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IS BIBLE PROPHECY IMPORTANT?

Commentary by Roger Oakland
www.understandthetimes.org

The Bible states that someday in the future a man will stand up in a temple in Jerusalem and claim he is king of the world. [1] Before this happens this man will have implemented a world peace plan.

Did you know that current events indicate this scenario may be just ahead?

A headline I saw recently caught my attention. This is what I read: “Chief Rabbi Asks Dalai Lama to Help Set up Religious UN in Jerusalem.” The article itself was brief, but very interesting. Quoting from the article:

Israel's Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Yonah Metzger, meeting with the Dalai Lama, a Buddhist monk who is the leader of Tibet, suggested that representatives of the world's religions establish a United Nations in Jerusalem, representing religions instead of nations, like the UN currently based in New York. [2]

Now, because I have been following Bible prophecy for some time, this particular news item was very interesting to me. Twenty-five years ago, if a news agency had announced a “religious United Nations” to be established in the city of Jerusalem headed up by a Buddhist who many people say is God, the Christian community would have paid attention.

Not so today! Christianity, since the year 2000 has undergone some major changes. Many who were once looking for the imminent return of Jesus seem to have fallen asleep. We now live in a period of time where prominent Christian leaders are telling the Christian masses that paying attention to the signs of our times in light of the Bible is a waste of time.

For example, listen to the following statement by Pastor Rick Warren, taken from pages 285-286 of his popular book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” Regarding the value of Bible prophecy, Warren wrote:

When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission to the world. He said in essence, "The details of my return are none of your business. What is your business is the mission I have given you. Focus on that!" [3]

It is amazing to me that a statement of this importance would be found in a number one best seller in the present day Christian book market. While of course, witnessing the gospel “according to the Scriptures” is what Christians are to be about, Jesus also said to be alert and ready when He returns. Knowing the signs that He said would be happening at this time are of paramount importance. However, to this Warren further states:

Speculating on the exact timing of Christ's return is futile, because Jesus said, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Since Jesus said he didn't know the day or hour, why should you try to figure it out? … If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy. [4]
 

So there we are – the gospel according to Rick Warren does not pay much attention to Bible prophecy. In my opinion, this is a mistake. Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was emphatic about the importance of Bible prophecy. He wrote:

 

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. [5]

Christians are called to be witnesses and watchmen. There are no Scriptures that tell us that in the last days we are to ignore the events that have been pointed out to us as signposts that indicate the imminent return of Jesus. If we do, we might be like the virgins who fell asleep waiting for the bride groom. [6]


 


[1] 2 Thessalonians 2:4
[2] Online posting:  http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=11885&t=1&c=1, February 20, 2006.
[3]  Rick Warren, “Purpose Driven Life,” Zondervan, page 285.
[4]  Ibid., pages 285-286. [Emphasis not in original.]
[5]  2 Peter 1:19
[6]  Matthew 25: 1-13

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