The Signs of His Coming

The Signs of His Coming

May 6th, 1984 @ 10:50 AM

Matthew 24:3

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
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THE SIGNS OF HIS COMING

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Matthew 24:3

5-6-84    10:50 a.m.

 

 

And we are grateful to God for you, the multitudes who share this hour on radio and on television.  Not in all of the fifty-six years that I have been a pastor has my studying meant more to me personally than it is in these present days.  I have been preaching for several years on the great doctrines of the Bible, and we are coming to the climactic section.  This one, and the next section, closes over four years of preaching on these great revelations of God.

The section in which we now are preaching is called, "The Second Coming of Christ."  This Sunday: The Signs of His Coming.  The next time I deliver the message, it will be The Time on God’s Clock.  This hour, The Signs of His Coming, and there are seventeen of them that I have found in the Bible that are being fulfilled today, before our very eyes; seventeen signs of the coming of our Lord that are being fulfilled today.

The background text is the word in Matthew 24:3, where the disciples asked the Lord, "What shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age?"  Now, we are not date-setting.  We have no punctuated exclamation point on any calendar saying, "This is the day the Lord will return."  We are plainly, emphatically taught in the Word of God that the day of the coming of Jesus is in the will and purpose of the Father, and in His will and choice alone; not in ours, not in the Son’s, not in the angels’ of heaven [Mark 13:32].  But, we are admonished many times to live in the imminency of the coming of Christ – i-m-m, in the imminency, the soon-coming of our Lord.  That’s why the Lord will say in the last word that you just read together, "Watch" [Mark 13:37; Matthew 24:42].  He may come any day.  And the Lord gave us signs for His coming.

And the Lord gave us other signs for His coming, many of them; seventeen I am seeing fulfilled today.  In Luke 21:25 and 28, our Lord said:

There shall be signs in the heavens; and upon the earth distress of nations…

Then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud of glory.

And when these things begin to come to pass – these things that we’re going to look at this morning – when you see these things begin to come to pass, then look up. Lift up your heads – that’s the song they just sang – for your redemption draweth nigh.

[Luke 215-28]

 

Signs are remarkable pointers, spelling out mighty coming events.  Signs and happenings and phenomena, are the ABC’s making up words and sentences that speak to us.  They say something to us.  "Who hath eyes to see, let him see; and who hath ears to hear, let him hear" [Matthew 11:15, 16:3].

As the leafing of a tree is a harbinger of spring, and as the violent rapids are a harbinger of Niagara, so these signs, incidents, phenomena, indicate what God is doing and what God is purposing to do.  Despite their variety – and they are very, very different – despite their variety, they have a common alphabet.  They point to two things: one, the end of the world; and second, the coming of our Lord Christ.  So, reading God’s Book, I read seventeen prophetic signs of the coming of Christ that are being fulfilled now, today.  Reading the Bible is like reading the headlines of the daily newspapers.  We are overwhelmed by the signs that we see and the prophecies that are being fulfilled.  Verily, we are, as Paul described, the people "upon whom the ends of the age have come" [1 Corinthians 10:11].

Now the seventeen signs that are being fulfilled today of the coming of our Lord.  Number one: the riveted attention of the world on the Middle East.  God says the denouement of history is there.  We cannot escape it, nor can we hide our eyes from it.  Just as an illustration, look at the oil crisis that the whole world and we in particular, endured in 1973.  Over there is the power to wreck or to stabilize or to control the world.  That is also illustrated in Revelation 16:13-16:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

These are… demons which goeth forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of God Almighty…

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Har Megiddo – Armageddon.

[Revelation 16:13-16]

 

And that is Israel in the Middle East.  You can’t hide your face from it.  The headlines of every newspaper rivet the attention of the whole world on the Middle East, just as God says.

Sign number two: the return of the Jew to Israel in unbelief.  On the fifteenth day of May of 1948, Israel declared itself a nation in the midst of fifty million Arabs.  But the amazing thing about that declaration, and that birth of the nation of Israel to me is this: it fulfills the great prophecy in Ezekiel 36 and Jeremiah 30 that they would return to the land in unbelief.  The Jew over there in Israel is an atheist.  He’s an agnostic.  He is religiously indifferent, outside of a very few Orthodox communicants.

