We ought to listen to Jesus because of who He is. There's no one like Jesus. There never has been and never will be. He has one foot planted in eternity and the other foot planted in time. He sees the end and He sees the beginning. He sees the front and the back. He sees the whole parade at one time. He doesn't see one little section, like we do. He sees it all.
And when I think of that, I think of the Lord Jesus as John saw Him at the outset of the book of Revelation:
"When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this" (Revelation 1:17-19).
The Lord Jesus explained that He was the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He's the One who has lived every moment that there has ever been in time, and lived in eternity before that, and you can trust Him because of who He is. He's the Son of God, and He is God the Son.
There are many, but one of the most amazing ones, to me, is the prophecy that Jesus made concerning the destruction of the temple. It's recorded in Matthew 24 at the beginning of the Olivet Discourse:
"Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Matthew 24:1-2).
At the time of Jesus' ministry, the temple was one of the most awesome structures in the world. It was built with massive blocks of stone that were covered with gold ornamentation. Some of the stones of the temple complex measured 40 feet by 12 feet by 12 feet. They were expertly cut to fit together in a tightly-knit holding pattern.
The temple buildings were made of gleaming white marble, and the entire eastern wall of the large main building was covered with gold plates so that the morning sun would reflect upon these gold plates, and you could see it for miles around up on the temple mount.
This structure was magnificent by any day's standards, but by that day's standards, it was an indestructible building, and the idea that not one stone would be left upon another was preposterous. And yet, Jesus walked into the midst of that setting, and to those who would be able to trace it, He said, "I say to you that this impressive place, this temple building, it's all going to be thrown down, and not one stone will be left upon another."
And seventy years later, in 70 A.D., Titus, the Roman general, came upon that city, and he built large wood scaffolds about the walls of the temple buildings. He piled them high with wood and other flammable items and set them on fire. The heat from the fires was so intense that those stones crumbled. Then the soldiers sifted through the rubble to retrieve the gold that was there, and they shoved the remaining ruins down into the Kidron Valley so the place where the temple was, was just a flat rock. Not one stone was left upon another.
Jesus died for me. He paid the price for my salvation. I can trust His Word because He proved His credibility and love for me on the cross.
The Bible says in John chapter 10 and verse 11 that "The Shepherd gave His life for the sheep." Someone told me years ago: You can trust the One who dies for you.
Romans chapter 5 tells us that we were still sinners, and Christ died for us. And if He did that, He will do anything for us. And He is accurate in His prophecies concerning the future. The Bible says you can trust the word of the Lord Jesus.
The one thing we learn from the words of Jesus Christ is this: heavenly truth and future truth have personal, daily application. God expects us to be occupying until He comes.
If we really believe the future as Jesus lays it out for us, we're going to have an urgency about life. We’re not going to be caught up in all the conundrum of the future. We're going to get involved in what's going on in people's lives today. You can trust the One who died for you.
Let me tell you something else that the Bible teaches us. And this is both encouraging and challenging. The Bible tells us that Jesus is coming back again. And when He comes back, He's coming back to receive those who have put their trust in Him. And those who have failed to put their trust in Him, He will not receive.
You say, "Are you sure of that?" Jesus said He would come back, just as He said the temple would be destroyed -- and so it was. If I didn't believe what Jesus has said, I wouldn’t preach the gospel, I wouldn't warn of future judgment. I wouldn't tell people that if they don't trust Christ, they’re going to spend eternity in hell. That's what Jesus says.
So if you say you’re going to believe Jesus about today, you need to start by believing Him about your own salvation. He said, "I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 paraphrase). And "He who comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37 paraphrase).
Jesus has promised that anyone who will come to Him and ask for forgiveness of sin, He will forgive them and give them life everlasting, and they can spend eternity with Him forever and ever (John 3:16). If you haven't done that, please, if you don't hear any other word of Jesus today, hear that word. Hear the word that beckons you to put your trust in God.