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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Robert Jeffress » Robert Jeffress - What Events Will Signal The End Times? - Part 2

Robert Jeffress - What Events Will Signal The End Times? - Part 2

Robert Jeffress - What Events Will Signal The End Times? - Part 2
TOPICS: Are We Living In The End Times?, End times, Bible Prophecy, Armageddon, Israel

Hi, I am Robert Jeffress and welcome again to "Pathway To Victory". In light of the war in Israel, I've received a number of questions about Bible prophecy. Many people are asking if we could be living in the end times. Well, for the answer to that natural question, it's imperative that we understand what the Bible tells us. And today we're going to look at the key events described in scripture that will sound the alarm that the end is near. My message is titled, "What Events Will Signal The End Times" on today's edition of "Pathway To Victory".

Armageddon is not just mentioned once in the Bible it's mentioned repeatedly in the Old and New Testaments. Listen to the prophet Daniel in the 6th century BC, 500 years before Christ. In Daniel 11, he describes that final conflict. Look at Daniel 11 verse 40, "At the end time, the king of the South," possibly a coalition of Arabian and African nations, "Will collide with the antichrist and the king of the North," perhaps it is Russia, "Will storm against him with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he will enter countries and overthrow them, and pass through. He'll enter the beautiful land," that is Israel, "And many countries will fall". Verse 42, "Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape". And verse 43, "But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver".

Now note this in verse 44, "But rumors from the east and from the north will disturb him," who are the rulers of the east? Many used to identify it as Red China. It could be Iran or a coalition of Iran and Red China. John says he saw a 200 million man army coming from the east. "And the antichrist will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful mountain. His headquarter will be Jerusalem and he will come to his end and no one will be there to help him". Or look at Zachariah the prophet 500 years before the time of Christ.

Ruddy wrote in chapter 14 beginning with verse 1, "Behold, the day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city of Jerusalem will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as he fights on the day of battle". You see the order? There's gonna be a great gathering of the world forces in Jerusalem and that is when the Lord will return. "In that day," verse 4, "The Messiah's feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley so that half of the mountain will be moved toward the north and another toward the south".

That's how cataclysmic it will be when the Son of God finally returns. Doesn't sound like he's returning in your heart. He's coming back to earth literally he promised. Revelation chapter 16 verses 12 to 16, contemplate the war of Armageddon. "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east". That 200 million man army. I just point out the Euphrates was the mighty river in biblical times. It brought life to the entire Middle East. The thought of the Euphrates back then drying up would be like thinking about the entire Mississippi River drying up completely or the Atlantic ocean drying up, it was an unthinkable today.

Just last night I was reading about ecologist who are concerned about the rapid evaporation that is happening in the Euphrates river. By this pace it will be completely dried up by 2040 and it's just something that we're starting to see happen but God's gonna dry it up in the end times to prepare for Armageddon. Look at verse 13, "And I John saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon," that is the antichrist and of the or Satan, "And out of the mouth of the beast," the antichrist, "And the false prophet, three unclean spirits. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty". Demons will be used to lure these kings into the plain of Megiddo, but it is God who is ultimately doing that.

Now look at verse 16, "And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon". Now I have people ask me this all the time. They say, "Pastor, what do you think of the preterist view of Revelation? It's the idea that yes, these prophecies were written but they've already been fulfilled in ancient history. What do you say to that"? I say that's partially true. These prophecies, for the most part had an immediate partial fulfillment, but their complete fulfillment has not yet occurred and it won't until the end times.

For example, can you tell me when it is that the Euphrates River dried completely up? That hasn't happened yet. When has there been a 200 million man army coming from the east? That hasn't happened yet. And when in the world in history did Jesus Christ return to the Mount of Olives and split it in two? Did that happen and I just missed it in the news? No, those things have not yet happened. There is plenty found in Daniel and Revelation that is yet to come. Jesus said, sign one is spiritual deception. Secondly, international conflict. Thirdly, natural disasters. In various places, verse 7, "There will be famines and earthquakes". We see those all the time, thousands being killed through famines and earthquakes but the biggest earthquake and famine is yet to come.

In Revelation 16:3, the second bowl judgment says that "The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died". One thing that's gonna happen, one natural disaster is the destruction of every species of marine life. Can you imagine what that will do to the earth's ecosystem when every living thing in the oceans die? They will die and it won't be because of plastic straws, it won't be because of global warming, it will be because God does it. God does it. He pours out his third judgment in verses 4 to 7 of Revelation 16.

A third judgment is the destruction of all fresh water. Look at Revelation 16:4, "Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood". Man can only live 40 days without food but only three days without water and yet that is what will happen. In verses 8 and 9, the fourth bowl judgment will be an increase in the intensity of the sun. Verse 8, "The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire". What explains this growing intensity of the sun? Perhaps God alters the tilt of the earth's axis, perhaps the protective ozone layer that guards us against dangerous rays from the sun perhaps that will be completely destroyed.

If that's the case, it won't be because we use too much hairspray, it will be because God has destroyed it and unleashed that judgment upon mankind. There'll also be earthquakes, and Jesus talked about earthquakes. The mother of all earthquakes is yet to come in Revelation 16, verse 17, "Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air," interesting. "He poured it upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple saying, 'It is done,' and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder". Could John be describing a nuclear holocaust talking about the earth being burned up in the air? How else would somebody living in the first century describe something that was peculiar to our century, nuclear weapons.

Whatever this is, it results in such a great earthquake, verse 18, "Such has never been seen since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. That the great city," Jerusalem, "Was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell". Again, when has that happened in history? How does the preterist explain this? This is something yet to come. Now, in Jesus's other sermon that was shorter than this sermon that he preached in Luke 21, Jesus added a sign to natural disasters beyond earthquakes and famines. He said pestilences. Jesus said, "This end times will contain pestilences".

