John Hagee - The Great Escape
I believe that the coronavirus is a wake-up call for America and for every believer on planet earth. He's simply saying that with all of your governmental power and with all of your perceived power, I want to show you just how unpowerful you really are. Read with me Hebrews 2:1 and 3. Ready? "Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard: lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels prove steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation"? "The great escape".
Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for this word. Let the Holy Spirit quicken our hearts to this word, and let us prepare ourselves and our families for the imminent appearance of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the clouds of heaven. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. The Bible immediately makes clear that the rapture comforts the hearts of believers. Jesus said to John in 14, John 14:1-3, "Do not let your hearts be troubled", even by coronavirus. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. 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. For 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". How do we know that Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father? We know by the virtue of the fact that Jesus said to his disciples, "You go to Jerusalem. And when I get to the father, I will send the comforter back to you". When the Holy Spirit arrived in the upper room, it was heaven's fedex that Jesus had arrived at the right hand of God the Father and he was home.
Right now, America and the world have become a mad house, and inmates are in charge. That's a fact. We've had an economic crash because of this epidemic. Forty million Americans are unemployed. Criminals were released from prison, and law-abiding citizens were sent to jail because they wanted to go to work. Major cities blazing with fire set by anarchists, who want to see America and democracy destroyed. I have great news. I have great news. Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, the lion of the tribe of Judah, shouts from the highest heaven today, "When you see these signs, lift up your heads and rejoice: your redemption draweth nigh". Hallelujah! Even so, come Lord Jesus! Give him praise in the house!
I repeat, the blessed hope of the rapture comforts your heart. John 14:1, "Let not your hearts be troubled". That almost sounds like hannity on fox news. "Let not your hearts be troubled". Let not fake news destroy your peace. Let not political corruption depress you. Let not your mask suffocate you. Let not social distancing frustrate you. Let not anarchist, socialist lunatics disturb you, because soon and very soon, the trump of God is going to sound. The dead in Christ are going to rise. And we which are alive and remain shall be caught up to be with the Lord in the air in the twinkling of an eye. Comfort one another with these words! Comfort one another with these words: good-bye, world! Good-bye!
Realizing that Christ could return at any moment, motivates Christians to serve the Lord with all of their heart, soul, mind, and body. Listen to this: when Saul, who later became known as Paul, was on the road to Damascus, and the Lord smote him down, and he was blinded: the Bible says, "The scales fell off his eyes". That's said in acts 9:18. I say that, because Paul taught very clearly in Romans 11, that the Jewish people were judicially blinded by the hand of God to the identity of Messiah. Why? So that the gentiles (that would be you) would have a day of salvation. Now that's what Paul taught. Very few preachers get into Romans 11, because it just terrifies their theology. But that is in the Bible. Therefore, the Jewish people being blinded by God himself, concerning the identity of Jesus Christ, Paul's scales fell off of his eyes, and he saw the Lord for who he was.
Paul asked these two questions, "Who are you Lord"? And "What will you have me to do"? Most professing Christians in America understand that first question, "Who are you Lord"? But they've never moved past that first question. The real question is, "What will you have me do"? "What will you have me do"? Saint Paul says in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works". Say that with me. "Good works". The Bible says, "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only". So the question is, "What are you doing for Jesus Christ"? Because when you stand before the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ, that's what he's going to ask you. What did you do for me? What? What did you do for me with the opportunities I gave you, with the financial abilities I gave you, with the talents I gave you? What did you do for me? You're going to answer those questions. Great faith comes from great fight. Great testimonies come out of great trial. Great triumph can only come out of great trials.
Saint Paul records it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:10: "For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ: that each one may receive the things done", hear those two words, "Things done". Those attacking the rapture are saying, "You know the Bible is not literal: it's allegorical". The word "Allegorical" is a theological phrase that would mean "Myth". Therefore, if you can turn the Bible into a myth, you can make it believe anything you want. I assure you I hold in my hand the most literal book ever written in the history of mankind. It's literal. It's literal.
Jesus was literally born of a virgin named Mary. Jesus was literally born in Bethlehem's manger. Jesus, in his ministry, literally healed people. He literally cast out demons with a word. He literally died on the cross. He literally was buried in a borrowed grave. He literally rose from the dead and he sits at the right hand of God the Father. He literally is coming back again with power and great glory. And every knee shall bow and every tongue is going to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. He's literally going to give his bride the crown of life. He literally is going to give you a dazzling white robe that represents everything you have done, d-o-n-e, done!
