When Hearing the Gospel of the Lord’s Return, How Should We Treat It?
Question: We saw someone online testifying that the Lord Jesus has returned, so we told this good news to our pastor. The pastor told us, however, that any message online that says the Lord has returned is false, and he told us not to listen to sermons given by strangers so as to avoid going astray in our faith. We’re not sure what your views are on this issue, so please give us fellowship.
Answer: Hello! This is a crucial issue, as it directly relates to the important matter of whether or not we will be able to welcome the Lord’s return. Key to welcoming the Lord’s coming and investigating the true way is to seek God’s will. Think about it: Pastors and elders say that the gospel online preaching the Lord’s coming is false and that we shouldn’t listen to strangers’ sermons, but is there any basis for this in the Lord’s words? Does it accord with the Lord’s will? The Lord Jesus prophesied many times that He would return, and He asked people to wait to welcome Him. And yet pastors and elders say that any message saying the Lord has come is false—by saying this, aren’t they denying the Lord’s return? By deciding that any message preaching the coming of the Lord is false and refusing to even entertain the idea, will we be able to welcome the Lord? What’s more, we all know that many who now believe in the Lord came to believe in Him through His gospel being spread online, so now that the Lord has come again to save man in the last days, is it not possible that even more people may come to know of the Lord’s return via the Internet? It is clear, therefore, that the claim made by pastors and elders, that “the gospel online preaching the Lord’s return is false” simply does not stand, and that it is at odds with the Lord’s will.
Now, does it accord with the Lord’s will for pastors and elders to stop us from listening to strangers’ sermons? The Lord Jesus told us very clearly, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). We can see from the Lord’s words that when He returns in the last days, the cry “the bridegroom comes” will be made, and it is the Lord’s will that we take the initiative to go out and welcome Him. That is, when we hear someone testifying that the Lord has returned, wherever the message happens to be preached, whether it be online or face-to-face, whether a stranger tells us or someone we know tells us, we should be the wise virgins and proactively seek and investigate it, and listen to see whether there is God’s voice. Only by doing this will we be able to welcome the Lord. Now that someone is testifying online that the bridegroom has come, the only thing we can do that accords with the Lord’s will is to seek and investigate it. Conversely, the pastors and elders condemn any message online preaching the Lord’s coming as false, and they stop us from going to listen to other sermons—are they not going against what the Lord asks of us? As believers in God, when we see what the pastors and elders say going directly against what the Lord Jesus has said, should we then listen to the Lord, or listen to the pastors and elders?
We can say without a shadow of a doubt that when we hear someone testifying that the Lord has come, wherever that message is preached, we should do as the Lord says and seek and investigate it, and focus on hearing God’s voice. This is the key, and only by doing this will we be able to welcome the Lord’s return. God says, “It is not difficult to inquire into such a thing, but it requires each of us to know this one truth: He who is God incarnate shall possess the essence of God, and He who is God incarnate shall possess the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He intends to do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon him, and point the way for him. Flesh that does not have the essence of God is decidedly not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt.” “Since we are searching for the footprints of God, it behooves us to search for God’s will, for the words of God, for His utterances—because wherever there are new words spoken by God, the voice of God is there, and wherever there are the footsteps of God, God’s deeds are there. Wherever there is the expression of God, there God appears, and wherever God appears, there the truth, the way, and the life exist. In seeking God’s footprints, you have ignored the words ‘God is the truth, the way, and the life.’ And so, many people, even when they receive the truth, do not believe that they have found God’s footprints, and still less do they acknowledge the appearance of God. What a grave mistake!” We can see from God’s words that God is the truth, the way, and the life, and that Christ is God Himself in the flesh, the embodiment of truth. When God comes to appear and to do His work, therefore, He must necessarily express the truth and usher in the work He will perform. If we want to be certain as to whether or not He is the Lord Jesus returned, it is imperative that we see whether this way possesses the truth, whether it has the utterances of God, and whether it has the work of the Holy Spirit. By basing our search and investigation into the true way on these things, we need not be afraid of being deceived, as, besides God Himself, there is no one who can express the truth. Those who followed the Lord Jesus all those years ago also received the Lord’s salvation after seeking, investigating, and hearing God’s voice. When Peter, John, and the other disciples heard someone say the Lord Jesus was preaching the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, they didn’t blindly believe what the Jewish leaders said condemning the Lord, nor did they shy away from listening to His sermons, afraid that they might be deceived. Instead, they were able to proactively seek and investigate it, and focus on listening to the Lord Jesus’ sermons. When they were sure that what the Lord was expressing was the truth and had recognized the voice of God, they gave up everything to follow Him, and ultimately received the Lord’s salvation. When faced with the gospel of the Lord’s return, therefore, only by taking the initiative to seek and investigate it and focus on hearing God’s voice will we be the wise virgins who will ultimately attend the feast together with the Lord. Just as what it is said in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”
