The King Returns

The King Returns

Date: 11/09/2017 
The great climax of the world's history is going to be when Christ comes and He sets everything right.
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(Music) >>Welcome, friends, to our final presentation in our Foundations of Faith program where we've been talking about some of the very important themes of scripture that need to go to the world with the three angels' messages and prepare people for Christ's return - some things that are often misunderstood and even neglected by other Christians that need to get back into their Bibles. I want to welcome those who are here, as well as those who are watching on television, and I want to take a moment just to thank - the Hope Channel here has done such a wonderful job in working with us and producing this program. We're very grateful. Thank you to 3ABN and Amazing Facts TV for also up-linking the program. And, if there's a Mr. Facebook out there, thank you for streaming it (Laughter) because we're getting, literally, hundreds of thousands of people. Someone in our office said we've got about 2 million people who have watched online - one of the programs - since it began. (Applause) Isn't that exciting? So - and that's, of course, from watching it live and rebroadcasting and sharing with their friends and stuff, so it's wonderful to see how the message is getting out. We're going to be talking about the theme of Christ's return, in our presentation this morning. And we've been doing some of these things in the context of the anniversary for the Reformation. I don't know if you're aware, but Martin Luther, Melancthon - that's Philip Melancthon - and many of the other reformers - they believed in something called 'The Great Week of Time'. They believed that the history of man would last about 6,000 years and then we spend a thousand years with the Lord in heaven and, then, at that time, the earth would be purified and all things made new. His dating was off a little bit, about how old he thought the world was, adding up the Bible ages, but many of them believed in this. One of the founders in our movement, J.N. Andrews, he wrote a book on the 'The Great Millennial Week' or 'The Week of Time' and, basically, what it says is, because of that verse there in 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 8 - Peter's also quoting Psalms where it says a thousand years in His sight are as a day when it is gone. Peter says, "With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." And, when you add up the ages in the Bible - and we don't know exactly, so don't use this to try and set a date - but, you know, approximately 4,000 B.C. Adam was created. And it starts giving the ages - how long Adam lived and how long Seth lived and how long Enos lived and on up to Noah. And then there's some ambiguity - that's why we don't know the exact date because it said, 'Noah had Shem, Ham, and Japheth' and, unless they were triplets, we don't know exactly when that happened. And then you go on down through Abraham and we can pretty accurately track history from Abraham and the Exodus to the present day. The Jews were very good at keeping a careful chronology. Jesus was born about 4 B.C. - it's interesting, [Adam] was created approximately 4004 B.C. - that's Bishop Usher's chronology - Abraham was born 2004, Jesus was born 4 B.C. We're now living about 2,000 years after Christ, and then Jesus comes and we live and reign with Him for a thousand years. >>Amen. >>You've got three great ages - you've got the age of the first 2,000 years from the creation to Abraham. That's known as the Age of the Patriarchs - these are three epochs that you see in the Bible. God preached the gospel through the patriarchs - they weren't Jews back then. That's Noah, Enoch, Methuselah, so forth. Then Abraham's born; for the next 2,000 years God preaches the gospel through the Jews - the Israelites - His people. And God had committed the oracles of truth to them and the Messiah came through them. And then you have, for the last 2,000 years, God is sharing the gospel to the world through the church or spiritual Israel, and then Christ is going to come and we will live and reign with Him for one thousand years. It's almost like a thousand-year Sabbath. And then He creates a new heaven and a new earth. And you just see this pattern all through the Bible. You know, the New Jerusalem comes down as a Bride. Well, Jacob had the wedding after seven years of working for Laban, to get Rachel. You see where Joshua - how many times did Joshua march around Jericho? >>Seven. >>Seven times - you're wrong. Thirteen times. (Laughter) Everyone says that. One time for six days and then after the six days, on the seventh day, they marched around it seven times, blew the trumpets and took the city. After six days they took the city. You could have a Hebrew servant for six years - seventh year he went free. The Bible says Jesus promised His disciples 'Hereafter some of you will not taste of death before you see the kingdom of God come with power.' This is Mark chapter 9 and it says after six days He took them up. And they had a miniature picture of the second coming. You can read where it says Moses and the elders waited at the base of the mountain for six days, while the glory of God covered the mountain and, after six days, He called Moses up. You could sow your land for six years; the seventh year you would let it rest. