David Jeremiah - Where Do We Go From Here? (The Interview)
Are we living in the End Times? There may have never been another time in history when End Times prophecy has been more aligned with the culture and circumstances of the world than it is today. I believe there are ten phenomenon we are witnessing today that were recorded centuries ago in Bible prophecy. Seeing our circumstances in light of these prophecies should give us resolve, purpose, and hope, and help us answer the questions, what are we to do with the world around us? What hope do we have in times like these? And ultimately, where do we go from here?
Sheila Walsh: Thank you so much. Dr. David Jeremiah has been studying and teaching from God's Word for more than 40 years. His practical manner of explaining what Scripture says, what it means, and what it means for us has been life transforming for millions, and I am one of those millions. One particular feature of David Jeremiah's ministry is that through the years he's dedicated a portion of his teaching to explain Bible prophecy, which for many people is often confusing and daunting to understand. But it doesn't have to be. In Dr. Jeremiah's new teaching series, "Where Do We Go From Here?" he points to the prophecies that reveal insight into the problems that you and I are currently experiencing. Won't you help me welcome Dr. David Jeremiah?... Well, this is fun that we get to do this again. Before we dive into your new teaching series, which, by the way I have to tell you it is one of the best I have ever... I mean, I've read all your books. This one had a huge impact on my life. But before we dive into this, let me ask another question. What in the world is going on? Have you ever seen such a chaotic time as the one we're living in now?
Dr. David Jeremiah: No, it seems like something happens and before you can totally respond to it something else happens right on top of it. And it's just one thing after another, and most of them are unprecedented things Sheila, they're not things that, oh, well, that happened before. No, this has never happened before. What is this? You almost don't wanna turn on the television, because what's gonna happen today that's never happened before? I mean, especially in our schools and what's happening in culture. We're in unprecedented times, no question about it.
Sheila Walsh: You have always devoted some of your time and teaching and writing to biblical prophecy. Why is that so important for you?
Dr. David Jeremiah: There's a wonderful blessing that awaits those who will dig into what God has in store for us in the future. So many promises, and I think, if all you do is live in the present and you don't see what God has in store for us in the future, you can get pretty bleak, because, you know, if this is all there is, this isn't all that great. God has some great things ahead of us, and to know that and to look forward to that, and the Bible says, "Set your affections on things above," that's a good thing to do.
Sheila Walsh: Yeah. So, I guess a more important question than what in the world is going on is the title of your new book, "Where Do We Go From Here"? Why did you choose this title?
Dr. David Jeremiah: You know, one day Donna and I were, I don't know if we're having breakfast or it was... usually we sit and talk a little bit in the morning, and I said something like this to her. I said, "It seems like we're watching America being dismantled". That's what it seemed like to me, everything that we hold dear is up for grabs, and I wondered if there was some way to find out what was behind all of this, and was prophecy involved? And so I began to do some digging, and that's where we came up with the title, and I decided this wasn't going to be the normal prophecy book, because most prophecy books are, this is what's gonna happen, deal with it, and there's no hope in that. So, we came up with this idea that we would write these chapters like this: Where are we now, what does that mean, and where do we go from here? There's an old adage when you study prophecy that says, future events cast their shadows before them. In other words, if there's an event out there that's gonna happen, it's not just gonna pop on you one day, it's gonna cast its shadow before us. We're living in those shadows right now.
Sheila Walsh: And you address problems or phenomenon happening in our world today that are directly tied to events that will transpire in the last days, so let's just begin with something we're all very familiar with, and that is pandemic. Is a pandemic part of biblical prophecy?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, you all know when COVID-19 happened, everybody wanted to know, okay, is this in prophecy? Are we at the end of the world? Because in the Bible there's a lot of times in the tribulation period where pestilences happen, and the Bible says that in the end times there will be pestilences. In Matthew 24, when Jesus was setting the stage for the beginning of trouble, that's one of the signs, one of the six signs was pestilence, so I had a lot of people ask me... In fact, one of my favorite stories is my son Daniel works for the NFL, and he knows a lot of NFL players, and if I told you this guy's name, you'd all know it, but I won't do that. This guy came to Daniel and he said, "Hey, when you get a chance, ask your dad, is COVID-19 in prophecy"? So, I get this call from Daniel, and he says, he told me who it was, I said, "Well, I better look into that," so I ended up preaching a whole message on it. What we learned from that is a number of things, Sheila. Number one, when I first started studying prophecy and I would read about worldwide plagues, I believed it, but only because it was the Bible, I couldn't imagine that. I can imagine it now, can't you? I mean, this was the whole world, 114 different countries that were plagued by this terrible virus. But the question then is, was this a sign? And I can't say that it was. It may not have been a sign for the future, but it was a sign for today, and for a number of reasons. Number one, it showed us how vulnerable we all are, you know? Nobody was exempt from it, I mean, I made a list of all of the important people who got COVID right up front, and it was NBA players and politicians, and by the way the president of the United States, few other... so, the idea that maybe because you have enough you can secure yourself from it, you can't buy your way out of this. Everybody's vulnerable.
