Creflo Dollar - Are You Ready for the Return of Jesus? - Part 1
So, I call this series with a question, Are You Ready For The Return Of Jesus Christ? Because I'll show you some things today that kind of identify where we are. But let's start off in the Book of Hebrews chapter 9, Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 28. I'm gonna look at Hebrews 9:28, and then Psalms 34:4 through 5. This is our text for this series of sermons. I don't know how far I'll get today, but I'm gonna hang in here. Somebody says, "Well, why would you be teaching this"? So, you can get ready. A lot of things you won't do if you're focused on what's about to happen. Okay, a lot of things, you know, I'll show you a Scripture where the Bible says that the grace of God will teach you how to live right so that you can be prepared for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
All right, look at this in verse 28. Let's read it out loud if you have your Bibles. Ready, read. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time"... Now, look at this in the NLT. So, those who look for him. And I don't know if there are a lot of even Christians that look for him because over the years, this has been accounted as a fable. Over the years, it's something that people don't talk about. Over the years, you have scoffers who say, "Well, he's not gonna come". We're gonna deal with all of that. But the Bible talks about all of that stuff that would happen. The things that are going on today were in the Bible thousands of years ago. He says in NLT, "So also Christ was offered," how many times was Christ offered? "Once for all time as a sacrifice to," do what? "Take away the sins of many people," all right? He says, "He will come again". He will come again.
See, we used this Scripture when we were talking about grace and showed you how you were delivered. He will come again. Your sins have already been taken away. He will come again, but not to deal with our sins. Why is he not coming again to deal with our sins? Because he's already dealt with them, right? He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him. And now he's talking about complete salvation where you get your glorified body. He will come again. So, what are we supposed to do with that? Tear it out and act like it's not in the Bible? He will come the second time. He will come again. Now, look at this in Psalms 34, verses 4 through 5. I want to look at it in the King James and then the NIV. Psalms 34:4 through 5. He says, "I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They look unto him, and were lightened; and their faces were not ashamed".
Now, look at this in the NIV, 4 and 5, same verse. Wow. "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame". I'm telling you, I am looking for the return of the Lord. There's something about the Christian that's in expectation of his return. Now, remember he said, "I've delivered you from fear". A lot of Christians don't look for his return because they're in fear. "Oh, but what if I'm not ready? Oh, but what if I did this? And oh, what about my past"? Jesus, he took away all that. Jesus, Jesus... listen. The only thing you gotta do to be saved is to make Jesus the Lord of your life, accept his forgiveness, accept his sacrifice, and you're there. You're not perfect now, nor will you ever be perfect until he changes you. Stop that tomfoolery.
You're always gonna have something to work on. But when you saved and you know it, you are looking for the return of the Lord. I don't know where we were, maybe I think it was Wednesday or something. And we heard this little slight something that sounded like a trumpet or something. I don't know what, it was a Bible study, wasn't it? I don't know what that was, but we were ready. I'm like, Well, I'm thinking the trumpet ain't as loud as what I thought it was. But I was looking up 'cause I was ready to go. And for every Christian, that should be a point of excitement, not a point of fear. You're saved. You're on your way to heaven. Jesus Christ is going to appear the second time.
Now, Jesus is coming again. Now, here we go. I'm going through the Scripture. How can you say that? It's in the Bible. Look at the New King James Bible, let's look at John 14, verses 2 through 3, John 14:2 through 3. "Why are you getting so many Scriptures"? Because it's not been taught a lot, and you need to know where it is. You need to know where it is. My objective is not so I can preach so awesome so you can give me a ten. We need to know this. There's something powerful that's gonna happen in your life as a result of you knowing that it's in the Bible. Look at this, John 14, verses 2 through 3. He says, "In My Father's house," Jesus is speaking here, "are many mansions; if it were not so," he said, "I would have told you that is was not so". He says, "I go to prepare a place for you". Somebody say, "That's me". "And if I go and prepare a place for you," watch this, "I will come again. I will come again. I will come again. And I will receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also".
