Eight Signs Of The Return Of Christ

Title: Eight Signs Of The Return Of Christ

Bible Book: Daniel 12 : 4

Author: Jesse M. Hendley

Subject: Christ, Return of; Return of Christ


[Editor's Note: Though this sermon was preached a number of years ago, the facts are the same and, in fact, we are closer than ever to the return of Jesus.]

Daniel 12:4

I want to present to you eight definite, unmistakable signs of the coming of the Lord, that indicate that on God's Clock it is five minutes till midnight.

The first sign is found in Daniel, chapter 12, verse 4, where God says to Daniel, "Seal up the book till the time of the end: for many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel's expression, "the time of the end," always has to do with the end-time, the resurrection of the dead, the coming of the Lord, the deliverance of Israel and all the tremendous things that have to do with the end of the age and the beginning of the great Millennial Period, when Christ reigns on the earth. The time of the end is mentioned several times in the book of Daniel.


Notice here one of the great signs that we are in the end times is that of TRANSPORTATION. Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased. I want to remind you, my friends, that every major means of transportation has been developed in the life span of some people alive today. Why is it that this earth rocked on for hundreds and thousands of years, and the people knew nothing of automobiles, nothing of locomotives, nothing of great ocean liners, nothing of airplanes and other major means of transportation? Why is it that now, in the very lifespan of people living today, all these means have been developed? Never before in all history have people traveled the globe as they are doing today. They are speaking now of speeds of 2500 miles per hour! They talk about tremendous speeds that are almost fantastic. But it is not fantasy. It is cold, sober fact.

Now how did Daniel know, looking down through the course of history, that at the time of the end, on the eve of the resurrection of the dead, there would be a great increase in transportation, people moving constantly and rapidly over the face of the earth? There is only one answer: Daniel was divinely inspired. This Bible we have was not written by men; holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The development of transportation is a definite sign, without question.


The second sign that points to the coming of Christ and the end of this age is INCREASE IN KNOWLEDGE. You know as well as I that a school lad today, with his school books under his arm, has more accurate knowledge at his fingertips than the great scholars of ancient Greece and Rome had or knew anything about. Increase of knowledge, nuclear fission, and the discovery of atomic energy. It is said to be the greatest discovery since the discovery of fire. Nuclear energy is just one thing. Scientists are talking seriously about rockets to the moon. Well, years ago, we read fantastic books about that, but this isn't fantasy. It is a fact that certain people living today have expressed their desire to go to the moon. They are talking about interstellar spaceships. The increase of knowledge! Then, think about the increase of knowledge in astronomy, mapping the heavens. The ancient astronomers little dreamed what is known today, with their little telescopes. Think about the increase in medicine. The greatest casualties America ever suffered were not in World War One, and not in World War Two. They were in the Civil War. I believe that the difference in casualties is due to the increase in the knowledge of medicine. I believe that is why destruction has been kept down. So Daniel speaks of the increase of knowledge accumulating so fast that no man, however intellectual, can master all of it. Daniel said knowledge would be increased in the time of the end, as a sign of the coming of the Lord.


Not only would there be an increase in transportation and knowledge, but also in the financial world. In the book of James, chapter 5, we read: "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you . . . Ye have heaped together treasure in the last days." Now the King  James Version translates that "for" the last days. But the Greek preposition is “in.” IN the last days, ye have heaped together treasures. When has there been so much money in the hands of individuals as we have at this present moment? World War One made a crop of millionaires. World War Two made another crop of millionaires. World War Three is making, and is going to make, another big crop of millionaires it seems, in spite of all that men can do about it. So there is more money in the hands of the few today than there has ever been before, and that is "in the end days," the period just preceding the time when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to this world.


The next sign I want to present to you, that shows that God's Clock is pointing to five minutes till midnight, and the return of Jesus, is the sign of RECURRING WORLD WARS. Why did we call World War One a "world war"? Because never in the history of the world had so many nations been at each other’s throats. Why did we call World War Two a "world war"? Because never in history had so many nations been at each other’s throats. Why are we calling World War Three now coming up a "world" war? For the same reason. There are so many nations involved. How much longer can the world go on like this? They are warning us very solemnly that nobody can win the next war and that it could very well blot out civilization! Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 says, as one of the signs of the end,  "Nations shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the BEGINNING of sorrows." That word for "sorrows" is literally, "birth pangs.” The birth of a new age, the Millennium, and the dying of the old age. The new age will be introduced by recurring WORLD WARS, according to the Lord Jesus Christ. I say to you, my friend that is an undoubtable sign of His coming again.


