David Jeremiah - The Prophetic Times
I don't have to tell you that this has been about the strangest year we've ever had. Just about everywhere you can imagine, we have been reminded that life is uncertain. Serious people are asking everywhere you go, "If these things are happening today what will be the future for my children and my grandchildren"? Well, there's only one reliable source of information about the future. Only one that has an astounding record of accuracy and that's the Bible. If you wanna know about the future, there's only one place you can go and find any good information. Don't read the futurists, read the prophets. The Bible is filled with information to help us navigate the uncertain course that is before us. People say, "I don't believe in prophecy," but they do. It wasn't so long ago, was it, that you could hardly turn on your television, turn one channel to the next and every time you turned the channel here was some psychic person willing to tell you your future. They even had a network called "The Psychic Network". And they went out of business. You would have thought that would've known.
One pastor I know said that he doesn't ever preach on prophecy because, he said, "Prophecy distracts people from the present". An astute colleague deftly responded, "Well, then, there's an awful lot of distractions in the Bible". There are 300 prophecies in the Bible concerning the First Coming of Christ but there are 3 times that many prophecies in the Bible concerning the Second Coming of Christ. If Almighty God prophesied his First Coming over here and now time has passed and we can trace what happened and we say, "You know, everything he said would happen - happened". And now he's prophesying another Coming with the same kind of verbiage and the same prophets, what do you think he will do? I think he'll fulfill them, don't you? I think the things that he says will happen will happen. And, oh, my friends, how many truths there are in the Word of God about the days in which we are living and the time which is yet to come. If you want to know what in the world is going on, you have to turn to the Bible for some answers. Have you ever asked yourself this question: Why am I on this earth at this particular time? Did you know that Almighty God could have dropped you down along the landscape of history any place he wanted? But he put you here. He put you here for now. God wants you here for now.
So don't complain about not having lived in a different time or wish you could live in some future time. Embrace the fact that God has given you this time and then find out everything you can about how to live this time in the Holy Spirit power, that he wants to give you. So where are we? What's happening? Well, let me just say first of all, we're living in the generation of the rebirth of the nation of Israel. When I was 7 years old, something happened in our world that has forever changed the landscape going forward. It almost happened off the radar screen as far as many people are concerned. It was 1948 so you do the math and you'll figure out how old I am. It was 1948 and the nation of Israel was born. And the significance of Israel's re-emergence in her ancient homeland is critical to us because, in order for all of the other end time prophecies to happen, Israel has to be at home in her own land. And so now the beginning of the regathering of the nation of Israel has happened. Israel today is exhibit A in the line-up of convincing evidences that the Bible prophecies concerning the future are going to be fulfilled. Here after all these years is this little nation confounding everyone with their military ability and their commitment to survival.
The little nation of Israel is 1/19 the size of California, not even as big as New Jersey, and yet here it is, God's special plan, God's special place, just as God said it would be, arising in the end time to be present so that all the prophecies that surround it could take place. Not only do you have the rebirth of Israel as a nation, but you have the redistribution of wealth through oil. After the 1948 refounding of the nation of Israel in her ancient homeland, even Bible-believing Christians often wondered what would draw the attention and animosity of the whole world to that little nation. I remember thinking, "You know, I read the Bible and the Bible says it's all gonna end over there in Israel. I mean, it doesn't make any sense, this little tiny nation". Then all of a sudden, everybody began to realize it's the oil. The Bible says God is gonna put a hook in the jaws of the nations and I believe that hook is the oil. Oil in the Middle East will be like a magnet drawing all of the nations to that focal point for the final war that will take place on this earth.
So we have the rebirth of Israel in our lifetime. We have the redistribution of wealth in our lifetime. And then keep your eyes on Europe, the realignment of Europe as well. In Europe today, we are seeing the fulfillment of a prophecy that many folks don't even know about. Did you know that in the book of Daniel, in the 2nd and in the 9th chapter, Daniel saw the opportunity to interpret a couple of dreams? These two dreams, basically, are about one thing. They're about the history of the world from Daniel's time until Almighty God sets up his kingdom on this earth. Literally, what the prophecy is saying, men and women, is this. That what is happening in Europe today, this reorganization of Europe, 27 nations now in the European Coalition, their own coins called the Eurodollar, this reconnection of all the old nations of the Roman empire, are fulfilling the prophecies of Daniel and pretty soon they will have their own president. They already have their own constitution. They tell us that this is now the most powerful bloc of nations in the world, equaling almost the power and dominance of the United States.
