Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress has said that two signs of the Second Coming are spiritual deception and international conflict -- and warned that the world is seeing both of these things with increasing "intensity and frequency."
Jeffress, who pastors the 12,000-plus member First Baptist Dallas and is one of Trump's closest spiritual advisers, shared his thoughts on Jesus' return in a recent blog post.
"Jesus had a lot to say about His second coming," the pastor said. "In Matthew 24, He mentioned several signs would precede His visible return to earth. As we look at these signs, we must understand that in one sense many of these things are taking place right now. Throughout history, many of these signs have taken place. But Jesus said before He comes, these things will increase in intensity and frequency."
The first sign, Jeffress said, is "spiritual deception," and while there have been "religious charlatans" in every age, the number of false teachers has increased in recent years.
"Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:1, 'The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,'" he explained. "Toward the end, we will see a rise in Satanism and the occult. And we are seeing that right now."
The second sign of the end times is international conflict, the "A Place Called Heaven" author said, citing Matthew 24:6-7: "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom."
Jeffress admitted that since the fall of mankind, the world hasn't been peaceful. But today, we are seeing " international conflict on an unprecedented scale around the world."
"Jesus said this is a sign of His soon return," the pastor said.
In an earlier interview with The Gospel Herald, Jeffress said that because the Second Coming is near, it's all the more important for believers to share the truth of the gospel with a "politically correct" culture that denies the exclusivity of Christ.
"Today it is thought to be intolerant and hateful to tell Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists that their religions will lead them to hell and only Christ will lead them to heaven," he said. "But this is not a message of hate, it's a message of hope."
He added, "We think we're being gracious and kind when we're opening it up to people that there may be another way to Heaven than through Jesus Christ. But in reality, if every other way is a dead-end road that leads to hell, it is very selfish for us not to share the only way to heaven. If we really hated Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus, we'd keep our mouths shut and never talk to them about Jesus. It's a sign of love to share with them the only way to safety."
"We need to be ready," Jeffress asserted. "God left us here to share with other people the only way to Heaven, and we are on a search and rescue mission as Christians -- I think a lot of Christians have forgotten that. I believe Scripture is important, but you can't just quote Bible verses at people. You need a reasonable arguments like Paul used, you need vivid illustrations...You need to be able to package this message in an appealing way to people."