There will literally be a marriage supper of the lamb that lasts for seven years. Jesus Christ will literally return to earth the second time with his holy angels and the victorious bride of Christ, to the Mount of Olives in the City of Jerusalem. That's going to happen. Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham, will literally crush the armies that have assembled at Armageddon under the control of the Antichrist. "For he that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps". He will literally cast the Antichrist, the false prophet, and Satan himself into the bottomless pit. That's going to happen. You're going to see it at the judgment of the nations.
This thought just went through my mind: you're going to see some of your relatives in that crowd, those who do not receive Christ, and who go through the tribulation and take the mark of the Antichrist. When Jesus comes back and judges them, you will see your relatives sent into eternal judgment, because they failed to recognize the importance of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We don't have a message that's good. We have the message that's good. Critics say the rapture does not appear in the Bible text. I had a college professor that was very glad in saying that. "There's no such thing as the word rapture in the Bible". I raised my hand and I said, "That's true, because the Bible is a book of concepts and word pictures: so simple, the Bible says that a fool cannot err therein".
The word "Homosexual" does not appear in the Bible, but the concept is very clear when Moses writes in Leviticus 20:13, quote, "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination". You see the picture. You don't have to be a rogue scholar to pick that up. The biblical text does not use the word "Homosexual", but anyone can grasp the concept. The Bible text does not have the word "Trinity", but over and over you see, "Father, son, and Holy Spirit" together. In Genesis 1:26, God says, "Let us make man in our image". "Us" and "Our" are plural words. That was God the Father, son, and Holy Spirit that were in the creation act.
Matthew 3:16 and 17 at Jesus' baptism. Get the picture. Jesus is in the water being baptized by John. The dove lands on his shoulder, the symbol of the Holy Spirit. The voice comes from heaven, God the Father, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased". Father, son, and Holy Spirit, all a word picture. You don't have to be a theologian to get it! And I have books that are that thick, trying to explain the Trinity and they don't do it, because you can't accept by simple faith what the Bible has to say. Critics say the rapture teaching is nothing but escapism. You people who, you're just trying to escape the real world. The fact is the rapture is no more escapism from the world than salvation is escapism from sin. I gladly tell you that Jesus, the son of the living God, is my Lord and Savior. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Heaven is my destination. And I'm thrilled out of my ever-loving mind that I'm not going through the Great Tribulation or into eternal hell. If that's escapism, count it, amen, shout hallelujah. I'll take that. 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. Americans would like to escape from corruption in government. And that would be wonderful. If we could get the corruption out of the government, our lives would be a lot better. Luke 21:36, "Watch, therefore, and pray always: that you may be counted worthy to escape those things that are coming upon the earth". Say that with me. "To escape those things that are coming on the earth". A second verse, Hebrews 2:3, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation"?
What are we going to escape? There's a seven-year period in the Bible called the tribulation and the Great Tribulation. The tribulation is three and a half years. The Great Tribulation is another three and a half years, and they are seven years together of what will be literally hell on earth. This is when the judgment of God is poured out on this nation. The tribulation begins when the Antichrist begins to rule from Europe over all the nations of the earth. And that is going to happen. The European leadership is crumbling right now. They are looking for a leader. They're talking about the economy of the dollar going away. Everything that's necessary for this New World Order to take over is at the door. Walk with me through the Book of Revelation. There are 21 calamities that are going to happen. I'm just going to give you ten. Twenty-one would make you go home and take an Alka-Seltzer.
1. One-third of all the vegetation on the earth will be burned up. That's grass, trees, crops, et cetera, such intense heat from the sun:
2. The sun and the moon will be darkened and there will be total darkness, total darkness for long periods of time that will produce depression, fear, and anxiety. Why? Because Satan is the prince of darkness. Did you know that in America, they're organizing a Lucifer dance to bring in the New World Order in nine, nine major cities in America? You don't think the devil doesn't have a crowd here waiting for him: you're quite mistaken. They'll be glad when we leave. And I'll tell you: we'll be glad when we leave. 3. The gates of hell will be opened and hordes of locusts the size of a horse come upon the earth, and they sting men like a scorpion. Have you ever been stung by a scorpion? Men will beg God to let them die. And God will not allow them to die, because the purpose of the tribulation is to punish people who rejected Jesus Christ.
