The glory has long departed
Today there is much less interest in Bible prophecy in Christendom than there was 30 years ago. I can well remember well over 40 plus years ago now, when I was around 20 years of age and doing national service that every weekend I would go to a Christian assembly and that Bible prophecy was a very strong feature of that fellowship. Today when you visit that place you would never know it for what it was in its heyday. In those days it was a ‘soul saving, soul sanctifying’ Assembly that used Biblical prophecy s a means to seeing ‘sinners’ saved and saints sanctified. Tragically today it is just a shell, a ‘white elephant’ spiritually speaking, The glory has long departed, ‘Ichabod’ is clearly written across its doors! As for Biblical prophecy it has long been forgotten in that place years ago and undoubtedly relegated to antiquity.
None of our business?
Today you have RW a leading ‘luminary’ known in evangelical circles all around the world and one who has produced millions of books supposedly about Biblical Christianity but who himself belittles and encourages others to ignore Biblical prophecy. RW it would seem has a low regard for Bible prophecy. Perhaps this helps explain why so many Christians who once were anticipating the return of the Lord Jesus have become occupied with worldly ambitions and pursuits and having it good in this world because of this new brand of ‘feel good’ theology if you can call it that. RW writes: “When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission in the world. He said in essence, “The details of my return are none of your business. What is your business is the mission I have given you. Focus on that!” (PDL, p. 285) RW tells readers to think about something other than Bible prophecy: “If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.” RW ends this section of his book by stating that Satan would have you “sidetracked from your mission” and by quoting Jesus out of context, saying, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted [by studying Bible prophecy] from the work I plan for him is not fit for the kingdom of God” (Living Bible). But Jesus was not referring to His return when He made that statement, which in the King James Version says: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
As to a lamp shining in a dark place
The ‘Purpose Driven’ kingdom Now ‘theology’ as such leaves no room for Bible prophecy, and in fact it would seem actually condemns those who study it.The Apostle Peter had a completely different perspective on Bible Prophecy when he wrote; “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19) In its context Peter was speaking about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus the Messiah. As he writes; “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (Vs.16)
A preview of what is to come
The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus is a predominant theme in both Testaments. In fact many of the exhortations to holy living are given in the light of the Second Coming of Jesus the Messiah. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, along with James and John, had a preview of what the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus would be like. This experience they had was not something that had made up but a revelation of what was to come in the future and a vision that would be with them for the rest of their lives and shape their thinking and theology. The Bible is full of Eschatology from Genesis to revelation but men like RW do not even know or do not want to know what is written because it goes contrary to his ‘feel-good’, ‘seeker-friendly’ approach to the gospel message. Of course this man has set the trend to provide a so called ‘non-threatening’ environment to peddle his brand of theology if you can call it Biblical in its fullest sense?
What does the Apostle Peter tell us about the prophecy of scripture?
1. God’s Prophetic Word is made more sure than an eyewitness account; “So we have the prophetic word made more sure,”
There is nothing like a personal experience with the Lord Jesus and all of us who have been born again by the Holy Spirit have a revelation of who the Lord Jesus is and what He did for us and that He is our saviour Lord and the Messiah of Israel. Peter, James and John all were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ majesty in glory and this was to make an everlasting impression on them. However, Peter says more important than even what we saw with our eyes is the sure testimony of God’s Word. As far as Biblical prophecy was concerned the Lord Jesus though it was of the most importance to His Body the faithful Church. Sadly today many ministers and Churches are ignoring Bible prophecy in favour of the worldly conforming theology of men such as RW who denigrate Bible prophecy and teach others to do the same.
2. God’s Prophetic Word must not be ignored or relegated to antiquity; “…to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place.”
Today the world is a dark place and getting darker by the hour. Tragically in Christendom there is almost as much darkness and ignorance concerning Biblical end-time prophecy as there is in the world. If we do not have a basic understanding of Biblical prophecy then when things get dark we will not have the light to see our way in that spiritual darkness when it comes and it is coming. The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus should be a major and central doctrine in Christendom today as we see Biblical prophecy being fulfilled at an ever increasing rate more than at any other time in history. Yet when though the Lord Jesus’ second coming is much closer than it was 30-40 years ago there is much less interest in it now than there was back then. Without the light of Biblical prophecy all will be darkness and confusion. We would do well to pay attention to it! Who are you going to believe RW or the Apsotle Peter? You cannot have it both ways!
3. God’s Prophetic Word must arise in our hearts like the morning star; “…until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.”
In the Arabian desert you have the morning star. It is a star that appears just before the break of day and when it shines you think dawn has come but it hasn’t but it soon will. Bible prophecy is like that. The more we see and understand God’s end-time purposes and plans for Israel, for the Church and for the world from the Bible the brighter the light of Jesus Second Coming will become for us and in us until it becomes a burning hope. It will be as if the morning star has already arisen in the desert of our hearts giving us the assurance that the day of the Lord’s appearing is at hand. We all would do well to pay more close attention to Biblical prophecy as it will be the only light that will give us guidance in the dark days ahead.
Behold I am coming soon!
RW and other leading ‘luminaries’ moving in evangelistic circles as such may well keep pumping out their ‘Purpose Driven’, ‘seeker friendly’ programmes of one sort or another but if they insist on ignoring Bible prophecy then they will have to give an account to Him who said; “Behold I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and i will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:12-13)
Readiness and watchfullness
He who also said; “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”(Luke 12:35-40) Selah!