The 100% accuracy rate of Messianic prophecies (First coming of Christ) makes ignoring the premillennial prophecies (Second coming of Christ) the single greatest folly in the history of mankind. That would include the church or anyone who dismisses these warnings out of hand.
As to the question of which is worse; it is like finding that there is no exit door available when someone cries fire in a crowded room, or conversely, having someone pointing to a door that does not lead out of the burning building. It is a lose-lose situation.
There are three main reasons why some of today’s churches will not undertake serious teachings on Biblical second coming prophecies.
- The picture of great calamities and severe judgments produces too much fear.
- Some people don’t want anything to upset the status quo, they like things the way they are.
- The nature of second coming prophecy requires serious study and a good sense of discernment to grasp.
All three of the above difficulties with second coming doctrines are answered in the scripture.
Fear: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Tim 1: 7)
The Status Quo: “And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2Pet 3: 4)
Serious Study: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Tim 2: 15)
Yes, we live in a very confused world where perversion has become vogue and the day of evil approaches in a fearful sort of way, but this is the all-important reason to approach the scriptures circumspectly and with all gravity. The Lord asks us to take a positive view of the tumults and portents of the last days. To wit:
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Lu 21: 28)
A Step Beyond Jonah and Ezekiel
The refusal to take second coming prophecy seriously in the church results in a great loss for a sinful and dying world.
We see that most Christians take one of three approaches to the promulgation of end times prophecies and warnings. While they are all very human, only one may be strictly applied to the church today.
Jonah was the prophet who ran away. He was quite unsuccessful and eventually had to backtrack to carry out the commands of the Lord to warn the people of Nineveh. They repented and were spared which serves to amplify the folly of resisting the proclamation of God’s message to any people.
“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” (Jon 1: 3)
Ezekiel was different. The warnings to Israel were also accompanied with a serious warning to the prophet.
“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” (Eze 3: 18)
Christians are given an imperative to broadcast the gospel, the promises and the details of Christ’s return in a far more serious way. It is a command, not just an idea.
In what is known as the great commission Jesus included a call to proclaim everything he said; we are not allowed to cherry pick only the parts of his message that peak our interest.
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Mt 28: 20)
Second coming doctrine is part of “all things” that Christ taught.
A perfect example of someone fulfilling this command is seen in the life of the Apostle Paul who proclaimed these words as he approached the end of his life and ministry.
“And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20: 25-27)
The question of which is worse false prophecy or no prophecy is moot; neither one is ever acceptable.
Don’t fear when men think you have taken to absurdity because of your urgency regarding Christ’s return. If you live in the United States you are living in the capital of absurdity.
Only in America will you find millions who think it is OK to kill 60 million unborn babies and pass laws that OK the marriage of two men.
Only in America do we find a former speaker of the house acting as a judge in a contest of drag queens at the same time the California legislature is considering a law that will put someone in jail for giving out a straw in a fast food restaurant.
On the practical side of the matter, after fifty years of studying, teaching and proclaiming the gospel and the doctrine of the second coming, I have learned that John 3: 16 always seems to have more punch when it is appendaged with John 5: 25.
People today have a more heightened awareness of the uncertainty because of the turbulent changes that are happening daily. Nations are roaring and for the first time even nuclear war seems possible.
Try it. When sharing the gospel with those who are reluctant, add the warnings and details of Christ’s return to your message and you will see many more responses from many more people – it is proven.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.