By Chuck Baldwin
August 18, 2016
Christians of all stripes and persuasions believe in the return of Christ, nuances of prophetic interpretation notwithstanding. Furthermore, personal interpretations of prophecy are NOT fundamental to our salvation or our service to God. One will find faithful and unfaithful believers at every point along the prophecy spectrum.
That said, after more than four decades of pastoring, it is my firm conviction that the obsession with Bible prophecy demonstrated by a host of professing Christians today is one of our country’s BIGGEST problems. On the whole, obsession with prophecy either takes those obsessed completely out of the freedom fight or it actually puts them on the side of those who are trying to usurp our liberties.
For some (especially those who believe in a “pre-tribulation Rapture”), prophecy has mostly turned them into indifferent, apathetic facilitators of tyranny. They say things like “This is all predicted in the Bible, so there’s nothing we can do about it” or “Jesus is coming soon, and I won’t be around to see it, so I’m not worrying about it” or “Since this is all part of prophecy, we should not even try to resist, because to resist is to interfere with God” and similar nonsensical, asinine statements.
Others see all kinds of self-interpreted “signs” proving whatever they WANT to believe in order to convince people that their prophetic predilections are superior to everyone else’s for the purpose of exalting their own hyperinflated, super-spiritual egos. In other words, these particular folks are living in their own self-created fantasy world that renders them absolutely worthless–or even detrimental–to the freedom fight.
Still others are so jaded in their prophetic infatuation with the modern state of Israel that they interpret everything through the dark lenses of misguided obfuscation to the point that they are unable to see events clearly and accurately, which makes them prone to the manipulations of Neocons and other enemies of freedom.
People have been interpreting Bible prophecy to suit their own fancies for over 2,000 years. The fact is, no one knows exactly how and when the events surrounding Christ’s return will take place. NO ONE. I don’t care how “smart” and “knowledgeable” they think they are on the subject. THEY DON’T KNOW.
But in the meantime, their inflated opinions of their own brilliance mostly serve to make them totally indifferent to the loss of liberty or even actively supportive of the forces that are trying to usurp our God-given liberties. Either way, freedom loses.
The first question the disciples asked our Lord after His resurrection from the dead concerned prophecy: “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)
Look carefully at Christ’s response to them: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” (Acts 1:7)
Did you get that? “IT IS NOT FOR YOU TO KNOW.”
Students of the scriptures have been studying “end time” prophecies since the completion of the canon of Scripture. And the interpretations have been, and still are, as varied as the people proffering them.
We could assemble the most brilliant apologists in the world for the various interpretations of Bible prophecy and let them present the reasons for their interpretations and each of them would be able to present a very coherent and convincing scriptural case for their position. And the fact is, the best any of them would be doing would be making a studied, educated GUESS at how it all MIGHT happen.
Come on! Get real, folks! Some of the smartest men of history have been making educated guesses regarding the return of Christ since the Apostle John finished writing the Book of The Revelation. Date setters have come and gone–along with the dates they set–for 2,000 years. And the educated guessers of today are no smarter than they were then.