You say, "Pastor Jeremiah, what is the significance of Europe? Why is that important"? It's important for this reason. The Bible says that in the end time there is going to be a ruler who comes upon this earth. He will rule the whole world. He will be the ruler of the whole world. I thought at one time that would be impossible. It's becoming more and more possible all the time, is it not? Through all of our technology, through all the things we're able to do. The Bible says he will abrogate power to himself and he will rule the whole world. Now, what the Scripture says is this: this world ruler will come out of the reunited European Coalition. In other words, out of the old Roman empire, revived in the last time, this ruler will emerge. He will come from there. He's not gonna come from the United States. The Bible says that the Antichrist will not be revealed until after the Rapture. So if you think you know who is, you've been left behind. The Bible says that all these things are happening and they're preparing the way for an event, listen to me now, that could happen tonight. The Bible speaks of a moment in time and it's called the Rapture.
The Rapture is an event that is yet to happen on this earth and the Bible speaks of it in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, "I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those that sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. And we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort," encourage, one another with these words.
Now Paul wrote this to a church in Thessalonica for one specific reason. Listen carefully. Almost everybody who was there in the church at the time believed that Jesus was coming back. They had been taught that and they accepted it as true. But what they didn't understand was this. They had godly parents and grandparents and sisters and brothers and some of them, children, who also had trusted Christ but they had died and their bodies had been buried in the ground. And the Thessalonians wanted to know, "What about them? What happens to them"? And so Paul begins his little verse by saying, "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep". You all know that fallen asleep means died. That's what you say about a Christian who dies. He falls asleep. Paul addresses this to the ignorant brethren. Somebody said that's the largest congregation in the whole world, the ignorant brethren. I don't know if that's true or not. But these brethren were a bit ignorant about what was going to happen to their loved ones.
And so Paul wrote this letter and he said, "Let me set this all straight for you". And he gave them a crystal-clear outline. First, he said, "I want you to know that one day there's gonna be a return. One day the Lord Jesus is gonna come out of the skies and he's gonna come into the heavens". And the Bible says he will come with a shout and the voice of an archangel and the trump of God. He's not gonna send his angels. It won't be the Holy Spirit. It's not gonna be John the Baptist. The Lord himself will return. And then Paul made this astounding statement and he said, "You're worried about those who have already died. Don't worry about them". For he said, "The dead in Christ," once again, those are not the people sitting in the third row of your church, guys. I want you to know the dead in Christ are not the people that fall asleep on Sunday. The dead in Christ are the people who have died and are buried. And Paul says, "Now, listen, the Lord is gonna come back but before he comes after you, he's gonna get all of those who have already died and they're gonna rise up from the ground and there's gonna be a resurrection".
And then he says after the resurrection happens, after all those who have died in Christ have been raised up and they go up to the heavens with the Lord, the Bible says and then those of us who are alive and remain, in other words, we haven't died and the Lord has come back. We're gonna be caught up together with them to be with the Lord and so shall we ever be with him. Listen to me, men and women, there's coming a day when there's going to be a shout and the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God and only believers will hear it and the Bible says all of the graves that had been occupied by those who are Christians will be opened and their bodies will be resurrected and go up to meet the Lord. And on their way up, all of their bodies will be reformed and remade as a resurrection body. And as soon as that happens, all of us who are still walking around on planet earth and I plan to be here, the Lord willing, I think he's gonna come that soon. I tell everybody I'm not looking for the undertaker, I'm looking for the uppertaker, amen?
