27 Jun Kingdom Down #12 – 5 Things to Look Forward To (Daniel Ch. 12)
– Well howdy, Pastor Mark Driscoll here, from the Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, and today we finish the book of Daniel. If you’ve got a Bible go to Daniel chapter 12, it is unbelievable God’s timing. When I started the book of Daniel I knew it would take 12 weeks to go through the 12 chapters. I didn’t know in the middle that we would not only be studying prophecy, but living amidst a global pandemic and much of that prophesy would be revealing patterns that explain exactly what we’re experiencing today and so I’m really encouraged and really excited to teach God’s word to you and the sermon today is titled, “Five Things To Look Forward To.” Now I’m assuming you, like me, had a rough week. We’re all in a little bit over our heads trying to figure out what the future holds and one of my most sort of disappointing, discouraging, moments this week, I’m the dad who likes to plan fun, I like to have fun on the calendar, you know, where’s the party, where’s the kids’ games, where’s the activities, where’s the vacations, what are the fun things? I’m the event planner for my family and this week I had to go on my calender and just delete, delete, delete, delete, delete. Deleted all my son’s baseball season, he’s a senior, it’s his last year. Deleted my other son’s basketball season, they’re done for the year. Deleted a lot of school activities and also choral performances for our daughter. Deleted family vacations, trips, times away in the mountains, all of these fun things that we were looking forward to, dinners that we had planned to go out to eat with friends of ours that we love. Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, it was bad news and then taking good news off the calendar And then as I was sitting there sort of in this moment of sadness, as we’re all experiencing, I was reminded of Daniel chapter 12 and that is the text that I get to preach this week. Daniel at this point is an elderly man. We open the book he was a teenager taken as an exile, a slave, a prisoner of war. In his teen years he was forced to walk some 600 miles to the nation of Babylon. He was held as a slave and the entirety of the book of Daniel is his life in captivity. By the time we hit chapter 12 today, he’s in his 80s or 90s, and he is at the end of his life and as he’s peering into the future God gives him a vision beyond the horizon of his life and he shows Daniel that for him, and also for you and I, if we believe in, and belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, there are some things that God has on the eternal calendar that cannot, will not, be erased. God has some future plans for you, some promises for you to look forward to. And I know that the immediate short-term side of the future is complicated and difficult, but I wanna give you hope and strength to endure it to get to the end that God intends for all of his children. And so Daniel 12 talks about the end of time, or as some people would call it, the end times, and here are five things to look forward to and I know you’ve got a lot of bad news here’s some good news. I know you’ve taken a lot of good things off your calendar let me just tell ya these things are staying on your calendar and Jesus Christ has promised and guaranteed it. Here we go, Daniel, chapter 12, the first thing, one of five, God rescues the troubled, that’s good news because right now the whole globe is in trouble, needs a rescue, needs a deliverance, needs a Savior, that’s exactly what Jesus does. “At that time shall arise Michael,” he’s talking about the end of human history, not just our day but a day that is coming in the future, “Shall arise Michael,” he is an angel, “The great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble,” conflict, turmoil, some would call it tribulation. “Such as never been seen since there was a nation till that time.” Things are bad now but what it’s talking about is we approach the end of history things will get worse as the conflict between God and his enemy ultimately escalates into the finality of history. “But at that time your people shall be delivered.” It doesn’t say that all people will be delivered, but God’s people will be delivered and if you’re one of God’s people you’re on team Jesus, he’s talking about you. “Everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.” There are only two angels in the Bible that are named, Gabriel, and here, Michael. Gabriel is a messenger, we saw him earlier in the book, Michael is a warrior and what it says is this, is that when tribulation comes God assigns to his people divine help to deliver them that’s exactly what he’s saying. And let me tell ya how God delivers his people, he does so in one of three ways. He delivers you around it, so as you’re looking at your future there will be some things that God will deliver you around it, when it’s coming in your path we’ll either divert or you will be released and as a result that faith that you were fearing is not to be forthcoming. Sometimes God delivers us through it. You gotta go through it to get to the other side, but God sustains you through you, Jesus had to go through the cross, right? It says in Psalm 23, “You go through the valley of the shadow of death,” there are things that God delivers you