The Pulpits Are Silent :: By Jan Markell

Rapture Signs

What incredible times we live in — like no previous generation. The world is heading pell-mell for a conclusion, though nobody knows the timing on this. But we are privileged to look at signs that are like clouds forming on the horizon. In the 1970s there were only a few events that were prophecy-related happening. There were minor shakings but sometimes connecting the dots was even a stretch!

Fast forward to today and there are so many prophecy-related events happening daily and hourly that it presents a major dilemma for those of us watching the signs of the times to know just where to focus. As I post stories daily on my website, I agonize that I must leave off so many as space and time won’t allow readers to zero in on all that is happening!

It is a privilege and a challenge to be born for such a time as this. Very little that is predicted to happen in the “last days” is good news, and who wants a steady dose of bad? But if one can “look up,” one can bear the heartache of looking around as the signs of the times explode on our news outlets.

The Bible asks us to be “watchmen” (Ezekiel 33). We’re to be sounding an alarm. Trouble is ahead. Time is short. And I have never felt such a sense of urgency and the realization that time is, indeed, short.

I am watching signs “converge.” They are stunning and breathtaking. But most pastors will not talk about them!

LifeWay Research is a Nashville-based, evangelical research firm that specializes in surveys about faith in culture and matters that affect the church. They report that a third of America’s Protestant pastors expect Christians to be Raptured — or taken up in the sky to meet Jesus — as the last of the last days begin. Over 36% believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture. In spite of this glorious good news, their pulpits remain silent.

Over 50% of Protestant pastors, according to the survey, believe in a literal Antichrist — but their pulpits are silent.

Most pastors hold to the basic teachings of Christ’s Second Coming — but their pulpits are silent.

This same survey says almost 50% of Protestant pastors believe in a coming Millennium and hold to premillennialism. At this time we finally do away with the curse and fallen human nature — but their pulpits are silent.

Pastor Tom Hughes leads The 412 Church in San Jacinto, California. He has written a thoughtful article titled “Five Reasons Pastors Don’t Teach Bible Prophecy.” He writes, “Prophecy fills the Bible. End-time prophecy touches every person alive today. Jesus taught on it. So did John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude. Yet only a small percentage of churches teach this crucial part of God’s message to our generation.

“Some pastors don’t teach it for theological reasons. They don’t believe it, don’t think it applies to us, consider it symbolic, or whatever. Others believe we’re probably living near the end of the age, but still refuse to touch the topic. They see it as an elective part of God’s curriculum. Take it or leave it.”

Hughes continues, “That’s not how Jesus saw it. He reprimanded the Pharisees and Sadducees for not discerning the times. ‘When it is evening you say, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red; and in the morning, it will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening. Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times’ ” (Matthew 16:2-3 NKJV).

Hughes concludes, “More than a quarter of the Bible is prophecy — much of it yet to be fulfilled. How can we give congregations a well-rounded understanding of scripture if we leave out such a vital part of it?”

He then goes on to list these five reasons pastors may not be sharing these issues in the pulpit:

1) They don’t understand prophecy.

2) They fear offending members of the church.

3) They sense this will scare people.

4) People might not tithe if they think we’re close to the end.

5) There is fear in looking like the “loony-tune fringe.” The Harold Campings have done great damage.

The prophecies of the first coming of Christ were fulfilled. They stand as evidence that the Bible can be trusted. Prophecies of His second coming work the same way, except we get to witness these events in our time, often with our own eyes.

The nations of the world seem moved, as though by a hidden hand, into exactly the right positions on a global chess board. What an amazing thing to see it happening before our eyes! It builds faith and draws our attention God-ward. And it is a fantastic evangelism tool.

I think the church is headed into the home stretch of her history! I base that not on emotions or wishful thinking. I base that on what I see happening daily. Man can live for a week or two without food. We can live only days without water. But our spirits are crushed within hours without hope.

We have the good news of the ultimate hope — the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), His glorious appearing. Pastors, please don’t remain silent! Share the only good news out there.

