PMW 2017-053 by Gary DeMar (American Vision)
Once again, prophecy prognosticators are predicting Jesus is going to wrap up everything in our generation because things are so bad the end must be near. A recent article by Britt Gillette on the Prophecy News Watch website says as much:
“The signs of the Second Coming are all around us. When His disciples asked Jesus to describe the signs, He gave them several. The Jewish people back in possession of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28) … the Gospel preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14) … the arrival of the exponential curve (Matthew 24:3-8) … and more.
“The Old Testament prophets also pointed to a number of signs. An increase in travel and knowledge (Daniel 12:4) … the rise of a united Europe (Daniel 2:42) … the rise of the Gog of Magog alliance (Ezekiel 38-39) … and more.
“Today, all these signs are either present or in the process of being fulfilled. Yet for 1,800+ years, none of these signs were present. Think about that. None of the signs. But today? Today, they’re all around us.”
These passages and “signs” have been used for centuries to prove that the end was near for their time. End-time speculation is not new. It has a long and failed history going back centuries and has led to a form of prophetic inevitability resulting in Christian passivity.
He Shall Have Dominion
(paperback by Kenneth Gentry)
A classic, thorough explanation and defense of postmillennialism (600+ pages). Complete with several chapters answering specific objections.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
“If Jesus is coming back in my generation, then why expend time and effort to fix what can’t be fixed. Why rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic? It’s all going down.”
As Christians have waited for the soon return of Jesus, humanists, secularists, and materialists have infiltrated every part of society. Instead of fighting against the invasion, an end-time escapist eschatology was invented with disastrous results. In Hal Lindsey’s book The 1980’s: Countdown to Armageddon, he wrote, “The decade of the 1980’s could very well be the last decade of history as we know it.” In addition to his questionable interpretive claims, consider these comments from Lindsey:
“What a way to live! With optimism, with anticipation, with excitement. We should be living like persons who don’t expect to be around much longer.”1
“I don’t like clichés but I’ve heard it said, ‘God didn’t send me to clean the fish bowl, he sent me to fish.’ In a way there’s a truth to that.”2
If the end is always just around the corner based on certain prophetic texts linked to current events, then why bother or even hope to rebuild a failing and collapsing world?
We’ve seen such speculation many times before: in the French Revolution, World War I, World War II, and nearly every dramatic event throughout two millennia of history. If you want to read a chronicle of end-time speculation, take a look at Francis X. Gumerlock’s The Day and the Hour: Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Predicting the End of the World. Send a copy to your end-time speculating friends.
I often hear, “But this time it’s different. We really are living in the last days and Jesus is coming soon.”
Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil (by Ken Gentry)
Technical studies on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, the great tribulation, Paul’s Man of Sin, and John’s Revelation.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
Today’s prophecy neophytes are under the false assumption that what they are reading in books and magazines, articles posted on the internet, seeing on television, and hearing on the radio and from pulpits are actually recently-discovered end-time truths of what they believe are current events that match up with particular prophetic passages. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Charles Wesley Ewing, writing in 1983, paints a clear historical picture of how prophetic interpretation based on current events turns to confusion, uncertainty, and in some people unbelief when it comes to predicting an end that disappoints:
“In 1934, Benito Mussolini sent his black-shirted Fascists down into defenseless Ethiopia and preachers all over the country got up in their pulpits and preached spellbinding sermons that had their congregations bulging at the eyes in astonishment about ‘Mussolini, the Anti-Christ,’ and to prove their point they quoted from Daniel 11:43, which says, ‘And the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.’ Later, Benito, whimpering, was hung by his own countrymen, and preachers all over America had to toss their sermons into the scrap basket as unscriptural.”3
Ewing goes on to mention how Hitler’s storm troopers took Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, North Africa, and set up concentration camps where millions of Jews were killed in what has become the modern-day definition of “holocaust.” Once again, preachers ascended their pulpits and linked these events to Bible prophecy and assured the church-going public that Hitler was the antichrist. When the allies routed the Nazis and drove them out, sermons were once again tossed out or filed away to be revised at some future date hoping people’s memories would fade.
The next end-time-antichrist candidate was Joseph Stalin, the leader of godless Communism, a movement hell-bent on conquering the world. “But on March 5, 1953, Stalin had a brain hemorrhage and preachers all over America had to make another trip to the waste basket.”4
Consider the “Signs”
Let’s take the above prophetic claims one at a time: …..
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