through. He sustains you. He supernaturally enables you to make it through even a crisis like we’re in today. Thirdly, at some point we all come to the final day of our breath on planet Earth and God delivers us ultimately, ultimately and eternally, not just around it, not just through it, but from it, but from it. And what he is doing here, ’cause Daniel’s an elderly man, and he’s at the end of his life and he can see that his days are numbered and he looks beyond that to the eternal days that God has intended for his people. And what he extends is this horizon and I need you to do this right now. It is very hard to make plans and to consider what might be forthcoming in the immediate, short, and also longterm future, but as the children of God we need to define our life forward, we need to live it backward, we need to see where we’re going and what God has for us in eternity and then live our light, our life rather, in light of that ultimate destiny that God intends. And so he’s trying to extend Daniel’s horizon. Part of the reason that people are so scared, and so frustrated right now, is because they have no concept of life beyond this life. They wrongly believe that if this life were to end it would be the worst possible thing, but for you and I who know the Lord Jesus Christ, and know the victory of his resurrection, yes, we want to live, yes, we want to be healthy, yes, we want to live in a world that is healthy for all human flourishing, yes, we wanna be present with our family but we know that there is life beyond this life and that God can deliver us around it, through it, or from it, no matter what; however, the God of the Bible is faithful to deliver from tribulation, trouble, and trial. That’s this great promise that your soul needs today. And the only question is, is your name written in the book? Just like when we throw a party there’s a guest list and when you show up at the party they’ll check your name according to the guest list, you can only enter the party if you’re on the guest list, so the kingdom of God is a party, it’s a party that never ends. And the question is, is your name on the guest list? How do you get your name on the guest list? You need Jesus. Jesus Christ is God, become a man. Jesus Christ came to fix our greatest problem, which is sin, and to conquer our greatest enemy, which is death. Right now the whole world is realizing that number one, they are not in control of the future, and number two, they are mortal. For the Christian this is why we love and need Jesus so very much. We know that he controls the future and that ultimately he is the one who defeats from, and delivers us from death. Now that is incredible hope for the soul. How do you get your name on this guest list to this kingdom of God eternal party with Jesus? It’s very simple, you turn from sin and you trust in him. You turn from sin and trust in him. You realize that you are the problem, that he is the solution. That you have gotten yourself into a perilous predicament and he comes as your rescuer, your Savior, your deliverer. Jesus is God, he lived without sin, he’s the only human being to ever do that, he died in our place for our sins as a substitute to pay our debt of death, he rose from death conquering Satan’s sin, death, hell, and the wrath of God, and ultimately all of this language of deliverance is referring to the second coming of Jesus, which we are still waiting, and when he comes on the clouds of heaven, according to Daniel seven, he will deliver all of God’s people from all that is against us so we can be joyful together with him forever. I need you to have that hope, that worst case scenario is best case scenario if you’re on the guest list, you believe in and belong to the Lord Jesus. Number two, God raises the dead. Daniel’s an elderly man he knows that his days are numbered and he gets a glimpse into resurrection. Daniel 12:2 and 3, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to everlasting shame and everlasting contempt.” This is heaven and hell. This is the eternal state and fate of all humanity. “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness” tell others about Jesus, do the work of an evangelist, “Like the stars forever and ever.” The big question that the whole globe is asking right now is the question that this scripture is answering. What happens after you die? What happens after you die? There are historically seven different answers to this question and these are false views of what happens I’ll share those briefly. Materialism, also known as naturalism, teaches that you are a physical being, but not a spiritual being, that you have a body, but not a soul, therefore when you die and your body goes into the ground there is no soul to continue and as a result you simply cease to exist upon death and that is the position of the atheist, that position has absolutely no hope whatsoever. You live, you die, you’re done. That leads to just a hopeless humanity. And then death ultimately is the great victor and defeater of all. The second erroneous position is called, universalism, and this is that everybody dies and everybody goes to heaven and everybody gets to be with God forever and that’s not the case. We see right here in Daniel 12, “Some to everlasting life, some to everlasting shame and contempt.” Some to heaven, some