Mid-May 2018 Mailing

The greatest love story ever told…and you and I can be a part of it!

Dear Partner,

Have you ever wished you knew more about—or could understand more clearly—the events that the Bible says will unfold at the end of the age…what we refer to as the end times, or the last days? Well, the exact timing of when what was prophesied will happen is greatly debated, even by Bible scholars. But one thing I can tell you for certain… Jesus is coming again to this earth…and it’s going to happen soon!

I think you, as well as most followers of Jesus Christ, can agree on the Bible’s fundamental teachings… the Rapture of the Church, the rise of the Antichrist, the false prophet and the beast, and the seven-year rule and reign of this unholy trinity, the battle of all battles at Armageddon, and then the final return of our Lord and Savior.

I have been preaching a lot lately on the events of the end times, but, for this letter, let’s focus more on the “great love story” mentioned above. I believe in my spirit that we are living in the “last of the last days,” and this could be God’s timing for believers in general, to get the return of the Lord back on their radar… and to not neglect the prophecies and the counsel of Jesus regarding this time in history.

The Holy Spirit inspired numerous writers of scripture to let us know what the signs of the Lord’s Second Coming and the Rapture of the Church—believers who will be caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air—would be. Jesus’ disciples even wanted to know what the signs of the times would be at the end of the age, and they asked Him about it in Matthew chapter 24, starting with verse 4.

Jesus answered them, saying:“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Just think about the news we hear and read daily. Are they not a constant echoing of what Jesus said? Things are progressing just as the writers of the scriptures said they would.

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Jesus said that the things we see coming on the earth—and we’re seeing them happening today—are just the beginning of what’s to come. But… the end will not come before every person on earth…every man, woman, and child…has had the opportunity to hear the Gospel and the name of Jesus proclaimed to them.

Jesus went on to explain in verse 36: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 that the day of Jesus’ return will come as a thief in the night.

“But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready [emphasis mine], for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (vv 43-44).

Now, I believe the authors of these passages of scripture were largely speaking to those who may not have a clue about the signs of the times or the season they would be living in. But…I also believe that as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit, they were also addressing believers. And Jesus was talking directly to His disciples when He told them, “You also be ready.”

You know, you rarely hear a sermon preached anymore about the Second Coming. A lot of Christians have become unconcerned about a lost and dying world without Christ… It seems like not many go to church to hear how to live watchful and thoughtful lives of holiness, obedience and integrity, and to learn how to follow Jesus’ example of unconditional love. We’d rather hear sermons that make us feel good about ourselves and about how to tap into God’s blessings.

Now don’t misunderstand me…Our healthy self-esteem and receiving God’s blessings are both good things. I preach and teach all the time about the fact that God is a good God…because it’s true. God wants us to love others as we love ourselves. And He certainly wants us to have good things in our lives and to have our needs met.

But it seems Christians and unbelievers alike are not looking for, nor are they ready for, our Lord’s return. And although it’s true that we don’t know the exact day or hour when our Lord will return, this we can be sure of:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

Partner, notice Paul’s last sentence above…We are to take comfort in his words. The Second Coming is not something to dread or to be fearful of…unless we are living outside of a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus.

Jesus told John in chapter 4, verse 35, that we should be discerning of the times and the seasons.

And then Luke 10:2 records that Jesus said: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Laborers of the harvestThat’s us…you and me…born-again believers who should always be about the business of “going forth” and helping to bring in God’s harvest of souls.

And as the body of Christ—His arms and His legs and His mouth here on earth—shouldn’t our main focus be on winning the lost to Him and then to be an example to them of God’s ways of being and doing—training and helping them to also go out and win others to Christ?

This is one reason I’m so passionate about the continuation of our Greater Works Vision outreaches… getting digital tablets, loaded with Oral Roberts Ministries’ Bible teachings, into the hands of as many underdeveloped nations’ pastors as possible. These dedicated pastors and leaders are crying out for training and teaching to help them spread the Gospel message to their own towns and villages and to be more effective in demonstrating the love of God.

Now, I know that not everyone is called to the mission field…We can’t all physically go to other lands to minister the Gospel. But…we can all participate in spreading God’s saving, healing, delivering message through the giving of the resources we’ve been blessed with to those who can go. And every gift you give into this healing ministry goes toward that endsharing Christ every way we can…through TV, letters, email, the Internet, and the Abundant Life Prayer Group.

Because, this, Partner, is the “greatest love story of all”… That God would send His Son to be born into the world as a man, live a sinless life, minister with compassion and love to multitudes for three years, die a criminal’s death on a cruel cross as the perfect sacrifice for sin—then conquer death, rising again to reign with His Father and to ever make intercession for us! And then to top it all off, He’s going to rescue His own—His Bride—before He brings justice on an unbelieving and rebellious world.

Oh, friend, God loves you and me…indeed, all of humankind, so very much!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

We are God’s children. And just as a parent would do everything in their power to save their child from harm, it is God’s will that “all who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).

Now…The reality of the situation is that it takes finances to get the message of the Gospel to every person on earth. It takes planning. It requires open doors…It takes the leading of the Holy Spirit and obedience to His leading to accomplish His goals.

That’s why I’m asking you to partner with me. There is so much left to do, and I believe the time is short. I need your help…and I’m asking for it today.

My dad raised me to be prepared for the coming of the Lord at any moment…but to be working for His kingdom as if He wasn’t coming for a thousand years. So, even though we can’t know the specific date, we can know the season. Won’t you be Jesus’ arms extended and help us reach out to a lost and hurting world in these last days?

Jesus wants you…and I want you…to be a part of this great love story. If you have never surrendered your heart and life to the Lord, or if you’ve fallen away from Him and know in your heart that you’re not ready to meet Him when that trumpet sounds, I’d like to pray with you. Just say this prayer out loud and mean it from your heart:

Oh God, be merciful to me, a sinner, a backslider. I hear You knocking at my heart’s door, and I’m inviting You into my life this day. I believe You died and rose again for me. I’m sorry for my sin. Please come in…Save me, heal me, deliver me, and set me free. I don’t want to live my life just for myself any longer. I want to be ready to meet You when You come for Your own so I may go to heaven to be with You forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer and meant it, you are now a new creature in Christ. Old things have passed away and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17)! I hope you’ll contact me and return your prayer sheet to let me know of your decision to follow Christ or rededicate your life to Him.

Friend, Jesus is coming again. Make no mistake about it. Let’s determine to be a participant in His plans and purposes for these last days and to be ready when He calls us to meet Him in the clouds.

I love you in the Lord, and I look forward to hearing from you again soon. Send me your prayer requests, along with your best gift this month. I will pray over them and believe with you for miracles in your life.

Your Partner for a Better Life in Christ,

Richard

P.S. I want everyone, everywhere, to be aware of the “signs of the times.” So, I’ve written a special book which goes into much more detail than I have space to go into in this letter. The book is titled, The Return: Signs of the End-Times and What to Expect. It’s free. All you need to do is ask for it on the enclosed Prayer and Praise Sheet and return it to me as quickly as you can. I believe The Return will be a great blessing in your life.