BY OUR SELVES. • TODAY WE ARE GONNA LOOK AT THE FINAL CHAPTER • OF THE BOOK OF JOEL • TURN TO JOEL 3:1 • JOEL HAS TALKED ABOUT 3 EVENTS • A LOCUST PLAGUE DURING HIS OWN TIME • A COMING INVASION AND EXILE OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE • AND THE FINAL JUDGMENT IN THE • GREAT AND AWESOME DAY OF THE LORD • IN THIS LAST CHAPTER HE WILL FOCUS ON THIS LAST EVENT JOEL 3:1–8 “FOR BEHOLD, IN THOSE DAYS AND AT THAT TIME, WHEN I RESTORE THE FORTUNES OF JUDAH AND JERUSALEM, I WILL GATHER ALL THE NATIONS AND BRING THEM DOWN TO THE VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT. THEN I WILL ENTER INTO JUDGMENT WITH THEM THERE ON BEHALF OF MY PEOPLE AND MY INHERITANCE, ISRAEL, WHOM THEY HAVE SCATTERED AMONG THE NATIONS; AND THEY HAVE DIVIDED UP MY LAND. “THEY HAVE ALSO CAST LOTS FOR MY PEOPLE, TRADED A BOY FOR A HARLOT AND SOLD A GIRL FOR WINE THAT THEY MAY DRINK. “MOREOVER, WHAT ARE YOU TO ME, O TYRE, SIDON AND ALL THE REGIONS OF PHILISTIA? ARE YOU RENDERING ME A RECOMPENSE? BUT IF YOU DO RECOMPENSE ME, SWIFTLY AND SPEEDILY I WILL RETURN YOUR RECOMPENSE ON YOUR HEAD. “SINCE YOU HAVE TAKEN MY SILVER AND MY GOLD, BROUGHT MY PRECIOUS TREASURES TO YOUR TEMPLES, AND SOLD THE SONS OF JUDAH AND JERUSALEM TO THE GREEKS IN ORDER TO REMOVE THEM FAR FROM THEIR TERRITORY, BEHOLD, I AM GOING TO AROUSE THEM FROM THE PLACE WHERE YOU HAVE SOLD THEM, AND RETURN YOUR RECOMPENSE ON YOUR HEAD. “ALSO I WILL SELL YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS INTO THE HAND OF THE SONS OF JUDAH, AND THEY WILL SELL THEM TO THE SABEANS, TO A DISTANT NATION,” FOR THE LORD HAS SPOKEN. WHEN JOEL SAYS “IN THOSE DAYS” • HE HAS TO BE TALKING ABOUT THE FINAL JUDGMENT • WE CAN KNOW THIS BECAUSE HE SAYS • HE WILL RESTORE THE FORTUNES JUDAH AND JERUSALEM • THAT PHRASE IS TALKING ABOUT MORE THEN • JUST MAKING THINGS PHYSICALLY BETTER • OR SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY BETTER • THAT PHRASE IS ABOUT A FULL RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM • JESUS WILL REIGN FROM A RESTORED JERUSALEM • FOR 1000 YEARS THIS IS THE JERUSALEM JOEL IS DESCRIBING…. • THE PEOPLE JOEL IS WRITING TO • HAD BEEN TROUGH A VERY TOUGH TIME • WITH THE LOCUST AND THE DROUGHT • THEY WERE GOING TO GO THROUGH A TOUGHER • TIME WITH THE INVASION AND EXILE… • AT THE FINAL JUDGMENT MANY OF THEM • WOULD FACE FAR WORSE THAN INVASION AND EXILE • BUT GOD WOULD RESTORE THE LAND AFTER THE LOCUST • AND RESTORE THE NATION AFTER THE EXILE • AND GOD WILL FULLY RESTORE JERUSALEM • AS PART OF THE FINAL JUDGMENT… • AND CHRIST WILL RULE THE WORLD • FROM THIS FULLY RESTORED JERUSALEM • FOR 1000 YEARS… • THIS FINAL JUDGMENT WILL BE A JUDGMENT • ON ALL THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD JOEL SAYS GOD WILL GATHER ALL THE NATIONS • AND WILL BRING THEM TO THE VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT • THAT NAME JEHOSHAPHAT MEANS “GOD JUDGES” • SO, THIS IS LITERALLY THE VALLEY IN WHICH GOD JUDGES • NOW THERE IS SOME QUESTION AS TO WHERE THIS VALLEY IS • IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THIS VALLEY WILL BE CREATED • WHEN CHRIST APPEARS ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES • THIS IS DESCRIBED IN ZECHARIAH 14:4 IN THAT DAY HIS FEET WILL STAND ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, WHICH IS IN