Now I have to confess to you, when I used to read that I thought he was talking about locusts and boll weevils. That's not what the word means. Pestilence means plague, disease. There'll be an increase in worldwide diseases. We saw a hundred years ago the Spanish flu killing millions of people. Then there was Ebola, there was COVID-19, but the biggest one is yet to come. Now here's something to cheer you up for Thanksgiving. I just came across this headline this week. Now listen to this, "Next pandemic deemed the big one could be the most contagious and deadliest disease known to humanity. Scientists warned". The article goes on to describe how a family of viruses are right now simmering in the background, waiting to unleash the most contagious and deadliest diseases known to humanity. All of these are signs, signals of the end times.

Fourth, "The persecution of Christians," Jesus said, will indicate his return is soon. "Then they will deliver you to tribulation and they will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name". Now there has been worldwide persecution of Christians from the very beginning and it's increased and increased in frequency and intensity. Did you know there were more Christian martyrs in the 20th century than in all other centuries combined? And it's looking to be the same way in the 21st century. We are not aware of that as American Christians because we don't feel that kind of literal physical persecution. There are other kinds of persecution we experience not that kind yet, but it is coming. Jesus said, "Nobody will be able to escape it".

And finally he gave the sign of widespread apostasy. Look at verses 10 to 12 of Matthew 24. "At that time many will fall away, and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold". Now think about it. To fall from faith to unfaith means that you have to have some kind of faith to begin with. Atheists can never fall into apostasy. They can't fall from something to apostasy they're already in unfaith. You can't fall from unfaith to unfaith. He's talking about people here who will give the appearance of being Christians. They will proclaim that they are Christians, but they're fake Christians as evidenced by the fact they fall away, and you see that all across America today.

Many churches that claim to be Bible-based evangelical churches, they're giving up their belief in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, the blood atonement of Jesus for our sins, the deity of Christ, the inspiration and inerrancy of every word in this book, the exclusivity of Jesus for salvation. Nearly 60% of evangelical Christians believe that there's more than one way to heaven other than faith in Jesus Christ. That is apostasy. Are these people losing their salvation? Of course not. It just proves they never were saved to begin with.

And John says, "They went out from us because they were not of us for had they been of us, they wouldn't have gone out from us". There'll be widespread apostasy in the last days. So what are we supposed to do? Some Christians say, "Well, we need to have these massive prayer meetings and pray for a great revival, pray for a great revival". That's fine and I don't belittle anybody who sincerely wants to do that you pray all you want to, but there's gonna be no great revival before the rapture. There's not. There's gonna be an apostasy, a falling away. That doesn't mean we're to be silent or inactive, but don't expect a great worldwide revival. There's not gonna be one Jesus said before the rapture.

Now interestingly in the tribulation, in the end times there is gonna be a worldwide revival. 144,000 Jewish missionaries are gonna be saved and sealed and preach the gospel. Revelation 7 says, they'll be the biggest revival the world has ever seen. Interestingly, people will pay to be saved in that time, they'll have to pay with their lives. But don't expect a worldwide revival right now. But that doesn't mean we're not to work. What should be our response in light of these things that are coming? Let me say a word corporately as a church what we're supposed to do. Jesus said in John 9:4, "Work while it is still day; for the night is coming, when nobody can work".

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have a limited time to share the gospel with people before Christ comes back. Let's take advantage of those opportunities. Let's do everything we can to get the gospel to as many people as possible as quickly as possible, that is our goal. But there's an individual response to this truth of Christ soon coming and you find it in Revelation 16 verse 15. John is outlying all of the events getting ready for Armageddon, the demons luring the kings of the earth to that place called Armageddon. And then in your Bible, this statement is in parenthesis in verse 15. It's a parenthetical thought that comes from Jesus himself that seems to interrupt what John is talking about, but really it's the greatest application you could ever come up with. Jesus said, ("Behold I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame".)

In December of 1992, our family was called to Wichita Falls to pastor the church there. It was December of 1992 and our housing situation wasn't worked out yet so the church put us up in the local Sheraton Hotel. One night we were fast asleep, freezing outside when all of a sudden in the middle of the night the fire alarm sounded, and the announcer came over the speaker and said, "Everybody needs to evacuate as quickly as possible a fire has been reported". So I mean we scrammed out of there and got out of the hotel, stood on the parking lot for what seemed like eternity and they finally, after about 30 minutes, explained it was a false alarm. I was standing there freezing to death in my pajamas and I remember being so ashamed the new pastor of the First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls standing in the parking lot in his pajamas. I was embarrassed until I looked around and saw that a lot of people got out with a lot less than their pajamas and had a lot more reason to be embarrassed.

Ladies and gentlemen, there's a time coming when there's gonna be a real alarm. For a future generation it will be an alarm signaling the second coming of Jesus. For this present generation it'll be the rapture of the church or even our own individual death, but an alarm is coming. If you wait until the alarm comes to get dressed, you won't have time, you've waited too long. You have to already be dressed when that alarm comes. "What do you mean pastor be dressed".

There's only one garment you can put on that will guarantee you're not ashamed at the Lord's coming or when you meet God and that garment is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, his perfection, his goodness, his forgiveness. If you try to face God in your own righteousness, goodness, you're gonna be ashamed, you're going to be sadly disappointed. Jesus is saying, "Make sure you're properly dressed". Don't wait until some future time. Don't wait until the alarm sounds, put on that garment of righteousness right now. If I were going to choose a theme song for this series, "Living In the End Times," it would be the song I cited a couple of weeks ago, "When he shall come". Not if he should come, "When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne".
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