Creflo Dollar - Are You Ready for the Return of Jesus? - Part 3
Let's begin this morning as we're talking about "Are You Ready for the Return of Jesus"? And we started this last week, and we decided not to try to get deep with all of the, you know, foreshadowing. Just read the Bible, see what the Scripture says, and obey it, make it simple, amen?
So Father, we thank you for this, another opportunity to minister to these, your precious sheep. Thank you, Lord, that revelation knowledge will flow freely, uninterrupted and unhindered by any satanic or demonic force. Father, I pray that you will speak through my vocal cords and think through my mind, none of me and all of you. It's in Jesus's name we pray, and everybody said amen.
Let's look at these two key Scriptures. This is our text Scripture for this sermon this morning, Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 28 in the King James. And then 1 John 3, verses 2 through 3. Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 28, he says, "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him". Something about Christians looking for the return of Jesus. "Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation". Jesus is going to appear. There is two parts that we have to understand, there is the appearing of Jesus, where he will appear in the sky. The dead in Christ will rise first, and those who are alive and remain shall be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. You will take off mortality and put on immortality, and you will be caught up to meet them in the air. And at that point, so shall you ever be with the Lord.
Now, that's going to happen. It's not, "Oh well, many people say it's going to happen". Or, "How come it hasn't happened yet"? Hopefully, I get the chance to show you why it hasn't happened yet, but it's going to happen. And as Christian people, this is referred to in the Scripture as our great hope. And it's amazing to me that a lot of Christians have gotten to the point where this has become fantasy. This has become, you know, something that's not going to happen. I can assure you that this is going to happen. And so, what we're doing is going through the Scripture and looking at the signs of the time, and getting an understanding of it, and even answering the question. Because the Bible prophesies there'll be scoffers, and their response will be, "That ain't ever going to happen".
And so, it's important for you as Christians, I want you looking for him. Every time some weird noise happen outside somewhere, I start looking up. The first... oh, there you go. I was driving one time and I'm like, "Let the wheel go, I'm ready to go, I'm ready". See, that's the key, don't try to get ready, stay ready, amen? Now, most of the time when this thing is taught, it's a lot of fear. We're not teaching it. How many of you were here last week? Did you have any fear about that? You just was ready to go, right? Now, I said, now if you wasn't saved last week, now you probably had some little issue with all that going on. But if you're born again, you're good to go. But this is gonna be pretty fascinating this morning.
Let's go to 1 John 3, verse 2 through 3. Let's look what he says, it's 1 John 3, verses 2 through 3. And in verse 2, he says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that when he shall appear," there it is again. In fact, there are so many Scriptures in the Bible talking about him appearing. "And when he shall appear," but we know that when he shall appear, watch this, "He shall appear". He says, "We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is". That's exciting. "And every man that hath this hope," what hope? The hope of the return of Jesus Christ. "Every man that has this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure".
There is something purifying that happens when the Christian has the hope of the return of the Lord. And when the Lord told me to speak, he said, "I need you to talk about this because many Christians don't have the hope of this anymore". There's a purifying something that happens when Christian people begin to walk in this earnest expectation that Jesus is going to return. And it needs to be taught and it needs to be shared, amen? And so, there are some signs of the coming of the Lord. There are some signs of the coming of the Lord. And so, let's begin to look at this. Now, I thought the best way to do this is, you know, I'm not trying to articulate so you can give me a grade. I thought the best way to do this is just give you Scripture for everything I say today. Just give you Scripture and that we see the Scripture. And there's something about knowing that it's here and getting a good contextual understanding of it that I think will help you out a lot.
So, let's look at John, Saint John 14:2 through 3. Jesus, let's establish this, Jesus is coming again. Jesus is coming again. And in Saint John chapter 14, verses 2, he says, "In my Father's house are many mansions," or dwelling places. "If it were not so," Jesus said, "I wouldn't have said nothing to you. I wouldn't have told you". He says, "I go to prepare a place for," who? For you. Verse three, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again. And I'm going to receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also". So, we need to just go ahead and get ready for that, amen? Now, there are signs of Jesus's Second Coming. There are signs of it. Luke chapter 21, and let's look at verse 29 through 31. I'm gonna read a lot more of this later, but Luke 21, verse 29 and 31.