 

A Lamp Shining in a Dark Place By Jan Markell

We are just off our 23rd conference we call “Understanding the Times.” I began these in the spring of 2002. I had no idea what to expect! I had introduced some interesting people on my weekly radio program that began in 2001, but back then it did not have the reach it does today. Would people turn out to hear about current events and end-time issues spoken of by men like Chuck Missler and Bill Koenig, who I featured in 2002?
The short answer is yes!

The first year, 1,500 people showed up and they were eager to learn! I could not believe I was looking out at an overly-packed church sanctuary. That began a new emphasis in my life and ministry servicing what I call today “remnant believers.”
On Saturday, September 21 of this year, our “Understanding the Times” conference event drew almost 4,000 onsite attendees, over 12,000 live streamers, and a YouTube audience that in two separate postings will soon hit 300,000 viewers. We had attendees from 45 states, six Canadian Provinces, and foreign countries including Austria, the UK, Guatemala, New Zealand, and more.
Here are my take-away thoughts with which I think you will identify:
  • Because many remnant believers feel alone, they will travel across the country and across oceans to be with the like-minded.  They sense that what they believe isn’t odd as suggested by friends, family, and their church. In fact, what they believe is biblical.
  • They have not left traditional, mainstream theology and a biblical, eschatological perspective on the world. The church has left the building. They have not.
  • Too many today are focusing on their best life now! Remnant believers, and particularly those who attend these events, are looking to their Heavenly home, to reunions with loved ones, and to leaving earthly cares and heartaches behind. For this they are put down.
  • Meeting others who have an eternal perspective reassures people that they are not off-base as many have suggested. In fact, being Rapture-ready is the wise thing to do, not a foolish endeavor! Being with like-minded reinforces that.
  • Meeting the like-minded assures people that they are not the only ones who are are shut down, put down, scolded and ostracized, even by loved ones, just for believing the truth.
  • All are comforted when they realize that others are also put down, even though they have the truth and the naysayers are clueless! Others are dealing with hostility to the truth — even from fellow believers.
  • Frustrations can be shared: Tuned-in people have the truth, know we are in critical times, know time is running out, yet few will listen. They are not alone.
  • Most realize that as recently as a decade ago, their church was solid, talked about important issues of the day, and considered end-time issues relevant.  Now, few will listen, and response is even hostile. What a comfort to find out at such events that they are not alone. Friendships for life are formed.
  • It is NOT just your church that is focusing on seekers, believing that making people Rapture-ready will result in fear, division, and members fleeing. The church right BEFORE the Rapture will be Laodicean. This is an around-the-world phenomenon.
  • There are others who believe this is our only hope in hopeless times! We have the ultimate victory and are not destined for wrath.
2019 Understanding The Times Conference - Olive Tree Ministries
View 2019 Understanding The Times Conference 2019 on YouTube
One post-conference e-mailer wrote, “It is so wonderful to know that I am not alone in awaiting the blessed hope. Yet I have not one believing friend with whom I can rejoice and wait. Were it not for YouTube, I would not have access to all the like-minded truth teachers. Thanks for all you do, Jan.”
 

The Bible says Bible prophecy is a lamp shining in a dark place (II Peter 1:19). That light should not be extinguished! It gives hope, encouragement, and helps us fight the good fight. It reminds us God is in control, that He has a special plan, and that He keeps His promises. It helps us live holy in an unholy age.

This is hardly controversial. In fact, it is our hope in hopeless times. We have the ultimate victory. We are not destined for wrath!

We are living in the most significant time in history and the most prophecy fulfilling days — with the least amount of interest in them. Our assignment is to be “watchmen” (Ezekiel 33). We’re to be sounding an alarm whether anyone listens or not.

Trouble is ahead. Time is short.

The nations of the world seem to be moving by a hidden hand into exactly the right positions on a global chess board. Amazing things are happening right before our eyes.

Because of that, we must not be silent.

And don’t be discouraged. In Jesus’ day, a remnant changed the world.