to hell. We like to say, and I don’t mean to be cruel and tone deaf during a difficult season, but we can do a disservice if every time someone dies we simply say they went to a better place. Now it’s not about a place we go to it’s about a person we go to. If you love Jesus you’re going to be with him and that is heaven. If you don’t love Jesus and you don’t want to be with him, and you don’t want to be like him, then you’re going to be separated ultimately from his grace, and his love, and his provision. This concept of universalism it discourages people from actually coming to know and love Jesus Christ and receive eternal life. Furthermore some would say it’s very cruel to tell people that there are some who are not going to heaven. I think it’s very cruel not to tell them that. We are now a globe that is looking for a cure to a pandemic that has affected everyone and brings the risk of death. There is a spiritual equivalent called sin. We’re all infected by it, we’re all affected by it. Ultimately we will all die because we have been infected with sin and praise be to God he has a universal, 100% guaranteed, free cure and remedy for all. The key to people taking that remedy is telling them that they need it. If you’ve not been tested and diagnosed with a need you are not then availing yourself to any kind of prescription or remedy. The Bible tells us we are sinners, not to leave us without hope, but to leave us running to the Lord Jesus for the remedy and cure for death and sin. And what happens in universalism it tells people you don’t need to take the cure because you don’t have this problem. Yes you do, we all need him. The third erroneous position is annihilationist, that is that people live and then when they die they just cease to exist at some point in the future. Maybe upon death, or maybe hundreds, thousands of years into the future. Those who don’t know the Lord will just simply cease to exist while those who do know the Lord will live forever. Again, Daniel 12:2, I mean we can get a lot done here friends with one verse. Everlasting life, everlasting shame and contempt. It’s not like those who know the Lord live forever and those who don’t know the Lord don’t live forever. They both have everlasting life. You need to know this, every human being has eternal, everlasting ongoing life. After you die there is still conscious existence for all people and some don’t cease to exist, it’s everlasting, they continue in heaven or hell forever. Number four, reincarnation and purgatory. Reincarnation tends to be an Eastern concept that you die and come back to suffer and pay off your karmic debt. Purgatory is a teaching that comes out of the Catholic Church that ultimately you can die and if you’re not quite ready for heaven you can go to an intermediate holding place and you can pay back God perhaps through suffering for some of your sin and then be released into your eternal state and that is in fact not accurate and true. And for some they would say that this gives a second chance of salvation after death. The only opportunity people have, including you and me, for salvation, eternal life, forgiveness of sins, is while we have breath in our lungs on planet earth. It says in Hebrews 9:27, “It’s appointed once to die then judgment.” Then judgment, you die once and then you stand before Jesus and you go to heaven or hell just like Daniel 12 is teaching us. And what he’s not talking about here is some sort of second chance what he’s talking about people die, their body is in the ground, their soul is still in existence, and then at some point there will be a resurrection where their body and soul are rejoined and they will live an eternal life either, either in heaven or hell. Number five, some will teach soul sleep and that is that your two parts, body and soul, and that you body sleeps in the ground and your soul also sleeps in the ground until it is awakened at the resurrection. When he uses the language here of sleep it’s talking a little bit differently. Paul uses the same language in I Corinthians 15, which is the most thorough treaties of the resurrection in the New Testament. What it’s talking about here is that for the believer, when we die and our body goes into the ground, it uses the language of sleep because we will ultimately return fully restored and resurrected. And so all it’s talking about here is simply that the body and soul are separated and at that point the soul continues and the body is basically taking a nap, meaning it is just laying there until the soul reunites with it at the resurrection of the dead. If you grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, or have had those folks knock on your door, this is what they teach and it is in fact wrong. Number six, there is a cartoon view of heaven. The cartoon view of heaven is that you die, you get wings, a cloud, a harp, and you become a chubby baby in a diaper. I don’t know about you that’s not a real sales pitch for my eternal state. In fact everything I’m shooting for is exactly not that. The reason that people think this is if you go to the Sistine Chapel and you look at the painting in the ceiling it shows angels as babies and this even led to the erroneous thinking that if a baby passes away they become an angel and all of this is just built on really some fairly crummy