Could Jesus Be Coming Soon?

The Return of the King  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:20
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Today, we begin a new series called, The Return of the King. When I say king, I am meaning King Jesus, the ultimate king. Before we get started, turn in your bibles to the very last chapter of the last book of the bible, Revelation chapter 22. Jesus speaks 3 times in this final chapter.
Revelation 22:7 NIV
7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
Revelation 22:12 NIV
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
Revelation 22:20 (NIV)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
If you were to look up the word soon in the Greek you would find the word, “tachu”. It sounds like “taco”, but it’s a very different word. “tachu” means quickly.
Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 24:27
Matthew 24:27 NIV
27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
If you have ever seen lightening, you know it comes quickly. When Jesus comes back, He’s not going to mess around. He’s going to come in a flash.
The question I have for you today is “How soon is King Jesus coming?”
I think in the last few months more people have been asking that question more than ever. They want to know, what is God up to right now? And are we living in what the Bible calls “the last days”? And, if we are in the last days, what should I do?
For the next 6 weeks we are going to be answering this question and others. We will be looking at prophecies that have been fulfilled and those that are to come.
I believe that we are closer to Jesus return than ever before. You are living in the most strategic time in history. Today, you and I have a greater opportunity to influence the eternal destiny of more people than any previous generation before us. However, I also believe that our generation faces a greater temptation to fall away from our faith than any previous generation. And I believe that if we are in the last days, we have nothing to fear, because of what Paul told us in 2 Timothy 1:7
2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
So, the information that I am going to give you over the next 6 weeks will help you prepare to walk with Jesus. You are going to shine for Jesus. And you are going to help others come to Jesus in the days leading up to His return.
There are 2 specific dates that I want you to think about.
June 7, 1967
May 14, 2018
Why these dates you may ask? Because significant things happened to the nation of Israel on those days, and what happens to Israel always influences the world.
I also want to be very clear. I am not a prophet, nor am I a son of a prophet. But, I am a student of the word and while some of what I tell you today is my own opinion, my opinion has been informed by God’s Word.
We have all attended school at one point or another. Some of us stopped at High School. Some of you finished college. In every subject you studied, there is one key concept, or formula, or principle you must understand if you’re going to master that subject. For example, to master math, you’ve got to understand addition. To master English, you’ve got to understand the verb. To master Music, you’ve got to understand notes. The same is true for the study of eschatology or the study of end times. If you want to understand the events of the end times, you’ve got to understand Israel. Israel is the key to eschatology.
Ever since the fall in Genesis 3, God has been focused on building a community of people who relate to Him by faith. If you’re going to have a community you’ve got to have a people. So, 4,000 years ago, God began to build a people. He started with one person, his name was Abraham. Look at what God told Abraham.
Genesis 12:3 NIV
3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Abraham responded, and the plan of God began.
Abraham is the founder of the nation of Israel. Israel was Abraham’s grandson. His first name was Jacob but God later changed it to Israel. Through Israel God has given us a Savior. Through Israel, God has given us His revelation, the Bible. If you study the history of Israel you will find some surprising and astounding things.
Today, I want to give you seven events that have already happened to Israel and will help you see just how close we might be to the return of Christ. Let me encourage you to write this stuff down. If you want my notes later, I will give them to you. Here we go.
Here are Seven Signals that Jesus is Returning

Seven Signals that Jesus is Returning

Signal #1 - Israel has Blessed the World

The 4,000 year-old prophecy of blessing has been fulfilled, and continues to be fulfilled every day. Every time an individual puts their trust in Jesus, through Him, the nation of Isreal is blessing the world. Every time someone reads a scripture, the nation of Israel is blessing them.
Some of you may be wondering, “If Jesus died for us 2,000 years ago, and the last portion of scripture was written 1,900 years ago. Has anything happened more recently to lead you to believe that Jesus might be coming soon?”
72 years ago, something happened that fulfilled an ancient prophecy. In Ezekiel 37, God showed Ezekiel a valley full of dry bones.
Ezekiel 37:5–6 NIV
5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”
What is this talking about? It’s talking about something dead coming back to life.
Verse 21 makes it more clear. Israel was conquered and scattered in the 6th century B.C., but God brought them back together 70 years later. It was a miracle. And, that same thing happened to them a second time. In 70 A.D. the Israelites were living under Roman rule. They rebelled and then defeated and exiled them, scattering them throughout the nations. God wanted everyone to know that He wasn’t done with Isreal, so He said to Ezekiel, “Write this down.”
Ezekiel 37:21 NIV
21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.

