Signs of the Coming King, Pt. 1

Scripture: Mark 13:3-8, Mark 13:21-27, Matthew 24:14
Date: 02/17/2017 
The Lord says He is coming and that He's coming quickly. What can we know about Jesus return? Part 1 of 2

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>>This presentation is brought to you by the friends of the Amazing Facts ministry.

>>The Great Basin Bristle Cone Pine is one of the longest living organisms on earth. Incredibly, it can live more than 4,000 years. In fact, one specimen, called the Methuselah tree, in the White mountains of California, is believed to be over 4,700 years old and it's among the oldest living trees on the planet. This tree was around when the Egyptians were building the pyramids.

Some of these ancient evergreens found on lonely mountaintops have weathered thousands of years of intense freezing wind, pounding rain, scorching sun, and violent electrical storms. How have they managed to survive for millennia of such harsh weather and adverse conditions? They do it by sending their roots deep and wrapping them tenaciously around the solid rock and hanging on.

You know, friends, Jesus tells us that there's a time of tribulation coming just before His return - an intense frightful storm of trouble unlike anything we've ever seen. Is your life anchored on the solid rock of Christ? Let's explore together, from the Bible, just what will happen in the last days.

>>You know it's very interesting that they have so many programs now that are dealing with the subject of preppers. National Geographic has a program that specifically talks about doomsday preppers and a lot of people have been wondering what's coming. And some of these people aren't even religious. They just see what's happening in the world, they're worried about the environment, they're worried about a natural disaster - they say 'What will we do if an asteroid strikes or if there's a tsunami or if there's a social meltdown?' Others are worried about Armageddon and there's more religious overtones to their fear.

But a lot of people are worried - how many of you heard about folks that are preppers who are trying to get ready for the last days and they're - they're storing up buckets of beans and they've got, you know, solar electric and all these things and it's not necessarily a bad thing. Karen and I’ve had a cabin in the hills for 40 years now and I think 35 years we've been off the grid and it's just because there's no electricity nearby. But a lot of people are doing this because they think 'When there is this major meltdown we somehow will survive.'

Now for years folks have acted like 'Well this is just a fringe group that's worried about that.' But it's now going beyond that. I think it was just last week Wall Street Journal published an article that now there is about 60 percent of these mega millionaires have a plan or a place where they can protect themselves in the event of some social meltdown. You can see doomsday prep for the super-rich. They bought these deactivated missile silos. You've heard of skyscrapers that go up in the air? These go down in the ground and they have rooms. And it's three million dollars for a level and they are selling out.

Because these mega-millionaires and billionaires they're buying secure spots they've got their own water system purification, air purification, hydroponic farming - they got the swimming pool, they've got a theater for 17 people, they've got a pharmacy, a jail and this is all being built below ground. You know, they thought, if anybody kind of gets odd, they've got the jail. Till they cool off because you know if you get cooped up with a bunch of Type X millionaires anything could happen. So it's not just fringe groups that are thinking about some kind of catastrophe that seems to be looming on the horizon.

Hedge funds managers multi-millionaires and billionaires from silicon valley, they are making preparations for what they think is going to be inevitable one way or the other and you - you consider what we're going to study tonight and you'll see why.

So we're going to be talking tonight about signs of Jesus’ coming. The Second Coming of Christ is what you would call the pinnacle or the high point of prophecy. And we're going to go through sort of a question and answer method that just helps me stay on track. And so it creates an outline for our study.

First question is: What is one of the central teachings in Revelation? Now you may want to take notes. We've mentioned that there's some supplemental material that you can get to go along with these presentations but I’m going to give you a few of the scriptures just from Revelation so you'll know that the Second Coming of Jesus is not an afterthought in the last book of Bible - of the Bible. For instance: Revelation 1, verse 7 - first chapter - "Behold He's coming with the clouds and every eye will see Him. Even those who pierced Him." You can read Revelation 14:14, 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." Again talking about the Second Coming. Someone on the clouds coming - Jesus is coming in the clouds.