Christian art, if I could just say it, and it’s not based on any text of the Bible or scripture. Why do I tell you all of this? Because everybody needs to know what happens after you die and if you’re trusting a painting on a ceiling you really have not enough homework, or evidence, to stake your eternal destiny on it. Number seven, revivification is not resurrection. Some people will die and come back to life, we’ll talk about near-death experiences, they’ll talk about seeing a light, they’ll talk about some sort of experience beyond their life on the earth and then coming back. There was a guy in the Bible named Lazarus that had this experience. He was friends with Jesus, he died, his body was in the ground for a few days. The Bible says, in the King James version, that he stinketh, and then Jesus comes, calls him by name, and he comes out of the grave. He came back in a revived, not a resurrected body because later he would experience death. A resurrected body lives forever, a revived body lives for awhile. How do I know he didn’t get a resurrected body? He’s not around. I’m tellin’ ya right now, if Lazarus was around we would know, he’s not here because he had a revived not a resurrected body. Why do I tell you all of this? Not to be cruel, not to be mean, but to prepare you. You need to know whether it is today, tomorrow, next month, next year, next decade, whatever the case may be, because of sin we are mortal and God wants us to know what awaits on the other side of death so that death doesn’t become our greatest enemy but our greatest opportunity for true real enduring life. Friend, the worst thing is not to die, the worst thing is to die without Jesus. The worst thing is to die without Jesus that’s what I’m telling you and this is a global opportunity for people to ask themselves what awaits me on the other side? I want it to be salvation, eternal life, and resurrection with Jesus Christ. Resurrection means that somebody was physically alive then they were physically dead for a period of time and their body and soul were separated. Paul says, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” so the body goes into the ground, the soul goes into the presence of God and then ultimately upon the second coming of Jesus Christ, and you need to know this. Right now Jesus is alive, Jesus is high and exalted, he’s seated on the throne, he’s surrounded by divine beings and departed saints, he is being worshiped and he is laying out his plan to come on the clouds of history to take down all nations, to bring and end to all sickness, pandemic and evil, and the Lord Jesus is going to establish a kingdom of peace, and light, and love that endures forever. You need to know that’s our home and the reason that we all want the world to be like that is because we were made for that world and we were made by that God. Now that being said there is a day coming where even those who are dead will have their body and soul rejoined and they’ll be resurrected to live forever. This is incredible. This is the hope of the believer. And it is that you will receive a glorified, perfected body, no longer subject to sickness, no longer subject to suffering, no longer subject to the kind of sadness that we are collectively facing and enduring. And what it says here is you will shine like the stars. Stars in the Bible is often times the language for angels. A star is between us and the heavens, angels are seen as between us and the Lord, and as they radiate gloriously, stars do, so do angels and so will the resurrected children of God. I have really good news for you, the people you love that died, but knew Jesus, you’re gonna see ’em again, you’re gonna see ’em again. You’re gonna see ’em healthy, you’re gonna see ’em holy, you’re gonna see ’em happy forever, that’s Jesus’ plan. Everything that stinks of death is the result of sin and the only thing that conquers death is Jesus Christ and the hope of the believer, the unique hope of the believer, is resurrection. It’s not just that I can only see to the grave I can see beyond the grave that God will one day call my name and I will come forth out of my grave to enjoy Jesus and his people together forever. Number three, God rules the future and right now let’s just be honest we’re at a time everybody’s trying to predict the future. How long will it last till we flatten the curve, when can we go back to normal, you know, when can we open the church, what will the economy be like, we don’t know, but God knows. And so number three, God rules the future. Daniel 12:4-9. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the end of time. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Kids are gonna go to college, we’ll write books, develop the internet, this was all written more than 2 1/2 thousand years ago, the amount of knowledge and information on planet Earth is exponentially increasing. “Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others,” these are divine beings in the unseen realm. There’s a lot going on that you and I see, there’s a lot going on that we don’t see, behind the world we see is the world that God sees and there are divine beings that are fighting for the well-being of the people of God in the unseen realm, that’s what he’s saying. So just because you don’t see what God is doing don’t assume that God isn’t doing anything, that’s the message of Daniel. “Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. And someone said to the man clothed in linen,” divine being, possibly an angel, maybe even Gabriel, “Who was above the waters of the stream. ‘How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?'” Tribulations come, hard times come, people are suffering, they are scared, and the question is, how long? It’s still the same question that we’re all asking. People that are in tribulation ask this question, how long? That’s a reasonable question, that’s Daniel’s question. “‘How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?’ And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, he raised his right and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would for a time, times half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end, all these things would be finished. I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, ‘Oh my Lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?’ And he said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end,'” or the end times. Daniel is suffering, tribulation is coming. He sees a bit into the future as we do and it looks very ominous and concerning and he gets a visit from a divine being and they tell him what is forthcoming. He then asks, “How long,” and they tell him, “We will not tell you.” They do swear an oath by raising both hands. In our day, you know, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. When this divine being, or angelic being, raises both hands it is, it is a solemn oath to God because there can be no authority above God’s authority and what the angel says is, “Everything in the future is like a script that’s been written out and just needs to now play itself out in history.” My wife, Grace, said to share this with you, I’ve shared it before perhaps it’ll be helpful. I don’t know if you’re watching sports lately, I’m watching, I was watching ESPN the other night, and my wife’s not really big on certain sports, or television for that matter, she walks in and she’s like, “I didn’t know that they were still playing baseball games?” I said, “This is not a current game this is a game from seasons ago, they’re replaying the old games.” She said, “Well, that’s not as exciting, that’s kinda boring, you already know the score.” “Yes, that’s what ESPN is down to right now.” The point is this, for God everything is a game that’s already been played. For God everything is this history channel, nothing is the nightly news. For God everything is ESPN classics, nothing is hanging in the balance, what will the score be, what does the future hold, God does not see the future as open, uncertain, tumultuous, he sees it as closed, certain, and sealed, you need to know that. You and I look into the future, God rules over the future, God is beyond time, works in time. Some of you will ask, “Pastor Mark, how does this work?” I don’t know, I have a three pound fallen brain that went to a public school there are certain things I just don’t understand but I have to trust. God knows and rules the future, even the future of your employment, of your family, of your health, of our nation, God knows and rules the future, that’s what he says. And what he says is, “It is sealed.” In that day when you would have a document and it was legal and it was certified you would roll it up and then you would seal it, meaning no one could open it and it was not to be broken that everything that was recorded was now supposed to be obeyed and acted upon. And what he’s saying is the end times, the end of human history, that all that God has intended for his people in the revealing of Jesus Christ, it’s all sealed, it’s certain, it’s confirmed, those facts cannot be changed. And what he basically tells Daniel is, ’cause Daniel’s asking, “Okay, so I can’t control the future?” “Nope.” “But God knows and rules the future?” “Yep.” “What do you want me to do?” What he basically says is, “Daniel, go live your life.” Go live your life, don’t worry about the things that are out of your jurisdiction. What happens in the future is ultimately in the hand of God all you have jurisdiction over is what kind of person and character you’ll have along the journey to your end and that end. So ultimately that’s my encouragement to you. Know that whatever the future is God does have it closed and sealed and in the meantime he doesn’t want you to worry about it, he doesn’t want you to be burdened by it, he wants you to live your life trusting in his provision and protection for all of his people. That is the third thing to look forward to, and number four, God refines the defiled. Daniel 12: 10-12, “Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white,” showing purification and cleanness, “And be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.” Let me just say all of this, we just read previously the divine being said, “Okay, here’s how long it’s gonna be,” and here’s what Daniel said, “I don’t understand what that means.” Faith comes by hearing the Word of God not always understanding it. Don’t feel bad if as you’re reading the Bible, let’s say even stuff in Daniel, and you’re like, “I don’t get it.” Daniel, who experienced and wrote it, didn’t get it all. There are things that are hard for us to comprehend, or understand, it