The next great sign is FAMINE. You remember in the Apocalypse about the four horsemen. The rider on the black horse is Famine, and he is crying out, "A measure of wheat for a penny, and a measure of barley for a penny. See that you hurt not the oil nor the wine!" Here in America we know little about famine. It is a solemn fact today that the American Marshall Plan, one of the greatest things that America ever did, and: one of the greatest things in all history, saved Greece from starvation, and saved other nations from starvation, Yet, in spite of all we turned over to them, today the mass of the people on the face of the earth (excluding America and one or two other nations) have not sufficient food to carry on as they should. That is a tremendous fact. There are thousands dying in India. There are thousands dying in China. People in those countries are eating bark off trees, and roots and anything at all that will keep the flicker of life going today. Now God said in His Word that famine would increase at the time of the end. In the coming Tribulation Period the heavens will be shut up and there will be no rain on the earth for forty-two months! Think what that will mean to the whole world with lack of food! Grim famine is stalking the earth today and it is a sign of a more terrible judgment coming.


I remind you also of the judgment of earthquakes. I read recently an article by a seismologist that startled me. He said that in one day more earthquakes have been recorded than at any time since they have been able to record earthquakes. The Lord said there would be earthquakes in diver’s places. Not long ago the greatest earthquake ever recorded struck India. Fortunately it struck in an almost uninhabited area. Literally rivers were turned out of their paths. Mountains were overturned. It was a fearful destruction. What is going to happen, friends, when the great earthquake strikes that God predicts will occur just before Christ returns? We read that the cities of the nations shall fall.

One of these days New York, Berlin, Tokyo, will be a mass of tangled debris and rubbish when God strikes a world that has forgotten God. And it is coming, just as surely as it is written in this Book.

Judgment always follows a turning away from God! And we are in the midst of those tremendous days right now, without a shadow of a doubt.


The next great sign, and I think one of the greatest, is the sign of apostasy in religion. All through this New Testament, in many places, God says that men would turn away from faith in Jesus Christ. I was out in the Midwest not long ago and I was told about the pastor of a certain church. This man said from the pulpit, "Friends, I believe in God, and I believe in Christ and all the rest of it. But this ‘blood’ business! I can't take it. Away with this ‘blood’ religion." And sitting before him was an audience of people. That man was speaking about the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the most precious thing in heaven or earth, the ONLY thing that can keep our souls out of Hell and take us to heaven! Oh, the preachers today who are standing in the pulpits and belittling the blood of Christ!

That man professed to "believe" the Bible and be a "servant of God.” The person who told me this looked at me and said, "What would you do? I am a believer in the blood of Christ." I said, "What do you think you ought to do?" Any real Christian KNOWS what to do! No child of God has any business sitting under the preaching of any man who denies the blood atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot go along with anyone who throws a shadow over this Blessed Book, or with anyone who throws a shadow over the Blessed Person of Jesus Christ! A real Christian has nothing to do with such a person or church. Apostasy is sweeping over the land. There is a generation today that has never seen a real, genuine revival. They do not know what it is like. All over America are such cities. Some cities are fortunate to have had revival meetings, hearing the preaching of the Word of God.

Such a city is Atlanta, Georgia. But I am saying to you that apostasy is sweeping the land. Right here in our own city of Atlanta, 52 per cent of the people never darken a church door. Of the remaining 48 per cent, how many are truly born again, really love Christ and the Word of God? There is an apostasy of religion. ( Editor’s Note: This sermon was delivered over 35 years ago. Today the number of people in Atlanta who never enter a church is significantly higher.)


The next sign is FEAR. The Lord Jesus Christ said that there would be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the tossing of the waves, men's hearts failing them for fear, because of things coming upon the earth, for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. The passage tells us that men shall expire on the streets, from fear, because of the great cosmic signs and disturbances coming upon this earth.

Signs, I don't know what they are, but I know that we have entered a period of fear already that the nations of earth never have experienced.

Not long ago an outstanding professor in a northern school committed suicide. He left a note in which he gave his motive. The reason, he said, was the chaotic condition of the world today. Maybe you won't commit suicide, friend, but many, many people are living in FEAR today, so much so that a new science called psychiatry has sprung up to try to cope with the fear that is gripping the hearts of people today, who know not the peace that comes from knowing God and Christ and the Holy Bible.