The prophecy of Ezekiel 36:24-28 is that the Jew will be converted in the land.  He is returning there in infidelity, in unbelief.  He’s an atheist. He’s an agnostic.  He’s indifferent.  But he’s going to be converted there in the land. Ezekiel 36:24 and following says:

For I will take you from among the nations of the Gentiles, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

Then – after they are brought into the land – then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and I will cleanse you. . .

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I place within you…

And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.

[Ezekiel 36:24-28]

 

After they returned to the land in unbelief; and we look at that with our own eyes today, this moment.

Sign number three: the revival of the Hebrew language, which has been dead and unspoken for two thousand five hundred years.  In Nehemiah, chapter 8, the first twelve verses is a description of the convocation and the assembly of the returning captives from Babylon [Nehemiah 8:1-12].  Now in that assembly they read the Law, the Word of God, but they couldn’t understand it.  It was in Hebrew.

Now, why did Ezra build him a high pulpit to interpret the words of the Bible to the people? [Nehemiah 8:4-5].  Because the returning captives no longer spoke Hebrew. They spoke Aramaic, the language of Mesopotamia.  So Nehemiah 8:8 reads: "So they read in the book of the Law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading."  And verse 12: "They had understanding of the words that were declared unto them" [Nehemiah 8:12].  The reason why Ezra had to interpret the Hebrew Bible was the people no longer spoke Hebrew.  They spoke Aramaic.

Jesus spoke Aramaic.  In the New Testament, once in a while they will pull in into the record the exact word that Jesus said.  For example, "Talitha cumi, daughter arise" [Mark 5:41]; or "Ephphatha, Be opened" [Mark 7:34]; or "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" [Mark 15:34].  That is Aramaic.  All through the Bible, you’ll find those Aramaic words, like maranatha, "the Lord comes" [1 Corinthians 16:22]; or Abba, "Father" [Mark 14:36].  But the prophecy was, in Jeremiah 31:23, that in that land, that very land, they would speak Hebrew again.  Jeremiah said: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this Hebrew speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring them again from their captivity."  And then follows, in that same glorious passage, the New Covenant that God will make with Israel upon their conversion in the land.  And they shall live a nation before Him forever and ever [Jeremiah 31:31-40].  That’s what God says.

Sign number four: one of the strangest of all the developments that I read today in the newspapers is the concordat and the treaty made between Israel and Egypt.  It was first signed under Sadat of Egypt, and to some extent continues today.  That is a harbinger of the millennial peace that is yet to come.  There is no more beautiful prophecy than this, in the nineteenth chapter of Isaiah, that closes that chapter:

In that day Israel shall be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:

When the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance.’

[Isaiah 19:24, 25]

 

Can you believe that a prophecy like that should be in the Bible, when, for two thousand years, there wasn’t any such thing as a nation of Israel?  Yet, God said the day is coming when Egypt and Israel and Syria and Iraq – those people that are so viciously and violently at one another’s throats today – when they will live in millennial peace, and God will bless them all.  Isn’t that a wonderful, wonderful thing?  And it is beginning to happen before our eyes already, between Egypt and Israel.

Sign number five: Jerusalem, God says, will be a city under the control and in the hands of the Jew.  Old Jerusalem was captured in the Six-Day War in June of 1967.  And our Lord said in Luke 21:24:

And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled…

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, lift up your heads; your redemption draweth nigh.

[Luke 21:24, 28]

 

This is the beginning of the denouement of the age.  Paul wrote in Romans 11:25: "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the plerōma – the fullness, the last full number – of the Gentiles be come in."  And these things are all signs and harbingers that God is drawing the age to a consummating climax.

Sign number six: in the Bible, without exception – in the Bible, the terrible expanding national enemy of Israel and of God’s people is always from the north, always from the north.  In Ezekiel 38:2 and in Ezekiel 39:1, for example, he names Gog, the king and the ruler of Magog.  Magog is the biblical term for all of that land north of the Black and Caspian Seas.  In the thirty-ninth chapter and the thirty-eighth chapter, he names Rosh, which is Russia.  He names Meshech, which is Moscow, and Tubal, which is Tobolsk.  The growing, overwhelming, expansionist policies of Russia are leading to the final Armageddon, and you read that throughout the prophetic Word of God.

We speak of Hitler as the darkest blot on human history.  But somehow we forget that it was the evil, conniving programming of Stalin and Hitler to divide Poland between them that precipitated the Second World War.  And we forget that while the world’s attention was riveted on Hitler, that Russia invaded Finland and destroyed Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania and a part of Romania.