You can read in Revelation 22, verse 7 He said, "Behold I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." Now that's the last chapter in the Bible but we're not done yet. You go to Revelation chapter 22, verse 20, "He who testifies of these things says, 'Surely I am coming' - how?


>>Quickly. Notice He's coming quickly, quickly - and you're probably thinking, 'Pastor Doug, John wrote that 2000 years ago. God's idea of quickly and my idea of quickly are not the same.' (laughter) I mean we want fast food. We think our microwaves are too slow, right? So what's taking so long? Well stay with us and we'll talk about that in just a moment. He who testified of these things said, "'Surely I am coming quickly, amen.' Even so, come, lord Jesus." One of the principal teachings of the book.

So with that in mind that the Lord says He is coming and that He's coming quickly, what can we know about the time of Jesus' return? Now this is where you've got to be very careful. And I want you to listen carefully to what I’m sharing. We can know something about the Lord coming soon, but be very careful about a group that is giving you a date for the Lord's return. Matthew 24, Jesus said, speaking of His second coming, "But of that day and that hour knows" - how many people? - "no man" - not even the angels, but My Father only." I’m sure Jesus is in Heaven - He knows now, but when Christ was on the - I mean, I doubt that the Father is saying, 'Oh, I know the date but I can't trust You with it.' But when Jesus was on the earth He said, I don't even know the date. My Father only knows it.

So when someone starts to presume to tell you, 'I’ve figured it out. I did the math. I know the day and the hour of Jesus' coming' - this gentleman here, Harold Camping, a very sincere man. I don't question that. He was the president and one of the founders of Family Radio. They have some great Christian music - but I think most of us remember when, a few years ago, he foretold - I think it was 2011 - that was the second or third time he picked a date for the Second Coming.

Matter of fact, one of his dates was, I think, 1994 or 96 - I don't remember - I was doing a seminar and, again, he had picked the date and it really helped the attendance of my seminar. (laughter) But, of course, Jesus didn't come. And I’ve always made it very clear that's not how you do it. He had a big date for May 11 - or May 21, 2011 and we actually interviewed him. We were on Fox News in Sacramento because I made an offer - he had a great network of radio stations; we said, we'll give you a million dollars for your radio stations. You can use now, but if Jesus doesn't come you sign them over to us' - and he didn't do it. (laughter) And since then he's - yeah, he was sincere - he had a stroke shortly after Jesus didn't come. I think he was devastated.

He really believed it, but it messed up a lot of people. And you know what? It made Christianity lose credibility. That's why we've got to be careful about people just continually setting dates and then it's the next date, and then it's the next thing. I think we need to live in a state of expectancy because, in reality, as far as you're concerned, if you die your next conscious thought is the resurrection and the Second Coming of Jesus.


>>He could come for you very soon. And even if you live 90 or 100 - 200 years, what's that compared to eternity? Our lives are pretty short. The Bible says a day with the Lord is like a thousand years. Now, Jesus did tell us we don't know the day or hour but we can know when it's near. Matthew 24, verse 33, He said, "When you see all these things know that it is" - what? - it's near. So Jesus gave us signs. He said, 'Lift up your heads when you see these things.' He wants us to be watching. Five times in Mark 13, when Jesus talks about the second coming, He says, 'Watch Watch Watch.' Actually it's four times, but He wants us to be watching. He said 'Lest coming suddenly He finds you sleeping.'

And then he gives the parable of the virgins waiting for the bridegroom. They fall asleep and they're not ready. And so He wants us to be thinking about these things and so when you come to a program like this and we talk about the return of the Lord - and the closing promise in the Bible talks about 'Even so come Lord Jesus,' it is a good thing for Christians to talk about Jesus coming back. Amen?