The next sign, and one of the greatest, is the sign among the nations. Now this Bible, as I have said, is predictive. There is no false religion that dares

to predict! Man cannot read the future. Only GOD can read the future. God has written it out for us in this Book for us to see. God has laid out the future. General Marshall, one of the greatest Americans and one of the greatest minds of all time, made a prediction during the war when suddenly Hitler struck Russia. General Marshall, among other military leaders, said that within six weeks’ time the Russian

armies would be decimated, and Russia would be under the rulership of Germany. We looked for that. At the same time, out on the west coast, a humble, godly preacher by the name of Louis Bauman, wrote a book and the thesis of his book was this, that not only would Russia repel the invader, but she would emerge from this war to become a major power, to be contended with! Get the picture: a humble preacher out on the west coast, and a great military genius with his finger on the pulse of world affairs. How is it that the little preacher knew what the great general did not know? There is only one answer: the little preacher read it in God's Holy Book! You will find it in Ezekiel 38 and 39. There is the picture of Red Russia, and the prophecy was fulfilled right before our very eyes. The preacher didn't have to take it back; it was fulfilled to the very letter. Today Russia is a major power, having emerged from the world war, has made the whole world jittery, and for all we know, may plunge the world at any time into another horrible world war.

There is another great prophecy in the Book of Daniel, concerning the united states of Europe, that there is coming a unified group of nations, a western federation in the end-time, ten-kingdom alliance. Mr. Churchill, one of the greatest minds in the world, has been preaching a United States of Europe for years. He said that it is the only way we can stop war in Europe, a breeding place for war. Europe must somehow or other come together. If the States of America can come together and live in peace, Europe should be able also. So already there are developments taking place to make western Europe a federation of states. God's Word says that there will come out of the old Roman Empire there in Europe a ten-kingdom alliance, and after they are formed, anti-Christ will rise. He will put down three kings, and so far as I am able to see, that is the first identification of that monster, that man of sin, who is going to get what Hitler never got, what Stalin wants but what God will not give to Him the mastery of this world. The anti-Christ will be a Satan energized, demoniac being who for

forty-two months will rule the world in an agony that Hitler never dreamed anything about! That is the prediction of God's Holy Word.

There is coming a period on earth called in the Bible The Great Tribulation. The last three and a half years of that period will be so horrible (listen to me, friends, I am quoting Scripture) that God said if He didn't cut it short, NO FLESH would be left alive on the earth. Daniel said it would be the greatest period of trouble since there was a nation on earth, and the greatest period of trouble that ever shall be. So I say to you, on the authority of the Word of God, that earth's greatest agony is yet ahead of her, because of unbelief and sin! We read in the book of Revelation that in forty-two months (three and a half years), 800 million people will die! A third of people of the earth will be cut off. There will be such slaughter that Isaiah says, in chapter 13 of his great prophecy, that it will be hard to find a man on the face of the earth. A MAN will be more precious than fine gold, yea, the gold of Ophar. Gold is precious because it is rare. And when God's judgments are through and anti-Christ is through and the hell on earth is through, it is going to be RARE to find a man on the face of the earth.


You say, "Preacher, that is a gloomy picture." I know it is, beloved. This world is under the judgment of God. Why can't we see it? The world is giving itself over to sin and unbelief and to the devil, and God's judgment is inevitable!

Well, there is one hope and only one. Thank God for it. It concerns the Christian. Before that terrible day dawns, the Lord Jesus is going to descend from His Father's right hand, down to the earth, and He is going to speak, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we Christians shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet our Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Christians are not going to be forever down here. Christians will escape that period of trouble. They will be with Jesus, in the safe place. God has given it to us in His Word.

I was in Lincoln, Nebraska in a revival meeting. One night when I got through preaching, a man came up to me. Tears were in his eyes. He said, "It's wonderful to be in the service of the Lord, isn't it?" I said, "It certainly is. I would rather be winning souls for Christ than anything else on earth." His face clouded up, and he bowed his head and began to weep. I said, "What is the matter, fellow?" He said, "You know, I used to be in evangelistic work. I was an evangelistic song leader, and my wife played the piano for me, and we traveled all over the country winning souls for Jesus. They were the happiest days of our life." "Well," I said, "what is the matter?" He lifted his face and said, "Preacher, she died just a few months ago." I put my hand on his shoulder and looked him in the face and said, "Brother, don't worry. It won't be long till the Lord is coming. He is going to raise that precious wife from the dead, and put her back in your arms again, and there is coming a great reunion day at the feet of Jesus, when He sounds the trumpet and returns to take His own to be with Him." I don't want to be in this world when the Tribulation breaks; it's bad enough right now. I want to be up there with the saints of God.

Now in the light of these tremendous facts, there are three things I want to say in conclusion. First, I WANT TO BE READY WHEN JESUS COMES. I want to be READY. I don't want to be playing around. I want to be ready to meet the LORD. This world is in sin. There is sin all around us. People are reading dirty magazines, dirty novels, and filthy literature. There are filthy, obscene pictures on the newsstands. The pages of our newspapers are filled with evil, uncovering sin that is abounding. The Hollywood stars set the pace. Beloved they are not God's stars! God's stars are the soul winners.

