Rabbi Schneider - What Are the Signs of Jesus' Return?
What is happening on planet Earth today that tells us that Jesus is getting ready to come back? I'm not talking about the things that many of us have heard of. We've all heard about the earthquakes, and the tsunamis, and nations rising against nations, and all these things are absolutely true. But I'm gonna be talking in this series about signs of his return that you probably never considered or heard of before. You may be thinking, you know I've been hearing messages about the Lord's return for sixty years. But I want to tell you that the last thing that Jesus told us in his Word, in Revelation, chapter 22, is yes, I am coming quickly. And so I want to challenge you today to wake up. Many of you, you're even hearing me talk about this message and because you've heard so many messages on it, it's rolling off of you like water off a duck's back. I want to challenge you and I today to wake up. Jesus is coming back for you. Jesus is coming back for me.
I want to begin the second part of the series today by asking you to do what I asked you to do last week. Put your hand over your heart and simply say, "Jesus is coming back for me". Let's say it together. "Jesus is coming back for me". Do you know that the whole Bible is a witness to Jesus's return? We're gonna look at Daniel, how Daniel spoke of the Lord's return. Zachariah prophesied the Lord's return. In the New Testament, we have angels prophesying of his return. We have the apostles prophesying of his return. And lastly, Jesus, himself, in his last words told us to wake up, I'm returning. You know, the Scripture tells us and warns us that because he has delayed in his coming, we have a tendency to fall asleep about it.
This is what the parable of the ten virgins were about, that all ten started out waiting for their bridegroom. All ten of the virgins started out waiting for the bridegroom. They believed he was gonna return. They were in love with him. But Jesus told us in that parable that because the bridegroom, get it now, very important saints, because the bridegroom had delayed. What does that mean? Because he had not come as soon as they were expecting, but because he had delayed, those are Jesus's exact words, five of the ten virgins fell asleep. In other words, they stopped looking, they stopped expecting, they stopped living in light of being prepared for his return. And then bam, he came like a thief in the night and the five that were not living in light of the bridegroom's return were not able to enter in the kingdom. That's a strong word.
Jesus is telling us today, if you and I are not prepared when he returns, in other words, if we haven't been living lives that have been expecting him, if we haven't been cultivating lifestyles that are prepared for his return, if we haven't been making decisions based on the fact that he is gonna return and we're gonna meet him, when he does return we're not gonna enter into the kingdom. Jesus said, straight and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it.
So Father, I pray that you would use this message as a preparatory vehicle, a channel to prepare the hearts of your people for your return. I ask you to wash us by this truth today, Jesus. I ask that you would have maximum effect Holy Spirit. Wake up your people. Supernaturally bear witness to their heart that Jesus is alive, that he's real, and that he's coming back and that he's coming soon.
I want to look today at the New Testament witnesses to the return of the Lord. First of all I want you to know that the angels themselves in Scripture bear witness to the return of Jesus. I'm going now to the Book of Acts, chapter number 1, Acts, chapter 1, verse 10 and 11. This is right as Jesus has ascended into heaven. They're with him on the Mount of Olives. The disciples, the apostles are there as Jesus ascends bodily into heaven. And they're looking up into the sky as he ascends so high up they can't see him anymore. And as they're still looking into the sky trying to see him, angels appear and they say this: "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven", get it now, "will come in just the same way as you have watched him go".
Once again, they're on the Mount of Olives. Jesus is leaving planet Earth. He's been, he's been crucified, he's raised, and now he's ascending to heaven. In fifty days the Holy Spirit's gonna be sent. And as Jesus ascends into heaven, he ascends so high he disappears. And the angels appear. They speak to those that are looking into the sky and they say: Men of Galilee, why do you keep looking up into the sky? This Jesus is gonna come again in just the same way that you've seen him go. Did you know in Zachariah, chapter 14, Zachariah prophesies about the day of the Lord? And Zachariah tells us the day of the Lord's gonna come like that. It's gonna be a unique day, he said, a day unlike any other. It won't matter about the moon and the stars. That's not what's gonna shine because God himself is gonna shine when he descends from heaven and puts his foot, Zachariah says, get it now, on the Mount of Olives.
