The Christian And Evil Days by Wm. Doyal Thomas - Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptist Pastor
And Evil Days
Elder Wm. Doyal
Pastor - Philadelphia
Decatur , Alabama
I sit in my study on this cold, overcast and dreary day I meditate upon
the conditions that mortal man faces each day. All around is the visual
and the sensory perceptions of darkness and dread. There is the apparent
evidence that the day holds many forebodings and anxious moments as one
must face unpleasant conditions and circumstances. Just to go outside into
such an environment as winter presents requires one to seek to muster up
an extra measure of courage and strength. And I do not enjoy this set of
circumstances, for I do not like the dark and dreary.
Why, do you suppose, do I and others have this particular feeling toward
our lot and portion during the winter? Is there something that is inherently
bad about winter? Surely, God has wisely appointed the seasons and the
associated weather patterns for good and beneficial reason. He tells us,
specifically, that seasons are in our best interest, and they produce much
good, and that there is a time for all things. "To every thing there is
a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:" (Eccle. 3:1)
I think, as others must surely think, of the ever present desires and choices
of the flesh as it seeks to find gratification for itself with seldom a
thought past immediacy. I want to face, or otherwise be confronted with
the warm, the pleasant, the easy, and the enjoyable. I want everything
to bring me into, and then to sustain me in a state of human pleasure.
I want life to be everything that causes the flesh to find contentment
in the world, as if one can stay in the world forever; as if there were
no hereafter. I want what I want, and I want it now. I, being mortal, am
sinfully fallible, and being such, am depraved and self-centered. I am
Yes, even in normally warm south Texas, there are times when cold, somber
dreariness sets upon us as a blanket of gloom and uneasiness. There are
some days when life has some difficulties, and some unpleasantness with
which the natural man must contend. There are plenty of reminders that
we are mortal, and that as such, we must be required to bow ourselves before
our Mighty Sovereign and confess our weakness and our propensities to murmur
and complain at the situations we face.
Could this rather simple illustration of the condition of the natural man
be of great and wonderful instruction for us; for we who claim eternal
standing before God in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ? Could this also
be a reminder that even though this particular day is cold, dark and dreary,
there is another day coming in which none of these present factors will
be our portion?
There is another simple fact that I want to share with you as well. As
I sit here in my study and look outward to my surroundings, to those conditions
outside my home, I see the darkness and dreariness that I have described.
But here, inside, I am pleasantly warm, and there is the feeling of comfort
and security that all is well. In spite of what goes on around me, all
is well. My God is in control. All is well.
One of the problems that we as Christians face is the simple truth that
everything is not always as it at first appears to be. Sometimes the only
real problem that we have is one of perception, rather than one of reality.
Sometimes all we can see is what we can see. Sometimes we are looking,
and then walking by sight and not by faith. Is this the case with me? With
you also perhaps, at some time or times in your life? Is it the case with
all of us much more often than we admit or perhaps even realize?
Recently, I wrote on the subject of "Perilous Times." In that message,
I sought to point out that we are living in times that are fraught with
evil, and with the peril that is associated with evil times. I made an
effort to describe just a few of the types of evils that all men are confronted
with in these last days, for truly the evil is present in the world, and
we, as do other men still live in the world.
In that writing I sought to alert God's people to the awful and fearful
conditions around us, beginning with the human governments that God has
appointed to rule over us, and then cascading down through all strata of
human society to the individual; to alert us all to the conditions as they
are in the natural realm, and as they appear to be in all realms of life.
That was, and is my intent, for I believe that we must be brought to the
point of recognizing that ". . . all that is in the world, the lust of
the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the
Father, but is of the world." (I John 2:16)
Dear reader, I want all to see that the world is rushing head long to a
collision with the just, proper, and promised condemnation as God deals
in judgment against Satan, fallen angels, and all unrepentant men. This
is sure judgment, for God has also said, "And the world passeth away, and
the lust thereof:... "(I John 2:17a)
So, we may properly conclude that all the dark, dreary, troublesome times
that are associated with these "evil days" in which we all live prior to
the dawning of the new day that God has promised are but a temporary thing,
for ". . . the world passeth away, and the lust thereof." We may properly
conclude that the Lord is coming, and ". . . he that doeth the will of
God abideth forever." (I John 2:17b)
Yes, beyond this promised day there will be for the believer all joy, bliss,
contentment, and eternal blessing. Eternity will provide all that brings
those who dwell with God the unending privilege of worshipping, praising,
and serving Him. In eternity, there will never be the slightest hint of
unpleasantness. There will be no element allowed to enter in to cause any
anxiety to the children of God. There will be no pain, nor anguish, nor
sorrow, nor doubt. All will know that to be with the Lord is the epitome
of life that is ordered, structured, and good. We will be forever happy,
and we will know that nothing could be an improvement of this eternal state.