FRONT OF JERUSALEM ON THE EAST; AND THE MOUNT OF OLIVES WILL BE SPLIT IN ITS MIDDLE FROM EAST TO WEST BY A VERY LARGE VALLEY, SO THAT HALF OF THE MOUNTAIN WILL MOVE TOWARD THE NORTH AND THE OTHER HALF TOWARD THE SOUTH. • THE POINT IS NOT REALLY WHERE THIS VALLEY IS LOCATED • THE POINT IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THIS VALLEY • GOD WILL ENTER INTO JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS JOEL DESCRIBES GOD ENTERING INTO JUDGEMENT ON THE NATIONS • PART OF WHAT THE NATIONS WILL BE JUDGED FOR • IS HOW THEY HAVE TREATED THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL… • THROUGHOUT HISTORY MANY NATIONS HAVE • TREATED THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL BADLY • MANY NATIONS HAVE DIVIDED UP THEIR LAND • MANY NATIONS HAVE ABUSED THE JEWISH PEOPLE • AND HERE AT THIS JUDGMENT PART OF • WHAT THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD WILL BE CONDEMNED FOR • IS HOW THEY HAVE TREATED GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE • THIS IS NOT ALL THEY WILL BE JUDGED FOR • BUT I THINK JOEL FOCUSES ON THIS PART OF THE JUDGEMENT • BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS WRITING TO…. • HE WANTS THEM TO KNOW THAT THE THINGS THEY HAVE • SUFFERED AND WILL SUFFER…. • GOD IS GOING TO JUDGE THOSE PEOPLE • WHO HAVE DONE THESE THINGS • THIS JUDGMENT WILL BE FOR ALL WHO • HAVE REJECTED JESUS CHRIST • NOW THERE IS SOME QUESTION ABOUT WHEN THIS JUDGMENT HAPPENS • THE MOST LIKELY TIME OF THIS JUDGEMENT • COMES AT THE END OF THE 1000 YEAR REIGN OF CHRIST… • UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS JUDGMENT IS COMING • SHOULD HELP US WITH TWO THINGS • FIRST, IT SHOULD HELP US WITH • THE INJUSTICE WE SEE IN THE WORLD • WE NEED TO KNOW THAT NO ONE GETS AWAY WITH ANY INJUSTICE • IT MAY LOOK LIKE THEY GET AWAY WITH THESE THINGS • THEY MAY THINK THEY GET AWAY WITH THEM • BUT ALL WHO TREAT OTHERS UNJUSTLY WILL FACE • GOD ONE WAY OR ANOTHER • SECOND THE JUDGMENT SHOULD HELP US • TO UNDERSTAND OUR DIRE NEED FOR A SAVIOR… • NONE OF US HAVE LIVED PERFECT LIVES • ALL OF US NEED THE CLEANSING BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST TO PAY FOR OUR SINS • WE WILL ALL STAND BEFORE GOD • THE QUESTION IS WILL YOU STAND BEFORE HIM AT • THIS JUDGEMENT IN THE VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT • ALONE WITHOUT THE BLOOD OF CHRIST TO COVER YOUR SIN • OR WILL YOU STAND BEFORE HIM AT THE BEMA SEAT • AS ONE OF HIS CHILDREN COVERED IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST • ONE WAY OR THE OTHER WE WILL BE CALLED TO STAND BEFORE HIM JOEL 3:9–14 PROCLAIM THIS AMONG THE NATIONS: PREPARE A WAR; ROUSE THE MIGHTY MEN! LET ALL THE SOLDIERS DRAW NEAR, LET THEM COME UP! BEAT YOUR PLOWSHARES INTO SWORDS AND YOUR PRUNING HOOKS INTO SPEARS; LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM A MIGHTY MAN.” HASTEN AND COME, ALL YOU SURROUNDING NATIONS, AND GATHER YOURSELVES THERE. BRING DOWN, O LORD, YOUR MIGHTY ONES. LET THE NATIONS BE AROUSED AND COME UP TO THE VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT, FOR THERE I WILL SIT TO JUDGE ALL THE SURROUNDING NATIONS. PUT IN THE SICKLE, FOR THE HARVEST IS RIPE. COME, TREAD, FOR THE WINE PRESS IS FULL; THE VATS OVERFLOW, FOR THEIR WICKEDNESS IS GREAT. MULTITUDES, MULTITUDES IN THE VALLEY OF