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the sower, the word of God is the seed. For six thousand years God has been sowing the gospel seed and then Jesus is going to come and the condition of the world - it's going to be desolate. When the children of Israel were carried off to Babylon the Bible says that seventy years they were in Babylon, the land kept Sabbath. It was resting while it was desolate. During the one thousand years of the Millennium, the earth is desolate - it's keeping Sabbath. And so, I could go on and on. King Joash was hidden in the temple of the Lord - the son of David - from this wicked queen, while she ruled over the land six years. At the end of six years, the son of David - the king - came out of the temple - where's our king right now? Where's Jesus, the Son of David? Is He in the temple of the Lord as our High Priest? >>Yes. >>Is He going to come out of that temple? Is Michael going to stand up? >>Yes. >>Joash came out of the temple - they blew the trumpet - will the trumpets blow when Jesus comes? >>Amen. >>Yes. >>The people rejoiced - will there be rejoicing when Jesus comes? >>Yes. >>The wicked were slain - I'm talking about the story of Joash - will there be wicked slain when Jesus comes? >>Yes. >>And the Bible says, 'Then there was peace.' Will there be a kingdom of peace after Jesus comes? All these stories in the Bible are allegories telling us something about Jesus' coming. It's not going to last forever. The great climax of the world's history is going to be when Christ comes and He sets everything right. And so, then, of course, they live and reign with Jesus one thousand years, you read in Revelation 20. Oh, one more thing I just thought about, what did God say to Adam and Eve if they disobeyed in the garden - if they ate the forbidden fruit? He said, "For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Did Adam and Eve drop dead as soon as they ate the forbidden fruit? >>No. >>No. They probably died spiritually right away. There was - something happened - their light went out because they saw their nakedness. But, if a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, how long did Adam live? 930? 'In the day you eat, you will die.' I mean, if God makes you and you're supposed to live forever and you die within the first thousand years, you're devastated. You and I live three-score and ten - or a few more - but back then they lived almost a millennia. But nobody made it over a thousand except one person - Enoch. Everyone else, even Methuselah, 969 years - 'In the day you eat thereof, you will die.' So our study today is talking about When the King Returns. And we're going to talk about some of the signs of Christ's coming - we're not going to give you a date for the Lord's return, but we are going to talk about some of the misunderstandings in the Christian world regarding how Jesus is coming back, because that is going to set many people up for a major deception. So we need to understand this subject. First question: Who is the king that will soon emerge from the temple in heaven? Talked about when Joash came out of the temple of the Lord and they blew the trumpet - by the way, that was just before the Sabbath began, at the changing of the guard - just before the millennial Sabbath, Jesus is going to come out of the temple - >>Amen. >>And there'll be a great time of trouble - when Michael stands up. It says, "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat...like unto the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown." Jesus is that Son of Man who is going to come. Second question: Will Jesus come quietly when He comes? Now this is where a lot of people misunderstand. They think that it's going to be a secret and the Bible tells us the second coming of Jesus is probably the noisiest event in the Bible. Just look at some of the verses that talk about this: "For the Lord Himself" - 1 Thessalonians 4:16 - "shall descend from heaven with a" - what? >>A shout. >>A "shout," - and then it goes on - "With the voice of the archangel, and with the trump" - another audible thing. Jeremiah 25:30, speaking of the Lord coming, it says, "The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation;" - there's going to be a roar when the Lord comes. He will mightily roar upon His habitation - he will give a shout. Again you read, Psalm 50, verse 3 - is the Lord coming quietly? "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent:...and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him." There's going to be glory and the heavens are going to be crashing. The Bible says the heavens are going to part as a scroll, the moon'll turn to blood, the stars'll fall from heaven, the earth is going to reel to and fro like a drunken man, the islands will be swallowed up, hailstones are going to be falling. You're not going to have to text somebody and say, 'Did you catch that? I think Jesus came yesterday.' (Laughter) And yet, some people believe a relatively new scenario about the second coming, it's called the 'Secret Rapture'. Now, you've heard about the Left Behind books and they've made at least two Left Behind movies. And this was, virtually, an unknown teaching 200 years ago. It slowly evolved out of the Jesuit theologians chronology - Francisco Ribera and another man named Escobar - and they were looking for a counter-reformation interpretation of prophecy to try to fight what was happening, because of the great reformers, so they concocted this view. It didn't really take off until a man named Scofield came along. Any of you ever seen the Scofield Bible? It's got a lot of good things in it, but he embraced Ribera's theology about the Secret Rapture and the Left Behind theology. Another man, named Hal Lindsey, he picked up the Scofield Bible, he put it in his book called The Late, Great Planet Earth, and then that was picked up by some other charismatics and Trinity Broadcasting and then they began to teach this and it's - it went from almost unknown to the prominent view. Now the idea - the word 'rapture' means to be carried away with power - and that's biblical - we'll be caught up to meet the Lord in the air - nothing wrong with the rapture. The idea that it's a secret rapture, and the idea that God takes us out of the world before there's any tribulation, and then there's seven years of tribulation here on earth where the antichrist does everything dastardly he's going to do, during that tribulation, it just is - it's preparing people to be deceived, because it actually sets people up to accept the false Christ when He does come. Now does the Bible say that God saves us from tribulation or through tribulation? >>Through. >>Paul says, in the Book of Acts, 'It is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of God.' And you've heard me say before, God did not save the children of Israel from the plagues - and, by the way, the Great Tribulation is the seven last plagues of Revelation - same thing. Did He save the Israelites from the plagues? Weren't they in Egypt during the plagues and He preserved them through the plagues? It was interesting, there were ten plagues that fell on ancient Egypt, but God protected the Israelites through the last seven of the ten plagues. How many plagues in Revelation? >>Seven. >>Seven. Same seven we'll be protected from, but we'll be in the world. That's why Jesus said, 'He that endures to the end will be saved.' God saves His people through trials. Noah was saved through the flood. