15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16
Dearly beloved, we are close to the end of time. Yes, time is winding up. For those of us who are saved and ready, this is the best news possible. But the other side of the story is that not everyone is ready for His return. Jesus called some of us that He saved, delivered, and cleaned up. And then He sent us out to work for Him. He told us to go to the highways and hedges and tell every man, woman, and child that He loves them and that He wants us all to be saved. He wants you to know that He is soon to come. We are here tonight to throw you the lifeline so that you can be ready when He comes.
Someone might ask the question, “What is so important about the return of Jesus Christ?” His return is one of the most important things that will happen for mankind. Because when He returns, he is going to rapture His church away. Not the houses and buildings that we call the church, but the people who have repented of their sins, who are blood-washed, and who are watching and waiting for His return. When Jesus comes, He is going to catch us away in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. I didn’t say in the blink of an eye; the Bible says in the twinkling, which is faster than a blink.
The church is going to be caught up to be with Him forever. But you have to be saved in order to go back with Jesus when He comes. The Bible says that He is looking for a church without spot, wrinkle, blemish, or any such thing. That means that even if you are attending a church, you have to be delivered from all sin. Do you really think you are going to Heaven with your problems with sin? No, you have to get rid of these things while there is still time. You have to live a holy life. You have to get rid of the sin business.
Let’s be specific. Do you realize that you can’t shack up with somebody and go to Heaven? Don’t you understand that if you are still drinking, smoking, and sliding around the ballroom floor, you are not going to Heaven? If you’re still lying, cheating, slipping out with someone else’s husband; if you are hooked on drugs or addicted to pornography, you are not going to make it. Some of you love to say, But everybody sins. You say, I sin, you sin, everybody sins. But I’m here to tell you that the Holy Ghost is well able to keep you free and separated from sin. The key is that you have to be delivered. Just wanting to go to Heaven is not enough.
I have a desire to one day go back to Europe on a grand vacation. But will my desire to go get me there? No, I have to take all of the steps that are required to get me onto the plane to go to Europe. I have to qualify by having a ticket. Just wanting to go is not enough. It’s the same way with going to Heaven. Just desiring is not enough.
Some of you may feel that you have all of the time in the world to get ready. The devil will fan you and tell you that you will get saved one day but just not today. You may think that you are too young or too old to live for the Lord. But I don’t care how young or old you are; today can be your day of salvation. But don’t you realize that the only time you have is today? Tomorrow is not promised to you. The Bible tells us in Hebrew 3:15
The day you hear His voice harden not your hearts.
God is offering you an invitation today to be saved. Don’t throw your chance away.
So now some may be saying, “What difference will it make if the church is caught up in the Rapture and I’m left here?” What differences will that make to me? I’m glad that you raised that question. When He raptures the church out, then all hell is going to break loose on earth. Have some of you heard of the Tribulation? Well, the Tribulation period is that time when God will pour His wrath out upon the world. He is angry because mankind, with the exception of a very few, has rejected His plan of salvation. He sent His Son to die for all of our sins so that we can escape the wrath that He’s going to pour out.
Some may say I’m not rejecting Jesus; I’m just not ready to be saved. Well, guess what. By not receiving Him, you rejected Him. By deciding to not receive Him you said no.
Others of you may say, “I’ve been hearing that story about Jesus’ return since I was a child. I don’t believe He’s coming soon.” OK, let me give you some examples that will show you that he’s coming back soon. And if you have any discernment at all, you will admit that there is a shifting in the atmosphere.
Clue #1. Wars and rumors of wars
(Matthew 24:6,7a) And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
Since World War II, many countries have been building up their store of conventional and nuclear weapons. The potential for war grows day by day. Don’t believe it? Just go on CNN or some of the national news channels or google “Countries that have stored up conventional and nuclear weapons.”
Clue #2. Famines, Pestilence, Earthquakes
(Matthew 24:7b,8). And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Due to flooding and droughts, world food supplies are running very low. Many people are expecting a global food shortage and famines in many places.
Before the last few years, we had never heard of earthquakes in so many places. They have been as close to us as Irving, TX. Right here in North TX, we recently went through a drought that caused all of our lakes to be low, and then that was followed by floods that closed some of our main highways. And I only have to say the name Covid, and you instantly recall the Pandemic.
Clue #3 Deceivers who claim to follow Jesus(Matthew 24:4,5 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you, for many will come in My name saying that I am the Christ and will deceive many.
Today there are some so-called churches that teach all kinds of damnable doctrines. You’ve seen them on YouTube. Some churches with whole congregations dancing to the devil’s music. They move and groove just like they are in a club, yet call themselves the church. There are others that live a lifestyle that is totally contradictory to the Word of God but claim to be on their way to Heaven. How are you going to live contrary to God’s world and Bogart your way into the kingdom? You are not going!
Clue #4. People of Israel (God’s time clock) return to their land
In Ezek. 37: 21,22, God promised Israel that he would bring them into their own land and make them a nation again.
Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.
During World War II, the Nazis killed around 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, but in May 1948, the state of Israel formally declared its independence. There are now over 9 million Jews in Israel, and in 2018 the counter of Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary.
Clue #5. Increase in wickedness and loss of love
Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Today, more and more people are living primarily for themselves and their own happiness. Couples are divorcing, and children are growing up full of anger and hatred because their parents split. Many couples are not even bothering to get married. Some couples live using the term fiancée and have raised a whole family. Shacking used to be a derogatory term, but now it is commonplace. Millions of babies have been aborted in the name of free choice. This is wickedness, people. Wickedness.
Clue #6. Technology to control the world
Revelation 13:16-18 speaks of a mark on the right hand or forehead that must be used to buy or sell. Most credit cards now have a chip added, and it will not be long before that chip or tattoo is placed on the hand or forehead. The problem is that the Bible says that if you take that mark, your soul is damned, and you cannot be saved. Today, smart cards are popular, but they can be lost or stolen. The likely solution will be an implantable RFID chip or some form of a tattoo on the right hand or forehead.
Now, if the information that I have shared hasn’t given you enough info to help you realize that Jesus is soon to come, let me remind you of one last thing. Even if the Rapture does not take place in your lifetime, you personally are not going to live forever. When you die, where will your soul go? There are only three places that a soul can be: either on earth, in Heaven, or in Hell. You need to prepare now. We get health insurance in case we get sick. We buy insurance in case our possessions break down and need to be repaired or replaced. But what about your soul? The only insurance for the soul is the assurance that you have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Get Jesus, and your soul is covered. In Him, you are fully protected. Then and only then will you be ready. May God bless you to be ready when Jesus returns.