>>It's a good thing. Don't set dates, but He wants us to be looking at that. So, is He coming soon? Let me give you a broad idea of where we are in the scope of history. The Bible sort of outlines history from - in three great epochs. You've got - from the time of Adam to Abraham is about 2000 years. We don't know the exact date for creation. Amazing Facts spent a lot of time developing a Bible chronology timeline just adding up the ages in the Bible just to know when, you know, David lived in relation to Samson and those things, and when it got back to the time of Adam and creation, you could just make an educated guess and even if you knew the date that would not be the way to pick a day for the Second Coming.

Just looking at the scope of history. Adam was born - you don't really say born, he was created - about 4004 B.C., somewhere around there. 2000 years later Abraham's born. For the first 2000 years God shares the gospel through the patriarchs. They were not Jews. They were people like Adam and Seth and Noah - Methuselah - so forth - Enoch - godly people. And then from the time of Abraham, then God shared the gospel for another 2000 years especially through the Hebrew people - the Jewish people - and Jesus was born about 4 B.C. Now I know that confuses people. They say, I thought Jesus was born zero.' And that's why we say, you know, 4 B.C. is before Christ.

When they developed that dating method, they did an educated guess about when they thought Jesus was born. They fixed that as the year zero, then years later they found out that King Herod the Great died about 2 B.C. we know he's the one who tried to kill all the babies in Bethlehem. Jesus must have been alive then. We realized Jesus was baptized in 27 A.D. he was baptized on his 30th birthday, the Bible says. You count backwards and we realize they got that A.D. B.C. dating method wrong - about 4 years. But - so then you've got 2000 years from Adam to Abraham, 2000 years from Abraham to Christ.

Then, for the next 2000 years, which brings us to our day - the gospel's being preached through spiritual Israel - or the church. And then, after you get from that - and, of course, we're living now in the space age - you know we're living right now exactly 2000 years from the life of Jesus. We're living 2000 years from between when He was born and when He died. And so it is an interesting time in history.

And then you read in Revelation chapter 20, it talks about a thousand-year period at the end of this six thousand year of Bible history - talking about the Bible ages - for a total of 7000, which is kind of an interesting number. You know the Bible says 'A day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day.' God seems to work on a pattern in the Bible where you work six days and you rest one. And here you've got like six thousand years for the plan of salvation. Here we are near the end of that period and then a thousand years - it says the saints live and reign with Christ - it's almost like a thousand-year Sabbath, if you will.

So just kind of give this to you in - in your mind here I’ll put a chart up here you've got these three epochs you get 2000 years of the patriarchs, 2000 years of the Jews, 2000 years of the church - or spiritual Israel - then a thousand years where we live and reign with Christ. We're living right at that time that would be of great interest. I frankly think that we're living in the generation that's going to see the culmination of all that's been foretold.

I know what some of you are thinking. 'Pastor Doug, you pastors have been talking about Jesus coming again now for thousands of years, and it hasn't come yet.' When He does come you'll think it's too soon. And you know what that means one of these days one of us is going to be right. He is going to come.

>>Friends, in just a moment, we're going to continue with today's presentation, but before we do, you know, a lot of folks misunderstand how Jesus is coming again. There's a lot of confusion about will His return be a secret, when is the tribulation taking place, and to help clear this up, we have a special free offer for you. it's a booklet that I've written called "Anything but Secret. "This resource is absolutely imperative. Jesus warned us there'll be many false christs and false prophets. How can you avoid being deceived? Filled with scripture resources, this will bless your heart. To get your free copy, call the phone number on your screen and ask for offer number 106, or visit the web address. and after you read this incredible resource, make sure and share it with a friend. Well, let's get back now to today's presentation and learn some more amazing facts from the Word of God.

>>Keep in mind God told Abraham that through his descendants the Messiah would come. Every Jewish girl hoped that she would be the mother of the Messiah. 100 years went by 200 years went by. They kept saying 'He's coming. He's coming.' 'The Messiah is coming.' 500 years went by - 1000 years went by and they started losing faith. 'Yeah, they say the Messiah is coming.' Finally when Jesus did come, 2000 years later were they ready?