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego through the furnace. Daniel through the Lion's Den, Joseph through his trials, Job through his trials. I would love to believe that we're all just going to go *boop* and be caught up and get glorified bodies before things get rough down here, but God's church is the light in the world and we shine in darkness. And so, the reason I say that is I've met people - they think that, 'Well, if I'm not ready for the secret rapture, then I might have to go through the tribulation, but I'll get another chance seven years later.' And I've met men, they say, 'Yeah, my wife, she's telling me she's going to disappear and I'll be left behind.' (Laughter) She says, but then if I repent, at least, during the seven-year tribulation, I do have another chance. And you know what that means? A lot of people are saying, 'Well, I think I'll just - I'll enjoy the world and if I do see everyone start disappearing, then I'll get serious and I'll have to go through the tribulation, but at least I'll be saved.' Friends, the devil is giving people the idea there's a second chance. There is no second chance. >>Amen. >>When Jesus comes, that's it. >>Amen. >>And if you're going to believe the safe thing, believe what I believe, because if you believe like I believe and I'm wrong, at least you were ready. You see what I'm saying? (Laughter) But I think there's a lot of scripture so that we know - >>Amen. >>It's not going to be a secret rapture. And then someone'll say, 'Pastor Doug, doesn't it say in the Bible that He's coming like a thief?' That's right it does - like a thief. 'See? Secret rapture - He's coming like a thief.' You tell me, as I read this verse, if it sounds like life goes on seven more years after Jesus comes like a thief. 2 Peter chapter 2, verse 3 - and it says, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." So when the Lord comes like a thief, what's happening here on earth? Does life go on or are the elements melting with fervent heat when He comes like a thief? Why did He say He's coming like a thief? Because when it happens, it's a surprise. >>That's right. >>You ever have a thief come to your house? I used to be a thief. I did - before I was a Christian. I'm born again, now, so you can trust me. (Laughter) But I would break into people's houses - I'd steal things. I never sent them a notice and said, 'Look, I'm going to be here (Laughter) - and so, it was a surprise when it happened, but they knew after I came. (Laughter) And so, I don't believe it's going to be a secret rapture. What other physical evidence will accompany Jesus' return? You can read in Revelation 16, verse 18, "And there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." And so, everything is shaking. Islands are being swallowed up. What else happens when Jesus comes? Who will see Him when He returns? Is it just a few people who are ready for the rapture, or does the Bible say, in Matthew 24, verse 30, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming" - they'll what? "They'll see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." >>Amen. >>"Behold, He cometh with clouds;" - Revelation 1, verse 7 - "and every eye shall see Him." Somebody always writes in the question, 'Well, Pastor Doug, how can every eye see Him when the world is round? (Laughter) He's not saying they're going to see Him simultaneously, He means that day, when He goes around the world and He raptures up - kind of vacuums up the redeemed and there's destruction, devastation behind Him, and then He goes off - everyone's going to see Him that day. That's all it's saying. It doesn't say everyone sees Him simultaneously. And so, everyone's going to see Him. How will it be when Jesus comes back? We don't have to be left in doubt. When Christ ascended to Heaven from the Mount of Olives, the Bible says that the disciples were watching this and they were gazing up into the heavens longingly as they saw Jesus, their beloved Lord, drifting up into the clouds out of sight. And, even after He was gone, they stood there and they just stared up into the sky. Suddenly they got nudged by two angels at their side who said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand here gazing up into the heavens?' - Notice - 'This same Jesus will come in the way that He left.' He's coming in the same way that He left. Was He real when He left? >>Amen. >>Did they see Him when He left? Was He talking to them when He left? >>Amen. >>Yeah, He said, 'Go unto all the world. Behold, I am with you always.' As He ascended up to heaven. And it's going to - He's a real person - He's coming back the same way that He left. So we don't have to worry about it being - you know it's - the reason that this is so maddening, for me as a pastor, is was the church ready when Jesus came the first time? >>No. >>The first time, they wanted Him to come like a Lion - come and conquer the Romans - to come and blow a trumpet - to shake the world and set Israel up as the earthly king. But He came quietly like a lamb and they didn't accept it. They were not ready because they didn't understand the prophecies. Now, Jesus is getting ready to come like a lion with a trumpet as a king and the church is saying, 'No, He's coming quietly' - (Laughter) - 'this time.' See, the devil is always working to get the church to misunderstand the prophecies so they're not ready. Were they ready when He came the first time? >>No. >>No, and many will perish