Now, the church spent so much time fussing about the word "rapture". "Well, you know, rapture ain't even in the Bible". I don't need to see no word "rapture". Right here he says, "I'm gonna prepare a place for you, and I'm coming back for you". Now, you call it what you want to. Here he is, "I will come again". He's coming. He's coming sooner than we think. Glory be to God. It's in the Bible, Jesus is coming again. Now, here are the things that hopefully I can deal with effectively today. There are signs of Jesus's second coming. There are signs. Look at Luke 21, verses 29 through 31 in the New King James version. Luke 21:29 through 31, there are signs of Jesus's second coming. Look at 29:30 and 31. He says, "Then He spoke to them a parable". He said, "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and you know for yourselves that summer is now near". We know that, right, in the natural. "So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near".
So, there are some things that are going to happen that Jesus says, "Just like when you see the trees bud, you know that summer is near, I'm gonna give you some signs to look at to know that I am near". Does everybody understand that? So, the next obvious question is, what are some signs? What are some signs? Well, it's in the Bible. Let's look at Matthew chapter 24, verse 3. What are some signs that the Bible here talks about? Matthew 24, ad let's start at verse 3 and then I'll read on here. He says, "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? what shall be the sign of thy coming"? Now, he coming, he coming.
Now, the Bible says no man knows the day nor the hour, not even the Son of Man, only God knows. All right so, this is what this means. If I were to get up and prophesy to you that God is coming tomorrow, I'm automatically wrong. Why? Because it says don't no man know. So, you don't need to be listening, "Well, they said he was coming before". Where if you'd had read the Scriptures, you'd have known that they were lying 'cause don't know man know, not even the angels in heaven know. So, if somebody tell you a date that Jesus is gonna come, he is absolutely not going to come on that date. So, don't be going back and stuff and all that kind of stuff. I can promise you if any human being announces that Jesus is coming on a particular day and a date, I guarantee you if I was a betting man, I'd bet $10,000 that day. I'd get rich off of you that day. He not coming 'cause no man knows the day or the hour. And we'll run into that Scripture as we go. But he said, "What's the sign of my coming? And what's the sign of the end of the age"? Not the world, but the age.
So, we want to take some time to look at this now. And then look at verse 4 and 5. And here's where we'll take off, verse 4 and 5. He says, "And Jesus answered and said unto them". So, he's gonna talk to us about some signs, guys. He's not gonna leave us completely in the dark. He's gonna talk to us about some things to look at. He says, "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you". How many of you know deception is great, right? Deception is so big. There's some things that I know I can't even tell you. The deception is huge, it's humongous. And he says, "Be careful that you're not deceived". "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many". So, the first sign is that many will come in his name.
Now, what I did was I went to several sources, Wikipedia, some other sources, to actually see if I can find some data on the signs. Now, I'm sure that the data is probably much larger. We're looking for frequency and intensity because he compared his return to a woman who was having birth pains. And if you know a woman who have birth pain, the first pain doesn't mean the child's coming, not even the second one. But it's measured in frequency and intensity. So, you've heard of earthquakes happening. You've heard of all these things happening, but what he says is, watch out when it becomes more frequent and more intense. Look up. Your redemption draws near. Okay? There have been 75 fakes, 12 or maybe 16% are living right now. And this is according to Wikipedia. There have been 75 People who have claimed that they were Christ and showed up with some tricks to try to deceive. And of those 75, 16% are living right now today. So, this is not like, well, that hadn't happened.
Now, I'm not talking about just obvious people who hadn't been called. I'm talking about, I'm talking about people who said that they're Christ, and they got weird signs and wonders following them. Now, if you haven't read your Bible correctly, do you know the devil can do some weird signs and wonders all the way back to Egypt when the magicians put their rods down, and they were turned into snakes. But Moses put his down and somebody said, "Well, how do we know he not magician"? And then that snake ate up the other two. I'm like, oh, look who dominated. But that's already taken place. We're sheltered in the United States of America, and you don't see some of the stuff myself have seen traveling to places, real voodoo. You see stuff. You see stuff. Even when Samuel died, Saul went to a woman who stood between the living and the dead. And Saul broke his own rule and said, "Could you tell Samuel to come back? I gotta ask him something". And she did it. And Samuel said, "Why did you disturb me? What I told you before I died is still going to happen". He said, "In fact, you and your son gonna be with me tomorrow".
See, you don't get all that. You listening to the propaganda of the news, and you don't understand stuff like that really happens around the world. You've never seen somebody really demon possessed, Taffi and I have. I was in... oh, what island we were on? And this woman was possessed with demons. And she came towards me, "man of God, man of God, counsel me". Well, I was in the middle of burnout. I was in the worst condition of depression I'd ever had before. And my wife recognized that that was a demon. And she turned around she said, "In the name of Jesus, you foul devil, I cast you away from me now". It was a straight street.