Sheila Walsh: I think part of the fallout of a pandemic isn't just disease and death, but loneliness, and anger, and anxiety. We've seen that all around us, do you think that the enemy can use that as a tool to discourage us?
Dr. David Jeremiah: I don't really think he can, I think he has and he is. I think, for many people, what we did to try to curtail the disease was worse than the disease itself, and as you know there was some pretty dark statistics that came out during that time that were really, really troubling.
Sheila Walsh: Yeah. Do you feel that... this is a hard question, but do you feel God uses pestilence to get our attention?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, he did get our attention. It sort of reminded me of 9/11. Remember 9/11, how everybody came back to church, like, for a month?
Sheila Walsh: It's true.
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, pestilence has a little more impact, because it's not just an event, it's a condition that goes on. I know that we've all learned a great deal during this time.
Sheila Walsh: Do you think that God can bring good out of something that was clearly so bad?
Dr. David Jeremiah: He has, he's brought so much good out of it. You know, when we first started after COVID-19 we couldn't have church, so I preached right here to nobody. I remember saying to Donna when I left, "I don't ever want to do this again, this was really hard," and then the next day I found out how many people watched. The first week, 100,000 people watched on the internet. Now, it didn't stay there, I mean, first week everybody was highly motivated, but, but even today, it's 30,000, 40,000 people who watch online. Just maybe three weeks ago we had 70 people come to Christ through one of the internet programs. He gets a lot of glory to himself.
Sheila Walsh: Let's move on to the next issue to discuss, is globalism, which you call an international prophecy. You know, we're definitely way more in touch as a world now, and some people think that's a good thing. What does the Bible say about a global society?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, you know, the first globalist was a guy named Nimrod in the Old Testament who built the Tower of Babel. We found out in the very beginning that when all the people get together and try to build something to show God up, God doesn't put up with that. And so he, as you know, he confused the languages, and that project sort of didn't do so well. The problem with globalism, Sheila, is it's the one thing that has to happen for the end of the world events to take place, because as you know the Scripture tells us that at the end of the world there will be a world leader who will galvanize people behind him, and he will be a very evil man who will take the world down. But he has to have the following of the world. Galvanizing the power behind one person is just a setup for what's gonna happen in the future.
Sheila Walsh: As believers, how do we deal with that kind of world when we see this? I mean, we all see it happening around us, how do we live in days like this?
Dr. David Jeremiah: One of the things I really believe I've learned from the study of this book is that we cannot live in lies. Let's be honest, sometimes even as Christians we know what everybody's telling us isn't true, and we live in the midst of it like it's okay, and we cannot do that. We have got to learn how to live in the truth. Part of that is, when things come up that we know are not representative of the biblical worldview, we can't just sit there and take it. We need to raise the objective and not do it. Most of what we hear today, most of what we see, most of what's on television is untrue. It's just not true, and if you stop and think about it, you say, you know what, wait a minute that's not true. But we allow it to affect our lives to the extent that it changes our daily behavior, and we as Christians have got to ask God to help us be set free by the truth and follow the truth. God is not a globalist, God is a nationalist. God created the nations, it says in Acts, he created the nations so that they would know God. You read in the Bible, look at all the nations that are in the Bible. You know, there are so many nations, and God created it that way, he wants it that way.
Sheila Walsh: Stay tuned. We'll be right back to continue discussing, "Where Do We Go From Here"? the new teaching series from Dr. David Jeremiah.