4. There's going to be a worldwide famine. You're now seeing how food shortages are beginning to happen across the world:
5. World war so bloody that the blood of those who are killed in battle flows up to 200 miles to the bridle of a horse:
6. Every person on earth is covered with great running, festering boils. Those words are out of the Bible. Think about that. 7. Seas of the earth will turn to blood, every ocean, every river, every stream. You say God wouldn't do that. God has already done that. Go back and read what God did to Egypt. The water was turned to blood, not like blood, to blood. Every fish in the sea died, because there's no oxygen in the blood for a fish to breathe.
8. The sun is going to scorch the earth and men with fire. Al gore global warming is coming, baby. Just hang on. It's coming. Major uncontrollable fires, the Bible said, will break out all over the world spontaneously, destroying homes and cities.
9. Mighty men, kings, and men of war will gnaw their tongues in pain, crawl into caves, and beg God to let them die. "They will seek death", the Bible says, "And will not find it", because God will not permit it.
10. Earthquakes so shattering that the islands of the sea will disappear: islands of the sea like Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. "Every wall", the Bible says, "Will fall down flat". Millions will be trapped in the rubble with no one coming to their aid. Revelation 9:15, the sixth trumpet, four angels are released by God to destroy one-third of mankind in one day! In America, that would mean a hundred million people, plus. That's why I'm telling you, covid-19 is a cake walk in comparison to what is coming.
I ask you, those of you who are sane and of a sound mind, would you like to escape that? I do. I really do. Do you want your children and your loved ones to escape that? Have you given do them your witness of Jesus Christ? Give them the opportunity to say no. Oh, well they might get mad. Going to hell mad doesn't hurt them. I mean if they're going to go, they're going to go. Mad or glad? I'm going to escape in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. I'll literally rise into the heavens with millions of believers to meet the real Jesus, the son of the living God.
This is the lion of the tribe of Judah that we've been looking for! He is the Lord of glory! He is the light of the world! He is the Lamb of God, the lover of my soul! He's the day star! He is the bright and the morning star! He is the fairest of 10,000! He is the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley! He's the alpha and the omega! He is the first and the last! He is the bread of life! He is the captain of my salvation! He is the cornerstone! He is the mighty counselor 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 the fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel's vein! He is heaven's hope and hell's dread! He is crowned with many crowns, because he is king of all kings and Lord of all Lords! Even so, come Lord Jesus! Give him praise and glory in the house!
I'll close with this: there are only two major battles recorded in scripture after the rapture. Let me tell you about the Gog/Magog wars, because they're first. Please understand when I taught this topic 50 years ago, and I told people that Russia would become a world power, they literally laughed, because Russia was having a hard time feeding itself then. But now they are a world power. Three thousand years ago, Ezekiel, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, said this, I'll translate it to English for you. Russia is going to lead Iran. He calls it Persia in the 38th chapter. Persia was Persia until the 1970's, by the way. Russia will come with Iran. They will come with Turkey, Hamas, Hezbollah, and a cadbury of radical Islamic armies to invade Israel to destroy the Jewish state. They all have one thing in common, anti-semitism. They hate God's people. The result: God is sitting in heaven.
King David describes it. God says, I'm going to laugh you to scorn. God Almighty is going to kill five out of six of those thousands, who come to Israel, the moment they touch their foot on that sacred soil. That property belongs to him. He didn't give it to the Jewish people to own it. He gave it for their inheritance. He owns it! And when they put their foot on that property to destroy his people, these things are going to happen. There will be a major earthquake that the mountains are reduced to rubble. You say, "Well God wouldn't do that". He's already done that. Remember when Moses was having a little leadership problem over in the Old Testament and he had some folks who didn't appreciate his leadership? God said, get them all together in front of the tent of meeting. He got them over there. Problem solved. Moses is the man.
God is going to open the earth, and a great percentage of that crowd is simply going to go away. Then there will be instantly friendly fire. If you're in that kind of an earthquake with all of the dust and dirt and the earth shaking, with nine different armies, different languages, the Bible says, "Every man's sword will be turned against each other". We call that "Friendly fire". They are going to fire at each other and decimate each other. But lastly, God saves the treat for him. In the Old Testament, sinners are stoned. And God wants to personally stone those people who come against his children. And he is going to send stones from heaven that are large and forceful. Remember that meteor that hit in Russia that they said was going 43,000 miles an hour? That was God warming up his right-hand pitching power. When is this going to happen? Ezekiel 38:8 says, "In the latter day at the time of the end". That means right now.
