In the wake of a pandemic resulting in more than 5.2 million deaths globally, widespread social unrest, labor shortages, supply chain backlogs and soaring inflation, the world increasingly seems to be spinning out of control. But in his latest book, “Where Do We Go from Here? How Tomorrow’s Prophecies Foreshadow Today’s Problems,” author, pastor and international Bible teacher David Jeremiah contends that the world’s mounting problems aren’t random misfortunes but signs of the times pointing to Christ’s triumphant return. While discussing his new book with Decision, Jeremiah said Christians should not despair over today’s chaotic times but instead look expectantly to Christ’s Second Coming.
Q: In “Where Do We Go From Here?” you write: “Socialism is tailor-made for the Antichrist’s appearance.” What do you mean by that?
A: Well, socialism is an attempt to draw everything together under very concentrated leadership, so that’s why in this country, socialists want people to be totally dependent upon the government and the government to control everything. That’s tailor-made for the Antichrist because when he comes, the Bible says the whole world will worship him; the whole world will respond to him. He will be the ruler of the whole world. And there’s not any ideology I know of that’s more like that than socialism. Socialism’s aim is to take over the world.
It’s astounding to me how many Christians don’t have a clue about the danger of socialism. It is the most threatening ideology coming at the church today. And they don’t understand that socialism isn’t just a nice little alternative to Christianity. Socialism is anti-God. True socialists hate God. Karl Marx, the father of socialism and author of “The Communist Manifesto,” wasn’t just a God-hater. He was a cheerleader for the devil. So, to say that you could be a socialist and somehow still be a Christian, that is impossible.
Q: When we think about the advance of socialism, globalism, totalitarianism, pandemics and cancel culture, do these signs and emerging trends make the events described in Revelation seem not only plausible but actually impending?
A: I made a comment in the book about how I’ve preached through the Book of Revelation, and it’s one of the most popular series I ever did. I think it’s been on our network seven times, and it’s not a short series. It’s 42 lessons. And when I preach through Revelation, there’s an awful lot of discussion about pestilence and worldwide events and a third of the earth being destroyed and all of that. And as I said in the book, I remember preaching them not because I necessarily understood how they were going to happen, but because they were in the Bible. But now I think I understand how they could happen because we’ve lived through this worldwide pandemic, something nobody ever thought would happen, and it happened. And what it does is it just makes the Bible way more credible.
Q: In your book, you write that COVID-19 isn’t a sign of the Rapture to come, but it could be a sign foreshadowing the Second Coming of Christ. Explain what you mean by that.
A: There are no signs for the Rapture; we know that it’s a sign-less event. But if you just take a look at those signs that Jesus gave in Matthew 24 where the word pestilence actually occurs, those are signs for the return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation. And He actually says that those people who saw the signs would see the coming of Christ.
Well, there are no signs for the Rapture, the Rapture is seven years removed from the Second Coming in my view of how these events transpire. So, the point I make in the book is, yeah, there aren’t any signs for the Rapture, but I actually use the illustration of Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Nobody talks about Thanksgiving—there aren’t many ads—but Christmas is advertised like crazy. And the bottom line is this: Because we know Christmas is coming, we know Thanksgiving is coming a little bit earlier. Because we know the Second Coming will happen, we also can see the beginning of the things that will ultimately be a sign of the Second Coming. The thing that people need to recognize is this whole scenario happens within a seven- to eight-year period. So, while there aren’t any specific signs for the Rapture, when I see the signs for Christmas in the first part of November, I know that Thanksgiving’s coming, too.
So that’s the point. Future events cast their shadows before them. That’s the principle.
Q: Concerning signs of the times and emerging trends, it’s been said that although we can’t predict the end of the world, we seem to be living in the world of the end. Is that a fair assessment or description of where we find ourselves?