But, what about the day that follows the present time of man's day? Before
the eternal state, but following the day in which man presently finds himself
is another day. This anticipated day is spoken of as the Lord's day. It
is the predicted and promised day of the millennium. It is the time in
which the Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign in perfect righteousness
upon the earth from His father David's throne in Jerusalem.
I am well aware that there are many who will and do deny that such a day
will come. There have long been those, some who even profess to be, and
call themselves 'Baptists', who deny the millennium. There are even some
who identify themselves as sovereign grace 'Baptists' who are of this persuasion,
and who have convinced themselves of this terrible error by their "spiritualizations"
of the literal Scriptures. And error, when imbibed, taught, and practiced
becomes heresy. There are others who shun to contend for this precious
truth, and in so doing, bring great shame and reproach upon the Lord and
upon His true churches as they, under His command go forth proclaiming
this wonderful approaching day. But, we must be true to Him who has called
us to witness the truth, and announce to each of you who read these words
that there is a millennium coming, and that Christ will usher in that great
day at the conclusion of the time of great tribulation.
Let us now take a look at this coming day, as we seek A GLIMPSE OF MILLENNIUM.
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless
pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that
old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan; and bound him a thousand years.
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon
him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years
should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto
them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of
Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast,
neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads,
or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were
finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath
part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power,
but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him
a thousand years."
Dear reader, some will reign with Christ for a thousand years. And that
is a literal thousand years, rather than a "spiritualized", imagined undetermined
time. And that reign will be upon this earth. I know, Christ presently
reigns in the heart of His people. But, this prophesy is literal as to
the reign of Christ, and as to when, where, and over whom this reign is
to be. It is dishonest to seek to make a part of this prophesy "figurative"
while holding other parts of it literal. It is either literal, or it isn't!
I emphatically declare, "It is literal."
When? Following the tribulation time, which is Daniel's seventieth week.
The millennium will follow the great tribulation time. Where? Upon the
earth, for that is where David's throne is, and it is upon David's throne
that Christ will reign, as the rightful heir to that throne. And God has
promised that there will never cease to be a true and legitimate claimant
to the throne of David.
I recently (within the past two weeks) heard a heretic, posing as a true
sovereign grace Baptist declare in his message that was broadcast over
the radio airwaves in this area that Christ entered into heaven at the
conclusion of His earthly ministry and claimed and occupied "His father
David's throne in heaven." Can you believe such heresy? Can you believe
that some imagine that David's throne is in heaven? And in order to believe
such foolishness requires a most vivid imagination. Surely, no such teaching
can be found in the Bible.
Who will reign with Christ during this literal thousand years upon the
earth? Verses 4 and 5 of this passage tells us. It is those who are made
to be partakers of the first resurrection. It is those who are redeemed.
Specifically, verse 4 tells us that among those who will reign with Christ
are those who were slain by the beast during the tribulation, and that
because of their witness of Jesus and for the word of God. These had been
enabled to refuse to worship the beast, the image of the beast, or to receive
the mark of the beast during the tribulation. And this DOES NOT teach the
great error of the post-tribulation theorist. These are tribulation saints
to be sure, but they are NOT saints who composed the Lord's true churches
prior to the opening of the great tribulation week of years. These are
those who were saved during the tribulation, but were never a part of the
Lord's true churches. The saints of the church age were gathered out prior
to the beginning of Daniel's seventieth week, which time is also known
as "the time of Jacob's trouble."
Remember also that all that are made to be partakers of the first resurrection
are the saved of God. This innumerable host which no man can know or number,
but whom God knows, every one, reaches all the way back to the first redeemed
soul and includes those who are redeemed, even during and out of this great
What is the day of the Lord, the span of which will constitute the reign
of Christ upon the earth, commonly called the millennium? It is the manifested
kingdom of Christ that John the Baptist announced as being "at hand", in
3:2 John the Baptist said, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is
Literally, it is "of the heavens", signifying the Messianic earth rule
of Jesus Christ, the Son of David. It is the kingdom covenanted to David's
seed in II Samuel 7:4-17; described in the prophets in Zechariah
12:8, and confirmed to Jesus Christ the Son of Mary as announced by
the angel Gabriel in Luke 1:30-33.
In Zechariah's prophesy, the Lord is seen as He delivers His people, particularly
Judah as He defends the inhabitants of Jerusalem, putting down all opposition
as He prepares to take the throne according to the Davidic covenant. It
is the ushering in of the day of the Lord.