Sheila Walsh: Welcome back. I'm Sheila Walsh. I'm here with Dr. David Jeremiah, discussing his new teaching series, "Where Do We Go From Here? How Tomorrow's Prophecies Foreshadow Today's Problems". Let's move in and talk about the nation that God chose for his people. Because whether it's in the news or political debate, Israel has a constant spotlight on it. Small country, constant spotlight, and so you dedicate a whole chapter to this, and you call it a geographical prophecy. Why is Jerusalem so important?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, where does Jesus come back to? He comes back to the Mount of Olives from whence he left, and when he sets up his kingdom, where does he rule? In Jerusalem. And what happens after the Old Jerusalem? You get a New Jerusalem. So Jerusalem is really important, and, Sheila, I got to tell you, I had, kind of, like a really special moment when I was working on this chapter. I love the people of Israel, and I love studying. I learned a lot about Jerusalem that I didn't know before, but one of the things that I learned was this. The Bible says numerous times that God chose Jerusalem to put his name on it, in other words, he chose Jerusalem as his own special city. That's not said about any other city in history. God chose Jerusalem as his very own city. Jerusalem's mentioned in the Bible way more than any other city, it's the most important city, but I've always wondered why... Donna and I have talked about this. When we go to Israel and I am in Jerusalem, I have this sort of, like, unreal feeling about everything. And I thought, well, maybe it's because that's where the Bible took place, that's where Jesus walked, all those things are true, but now I understand it more than ever before. I have that feeling because this is God's city. It's a very special place, God has set his name upon it. In the Book of Deuteronomy there's a chapter where that is mentioned five times in one chapter. This is God's city. When you go to Jerusalem the next time, just realize, this isn't just like going from city to city. No, this is God's city.
Sheila Walsh: As you know, it is a very hot topic, there's so much discussion going on in the news, there's a lot of controversy. As believers, how do we address Jerusalem, how do we pray for this city, what is our responsibility as God's children?
Dr. David Jeremiah: The Bible tells us specifically pray for the peace of Jerusalem, so you don't have to wonder about that. The Bible also tells us that if we bless Israel, God will bless us. There's no question about what our role is, that we should be positive about Israel, but I think we should be positive about them in a number of ways. Perhaps the most important is for their safety. They are surrounded by 37 nations that would take them out in a minute if they could, and some of them are now making peace with them. The Abraham Accords are really encouraging, but they have way more enemies than they have friends. They're an amazing group of people, resourceful people. They've just come through some really difficult times nationally with the change in leadership and with all this stuff that's going on with Hezbollah and all the people that are trying to hurt them, but I think we as believers have a responsibility to make Israel a prominent part of our prayer list. That's what God tells us to do.
Sheila Walsh: Absolutely. Next in your series, you discuss economic chaos, you call it a financial prophecy. Why does money play such a central role in end times?
Dr. David Jeremiah: You know, it is a really big deal. Did you know that Babylon, which is in the New Testament, is the financial headquarters in the future, and the Bible describes its dismantling. "Babylon is fallen, is fallen," and it talks about how in that day when God gets control, the financial enterprise of this world which is so important to everybody will just be gone. The chapter that I wrote on that has to do with what's happening in our world today to universalize monetary transfer. There's a country in Europe right now where they're actually embedding chips underneath the skin of people's hands, and it's several thousand people, and this chip is radio controlled, so you can do all your business from this chip. You can walk in the store and just run your chip by the scanner, picks up all your information, you can do business with this, you can transfer money from your hand to somebody else who may have this. It's preparing the way for the mark of the beast, because in the Book it Revelation in the 13th chapter, it talks about how when the antichrist comes to rule, you'll have to take the mark, and if you don't take the mark, you won't be able to buy or sell. So, if you aren't loyal to the antichrist, you will be starved out of existence. You will go to the store, collect all your groceries, but when you go to check out if you don't have the mark of the beast, you won't be able to do any business. That's the way the antichrist will control his population. Does that sound kind of familiar? I mean, it's changing, it's rapidly changing, and it's not hard to understand that. Read Revelation 13, and Revelation 13 casts a shadow before it, and we're living in that shadow right now.
Sheila Walsh: What would you say to those who might be afraid that they might accidentally take the mark of the beast? Is that something that we as believers should be afraid of?
Dr. David Jeremiah: I don't think anybody will ever take that accidentally. You will either take it or you won't. Well, first of all, I don't plan to be here when that happens.
Sheila Walsh: Me either. We're going to be out of here.
Dr. David Jeremiah: That's gonna take place during the tribulation. There will be some people who will become Christians during the tribulation, but I doubt very many of them will take the mark. It will be a tremendously challenging time on this earth when that happens. And we're just getting a little glimpse of it by what's happening now and what's happening in our world.
Sheila Walsh: Wow. I think a lot of believers are concerned about finances and about money. How do we find the peace of Christ in the midst of things that are changing so rapidly in our culture?
Dr. David Jeremiah: I believe with all my heart that if you don't understand what money is, it will ruin your life. Money is nothing else but a tool, that's all it is. And it's not to be hoarded, it's to be invested and used. You got to have security, obviously, I don't know what the answer is for everybody, and you can ask my wife about this, money means almost nothing to me except as a tool. What I believe about money is that we have that money to use for the kingdom of God, to take care of our families, the Bible tells us to do that. But if money becomes your God... and interesting enough, in the Bible there is this contest between God and mammon, and what the Bible's telling us is you better get your mind right about money, because it's the number one competitor to God in your life. If you don't get it right, you will become an idolator.