>>Could that happen again?


>>They were on that time. What are some of the signs of the nearness of Christ? There's our question number three. Now, if you've got your Bibles - I don't know if you brought a Bible with you but I’ll read it to you. If you go to Matthew chapter 24 Jesus is talking about signs of the Second Coming: "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you're not troubled. All these things must come to pass." He said there's going to be war but a war is not a sign - there's been wars all along - "The end is not yet. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there will be famines and pestilence" - those are plagues - "and earthquakes in various places. All these are at the beginning of sorrows then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you and you'll be hated of all nations for my name's sake and many will be offended and betray one another and many will hate one another. Many false prophets will rise and deceive many and because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold." - and hear its promises - "but he that endures to the end will be saved."

He said, 'Don't lose patience' - even Revelation says 'Here is the patience of the saints.' Why do you think we need patience? He's coming soon and some people are saying, 'Aw, is He ever going to come?' Hold on. He's coming again. So now let's take apart some of the signs that we just looked at talking about the signs of the end. Talked about wars and rumors of wars - political instability. Do we have that in the world today?


>>Yeah, you know, just in the news in the last few days. Not only is North Korea continuing to push the envelope and test the distance it can deliver ballistic missiles, but Iran is now testing missiles and they've made it very clear there's some countries they don't like very much. We're one of them. Israel's another. I mean right now it's - it's like the whole Middle East is a powder keg. And, unfortunately, man has never made a weapon he did not use. That's a historical fact. And you just wonder, at one point, is somebody going to get a hold of a forbidden nuclear weapon from the Cold War or what's going to happen.

You know Revelation tells us that God has His angels holding back the winds of strife so that the gospel can go forward. I think the only thing that's giving us this window of peace is that the Lord is holding back the winds of strife to give us an opportunity to share the good news while time remains. Wars and rumors of wars.

I saw an interesting fact. You know the world spends over one hundred million dollars an hour on soldiers, ammunition, and war machines. And you think about the American military what it costs every hour and the - Russia and China and these - a hundred million dollars an hour is spent on preparing for these. Not only wars and rumors of wars, the Bible talked about earthquakes in various places - not only earthquakes - earthquake - the one there in 2004 triggered the tsunami. And 250,000 people perished. And everyone keeps saying, on the West Coast, when is the big one going to come? And we've already seen some terrible catastrophes with earthquakes.

I saw a fact that came from the Geological Society of America and the National Earthquake Information Center that, between 2004 and 2014, 18 earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or more rattled subduction zones around the globe. This is an increase of 265 percent over the average rate of the previous century.

Now while I talk about signs like war and rumor of war and plagues and earthquakes, keep in mind there have always been these things. What the Lord is talking about is when the frequency and intensity increases. When Karen and I had children and she was great with child every now and then she'd get a labor pain. I think they call the early ones Braxton Hicks contractions or something. And you know your reaction could be, 'Oh, I’m feeling something - we'll run for the doctor.' And they'll often smile and send you home and say, 'First one? Relax, you've got a ways to go.' And, you know, usually that ninth month they are ready to be delivered. They want to have that baby.

But when, all of a sudden, the pains begin come closer together with more frequency and they become more intense, then you know there's going to be a baby. And, as you near the end of time, you'll see the signs that Jesus talked about - wars well last century we had two world wars. And it almost looks like we're on the brink of a third, the way things are going. That's not a normal war. It's a world war and nuclear weapons and atomic bombs - and the intensity of these things, including the earthquakes and natural disasters. It seems like they increase and intensify.

So that's something to keep in mind. Plagues, pestilence - Jesus talked about. I think don't we all shudder from the terrible images that we saw coming from West Africa with the Ebola break out recently but that's not the worst plague. Little more than a hundred years ago in 19 - I guess a little less than a hundred years ago - in 1917 - 1918 they had the - an influenza epidemic and you know that it killed more people than World War I. About 40 million people died from a strain of the flu.

