Louisiana televangelist Jesse Duplantis said at a recent televised fundraiser that Christians “can speed up the time” of Jesus' Second Coming by donating more money.
“I honestly believe this … the reason why Jesus hasn’t come is because people are not giving the way God told them to give,” he said, according to a clip shared on Twitter by the left-wing group Right Wing Watch.
Speaking at a fundraiser for Kenneth Copeland’s ministry, he continued, “When you understand this, you can speed up the time.”
Duplantis, the pastor of Covenant Church in Destrehan, St. Charles Parish, a multi-millionaire who owns a private plane and has been criticized for his lavish lifestyle, added, “I realized that I will not move people emotionally to give, I’m gonna have people move according to the Word of God. What is God saying to you?”
Duplantis, 72, then urged people to give, saying, “God the Father would say, ‘Jesus, go get ‘em.’”
In one of his daily commentaries, Jim Denison, Ph.D., a cultural apologist, responded to the question: When will Jesus return?
After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to His disciples “over a period of 40 days and spoke to them about the Kingdom of God,” he wrote, referring to Acts 1:3. “He then promised them the Holy Spirit (v. 5). They knew that the coming of the Spirit and the coming of the Kingdom were related. So in response, they asked the question Christians have been asking ever since: ‘Are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?’ (v. 6).
“Their question was logical but wrong. Calvin said, ‘There are as many errors in this question as words’ (Institutes 1.29).
“Jesus says, ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority’ (v. 7). ‘Times or dates’ refers to specific dates as well as years. ‘Not for you’ refers to Jesus’ first and closest disciples: Peter, James, John, the others, and even Mary and his brothers.”
Then Denison asked, “If Jesus wouldn’t tell them when He would return, will he tell you and me?”
Earlier this month, Duplantis was criticized for not doing enough to help his storm-ravaged community of St. Charles Parish, where Hurricane Ida left most residents without power.
After the criticism, Duplantis, who also leads Jesse Duplantis Ministries, and his wife, Cathy, defended themselves in a video message on Facebook at the time.
“We’re helping people literally all over everywhere,” Duplantis insisted, Fox 8 reported at the time. “You’re hearing all kinds of rumors that we’re not doing this, we’re not doing [that], that’s all a bunch of malarkey. I could use another word, but you understand what I’m talking about,” he continued before revealing that his ministry had already donated some $100,000 worth of generators and he had “plans to do even more.”
In 2018, Duplantis faced criticism for seeking donations to go toward the purchase of a $54 million Falcon 7X jet.
"You know I've owned three different jets in my life and used them and used them and just burning them up for the Lord," he said in a video appealing for funds on "This Week with Jesse."
"Now, some people believe that preachers shouldn't have jets. I really believe that preachers ought to go on every available voice, every available outlet, to get this gospel preached to the world," he added at the time.
Following the backlash, however, the preacher insisted that he never asked followers to donate toward the plane, but instead called on them to join him in believing that God would provide him with the new aircraft.
In a four-minute video posted on the ministry's website, Duplantis attempted to clarify his earlier remarks where he claimed that God told him to believe that He would provide a Falcon 7X and that he would not have to pay for it.
"First things first, I never raised money for the plane," Duplantis said. "I put it in our magazine and said, 'Believe in God with me.' There is a vast difference between 'Believe in God' and asking for money."
Duplantis said that he was told by God: "You don't need to raise money for this. This will just come."
"I have raised money for a lot of other things and there is nothing wrong with that because religious organizations do that," Duplantis said. "But just when He said this would 'just come,' little did I realize that people would pick this story up."