Sheila Walsh: Wow. This is a hot subject, socialism. You call it a cultural prophecy. Why is socialism such a difficult subject to talk about?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, first of all, I had to research these chapters. I spent more time on that chapter than all of the other chapters put together. I didn't know a lot about socialism, I know way more now than I wish I did. It is the ideology that I believe will be in place when the antichrist takes over. He will run a socialistic world. Socialism is everything opposite of what God is. Socialism is anti-God. What we know about it today comes from Karl Marx, who was the originator of the current socialistic ideology, and I don't wanna get off on this because I remember when I learned this, Karl Marx was a hideous man. He was a very evil man. He was a Satanist, he's buried in a tomb in London that's reserved for people who worship Satan, that's where he's buried. Karl Marx and his philosophy is responsible for the death of over 100 million people in a ten year period of time when Communism was ruling. Joseph Stalin, for instance, who was an avowed Marxist, killed more people than both the first and the second World War added together and doubled.
Sheila Walsh: Oh my gosh, wow.
Dr. David Jeremiah: It was Communism, it was Marxism, and it's making its inroads into our culture today through a number of ways. People ask me, well, why are people burning down monuments? Well, Marxism believes that you have to destroy the past to create the future, so if they can get rid of your memory of the good things of the past and wipe that slate clean, they can come in with all of their stuff, so that's part of Marxism. Why are we defunding the police? That's very interesting, you know, and I could go off on that, because the five cities that have defunded the police are having the highest murder rates right now that they've ever had in their history, some of them 50%, 60%, 70% more than before they defunded the police. But why would they do that? Here's why they do it. Marxism wants the city governments to fail so they can federalize them, and then they will have a federal government. So, they federalize the police, they federalize education, they federalize health, what is that? It's all, get this all together so we can socialize all of this and run it from the top. The poor get poorer, and the few people who run it get richer so the disparity between the rich and the poor isn't helped by this at all, it's made worse. That's what's going on in our culture today. We are in the early stages of socialism, and all I can say to you is this, remember Venezuela. Venezuela once had a per capita income that was equal to the British, it was just a little bit under America, and now 94% of the people in Venezuela are living in poverty because Communism came in and took it over. They federalized all the oil, they took everything away from the people, that's what happens when socialism takes over, and that's what would happen to America if we allow this to happen to us.
Sheila Walsh: So, let me talk to you as if I'm a Millennial, which I'm clearly not. So many Millennials say, no, you don't understand, socialism is about caring for the poor, that's what it's all about, and a lot of Millennials are very concerned about social justice, and that's how they view what socialism really is.
Dr. David Jeremiah: I remember reading something by Albert Muller, who is one of my favorite people. He said, "If you want to know how this works, ask the poor people". The poor people will tell you, we are much better off in a capitalistic society where there are a lot of people building and we participate than we are when somebody gets the control. We are much worse off when we're under a dictator type organization in socialism. So, it's supposed to help people be better, but it doesn't, it makes it worse. Well, how could you not know that? If you just look at Venezuela, socialism destroyed Venezuela, and it destroys everything it touches. There is not one good socialist story in all of history, not one. I'm not just making this up, there is not one good story that's the result... somebody say, well, what about the Scandinavian countries? They're not socialist, they're welfare states with a lot of money, and they have some socialist principles, but they're not a socialist state. But wherever you see socialism at work, you can always know it's, it's gonna destroy everything it touches.
Sheila Walsh: Let's move on to something that I believe is really destroying a lot of people at the moment, and that is cancel culture, which you call a political prophecy. It's despairing to me to see the way that people are cancelled, their whole life, not just an opinion, but their whole life. How does cancel culture play into end times prophecy?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, let me just tell you that cancel culture is one of the byproducts of socialism, because one of the building blocks of socialism is what they call totalitarianism. Totalitarianism says nothing is allowed except what we allow, so there's no chance for there to be any dialogue, because they don't want the truth. They want their lie, and so if you come against it, if you say something, or if you're on the wrong side of an issue and you have something that you did in your life 25 years ago that's long been forgotten, they will find it and they will use it and they will destroy you.
