In light of the Advent season of waiting, Louie Giglio, the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, shared with his congregation that Jesus is coming back “soon” yet many won’t make it to Heaven and some will be deceived by Satan’s “game” of deception.
“The enemy’s plan for you and for me, in light of the fact that Jesus is coming soon, is that you would get deceived,” Giglio preached in a sermon delivered on Nov. 29.
“If you ask the average psychologist to describe the psyche of the human condition, they would say to you’ futile, meaningless and empty,’” he said later in the sermon. “Why? Because man is already trying to plant God and already it’s fall in the Church, and hearts are growing cold.”
The pastor and author lamented that many will stand in the Church and say, “Forget about the blood of the lamb. We are good to save ourselves.” He emphasized that the state of the world will get worse before it gets better.
“Faith is going to wane. [Matthew 24:12] says that as wickedness increases, … the faith of most will grow cold,” Giglio told the crowd.
“There’s something you can be sure of, even in a time of uncertainty and chaos: Jesus is coming soon,” he stressed.
He warned, however, that “everyone won’t make it” and urged those watching the sermon to “live alert, not alarmed.”
“You don’t need to be alarmed. What I would prefer you to be is alert,” he said. “I prefer you to wake up tomorrow and go, ‘Jesus is coming soon, and He could come imminently, immediately, today.’ He could come in 100 years, which is also soon. But he could come right now.”
The pastor said he aims to be alert but not frantic about the Lord’s coming. He advised his listeners to do the same.
“Jesus said, ‘Don’t be alarmed.’ I’m going to put my confidence in Him,” Giglio said. “Stay close to the original. If the enemy’s game is deception, then what’s the best way to not get deceived? … Keep your eyes on Jesus. Keep your ears attuned to Jesus. Think your life in the words of Jesus. And don’t listen to anything else but Jesus.”
Deception from the enemy tries to take a Christian’s eyes off of who God is and overthink false prophecies, according to Giglio.
“Keep your eyes on the revealed Jesus, not on some hidden prophecy,” Giglio continued. “In other words, just keep leaning into Jesus every day versus digging around and looking for and listening to the next prophecy that someone’s going to say. Just keep your eyes on Jesus because if He’s coming soon, then you’ll have your eyes locked in Him when he arrives.”
People should “live ready,” he said, since “the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
Everyone won’t make it to Heaven in the end, Giglio said.
“Two men are in a field, and one is taken, and one is left,” he described.
He said that all Christians have the responsibility to become evangelists by sharing the Word of God without quarreling.
“Everybody deserves an opportunity to hear the Gospel,” he said. “Skip the debate and spread the news. Go to your work, family, neighborhood, wherever you go, become an evangelist. … You’re an evangelist for your people. You want to arrive in Heaven as an evangelist.”
Giglio encouraged his listeners to “stay close to the flame,” or the Lord’s Holy Spirit.
“In Scripture, the flame is the Holy Spirit of God. … Draw close to the flame. … And live in a community of people who want to get around the flame,” the pastor stressed.
“Live in a community of people who know Jesus is coming soon; a kingdom mindset, a people who have hearts that are on fire for Jesus,” he continued. “And you’re not just hanging out with people who are talking about the wind. You’re hanging out with people who want to stay close to the flame. … So what am I doing today to make sure that my heart stays close to the flame?”
“Because in the end, the tell-tell sign of the Son of Man coming is that most people’s hearts are going to grow cold,” he concluded. “Start now, knowing Jesus is coming soon by making the move … the move from earth to Heaven.”
During the sermon, Giglio showed a graphic defining what “soon” means in the biblical sense. “Soon” is defined as a “relative term used in relation to the external nature of the ALMIGHTY, who exists outside time and space, yet concurrently operates within the confines of finite human history.” “Soon” could mean “right now” or within the next “100-1000 years, the latter of which, in God time, is the equivalent of one human day.”