Zachariah says God's day is gonna come. He's gonna put his foot down on the Mount of Olives, the mountain's gonna split. What did the angels just get done telling the apostles and disciples, that Jesus is gonna return in just the same way that you've seen him go. How did he go? He ascended up into the air from where; from the Mount of Olives. When is he gonna return or what's it gonna look like when he's gonna return? Where is he gonna return? He's gonna return, beloved, the Hebrew Bible tells us the same place that he ascended up to heaven from originally. He's gonna return at that exact location. He's gonna return for you at the Mount of Olives. His glory will be seen across the entire world and yet the place that will first manifest his glory will be the Mount of Olives, the same place that he ascended to heaven from.
I just think that's fantastic. The angels bear witness, in Acts, chapter 1, to Jesus's return. Zachariah correspondingly bore witness to that same fact. In addition to the angels bearing witness to this, beloved, the apostles bore witness to it. As I said in last week's broadcast, the apostles lived with the expectation that Jesus would return in their lifetime. Does that mean that prophecy has failed? No, absolutely not. The Bible specifically tells us that God is not slow concerning his promise of the second coming, that the reason he's not returned yet, as I said last week, is because there are some people that God has destined for salvation that haven't come to him yet. God is just waiting for the full number of those that were chosen in him from eternity to be with him forever. He's just waiting for all of that full number to come to salvation.
God is coming back. The apostles lived with an expectation of it happening in their lifetime. And the reason that they did was partially to communicate to us; God wanted to communicate to us through their lives that we should live with the same expectation they did, that every generation on planet Earth, whether you were born in the 1800's, whether you were born in the 1500's, whether you were born in the 900's, in the, whatever year, every generation is to live in light of the fact that Jesus could return in that generation's time period. God wants you and I to believe, beloved, that he's gonna return during our lifetime.
So let's look here what the, what the apostles said. I'm looking at 1 Thessalonians, 4:16 and 17: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, so shall we always be with the Lord". So the angels bore witness to it. The apostles bore witness to the Lord's return, and Jesus, himself, continually bore witness to his return; in the parables in the Gospels, for example in the parable that I just shared with you about the ten virgins, and repeatedly in the Book of Revelation, particularly, beloved, in his last words. In Revelation, chapter 22, verse number 7, 12 and 20, Jesus said the same thing three times. He said, "behold, I'm coming back soon". "I am coming back quickly". "I am coming back for you and my reward will be with me".
So with that introduction, beloved one, I want to get now into the body of the message. I want to share with you now, Contemporary Signs of the Lord's Return. And the deeper that we get into this, the more unique you'll find that these signs are. The first sign of the Lord's return, beloved, is the removal of the Ten Commandments from society's fabric. The first sign of the Lord's return is the removal of the Ten Commandments from the fabric of society. When we started taking the Ten Commandments out of our schools, off the premises of our public building, when we started removing the Ten Commandments, what we did was, beloved, we allowed way for chaos, whose source is in the anti-Christ, whose source is in Satan to arise. And it's a sign of Jesus's return.
In speaking of the Lord's return, Jesus said in Matthew, 24:12, that lawlessness would increase. In speaking of the Lord's return, Jesus himself said about it that lawlessness would increase in Matthew, 24. When we remove the Ten Commandments, which is part of the law of God, which is the moral constitution of God's law, when we remove them from Western civilization, we made the way for lawlessness to increase. And the Book of Daniel tells us that that must happen before Jesus's return. In fact Daniel tells us that in order for the anti-Christ to be made manifest, sin has to first reach a climax. Why does sin have to reach a climax in order for anti-Christ to manifest? Because if we were living in a moral society, no one would be deceived by the anti-Christ, because people in a moral society know the difference between right and wrong.
It's only when there's no moral absolutes, it's only when lawlessness has increased, it's only when the Ten Commandments have been removed that the mind of society can become so confused and so grey in terms of their moral discernment that a climate could exist for the anti-messiah to arise. When we remove the Ten Commandments, beloved, from our main understanding of moral absolutism, we open up the door for the anti-Messiah. And this in turn paves the way for Jesus's return.
Did you know the Bible tells us that before Jesus returned, to prepare the way for us, the Bible says he that restrains, speaking of the Holy Spirit, will no longer restrain. In other words, the Bible teaches us that right now the Holy Spirit is restraining sin. The Holy Spirit is restraining evil from taking over. But the Bible says as we approach the day of the Lord, as we move deeper and deeper into the end times, he that restrains, the Holy Spirit, will no longer restrain. In other words, the Holy Spirit, we can even feel it now, is beginning to draw back. He's beginning to let go. He's beginning to release his constraint. He's allowing evil to surface. He's allowing evil to begin to reign in a way that it never reigned before.
