Why Study Prophecy? By Jack Kelley "I make known the end from the beginning, from…
Great Men of Prophecy
Prophecy – Signs
Thursday, August 04, 2016
“You have to take Bible prophecy literally, just like everything else in the Bible.” Tim LaHaye
Prophecy was a gift to the ancient Jews from God for those who were chosen to be the prophets, and for those who heard the words of the prophets and heeded their warnings. Not every prophet chosen by God wanted to be there, and Jonah tried his best to escape God’s call to duty. Jonah did not look at being a prophet as a gift and feared it would be a death sentence. If we are wise, we will heed the warnings today of the ancient prophets; because many of the warnings are about a time yet to come. Certainly the birth pangs have arrived.
The church today, or many churches, do not preach about prophecy or the prophets, especially about the predictions that have yet to occur, of what it will be like in the last days. The Bible spends a lot of time discussing the events of the last days; most churches do not. Why?
In my book series, The End The Book, the subject matter consists of a group of mostly senior citizens around Duluth, Georgia, dealing with the potential events of the last days as described by the prophets of old. They are taken aback when the Islamic war to conquer the world invades the Bible Belt of the Southern United States and begins to randomly kill anyone and everyone in a series of attacks perpetrated by groups of less than four terror-purveyors. Shopping Malls, concerts and amusement parks are targeted, as well as VA Hospitals and nursery schools.
The series was being considered for a promotional giveaway when The End Part One came out in 2011. It never happened because the subject matter was considered “too controversial.”
It seems that this could also be true in today’s church, especially in the “big church” community, like Presbyterian USA, not to be confused with Presbyterian Church of America. According to some studies and opinions on the matter, pastors seem to consider prophecy too controversial and divisive. It seems as a child Christianity was never divisive, but I suppose it always has been. It is quite divisive when it comes to end time prophecies and the rapture.
It is sad that God is too controversial.
According to Grace thru Faith:
“Many pastors don’t preach on prophecy because they think it’s a controversial subject and are afraid of causing division in their congregations. Also, some denominations believe that the study of prophecy will distract their members from the church’s work on Earth. These denominations don’t teach prophecy in their seminaries and don’t encourage their pastors to teach it from the pulpit. Attitudes like this have caused much of the Body of Christ to remain ignorant about the End Times all their lives. Believers who’ve become interested in prophecy have often been criticized by their leaders and have had to turn elsewhere for information about this huge part of the Bible that’s too often ignored as if it doesn’t exist… The study of prophecy is the one guaranteed way to prove that God is who He claims to be, and distinguishes the Bible from all other so-called holy writings.”
It is shameful that the prophetic subjects have been ignored. Churches, many, lament low attendance and how to turn it around. They get big bands and big, booming speakers. They get the world’s largest TV screens and video performances. Plays and dances. It’s like Entertainment Tonight.
Here is another way to increase the flock: Tell them the truth about prophecy and the prophets. It is not boring, I promise. Teach your students about prophecy, because according to Jesus the Christ, it is especially important; and he said so here:
The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw-that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:1-3 NIV
There have been numerous prophets of God, and there have been many so-called prophets like Nostradamus, who has about a 5% accuracy rate. Prophets did not predict the future; they merely spoke what God told them to speak. God foresaw the future and made it available to mankind via the prophets of old.
Biblically, the Old Testament prophets are gathered in two categories: Major prophets; Minor prophets
The major prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel
The minor prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (Also known as the Twelve)
The minor prophets were not inferior in any way to the major prophets; their books were smaller. The minor prophets apparently did not get as much information from God as the major prophets did, thus shorter books for the most part.
There are other men of prophecy besides those mentioned in the Bible, and they are the men and women who have made eschatology a large part of their lives. They are the watchers who continue to explain prophecy and the many intricacies to we, the students. They are the teachers.
Since so many churches, which should be institutes of higher learning for the word of God, decline to teach their flocks for whatever reason, I am glad these watchers exist. How else would we know? It seems so many in the church believe there will never be an end, but everything ends eventually. Prophecy tells the story.
Three teachers of eschatology, the study of end time prophecies, have had remarkable influences in my life: Hal Lindsey, Jack Kinsella and Tim LaHaye.
Hal Lindsey began my journey with no more than a book and movie: The Late Great Planet Earth. He began many folks’ journey toward the reality of God and His fantastic story. Hal explained things that were difficult to explain and was my first intro to the prophets and how gifted they were.
The second great influence was Jack Kinsella, who worked closely with his good friend, Hal Lindsey as a principal advisor. I was fortunate enough to actually meet Jack and his family about five months before he went to his eternal home. I was a little nervous, because I am not a “Bible thumper” and prefer to be more subtle in my approach. Two minutes after I met him and his daughter, Kari, I knew he was just like me. I am so glad and honored to have met him. He was and is the great explainer. His great writings are posted daily at www.omegaletter.com, where he was the founder, daily writer and editor.
But today I want to give a special salute to Tim LaHaye. Tim LaHaye has an astounding biography, but one of the more astounding things he did was to author, in conjunction with Jerry B. Jenkins, the Left Behind series.
Left Behind is a conglomeration of novels, 16 in all, published between 1995-2007. When a new book would come out, I would rush to the book store. The series was and still is the largest seller of Christian fiction in history. The number today is about 75,000,000 books and counting.
Not only has he been a great influence on my thoughts about eschatology, the more I read, the more I wanted to write a series myself. I had dreamed of it for years, decades. The story the series tells made me realize that the events of the end times could come in many ways and take many forms. The story was only limited by imagination.
As a result of the Left Behind series, I decided to write a series with an Islamic slant. Had I never read Left Behind, I probably would not have asked God to help me write. And He did. Tim LaHaye died last week, and is now with Jack.
Rest in Peace, Tim LaHaye.
“There is something therapeutic about doing for others that lifts a person out of the rut of self-thought.” Tim LaHaye