By Nathan Jones
Eight Bible prophecy experts were asked, "Why do you teach Bible prophecy?" The following is how they responded.
God has laid it on me. He has laid about everything on me and I haven't always been willing to do all of these things. But, He opens doors for me and that's the way I pray, "God, if you got something you want me to do open the door, and if you don't want me to do it close the door." God opened the door for me to write. God has opened the door for me to be on television. God has opened the door for me to do all kids of things that I never dreamed I would be able to do.
In Jeremiah it talks about the fire burning in Jeremiah's bones. I am a watchman on the wall. I am a lay person. I am really nobody. But, I just have a love for God's Word. Ever since sixth grade I read a book that changed my life and it scared the tar out of me. Actually, it was by Salem Kirba. It was called 666 and it startled me. After that, I, of course, read Hal Lindsey and he scared the tar out of me, and from that point on when I was in sixth grade I have been studying Bible prophecy ever since. It was weird when I came back to the Lord, you know everybody does their prodigal son time. But, when I came back to the Lord, God hit me up with a two-by-four and said, "These things are going on, look at this, look at this, look at this!" And it was like "Wow! Where have I been?" And, that fire in my bone came up and ever since then I have not been able to be quiet. I have to proclaim the Good New., I have to proclaim the Gospel. I have to tell people about the blessed hope of our Lord's soon return. It is soon!
Well, first of all, the Lord placed His burden in my heart to teach Bible prophecy, and with that burden He gave me a love for the End Time message. I love what this message produces for my heart. As a born-again teacher, it puts the urgency in my heart to want to reach the lost. This message, out of all the messages in the Bible, to me really again puts that urgency there. It keeps the fire of God in my heart. I love the results of this message. As I teach it around the country I see men's lives changed as a result of them hearing Bible prophecy.
So, I teach it because I love it, and God has burdened my heart to teach it. It is a wonderful tool to bring in the harvest.
Because of the sign of the times — Jesus is coming soon!
So much of our faith in Christ is based on His promises, and He promised He is going to return again. We can trust Christ based on His promises always being fulfilled. I want the world to know that Jesus is coming soon. It's this urgent need, it's the gift of prophecy you could say, to get out that Jesus is coming soon.
Get your life straight if you don't know Jesus. Accept Him now, or it's going to be a miserable seven years ahead of you, then death. We want people to know Jesus as their Savior and get right with Christ.
Because the Lord called me — He put it on my heart. Way back while I was still in the education system, He just laid it on my heart. He sat me at His feet and He opened the Bible before me and He sent the Holy Spirit down and helped me learn the Scriptures. I sat at his feet and learned. And then I brought in great teachers and their books. But, here was The Book. God was the teacher through His Holy Spirit, and He called me to do it in that fashion. And so, I knew long before I retired that I would be going into the ministry.
Well, obviously the answer to that is because God called me to it. But, you know, God uses people to accomplish His work. We are the hands and feet and the voice of God in this world.
There was this one man shortly after I entered evangelism. I went to a Bible prophecy conference. Now, I had been a Bible prophecy student for many years and it was a very interesting area of study for me. I was committed to it and I enjoyed it greatly. Even as a pastor I did the many series where I taught through Daniel and Revelation and did Bible prophecy teaching and preaching. But, when I initially went into evangelism I just felt to teach evangelistically like I had always done. And God was good! He blessed it and we saw a lot of people saved and we saw many Christians rededicate their lives to Christ and it was going well.
But, I had only been in full-time evangelism for about six months when God opened a door. A friend called me and said, "You know this guy named Dave Reagan is having a Bible Prophecy Conference at Bethel Baptist Church in Jennings, Louisiana." And he said, "Have you ever heard of him?" And I said, "Well, yeah, I have heard him on the radio." He said, "You should come with me and let's go to that." So I said, "Okay." And we went. During that conference, which was I think in the year 2000, Dr. Reagan preached and I honestly can't say what was preached about other then of course Bible prophecy and the return of Christ. And there was offered an invitation and I felt tremendously moved of God that something was just not right. I thought I was right in the center of God's will and that I was doing I thought what God had called me to do. I was a pastor and then He called me into full-time evangelism. "Lord what else do you want!?" And, not knowing, I went down to the altar and I just began to question God and I said, "Lord what do you want me to do?" There was an elderly gentleman in that church. His name is John Smith. I didn't know him at the time, and I didn't even see him. He is in bad health and he walked very slowly (my wife was telling me this later she saw it) and he came to the altar and as I was kneeling he came and put his hands on me. He prayed I think probably one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard in a very strong Cajun accent. With such simple power he in essence said, "God, this man is searching for something that you want him to do." It was almost like a light came on. I don't know how to explain that voice of God that you hear. But, what I heard of God that was at that time was that Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming and you need to tell people that Jesus is coming.
And so, in that particular Bible prophecy conference I surrendered to the idea that God wanted me to preach about the return of Christ. I began gradually to move my ministry in that direction. And within a few months, we were totally focused on that thing — to preach about the Return of Christ. I have been continued to do that for about 8 years now.
I was convinced very early in life as a teenager of the promises of the Second Coming of Christ in the Scripture. I was influenced very early on by a book by a man called Harry Rimmer who wrote a book called The Shadow of Coming Events and The Coming War with Russia. Harry Rimmer was a professor who taught at Wheaton College way back in the 1940's who literally predicted the outcome of WWII based on his understanding of the book of Ezekiel. He had a great influence on Bible prophecy teachers and speakers. When I was 16 years old, I preached my very first sermon on the Second Coming of Christ. It's always been part of my heart and soul and passion. My pastor was very committed to Bible prophecy as part of his ministry and built a very successful church, a very evangelistic church.
I think prophecy reminds all of us that if Jesus is really coming back we have to face Him one day either as a Savior and Lord or as our Judge. Prophecy compels us to proclaim the message of the Gospel to reach out to the world in our lifetime and to do all that we can because we believe Jesus could come at any time.
I think Jeremiah 20:9 best sums up why I gave up 20 years in higher education as a professor of International Law and Politics to become a full-time preacher and teacher of Bible prophecy. Jeremiah said that he had to proclaim God's prophetic Word because it had become like a fire within him that he had to release because he could not endure it. Well, that is certainly how I felt. I became overwhelmingly convinced through my study of God's prophetic Word that we are living in the season of the Lord's return, and that I had been called along with many others to proclaim that message to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
The common thread that seemed to run through all those wonderful testimonies was the call of God on their lives to proclaim the prophetic Word. Like a fire in their soul, these students of Bible prophecy feel driven to proclaim the Good News and soon return of Jesus Christ.
Have you felt that same calling by the Holy Spirit? And, if so, how have you responded?
(You can watch this Q&A at our website on Christ in Prophecy.)