Only The Church of Almighty God is now testifying openly that the Lord Jesus has returned as Almighty God, Christ of the last days. He expresses the truth and performs the work of judgment beginning with the house of God to cleanse and change people once and for all, and to save people from the bonds of sin. Almighty God’s work of the last days precisely fulfills the prophecy in John 16:12–13: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth;” and it also fulfills the prophecy in John 12:48: “He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day;” as well as the prophecy in 1 Peter 4:17 that says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” In fact, if we make a careful investigation of Almighty God’s work in the last days, we will see that Almighty God has expressed many truths. These are truths we never heard before in the Age of Grace, such as the mystery of God’s incarnations, the mystery of God’s names, the inside story on the three stages of work, how the judgment of the great white throne begins, how the work of judgment cleanses and saves man, the inside story of the Bible, as well as the ends and destinations that await man, and how mankind will enter into rest with God, and so on. All these words have been recorded in the Bible of the Age of Kingdom, The Word Appears in the Flesh. Moreover, the words expressed by Almighty God have been made public online, openly testifying to all the world that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned. Besides this, churches to Almighty God have been established in many countries and regions around the world, and there are many people who, upon hearing someone testify that the Lord Jesus has returned and is expressing the truth, begin to seek and investigate Almighty God’s utterances in accordance with what the Lord asks of us. By listening to the words expressed by Almighty God, they recognize His words to be the truth, to be God’s voice, and so they accept God’s work in the last days. Some of these people look into God’s work by directly visiting The Church of Almighty God, while some contact brothers and sisters belonging to The Church of Almighty God online and come to follow Almighty God after reading His words. It is exactly as the Lord: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). So if we want to be certain whether Almighty God is the Lord returned or not, and whether this gospel is true or false, the key is to listen to Almighty God’s word to see whether or not it is the voice of God. If we become sure that it is the expression of truth, then we should accept it. Are we not welcoming the Lord by doing this?
If, on the other hand, we choose not to seek or investigate Almighty God’s way and we listen to what the pastors and elders say, believing that the gospel online preaching the Lord’s return is false, that we mustn’t listen to strangers’ sermons, and so reject Almighty God’s gospel of the last days—if we still haven’t accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days by the time it is concluded, won’t we then miss out on the Lord’s salvation in the last days? The Jewish faithful all those years ago blindly believed the words spoken by the scribes and Pharisees condemning the Lord Jesus, and in the end, they not only lost the Lord Jesus’ salvation, but they committed the heinous crime of resisting the Lord. We should therefore be on the alert when it comes to the matter of welcoming the Lord’s return. God gives us this warning: “The work of God surges onward like a mighty wave. No one can detain Him, and no one can halt His march. Only those who listen carefully to His words, and who seek and thirst for Him, can follow His footsteps and receive His promise. Those who do not shall be subjected to overwhelming disaster and well-deserved punishment.” God’s work moves ever onward, and it does not stop just because we are unable to accept it. Only those who can recognize God’s voice and follow the footprints of the Lamb will be praised by God in the end. Almighty God has now made a group of overcomers before the disasters and the work to save mankind in the last days is nearing its end. We should therefore be the wise virgins, and the only wise choice we can make is to proactively seek and investigate God’s work and hear God’s voice!
- Editor’s Note:
Now that you’ve read this article, do you have a clear answer to your question as to whether what your pastor says is correct, that “the gospel online preaching the Lord’s return is false, and we mustn’t listen to strangers’ sermons”? If so, please feel free to share it with other brothers and sisters who may also want to welcome the Lord’s return. Should you have further questions, you can click on the online chat icon at the bottom of this page, and Let’s explore the issue of welcoming the Lord’s return together. We’re more than happy to help you and answer any questions you might have.
Read more on our Welcome the Lord’s Return page, or click on the related articles below.