Expecting the Near End of The World is a Christian Problem
Tonight I’ll be participating in a friendly debate on the subject of Bible prophecy with Dr. Michael Brown. Dr. Brown and I agree on a lot of topics. He’s a cultural warrior on the subject of same-sex marriage.
The same day Dr. Brown’s article addressing Tony Campolo’s decision to move to the “gay side,” Greg Laurie published an article with the following title: “What to Expect During Armageddon, Rapture of Believers and the Second Coming of Christ.”
I’ve written about Greg Laurie’s prophetic views in a past article. You can read it here.
Here’s the problem: How do Christians fight against the tide of secularism when they are being told that we are living in the end times and the return of Jesus is near? It’s not just Greg Laurie. Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham’s daughter and the sister of Franklin Graham, is telling Christians “we’re coming close to the end of human history as we know it.” She believes that “the year the modern state of Israel was restored to the Jews’ ancestral land” (1948), that generation that saw that “event happen will also see the second coming of Christ.”
Hal Lindsey said something similar in 1970 in his mega-multi-million blockbuster The Late Great Planet Earth. He said it would take place 40 years from 1948: 1948+40 = 1988. That was 27 years ago. A lot of cultural sludge has gone under the bridge.
Pastor Greg Laurie urged his congregation to take the promise of the return of Jesus seriously. “He shared what surrounds this great event and what they should do until then. ‘Christ is going to come back. … He is returning to judge His enemies, set up His kingdom and rule over the Earth for a thousand years, Laurie, the pastor of Harvest Church, said, as he began his message on Sunday titled, “’Till He Comes.”
It’s one thing to take the return of Jesus seriously; it’s another thing to claim that it’s near and all that we are seeing today is a prophetic inevitability. Why bother fighting the cultural sludge if the return of Jesus is near?
Prophetic speculation about a near end has a long and consistently failed history. I know, this time it’s different. It was different during the French Revolution, World War I, the rise of Communism, Nazism, and World War II. My shelves are filled with books written by prophetic speculators going back centuries.
Instead of focusing on a doubtful near end of everything, what do you think would happen if we got involved in every area of life like Progressives and Liberals have done for more than a century? Homosexuals make up less than 3 percent of the population, but they have succeeded to take over the schools, media, and courts. Christians could have done this, but a majority did not see that it was part of their Christian mission. The world was evil and run by Satan. As things got worse and worse, they were taught that Jesus would “rapture” them to heaven so they would not have to endure the “great tribulation.”
Christians waited and waited, but there was no “rapture.” They are now stuck in a morass of moral sludge and still millions of them listen to a new breed of prophetic speculators who use the same verses and apply them to changing headlines.
“It has to be the end. The world is such a mess. There’s no possible way to turn it around.”
When Jesus walked the earth, there was an empire-wide centralized government, abortion, child abandonment (infanticide), and homosexuality. Jesus called 12 apostles (one of whom betrayed Him), and with these 12 and dozens more, the world was transformed. At the time, no one would have given them a chance, even when they were told by Jesus that the central worship center in Jerusalem would be destroyed within a generation (Matt. 24:34).
Can we do any less?