Tuesday, August 19, 2008

That Fine Line in Studying Bible Prophecy

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

The Study
I've been a student of the Bible and Bible prophecy since childhood, but my time here at Lamb & Lion Ministries especially has immersed me deep into the prophetic scriptures. No longer am I just studying what the Bible has to reveal about end time events, but now I daily compare the news events to what Bible prophecy says and also read a wide variety of viewpoints from the major teachers of the Bible and world politics. It's what any good student should do.

One of the great joys in being Web Minister is being able to interact with so many of the other students of Bible prophecy via the website, email, social networks and other venues. We are all so anxious for God to fulfill His promises of Jesus' soon return, of the peace and justice He has promised will one day fill the land, and how we can be serving while waiting. These interactions and communications are also part of the learning and growing experience in the study of Bible prophecy.

The Line
But, in moving beyond focusing on the Bible soley for studying Bible prophecy and engaging in news trolling and idea sharing, I've discovered there exists a fine line. On one side of the line is the Bible and what it teaches concerning eschatology (the study of end events), and the other side of the line resides the world of extra-biblical teachings.

These extra-biblical teachings concern numerology like the prophetic significance of miles between Jerusalem and London, codes hidden in the Bible and other texts, mathematical equations based on Mayan calendars, celestial displays like blood moons, analysis of significant dates like 2012, political analysis of persons who could fit the bill of the Antichrist, and obsessions over all things Jewish.

The Crossing
No true student of the Bible should cross that line. Why? For one, the Bible is the final authority from God, complete in its revelation of what God wants us to know. As the Apostle Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:14-17(NIV), "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Second, crossing the line destroys our Christian credibility which destroys people's interest in Bible prophecy. Students of Bible prophecy are always bemoaning the lack of interest from churches in wanting to pursue eschatological studies. Bible prophecy teachers can't even get their foot into many classrooms because the people already have this notion that these teachers are wild-eyed conspiracy theorists. They get that because of the many Bible prophecy students who have crossed the line.

The Stand
I can fully understand that we Bible prophecy students are zealous for the Lord's return, and rightly so. But, some don't feel the Bible is just giving them enough information, and in their impatience chase after the latest extra-biblical studies. Please, be patient and wait upon the Lord. Trust that God has revealed in the Bible everything He wants us to know about Christ's return. And, do not make the study of Bible prophecy unpalatable to others, for there is a wealth of wonder of our Lord in such study.

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope." - Psalm 130:5 (NIV)

1 comment:

Michael said...

What if when Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," it was the same as when God said, "Let there be light."

When God said let there be light there was light. apply the same concept to when Jesus said Be ye therefore perfect....