DECISION! FOR THE DAY OF THE LORD IS NEAR IN THE VALLEY OF DECISION. GOD INSTRUCTS JOEL TO TELL THE NATIONS TO PREPARE FOR WAR • THEY ARE TO CALL OUT THEIR GREATEST WARRIORS • ALL THEIR TROOPS ARE TO COME OUT TO FIGHT • EVEN THE WEAK ARE CALLED TO BATTLE • THEY ARE TO TURN THEIR FARMING TOOLS INTO WEAPONS • THEY ARE TO DO ALL THIS… FOR A WAR THEY CANNOT WIN • NOTICE WHAT JOEL SAYS AT THE END OF VERSE 11 • THIS IS A VERY BRIEF BUT POWERFUL PRAYER • BRING DOWN, O LORD, YOUR MIGHTY ONES. • THE NATIONS CAN GATHER ALL THE TROOPS THEY WANT • THEY CAN MAKE AS MANY WEAPONS AS THEY WANT • BUT GOD IS ABOUT TO BRING DOWN HIS MIGHTY ONES • THAT IS THE ANGELIC HOST, THE ARMIES OF GOD…. • THE OUTCOME OF THIS BATTLE IS SO CERTAIN • THAT THE BATTLE IS NOT EVEN DISCUSSED JOEL JUMPS RIGHT TO THE RESULT OF THE BATTLE • THE NATIONS WILL COME TO THE VALLEY OF “GOD JUDGES” • THIS JUDGEMENT WILL BE VERY SEVERE • JOEL SAYS GOD WILL PUT IN THE SICKLE (OR CUTTING KNIFE) • THE HARVEST IS RIPE… THE FRUIT IS READY • GOD WILL COME TREAD THE GRAPES FROM THE HARVEST • FOR THE WINE PRESS IS FULL… THE VATS OVER FLOW • HE DESCRIBES THE WICKEDNESS OF THE NATIONS AS BEING GREAT • GOD AND HIS ANGELIC HOST ARE HARVESTING SINNERS NEXT JOEL TELLS US THE SIZE OF THIS HARVEST • HE SAYS; MULTITUDES, MULTITUDES IN THE VALLEY OF DECISION! • THIS MEANS “WAY MORE THAN YOU CAN COUNT” • AND HE WHEN CALL THIS PLACE THE VALLEY OF DECISION • IT COULD ALSO BE TRANSLATED • THE VALLEY OF THE VERDICT • THE DECISION HAS BEEN MADE… A VERDICT THAT HAS BEEN PASSED • ON ALL THOSE WHO HAVE REJECT JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR JOEL 3:15–21 THE SUN AND MOON GROW DARK AND THE STARS LOSE THEIR BRIGHTNESS. THE LORD ROARS FROM ZION AND UTTERS HIS VOICE FROM JERUSALEM, AND THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH TREMBLE. BUT THE LORD IS A REFUGE FOR HIS PEOPLE AND A STRONGHOLD TO THE SONS OF ISRAEL. THEN YOU WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, DWELLING IN ZION, MY HOLY MOUNTAIN. SO JERUSALEM WILL BE HOLY, AND STRANGERS WILL PASS THROUGH IT NO MORE. AND IN THAT DAY THE MOUNTAINS WILL DRIP WITH SWEET WINE, AND THE HILLS WILL FLOW WITH MILK, AND ALL THE BROOKS OF JUDAH WILL FLOW WITH WATER; AND A SPRING WILL GO OUT FROM THE HOUSE OF THE LORD TO WATER THE VALLEY OF SHITTIM. EGYPT WILL BECOME A WASTE, AND EDOM WILL BECOME A DESOLATE WILDERNESS, BECAUSE OF THE VIOLENCE DONE TO THE SONS OF JUDAH, IN WHOSE LAND THEY HAVE SHED INNOCENT BLOOD. BUT JUDAH WILL BE INHABITED FOREVER AND JERUSALEM FOR ALL GENERATIONS. AND I WILL AVENGE THEIR BLOOD WHICH I HAVE NOT AVENGED, FOR THE LORD DWELLS IN ZION. • JOEL TALKS ABOUT PRONOUNCING THIS JUDGMENT • SUN AND MOON GROW DARK STARS DIM • AND GOD ROARS HIS JUDGMENT FROM JERUSALEM • THE HEAVENS & EARTH TREMBLE • BUT GOD IS A REFUGE… A SAFE PLACE FOR HIS PEOPLE • AND THE RESULT OF THIS SAFETY • IS THAT GOD’S PEOPLE WILL KNOWN THAT GOD IS GOD • AND THAT HE DWELLS WITH HIS PEOPLE • THEN JOEL DESCRIBES THE RESULT OF THE DAY OF THE LORD • THE LAND WILL BE RESTORE TO A STATE SIMILAR • TO THE GARDEN OF EDEN • MOUNTAINS DRIP WITH WINE, HILLS FLOW WITH HONEY • ALL THE CREEKS WILL FLOW WITH WATER • AND A SPRING WILL GO OUT FROM THE HOUSE OF THE LORD ZECHARIAH 14:8 AND IN THAT DAY LIVING WATERS WILL FLOW OUT OF JERUSALEM, HALF OF THEM TOWARD THE EASTERN SEA