For centuries prophecy writers have claimed that the end was near. They’ve all had one thing in common — they’ve all been wrong! Hal Lindsey wrote a book with the title The Terminal Generation that was written more than 30 years ago. Lindsey had predicted in 1970 that it would all come apart in 1988 – 40 years after Israel became a nation again. That was 24 years ago, and we’re still here.
Many Christians had opted out of politics because of their belief that these prophecy writers were on target. What they didn’t know was that every generation has had so-called “prophecy experts” who assured the people of their day that the end was on the horizon.
David Schnittger pointed out the problem nearly 30 years ago:
Many in our camp have an all-pervasive negativism regarding the course of society and the impotence of God’s people to do anything about it. They will heartily affirm that Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, and that this must indeed by The Terminal Generation; therefore, any attempt to influence society is ultimately hopeless. They adopt the pietistic platitude: “You don’t polish brass on a sinking ship.” Many pessimistic pretribbers [those who believe that the church will be “raptured” prior to all hell breaking loose on planet Earth] cling to the humanists’ version of religious freedom; namely Christian social action and political impotence, self-imposed, as drowning men cling to a life preserver.1
One would think that after nearly 2000 years of false predictions today’s prophecy writers would think twice about getting involved in the forecasting game. Unfortunately, they’re still at it, and as a result millions of Christians have been immobilized because of the belief in prophetic inevitabilities. Why bother to get involved in politics when everything is distined for the crapper?
Recently there was a prophecy conference in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. An article written by Dave Tombers for WND offers this summary:
The author of several dozen books, including “The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days,” says today’s news reports indicate a new alliance is developing of nations that haven’t regularly gotten along with each other in the last, oh, few thousand years.”
The speaker was Mark Hitchcock, the author of more than a dozen books on Bible prophecy. I have all of them. There’s nothing new in any of them. Only the dates and the end-time bad guys have changed.
“It’s as if today’s headlines were written 2,600 years ago,” Hitchcock told the packed house of prophecy enthusiasts. He is referring to prophecies from the Old Testament that he claims were written with our day in view. This is hardly the case. Tombers continues with a summary of some of Hitchcock’s views:
He pointed to one prophecy he feels is nearing fulfillment. Known by those watching prophecy as the Gog-Magog war, the text of the prophecy can be found in Ezekiel 38. It describes an alliance of nations that go to war with Israel.
Anyone who takes the time to read Ezekiel 38 and 39 will see that the war is fought with weapons that were common to Ezekiel’s day. The enemy is on horseback and fights with bows and arrows, clubs, shields, and chariots. The nations that are mentioned were in existence in Ezekiel’s day.
Hitchcock went on to argue, “As of 2010, it was discovered that Israel sits on natural gas and oil fields that suddenly makes their land very appealing.” Israel’s enemies in Ezekiel were after “gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil” (Ezek. 38:13), the very things they brought back with them from their captivity from Babylon: “Every survivor, at whatever place he may live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle” (Ezra 1:4).
If you are interested in this subject, especially on a thorough study of Ezekiel 38 and 39, see my book Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future. It’s a real eye-opener. It will change the way you view Bible prophecy.
Jan Markell, the sponsor of the prophecy conference, has stated that the “world is a sinking Titanic.” Markell wasn’t the first to use the sinking Titanic metaphor. It was made famous by the 1950’s radio preacher J. Vernon McGee, who asked, “Do you polish brass on a sinking ship?”2 What effect do you think the constant teaching that the world is coming to an end has had on the moral, social, cultural, economic, legal, and political landscape in America?
I know that Bible prophecy is popular today (as it’s been popular any time there’s been a war, an earthquake, or some dictator claims he wants to rule the world), but most of it is fabricated. When put under biblical scrutiny, sensationalistic prophetic analysis doesn’t have a leg to stand on. See my book Last Days Madness for a thorough study of the subject.
- David Schnittger, Christian Reconstruction from a Pretribulational Perspective (Oklahoma City, OK: Southwest Radio Church, 1986), 7. [↩]
- Quoted in Gary North, Rapture Fever: Why Dispensationalism is Paralyzed (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1993), 100. [↩]