doesn’t mean they’re not true, it just means that we’ll know once they occur and then it’ll make sense to us. And even here, this timing of days and such, it can be confusing for us, what does it mean and how does it apply? I could give you lots of speculation, here’s what I’ll tell ya, we’ll see. We’ll see what God has planned in the future, everything he’s got architected and orchestrated will come as is to pass. The thing I wanna focus on here is how God makes dirty people clean. He uses this language, purify, white, refined, and he’s talking about you if you are a child of God, a Christian. What happens when someone is assaulted, my wife, Grace, and I, have been working with assault victims for a long time, and they often tell us, particularly women, is that the first thing that they do is go and take a shower because they feel defiled, unclean, they feel dirty. That is what is sin does. Not only does the body get dirty, so does the soul. Not only does the body get defiled, so does the soul. Not only does the body need to be cleansed, so does the soul. What happens when we either sin and do something that as we look at it later, like that was wrong or disgusting, or I’m ashamed of that, or embarrassed of that, or someone does something to us that is simple, they violate, they abuse, they commit adultery, they do something shameful and dirty that makes us feel really sick and nasty, we’ve all experienced this, ’cause sin causes shame and suffering. The question is, what do you do? Lately you and I are living in a world where people are frantic about germs and cleanness, I mean it is really odd friend to go to the grocery store, right, there’s one person in an aisle, they’re wearing a mask and gloves, this was my experience recently. I turned my cart down the aisle, they look at me, literally having a mini panic attack and as I start to walk toward them they turn and run away. All of a sudden it dawned on me, now I know what the lepers felt like in the New Testament. The lepers in the New Testament they were the defiled, they were the diseased, they were the unclean, they were the contagious, they were the carriers and anywhere they went they had to call out, “Unclean, unclean, I’m the dirty one, I’m the dirty one.” We all feel like the lepers now. We all feel unclean, we all feel defiled, we all feel unsafe, and the truth is that’s not just a physical problem that’s also a spiritual problem. You may not get sick, I pray to God you don’t, you can wash your hands all day, you can fill your hot tub up with hand sanitizer and just sit in it until this whole thing is over. There is no way apart from Jesus to clean your soul. There are many ways to cleanse your body, to clean your clothes, to clean your dishes, to clean your car, to clean your house, there’s only one way to cleanse your soul and his name is Jesus. And the whole point of Daniel is leaning into the future, talking about the first coming of Jesus as our Savior and the second coming of Jesus as our king and what he is referring to is cleansing. Here’s how he says it in I John 1:18, “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins,” we agree with God we say, “you know what, I have done some things and had some things done to me that make me defiled and unclean.” “He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is really good news. Not only are you forgiven, if you belong to Jesus Christ, when he died on the cross the Bible says that every sin you’ve ever committed was written, nailed on the cross with him, payment in full, Jesus who knows the future knew you were coming and what you’d be doing, and not doing, and he substituted himself and he paid a price and he died so that you can experience life. Let me just tell you this, I have great news for you, if you belong to Jesus, or give yourself to Jesus, you are forgiven, God is not angry with you, he loves you, God is not punishing you, Jesus was already punished for you. You are getting adopted into a family, God is your father, and Christians are brothers and sisters I mean this is the best news ever. And a lot of Christians know that they’re forgiven, but they still feel dirty, defiled, unclean. The Bible uses a whole constellation of words, it speaks of this defilement with various terms. It uses words like, stain, defilement, filthy, unclean, dirty, and polluted, dirty and polluted. But some people know that they’re forgiven but they still feel broken, they still feel like damaged goods, they still feel like they’re unclean, they still feel like they’re not qualified to enjoy the fullness of God’s grace and the freedom for their future. Man, I want you to receive this gift. As the whole world is washing their hands I want you to invite Jesus to be washing your soul to clean you from the inside out. He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse of all unrighteousness. We’re living in a world right now physically where everyone is asking how do I find the cure to remove this virus that can defile and destroy me, the same is true spiritually. Sin is much like a virus, it’s what we have been told is an invisible enemy that we’re warring against. Sin, is similarly an invisible enemy that comes to take human life by defiling human beings, not just physically, though that is part of it, but also spiritually at the level of the