A: I think that’s a pretty profound statement. There’s so many things, when all these prophecies were made, that were crucial for them to be fulfilled and they weren’t happening yet. For instance, the chapter I wrote in this book on Jerusalem, one of the writers that I read said if there isn’t any Jerusalem, Jesus can’t come back. Well, there is a Jerusalem. We now have our embassy in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is more and more at the center of geopolitical discussions. So, that tells us that we’re in that time. Since 1948, with the rebirth of Israel as a nation, we’ve unlocked the final lock in the clock for the Lord Jesus to come back. What’s been true of my lifetime—in 1948 I was 7 years old—so during all of my lifetime, some 81 years, I have seen things nobody in previous generations had seen. Those are things the Bible said would happen and I’m beginning to see them. So, I believe that’s a very good statement. We’re not at the end of the world; we’re at the world of the end.
Q: When it comes to standing for truth and righteousness amid the cancel culture, how do you encourage Christians to remain faithful to their Biblical convictions?
A: Everybody’s seemingly afraid that they will be canceled in the culture. The Bible tells us that we’re supposed to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. There is a certain amount of wisdom that we need to use. I do understand Christians saying, “I’m not going to go into the marketplace and start yelling about everything I believe.” What I propose in this book is that you have to commit to yourself that you will not live your life based on a lie. You will not live lies. And that’s where I think the line is. When people try to push you into a corner where you have to acknowledge something that’s a lie to be truth, there’s where you draw the line. And that was what the Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn told the Russians when he left. He gave them a whole sermon, a whole talk. The title of the talk was “Live Not by Lies.” I think that’s where we are in this culture.
Q: In your book, you encourage churches to rethink their small group methodology as a means “to resist a socialist thought army” that is inevitably coming after Christians. So, what should small group ministries be more intentional about?
A: That idea came from Solzhenitsyn who, when he left Russia, very emphatically told them they needed to continue to strengthen their small groups, or whatever they called them, because they were the only thing that could survive. The churches would be neutralized or destroyed but there’s no way they could get the underground groups. My take on that was that as a church, we should be strengthening our small groups.
And I think one of the things that demonstrated that is what happened during COVID: It wasn’t the big church that survived—it was the small groups. We had Zoom groups everywhere. People staying in contact, checking on each other. During times of oppression, which I believe are going to come upon this nation, apart from some kind of divine intervention, we’re going to have to learn how to survive even if we can’t get to the big house on Sundays. We need to learn how to take care of each other, how to resist where we can. The enemies of Christ can come and get us when we’re gathered, but they can’t get us if we’re spread out all over the place and they don’t know where we are.
Q: There seems to be a concerted effort among the mainstream media, Big Tech and social media giants to propagate narratives that don’t reflect the facts. How do Christians continue to be salt and light in this generation and not live by lies?
A: That’s exactly true. Our Christian population has not been prepared for what’s happening to us now. Our churches don’t talk about these things. But what’s going to happen is a lot of Christians are going to get swept up in this because as pastors, we haven’t prepared them for what’s going to happen. That tells you the depth of ignorance and just total naivety that many people have. They don’t draw the line between the policies and how we live our lives. And that plays right into the hands of the socialist ideologists because they play on the ignorance of the people. We’ve got to ask God to give us wisdom so that we can speak the truth with grace, and speak it strongly. So, I mean, it’s an interesting time and more than ever before, we need the wisdom of God to know how to go about what we do.
Q: You write that Mark Twain defined a literary classic as “a book which people praise but don’t read.” How do evangelicals recapture our zeal and appetite for God’s Word?
A: When things that people have put their trust in fail them, which usually takes place during pandemics and things of that nature, they’re drawn back to what they know to be true. Now the issue is that preachers have got to be there for them when this happens. They’ve got to be teaching the truth. This feel-good stuff that is in so many of our churches doesn’t work when the hammer comes down.
So, the only thing I can say is that if you want to always be ready for whatever happens, preach the Bible. We have to preach the Word of God because that’s what will strengthen people and give them the roots they need to be able to withstand the winds that are blowing against them. If you teach the Word of God, a lot of people will gravitate toward that, and that’s what’s happened here over and over again. The best thing I can do to withstand what’s happening in our world today is to make sure I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ faithfully every time I go to the pulpit—and give people an opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.
David Jeremiah serves as the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, in San Diego, California. He is the founder of Turning Point, an international Bible teaching ministry broadcast on hundreds of radio and television outlets. He is also the author of more than 50 books.
Interviewed by Lee Weeks, assistant editor.
Photo: Courtesy of Alan Weissman