In Terry James’ new book “Deceivers” Jan Markell writes, “Hundreds of people have told me that they cannot find this message (preaching on Bible prophecy) in a single church in their community.”
I had trouble believing that a few years ago, but I received an e-mail from someone in Seattle, Washington, a city of about 700,000 people, that said the same thing.
Now, like Jan, I have heard it from others on many occasions, and I believe it.
The list of prophets includes Jesus, Daniel, Isaiah, Elijah, John the Baptist, etc.; all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable (II Tim. 3:16); Jesus will give a crown of righteousness to those that love His appearing (II Tim. 4:8); the return of Jesus is the Christian’s blessed hope (Titus 2:13); the return of Jesus is the Word of the Lord and a message of comfort (I Thess. 4:13-18); it is a message that causes people to give up their sins (I Jn. 3:3), etc.
If these words are true (and I believe they are), why is there silence in so many pulpits?
In a city of 700,000 people, in a nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, why is it difficult for people to find a church where the prophetic message is preached?
Since 25-40% of the Bible is prophecy, why do so many preachers avoid the subject like a plague?
Since God put prophets in the church (Eph. 4:11) and the church was built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ (that prophet) himself being the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20), why are so many pastors silent on this God-given subject?
While I was pondering this, it occurred to me that there is fulfilled prophecy (history) and unfulfilled Bible prophecy (future events) in the Bible.
Obviously, all prophecies were unfulfilled when God gave them, but that is no longer the case.
The Christmas story, the Easter story and the gospel were all prophecies at one time.
Concerning the Christmas story, the virgin birth of Jesus; the fact that His ministry would be preceded by a voice crying in the wilderness; that people would call Him Immanuel; that He would be called out of Egypt (after the flight of Joseph and Mary into Egypt); that Herod would murder the babies, etc., were all unfulfilled prophecies. But today they are all fulfilled prophecies (history if you will).
Concerning the Easter story, the fact that Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey; that He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver; that false witnesses would rise up against Him; that He would be hated without cause; that He would be wounded for our transgressions; that His hands and feet would be pierced; that He would be mocked; that people would cast lots for his vesture; that He would be raised from the dead, etc., were all unfulfilled prophecies. But today they are all fulfilled prophecies (more history if you will).
Concerning the gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is fulfilled prophecy (more history).
So, the problem isn’t that some preachers aren’t preaching on Bible prophecy; it is that they are only preaching on fulfilled Bible prophecy (history), and they are content to remain willingly ignorant (and to let their church members be ignorant) of unfulfilled Bible prophecy (future events).
The fact that Jesus condemned the Pharisees and Scribes for watching the weather and not the signs (Matt. 16:1-3); the fact that Jesus wept because the Jews did not know the day of His Triumphal Entry (Luke19: 41-42), and the fact that Jesus told us to watch over and over again is casually brushed aside like it doesn’t matter whether people watch or not.
Why is this important?
For one thing, in the Great Commission Jesus said teach all of the things that He commanded (Matt. 28:20). “All of the things” includes Bible prophecy.
For another, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable, etc. (II Tim. 3:16). Since God inspired the prophecies, they shouldn’t be ignored.
For another, the idea that God doesn’t want people to know the prophecies before they are fulfilled is ludicrous. Why would God promise someone a crown for loving those Scriptures, if He didn’t want preachers to preach on them? Why would God not want preachers to preach on something that is the Church’s blessed hope? Why would God not want preachers to preach on something that will cause people to give up their sins? Who or what is silencing our preachers?
In the Old Testament, the role of prophet and priest was sometimes different; and in the New Testament, the role of prophet and pastor is sometimes different (Eph. 4:11).
In the Old Testament, God sometimes raised up prophets to urge priests that had gotten off track to repent and get back on track.
That may be happening today as many prophecy teachers are urging pastors to preach on prophecy at least every now and then.
Those that have been called to preach the Word have probably been called to preach all of the Word, not 60-75% of it.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck