Growing up, I remember watching movies on End Time Prophecy including‘Thief In The Night’ which started my life-long fascination with Bible Prophecy or Eschatology as it is termed. This ground-breaking film was, at the time, a shocking dramatization of the Rapture of the Church and the rise of the Antichrist which caught my imagination and I was keen to find out more! Before then, I didn’t know the Bible was so full of prophetic writings and I found reading these scriptures fascinating.
Since then, there’s been many more films, including the well-known Left Behind series and I’ve heard countless sermons on the Signs of the Times, but, not so much anymore. It seems many churches have gone silent on the subject and I wonder why. Churches today seem to focus on spiritual growth, personal development, and community service, with little or no teaching on the Second Coming. This is such a pity as Bible Prophecy can be such a potent evangelistic outreach
A former pastor of mine once jokingly said, “The reason why there will be half an hour of silence in Heaven (as mentioned in Revelation) is because the Bible Prophecy experts will be lost for words when they find out what actually happens!” He may well be right, especially when we consider the likes of Harold Camping who has brought ridicule to the topic due to his inaccurate date-setting. But, the fact that some have let us down doesn’t mean we should shun eschatology altogether.
Thessalonians 5:1-5 clearly tells us that we can’t predict the date of the Lord’s return, but that true believers will not be caught unaware of its timing.“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly… But you are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.”
As believers we are called to keep watch. In Matthew 25 we read The Parable of the Ten Virgins. Five were foolish and five were wise. We need to be like the wise virgins who were equipped for the coming of the Bridegroom, so that we can be certain of our place at the wedding banquet. This is why Jesus repeatedly admonishes us to keep watch, because we do not know the day or the hour. (Verse 13)
What does it mean to keep watch? Yes, this means living right and being ready, which is where the teaching of spiritual growth and personal development is essential, but there is also a level of expectation that the Lord wants us to have and that comes from learning Bible prophecy. We can’t just gloss over the scriptures of Jesus’ accession into Heaven and His promised return to earth in the same way and just get on with our lives. We need to be expectant of our Lord’s return in keeping with the many scriptures that talk about the day of the Lord’s coming.
1 Corinthians 1:7 tells us to eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; 2 Timothy 4:8 refers to all who have longed for His appearing; and Hebrews 10:25 instructs us to encourage one another, and all the more as we see the day approaching. In fact, every time we have communion, we remember what Jesus has accomplished for us ‘until He comes’ (1 Corinthians 11:26). We also have a warning from 2 Peter 3:3 about mockers who will scoff at Jesus’ promised return. Let us not be found in their ranks.
Study the Scriptures
Instead, let’s keep watch by being Biblically literate concerning our future and the future of mankind as outlined in the Bible. We can do this by studying the many scriptures that pertain to the Signs of The Times, including the words of Jesus Himself. We can also read books on End Time prophecy and watch End Time programming via Christian media, which examines the topic from different viewpoints.
We don’t have to agree with all that is being said, but it’s good to know what different Bible teachers are saying and make up one’s own mind. A working knowledge of Bible prophecy in line with current events makes for interesting conversation with others and can often be an evangelistic tool to share the Gospel.
This is why I appreciate broadcasters like GOD TV who are prepared to go against the flow and make a bold stand, airing a variety of End Times programming that inspires viewers to question what they believe and instilling an urgency to reach others, while there is time. GOD TV has an extensive archive of End-Time programming including the network’s original series Apocalypse And The End Times.
Apocalypse And The End Times
Hosted by Paul McGuire, Apocalypse And The End Times, is particularly insightful, featuring interviews with diverse End Time experts from Kevin Clarkson of Prophecy in the News to Bill Salus of Prophecy Depot Ministries; best-selling author, Rabbi, Jonathan Cahn; Donald Perkins of According To Prophecy Ministries; and many others. The series covers a variety of topics, challenging Christians to be informed about what is going on in the world today and can be watched on air as well as online.
I was particularly interested to hear PaulMcGuire and Donald Perkins discuss Reasons Why Churches Don’t Teach Bible Prophecy and the Book of Revelation. I think it’s sad some pastors belittle the role of Bible prophecy. They don’t need to get into such intriguing or controversial topics as the New World Order; One World Religion or the Mark of the Beast, but they can at least acknowledge that Jesus is coming back and we need to be ready!
We must occupy until Jesus Returns
I don’t believe the world is going to end tomorrow, or that we as Christians should give up and just wait things out until Jesus returns. We are called to occupy until Jesus comes back and that means being ‘salt’ and ‘light’ wherever we find ourselves. I am also expectant of Jesus’ return and one of my best choruses of all time is I Lift My Hands To The Coming King by André Kempen.
“I lift my hands to the coming King, to the great I AM, to You I sing, for You’re the One, who reigns within my heart. And I will serve no foreign god or any other treasure. You are my heart’s desire, Spirit without measure, unto Your name I will bring my sacrifice.”
Let us be informed, as the Church of Jesus Christ, knowledgeable about His return so we can share our expectation with others and consecrate our lives to Him alone. As the Apostle Paul ended his letters… ‘Maranatha… Our Lord is coming!’