because they weren't ready. So the same thing's happening. Who will be with Jesus when He comes in the clouds? He's not coming alone. Matthew 25, verse 31, "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all" - how many? >>All. >>"all of the holy angels with Him," - so remember what happened when - during the resurrection - one angel came and rolled away the stone. And the guards - the Roman guards who were there, they fell down like dead men and fled in terror from the glory of one angel. One angel of the Lord went through the Syrian camp and 185,000 soldiers were slain - one angel. When the Lord comes with all the angels nobody's going to have to say, 'Did you see the paper yesterday?' (Laughter) 'I think Jesus came.' (Laughter) 'And it was bright.' (Laughter) No, everyone will know. What will the brightness of Jesus' coming be like? Well - I'm sorry, what will the brightness of Jesus' coming do to the living wicked? 2 Thessalonians 1:7, "When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God." Do you know Him? Eternal life is to know the Lord. He'll say to the lost, 'I don't know you.' Are you taking time to get to know Him? Because He's coming. And it goes on to say - 2 Thessalonians 2:8 - "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming." When He comes - the brightness of His coming - it's going to consume the wicked. You know, it's interesting. It's like there's - if you're out in the woods at night and you turn on a light, all these moths and things come. If you're in a city and you walk into a dirty apartment and you turn on a light, all the cockroaches run. (Laughter) So everybody's either a butterfly or a cockroach because some people come to the light and others run from the light. And that's how it's going to be when Jesus comes. What will happen to the righteous who are dead at Jesus' coming? This is good news. The Bible says "The dead in Christ shall rise first." >>Amen. >>Many of those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life - that's the dead in Christ. And you can read in Revelation chapter 20, it says, 'This is the first resurrection.' And, wherever you've got a first anything, you've got a what? >>Second. >>A second, at least. You don't want to be in the second resurrection. At this point, what will happen to the living and resurrected saints? All that are saved and the living saints - it says there's a transformation that takes place - to their bodies. "The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we" - who are alive - "shall be changed. For this corruptible" - these bodies that get old and wrinkled and decrepit, they'll put on immortality - they'll put on incorruption - "and this mortal must put on immortality." We'll be changed in the blink of an eye. And those of us who are alive - and it says we are then caught up to meet them in the air. And that's really - I'm getting ahead of myself. After being changed, what will happen to the righteous? 1 Thessalonians 4:17, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them" - the resurrected saints - "in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air." So, again, is this sounding like a secret? >>No. >>Everything about it is telling us that it's a very real, obvious known event. >>Amen. >>And you've probably heard the stories - Yeah, planes will fall out of the sky because the pilots were Christians and now there's nobody to fly and cars will just be crashing on the street because the Christians disappeared - and their clothes will be in the driver's seat, you know? And you'll wake up and, lo and behold, your husband's gone - his clothes are still there, but he's gone. And you know where they get that? Jesus said, speaking of the second coming, he said, 'Two women'll be grinding at the mill, one is taken, one is left. Two men'll be working in the field, one is taken, one is left.' And then Luke adds a third scenario - 'Two men sleeping in a bed; one is taken, one is left.' What does that mean? What does a woman represent in Bible prophecy? >>A church. >>A church. How many kinds of churches are there? >>Two. >>There's really only two. You go to Revelation - there's two women - Revelation 17, Revelation 12 - you've got true and you've got false. Two different gospels there - what are the women doing? They're grinding the grain, it says - working with the word. One is true, one is false. Outwardly they look the same; one is ready, one is not. And it says there were two men working in the field - what's the field? The field is a place where the missionaries are working - you're sowing the seed - you're harvesting. Two kinds of people out there doing missionary work - true and false. Jesus said there's two masters - there's two roads. You've got two options, it's either you're with me or against me. Isn't that right? And they said, two men sleeping in a bed - what does sleep represent? Death. How many kinds of dead people right now? Two - saved and lost - first resurrection, second resurrection. And what really is interesting, He said, 'Some are taken, some are left.' They often assume the ones taken are taken by the Lord. But, in the Hebrew mind, whenever they disobeyed, their enemies came and took them away to Assyria, they took them to Egypt, they took them to Babylon - they're taking away - the Bible says they knew not till the flood came and took them away - the wicked. And so, being taken away meant being taken out of the Promised Land - out of the place of rest - so they've even got who's taken mixed up. (Laughter) It's talking about taking away - and they say, 'Where are they taken, Lord.' He says, 'Wherever the vultures' - 'Wherever the body is that's where the vultures are gathered.' You don't want to be taken like that, do you? (Laughter) And so, the church is so confused on these scriptures about the second coming. Number 10: What solemn warning does Jesus give about His second coming? "For many shall come in my name, saying, 'I am Christ;' and shall deceive many." Now that verse can be understood a couple of different ways and still be correct. Some are going to come and they are going to claim to be Jesus and