So I wanna go up. Then we're gonna be caught up to be with the Lord and then the Bible says: "Together with our loved ones who died before we did, we're gonna be ushered into the presence of heaven and there we will be forever". That's what we have to look forward to. I hope that's what you have to look forward to. If you know Jesus Christ, that's your future, plain and simple. One of these days, the Lord's coming back and if you know him, you will be taken to heaven to be with him. We say we believe this. But do we? If you knew Jesus was coming tomorrow night, what would your tomorrow look like? And people say, "Well, you know, the Bible says he's coming back. I don't know what to do. What should I do, Pastor"? Read the words of prophecy. First of all, the Bible says we're to stay centered on Christ. Over in Colossians it says: "Since we have been risen with Christ, we're to set our affection on things above, not on things below".
As we wait for Jesus to come back, we're to set our affection upon him. And the Bible says we're to stay confident in God's Word, committed to it with all of our hearts. We're to understand that the only thing we have that will help us in these difficult days and prepare us for the time to come is the Word of God. The commitment to the Word of God. Stay centered in Christ. Stay committed to the Word. And here's one I wanna talk about for just a moment: stay compassionate toward other people. Men and women, these are difficult times. These are the times that were prophesied we would experience before the Lord's return. But here is the opportunity for us to shine like we have never shined before. You know, it grieves me when I come into a city like this city, and you don't have to be in a city very long before you start hearing a little bit of this and a little bit of that and, "Well, these people aren't getting along with these people there".
You know what? The time is come for us to put all that aside. We are Christians and the body of Christ needs to come together. Really, doesn't have anything to do with the color of our skin or our ethnicity or where we came from or how we speak. It has to do with our faith in Jesus Christ. And the Bible tells us that in these days before Christ comes back, we need to reach out and join hands with other believers and then we need to spread our hands out wide and help people who need our help. Let this be the finest hour for the church instead of the hour when people look at us as a bunch of stingy people who close everything around us and try to wait for the storm to pass. You know what? Almighty God has put us where we are at this particular time, as I said at the beginning, because he has called us to this time and to this place. And there are many other things that we're told to do. We're told to stay connected to the church, did you know that?
The Bible says: "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is, but so much the more as you see the day approaching". What does that mean? It means as you realize Jesus is coming back, you need to get together with God's people more than you used to. What I do know is the Bible says this is not a time for us to be scattering as God's people; this is a time for us to be gathering as God's people. Listen to me. There are only two times in the New Testament where this expression "gathering" is used. Once, it's used for Christians gathering in the church, and once it's used for when we gather together with the Lord in his Coming. And I'm convinced that both are equally important. God is looking forward to the time when we gather with him but, in the meantime, while we're waiting for the return of Christ, we need to be gathering with one another.
Let me just give you one last one. I'd like to preach on all, but have not more time. The Bible says that as we're looking for the Lord's return we should stay calm in our spirit. It's not a time for anxiety and panic. Did you know there was another time in the New Testament when the disciples will fill with anxiety? They'd begun to hear the rumors that Jesus was going to leave them. Jesus was all they knew. He said he was gonna leave and go to a place and they didn't know where it was and Jesus said how could he tell 'em? And they were filled with fear and filled with anxiety and then Jesus said these words to them. He said, "Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; and if it weren't so, I would have told you. Listen, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also".
The Bible says you don't have to be filled with anxiety. Let your heart be calm. It's all under control. Almighty God's still on the throne. He's got his plan all laid out, and he is coming back. And the best news in that passage of Scripture, my friends, is this. God loves you and he wants you to be where he is. Listen to the verse again. "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also". God is interested in you. He wants you in heaven. And that's why he's doing all of this.
You say, "Well, Pastor, I'm young and I have lots of plans and I got some things I wanna do before this and I've got plenty of time". No, you don't. You have no guarantee of a tomorrow. If you were to die tonight and stand before Almighty God and he were to say to you, "Why should I let you into my heaven"? what would you say? And if you cannot say with certainty, "Lord God, I come to your heaven tonight with the assurance that I belong here because I have trusted Jesus Christ, your Son, as my Savior". If you don't know that, do today what you're gonna be thankful you've done when you stand before the Lord. Give your heart to Jesus Christ. You will look back upon this moment as the greatest moment in your life. It will change you from the inside and make you a new creature.