John Hagee - What Will Be The Sign Of Your Coming?
Matthew 24:1-3, read with me, please. "Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple. And his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, 'do you not see all these things? Assuredly I say to you, not one stone should be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down.' now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, 'tell us when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming, and what will be the sign of the end of the age?'" Three powerful questions about which you could preach the rest of the New Testament.
Father, let us hear the Word of God today. And let us recognize the signs of your coming, because the king is coming in all of his power and glory, and we must be prepared to meet him. In the authority of your name, we pray and ask it. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.
You may be seated. The three questions again: when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming? And what is the sign of the end of the age? Matthew 24 is the spine of Bible prophecy. It is given by an authority named Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God. It covers from the moment Jesus is speaking on the Mount of Olives to four of his disciples until the end of the world. Now listen very closely, because this is so confused to the body of Christ. Matthew 24 is not a message to the church. It is a message by a Jewish rabbi to his Jewish disciples about the future of Israel and the Jewish people. We can understand the future by what's happening to them. But it is God's message to them.
Question number one: when will these things be? The scene is that Jesus and his disciples have just left the temple in Jerusalem and its magnificent courts. If you've been there, you've seen the gleaming walls in the dazzling sun, the majestic, awesome cite that is the pride of Israel. Jesus stopped and pointed at those massive walls built by Herod the Great over 64 years with stones whose massive size defy your imagination. I have seen stones in that wall that are 70-feet long, that are 10-feet wide, and 8-feet high that weigh hundreds of tons, one stone. Jesus said to his disciples, "Not one of these stones will be left here one upon the other. They're going to be thrown down".
The disciples were stunned. How could something so massive, how could the pride of Israel be destroyed? Jesus' prophecy came true 36 years later when the tenth legion under the command of Titus besieged the City of Jerusalem for months. No one in: no one out. Josephus, the 1st century-celebrated historian, records that more than one million Jewish people starved to death in that siege. The horror scenes that happened in the City of Jerusalem, if I described them to you of people fighting for food and fighting for life, would make you sick to your stomach. General Titus commanded the Roman tenth legion to pull the stones of the wall down, because what the master of heaven says, always happens on earth.
But why did this happen? There had been a national rejection of Jesus Christ. And the pride of Israel was destroyed just as Jesus prophesied. Jesus, a few days before, had sat on that same mountain, and said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, though which stonest the prophets and killest them which are which are sent unto thee, how often would I have come to you and gather you together as a hen doth gather her chicks, but you would not? Hear me, America. There is a national rejection of Jesus Christ as the Son of God in our nation. Jesus Christ wasn't a good man. He was more than a teacher. He was either the Son of God or the greatest liar who ever walked across the stage of human history. He is our all in all. He is our Savior. He is our king. He is our Master. He is our Great Physician. He is the Lily of the Valley. He is the fairest of 10.000. He is the One who has resurrected from the dead. He is Lord! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
The second question: what will be the sign of your coming? And I will spend the rest of this message on that one question. There are two comings of Jesus Christ in the future. Listen closely. The next one that could happen at any second is the rapture of the church. Following the rapture of the church, there will be a seven-year period, called the Great Tribulation. Following the Great Tribulation, Jesus Christ will return to earth, according to revelation 19, with all of the holy angels, with all the believers of the Old Testament and the New Testament, mounted on white horses, coming back to Jerusalem to set up the throne that God promised him: that the son of David would rule on the throne of his father in the City of Jerusalem. And he, Jesus Christ, is going to defeat the enemies of Israel. He's going to walk through the Kidron Valley. He's going to sit on the throne of king David on the Temple Mount. And they shall come from the north, the south, the east, and the west, kneel and bow: "For every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father". Give him praise in the house of God!
For the balance of this message, I'm going to focus on the next coming of Jesus, which is the rapture of the church. Why? Because it concerns you and it concerns every member of your family. 1 Corinthians 15:51 and 52, Paul says, "Behold, I show you a mystery". We shall not all sleep in death. But we shall all be changed... In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trump of God shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed into immortality".
Pastor Hagee, what difference does it make whether I believe in the rapture or not? I get asked that question often. And the difference is Hebrews 9:28, "To those that eagerly look for him will he appear the second time". The point is, if you're not looking for him, you're not going with him. That's the point. Will there be a rapture? The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord himself shall descend with a shout... And the voice of the Archangel and with the trump of God".