She is ever moving south.  This minute, she is destroying Afghanistan, south.  She is ever moving south.  And the dark, bloody, treacherous hand of Russia is south of us in Central America.  The United States’ fleet is in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Persian Gulf and down there in exercises now, near Nicaragua, because of the bloody hand of Russia.  And the end of that, God’s Word says, is Armageddon.  This is the sixth sign of the return of our Lord.

Sign number seven is the developing of the Russian confederation.  In Ezekiel 38:5, the Bible says that with Russia will be Persia and Ethiopia and Libya.

When I visited in those three countries, and I preached in those three nations – when I visited in those countries, they were open to the gospel, and they were the friends of the United States of America.  They were Western in sympathy, in alliance, and in every work of national political life.  Today, Ethiopia is a satellite of Russia.  Today, Libya is a pawn of the bloody, violent, terrorist activities of the Soviet Union.  Khaddafi is a puppet of the Kremlin, and all of those dastardly, destructive deeds of Khaddafi are inspired by the bloody communists in the Kremlin.  And of course, Persia – we call her Iran – is our bitterest enemy.  That’s what the Bible said.  And when I used to read that in the Bible, preaching over there, being over there in those nations, I couldn’t understand.  It was the opposite of what I could see, and yet, the Word of God never fails.

Now, yesterday – yesterday, coming in from the airport – yesterday, I listened to a broadcast, and the correspondent was saying that that dirty, sorry, filthy rat Arafat – that he is being, right this minute, accorded the same generous national welcome as accorded the president of the United States of America; this man that has bathed his hands in terrorist blood for years and years.  The same wonderful welcome accorded our president is accorded to Arafat. 

And then I remembered, as I listened to the broadcast, in the ninth chapter of the Book of the Revelation and the sixteenth verse, it says that in that final confrontation at Armageddon, the nation of the east, which would be China, is present with an army of two hundred million men [Revelation 9:16].  What America had better remember is China – Communist China, can make a concordat with Russia in five seconds.  They’re both communist. We had better – what Jesus says: "Watch, watch" [Mark 13:37].  One of the signs of the coming of our Lord, the denouement of the age: the developing Russian confederation.

Now, the eighth sign is the revival of the old Roman Empire, the nations of Western Europe, the 10-nation European confederation.  We call it the NATO Alliance.  We call it the European Common Market.

In Daniel 2:44-45, the stone that is carved out of the mountain without hands, that stone, which is Christ, strikes the image, which is the Roman Empire, on its ten toes [Daniel 2:34-35].  And in the seventh chapter of the Book of Daniel, 23 to 27, the final ten kings arise out of the Roman Empire, and one of them is the Antichrist.  The old Roman Empire is broken up into ten nations when Christ comes, and out of those nations the world dictator arises.  And that is what we are seeing today in Western Europe.  Surely, what occurs in human government is a concern of God.  As Paul says, the powers that be are under the surveillance of God [Romans 13:1].

Sign number nine: the distress of nations.  Jesus said in Luke 21:25-26: "And there shall be signs in the heavens; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity."  They don’t know where to turn.  "Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth."

You know, it’s a strange thing. It used to be the preacher in the pulpit who was speaking damnation, and fire, and blood, and destruction.  He doesn’t do that much anymore.  It’s the scientist and the military man and the politician who is preaching that today.  For example, in one of the books of H. G. Wells, he said, "I predict that the generation in which you and I live is the last generation upon earth."  Professor Albert Weber, in his Farewell to European History, said, "To one endowed with historical perspective, it must be clear that we are at the end of world history as we know it."  And Arnold J. Toynbee, in the New York Times, said, "The stable characteristics of the past six thousand years of civilized history are being changed and are falling apart."

These are the greatest students of history that we have.  It is in the atmosphere, and it is in the setting of present world conditions that the ultimate world dictator, Antichrist, arises.  The statesmen of the world are following every avenue possible to bring peace but, they all lead to a dead end.

The world will receive a man of skill, of personality, of gifts, who has a solution for the world’s confrontations.  He will be followed, and he will be proclaimed "the man of the century."  The ultimate dictator; that man is described in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2 [2 Thessalonians 2:3-10]; in Revelation, chapter 13 [Revelation 13:1-10]; and in Daniel, chapter 7 and chapter 9 [Daniel 7:8-9, 24-26; 9:26-27].  He leads the world into the last great war: Armageddon [Revelation 16:14-16].  And that is the ultimate destruction of the present world system.  War is a judgment of God.  War is a sign of God, and the Bible says the heavens will be used to fight it.