And as the Holy Spirit begins to step back, as the Holy Spirit begins to allow evil to arise rather than mastering it, he's allowing it now to surface. As this happens, it's preparing the way for the rise of the anti-Christ himself. And Paul told us, let no one in any way deceive you. Jesus cannot return until the anti-Christ first arises. And so the first contemporary sign of Messiah's return is the taking out of the Ten Commandments of our society, which gives us the rise of lawlessness as is prophesied to us in Scripture by Jesus himself. Before he returns, lawlessness will increase. That is contemporary sign number one.
Contemporary sign of the Lord's return, number two today, is the wide-spread increase in homosexuality. I am not condemning anybody. I am speaking about a behavioral pattern. I'm not talking about the condemnation of people. I'm talking about a behavior. The spread of homosexuality, beloved ones, is a sure sign of the imminent return of the Lord. Let me read for you now from the Book of Genesis, chapter number 19, beginning at verse 4. This is before the Lord destroyed the world, or actually destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
"Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter, and they called to Lot and said to him, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight'"? These are men wanting to have sexual relations with men. "They said, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we might have relations with them'. Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and the overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground".
You see, homosexuality is the ultimate deviation from God's moral absolute of society and the way it's supposed to function because man is God's highest creation and sexuality is the most intimate way that human beings can relate to each other. And when God's highest creation, which is humankind, began to relate to themselves, to each other sexually in ways that are deviant, this means that the defilement of society has reached a pinnacle climax. And homosexuality, beloved, as is revealed in Scripture, is the climax of a defiled, deviant society, and a suppression of God's moral absolutism.
Now let me say again to those of you that may be watching today, that are either in a homosexual lifestyle or are struggling with this. I want you to know today that I love you and I believe that most that are living homosexual lifestyles did not simply wake up one day and choose to be homosexuals. I believe that some people from as early as they can remember always remember having sexual thoughts and desires towards their own sex. Others that are trapped in this type of a lifestyle were abused as children, often times by a member of the same sex. So I want you to know today, that if you're in that lifestyle struggling with this, my heart goes out to you today. I want you to know that Jesus loves you, that Jesus came for you.
Paul said it's a trustworthy statement that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and Paul said, of whom I'm the foremost. When they were gonna stone, beloved ones, the woman to death in the New Testament for committing adultery, Jesus said, let he that is first among you cast the first stone. Everybody is guilty of sin so I just want to say to you today, if you're in this lifestyle, I want you to know today that I love you, that Jesus loves you. The thing is, though, he loves you and I too much to leave us where we're at. Jesus came to save us. He came to cleanse us, to give us a new nature. The Bible says that when we receive Jesus, old things pass away and all things become new.
Maybe some are watching right now and you're saying, you know what, I tried inviting Jesus into my life and it didn't change me. I want to encourage you that sometimes patterns that have been developing over years and years and years, sometimes they're not broken in an instant. Sometimes they take time, they take perseverance. It's a big battle. But I'm telling you that Jesus will set you free. And I love you today in Jesus's name, and I bless you today. I'm talking not about people. I'm talking, beloved, about a behavior. And these signs of an increase in lawlessness, homosexuality spreading to the place that it's considered as normal, and as a perfectly healthy way to live, these are signs, beloved, that something in wrong on planet Earth and it's so drastic that God is getting ready to step in and end it and set up his new creation.
Now the third sign, beloved ones, that I want to talk to you about today is the increased stress in society. You know we're living in a more stressful time than ever before Most of you know that. All the cell phones, the smart phones, the computers, everything that's happening at work, people are getting stressed out. They go home on the weekends, they can't even rest because they're still so connected to their job that they have a hard time just de-connecting, just de-compressing, just dis-engaging. We are living in a more stressful time, beloved ones, than ever before.
Did you know that the Bible tells us that before Jesus's return that stress on planet Earth will have increased? Let me read now, 2 Timothy, chapter 3, verse 1: Realize this, Timothy tells us, that in the end difficult times will come. Why are they difficult? One of the reasons they're difficult, beloved, is because of the increased stress in society. As I close today, I just want to just ask the Holy Spirit to prick your heart, that the message that I'm sharing with you today, beloved, it's from the Lord and it's true.
Jesus, we thank you for the revelation that you love us. We thank you for the hope we have and the future we have in you. Thank you that you are returning soon. We ask you to prepare us for this, Jesus. We want to be ready, so we give you our hearts today. We ask you to cleanse us, to sanctify us, and most of all Jesus, to prepare us to meet you.