By Nathan Jones
Could the Church's apathy concerning God's prophetic word be a sign of the end times?
On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of the Blessings to Israel Ministries Saturday podcast show. During the hour long interview we took a look at twelve major end times signs in an attempt to raise the awareness of people concerning the numerous things going on in the world currently, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.
#8) Apathy Concerning God's Prophetic Word
Brian Thomas: Let's address the end times sign of apathy.
I once heard a pastor state that most Christians today do not feel Bible prophecy is relevant to their present state of their lives and that instead most are concerned about marital issues, employment, health issues, etc. Immediately upon hearing this pastor say this, I was reminded of Matthew 24:37-39 when Jesus Christ stated that in the last days before His return it would be as in the days of Noah when people would not be concerned about what is about to happen. What could be more relevant than our Messiah returning to earth? He's the one who can bring all of these problems to an end — marital issues, health issues, whatever it is — Jesus can bring all of these heart-wrenching issues to an end. So, how can the good news of Christ's return not be relevant?
Isn't this apathy towards God's prophetic word also be one of the signs that happens before the return of Christ?
Nathan Jones: Yes, it's that Church of Laodicea mentality which claims, "We've got it all together and we don't really need you, God. We are just going to keep on practicing Christianity without Christ, thank you very much." Such an attitude is definitely a sign.
The scoffers of 2 Peter 3:1-4 scoff at the very idea that things are changing. It is sad, really. I mean, all this craziness over Mayan calendars and 2012 and crazy stuff like that ironically makes it so that more people who don't know Jesus as their Savior are the actual ones who know something big is coming. But, it's the Church today that sits under their self-created false impression that instead of Jesus we are the ones who are going to conquer the world for Christ in some Post-Millennial viewpoint and then hand the world that is all saved over to Jesus. That is certainly not what the Bible teaches. That is so not what the Bible teaches.
What's also a sad thing is that we kind of think like Laodicea that we spiritually have got it all together. We condescendingly pat Jesus on the arm like a child and say, "Hey, Lord, we are just going to save the world for you and hand it to you on a silver platter and so you are good to go." But, that is just theologically so wrong. Such an unbiblical attitude gives churches this weird sense that they can ignore the 31% of the Bible that is Bible prophecy.
Another reason for Church apathy concerning God's prophetic word is because a lot of pastors just don't know that part of the Bible. I run into a lot of these pastors and other people who cross our path here at Lamb & Lion Ministries, and so we spend a lot of our time helping churches learn and to teach the prophetic part of the Bible. Pastors just haven't been taught a lot about Bible prophecy in the seminaries, which don't teach it as much. These poor pastors just don't know where to begin. They'll see there are a lot of strange end times viewpoints out there which people get from slicing out a verse or two and ignoring the rest of the context, and so it kind of confuses them. I think a lot of pastors whether they like Bible prophecy or they don't like Bible prophecy some are kind of just throwing up their hands and saying, "I can't deal with it because I just don't understand it. I'm going to focus instead on what I do understand." So, I will give these pastors some credit.
Taking the overall pulse of the Church today, though, we can see this great apathy concerning God's prophetic word hanging over the Church right now, even though the signs are everywhere and should provide a greater understanding of God and His plans for us. I've seen pastors who I know are strictly Amillennial teachers, believing there is no literal thousand year reign of Christ coming and that everything will just pan out in the end, but who lately have with the increase in disasters are starting to wonder, "You know, I think maybe there is more to this Jesus coming back sooner than I thought." So, God is starting to wake the Church up a little bit there due to these other signs, and that's encouraging.
We'll next look at two end times signs concerning the rebirth of Israel and the controversy over who controls Jerusalem.