ORLANDO — Respected pastor and author David Jeremiah addressed how Christians should be preparing spiritually for the End Times — and warned that those who ignore the reality of Christ’s imminent return do so at “their own peril.”
In a sit-down interview with The Christian Post, the 82-year-old founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, Jeremiah urged Christians to be “ready” for the return of Christ.
“There’s no excuse for us, if we read the Bible, to be surprised. Because the Bible tells us that this is going to happen,” The World of the End author said. “He talks about the upheaval in the world that’s going to take place before the Lord returns. There’s no sign of the return of Christ and the rapture, but there certainly is a prediction of the kind of season it’s going to be, and I think we’re living in that season right now. I believe that Christians really need to stay glued to the Scripture and not get too far away from the truth because it’s pretty precarious right now.”
Jeremiah, who frequently discusses biblical prophecies regarding the End Times in his sermons and writing, stressed that the rapture is a “signless event.”
However, there are some signs outlined in the Bible that point to the tumultuous season ahead of Christ’s return including the prevalence of deceitfulness, wars, and rumors of wars as well as the recent global pandemic, he said.
“The Bible says, ‘Be careful that no man deceives you.’ Well, we live in a time when the truth is almost gone, and nobody knows what to do with that,” he said. “And then the Bible talks about wars and rumors of wars and all kinds of sickness and pestilence, and we just went through the COVID experience. It’s the first worldwide pandemic that I’ve ever been a part of, and maybe the first one that was totally worldwide.”
“Those things get your attention, and we read about those in the Bible,” he said. “And when you start seeing some of those things happening in the world where you live, you should sit up and take notice.”
A November 2022 Pew research study found that nearly two in five Americans, including both Christians and the religiously unaffiliated, responded affirmatively when asked if they believe “we are living in the End Times.” Those who believe so include those who believe Jesus will return to Earth someday and global events will worsen until then (14%), and the others who believe these are the End Times (25%).
The pastor addressed the challenge of discerning true biblical prophecy from false teachings about the End Times. He warned against those who predict specific dates for Christ’s return, as the Bible clearly states that no one knows the day or hour. He encouraged Christians to exercise caution and distance themselves from such claims.
“The Bible never predicts the date,” he stressed. “The first thing you should do is if you hear somebody say He’s coming back, and they start saying dates, you should walk away because that’s not the truth.”
Still, he warned against ignoring the reality of the rapture and the End Times, urging Christians to embrace the truth and live with a sense of readiness. He stressed that ignoring the End Times robs Christians of the right to share its truth with others.
“You can ignore it all you want to, it’s going to happen anyway,” he said. “If you do what I do, you meet a lot of people who think that because they don’t believe it, that makes it untrue. Well, it doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not, it’s true anyway, and you better wake up to it. Because if you don’t, one day, you’re going to experience it. … You can ignore it if you want to, but it’s you do it at your own peril.”
The pastor weighed in on some common misconceptions about End Times, clarifying the distinction between The rapture and the Second Advent and cautioning against the confusion of these two events.
The Second Advent refers to Jesus’ glorious return to Earth, where He establishes His Kingdom after winning the war of Armageddon, he said, adding: “That’s not the rapture.” He emphasized that the rapture occurs before the tribulation, offering believers the blessed hope of being spared from the trials to come.
“The biggest problem people have with prophecy is they confuse those two events. And if you do that, it then won’t make any sense, he said.
The New York Times bestselling author challenged believers to share the urgency of the Gospel and live lives marked by preparedness, eagerly awaiting the return of Christ.
He shared how preaching on the rapture has led people to convert and seek salvation: “People have been converted; people have gotten saved in every service,” he said. “They come forward and what they say is, ‘I don’t want to miss this, pastor, I want to become a Christian.’ The rapture and the coming again of Christ is strong motivation to get your life right.”
“That’s the way we should live our lives as believers. We shouldn’t say, ‘Oh, I think Christ is coming next week. I better hurry up and get ready.’ We’re supposed to live our lives always ready, always waiting, always watching, always working because Jesus Christ is coming back.”
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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