By Nathan Jones
Why is God's prophetic word being ignored in churches today?
Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of asking this question of August Rosado on the show Christ in Prophecy. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. Having a passion for all things Jewish, he can be found traveling the country waking the Church up concerning the soon return of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Reagan: 2 Peter 1:19 says, "We have the prophetic word made sure," that means we have the prophetic word fulfilled, and it says, "you should pay attention to it because it is like a lamp that is shining in a dark place." Now, here we have a command from one of the apostles of Jesus Christ that we should pay attention to Bible prophecy. I think you would agree with me that there is probably no topic in all of the Bible that is more ignored in teaching and preaching today than Bible prophecy. Why do you think that is?
August Rosado: That's correct, and 2 Peter 1:19 is the goal of my ministry. Peter says, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy where unto you do well to take heed." One out of every three passages in the Bible deals with prophecy, and so I feel that it is very important to God and it should be important to us to study God's prophetic Word because it is our blessed hope. That is out of Titus 2:13 where Paul says, "That we ought to be looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ."
Unfortunately, prophecy is not a popular subject in the Church today. You just read 2 Peter 1:19, "we have also a more sure word of prophecy." So, if it is important to God, it should be important to us.
It is also ignored because it is very controversial. There are so many different positions when it comes to prophecy today: Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, Post-Trib, Pre-Millennial, Post-Millennial, and Amillennial. Let me give you a case in point. I called a pastor in Rhode Island and asked if I could come and preach on prophecy at his church. I wanted to talk about the Rapture. He said to me, "I appreciate what you are doing, Brother Rosado, but in this church we will not teach Bible prophecy because our people will get too confused. I am not familiar with the subject." Even though he told me that he had a Doctorate of Divinity —a Ph.D. — yet he knew nothing of Bible prophecy. He appreciated me going around the country preaching on prophecy, but not there in his church.
Dr. Reagan: I think you needed to quote 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture, [all!] is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." Are we going to take a quarter to a third of the Bible and put it on the shelf and forget about it?
August Rosado: That is what his church is doing.
Dr. Reagan: Nathan, what do you think about this point about churches ignoring Bible prophecy? Why do you think they do that?
Nathan Jones: I agree with August. I think a lot of them are scared. Pastors are coming out of the seminaries where they are taught how to build churches and how to increase numbers, but they really don't teach anything about Bible prophecy. New pastors then just don't have any foundation on which to teach that topic, so they avoid it altogether. That is why it is great when guys like August and like our ministry can help pastors and churches understand that part of the Bible which they were never trained in.
Dr. Reagan: I find most preachers are afraid of Bible prophecy and there are many reasons for that. They are afraid that it will cause controversy, and it can. If you get a Bible prophecy teacher who comes in with a chip on his shoulder and his attitude is, "I am going to tell you what the truth is, and everybody who disagrees with me is wrong," he can start dividing a congregation. Just stick with the Word and talk about the Word. After all, Bible prophecy focuses on Jesus Christ, and so you are going to have people focusing on Jesus.
One thing that aggravates me to death is when so many pastors say to me, "I'm not Pre-Millennial, Amillennial, or Post-Millennial. I am just Pan-Millennial in that I think it is all going to pan out in the end." Do you know what that person is really saying? He's saying, "I have not spent anytime studying it and I'm not going to."
August Rosado: That is unfortunate in our churches today. We just don't want to study God's prophetic Word. You know, there is a blessing to studying in Bible prophecy, and that is out of Revelation 1:3.
Dr. Reagan: Tell us about that blessing. Why is it so important to study Bible prophecy?
August Rosado: Because, there is a blessing involved in Revelation 1:3, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein: for the time is at hand."
Dr. Reagan: The Bible is the only book that specifically promises you a blessing if you'll read it.
August Rosado: That promise is right there in the Book of Revelation. We are robbing ourselves of a blessing from studying God's prophetic Word. If John said 2,000 years that the time is at hand, and now it's 2,000 years later, how close can it be? He has to be coming soon, and very soon. So, there is a blessing for those who study prophecy, and we ought to be studying prophecy.
Nathan Jones: It's all about Jesus' victory and through Jesus it is our victory, too, and that is something to get excited about.
August Rosado: When we read the end of the book, we then know who wins.
Dr. Reagan: Plus, we get the promise of hope. We go to church week after week carrying all the stresses of life and then nobody tells you about the hope that you have about Jesus' coming. He's going to straighten this world out. There is going to be peace, righteousness, and justice flooding the earth as the waters cover the sea. I mean, that's hope!
August Rosado: That is right out of Isaiah 11:9, "The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." I would have to say that pastors are just as guilty of robbing their people of the blessed hope by failing to teach and preach Bible prophecy.
Just last year I preached in Mississippi and the pastor approached me and he said, "Brother Rosado, despite all of my education, you opened my eyes to the prophetic truth of God's Word. I knew nothing of what you said despite my seminary training." Now, that's encouraging!
In the next part of our interview with August Rosado, we'll ask him what's the key to understanding Bible prophecy.