Biblical conspiracy theorist Paul Begley, who believes he is a messenger of God, told his followers we are now living in the “end times”. Preaching from West Lafayette in Indiana, US, the pastor said the return of Christ is simply a matter of time. The firebrand preacher labelled the event the “biggest news” of the moment, bigger than anything happening right now.
Pastor Begley said: “The Lord spoke to me and said: ‘Tonight, you need to make sure everyone understands.’
“He’s coming soon.”
Fellow Christians who follow the preacher’s impassioned sermons about the Biblical apocalypse, believe the return of Christ will signal the end of the world as we know it.
Biblical prophecies about the apocalypse are often pulled from the Book of Revelation, which details what will happen in the last days.
The end times are supposed to be marked by increased instances of global war, famine, natural disasters and chaos.
These are interpreted from a passage which reads: “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.”
This period is commonly referred to as the Great Tribulation and is said to precede the Rapture – the moment Jesus will call the souls of the righteous into heaven.
Pastor Begley and a number of his followers believe the seals from the Book of Revelation are already being broken around us.
In his latest online sermon, Pastor Begley said: “Jesus is coming soon, for a lighting cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
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“He is coming soon and fast if he’s coming as fast as lighting.”
Many Christian scholars and theologians, however, dismiss such end of the world prophesying, claiming no one knows the time or day of Jesus’ return.
They point to Matthew 24: 36-44, which reads: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
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Stephen Witmer, the pastor of Pepperell Christian Fellowship in Pepperell, is one of those Christian preachers who does not support the bold end of the world claims.
Discussing the end of the world, he said: “Waiting based on explicit or implicit date-setting is our human attempt to seize control of the time of Jesus’s coming.
“It removes the uncomfortable, awkward uncertainty of not knowing when Jesus will return by establishing a date, whether exact or approximate.
“But God wants us to wait for Jesus not because we’re confident of a date, but because we trust God’s promise.”