soul. Jesus cleanses and I want you to hear this, from all, all, just receive this, all unrighteousness. He purifies, he cleanses so that what? So that you can wear white. This is where God’s people in the Bible often wear white to show that they’re clean because of Christ, they are made new, they are forgiven, they are, they are in every way brought into the presence of God because of the work of Jesus Christ not as sinful, but as saint, not as dirty, but as clean, not as defiled, but instead as refined and so they wear white. And I want you to see that when you are with the Lord Jesus in your resurrected body the white clothes you will be wearing will also be echoing the work that Jesus has done internally to make you clean in his sight. Here’s what I’m telling you, when you wash your dishes, remember that Jesus makes you clean, when you wash your car, remember that Jesus makes you clean, when you wash your clothes, remember that Jesus makes you clean, when you wash your house, remember that Jesus makes you clean. And friends we’re being told, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands, and just stop and also say, “Jesus, thank you for cleansing my soul, cleansing my soul, cleansing my soul.” Remind yourself of spiritual truths when you’re doing physical things. Lastly, number five, and this is awesome, God rewards the faithful. And let me just say too at the end of this previous section he says, “Blessed is he who understands these things,” the word there originally means happy. The point of all this, Daniel’s in a dark day, he’s far away from home, he’s not been to church for more than 70 years, his church was closed. He was feeling a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, but God wanted him to be happy, that’s what that word blessed means, happy. God wants you to be blessed, God wants you to be happy not because of your circumstances, but because of God in spite of your circumstances and it closes with this, God rewards the faithful. You can’t control the future, but you can control the way you conduct yourself into the future and I want you to be faithful by the grace of God. Daniel 12:13, “But go your way till the end.” Daniel, go live your life, the future is in God’s hands you just be faithful with your responsibilities. “And you shall rest,” that’s ultimately your life is coming to an end son. “And shall stand in your allotted place at the end of days.” Standing in his allotted place at the end of days is the Biblical concept of something that I will call rewards, by way of preface. Number one, Daniel never sought to be famous, but he’s famous. Ezekiel twice names him as one of the most famous men in the history of the world. Jesus actually talks about Daniel, so he’s famous, but he never sought to be famous all he sought to be was faithful. All he sought to be was faithful. We’ve looked at his life from his teen years to his late 80s or early 90s, in our 12-week study of the great book of Daniel, he is famous, but he never sought to be famous he just sought to be faithful. We live in a world where everybody’s trying to be an online influencer and gain followers and collect some likes, don’t worry about being famous just worry about being faithful and let God determine the rest that’s Daniel’s example. Number two, Daniel did not see his longings fulfilled in his lifetime. He didn’t ever get to go home to Israel, he lived far away from home. He never got to see the temple which was their church opened, it was closed for some 70 years. He never got to see massive revival, he didn’t get to see Jesus coming on the clouds that he heard about, he didn’t get to see the resurrection of the dead and the kingdom of God. He didn’t get to see everything fulfilled in his lifetime, but thankfully God gave him a vision beyond the horizon of this life into eternal life and as a result of all of his longings are fulfilled. It’s not an issue of if, but rather just when. What I want you to see here is rewards. You cannot lose your salvation because Jesus Christ cannot lose a Christian but you can lose your rewards. For God’s people every thing you’re enduring, everything you are doing is not wasted it’s invested. You can’t take anything with you to heaven but you can send things ahead. Jesus says to store up your treasures in heaven. So, let me just say this, everybody you’re praying for right now that’s an investment in your internal inheritance. Everyone that you’re loving, serving, every dollar that you’ve given to the cause of Jesus Christ, every person that you’ve shared Jesus with, everything you have done out of love for God, and love for people, ultimately God sees, knows, and accounts, and it goes into an eternal account and when you pass into the eternal state there will be rewards for you. What we’re finding right now a lot of people are very stressed and distressed and I don’t mean to in any way make light of it or diminish the economic real crisis that we are facing, but people put money in a market and then the bottom fell out. Let me tell you this, you put money into the kingdom of God, you put time into the kingdom of God, you put prayer into the kingdom of God, you put love into the kingdom of God, you put service into the kingdom of God, that account never bottoms out. That is secure and guaranteed by God himself and you will