then those are going to come and say, 'He is Christ' - but they'll deceive people. Many will come - they come in His name, they say he's Christ and then they deceive. And then there come - there's some that come and they say, 'I am Christ' - and Satan is going to impersonate Jesus in the last days. You can also read on, it says, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders;" Now, I'm not so worried about kooks that say that they're Jesus. There's probably thousands of them walking the world today. I saw a National Geographic report of about half a dozen people around the world that have a small group of worshipers and they claim to be Jesus. They've got one in South America and you've got one in Europe and other places, and they have their followers. I met somebody that claimed to be Jesus and it was a little unnerving because I was living by myself in the mountains in a cave and a guy came hiking up into my cave yard - I had a yard - and - I mean, he came over the rocks and you're in my yard. He was about six-feet tall, he had shoulder-length brown hair, hazel eyes, mustache and a beard, and I'm friendly - I sat down, we talked a little bit, and in the process of conversation he asked me if I was a believer. I said, 'Well, yeah, I just read the Bible, just accepted Jesus.' And he said, 'I am Jesus.' (Laughter) And I wasn't sure I heard him right and he said, 'I am Jesus.' And then I thought, 'Well, I've got some Spanish friends named Jesus, I said, 'You mean your name is Jesus?' (Raucous laughter) He said, 'No, I am Jesus.' And that was a little troubling because I thought 'This guy's crazy and I'm here in the mountains by myself.' And then I thought, 'Well, I don't want to call him crazy because what if he is Jesus? I'd like to know.' You know, I've got a lot of questions. And so, I - I started saying, 'Well, now, doesn't it say in the Bible when you come everybody's going to see you coming in the clouds?' (Laughter) He said, 'That's how I'm coming for the world at large, but I'm coming for certain individuals first.' - (Laughter) - 'And I've' - And he had an answer for everything. He was trying to recruit me as a disciple. (Raucous laughter) And so, I humored him for a few days - you know, nice and, you know, he stayed with me, he ate all my food - he was a slob - he didn't clean anything up. And, finally, I had to evict Jesus from my cave because - (Raucous laughter) - A few days later I saw him in town and he had found an apostle. He was walking around and I felt much better because about two weeks later I saw him again, he had gotten in a fight with somebody and they knocked out his front tooth (Laughter) and we all know Jesus has all His teeth, so that settled it for me. (Laughter) I felt much better at that point. So I'm not worried about those kooky people, but when Satan impersonates Christ it's going to be very compelling and there'll be an emotional power and there'll be signs and wonders and he'll quote the Bible. What will prevent the righteous from being deceived? You read in Isaiah 8, verse 20, it's going to be the Bible - according "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." We're going to have to judge everything by the word of God. That's why I've told you that we need to really know our Bibles because Jesus tells us that the deception is going to be so compelling that, if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. So we're going to have to be carefully rooted in what we believe. Well, if you heard that there was somebody out there and they're claiming to be Jesus, would it be safe to go and see them? What does the Lord say? He says, in Matthew 24, verse 26, "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, 'Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth." Don't even look. 'Hey, turn on channel 13, Jesus has just appeared in Jerusalem.' I wouldn't even turn it on because the devil can hypnotize. And, you know, you hypnotize a person with their audio and their visual nerves - the optical and the auditory nerves and television kind of reaches both. And now they've got TV, it's like high resolution - they're getting 3D, I mean, it's going to be very powerful. Don't do it. You know, this very confused character, Marshall Applewhite, he had - what, the Heaven's Gate group - and he said, 'The Lord is coming in secret chambers. It's a spaceship hiding in the Hale-Bopp comet and all you've got to do is drink this deadly cocktail and we're going to get beamed up.' Now, if I had a guy talking to me like that, I'd think he's crazy. But he had - how many people? Twenty-something people committed suicide because they believed him. Well, this is going to be a lot more convincing than that. What can we know about the time of Jesus' return? Now, I'm going to spend some time on this question, so just get comfortable, because I want to make a few things clear. First of all, regarding a specific time of His coming, Jesus could not be misunderstood: "But of that day that hour knoweth no man," - that should settle it for everybody. So, if someone comes to you and they say, 'Well, I know most people don't know, but near the end we're gonna figure it out. And I've done some calculating and I don't know the day and the hour, but I know the month.' And I've heard all kinds of strange things. Why would you try to pick the day? Would you wait until the last minute to get ready? He said He's coming back. He could come for you tomorrow, because if you die, your next conscious thought is the resurrection. And so, we need to be ready how often? >>Always. >>Jesus said 'Be ready always, lest that day overtake you as a thief.' And a lot of people have been overtaken as a thief already. And so, we need to be ready. Some of you remember Harold Camping, Family Radio - I talked to him once or twice on the radio. Matter of fact, Amazing Facts interviewed him not too long before he died, because he was setting a date. And, you know, I think he was sincere, but he was wrong. A lot of people gave everything they had - they invested in his ministry to get the word out that Jesus was coming. What was it, May 21, 2011 