Why is there a shout? Because it is a total victory over death, hell, and the grave. Listen to what I'm about to say. When one ounce of your body lies in the grave, Jesus has not had total victory over death, hell, and the grave. But at the sounding of the trump, when every ounce of every redeemed body that's ever been placed in the ground or buried in the sea rises to meet the Lord in the air, there's going to be a shout that splits the heavens. And it's coming from the mouth of God, because victory over death, hell, and the grave has been complete! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
Why is there a sounding of a trumpet? Because in the Bible, trumpets are used to announce the entrance of royalty. Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the King of all kings. He is the Prince of Peace. The dead in Christ rise first. And we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together to be with him in the clouds of glory to meet the Lord in the air. On the resurrection morning, Matthew 24:30, "And then there shall be appear the sign of the son of man in heaven. And they shall see the Son of God coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory".
Acts 1:11, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here gazing into heaven? This same Jesus shall come in like manner.."., meaning literally, meaning physically, meaning visibly, "As you have seen him go, so shall you see him come again". You put these verses together and here's the picture you have: that Jesus Christ, the prince of glory, appears suddenly in the heavens a brilliant starburst of dazzling light as lightning flashes from the east, meaning Jerusalem, to the west, as the trump of God shall sound announcing the appearance of royalty. For he is the Prince of Peace, and the king of all kings, and the Lord of all Lords. The voice of the Archangel shall summon the dead from their graves. All over the earth, they will explode and rise to the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
Cars are going to be empty along 1604. Homes of believers will have the supper dishes on the table. It may be the morning dishes or the noon meal, because whenever Jesus comes, it's going to be night somewhere, it's going to be midday somewhere, it's going to be morning somewhere. That's why you have the people in the field at different times. Because when the Lord comes, it is a global, instantaneous event. Headlines will be screaming, "Millions are missing! Christians have disappeared from the earth"! CNN is going to use their usual fake news telecast. Where there will be speckled commentators are going to gather around a table and explain what has happened. Churches are going to be packed with weeping, sobbing, hysterical people, because the Lord has come and they've been left behind to go through the hell of the tribulation.
Some of you looking at me will be the first to welcome the antichrist, because you think what I'm saying is pure poppy cock. You are living a life without Christ. And Jesus Christ is really the last person you want to have an encounter with today. Too bad. When the king comes, he's coming in all of his glory with all of his might and majesty. He's not coming, saying, "Let's make a deal". He's coming to say, "This is the deal. I am the Lord and there is none like me. I am coming soon. My reward is with me. I have a crown of righteousness for those who lived and followed me. And the gates of hell will be for the ungodly". Give him praise in the house of God.
There will be no parting. There will be no more suffering. There will be no more pain. There will be no more sorrow. There will be no more death. There will be no more cancer wards. There will be no more disease. There will be no more! For the former things have passed away! Even so, come Lord Jesus! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
Question: if you don't believe in the rapture as described in the Bible where people rise to meet the Lord in the air, how are you going to know when the real Jesus gets here? Jesus said, "If any man says unto you, 'lo here is Christ or there is Christ'... believe it not". Say the words, believe it not. Jesus knew there would be false pretenders, saying, "I am Christ". So God scripturally installed a fail-safe mechanism that is so staggering in supernatural power, so earth shattering that not even satan could imitate it, much less duplicate it. That fail-safe system is the rapture of the church.
How will I know when the real Jesus gets here? I'll know it's the real Jesus when my body sails through the air past the Milky Way, past the North Star, a million miles a minute, and the gates of gold open, and the trumpets of heaven are sounded, and the redeemed, ten thousand times ten thousand, are shouting, and the heavens are vibrating! I'll know that's heaven! Then the critics come and say the word rapture is not in the Bible. That's true. The Bible is a book of word concepts and word pictures, because when it was first written, there were a lot of people who didn't have an education to read.
And so there are word pictures that are so simple: the Bible says, "That a fool cannot err therein," for those of you who say the Bible is difficult to understand. The biblical text does not have the word "Trinity". But over and over, it refers to "God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit". You get the message very quickly. Critics say, "The rapture teaching is nothing but escapism. You people are trying to escape from the real world". Rapture is no more escapism from the world than salvation is escapism from eternal hell. I gladly tell you Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Heaven is my home. And I'm thrilled out of my ever-loving mind that I'm going to heaven and not an eternal hell. If that's escapism, hallelujah.
Rapture is no more escapism than divine healing is escapism from disease. Environmentalists want to escape from pollution. Peace movements want to escape from war. The fact: the Bible teaches us to prepare for escape. Luke 21:36, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape those things that are coming upon the earth". Hebrews 2:3, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation"?