They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars forever and ever.

One of my friends is a godly man. In the old days, he wasn't surrendered to the Lord. One day he was walking down the street planning to go into one of the theatres. He was a Sunday School teacher at the time, and he taught a class of boys. He put his hand in his pocket for some money, to buy his ticket, when one of those little boys walked up to him. The little follow looked up in his face and said, "Mr. Huggins, you aren't going in there, are you?" Jim said, "No, son, I'm not going in there. No, son, I'm not," and Jim pocketed his money and walked on. The little boy knew his Sunday School teacher ought not go to picture shows.

Well, I know this. There are a lot of places I wouldn't want to be when Jesus comes! If there is any question about it, I want to get rid of it. Now if you can read your Bible and pray and win souls and be ready to meet Him, and still do certain things, they must be all right. But whatever, in our lives, beloved, hinders us from being all we should be when Jesus comes, then we had better get rid of it. In such an hour when we think not, He is coming. There is nothing separating us from the coming of Jesus. He could come at any moment. He may come in the next few minutes. He may come in the next hour. One thing is sure: I want to be ready and serving when He comes. I want to be busy about the Master's business, serving Him when He comes.

I came home from a revival meeting not long ago. Many times in revivals I do not have the privilege of dealing directly with souls because of being in the pulpit, and others take over that work. So, I was troubled about that. I love to deal with souls. The greatest privilege that God ever gave men, a privilege He didn't give to angels, is to win souls to Jesus Christ. One day my telephone rang. I was hungry to win a soul to Christ. There came the voice of a lady over the line. She said, "Preacher, I own a home down here on Central Avenue, and an old school mate of mine is in the second apartment upstairs. She is dying of cancer and she is not saved. I thought maybe you would go by and talk with her about her soul." I said, "Surely, I'll go." I took my wife and as I parked the car, I said, "Honey, pray while we go." I stepped up to the door and said, "I am Brother Hendley. I have been invited to come see a lady who is ill. Is such a person here?" She said, "Yes, come in, Preacher."

There on a bed lay a woman dying of that awful scourge of cancer. I know what I am talking about; my mother died of cancer. The emaciated body, the terrible weakness that goes with that dreadful disease. I looked at the lady and told her who I was, and that I had come to pray for her. Tears began to drip from her eyes. I said, "Do you realize you are lost?" She said, "Yes, Preacher. I realize I am lost." I said, "Do you believe in Jesus?" She said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins, personally?" She said "Yes." I said, "Do you believe that he will save you right now, if you


tell Him to?" She said, "Yes, Preacher. I believe that." I said, "Let's pray." She couldn't kneel down;   she couldn't even turn over, she was so weak. She was dying. But she could close her eyes, and she began to pray, as I led her in prayer. "God, be merciful to me, a sinner, and save me now, for Jesus' sake." After she had prayed, I turned to First John 1:7, one of the greatest statements given to man. "The Blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin." I pressed that message on her heart.

Then I turned to others in the room, and said, "Lady, are you saved?" She said, "No, sir." I said, "Let's kneel," and she knelt. I said to another, "Sister, are you saved?" and she said, "No, sir." I said, "Let's kneel," and she knelt. There were four others in that room, and one by one, they accepted Jesus Christ. When I got up off my knees and sat down again in the chair, I looked in the dying woman's face, knowing I would never see her again. I was to go to a revival meeting out in the Midwest; she was going into eternity to meet a holy God. I wanted to know that it was well with her soul. I said, "Sister, are you sure? Is it well with your soul?" I'll never forget what she said, "Preacher, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth me from all sin." In just a short time, she went to be with the Lord Who saved her. As I went down the steps of that house, back to my car, I felt like a king! I wouldn't exchange places with the President or the King of England or all the crowned heads of history. The Lord had let me win five souls to Jesus Christ!

I want to be serving when Jesus comes. I want to be on the firing line. I don't want to be backslidden. I don't want to be cold and indifferent. I want to be reading my Bible and winning souls when He comes.

Not only do I want to be ready. Not only do I want to be serving. When our Lord comes for His own, I want to be SAVED. I want Him to put His Arms around me and lead me into the Father's Presence and say, "Father, Jess confessed Me down there. He read his Bible and won souls to Me. I want to stand up for him up here." I want to hear the Father say, "Enter thou into the joy of the Lord."

Friends, are you ready for His return? If not, bow your head right now and tell the Lord you are receiving Him as your Savior and you want to be ready for His return. Will you do it?

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