and, of course, it didn't happen. That was the second or third time he had predicted the day and hour of the Lord's coming. And, you know what, I've got a surprise for you. Every pastor and evangelist that has picked the date for the Lord's coming has been wrong so far. You realize that? I'm talking about the dates that have passed. And so, you don't want to be going down that road. But, while we don't know the day and the hour, can we know when it's near? >>Yes. >>Jesus is pretty clear - Matthew 24, verse 33, "When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." There are going to be signs where we can know that it is near. And what are some of those signs? Well, there's quite a few. First of all, Jesus says, in Matthew 24, 'There'll be wars and rumors of wars.' Well, we've had wars all through history and certainly, now, we've got rumors of war. There's discussion about problems with North Korea and everyone's saying, you know, they don't see how we're going to get out of this; it doesn't look like they're ever going to back down. And then, problems with Iran - there's already wars going on in different places in Africa and different parts of the world right now. Do you know, just a little amazing fact for you, that the world spends over 100 million dollars an hour on soldiers, ammunition, and war machines. Wouldn't you like to have a little piece of that? 100 million dollars an hour on international military expenditures. The Bible says there'll be political instability - people's hearts will be failing for fear - the sea and the waves roaring. We see that now. There's just so much volatility and political instability and problems in the Middle East and there have been for years. Jesus said, 'There'll be pestilence' - that's plagues - and various kinds of disease. And we all know about the Ebola crisis they had a little while ago but, you know, I - I think that, really, what the world has to be concerned about when it comes to a plague, is something as simple as a flu. Do you know that during World War I what killed the most people was not the battles - and they were brutal - of World War I, it was the 1918 flu epidemic that killed 40 million people that year? And right now they say that there's a potential for another strain of that that is resistant to [treatment] and the ability for us to spread that with international travel - you get on an airplane in a tin can with all these other people and it's hard not to pick something up and to transmit it everywhere. I don't worry about those things, I'm just saying these are some of the signs. He said there'll be plagues. There'll be natural disasters. They had another major earthquake in Mexico this year. Between 2004 and 2014, 18 - and this is from the Geological Society of America - 18 earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or more rattled subduction zones around the globe. That's an increase of 265 percent over the average rate for the previous century. And so, they're seeing an acceleration of the problems. Now, before I go any farther, let me tell you why these signs matter. We've always had wars. There's always been plagues - we had the black death - you've had problems in the environment, there's, you know, problems with earthquakes, natural disasters - but the Lord says it'll be labor pains. Paul refers to it as the whole creation groans and travails. He compares it to a birth. Now, we have five children, seven grandchildren - I know something about how this works. Wife says, 'I'm feeling some pain.' You rush her off to the hospital and he listens and he says, 'How far apart are they?' 'About a day or two.' He says, 'Aw, go back home. Those are Braxton-Hicks contractions, it doesn't mean anything. Your body's just getting warmed up.' But, eventually, those pains will start coming and he'll say, 'How far apart are they? How severe are they?' As they increase in frequency and intensity, you know there's going to be a birth eventually. And what we're seeing in the world cannot be denied - that, with all of these problems, there is an increase in frequency and intensity that tells us that the coming of the Lord is going to be soon. Another problem is just what's happening to the environment. Half of the world's wildlife species, National Geographic says, has been lost in the past 40 years. Can you imagine that? Half of the wildlife species have been lost in 40 years. The Bible says there'll be violence in the last days. He said, 'As it was in the days of Noah, where people's thoughts and hearts were only evil continually and violence filled the land.' Every day more American youth die in gang violence than fighting in foreign wars. That statistic has been true for several years. Jesus said, 'As it was in the days of Lot, so will it be in the day when the Son of Man shall return.' Meaning there'll be tremendous immorality. I don't know about some of you that heard there's a website that encourages people to have an affair. They say, 'Life is short. Have an affair.' You notice the girls got a wedding ring on. And someone breached their data base. They claimed to have 56 million people globally. That's pretty sad. And they were going to release it all if they didn't bring down their site. They didn't bring down their site and a lot of these very personal details of people who had been either having affairs or contemplating affairs - "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot...even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." I think we all know that one of the signs in Lot is they had trouble knowing that God made male and female different. Is it just me or do we have a problem with that in the world today? >>Amen. >>You notice I'm having to be careful how I say it? But the Bible's pretty clear that it condemns homosexual behavior, let alone - who would have thought that it would be called marriage 20 years ago? And now, it's not just - you can identify as whatever you want. It's not just, you say, 'I am going to identify as a man' or 'I'm going to identify' - 'I'm going to identify as something else in between.' And they're giving driver's licenses