These space platforms will be used for atomic and hydrogen weapons.  You read that in Luke 21 [Luke 21:25-26], 2 Peter 3 [2 Peter 3:10-12], and Matthew 24 [Matthew 24:29].  It is the purpose of God to save us out of this holocaust, this dissolving, destroying world.

Sign number ten: the multiplication of knowledge.  Daniel 12:4 says, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."  We live in that day of the time of the end.  What the whole human race learned from the birth of Christ to 1750 was doubled between 1750 and 1900; and that knowledge was doubled from 1900 to 1950, and that knowledge was doubled from 1950 to 1960.  And it’s been doubling at an increasingly faster rate in the few years since 1960.

Travel time is shortened.  We used to walk, used to ride a donkey, then a horse, then a car, then a train.  Now, these jets go around the earth. Communication has greatly increased, and for a world government you have to have a computer.  You have to have information from the satellites, and you have to have rapid transit for the transportation of armies and weapons.  And that is happening today.

Sign number eleven: the gospel will be preached to all nations.  Then shall the end come – Matthew 24:14: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

It just amazes me: the realization, the fulfillment, of these prophecies that I read in the Bible.  For example, I was over there in Warsaw talking to our Baptist brethren, and they were asking me to help them pay for a continuing ministry that they have in Monaco, down there on the Mediterranean Sea.  They have a 500,000-watt station down there.  And they broadcast the gospel in forty two different languages from that one station.  And as though that were not overwhelming enough, last week I was told our KCBI radio – on which many of you are listening at this moment – KCBI radio station is already building a short wave radio station north of Dallas, on a plateau out there, in which they’re going to broadcast the gospel we preach to Russia, to all the nations of the Middle East, and to China and the Orient.  We’re doing it ourselves.  It’s an amazing prophetic fulfillment: the gospel in the whole world.

Haven’t you heard me talking about meandering around on the Fiji Islands?  I saw one of those black Fiji Islanders with his head on the ground and his ear next to the earth, and I thought, "What in the earth?"  So I went over there, and he had a little bitty radio on the ground, and he had his ear down there on it.  So I got down there by his side and listened to what that Fiji Islander was listening to.  You wouldn’t think it.  He was listening to a wonderful gospel sermon in the English language, in the Fiji Islands.  The whole world will hear, and then shall the end come.

Sign number twelve: a general unbelief in Christ’s coming.  Second Peter 3:3-13: "There shall come in the last days scoffers…saying, Where is the promise of His coming?  All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."

"There is no such thing as Jesus Christ coming again!" [2 Peter 3:3-4].  That’s a sign of the end of the age.  Peter says as the world was destroyed, judged by water in the days of Noah, it will be destroyed and judged by fire at the end of the age [2 Peter 3:5-7, 10].

Number thirteen: gross ignorance of divine things, and especially with reference to the prophecies and signs of His coming.  In Daniel 12:8-10, by inspiration Daniel wrote:

I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

And He said, the Lord God said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed and sealed till the time of the end. . .

At that time, the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand.

[Daniel 12:8-10]

 

In 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11: "Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, God sent them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."  Let me tell you a universal principle: when a man turns away from the truth, inevitably, inexorably, he turns to deception and all kinds of things that are not worthy of God.  There’s no exception to that.  I either face our Lord and learn the truth of God, or I turn my face away from the Lord and I listen and receive and believe ten thousand opprobrious, obnoxious, unbelievably, demonic things.  It’s one or the other.  When I turn from the light, I inevitably turn to darkness.

Sign number fourteen: the opposite thing is true about God’s faithful people.   At the end time, there will be an intense spirit of inquiry among those devout followers of Christ concerning His coming.  Daniel 12:10 says, "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried. . .and the wise shall understand."  And Jesus said to us, we’re to watch.  As 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 says: "You are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day. . .  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch" [1 Thessalonians 5:4-6].  A sign of the end time is you right here, listening intently, earnestly, prayerfully to what God has to say about the end of the age and about the coming of our Lord.

