I know some people like to watch those Christian TV shows that are fixated on end-time events. I don’t.
I know some people like reading fiction and non-fiction books about the Rapture, the identity of the anti-Christ, the Mark of the Beast and 666, Nostradamus, Mabus, etc., etc. I don’t.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the Biblical books of Daniel and Revelation and all the other Scripture passages which deal with the Second Coming and Jesus’ triumphant return to earth as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I have read the back of THE BOOK and I know that Jesus wins and so that means that I get to win because of Him.
Don’t get me wrong. I have my opinions on the doctrine of eschatology and how the end of the age will all come to pass. I also anticipate that God is in heaven laughing because all of us who think we have it figured it out … have some aspect of the eschaton absolutely and completely WRONG.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the significance of Israel and the Jewish people to the Kingdom of God and Ancient of Days. I know that 14 May 1948 is one of the landmark days in the history of the world as it began a clock towards the end of time. I know that Israel and God’s relationship with His Chosen Ones are in essence the calendar of eternity. However, …
I just don’t do prophecy. But … are you curious as to why?
FIRST — The uncertainty involved with prophecy just makes me skittish to even dabble in something that appears so difficult to grasp. I took two seminary classes on the Book of Revelation and the doctrine of eschatology and both professors had different positions. I have a shelf full of books on the subject and every one has a slightly different take on the subject. I have seen very good Christian leaders become so involved in the idea of prophecy and the Rapture that when it didn’t happen as they expected that their whole ministry was shattered and their faith was shaken (i.e., Does anyone remember 88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Come in 1988?)
If the doctrine of eschatology is so uncertain and untenable, why do so many spend so much time fixating on something about which they could be wrong? By the way, I am still waiting for some of my friends to get refunds on all those books and videos they bought about the Y2K crisis.
SECOND — My dad preached a sermon when I was in college on this subject which has stayed with me for over 25 years. By the way, my dad was a Clarence Larkin chart wielding, Scofieldian, pre-millennial, pre-tribulational in his eschatology. His sermon was based not on Acts 1:8 but on the verses 10 and 11 which followed Jesus’ final words following the ascension.
And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Daddy’s point from the sermon was that we should spend our time looking inward at our lives, downward in prayer, and out towards the world instead of looking up towards the sky. In other words, we have too much to do in this world to fulfill the Great Commission to spend our time looking up for a day that will take care of itself … whenever it happens. It is not wrong to look up occasionally but we have more important things to do with God’s time!
THIRD — I have read article after document from the secular and non-believing Jewish press. I have Jewish non-believer after non-believer utter this similar refrain — “Christians just want to use us Jewish people to hurry up the Apocalypse where we all die anyway.”
Now this is an overstatement. I know that fact. However, and for the Jewish people who utter such a statement and who might be reading this post now but don’t yet believe in Jesus, this is how they often feel. They perceive that we in the Christian community view the Jewish people as a means to an apocalyptic end.
For, yes, the Jewish people play a significant role in the end times. The Hebrew Scriptures are clear about this truth. HOWEVER, I would rather focus on Jewish evangelism and the love of Messiah Jesus for the Jewish people than on prophecy conferences, Christian television shows which purport to give us the latest timing on the eschaton, or anything to do with the end of the age. Eschatology is a doctrine that should be studied and considered and taught but it should not become the focus of our time or energy. The Great Commission is about the Gospel and evangelism and not about 2013 reasons for the return of Jesus. Jesus commanded us to go and tell the world about His gift of salvation and not about His return.