Why does Russia want to invade Israel? I've asked that question for 60 years and couldn't ever really get a good answer until I had a retired Israeli military officer in my office. And I said, "Why does Russia want anything to do with Israel"? He said, and he immediately got up and walked over to my global map, and he put his finger on what I thought was the north pole. He said, "Russia wants to be a world power again. And they must have global military presence through their navy. But their navy is frozen in place for about four months out of the year, because their harbor is right here. They must have a warm-water port for their navy to have global dominance". The military officer said, "Israel is the only nation in the world with warm-water access to all of the oceans of the world for 12 months out of the year.
Presto! That makes sense. Russia has a radical Islamic element, chomping at the bit to attack Israel, as does every nation mentioned by Ezekiel. Would it surprise you to know that last year, china got a long-term lease in the port of Haifa. They're already there. They know the significance of the Middle East. The final battle for global supremacy will be the mother of all wars at Armageddon. God Almighty, with the bride of Christ, as we come sailing back to earth for the second coming of Jesus Christ, are going to come, and we are going to establish a kingdom that shall never pass away. It is as lightning flashing out of the east. Here comes the bride with millions of his angels. Here comes the church triumphant. Here comes the absolute defender of Israel.
The Bible says, "His eyes are as a blazing fire. Out of his mouth shall go a two-edged sword with which he shall slaughter the armies of the antichrist and the kings of the east. The slaughter will leave his robes dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven, the angels, and the church triumphant, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses. And out of the his mouth goeth a two-edged sword with which he shall smite the invading armies who have dared to set foot in Israel. And he shall rule the world". I love this verse of scripture. "He will rule the world with a rod of iron". His word is going to be the last word!
But the greatest question you can answer yourself is, which one of these groups of people are you going to be with? Are you going to be with the bride of Christ that's coming back to Jerusalem to rule the earth, to land on the Mount of Olives, and then to rule from the capital City of Jerusalem for a thousand years? Or are you going to be standing on the ground, watching them coming? The Bible describes what I'm getting ready to tell you. "And they shall see him coming in the clouds of heaven and mourn". Why? Because they've all taken the mark of the antichrist. And they know as soon as he touches foot back on earth, they're destined to go to hell. No option: that's it.
Now get that vision in your mind. You're standing with the body of Christ, and you're watching your relatives walk from the judgment of God into eternal damnation. And you've never bothered to witness to them about their soul. Oh, I don't want to offend them. Please offend them. Give them the chance to say no. If they say "No", their blood is on their hands, not yours. I want you to think about this. If every Christian in America would start becoming a personal evangelist, we could turn this nation around in a matter of months. But we've been battered and beaten into a corner, and we kind of feel like we should kind of be quiet, and duck our heads, and try to hide. Never! Never!
Can we stand? Can we stand? How many of you in this room, say, pastor, I have members of my family that are lost and without Christ. And I know if Jesus came today, they would not be ready. Could I see your hand right where you are? Virtually every hand here. Here's what I want you to do. I want you to make an effort to witness to every member of your family that doesn't know the Lord Jesus Christ. If it's sending them a letter, if it's making a phone call, just don't sit by on the sidelines: do something! Make it happen! Give them the opportunity to know the Son of God. Hold your hands in the air and let me pray.
Heavenly Father, I see the potential of thousands of souls being saved by the witness of the hands that are being raised. I'm asking you to anoint these people to write those letters, to make those phone calls. Holy Spirit of God, when they're inviting their loved ones to come to Christ, give them the words to say. Give them the boldness of a lion. Give them the answers. Let their testimony be pure and powerful about the imminent coming of Jesus Christ: that the circle, the family circle, will not be broken in heaven: that we will all be there in God's tomorrow all together. And now may the Lord bless you and may the Lord keep you. And may the Lord make his face to shine upon you. And may the Lord be gracious unto you and give you his peace. May God anoint you this day to be his messenger to the members of your family that do not know him. Let the words that you speak be straight from the throne of God to the heart and life of those you love, who are lost and without Christ. Become a soul winner: for he that winneth souls is wise. Receive this blessing, in Jesus' name. Amen.