What conditions will exist during the reign of Christ upon the earth, during
the millennium? Can we know about these matters? Does the Bible declare
the state of the earth during this glorious day of the Lord? Does the Bible
describe the six days that constitute "man's day" so graphically, and then
totally ignore the day of Christ? Remember, we are still living in "man's
day", but soon, the day of Christ will dawn and all will be such as was
not since sin entered and man fell.
The Scriptures clearly teach that when Christ shall come He will set up
a perfect reign of righteousness over all the earth. Man will be governed
by a Perfect King and even though many will occupy the earth during this
glorious span who are unregenerate, their lives will be regulated by the
perfect law of God. Children will be born, life will go on, business and
commerce will continue, and men will die.
The land will bring forth in abundance and men everywhere will be supplied
all that is needful, of course being required to utilize lawful means to
obtain what is needed (No well-fare state then). The crop land will flourish
and the herds and flocks will be fruitful. World order (a true New World
Order) will be maintained so that every one may dwell in safety and peace,
and when men violate God's law they will be swiftly and properly judged
and punished. Law will prevail at all times and under every circumstance.
(I wonder why some who claim to be Bible believers will acknowledge that
God of old required men to live under law, and will do so again in the
millennium, and then imagine that He does not require that His people live
under His law today. Are there more antinomians than we imagine?)
Even among the beasts of the field and the fowl of the air, and the fish
of the sea there shall be compatibility and harmony. The bear shall feed
along side the cattle and the lion shall lay down with the kid or the lamb.
The adder shall not harm, nor shall the scorpion sting. The young child
will be able to play with what they will without danger of hurt.
What a day the day of Christ shall be! And listen, dear child of God, we
will reign with Christ during this time. I don't pretend to fully know
of this great time in completeness, but the Scriptures clearly teach that
the saints of God will reign with Him. He being the Absolute Monarch will
rule, and we shall reign with Him.
I don't know of the form of governmental activity that we will be involved
in, but I truly believe that what ever human instrumentality of government
He is pleased to employ will be manned by His saints. If there is such
office as mayor, or sheriff, or judge, or whatever, those offices will,
I believe be filled by men of the Lord's appointment from among His redeemed
and glorified saints.
What a day the day of Christ shall be!
But what of the Christian and Evil Days?
Surely the millennium that we have been speaking of can not be described
as being even slightly tainted with evil. The millennium is not the evil
days, alluded to in the title of this message. NO, the evil days are the
days in which we presently live while we await the catching away of the
saints at the rapture, then the tribulation, and THEN the millennium.
How should the Christian be conducting himself now, while we still live
among men, being used of God to witness to them of their sin and of the
only Saviour, the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ? What should we be doing? What
should we be saying? How should we be living in these "EVIL DAYS"? I am
persuaded that God's children should be living as children of God, and
that we should be expecting Him to return at any moment. How should we
be living? As if He would come at any moment! Do you think that He will
be pleased to find His children living as though they did not expect Him
to come at any moment?
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the
heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt
with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall
be burned up. Seeing then that all. these things shall be dissolved, what
manner of persons OUGHT YE TO BE IN ALL HOLY CONVERSATION AND GODLINESS,
LOOKING FOR AND HASTING UNTO THE COMING OF THE DAY OF GOD, wherein the
heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with
fervent heat?" (II Pet. 3:10-12).
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
(men of all sorts, WDT) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly
lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present
world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the
great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he
might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with
all authority. Let no man despise thee." (Titus 2:11-15)
What about The Christian and Evil Days?
The Christian should be Christ-like. The Christian should know that we
will not change the depravity that lurks in the hearts of men, even ourselves,
but that does not mean that we should not earnestly contend for the faith.
That does not mean that we should surrender and stop all efforts to be
faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. That does not mean
that we should be reticent when it comes to our opportunity to tell others
of Christ and of His righteousness demands on us and upon them as well.
I believe that one of the major failures of Christian people today is twofold.
First, hesitancy to tell sinners of their sins and of the Saviour. Second,
reluctance to insist to ourselves and to other Christians that God requires
faithful stewards to be about His business, which is, to tell sinners of
their need AND to tell Christians that they should conduct themselves in
a manner that honors and glorifies the Lord in all that we say, in all
that we do, and in all that we are.
In these evil days, Christian, fortify yourself with the Word of God, and
seek His face in all that you attempt to do, and then do what He demands
of us. Nothing less is acceptable in order to hear Him say one day soon,
"Well done, thou good and faithful servants."