Signal #2 - Israel Came Back Into Their Land

They were scattered by the Babylonians in 606 B.C. Under King Cyrus of Persia, they were reunited with their land in 536 B.C. Then fast-forward 2,500 years, and God did it again. The Israelites were scattered by the Romans. But after the Holocaust of World War II, Jews from around the world needed a place where they could be safe and free. So in 1947, the British, who controlled what was then called the Transjordan region, granted the people of Israel the right to constitute their own nation. On May 14, 1948, this is what they did.
Not only did Ezekiel foretell this event, Isaiah did too. And if Ezekiel’s prediction of Israel becoming a nation seems miraculous, Isaiah’s prediction seems over-the-top. Because Isaiah asks these questions in Isaiah 66:8
Isaiah 66:8 NIV
8 Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.
Yet that’s exactly what happened to Israel on one day in 1948. On May 14, 1948.

Signal #3 - Israel Was Reborn In One Day

Israel went from being a people scattered with no homeland, to a self-sustaining, self-sufficient nation recognized by the General Assembly of the United Nations. God said it would happen and it did.
Once Israel was back in her land, the rest of the world went nuts. Because of the spiritual undertones of what is always happening with God’s plans for Israel, there is always an underlying level of irrationality when it comes to these people. God predicted that too. It is found in Zechariah chapter 12. God said, once Israel was back in their land, the nations around them would reel around as if they were drunk.
Zechariah 12:2 NIV
2 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.
Do you know what kind of people surround the city of Jerusalem? Muslim people. In 1948, when Israel was granted statehood, every one of her Muslim neighbors went nuts.

Signal #4 - The Surrounding Nations Have Been Staggering

The nations that surround Israel have vowed to drive her into the sea. From 2006 to 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council criticized Israel 68 times - three times more than any other nation. Enemies go berserk over Israel. They send suicide bombers. They rain mortar fire. They dig stealth tunnels. They bring resolution after resolution to the U.N.
God predicted this, through the prophet Zechariah. And in case you’re wondering, Zechariah lived around 500 B.C. - At a time when Israel wasn’t a threat to anybody. They weren’t driving anyone crazy. And once the romans scattered them, there was no Israel to drive anyone crazy. This prophecy, this prediction from God in Zechariah12, could only be fulfilled after Israel was reconstituted as a nation. May 14, 1948 was a significant day in history. It was a day God foresaw and planned for. On that day, God sent a signal to say things were coming towards the end.
Another significant day came 19 years later. In Revelation 11, the Bible predicts that before the Messiah returns, Israel will own its Temple Mount.
Revelation 11:1–2 NIV
1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.
42 months is 3 1/2 years. The book of Daniel tells us that the final 7 years of the history of our planet will be a time of Tribulation. And the final 3 1/2 of those 7 years will be the Great Tribulation. During that time, all sorts of judgments will come on the peoples of the earth.
An interesting part of this time is, according to Revelation 11, Israel will possess a Temple. But, Israel won’t possess the property around the Temple. That property will belong to “the nations.”
So, Israel is back in their land. And Israel controls the land where the Temple will reside. And something astounding happened in 1967.
In May of that year, Egypt’s president Gamal Nasser ordered the U.N. Security Forces that were serving as a buffer between Egypt and Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula. He then cut off Israel’s access to the Straits of Tiran, severing Israel from a shipping route that was vital to Israel’s interests and endangering their national security. As Nasser did that, he began lining his elite troops along Israel’s southern border. At the same time, Jordan and Iraq mobilized forces on Israel’s eastern border. At the same time, Syria mustered her troops on Israel’s northern border. Israel has no western border. That’s called the Mediterranean Sea.
Sensing an imminent attack, Israel launched a preemptive strike. From June 5th to June 10th, 1967, Israel pushed back their Arab enemies on all three sides. They won on every front.
An unexpected result was that Jordan’s forces were so overwhelmed, they feared the annihilation of their entire armed forces, so instead of just withdrawing into their section of East Jerusalem, they moved their troops all the way back to the Jordan River, conceding East Jerusalem to the Jews without a fight.
Without meaning to, on June 7th, 1967, Israel found herself in possession of the Temple Mount. Without fanfare or acknowledgment from the world, June 7th, 1967 may be the most important day of our lifetime so far. Because since that day.