There's one of the great questions of the Bible that you can preach. What are we going to escape? The Bible says we are first going to escape the tribulation. Walk with me for just two or three minutes, as I describe for you Revelations chapters 8, 9 and 16. There are going to be seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials. That's 21 divine judgments upon the earth by the hand of God that will destroy one half of the earth's population. It's going to be an unbelievably disastrous time. Is that in the Bible? Yes, it is.
1. One-third of all the vegetation of the earth is going to be burned up by the heat of the sun, all grass, trees, things you eat.
2. The sun and moon are darkened, meaning that the earth for long periods of time will be dark. Darkness brings great depression, great fear. Remember that satan is the prince of darkness.
3. The gates of hell are opened and hordes of locusts the size of a horse will cover the earth. And they will sting men like a scorpion. And that pain will last for five months. Men will crawl into the caves of mountains and beg God to let them die, and God will not permit them to die.
4. There will be a worldwide famine. You are now seeing worldwide shortage of food that is going to introduce worldwide famine.
5. The world war so bloody that the blood of those killed in battle will flow for 200 miles up to the bridle of a horse in the valley of Jezereel, which is the Battle of Armageddon.
6. Every person on earth will be covered with great festering boils. Think of that.
7. The seven seas of earth will be turned to blood. Every river, every stream becomes blood. That's one of the curses that God placed on Egypt. All the fish die from lack of oxygen, producing more famine and mind-breaking thirst around the world.
8. The sun is going to scorch the earth with fire. You see the fires that we're having now just sporadically? That's going to happen all over the earth at one time.
9. Mighty men, kings, men of war, gnaw that tongues in pain. They crawl into caves and beg God to let them die. They, "Seek death and cannot find it". Ten, earthquakes are so shattering that the islands of the sea will disappear. Talking about islands like Puerto Rico, like Hawaii. "Every wall will fall down flat". I'm quoting the scripture. Millions will be trapped beneath the rubble with no one coming to their aid. Why? Because it's happening all over the world at the same time.
Revelation 9:15, the sixth trumpet, four angels are released by God Almighty to destroy one-third of mankind in one day. In America, that would be a little more than a hundred million people. Think about that. I ask you, those of you who are sane and of a sound mind, do you want to escape that? I really do. I really do. And I'm going to in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The last trump is going to sound, and I'm literally going to rise into the heavens with millions of believers to meet the real Jesus, who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Lord of glory, the light of the world, the Lamb of God, and the lover of my soul.
He is the day star. He is the bright and the morning star. He is the fairest of 10.000. He is the rose of sharon. He is the lily of the valley. He's the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last. He is the Lamb of God. He is the bread of life. He's the captain of my salvation! He's the cornerstone mighty and precious, and the Prince of Peace. He is Immanuel, God with us, the hope of glory. He is the friend that sticketh closer than a brother. He is heaven's hope and hell's dread. He is crowned with many crowns, because he's King of all kings and Lord of all lords! Give him praise! Give him praise! Give him praise in the house of God!
Can we stand to our feet? Why is this going to happen now? That's a sermon I'll preach on a later date. But I want you to understand this very, very clearly: that the rapture of the church can happen before you get home. When I was a child, my father, who was a prophecy scholar, he said, "Jesus cannot come until Israel becomes a state". And people thought that was hieratical. And he said, "Then Jerusalem needs to go back to the state of Israel". He said, "Now we're ready for the coming of the Lord". Never in the history of the world have all the players been on the stage. Everything is absolutely perfect for it to happen. Just like that.
The next thing that makes it trigger is the blast of that trumpet and the sound of the Archangels summoning home the bride of Christ. We're getting ready to leave this world. The King is coming. My question to you, look me right in the face. You can say, pastor, I am not ready. If Jesus were to come before I get out of this building, I am not ready to meet the Lord in the air. Hold your hand up. I want to have a prayer with you. God bless you. God bless you here. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you there in the back. God bless you. God bless you there and God bless you there. In the balcony, raise your hand. Pray this prayer with me, every one of you in the house.
Heavenly Father, I ask you to forgive me of all of my sin. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness with the blood of Jesus Christ. From this day forward, I will be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I will read and obey his word, and I will serve him to the last day of my life or to the sounding of the trump of God. And now because of the blood of Jesus Christ, my sins are forgiven, and I'm a child of God, and I'm on my way to heaven. Amen.