The Word



Ever since I can remember, as a young teenager during the 60’s and 70’s era, it seemed like every sermon that was preached was of the Coming of Jesus Christ; Jesus is coming soon; the rapture was about to happen. Remember those early days? Yet here we are forty [40] years down the road, and Jesus has still not come. Because of that which was preached from pulpits all over the world, people have asked and are still asking today. When is Jesus coming back? Is Jesus coming back again?

Let’s for a moment just look what the Apostle Peter has to concerning the above two questions. 11 Peter 3 says, ‘To begin with, you must know and understand this, that scoffers [mockers] will come in the last days with scoffing; [people who] walk after their own fleshly desires [v3], ‘and say, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the forefathers fell asleep [died], all things have continued as they did from the beginning of creation’ [v4]. Would you agree with me that is the way the situation is today. People constantly ask when is Christ coming again to this earth, and some even mock and laugh when you speak to them about the return of Christ. I had me a man in our company college where I was attending classes, who outright rejected even the existence of God, not to mention that he did not believe in a heaven or even the existence of Satan.

As I mentioned above that during the 60’s and 70’s era, that was all one heard, Jesus is coming again soon. Millions upon millions were brought into the Kingdom of heaven. Sadly I must admit that millions were again drawn back into the Kingdom of darkness. The preachers of that era, have all [but a few I suppose] have fallen asleep [died]. Growing up and coming into salvation those early days [I admit it was a sermon by a young minister preaching on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ that got me saved]; I didn’t understand the Word of God then as I do today.

The preachers of that era were respected as ‘godly men’, and were held in high esteem as knowing what they were talking about. Yet they themselves did not fully understand the Word of God as it pertains to the end time events, and all that must happen before the ‘rapture of the church’ [the removal of the true church of Jesus from this earth] takes place.

Folk’s let me assure you I had the greatest respect for these ‘our forefathers’, who have fallen asleep. Praise God, for they laid the foundations that we were able to build upon.

Let me share the following with you. There are two [2] fundamental doctrines of the Word of God, that will and is certainly being rejected in these last days. The first one is the ‘finished work of Calvary, and the second is the ‘rapture of the church’. OH BOY!! NOW I’M IN A LOT OF TROUBLE! You see folk’s a lot of churches today, and so-called ministers of the gospel [who call themselves spirit-filled], do not even preach the Cross of Jesus anymore as it was preached maybe twenty [20] or thirty [30] years ago. Many proclaim that they have moved passed the Cross-sermons. And they now preach the self-esteem sermons; they preach the prosperity sermons; they preach sermons where no mention of sin or sinner is included as it might offend. It is no longer appropriate [or user friendly in the bible] to call someone a sinner as it is degrading or it might hurt someone‘s feelings. Yet God Almighty in His Word through the Apostle Paul in Romans 3v23 [KJV], clearly states, ‘for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’. Why would God through His servant Paul write whole chapters concerning this issue of sin, if it was not so important as to Him saying clearly that sin will not go unpunished. God will not tolerate sin; He will punish sin and them that do wickedness. Sin cannot come before a Holy God, because He can and will not look upon sin.

1Samuel 2v2 says, ‘there is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides YOU’. Isaiah 5v16 says, ‘but the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice, and God the Holy One shows Himself holy in righteousness and through righteous judgements’. In Proverbs 11v21 God promises, ‘assuredly [I pledge it], the wicked shall not go unpunished; but the multitude of the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall be delivered’.

If you read from Genesis right through to Revelation, God [in three persons], is portrayed without a doubt as Holy and Righteous.

So how dare these so called preachers of the gospel declare that God’s Word is incorrect or offensive or even degrading to call someone a sinner, when God Himself says He will punish sin and them that commit sin.

Of the two statements that were made concerning the two [2] fundamental doctrines that would be rejected in these last days, the first one can [the finished work of Calvary], be proclaimed as the answer to the sin problem. Jesus answered ‘the sin problem’ fully on the Cross of Calvary. You are no longer called sinner but ‘saint’, ‘a chosen of God’, ‘a priest’, ‘a prophet’. You have now become, ‘namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing, with personal reliance on Jesus Christ [the Messiah]. [ and it is meant] for all who believe, for there is no distinction [no difference whether Jew or Gentile, Rom 3v22…Amp Bible].

The second fundamental doctrine to be rejected today is the ‘rapture of the Church’. Many today do not believe in the rapture of the church, because they do not believe that Jesus is coming back to earth a second time. Many preachers at one time preached on the second coming of Jesus, but have even now joined the chorus-line of 11Peter 3v3+4, proclaiming , where is the promise of His coming?

