I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of surprises. When I heard this story about President Eisenhower and his surprise encounter with Donald Haley, I could relate. The story goes like this:
It was August and President Eisenhower was taking his usual summer vacation in Denver, CO, when a newspaper article caught his eye. It was an open letter in the local paper from a little guy named Paul Haley — just six years of age, and dying of cancer. The letter read, “Mr. President, I know you’re in Denver — more than anything, I would like to have the opportunity to meet you before I die.”
In one of those gracious gestures that is long remembered after a President is gone, President Eisenhower decided to answer the little boy’s request. I can only imagine the sight — that long black limousine cruising down Denver’s neighborhood streets and pulling up in front of the modest Haley home.
The President and his entourage walked up to the front door and knocked. The door opened, and there stood an unsuspecting daddy — Paul’s father, Donald Haley — dressed in a faded shirt, cut-off jeans and a day’s growth of beard. You can imagine his shock when he saw the President standing there! History tells us that President Eisenhower spent some one-on-one time with little Paul, before graciously saying his good-byes and driving off in that unmistakable dark limousine.
For years to come, the Haley family talked about the kind act of a busy president. Everybody was elated about it, except the dad, Donald Haley. He’d never forget how he was dressed when he opened the door – “I can’t believe it,” he said. “A faded shirt, torn jeans, an unshaven face — what a way to meet the President of the United States!”
One day, the Bible says, the trumpet is going to sound, the clouds are going to part, the Lord Jesus is going to appear and we’re going to see Him face-to-face.
As embarrassing as that is, I want to tell you something that’s going to be even more embarrassing. One day, the Bible says, the trumpet is going to sound, the clouds are going to part, the Lord Jesus is going to appear and we’re going to see Him face-to-face. How are you dressed, Christian? Are you decked-out in the wrong garments — the sin-faded clothing of materialism, immorality, dishonesty and greed? Or are you clothed in righteousness?
Let me ask you a very personal question: if the Lord were to appear this very moment — if that trumpet were to sound right now — how would you feel? Would you be elated to see the Lord Jesus, or would you be embarrassed at how He’d find you — unprepared to meet Him?
I want to help you prepare to meet the Lord. I want to walk you through the who, what, where, when and why of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Billy Graham once said that Bible Prophecy is perhaps the most neglected teaching in the church today — and yet, it’s one of the most important subjects to understand.
But let’s be honest — most people are not nearly as concerned with the beast in Revelation 13 as they are with the headaches and heartaches that face them Monday through Friday. Most people I know have enough tribulation in their life right now to ever be worried about some future tribulation of seven years.
And so we wonder, “What difference does Bible Prophecy make if it’s not tied to everyday living?” But the truth is, what’s going to happen in the hereafter matters greatly in the here and now.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you can tell me first where we are, and where we are headed, I can better tell you what we should be doing and how to do it.”
That’s exactly why I believe Bible Prophecy is so important. In fact, in the Bible, for every one prophecy that deals with the first coming of Jesus, there are eight promises about his Second Coming. That shows you how important Bible Prophecy is to God, and it should be to us as well.