And here's what he says. If you're there, say amen. Verse 29, Luke 21, verse 29. I'mma read this in the New King James version. He says, "Then he spoke to them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.'" And he says, "So, you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near". So, he compares it to the budding of a fig tree, fig tree, or all the trees. He says, "You know when they start to bud that summer is near". I know when I've got some trees in my yard that when they start blooming, I know summer is near. And so, he says, "So likewise, these things," these signs that he's about to tell us, "when they start showing up, know that the return is near".
So, we looked at this last week, so what are some of the signs? What are some of the signs? Matthew 24, verse 3, again, the New King James version. Matthew 24 and verse 3, some of the signs. He says, "As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. And he said, 'Tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?'" He said, "Tell us these things". And so, that's a good question, right? I'm sure a lot of people want to know, all right, so, you know, like the fig tree blooms and these other things. Well, tell us the thing we should be looking at. And so, Matthew 24, if you'll back up here to 23 and 24, one of the things he says is that check out men posing as Jesus. They're going to try to deceive people in the last days.
And I talked to you last week and showed you the stats around the world of men posing as Jesus and were producing signs and wonders. In Matthew 24, let's look at 23 and 24. Matthew 24:23 and 24, he says, "At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ,' or, 'There he is,' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs, and they're going to perform miracles to deceive even the elect," if that were possible. So, he says be careful. And that's happening right now. You know, people are saying, "Well, that must be Jesus 'cause of what they did". And you know, we talked a little last week about watch out for these prophets that, you know, come up to you and talk about, well, you know, your address is this and, you know, and your family members is this. All you got to do is go to Facebook and get that information. That's a sign. But now, most of what we talked about last week was dealing with that appearing.
Today, we want to talk about the Second Coming of Jesus and those signs there. Now, Matthew 24:6, back up there. Again, I'm in the New King James now. He said, "There will be wars. Though they may seem overwhelming, it is not the end. There will be wars. And though it seems overwhelming, it is not the end". Verse 6 says, "And you will hear of wars, rumors of wars. See that you be not troubled". Now, this is important. When all of these signs start showing up, see that you be not trouble. What is he implying? You see that you be not troubled. "For all these things, they must come to pass". So, you can't cast them out, you can't pray them out, you can't get in intercessory prayer and say, "Well, I know it's coming, but we gon' stop it right now in the name". No, no, no, no, he said, "These things must come to pass," he says, "but the end is not yet". He talks about in verse 7 and 8 earthquakes and famines and all the signs are that, you know, all of these signs that will be showing up.
Look what he said in verse 7 and 8. "For nations will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, pestilences, earthquakes in various places". Wow. He says, "All these are the beginning of sorrows". Somebody says, "Look, COVID took place". And I'mma talk about COVID too, I'm going to answer some questions there. But see, here are the signs. What are the signs? He's telling you right now. So, the question is, are we living in the last days? Well, non-Christians will find it hard to believe we are living in the last days of earth's history, but it's in the Bible. Look at 2 Peter chapter 3, verses 3 through 4 in the Living Bible. 2 Peter 3, verses 3 through 4 in the Living Bible. They'll find it real hard to believe that we're at the last days. He says, "First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will come scoffers who will do every wrong they can think of, and they will laugh at the truth. This will be their line of argument, 'So Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? He'll never come. Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly as it was since the first day of creation.'"
That's what they're saying, and that's what you're hearing. And you got to understand that that is what is supposed to happen. And you shouldn't get mad, cuss nobody out. You just should say, "Hmm, that's a 2 Peter 3:3 person". The coming of the antichrist is a sign of the end. In the Bible, 1 John chapter 2:18 in the New King James version, 1 John chapter 2 and verse 18, he says, "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now there are many antichrists that they have come, by which we know that it is the last hour". So, there is this antichrist figure that's going to come, which is supposed to be really Satan in flesh. But then he says there are many antichrists. If you'll just stop and notice people that are picketing on the street, they're against Christ. You've heard it preached; people don't believe in Jesus anymore and they're finding every reason to be antichrist.