Beloved of the Lord, the apostle Paul without fear or trembling declared to the ‘Church at Thessalonica’, then and to us today, ‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry [of summons], with the shout of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And them who have departed this life [who died], in Christ will rise first. Then we , the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously [at the same time] be caught up along with the [resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always [through the eternities of the eternities] we shall be with the Lord’. [1Thess 4v16+17, Amp Bible]. Can it be put any clearer than this, that the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ will be taken out of this present world as we know and experience it today. If you are born-again, dedicated to living for God; set free from sin and bondage; washed in the blood of Jesus; living a holy life in victory through the Holy Spirit, then you my brother and sister are part of the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’. So let me, ‘therefore comfort and encourage you all with these words’ [1Thess 4v18].

The title of this message is, ‘Signs of the times’ [The coming of Jesus Christ]. The question is asked; can a date be established for His return, and is the coming of Jesus at hand? The answer to the first portion of that question is NO! Matthew 24v36 says this, ‘But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. ‘Watch therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of a day [whether a near or remote one], your Lord is coming [v42].

Also we read in Mark 13v32, ‘But of that day or that hour not a [single] person knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. ‘Be on your guard [constantly alert], and watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come’ [v33…Amp Bible].

To the second portion of the above question, the answer is a resounding YES! The coming of Jesus Christ is at the door, because there are three positive signs in the Word of God that indicate this.

But hold on a moment there folks! There are eight [8] negative signs also. And these signs indicate that Jesus has not yet come. Jesus spoke about these events to His disciples when asked by them; What will be the sign of your return? And in Matthew 24, Jesus told His disciples about certain events that would happen that would give an indication of His return.

The first sign is found in [v5], ‘For many will come in [on the strength] of My name, saying, I am the Christ [Messiah], and they will lead many astray’.

The second sign is found in [v6], ‘You will hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not yet’.

The third, forth and fifth signs are found in [v7], ‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and earthquakes in place after place [different parts of the world]’.

The sixth sign is found in [v9], ‘Then they will hand you over to suffer affliction and tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake [Please read Luke 21]

The seventh sign is found in [v11], ‘And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error’.

Sign number eight is found in [v12], ‘And the love of many people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity’.

Would you agree with me that we are living in this era of all that is mentioned in the above portions of scripture. Would you agree that these last forty [40] years [generation], the world has experienced these terrible tribulations, and that there has been an increase in these events for the worse this past ten [10] years [decade].

But Jesus says in the sixth [6] verse of Matthew 24, that this is not the end yet. We can without a doubt say that by these eight [8] negative signs spoken of here, that they mean the end is not yet , as Jesus mentions in verse six [6].

Lets take this a step further, by saying that the whole of creation [nature] itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance], into the glorious freedom of God’s children [Read Romans 8v18-21]

We know that the whole of creation has been moaning together in the pains of labour until now [v22]. In other words, due to the fall of Adam, the very creation [nature as we know it] also was affected in the same way, as applied to Adam, by dying through corruption and decay. And when man is delivered [set free from the stronghold of sin] the very creation [or nature] shall also be delivered likewise as it was before the fall. ‘And not only the creation, but we ourselves too [the believers], who have and enjoy the first fruits of the Holy Spirit [a fore-taste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of [mortal] our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal], our adoption as sons of God] [v23, Amp Bible]

The three [3] positive signs that give an indication as to our Lord’s eminent return in the very near future.
The first sign is found in Matthew 24v14, which speaks of world-evangelism.
The second sign is found in Luke 21 v24, which speaks of the deliverance of Jerusalem.
The third sign is found in Matthew 24v15-18, which speaks of the destruction and desolation.

These three signs portray the ‘Church of Christ’, ‘The Jewish nation’, and the ‘Antichrist’. Of the three signs spoken of here the first two [2], we see being fulfilled daily before our eyes. The third sign speaks of the Antichrist who will be revealed only after the ‘rapture of the church’, and immediately with affect of the ‘great tribulation’ period. But looking at Matthew 24v14, Jesus clearly states that when these events take place [speaking of the first two [2] signs] then we shall know that the end will come. Without a doubt these three signs [specifically the first two] is a clear indication that the coming of Jesus is at hand.

Saints, I suppose one can continue quoting other scripture that give an indication of the ‘signs of the times’ and to the ‘Coming of the Lord’ [as found in Luke 21 v25-27], but I think one can see through this message and the scriptures quoted, that the child of God [believers] would give a Victory-shout as found in Revelation 22v7, to hasten the return of our Saviour, ‘The [Holy] Spirit and the Bride [the true- church], say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty; and who ever desires to do so, let him come, take, appropriate, and drink the water without cost’

I want to end this sermon with those words of the Apostle John from the isle of Patmos, as found in Revelation 22v20, ‘Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly’

Till next time, God bless each and every one as you seek His will for your life.

All for the love of Jesus.

William Cook



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