Sign number fifteen: the Laodicean spirit of the churches.  Those churches – the church age is divided into seven parts [Revelation 2:1-3:22], and the sixth one is the Philadelphian age of the church; that is, the age of the open door, the age of world missions [Revelation 3:7-13].  You could go into in any country in the earth and preach the gospel in this past age, when I was a youth.  Now, we’re entering the Laodicean, the seventh age of the church, and these doors are being closed and closed and closed [Revelation 3:14-22].

In 1950, Dr. Duke McCall and I were in India.  And at the request of the Foreign Mission Board, we met with the leaders of India to ask them to let us send missionaries to India.  And no matter how earnestly we pled, we were refused.  There are no missionaries we can send to India.  Somebody like Rebecca Naylor goes there because she’s a physician, not because she is a missionary.

You couldn’t send a missionary to China.  The doors of most of this populated world are closed.  And that’s a sign of the Laodicean age of the church [Revelation 3:14-22].  Not only that, but there’s no disposition, for the most part, on the part of these great Christian units, denominational groups, to send missionaries.  They’re not interested in it.  There’s a lukewarmness about the conversion of the lost that is oppressive.  When you take the graph of the great, old main-line denominations, the graph of their missionary interest is like that.  There are fewer and fewer and fewer, and less and less money given to it and its support all along the line.

When I was in India, going around with some of those native Indian people, I was looking at the mission stations on the Ganges River that were founded by William Carey.  And they were being closed when I was in India.  We’re not expanding that great missionary effort.  Christendom is increasingly ebbing.  The Lord said, "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" [Matthew 24:12].

Paul said we shall "have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof" [2 Timothy 3:5].  And Peter said, "There will come in that last day scoffers, saying, There is no need to look up to heaven for the coming of the Lord. There is not going to be any coming" [2 Peter 3:3-4].

Sign number sixteen: the great apostasy.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the apostle Paul wrote:

Let no man deceive you.  There shall come a hē apostasia

hē, "the," apostasia, falling away" –

The apostasy first.

Remember ye not, when I was yet with you, I told you these things…

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.

[2 Thessalonians 2:3, 5, 7]

 

And Jesus said in Matthew 24:5: "Many shall come. . .saying, I am the anointed one; and shall deceive many."  False Christs, false teachers, false prophets, false sects, false cults – they are everywhere and on every hand.  If you just take time to listen to the radio, and now TV, you’ll be listening to some of the strangest, far-outest preachings you ever could think for in your life.  Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:1: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times they shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons."  And the Lord said, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith in the earth?"  [Luke 18:8].

Listen to me.  Every year, there are less percentage of evangelical Christians in the world than there were the year before.  So much so, that when the year 2000 comes, we will number less than two percent of the world’s population.  The whole world is becoming un-Christian at the rate of one hundred twenty-five thousand a day, toward one million a week.  If you’ve been over there to Asia Minor and looked at the seven churches of Asia [Revelation 2:1-3:22], there’s not a vestigial remnant of any one of them.

Let me give you an example of what is happening in Christendom.  Here is a headline of the British redundant churches:

 

Churches are closing down for good all over Great Britain.  A recent exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London presented graphic evidence of these shutdowns.  In 1975 and 1976, the one denomination, the Anglican Church, authorized the demolition of one church every nine days –

One church every nine days is being imploded, blown up, torn down.

The advisory board of redundant churches predicted that the total number of the Church of England declared redundant will exceed one thousand and will find an increasing rate.  In England and Wales, more than six hundred fifty-nine Anglican churches have been closed.  In the past forty years, five thousand Methodist churches have been shut down, and add to that the Reformed, the Quaker, the Baptist, the Congregationals.

Many churches have simply been demolished, blown up. Others have been transformed into community centers, art centers, post offices, fish-and-chip shops, auctioneering houses, and wholesale groceries.  A former Methodist chapel in east Sussex is now an office for a typewriter manufacturer.  Another, in Stratford-on-Avon, – where you find that wonderful theater of Shakespeare – that Methodist church there is now featuring vintage cars.  A chapel in Davenport Plymouth has been turned into a pub.  It’s called the Old Chapel Pub.

 

You can get drunk there real nice, and have an ecclesiastical surrounding all around you.  That’s this modern world.  God help us!

Last, the seventeenth sign of the end of the age: abounding iniquity.