The lady was running down the street and she just disappeared. I don't even know what happened. You ain't never seen nothing like that. You think all that stuff is fable and stuff, but there are fake Christs showing up performing little tricks. Because you know how we are, we still in a situation where if a guy got up just to win you over, he would go to your Facebook page, trace somebody he know to find who you are, get three or four people, call your name out and give your address. And you start shouting 'cause he knew your address. All he did was go to Facebook and get it. See, y'all still playing church. This is play stuff over here. But when you get to places, where's that place we went and 17,000, 20,000 people showed up and half of them were demon possessed?
Budapest. I was walking down the place to preach. It wasn't know where we, "Oh, you just saying they demon possessed". You could see it, couldn't you? I ain't never seen nothing like that before in my life. You could see it. And I'm standing up here and at one time, I just got mad at the devil and I said, "Satan! Silence"! And it got quiet for a minute, and then he started talking again. I said, "We gotta get up out of here, boy". It's time to go. Fake Christ.
Now, look at verse 6 and 7. He says, "And you shall hear of wars, rumours of wars". I love this part. He said, "See that you be not troubled". You know what he said? "You see that you be not troubled. You're gonna hear of wars, rumours of wars, see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass". So, you can't cast this out. You can't bind it in the name of Jesus. You can't get all the intercessors together to make this stop. You can cast out devils, but you can't cast out prophecy. Certain things goin' happen. You just gotta make sure you see to it that you not troubled because you accept the peace of God. You accept the Holy Ghost. You accept the presence of God.
See to it that you're not troubled, but trouble's been prophesied to come and you can't stop it. "For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nations shall rise against nations". The actual Greek word there is "ethnos," which talks about ethnic groups, around the word rising against ethnic groups and kingdoms will rise against kingdoms.
Now, the first and the most important point I want you to give your complete attention to is that even with the bad news in these first several prophecies that we see, Jesus tells us not to be troubled. That's what I want you to focus on. "I am not gonna be troubled". Say it. The only way we will not feel worried or downtrodden or disturbed by the news of war, disease, and earthquakes, and you've heard all of that, but that's not the key. But Jesus said you make sure you're not troubled. Iniquity will abound and you'll begin to experience and see things like you've never seen before. But we've got to get the peace of God in our lives. And we got to understand what the peace of God is all about. And we got to understand why God wants us to walk in this peace. We gotta have unshakable faith in him who's faithful. And we've got to understand.
I think in John chapter 10, right, it's John chapter 10, verse 27 through 29, he talks about his children that were in the palm of his hands, were in the palm of his hands. Say that, "I'm in the palms of Jesus's hands". Psalm 61 verses 1 through 5, Psalm 62 verses 6 through 8, he says, "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I". See to it that you be not trouble. He only is my rock, he is my salvation. And if we only believe that, if we receive those things, those promises that God has given to us, that's how you see that you be not troubled. You go to what the Word has to say about you. You see that you be not troubled. Now, let's look at verse 6 through 7. He said, "And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet".
Now, I looked up some stuff in Wikipedia on our conflicts. And if you only count the conflicts, only counting conflicts with at least 100 deaths. So, this is stats with at least 100 deaths in the past two years. They reported that there are 32 wars involving 64 countries right now. You ain't heard about all of them. When I'm in another nation, there's something going on in that nation and they're not even broadcasting the news at home. Thirty-two wars involving 64 countries right now. And a low-end estimate is more than 12 million casualties in the past 50 years, 12 million. Action News is not gonna report that to you. Now, let's go on to verse 7. He says, "For nations shall rise against nations, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, in different places".
Now, verse 7, there shall be famines and pestilence and earthquakes. Now, again from the source, the Wikipedia source, since 1980 to present, there were approximately three million people have starved to death. That's just recorded, I believe it's way more than that. Three million people starved to death. And during the 20th century alone, there's an estimate between 70 to 100 million people that died from famine. In fact, Ethiopia just reported 500 and something thousand people right now are suffering in famine. That's what he said. Pestilence, pestilence. All right, so now, pestilences is deadly diseases. That's what it's talking about. Now, since AIDS began in 1920s, a lot of people don't know that, since AIDS began in 1920s to the present day, there have been 36 million people to die of AIDS.