Sheila Walsh: So, how do we exist, I mean, how do we share the good news without being silenced?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, this is no time for you to live in fear or to live a wimpy life. I think we have to be who we are and be honest and pray that God will give us wisdom. One time Jesus said, "I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now". Sometimes we think that as Christians we have to speak all the truth all the time to everybody, and there's a little bit of wisdom involved in this. For instance, I'll give you an illustration as it relates to me. I'm on television all over the world. We're on a huge network in Canada which covers the whole country, it's a Christian network. In Canada they have hate laws, and these laws are inviolable, you don't get a second chance. You violate the hate laws, you're done. We have people at Turning Point who listen to everything we do through Canadian ears and watch everything we do through Canadian eyes, because you can make it one time and that's it, you're done. Is it right for me to do that and ruin the influence God has given me for the gospel because I wanna make a point about one thing? I tell everybody, God has called us to be broadcasters, not narrowcasters, and a lot of people I know wanna be a narrowcaster, you know, they just... and what happens, what happens, Sheila, when you do that is you get canceled. The next day you get canceled. So, what I'm saying is, cancel culture is bad, but it's sometimes our own lack of wisdom, our own prudence that gets us canceled. If you know you're gonna get canceled if you do this, and you're not gonna ever have a chance to tell anybody again in that nation about Jesus Christ, where do you draw the line? And, you know, I don't know what the answer to that is, but I know it's not worth it to lose the opportunity to tell people how to get to heaven by going off on a tangent that you may have about something that needs to be addressed. Address it in your local church, address it with your own people, but don't make an issue out of it and get yourself canceled.
Sheila Walsh: For those of us who live relatively normal lives, how do we continue to be salt and light in a world that is increasingly against our message?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, I think we have to be salt and light and let come what will. What we know is, we have to live in the truth. We've already made that point, you have to live in the truth, you cannot live unless you live in the truth.
Sheila Walsh: Yeah. You move on to talk then about spiritual famine, which you've identified as a spiritual prophecy. What do you mean by spiritual famine?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, let me tell you about that. Amos, who was, he was a really interesting prophet, in Amos chapter 8, I think it's verse 11, he said, I wanna tell you, there's coming a day when there's gonna be a famine on this earth. Not a famine of bread and water, but a famine of the hearing of the Word of God. That's gonna happen in the future, it's happening now. I'll just tell you one little simple thing. When I was growing up and with the church, my father was a pastor, one of the things you used to assume when you went to church is you'd see people walk into church with their Bible. That hardly ever happens. First of all, today you can carry it on your phone, the preacher puts it up on the screen so you don't have to look it up, but it's an interesting picture of where we are. Why has God blessed Turning Point, and why does he bless this church? It's not me, it's just, I just teach the Bible. The Bible says there's gonna be a famine of the hearing of the Word of God, and let me tell you how that works. First of all, the devil tries to take you away from the Word of God. In the Parable of the Soils it talks about how Satan can steal the Word out of your heart, or the Word can be marginalized in your life because of the cares that you have for life, so your busyness, your distractions. So, what that is it's Satan taking you away from the Word of God, but Satan also takes the Word of God away from you, and how does that is, he gets you in situations where you think you're being in a church, but nobody ever opens the Bible. You know, I say to everybody, and I mean this sincerely, you need to be in a church where Christ is lifted up and where the Word of God is taught.
Sheila Walsh: Is spiritual famine an indicator of the last days?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Yeah, absolutely. Like Amos said, there's gonna be a time when the Word of God will be missing, and church attendance and church membership in this country has been going down. When they first started keeping statistics, 73% of the people who were polled went to church. Today, it's less than 50%, it's 47% of the people go to church. That's a symptom of the lack of influence of the churches, and churches are closing. That's typical from across the country.
Sheila Walsh: We've talked about a lot of things which technically, really, are happening outside of the church, but this chapter, heartbreaking. You call it the falling away, a theological prophecy. What is the falling away?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Thessalonians says that before Jesus can return, there must be the falling away. And so, what is that? Well, the word itself is the word apostasy, it's from two Greek words, which means to stand apart. To have stood in one place and then to stand apart. I used some illustrations in that chapter that are pretty sad. One is about a pastor who was well known as a speaker and writer, and one day he got up and told his church that his marriage was over, that it wasn't gonna survive, and then told them about an even more important divorce and that he didn't believe in God and that he believed that he was going through a deconstruction of his faith. This is so prevelant today, friends, that there's actually a new word to describe it, it's called not evangelical, exvangelical. So many people who are walking away from the faith. These are not believers who are falling away, these are people who never were believers but went through the motions of it, and at least were professing believers, and they're walking away. And the Bible says in the tribulation period there's gonna be a great departure from the faith, a falling away, an apostasy. That's in the tribulation period, but here we are today and it's happening today. I almost don't wanna read the Christian news sites, because every time I turn around somebody that I know about is saying, I'm not a Christian, I wasn't a Christian. There's a guy up north I read about, and I told his story without mentioning his name, he decided he was gonna put God on trial for a year. He said, I'm not gonna read my Bible, I'm not gonna pray, I'm not gonna go to church, I'm not gonna do anything, and I'm gonna see if God survives. Well, he gets to the end of the year and he decides, I don't believe there is a God. He was the pastor of an evangelical church, but he was not a believer, because you cannot be a believer and be an apostate. If you are a believer, a genuine believer, you don't do that. So, what's happening is a lot of people are in the churches who claim to be believers, but they're not. And then when the trouble comes or when stress comes, they walk away, and the damage that's done is huge.