AND THE OTHER HALF TOWARD THE WESTERN SEA; IT WILL BE IN SUMMER AS WELL AS IN WINTER. • I THINK JOEL MENTIONS EGYPT AND EDOM BECOMING A WASTE • BECAUSE OF HOW THE PEOPLE HE IS WRITING TO WOULD UNDERSTAND THIS • TO THEM THIS STATEMENT IS ABOUT JUSTICE BEING DONE • EGYPT AND EDOM HAD TREATED THESE PEOPLE HORRIBLY • AND THEY NEEDED TO KNOW GOD IS A GOD OF JUSTICE • WE KNOW THAT GOD WILL MAKE ALL THE EARTH A PARADISE LIKE EDEN • WHEN HE MAKES THE NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH • BUT BEFORE THAT… EGYPT AND EDOM WILL BE A DESOLATE WILDERNESS • JOEL CONCLUDES THIS BOOK • BY STATING TWO THINGS THAT WOULD BE • VERY IMPORTANT TO HIS READERS • FIRST, HE STATES THAT JUDAH AND JERUSALEM WILL BE • ETERNALLY INHABITED • THIS WOULD BE IMPORTANT TO HIS READERS • BECAUSE THEY HAD JUST BEEN THROUGH • A HORRIBLE LOCUST PLAGUE AND DROUGHT • AND THEY WERE FACING A MASSIVE ARMY INVASION AND EXILE • THEY WOULD BE COMFORTED TO KNOW • THAT JUDAH AND JERUSALEM WOULD ALWAYS BE INHABITED • THAT GOD’S PROMISES WOULD BE FUFILLED.. • SECOND, HE TELLS THEM THAT HE WILL • AVENGE THE THINGS THAT HAD AND WOULD BE DONE TO THEM • WHEN WE CONSIDER THE HISTORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE • WE CAN UNDERSTAND WHY KNOWING THAT GOD WILL AVENGE • THOSE WHO HAVE WRONGED THEM WOULD BE IMPORTANT. • JOEL WRITES THESE THINGS TO JEWISH PEOPLE • LIVING ABOUT 2800 YEARS AGO • HOW DOES ANY OF THIS APPLY TO US? • WHAT DO WE DO WITH THESE THINGS? • HOW SHOULD WE CHANGE WHAT WE THINK OR SAY OR DO • BASED ON WHAT JOEL HAS SAID HERE? • WELL THE BIGGEST THINK I THINK WE SHOULD GET FROM THIS BOOK • IS THAT THERE IS IN FACT A GREAT AND AWESOME DAY OF THE LORD • AND IT IS COMING… • WE GET CAUGHT UP IN THE LOCUST PLAGUES • AND EVEN THE WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS • BUT THESE ARE ALL TEMPORARY EVENTS • GOD’S VERDICT IN THE VALLEY OF DECISION IS ETERNALLY FINAL • THIS SHOULD CHANGE HOW WE FEEL • ABOUT TELLING PEOPLE THE GOSPEL • IF WE HAVE TRUSTED IN CHRIST, WE WILL NOT BE IN THAT VALLEY • IF WE KNOW FOLKS WHO HAVE NOT TRUSTED IN CHRIST • THEY VERY WELL MIGHT END UP IN THAT VALLEY • THIS OUGHTA MOTIVATE US TO SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH THEM • THE NEXT THING I THINK WE NEED TO LEARN FROM THIS BOOK • IS THAT GOD HAS IT ALL UNDER CONTROL • ALL OF IT.. I MEAN EVERY LITTLE THING.. • HE’S GOT IT.. I NEED TO RELAX AND LET HIM HANDLE IT. • HE DEALS WITH THE LOCUST • HE DEALS WITH THE INVADING ARMY • HE DEALS WITH THE NATIONS.. THE POLITICS • THE CROPS.. THE EARLY AND LATE RAINS.. • DID YOU SEE ANYTHING IN THE BOOK • THAT GOD DID NOT HAVE UNDER HIS CONTROL? • OK… THEN WHY ARE WE STRESSING OUT • TRYING TO CONTROL EVERY LITTLE THING AROUND US • WE NEED TO RELAX IN GOD’S PEACE • AND FOCUS ON DOING GOD’S WORK • LOVING ONE ANOTHER LIKE HE HAS TOLD US TO DO • IF HE CAN HANDLE LOCUST PLAGUES AND INVADING ARMIES • IF HE CAN RESTORE JUDAH AND JERUSALEM • IF CAN AVENGE THOSE WHO HAVE WRONGED ISRAEL • WELL THEN, HE CAN HANDLE MY PROBLEMS JUST FINE • NOT ONLY SHOULD WE TRUST THAT GOD CAN HANDLE OUR PROBLEMS • WE CAN TRUST THAT HE WILL HANDLE THEM • BECAUSE HE IS A GOD THAT LOVES US • AND WANTS AN ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP WITH US • EVEN THOUGH WE ALL SIN….. 78
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