"Well, I don't believe in Christ 'cause he's a white man. Or I don't believe in the Christ 'cause, you know, what was used here. And I don't believe in Christ 'cause"... You know, I've heard people just cuss Christ out. There are already many antichrists in the world, okay? So, what other signs of the last days does the Bible mention? Well, let's go back to Luke 21. And I'm just laying this out for you real plain. Luke 21, verse 25 through 26, let's read this in the NIV. Luke 21:25 through 26, he says, "There will be signs in the sun". I mean, we've had several blood moons. "Signs in the moon, signs in the stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and the tossing of the sea". What does that sound like? Come on, hurricanes. "The roaring and the tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies," talking about those that in the second heaven, the heavenly bodies, "will be shaken".
And so, here he's talking about the roaring and the tossing of the sea. He's talking about men's hearts failing them, this is another Scripture we'll see, because of the fear that has come upon the earth. All right, so what's another sign? Well, the talk of peace and safety are a sign of the last days, think of that. The talk of peace and safety is a sign of the last days. In the Bible in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and verse 2 through 3, 1 Thessalonians 5:2 through 3 in the NIV, "For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, 'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly," here's the key, "as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape". Now, that's a huge key, it's going to come like labor pains.
Now, the intensity doesn't show up all the time. Any of you, you know, you're married, you've seen this process works. The water breaks, and then you have contractions, and they increase in frequency and intensity, frequency and intensity, frequency and intensity. And then it comes to the point where it gets really intense and the baby comes. So it says, you know, don't look around saying, "Well, there have been earthquakes forever, and there have been famines forever, and there have been"... no, no, no, no, that's not what you're looking at. You're looking at the intensity and frequency. As it begins to increase, and then in a generation where it becomes very intense, like where we are right now, the baby's born. So, that's what we should pay attention to. The gospel will go to the whole world, here's another sign. The gospel will go to the whole world and the end will come.
See, this is where we all come in at. This is not the time to curl up and quit. This thing's not going to end until this gospel has been preached throughout all the world. It's in the Bible, Matthew 24 and verse 14 in the NIV, he says, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come". The end will come when? When this gospel has been preached. And I tell you I want to be right slap dab in the middle of it, praise God. I want to broadcast on every avenue that's available. If the spaceships that they are developing should reach Mars and they discover that there's life on Mars, we need to buy a spaceship because they're going to need the gospel. So, the question is, what are people to do when they see these things taking place?
Well, the Bible says, Matthew chapter 24, verse 42 through 44, let's look at the Living Bible. Matthew 24:42 through 44. What are people to do when they see these things taking place? He says, "So be prepared, for you don't know what day your Lord is coming". So, that's another thing we talked about last week. If anybody comes and tells you Jesus is coming on Friday, you can take it to the bank he's not. If anybody were to even say, "Well, I know when Jesus going to come," he's not coming that day. 'Cause if he were to come the day that somebody said he was going to come, that means they knew what the day it was. It's not going to happen. He says nobody knows the day. He says, "Just as a man can prevent trouble from thieves by keeping watch for them, so you can avoid trouble by always being ready for my unannounced return". This is not the time to play church. It is the time to wake up and to realize this world crazy, people crazy. This is not the time to be led by the philosophy of fools. This is not the time for you to decide that nobody needs the Bible anymore.
"Well, ain't nobody want to read the Bible 'cause you know all preachers are the same". Well, you know, every area got some bad apples, ain't it? But you better be careful. Holy police, better be careful. Look at Luke 21:28. Luke 21:28, the New King James version, he says, "Now when these things begin to happen". He says, "When these things begin to happen, look up, your redemption draws near". See, we're the expecting Christian. When all these things begin to happen, look up. I'm looking up, you're looking up. And there's some people, they don't even know what's going on. They don't have a clue what's going on. They don't have a God on their side. And yet there's no need of you ignoring them because ain't nobody going nowhere until this gospel has been preached.
Now, here's something, is a good place to talk about this. Bible prophecy, in fact, does mention deadly viruses or pestilence, that's what pestilence is. It does mention about viruses and pestilences. However, does the Bible specifically mention or predict the coronavirus or COVID-19? Does the Bible say or predict anything about that? Well, let's look at what the Word has to say. Jesus speaks of things in the future, so let's look at chapter 21, Luke chapter 21. Now, notice what Jesus prophetically spoke about. Jesus speaks prophetically about the signs that would precede the end of the world. Now, let's look at this in Luke 21:11. Jesus says that one of those signs would be pestilence. He says, "And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven". So, the meaning of pestilence, according to the Hebrew and the Greek, is a plague or a disease.