By Nathan Jones
Why do some people give up on studying Bible prophecy?
On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I shared a number of our theories on why some people have given up on Bible prophecy.
August Rosado: It's just a great comfort when you study prophecy, and it's so unfortunate that many in the Church today don't want to study prophecy. You even have those within the Church who are denying that there will ever be a Rapture, claiming that Jesus Christ is not coming back.
Whenever people approach me at Bible conferences, and believe it or not I get them, they tell me, "August, I don't believe Jesus is coming back." I look at them and say, "You know you are a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, because 2 Peter 3:3-4 tell us that in the last days that there would come scoffers and mockers. They would walk after their own ungodly lusts. And they will say, 'Hey, where is the promise of His coming?'" I tell people, "You are a fulfillment of Bible prophecy because the Bible 2,000 years ago predicted you and many like you would come on the scene in the last days denying that He would return."
Nathan Jones: We had a Bible prophecy conference a few years back and we were right next door to a plumbing company. I was outside, and talking about wearing many hats, I was directing traffic as well. One of the plumbers was returning to turn in his truck for the day. He came up to me and asked, "What's going on here?" I replied, "Oh, we are holding a Bible prophecy conference. We are talking about the Lord's soon return." He just looked at me jaw agape and laughed. He told me that everything has been the same as it's always been and that Jesus isn't coming back. That man was from the verse that you just read, because that is the mind-set of people today.
Tired of Waiting
Nathan Jones: There are definitely scoffers today, but then there are also people who are just plain tired. One of my former supervisors back at the church I served at is a great and godly woman. She once told me that she was so excited about Bible prophecy when Hal Lindsey came out with The Late Great Planet Earth back in the early 1970's, but then it became the 80's, and then the 90's, then the 2000's and well where was the Lord's return? She kind of gave up.
The long wait has been a tough experience to deal with for many Christians. Even if they do know that the Lord will return and are excited about it, our human minds have a hard time having the patience of God.
When the Lord says "soon," soon for Him means different then soon for us, right? Surely a day is "like" a thousand years to the Lord, not "is" a thousand years, but "like" a thousand years. In other words, time for God doesn't mean as much as we who have these tiny, short lives. So, it's true. It does feel like the Lord coming back is taking forever.
But, we should never give up hope, because God fulfills His promises 100% of the time. As a matter of fact, in the Old Testament there are 300 general prophecies and 109 specific prophecies about Jesus First Coming. And do you now what? Jesus fulfilled all 109 prophecies!
Statistically speaking, just fulfilling 8 of those 109 prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power, which is an astronomical number. Peter Stoner was a mathematician who came up with the calculation of what that number would be like. He said you'd have to fill the entire state of Texas two feet deep with quarters, mark just one coin, and throw it in. Next, release a blind man to wander around Texas for a few days. The statistical result would be the very first coin he picked up, that would be the one with the mark. Now, that's beyond the realm of possibility! That is how impossible is it that Jesus fulfilled 8 of the 109 prophecies, yet He fulfilled all 109 prophecies. And, if Jesus can fulfill all the First Coming prophecies, then the 500 prophecies from the Old Testament and the one in every 25 verses in the New Testament that talk about Jesus' Second Coming, well we can also be 100% sure that those will be fulfilled as well in entirety.
Jesus is going to come, and all we have to do is be patient. I think of the verse where the Lord says that He is patient with us because He doesn't want anyone to be lost. You have that encyclopedic mind, August, what's that verse's reference again? I require the Internet to look up all my verses.
August Rosado: I think you're alluded to 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." And, that is the answer that I give people when they ask me, "August, Jesus hasn't returned yet. You guys have been preaching this for years now. Hal Lindsey has been preaching it for years now. Dave Reagan has been preaching it for years now. Zola was preaching if for years, and He hasn't returned. Why hasn't He returned yet?" That is the verse that I give them — 2 Peter 3:9. God wants to see more souls saved until He is ready to have that trumpet sound and have the Lord Jesus pick us up and bring us home.
Nathan Jones: Exactly, you are right. In the NIV is says, "He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance." I think each and every one of us today should be happy about the Lord taking His time, because if you think about it, if the Lord wasn't patient He could have come back 20, 50, or even 100 years ago before we were ever born. So, I owe my whole existence to the fact that the Lord is patient and wanting everybody in this Church Age to come to repentance. We can be sure that when every single person that the Lord has chosen to be part of His Church — the Bride of Christ, that will be it. Jesus will then come and Rapture the Church and He will fulfill all of those Second Coming promises.
In the next part of this Interview by August, we'll discuss the Rapture of the Church.