I wasn’t born in the Bronze Age so I still recall wonderful prophecy conferences in my Baptist church some twenty years ago. But in the last ten to fifteen years the message that the King is coming has become a downer with implications that the issues surrounding it are “gloom and doom.” When did you last hear it preached in your church? When did you last hear radio or TV preachers talk about it unless they were an eschatology-related ministry?
Recently a Christian publishing house editor advised me that he had learned that most Christian houses were dropping newly-submitted Bible prophecy books with a few exceptions. LaHaye/Jenkins will likely continue to sell as well as Mark Hitchcock through Multnomah, and sadly, Hannegraff’s false Preterism books. Harvest House seems open only to Dr. J. Randall Price on Temple issues. Teachers like Hal Lindsey, Grant Jeffrey, and Dave Hunt have resorted to forming their own publishing houses.
I was also informed that some of the finest seminaries and Bible colleges/Institutes that shall remain unnamed but known for true Dispensational belief are backing down. The two most prominent with the spokesmen at the head of these organizations are now suggesting that we cannot know if this is Israel’s final re-gathering. Perhaps they will be scattered again. What kind of preachers will these outfits be turning out? Eschatology will finally be thrown on the ash heap of history. But you can be sure they will push the “seeker movement” and “church growth movement” which often downplays prophecy and for that matter, solid Bible teaching of any kind.
As my friend Bill Koenig reports on his site, and has had the story posted for months at www.watch.org, one hundred million church attendees in America who are a part of Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches have no understanding of eschatology. The silence in these churches is bad enough but even worse is the fact that false eschatological doctrines emanate out of these denominations: Amillenialism, Replacement Theology, Preterism (all prophecy happened in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem), Dominion/Kingdom Now/Latter Rain, and more.
Over the last two to three years I have received hundreds of emails about this. Here are just a couple:
“It is surprising to me that there are so many people I have tried to talk to about prophecy who have brushed it off by saying that they consider it ‘doomsday talk.’ It is difficult to get anyone to even talk about it. Even my family doesn’t want to hear about it.”
“Your Web site is one of the few avenues available to someone like me who has been awaiting the Lord’s return since the onset of my Christian walk 28 years ago. My pastor will deal with it, but gets hardly any response. It is demoralizing for him and the ‘remnant.’”
So here we are likely in the last of the last days and the topic has vanished even though the “signs of the times” are screaming at us. As expressed above, try to share that and expect the ice box treatment.
The Bible predicted that in II Peter. In the last days people would scoff and say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” And naturally the devil loathes the topic because eschatology spells out his doom in deadly detail, pun intended. Thus he is waging a war against Bible prophecy to finish off eschatology, make it sound irrelevant, depressing, boring, and more and even many evangelical pastors seem to agree.
So hang on to your prophecy resources because if this “ban on Bible prophecy” intensifies as it likely will, you’ll have to re-read your old books and articles as new information may be hard to find other than on Internet sites. But don’t give up! Keep spreading the truth. If just a few get their eyes opened it will be a victory.
The secular world has noticed and is running many prophecy-related TV specials in the last year, particularly since hurricane Katrina. Of course they have the issues all skewed, but isn’t it tragic that they have more curiosity than our churches today?
In the meantime prophecy lovers, keep looking up, for our Redeemer truly does draw nigh (Luke 21:28).
(Jan Markell is founder/director of Olive Tree Ministries. For more information, visit her Web site, www.olivetreeviews.org)