be rewarded. So I’m very sorry for what you’re going through, I genuinely am, I’m a pastor who loves people, I got five kids that I adore, I feel a tremendous burden and responsibility for all the people that I know and love and want good for them all. But there’s an opportunity here to take everything that you’re going through to respond with faith and faithfulness to our faithful God and to have that go into your internal account from which you will reap an eternal reward, it’s called, it’s called, your rewards, some of you didn’t even know about this. I’ll give a little scripture from the New Testament as we close our time. II Corinthians 5:10, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body whether good or evil,” that’s rewards. Daniel didn’t get his rewards in his life, but he got rewarded in his eternal life. Everything you are going through I am sorry for, but it is an investment in an eternal reward that God has intended for you and I want that to encourage you to be faithful, to persevere through hardship as he did, to pray through hardship as he did, to love people through hardship as he did. And I love this great piece, you’ll stand in your allotted place. God has a destiny for his people to bless them. Some will ask, “What do these rewards look like?” Well, we’re not exactly sure there’s a bit of mystery. Some are internal, just peace of mind, clear conscious in the sight of God, certainty of God’s love, unburdening of pains in the past. Some are external we’ll see what the kingdom of God holds for us in a resurrected body in a perfected world and of course these rewards are all eternal, they endure forever, so we’ll see. The Bible says we look through a glass dimly what we see is Jesus is coming, the kingdom of God is real, the children of God will be raised from the dead fully forgiven, healed together forever, clean in the sight of God, blessed and rewarded. I know that what we are going through right now is incredibly painful, but I want you to see into the future that God has for us because it’s incredibly hopeful and the key is to march through this to get to there whatever day God might have for us. Well, thank you for letting me teach you the book of Daniel. Thank you to the wonderful folks here at the Trinity Church here in Scottsdale. They give me the honor of being their pastor and founding church planter. Thank you to my wife, Grace, and our five kids for being just resilient in their love and service of the Lord Jesus Christ and I know that we’re coming up on the Easter season, the resurrection of the dead, it’s why this sermon in Daniel is prophetic and perfect, God’s word is timeless so it’s timely and it leans into the eternal state. So here’s a couple things I’d like you to know about. Number one, I would love to give you resources about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and believers. I’ve got an ebook in English, ebook in Spanish, I’ve also got a lecture that I did with Q&A, and my sermon notes, five pieces of digital content, I’m not asking for a gift, I’m not asking for an email, I just wanna give you some hope through the resurrection of Jesus for your eternal state. You can find that on the social media channel that you are on and/or go to markdriscoll.org in the blog and just click a link it’ll take you there. You can download all of those assets and resources. I wanna help you learn about the resurrection of Jesus and do me a favor send it to anybody and everybody you know. I’m not asking for anything I just want people to hear about Jesus and if you could help me with that that would mean the world to me. As well coming up next Friday I’m gonna do a Good Friday sermon talking about the crucifixion, the death of Jesus, the darkest day in human history. I will followup with a sermon on Sunday, Easter, about the resurrection, the greatest come back in the history of the world and we all need a little encouragement in that direction. And then I will be starting next week a series called, “Good News”, in a world filled with bad news you need some good news and it’s gonna be a whole series on heaven. I’ll be talking specifically about the eternal state and the unseen realm and all that God has planned in the future as you and I don’t have a lot of things to look forward to I wanna give you some things to look forward to so that your soul has hope for today and has help to make it through tomorrow. I love ya, I’m praying for ya, and I’ll see ya again online soon. Father God, thank you for the great book of Daniel, thank you for 12 weeks to teach it in great detail and depth, thank you for the wonderful supportive audience online that comes together to allow me this great privilege of teaching God’s word. Thank you for a wonderful church family that we love and miss dearly and God I pray for all the churches that believe the Bible and love Jesus that they would be opened as soon as is safe and is possible that people would come in and hear about Jesus, that they would receive the hope of eternity that they need that that fear of death would be eradicated because of the victory of Jesus and God I pray for a great eternal harvest. God if we want to eradicate human suffering of course we need to minister to the body, but we also need to minister to the soul and people need Jesus in whose name we pray, amen.