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Billy Graham On Second Coming of Christ, How to Identify Cult Leaders

( [email protected] ) Sep 20, 2016 01:18 PM EDT
The Second Coming of Christ can be an intimidating subject - however, evangelist Billy Graham wants people to know that no matter what false teachers may claim, no man knows exactly when Jesus will return to earth.
While some cults are blatantly anti-Christian, others are far more dangerous, as they closely resemble a church and claim to promote the teachings of Jesus Christ while actually denying some of the Bible's' most important teachings. Stock Photo

The Second Coming of Christ can be an intimidating subject - however, evangelist Billy Graham wants people to know that no matter what false teachers may claim, no man knows exactly when Jesus will return to earth.

In a question-and-answer column published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association on Saturday, the 97-year-old Baptist minister was asked by a reader about an event happening in their city that was headed by a cult leader.

"Recently a so-called 'spiritual guru' whose followers say he is divine came to our city for a lecture. I've heard that Jesus is going to return to Earth someday. Could this person be Jesus?" the person asked.

First and foremost, Graham emphasized that the preacher was certainly not Jesus, as the Holy Bible says that the Second Coming will be readily apparent to people throughout the world.

"I can confidently say that this person is not Jesus - because when Jesus returns, He will come from Heaven with power and glory, and the whole human race will see Him," wrote Graham.

"The Bible says, 'When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him. ... All the nations will be gathered before him' (Matthew 25:31-32)."

Graham then noted that throughout his lengthy ministry, many people have asked him about Christ's return.

"I do not know, and neither does anyone else. In fact, Jesus warned us against trying to make precise predictions about His coming, or even to claim that we know, although over the centuries some have tried (and failed)," the pastor said.

"But I do know this: Someday Christ will come again - and then it will be too late for us to repent and be saved. And even if death comes to us before then, now - not later - is the time to put our faith and trust in Him."

A number of religious leaders have in the past claimed to know when Christ will return to earth despite Jesus' own words found in Mark 13:32 - "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

In an earlier "My Answers" post, Graham shared several ways believers can identify if a religious gathering they are attending is a "cult" rather than a "church" - even if it closely mimics Christian practices and claims to teach the Bible.

"Let me suggest three questions or guidelines you might find helpful in evaluating this group," he wrote. "First, what do they believe about the Bible? Is it alone the Word of God (as Christians affirm)-or do they add to it, or claim they alone have translated it correctly?"

Second, evangelist encouraged people to ask, "What does this religious group believe about Jesus?"

"Is He alone the divine Son of God, sent from Heaven to save us from our sins?" Graham asked. "Or do they deny this, or claim we must work to save ourselves?"

Third, it's important to ask, "What do such groups believe about other Christians? Do they claim that they, and they alone, have the truth-or do they rejoice that God is also at work elsewhere?"

Graham advised readers to remember that God loves them and wants them to discover His great truth found in the Bible: "Ask him to lead you to a church where the Bible is preached and taught, and you can grow closer to Christ. Let the Psalmist's prayer become yours: 'Strengthen me according to your word' (Psalm 119:28)."

Tags : Billy Graham, cult, Second Coming, return of Jesus, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association