Sheila Walsh: As a pastor, if you had just a minute to encourage a believer who's afraid that they might fall away, what would you say to them?
Dr. David Jeremiah: You know the best thing that you can do to keep from ever worrying about falling away is to keep growing in your faith. Isn't that true, you know? I love doing little projects that we do here with our people. We just recently challenged everybody to write the Book of Romans in their own handwriting, and we created the book for them to do it in. I'm getting letters, you guys, every day from people that are doing it, and they're saying, they're saying, you know, I'm thinking about the Bible, I'm thinking about what I'm reading, and it's been a truly blessed discipline. If you keep growing, the very fact that you're growing is evidence that you're a believer, but if you just become stagnant in your walk with Christ, that's the devil's playground, he loves that. And if you're not growing, you're not producing the evidence in your life, and here's one of the great passages to help us. In 2 Peter, Peter says that if you add to your faith, virtue, and to your virtue... and there's a whole list of things, and at the end of it he says, and if you do these things, you will never stumble. He says if you do these things, and really, the word could be described, you will never fall away. So, what I would say to people, if you have some doubts as to whether or not you're really, genuinely a Christian, you need to get involved in the growth of your life. If nothing's working and you're not growing, you're probably not a Christian. And the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 13:5, examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith. The most important thing you can ever do if you have any doubts is to make dead sure you know there was a time when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior. Sometimes people say to me, oh, Pastor Jeremiah, I've been a Christian all my life. No you haven't. You know, suppose I came and asked you, when were you born physically, and you said to me, "I've been born all my life". No, there was a day when you weren't born, and you got born, right? And then when you got born you became a living person. There was a day when you weren't a Christian, and then you accepted Jesus Christ and you were born again. So, I like to tell people, you may not remember the exact day when you were that again, but you better remember that there was a day when you were born again and be able to go back and look at that point in time and say, I'm not a Christian because my parents were Christian, I'm not a Christian because I went to a Christian church, I'm not a Christian because I got baptized, I'm not a Christian because I was on the board. In the Book of Matthew it says that one day people are gonna stand before the Lord and say, haven't we done wonderful works in your name, haven't we cast out demons in your name? And the Lord's gonna say, depart from me, I never knew you. So, just even doing good things doesn't make you a Christian. The best thing that can happen if you have doubts about your faith is to examine yourself to see whether you're in your faith, and then if you're a Christian, get on a growth project that makes you aware of the fact that you are a living, growing Christian on your way to being who God wants you to be.
Sheila Walsh: You use, in this teaching series, you use a term I find so interesting, I've never heard this before. End times people, which you call a biographical prophecy. What are end times people?
Dr. David Jeremiah: You know, this one really caught me by surprise, I never dreamed I would write about this. And then one day I was reading it, and it says in this passage that in the latter days people will be like this. Lovers of themselves instead of lovers of God, and there's a whole list, there's 19 things on this list that describes the way people are gonna be just before Jesus comes back, and one day it dawned on me, I know these people. I see them, I talk to them, they're everywhere. There are more people like that than I can ever remember, and I'm not a pessimist, and I'm not a negative person, I'm just saying something's going on with people. The people that we interact with today, many of them have the characteristics of those people in that passage of Scripture, so I wrote a whole chapter about the end times people, and when you read that chapter you will say, oh, yeah, that guy works right across from me, because the characteristics are so stark, and it's amazing to me how very accurate and prevalent biblical truth is. It, just, timeless, and that's a tremendous reminder to us that the end is not too far away.
Sheila Walsh: Stay tuned. We'll be right back to continue discussing, "Where Do We Go From Here"? the new teaching series from Dr. David Jeremiah.
Sheila Walsh: Welcome back. I'm Sheila Walsh, I'm here with Dr. David Jeremiah discussing his new teaching series, "Where Do We Go From Here? How Tomorrow's Prophecies Foreshadow Today's Problems". Some people might say, things haven't really got worse, we're just more aware of it now because of, you know, news and media. What would you say to that?
Dr. David Jeremiah: It's not true.
Sheila Walsh: Well, there you go.
