(Photo: Harvest Christian Fellowship via The Christian Post)
Things are happening in our world that are indeed signs of the end times, said evangelist Greg Laurie.
While this certainly isn't the first time a preacher has made such a statement, the ongoing chaos in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East, among other things, has prompted the Southern California preacher to prepare Christians for the last days.
"What every last days believer needs to know" was the name of Laurie's message, preached to thousands at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., and over the internet on Sunday.
"I do believe that these are bona fide signs of the times alerting us to the fact that Christ is coming back again," he said. Like labor pains, the prophetic events that are spelled out in the Bible are happening with greater intensity and more frequently.
Some of the events Laurie listed as signs of the times include: the civil unrest in Egypt, the emergence of China as a military and economic superpower, the diminishing of the United States as a superpower, the growing aggression of Russia and the growing threat of militant Islam.
Another sign of the times – imposters.
"There will be imposters, genuine imitations, fake Christians, posers," he said. "These are people that are pretending to be something they're not – hypocrites in the truest sense of the word. They're putting on a performance."
And they're also invading churches, particularly large ones.
"What are we supposed to be doing as believers living in these last days?" Laurie posed.
Live like you really believe Jesus is coming, he answered.
Just like an officer on the road causes a driver to suddenly be cautious of his or her speed and slow down, the return of Jesus should affect the way Christians live, he illustrated.
"If we really believe Jesus is coming, it should affect our conduct."
Yet many believers are succumbing to Satan's subtle and effective temptations of compromise.
That "little sin" that some try to rationalize, however, works like yeast and permeates every area of one's life, Laurie said, citing parables in the Bible.
"We are to keep our lives pure," he told the congregation, urging them to turn from and repent of any compromises in their life.
To put it in better perspective, he said, "Get right with God or get left behind."
He also urged Christians to, like dragging a net in the water to catch all kinds of fish, bring as many people to Christ as they can.
The end days, he explained, will consist of rapture (where "all true believers" will be called up to heaven), tribulation, the emergence of the antichrist, the battles of Armageddon, the second coming of Christ, the millennium (thousand-year reign of Christ on earth), and then finally heaven and earth becoming one.
"We're going to see the good and the bad ... and the Lord will ultimately have the victory," he asserted.