By Nathan Jones
Is the study of Bible prophecy a time-wasting distraction?
One of America's best known and most popular pastors has declared that the study of Bible prophecy is a distraction. What about it? Is it a waste of time to study Bible prophecy? Is the subject appropriate only for fanatics? Or, can it be green pastures for believers? Does it have any relevance for the here and now, or is it just pie-in-the-sky?
A panel of 18 Bible prophecy experts answers those very questions! To find out, read or watch below.
Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
How could nearly 31% of the Bible, which is prophetic because God wants us to know the future, be a distraction? Bible prophecy tells us, one, that Jesus wins. The Bible has given us Jesus' victory. We know how history's going to end. Through Jesus, two, we win. We win through Christ. And, three, we know evil loses. Those are the three main topics of the Bible.
So, how in the world could Bible prophecy be a distraction when it's all about Jesus' victory, our victory through Jesus, and Satan losing? I'm excited about our victory and Bible prophecy should get every Christian excited about it as well.
Brian Thomas, Blessings to Israel Ministries
God must of wanted us to have a lot of distractions because He placed lots of prophecy in the Bible. Nearly a third of the Bible is Bible prophecy. Pastors are just doing a great disservice to their congregations when they choose to ignore Bible prophecy, because what true hope can one have if you take away Bible prophecy?
For example, think of a person who has lost a loved one who is a Christian. That person has died. Well, you can have great hope and the grieving is not so devastating when you know that at the return of Christ prophecy says that person will be resurrected. They will rise again and you will be reunited.
I've heard pastors say many things, such as they must focus on issues of today like immorality with children, rebellious children, problems in marriages, unemployment, and so on. But, what better hope can you give a person than to say when Christ returns instantly all these problems will come to an end. So, I say to those pastors, Bible prophecy is not a distraction. Bible prophecy is where we get hope. It's where we get the incentive that we can keep pressing forward even through the struggles of today.
Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
Bible prophecy taken out of its proper context can become a distraction in the sense that if all your focus is on the Second Coming and you forget your responsibility to preach the Gospel, build the Church, evangelize the world, and make a difference in the world in which we live then in that sense for some people it is a distraction. They become such prophetic fanatics that all they want to talk about, think about, read about, and study about is Bible prophecy.
But, on the other hand, when more than one-fourth of the Bible is prophetic in nature, and if we are going to preach the whole counsel of God, then we need to be preaching the message of Bible prophecy. The book of Revelation ends with Jesus saying, "I, Jesus, sent my angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." Jesus meant for prophecy to be preached in the Church, so in that sense, it's not a distraction at all.
Bible prophecy is meant to focus our attention on the hope of the coming of Jesus Christ so that the believer keeps an eye on the sky. You're always living in anticipation of the fact that Jesus could come today. Therefore, I make my decisions, my values and my choices on the basis that I don't have years and years and years necessarily to get ready to serve God. I need to be doing it right now today because I don't know how much time is left.
At the same time we're warned to don't set any dates for the Second Coming. We just don't know how much time is left. I like to remind people to don't waste your time trying to guess the time, be ready all the time, because Jesus could come at any time, and that will keep you properly balanced. An eye on the sky, but your feet on the earth.
I have a job to do in the meantime. I've got to keep my heart right with God. Jesus made that clear in Matthew 24 — keep watching for Me to come, verse 42, keep an eye on the sky. Verse 44 says to be ready for Me to come. Have your heart right with God and with one another. Then in verse 46 we're to keep serving Me until I come. So, we want to fulfill the great predication to build My church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. We want to fulfill the Great Commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all nations and make disciples of all nations. But, we also want to fulfill it with a great sense of urgency.
Be ready for Me to come. Live in anticipation of that fact that I could come soon, because whether Jesus comes in your lifetime or not, the day will come that either the trumpet will sound, the archangel will shout, and "whoosh" we are out of here to the glory of God. You and I will step into eternity and be face-to-face with the Savior. I'd rather meet Him one day face-to-face saying I was living in anticipation of the fact that you were coming soon, because one of these days He would come. The Scriptures says quickly, suddenly, unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. Jesus will race in at the last moment to snatch the Church away a and take the Bride home to the marriage in heaven to the glory of God and to the fulfillment of the message of Bible prophecy. In that sense, Bible prophecy is never a distraction.
Jobe Martin, Biblical Discipleship Ministries
Bible prophecy is a distraction? Yes, could well be if you really believe it. It distracts you from the things of the world. If Jesus could come for me like right now, then what am I doing with my life? And so, yes, I want to have every minute count for Him.
Bible prophecy is a good motivation for godly living. It's a good thing to help us fear the Lord. It helps us to walk in a manner worthy of God so that we can please Him in all respects and bear fruit in every good work, and then keep on increasing in the knowledge of God.
Tim LaHaye, Tim LaHaye Ministries
The pastor must have gone to one of these modern cemeteries they call seminaries where many churches get their brainwashed teachings. He may be a good speaker. You see there is a difference between a good communicator who is popular and interesting to listen to and someone who takes the Bible literally. If he doesn't take the Bible literally, how can he make any kind of sense out of prophecy or the teachings of prophecy?
The Bible is full of prophecies. In fact, Dr. John Walvoord has cited in his book on Bible prophecy knowledge on the end times over 1,100 prophecies in the Bible, half of which have already been fulfilled literally. That means the other half that have to do with end time prophecies will also be fulfilled literally.
In the fourth and last segment concerning the question "Is Bible prophecy a distraction?," Dr. David Reagan will share what he believes the Bible has to say about the topic.