A Louisiana minister claimed that donating to a ministry expedites the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the video clip tweeted by the Right Wing Watch, Jesse Duplantis made the outrageous claim during the Kenneth Copeland Ministries' "VICTORY thon" fundraising event, the Christian Headlines reported.
"The reason why Jesus hasn't come is because people are not giving away what God told them to give. You see what I'm saying? I mean, when you understand it - you can speed up the time," he said.
"What is God saying to you? And I really believe this. If people would call this number and put this Victory all over the world - every available voice, every available outlet. The Father would say, 'Jesus, go get them.' Because you see, He wants to see us as much as we want to see Him," Duplantis added.
In the clip, the pastor also revealed that he is a multi-millionaire, adding that people can have his jet "the day after the rapture."
Participating in a "Victorython" fundraiser for Kenneth Copeland's ministry, right-wing pastor Jesse Duplantis brags about being a multi-millionaire with his own private plane while telling viewers that they can "speed up" the return of Christ by donating. pic.twitter.com/3VE6sETWBB
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 22, 2021
Britannica defines rapture as a Christian belief "that both living and dead believers will ascend into heaven to meet Jesus Christ at the Second Coming."
The Bible established this belief in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever," the verses say.
But according to the Bible, the return of Jesus does not depend on anyone's action, as Duplantis claimed, but is solely under the will of the Heavenly Father, as stated in Matthew 24:36.
Notorious for his expensive demands such as jets, the prosperity preacher seems to describe what the Word of God states in 2 Timothy 3. In the chapter, Paul predicted that in the last days, "people will love themselves, love money, brag, and be proud."
Further, the apostle said that "they will be conceited, will love pleasure instead of God, and will act as if they serve God but will not have His power."
He then warned the Christians to stay away from this kind of people.
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul, who travelled places just to share the Gospel, also emphasized that though he had the right to ask support from the believers, he opted not to use this right.
Addressing Duplantis' issue three years ago, Bert Farias, founder of Holy Fire Ministries, explained that God is not against "His people having riches and being blessed," citing 1 Timothy 6:17. However, he pointed out that "the rules are different for ministers" and that "caution and discretion must be exercised."
When Hurricane Ida hit the state in August, the Louisiana pastor was also criticized for announcing that he gave away $100,000 worth of generators while his neighbors disproved his claim, saying that they know no one who was given such nor have seen any activity that showed his ministry was doing anything for the community.