Is End-Time Prophecy for Ego, to Entertain, or Equip? :: By Howard Green

Link to our YouTube channel: Concerning The Times

Bible prophecy distinguishes our God from every other would-be god and religion. His track record in bringing prophecies to fulfillment has been 100% spot on. Since His words are truth, we can rest assured that any remaining prophecy yet to happen will be fulfilled to the letter. End-time Bible prophecy provides Christians an excellent opportunity to point lost souls to Jesus and encourage other believers as we see the Day approaching. A disturbing trend is gaining momentum, using end-time prophecy for ego, entertainment, or greedy gain instead of equipping the saints.

Let’s take a realistic look at the scheme of profiteering from end-time prophecy and how the remnant church should respond.

Before we continue, I want to distinguish between sound Bible teachers and selfish shepherds. I started Concerning The Times more than a decade ago, and over those years, I’ve been encouraged by many fellow Bible teachers who also focus on end-time prophecy, people and ministries like Dr. John Barnett of Discover the Book Ministries, Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, The Berean Call, and too many others to mention here. They teach end-time Bible prophecy to show how to live as we see ‘The Day’ approaching and to glorify Christ alone, not themselves. 2 Peter 3:11. Moreover, these ministries don’t charge for end-time Bible prophecy conferences and to hear the gospel proclaimed. Their books and articles cause us to be alert, aware, and fruitful in light of current geopolitical events.

Unfortunately, there’s also a growing number of pseudo-shepherds using end-time prophecy for personal gain, including writing books to promote themselves and unbiblical sensationalism. Do you remember the blood-moon hype of 2015, the Y2K scaremongering of 1999, or, if you are old enough, the book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988? I mention these because many well-intentioned readers were caught up in teachings and hype that brought notoriety and book sales to authors but often resulted in disillusionment, doubt, and even spiritual shipwreck to many readers.

Here we are decades later, and not much has changed because of a growing number of end-time prophecy teachers using the genre for greedy gain, selfish ambition, or conceit. Titus 1:7.

As mentioned, many end-time prophecy conferences don’t charge a dime for proclaiming the gospel and equipping the saints. Ephesians 4:12. I can certainly understand that there are costs associated with renting a venue and equipment, and asking for a love offering or even a nominal fee to help offset the cost of travel or expenses is one thing. As a self-funded ministry, I understand the costs associated with itinerant preaching. Love offerings, honorariums, and book sales are how many fellow Bible teachers have their practical needs met.

But why do many other end-time Bible prophecy conferences and teachers charge exorbitant fees to attend in person or online? It is a fact that many of these prophecy conferences charge upwards of $50.00 to $100.00. Dear friends, this isn’t a nominal love offering at the door; this is profiteering in the name of Jesus. I wonder how many Christians and curious non-Christians are missing out on solid Bible teaching because attending some conferences is cost-prohibitive. If we truly believe Jesus is coming soon and people must be warned, shouldn’t we examine the motives behind charging high fees to hear the gospel and equip the saints?

I’m exhorting us to re-evaluate having Christian conferences at posh resorts and re-direct our efforts toward hosting them at our local churches and other reasonable venues, available to all who want to attend.

Another disturbing trend is emerging. It is teaching and consuming end-time prophecy as an end in itself. Today’s focus on prophecy for the sake of acquired knowledge and not for Jesus’ sake is so prevalent today. Here’s a scenario I often encounter that usually goes like this:

I have a conversation about end-time prophecy, and the person I’m talking with is so fired up about the latest update from their favorite teacher. They can tell me in great detail all about Klaus Schwab, the WEF, potential candidates for Antichrist, and the Great Reset. These are all timely and important issues of interest to any believer who loves Bible prophecy and topics I love to teach and write about often. But the summit of their knowledge and interest seems to be in end-time prophecy alone, not the God behind it.

Some Christians will use this knowledge to show people that global events are lining up with scripture and point them to saving faith in Jesus in light of His soon return. Other people will get excited with more prophetic information but do nothing with it except share it on social media. There is no witnessing or co-laboring with other believers, just excitement about Jesus’ return, but with little or no fruit. Matthew 25:1-46.

 The point of Bible prophecy isn’t to alarm us but to alert us to the circumstances leading up to the Lord’s return. This alertness spurs us on to be ready, and the Bible says a lot on how to be ready for his return. 

A.W. Tozer -Preparing for Jesus’ Return

I mentioned several Christ-honoring ministries at the beginning of the article. A common denominator among them is that they teach end-time Bible prophecy to create a biblical sense of urgency. Many fellow ministries use prophetic teaching to fire believers up to holy living and reach the lost in the little time before God’s wrath falls on an unrepentant, unsuspecting world. Why is it that many other so-called ‘prophecy experts’ will publish numerous books, draw crowds, and give detailed teaching on world events but gloss over the only task we are called to? I can only infer it has much to do with selfish ambition, not humility or the gospel.

There’s nothing wrong with selling a book or speaking at a prophecy conference, but the focus must be on Jesus and the gospel, not ourselves. Revelation 19:10.

I want to address fellow Bible teachers and those who follow end-time prophecy teaching and ministries. First, to my brethren in Christ, I want to remind us collectively that we are to encourage fellow ministers as many of you do. What would happen if we made it a habit to reach out with an occasional email or note with the motive being godly affection and love for the brethren? I can tell you that when you take an interest in what your fellow shepherds are doing, it is being in one accord and having the same love with the motive of God’s glory. Philippians 2:4-5.

If you are a Christian and you love end-time Bible prophecy, I want to caution you about unwittingly drifting into eschatological sectarianism. I’m not talking about standing together against unbiblical teaching or ecumenism, because we all know that’s evil. Here’s what I’m addressing: it’s the bent of the heart to divide over opinions and trivial matters and not contending for the faith. Before we know it, we can find ourselves following only certain teachers instead of Christ, and if we’re not careful, we will cause divisions in the church that shouldn’t exist. 1 Corinthians 1:12-13.

Dear friends, let’s examine our motives in light of Jesus’ soon return and use end-time Bible prophecy precisely for what it is meant for. To bring a biblical sense of urgency to both the messenger and hearer. This urgency will motivate us to preach, teach, and witness like never before. It will also remind us that many people will be caught in God’s judgment, which will surely fall on unrepentant people. Let’s re-evaluate our motives for teaching and consuming end-time Bible prophecy; it’s the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16. If we use it to wake up an apathetic church and warn an unrepentant world, it won’t simply be acquired prophetic knowledge. It will induce fear of the Lord, producing wisdom and Spirit-led alertness in the remnant church.

God bless you as you make Him known. 2 Corinthians 5:11.

All for Him,