where you can have, you know, fifty different options for what your sexual identity is. I'm sorry, God made two. >>Amen. >>That's it. And all you've got to do is look at your chromosomes or look in the mirror and you can figure out what you are. (Laughter) It doesn't have to get complicated. But the devil is attacking every institution in the Garden of Eden. Over population - it took about 5,000 years to get the first billion people in the world, then it only took 130 years to get the second billion. Then it took 30 years to get the third billion, 15 years to get the fourth billion. I remember when there were three billion, now they're pushing toward 8 billion people. You know, for me, also, one of the amazing signs that Jesus is coming soon? It's found in Daniel chapter 12, he said, "But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will run to and fro" - people are running to and fro - National Geographic magazine said a couple of years ago, "People are traveling far from home more than ever before in history." That's just - the international travel. As much as we complain, it's happening more and more - all the planes are full that I'm on. And he said, going back to Daniel, "knowledge shall increase." Look at the explosion of knowledge. Now you can have a lot of knowledge and no wisdom. Wisdom is knowing what to do with knowledge. You could have knowledge and make an atomic bomb and not have the wisdom to not use it. So man has certainly got a lot of knowledge. I don't know if you've heard about the Hadron accelerator - I think it was on the screen just a moment ago. It's the largest scientific experiment in the world - 17-mile tunnel underneath France and Switzerland - 500 feet below ground - 10,000 scientists, and they're trying to isolate and discover what they call the Higg's-Boson - the God Particle. They're trying to figure out how the universe was developed. And they spent all this money to try and find out, you know, what does everything come from? And I don't have time to go through all of the amazing inventions that have taken place in the last century. Some of you here, you grew up with kerosene lights. And there's still people here who remember when you rode a horse to get from point A to point B. Look at how the world has changed in one generation. But for me, the most amazing sign is in Matthew 24, verse 14, Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." The end might come? >>Will. >>He said the end shall come - it will come. Is the gospel being preached in all the world? >>Yes. >>Never before - I mean, even as I speak right now, this is going up by satellite, it's on at least three different satellite networks, it's going through the Internet, there's people who are watching in New Guinea and Australia and Norway and - just all over the planet. In China, Amazing Facts had the privilege of being the first Christian ministry of any denomination, to do a public evangelistic meeting in China - >>Amen. >>Since - in the last 59 years. And we videotaped it and by - Hope China did it and it's being broadcast around China. It was translated, so the gospel is going. >>Amen. >>Around the world - we get Internet - we get e-mail from people who say they're watching our program in Middle Eastern countries, they say, 'I can't tell you my name because if this got out, my life could be in danger.' But they're watching. The gospel is going in all the world. >>Amen. >>And so, that's why I think Jesus is coming. He didn't say everybody would believe, He said as a witness to all nations. Then the end will come. So are we getting ready for Jesus' coming? >>Amen. >>What will the angels do at the second coming of Jesus? The Bible says He will send His angels and they will gather together His elect from the four winds of heaven - that means north, south, east, west - and they'll bring them to the Lord - they're going to be caught up together with the Lord. Now, since we're living just before the second coming, how should we relate to this solemn and glorious event? How many of you have heard a presentation like this before? About the second coming? Sure you have. Did it change you for a little while? Why do we talk about the second coming? Some people say, 'Well, when He comes, He comes. Don't get preoccupied with His coming.' Well, personally, I'm what you would call a Seventh-day Adventist and that means that we get excited about the imminent advent of Jesus. >>Amen. >>Jesus has told us to go into all the world to teach and to baptize. He wants people to know that this world has a limited amount of time and we need to get ready. If nothing else, your life has a limited amount of time and you need to get ready for the Lord for you. And so, we have a message, but this world is not going to last forever. That also tells us about the goodness of God. Wouldn't it be terrible if the sin and the pain and the suffering were immortalized? Jesus coming again is good news that it's all going to be resolved. >>Amen. >>So how do we respond? He says, "Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh." I did a program like this back in 1999 and there was millennial fever and everybody thought the world was going to end with Y2K. Any of you remember that? >>Yes. >>That was the mother of all false alarms. (Laughter) And I know people who sold everything and moved up into Montana and, you know, lived on garbanzo beans or whatever and they just (Laughter) cut up their credit cards. They said, 'We've got to get off the grid. The world is going to end with Y2K.' Everyone thought '2000, something's going to happen.' You can listen to my old tape. I said, 'I don't think it's going to happen now.' 'Why?' 