Dr. David Jeremiah: In the passage in Timothy, it says they're getting worse and worse. We're not as bad as we could be, not as bad as we might be, but the culture is not going in the right direction. We're smarter, we know how to do things, we just don't know what to do with them when we get them done. We're not smarter in terms of how to live, and I don't need to make that case, you all know that. So, there's always been difficult people, there's always been people who were lovers of money and not lovers of God, people who didn't love their families, people who didn't care for anything. What I'm saying is, the trend in that regard is not going in the right direction. We're not getting better. It seems as if those characteristics that are written in that passage are more true than they've ever been.
Sheila Walsh: How do we develop Christ-like character? If that's our heart's desire, that we just wanna be more like Jesus, what do we do?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, the first thing, maybe read that list and say, look, God, don't let me become like that, you know? You know, just don't let me be that way. We become our relationship with Christ, we become what we read, we become who we hang out with, we become the people that we are because of the choices we make. When we make those choices and we do the right thing we can see this growth in our lives and we're becoming more Christ-like. The whole principles of discipleship are about becoming Christ-like, and we know what those are. You need to read the Word of God, you need to be in church, you need to be discipling, you need... I tell people at Shadow Mountain, you should do three things. You should come to church, you should be in a small group, and you should serve somewhere. Just do those three things. Everybody can come to church. The Bible says, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves," so go to church, get in a small group. When I did the chapter on socialism, I realized if socialism is really coming down the road at us as fast as I think it is, small groups may be our salvation, because, you know, just like it was during COVID, small groups were the things that kept the stability in the church. And then serve. You shouldn't just be taking in, you should be giving out, and there's always a place to serve if you want to, and so those are the three things.
Sheila Walsh: I love the way that you finish the series, it's the best possible place, tying prophecy back to the gospel. The final prophecy, the triumph of the gospel. What does the gospel message mean for us today?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, it's absolutely the good news, and there's a new channel on Sirius XM called the Billy Graham channel, and they play all of Dr. Graham's messages from way back when he first started preaching, and you know, he preached for 70 years, for seven decades, so you have messages from as way back when he first started preaching and just before he died, and they're all on this channel, and they just play them back to back. And I've been listening to them, and the interesting thing is, it didn't matter what was going on, he always preached the gospel. He preached the gospel through 12 presidents, he preached the gospel during assassinations, he preached the gospel during impeachments, he preached the gospel during war, during peace, he preached the gospel all the time, and the gospel was always what we must never forget about, because the gospel is what really changes the world. I can't fix all the problems, I preach the gospel, and the gospel changes people one person at a time, two people at a time. Here's what the Bible says about the gospel. It is the power of God unto salvation. It's the only other thing except for God that is described that way. The power of God, the power of the gospel. Why wouldn't you want to make that your main thing? Now, that doesn't mean you preach John 3:16 every Sunday, that means the gospel is at the really core of your life, the gospel is what will change lives, it will change culture, it will change everything. Over all the things that are written in this book, there's one thing that's above them all, it's the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, triumph with the gospel, amen.
Sheila Walsh: Amen. As I came to the end of this book, which was so fresh, so relevant, what keeps you so fresh and motivated in what you're doing? What inspires you to keep going?
Dr. David Jeremiah: You know, one thing for sure, I'm a very inquisitive person, and I never, ever stop asking questions. I want to learn. I do a book every year, and every year I start a new study, and every year it grabs hold of me, and somebody said writing a book is like a train leaving a train station. At the beginning it's groaning and not going anywhere and you wonder, and then all of a sudden you start to get some momentum, and then it's just like I can't get enough of it, it gets me up early in the morning, keeps me up late at night. Preparing messages for people, sharing the gospel, it's just what I love to do, and I think God has given that to me as a gift.
Sheila Walsh: Absolutely, we all agree. It was so clearly explained in this book that current events clearly lined up with biblical prophecy. Were there any one or two things in particular that stood out for you?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Everything that we see happening today that we don't know what it is, if you trace it back to its origin, it's a weed growing out of the garden of Karl Marx. Someone said Karl Marx is ruling the world today from his grave, and the ideology that he created with him and his friend Engels as they developed, "The Communist Manifesto" and developed Communism. You know, we thought when the Berlin Wall came down, we thought it was over. People said Communism is finally dead and gone. Well, outwardly it might've been, but inwardly it wasn't, and it continues. I have a map that's gonna be in this book that shows the Communist countries, it's about a fifth of the world. About a fifth of the world is under Communism, under socialism. So, what I think grabbed me more than anything else is, people aren't just a bunch of rowdy kids tearing down monuments. This isn't just a bunch of people who hate the police and wanna get rid of them. This isn't just people who are angry and say, no, you can't do that, if you do, I'll cancel you. All of those things grow out of the totalitarianism, demonic things that Marx did, and we're living in the midst of that.