And now, with all the antibiotics, science is telling us that the possibility of a very resistant strain - a super bug could be spread very quickly cause - I travel a lot; you get on these airplanes all it takes is one sick person coughing it's pumped through the ventilation system and boy, the airline industry around the world is a very effective way to spread the virus around the world. And so, governments are aware of that and they are very carefully guarding - you remember, with the Ebola - people flying - they were screening everybody because they could see how quickly this could spread. Again, it's just the grace of God that's holding these things back right now.

One of the signs Jesus gives of the last days is violence. Christ said, 'As it was in the days of Noah, and as it was in the days of Lot, so will it be in the days when the Son of Man returns.' What was it like back in the days of Noah? You read in Genesis chapter 6, 'The thoughts of men's hearts were only evil continually and violence filled the land.' The Bible tells us that it grieved the Lord in His heart that he'd even made man. And so you consider that. Do we have that kind of violence in the world today?

Here's an interesting fact. Every day more American youth die in gang violence than fighting in foreign wars. I understand that 2016 in Chicago there were over 718 murders. That's more people being murdered in one U.S. city than our soldiers were slain in the last six years fighting in the Middle East.

Violence. One of the signs of the last days. And, if you don't mind my just saying here, I don't think it should surprise us when - if you scan through the television, you're going to find people are entertained by violence. And if we're entertained by violence we tend to reproduce - especially young people. They see hundreds and thousands of murders as they grow up and you sort of become callous and indifferent. And they see all this shooting on television and they don't realize the distinction between a real gun and what it's going to do to a life and fiction. And there's just this cold indifference.

Immorality. Porn - I saw study not too long ago that - it's kind of shocking. 12 percent of all internet websites are pornographic - and there are millions of websites - twelve percent. Thirty five percent of all internet downloads are pornographic in content. 25 percent of online search engine requests are related to sex. Forty million Americans consider themselves regular visitors to porn sites. The average age for the first exposure to porn is 11 years old - average age. It's just saturating our society and things that were once considered, you know, immoral it's just becoming a way of life.

People are becoming calloused to purity that God is calling us to. And you know I just can't rush by this without mentioning something I think we're all aware of, that the Bible says 'As it was in the days of Sodom, so shall it be in the days when the Son of Man comes' - and I’m, frankly, very disappointed that we've become fuzzy on the distinctions between men and women when it comes to marriage.

Overpopulation. You know I saw a study - I actually looked it up to check my facts today. Right now we're bordering on, you know, seven and a half billion people in the world. It took approximately five thousand years - I think it was 1829 - the world got the first billion people - 5000 years to get 1 billion. Then it was about 123 years after that just 123 year to get the second billion. Then about 30 years after that to get the third billion. I remember when there were only 3 billion people and I’m not that old - in the world - and in my life the world population has more than doubled from 3 billion to 7 something billion.

There's actually a website you can go to and it will clock for you how people are being born - how quickly - it's kind of staggering to just sit there and look that - how many people - 90 million people are being added to the world's population every year - 90 million people - that's including the ones you deduct for death 90 million new people drawing on the resources of the planet.

Karen and I’ve been to China a few times. Let me tell you there are a lot of people in China. I remember in Shanghai - I grew up in New York City - that's a busy city and it's a very populated city, but I got to China I feel like I was driving through New York City downtown for an hour and it never stopped - like 24 million people - this one city but it's growing.

And this just tells us it can't last forever. That's why Jesus said 'Except those days be shortened no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. In other words, if He did not come on time and if He doesn't cut it short, nobody would survive.


>>So the Lord has to come soon or there'll be nothing to come for. And another reason I think He is coming soon is everybody is going to believe that Jesus is coming when the whole world just sort of begins to swallow itself. But it may be a little before that because he said in such an hour you think not the Son of Man is coming.

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