And so an additional year kicks off with a particular Christian magazines/sites producing gloomy predictions about these final days. (I was going to deliver some hyperlinks right here but it was depressing reading and I do not want to market newspaper eschatology. If you are interested, this stuff is not difficult to discover.)
What do all these articles have in typical? I imply, apart from peddling worry and anxiousness about existing events? Answer: they all think Jesus is coming back quickly. In other words, they do not think what the Bible says about the timing of Christ’s return. (TL:DR The scriptures are emphatically and deliberately silent on the date of the Lord’s return.)
“But the Lord’s return has to be quickly, ideal? I imply, all the indicators are there!”
If by indicators you imply earthquakes, famines, wars, lawlessness, and false messiahs, these are indicators that Jesus listed in connection with the fall of Jerusalem. There is not a single scripture that hyperlinks these indicators with the Lord’s final return to earth.
“But there are other indicators talked about in scripture, like the rise of the antichrist, false prophets, the man of lawlessness, animal extinctions, new ailments, a rebuilt Jerusalem, a third temple …”
These so-referred to as indicators have been falsely connected with the return of the Lord for two,000 years. They are not new, and they are not indicators.
A single of history’s clearest lessons is the constant wrongness of eschatological predictions. For instance, the turn of the initial millennium was marked by fears that the devil would be released following 1,000 years of captivity, as “predicted” by Revelation 20:7. A couple of months prior to the important date a new pope was installed in Rome. Quite a few believed that Pope Sylvester II was the antichrist in league with the devil, for he had studied with the Saracens. Judgment Day was imminent.
When the new millennium came and Jesus didn’t, these who sought to excite the masses with their eschatological predictions merely revised their dates. If Jesus wasn’t returning in the year 1000 he would come in the year 1006 (when a supernova was observed in the heavens), or 1033 (the thousandth anniversary of his death), or 1186 (when the planets aligned), or 1284 (666 years following the founding of Islam), or 1346 (the apocalyptic terror of the Black Plague), or 1496 (it was 1500 years following the birth of Jesus), and so on. The dubious practice of selecting dates for the Lord’s return continues to this day, as evidenced by our existing fascination with ISIS, blood moons, and Russia.
You would feel that with such a spectacularly abysmal record the prognosticators would give up. But there’s cash to be created in this game. In the old days, fearful Christians anticipating the finish of the planet gave their possessions to the church. These days they invest in books and fund doomsday ministries. They sign up to “prophetic” newsletters that spam their inboxes with newspaper eschatalogy. “Pope Francis is the antichrist.” “No wait, Mohammed Bin Salman is the antichrist. Right here comes the Good Tribulation!” “Another red heifer got sacrificed – the third temple is about to be constructed!” “There was a tsunami – sudden destruction is coming on the entire planet.” “Israel! Israel! Israel! Brace oneself for Armageddon!”
The puzzle is not that poor predictions continue to be created it is that individuals continue to heed them in spite of a two,000-year record of becoming incorrect. Every single. Single. Time.
The inability to study from history or think what Jesus mentioned remains a single of the greatest follies of the church.
How’s this for a New Year’s resolution: I refuse to be swayed by worry-mongers and doomsayers who claim to know far more than Jesus did.
Extracted and adapted from chapter 32 of Paul’s book AD70 and the Finish of the Globe.
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