Sheila Walsh: You know, it's interesting, because some people might say, you know, when we talk about all these things it's kind of doom and gloom, but I have to say personally, I found the past year really discouraging, but when I got to the end of your book, I wanted to shout hallelujah, because it wasn't a book of doom and gloom, it was a book of hope. Was that your prayer?
Dr. David Jeremiah: That's why I said before that I wanted this book to be not only where are we now? What does that mean, but what do we do? And there's always something to do. For instance, in the chapter on COVID, for a while when that first happened, we were, you couldn't go anywhere, we had to stay at home, and we just kind of didn't do anything, and we were so tired at the end of the day we couldn't figure out what was wrong. We didn't do a blessed thing today, and we're just... You guys are laughing 'cause it's what happened, right? When you don't have a plan, and I, at that time, I had read this little book, and this little book was written by a young lady who had found this poem, and the poem was entitled, "Do the Next Right Thing," and the poem was written in Old English, and actually the title of it was spelled in Old English, and the idea was, when you don't know what to do, which many of us didn't know what to do then, just do the next right thing. And we started to practice that, and we still do. I mean, we still do today, because even today there's so much confusion. So, if you don't learn how to do that, you will just be overwhelmed with all of the things that aren't done, and you'll sit there, and it's like the paralysis of analysis, you know? You sit there, you got all this stuff to do and you don't know what to do next. Just do the next thing. And here's the interesting thing that I've found. When Jesus healed people, he was saying to them, go home and tell your family. Every time he healed somebody, he gave them one thing to do. It was amazing to me when I saw it, there's, like, eight illustrations of that. Go home and do this, go do that, go tell your brother, and that's how I hear Jesus saying that to us. Get up in the morning and say, even if you don't know for sure what to do, do the next right thing. God will show you what the next right thing is, and before you know it, you'll look back on a productive day. And you won't be so tired.
Sheila Walsh: God, that's good advice, I think. Just one thing I was thinking about. You know, you're not just a pastor and a father, you have twelve grandchildren, and I wondered as you finished this book and this series, how did that impact you and what you were writing?
Dr. David Jeremiah: I think all of us who are my age and maybe a little bit younger, little bit older, we all feel like, I'm gonna make it, I'm gonna make it through this life, I'm gonna, you know, I'll get to heaven, and I probably won't be beat up in the process. But boy I'm telling you what, when you think of the next generation coming after us and the one after that. One of my grandchildren got engaged, and I thought, oh my goodness, I wonder what life will be like for them. I'd rather be where I am than where he is. I mean that sincerely, I mean, I like, I think being young is cool and all that, but I know what it was like for us to go through life and face the challenges, and they're way more difficult now than they were then.
Sheila Walsh: When we walk out of these doors or turn off the television set, where do we go, how do we approach the world we're living in now?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Well, first thing I hope people will do is realize we have so much to be positive about, so much to be thankful for. We have the message, we have the real message of what life is all about. We know what to do, and most of us have come to Christ, we're Christians. Is life challenging? Yes, but we're not alone. God has not forgotten us, and we are on our way to be with him forever. So, the journey can sometimes be challenging, but it's always exciting. I'll tell you the truth, I've been here in this church for 40 years, I've been discouraged sometimes, I've been triumphant sometimes, but one thing I've never been, I've never been bored.
Sheila Walsh: Ha, ha, ha, I'm sure. Well, Dr. Jeremiah, I just want to thank you for putting the hope in these days, the hope in end times prophecy, for giving us encouragement one more time for putting peace into the problems that we see, and I wondered, would you pray for us to bring this to a close?
Dr. David Jeremiah: Father, we thank you that you have listened to this conversation, you've been a part of what we've been thinking and talking about. You know every situation that's represented, not only in the lives of the people who're here in our audience, but those who are watching and listening and sharing. I pray that you will speak into every one of our hearts the wonderful truth of the gospel and the hope that is ours in Christ, and, Lord, don't let us become discouraged with the things that are happening around us, help us to know that the one in whom we have put our trust to take us to heaven is surely able to help us get through the journey with our hands up high. I pray that you will fill us with a sense of your presence and help us, Lord, to know that there is a wonderful opportunity for us to make a difference in our world. Help us to reach out to those that we know with this wonderful message of truth and encouragement. Lord, I pray that you will also help us to be determined that we will not live in a lie, that we'll live in the truth. We will be your people in the midst of this time, whatever that means. Help us to be wise and help us to be courageous, help us to be good and godly people that we might bring the testimony of Jesus Christ not only in word, but in our life as well. Thank you for the privilege of talking about these important issues. In Jesus's name, amen.
Sheila Walsh: Amen.