April 21, 2014

NOTE: This is a continuation of the article revealing two mistakes about biblical prophecy – the first is to mock it by rejecting its veracity and relevance – see Part 1 of this issue. The second follows now, to mock it by ignoring it as a believer and worse, not standing up for the truth when skeptics ridicule our faith in public. Now for “disconnect #2”.

There is a second disconnect, it is the Church at large. That is we, the people, as Christ followers.

What do I mean – when was the last time you heard a series of messages, not just a passing inference, by your ministry teacher, about end times prophecy or at least a bible study of one or more of the prophetic books of the Bible? Has anyone of biblical authority, who you hear from on a regular basis, made a sermonic attempt to bridge the recent catastrophic times we live in to a measured assessment of how we might be “closer than when we first believed ” to the end times scenario that Jesus taught his disciples? (Romans 13:11)

I know for me, it’s been years. I grew up on a steady stream of bible teaching with certain times of extended teaching from the prophetical books of the bible – but that was 20 years ago.

What happened to Christianity in the United States? Why isn’t prophecy – which accounts for over 25% of the Bible, being preached to that same degree? Why aren’t we appropriately respecting the balance of scripture by teaching fellow believers this issue in our attempt to teach “the full counsel of God”? Paul didn’t “shrink” from this, why do we? (Acts 20:20-27)

It is a certain fact that the apostles and the Church, at large, assumed and lived with an expectation of Christ’s soon coming; all through Church history. They assumed, and it motivated their behavior and strengthened their resolve in tough times and their faith in the face of persecution, that they were living in the “last days” as the prophets had predicted. But what has happened in the last 20 years to us to the modern, 2nd millennium Church, the Church of the 2000’s? (see Acts 2:14-21; Romans 13:1-14; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10; 2:17-20; 3:11-13; 4:13-18; 5:1-11; 2 Thessalonians 1,2)

Perhaps we too enamored with our own commercial successes, our own celebrity, and our concern for protecting all that we have, materially; our organizations, our donors, our prestige?

Perhaps we don’t want to offend anyone with some kooky notion of cosmic spectacles that portend to supernatural judgment when most in American either don’t believe in God, functionally, or at least don’t view Him as relevant or useful to their lives? If we offend this populace of socially inclusive, morally liberal, spiritually indifferent and financially influential people with a message from an obscure Biblical/prophetical passage, maybe they would think us insane? Maybe they would quit coming, maybe quit giving; then what?

I fear, that the modern church fears, that if we mentioned a soon coming Jesus and an all hell breaking loose world tribulation; they would agree with MSN; that we Christians are “dubious, publishers of superstitious fabrications, of the human mind”?

Well, whatever the fact is about why we don’t preach prophecy much anymore, the fact is, too many Christians, I meet, have next to no understanding of end time prophecies, from an orthodox biblical basis. Most moderns get their prophecy information from some hodge-podge of fables they learn from other “unlearned” folk in their office at work, from magazine articles in the grocery line or the media presentation of foolish speculations from the History channel or other cable special. That just won’t do, for truth. Heck, even a nonsystematic, disjointed, personal bible reading exercise, the puzzle piece approach of here a little, there a little, beats listening to the unlearned and ignoring those dedicated to this issue, as, for example, Pastor John Hagee.
And that bothers me.

Readers; it IS time to look at the “signs” and see them for what they are – a warning. And is time to read or reread the prophets, especially those of Jesus and His disciples, in the New Testament. We must be intellectually and spiritually “noble” enough, to see if “these things are so” (Acts 17:10,11) and not just rely on the social media muddle from your smart phone or the phony “experts” of MSN for your religious views as it relates to world events.

And one more thing, which we must address and correct now.

Those who have a mouth piece, a mega phone, for biblical truth; Church leadership, seminaries and missionaries, with a thorough knowledge of the Bible, especially on this issue of end time events and the judgment to come (Acts 24:25), should give counter evidence to the mockers. We need to counter the secular sceptics and the ignorant criticism of a major tenet of our faith. We must; not so much that we may convince them but that we might re-inform our own; those ignorant souls who claim Christ as their Savior but haven’t a clue as to what comes next on the prophetical calendar or why it matters to the daily function of one’s life, today.

The fact is; we are closer, today, to God’s coming judgment and the reign of our King Jesus, than when we first believed. That alone should motivate to look into these things. Indeed you might want to think of this possibility – what is the most important fact we may well face in our life time; God calling the game, “over” and Christ coming to judge in triumphant holiness? I think so.

Maybe the moon, last night, was shouting “red light”, time to stop and think about God’! (Psalm 19:1-6). Maybe it’s time to stop the nonsense and come to Jesus? (Matthew 11:28-30)

What say ye?

Jim Cote’