Signal #5 - Israel Owns the Temple Mount

In Luke 24, Jesus explains the significance of this. Speaking about what will come from the Jewish people for the next 1900 years.
Luke 21:24 NIV
24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
From the time of the Roman occupation until June 7th, 1967 Gentiles ruled Jerusalem. But on that day, East Jerusalem was untied to West Jerusalem under the sovereignty of the Jewish nation. And the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled.
According to Jesus, we are no longer living in the “times of the Gentiles”. Because Jerusalem is no longer being trampled by Gentiles. The next step is for the Temple to be rebuilt. There’s great opposition to that ever happening. But, there are two groups in Israel that are diligently working on it.

Signal #6 - Today, the Capital of Israel is Jerusalem

For 50 years, there were claims that Jerusalem wasn’t really ruled by Israel, because the capital of Israel was Tel Aviv. No one was willing to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s legitimate capital. But, on May 14th, 2018 President Donald Trump did what the previous 3 previous presidents promised to do, but never followed through: he moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to downtown Jerusalem. Google it and you’ll find a picture of our embassy there today.
After Trump’s lead, several other nations followed, so that today, Jerusalem is recognized as the capital of Israel. And why is this important? Because the city of Jerusalem is no longer ruled by, or “trampled by” Gentiles. It’s ruled by her own people for the first time since 70 A.D.
If this is the first time that you have been exposed to Biblical prophecy, then it might sound crazy to you. But it’s all true.
Here’s the last signal.
According to Numbers 19, the only way to cleanse and sanctify the Temple is by the ashes of a red heifer—a red cow. According to Jewish tradition, there have only been nine red heifers sacrificed since Moses, and the tenth will herald the Messianic Age. Three years ago, on August 28, 2018, a red heifer was born in Israel for the first time in 2,000 years.

Signal #7 - A Red Heifer Has Been Born

Numbers 19:1–4 NIV
1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2 “This is a requirement of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke. 3 Give it to Eleazar the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. 4 Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting.
So maybe Jesus’ return is near. We have so much of the Bible to learn from on this subject. Next week we will cove the seven signs that have or will happen soon to foretell His soon-coming. Then the third week, we will cover the three most prevalent views of the rapture, and what that might be like. But let me tell you what everything that I have said to you today means for you.
Some people think that the thought of Jesus’ return might seem scary, but one of the main reasons God foretold His coming is not so that we would be scared, but that we would be encouraged.
1 Thessalonians 4:16–18 NIV
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
God didn’t tell us about the end to scare or discourage us, but to encourage us. If we’re going to live in it, or through it, God wants us to be encouraged!
So, if God’s return is soon, here are four ways for you to prepare.

1. Don’t Be Deceived

Jesus warned us that during the end,
Matthew 24:11 NIV
11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
We are already seeing this today. God never changes. What God says in the Bible is always true. If you hear someone claiming something counter to scripture don’t be deceived. One reason we’re doing this series is so that you won’t be deceived. I hope you’ll be here for every message in this series.

2. Remain Faithful

Keep following Jesus. Resist thinking that this is a time to withdraw from following God or serving God or assembling together for worship. don’t let Him sink to a secondary priority. Look at the promise Jesus made in Revelation 3:11
Revelation 3:11 NIV
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

3. Pray for Revival

There are two things that happen during revival. One is that Christians turn to God in deep sincerity and flush out any sin that has been hindering their relationship with Him. The other is that people who don’t know God come to Jesus in large numbers.
Many times in history, when a civilization was at a moral low, like we are today, God’s people prayed and God sent revival. I believe these are our two choices: Either we revive or He returns. Either we come back to God or God comes back to us.
Revival never comes by surprise. Revival always comes in response to concerted prayer by God’s people. So, I ask you again this week to join me every day in praying for revival and prayer that it starts with us.

4. Draw People to Jesus

The reason God will let all kinds of terrible judgments loose in the final years is to cause people to see their need and turn to God. If we are here during the time in history, it means we have a chance to be more fruitful than any other generation.
Please spend some time in prayer and ask God who you should invite to join you for this series.
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