2 Timothy 3:1 says:

This know, that in the last days…

Men shall be lovers of their own selves, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, incontinent, despisers of those that are good…

Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.

[2 Timothy 3:1-4]

 

Could you imagine a more apt description of modern American-day cultural life than that?  We have done away with moral absolutes.  Everything is relative, and judgment is based upon an extenuating situation, called "situation ethics."  Governments and their politicians condone murder and lying and theft as justifiable social action.  Witness the lying propaganda and the terrorist activities, murderous activities, of the governments of today.

Professors justify sexual promiscuity as expressions of personality and personal freedom.  Ministers in the pulpit, by the uncounted numbers, excuse attempts to discredit the Word of God as academic freedom.  We do that in our own universities and seminaries.  Filth – filth, violence, immorality are accepted in song, drama, radio, and TV as a way to demonstrate our realism.  They say, "That’s life," so they put it on the screen, drowning our generation and the generation yet to come in materialistic hedonism, pleasure.

We cannot but recall the five reasons Edward Gibbon gave for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.  That’s the greatest history that’s ever written. Three of those reasons for the destruction of the Roman Empire – three of them are these: number one, the steady increase in sexual promiscuity, in divorce, in the breakdown of the Roman home.  For the first five hundred years, there was never a divorce among the Roman people.  They had laws for it.

Second: the mad desire for entertainment, for excitement, such as the Coliseum, leading to all types of inhuman and immoral extravagances.  And number three: the decline in the character-building aspect and contribution of religion.  These things are described in the Bible as "in the days of Noah" [Matthew 24:37] or "as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah" [Matthew 10:15], and God intervened from heaven.  Judgment, inevitable, awaits us.

Yesterday, as I say, driving in from the airport, listening to the correspondent giving us his rundown of the news of the day, he said – and talking about the election here in Dallas – he said that no small part of that election is going to be determined by the sodomites in the city of Dallas.  And he said, "There are one hundred thousand sodomites in the city of Dallas."  That’s what he said.

Now, I’ve been reading all through the papers.  And the papers say that there were two hundred fifty thousand sodomites in San Francisco.  But, I thought, "That’s out there on the deep end, where they ought to fall off into the Pacific Ocean."  I never dreamed it was here; never dreamed it was here.  And that correspondent was saying that the vote of these Sodomites is increasingly going to determine the political complexion of our nation.  I just can’t imagine what is happening to America.  As Billy Graham says and says and says, "If God doesn’t judge America, He is going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."

In this wicked, sin-cursed, death-plagued world, the power to reach God’s ultimate purpose of millennial blessedness is found in the intervention of heaven. Human institutions and innovations will never bring in the kingdom, never.  There is no kingdom without the king.  We are looking for, waiting for, hoping for, praying for, watching, waiting for the return of our great Lord and Savior, the rightful King and Sovereign and Potentate of the hosts in heaven and the children of God in the earth.  And that’s the way we ought to live, and that’s the way we ought to be.

We are not going to stay down here.  If I build my house and my treasure here, I just live to see it dissolved before my eyes.  If my hope for blessing and reward is here, I see it dissolving as my body gradually decays.  Our home is in heaven [John 14:2-3], not here.  Our inheritance is in glory [1 Peter 1:4].  It’s not here.  Our reward is over there [2 Corinthians 5:10], not here.

Our Savior is waiting for us there.  And when we rise to meet Him – either resurrected from the dead or raptured in a moment [1 Thessalonians 4:14-17], in the twinkling of an eye [1 Corinthians 15:52] – either way, it will be glorious.  We will be coming with our Lord in that millennial kingdom that is promised throughout the infallible, inerrant Word of Almighty God.  And to give ourselves to that is to live in hope, no matter what you read in the paper.  No matter what happens to you, it doesn’t matter.  If I die, I’m with the Lord.  If I live, it’s to serve the Lord.  Whether I live, whether I die, it is with the Lord [Romans 14:8].

That’s triumphant, and that’s God’s wonderful blessing and hope and promise for us.  And it is in that Word of the Lord, faithful and unfailing, that we offer Jesus in all of His glory to you today.  In your heart, in your house and home, in your business, in your life, in the day of your death, and in the eternity that is yet to come, you will never fail.  You will never lose with Him – never.

And to give your heart to the Lord, or to put your life with us in this wonderful church, or to re-avow and recommit your soul to Him, a thousand times welcome as you come, while we stand and while we sing.