'Because everybody's looking for it now.' (Laughter) Jesus said, 'In such an hour as you think not.' And who's He talking to? The church. You notice that when Jesus tells parables about His second coming He said, 'Before it happens a lot of people are sleeping'? There were ten virgins: five wise, five foolish - all asleep, right? >>Right. >>And then the bridegroom shouted that he's coming - they had to wake up. Jesus said, 'If that evil servant said in his heart, 'My lord delays his coming'' - even if he says it in his heart - and we're asleep at that critical moment. What were the disciples doing just before the cross? >>Sleeping. >>He said, 'Pray with Me.' They went to sleep. On the mountain, when Moses and Elijah appear and God speaks, the disciples fell asleep. So Jesus said - Mark chapter 13 - 'Watch, watch, watch' - How do you watch? You have to be sober, you have to be vigilant, you have to be careful that you are not allowing yourself to doze off. >>Amen. >>You ever caught yourself starting to fall asleep while you're driving? Are you aware that sleeping at the wrong time can be deadly? It's like the two boys sitting on the front porch contemplating life, and one said to his brother, he says, 'When I go, I want to go like grandpa, quiet in my sleep, peaceful.' And his brother said, 'Yeah, I'd hate to go like the other people in the car, yelling and screaming.' (Laughter) Grandpa fell asleep. It can be fatal. And so, here we are, on the borders of the second coming. Are you spiritually awake? How do you wake up, spiritually? How do you revive? Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Are you spending regular time with Him? Do everything you can do. Make a note and set it on your computer. Have an alarm go off, but if you take time to pray - if you take time to read His word, if you take time - share your faith - and you need to be studying. Know what you believe. Be ready, always, to give an answer to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. So how will people be rewarded at the second coming of Jesus? There's going to be two groups. The Lord says, "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." What will the wicked say when Jesus returns? "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man and every free man said to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne:...for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" That's the question: Who's going to stand? >>Amen. >>What will the righteous say when Jesus comes? "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us:" Do you live for the Lord? >>Amen. >>Are you waiting for Him? >>Yes. >>You know, a few years ago, a captain, Scott O'Grady, was flying over Bosnia, during the war there, and his jet was shot down. And he parachuted off into enemy territory and he knew that if he was captured, that they had been doing bomb runs and he would be either killed or tortured, or both. And so, he had to hide. Cut loose his parachute, went under some bushes. He knew when he was shot down that others saw his parachute come down and he was hiding under bushes - he put his camouflage gloves over his face. He saw people walking right by the bushes. He heard the soldiers with guns talking and walking around him and he had to stay perfectly still. For six days he hid, terrified - he'd try to sleep and stay still during the day. About midnight he'd get up during the night and he'd run and try and get further and further and try and get out in the wilderness. He didn't even radio for a few days because he knew they'd be listening for his radio frequency. And he caught rain water in a sponge and ate bugs and put all of his training into practice. You can read where he said in this Time Magazine - A Pilot's Story - "'I prayed to God and asked Him for a lot of things, and He delivered me through the entire time,' O'Grady told Time in an interview...'When I prayed for rain, He gave me rain. One time I prayed, 'Lord, let me at least have someone know I'm alive and maybe come rescue me.' And guess what? That night T.O. [fellow f-16 pilot Thomas O. Hanford] came up on the radio.' At that moment, O'Grady knew his ordeal was coming to an end." >>Amen. >>What he didn't know is that they had a fix on him. They knew he was shot down and they mobilized the entire U.S. Air Force, Marines, NATO - was all preoccupied with rescuing one soldier. >>Amen. >>That's how much one soldier means. And when they finally came and he had to run up on this hill, he knew they had just a very short time - the Marines came in with a helicopters, they saw his smoke, they landed, and they picked him up. And he was so thankful to be caught up and saved from enemy territory. >>Amen. >>Well, we've been down here for 6,000 years. Has Jesus forgotten about us? >>No. >>We're in enemy territory. If you're a Christian, you are a citizen of another kingdom, amen? >>Amen. >>And He is not going to neglect His promise. Christ has told us very plainly, 'In My Father's house are many mansions; if it was not so, I would have told you. I will come again.' >>Amen. >>He came the first time just like He promised. He's going to come the second time. Do you believe it, friends? >>Yes. >>Amen. >>And He wants to take us back to a world where there is no more pain or sorrow or suffering. Only thing that matters in this life is knowing Jesus and sharing Jesus. This world is not going to last. You and I know about one that will last forever, that is better than anything we can imagine. It is not a fairy tale, it is one of the only things that is real, is the message of the gospel, and we need to get that out to the world, amen? >>Amen. >>We need to be a people who believe in the imminent advent of Jesus and take this reformation, these three angels' messages to the world in the last days. How many of you want to say, as we close, 'Pastor Doug, by the grace of God, I want to be one of those people, and I want to help share that message?' Would you be willing to stand with me? And let's ask Him as we pray. Loving Father, we just thank You and we claim the promise that Jesus has made, that He will come back again. We are so thankful for the good news and the blessed hope that we have, because of the love of Jesus and His sacrifice for us. We embrace the grace, Lord, and we pray that that Holy Spirit will fill each of us. I pray that we'll know You, Lord, and so, when You come again You'll say, 'These are My children. Well done, good and faithful servants.' Bless each person here. We pray in Jesus' name, amen. (Music)
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