Hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen? - By Jan Markell - www.olivetreeviews.org
According to Lifeway Research, many pastors are apparently having an "aha" moment due to the tide of our times. It's about time. I am now hope-filled. They are seeing current events today as things the Bible forecast for the end-of-days. But I maintain their pulpits could still be silent.
Let's be optimistic. When real church resumes, the pulpits will boldly announce that we are in the last days and Jesus is coming soon. Get your houses in order!
Darrell Bock, New Testament professor at Dallas Seminary, noted that the Bible has several lists of potential signs of Jesus' return, such as the Olivet Discourse passages, and some include concepts of global sickness. These are Tribulation references.
"Numerous biblical texts speak of disturbances in the creation that disorient and trouble people," said Bock. "These disturbances have quite a range with earthquakes and wars being the most common. Jesus mentions plagues or pestilence explicitly in Luke 21."
Three out of four pastors in the survey have noted that world and church events have meaning today. They include the rise in apostasy, the love of believers growing cold, the decline in traditional morals, national conflicts, natural disasters, famines, and even the rise in anti-Semitism. Even if they are Tribulation events, they are casting a shadow on the Church Age.
So is a new day in the church approaching thanks to some kind of a wake-up call? Almost 25 years ago, the church-growth movement said teaching any kind of eschatology would not grow the church.
Pastors were encouraged to keep quiet about the soon return of the Lord. Pastor Rick Warren even said in his Purpose Driven Life book that teaching Bible prophecy would distract you from your purpose and make you unfit for the Kingdom of God. Pastors listened to him!
In the information produced by Lifeway Research, Joel Rosenberg states, "For too long, many pastors have shied away from teaching on birth pangs and events leading up to the Second Coming of the Lord, but the current pandemic demonstrates the need for solid, non-sensational preaching done in a biblical manner."
The Lifeway report reveals that more than half the pastors expect Jesus to return in their lifetime. So why on earth are their pulpits not proclaiming this?
But there is more to the survey! Almost 70% of those surveyed believe the modern re-birth of Israel and the re-gathering of millions of Jewish people were fulfillments of prophecies in the Bible.
That's great news but that was 72 years ago. Why haven't you been preaching that, pastors? More than that, 40% of the pastors surveyed believe that the establishment of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem two years ago was a sign of the last days!
This is great sermon material! It could get a church fired up! But most pulpits I hear about are silent on the topic.
The most frequent e-mail Olive Tree Ministries receives has to do with this topic: Where can I find a prophecy-preaching, relevant issues-focused church? Where can I find a church that is warning of things to come instead of emphasizing your best life now?
Brent Miller, Jr. of Ingenuity Films made the new Rapture-themed film production, Before the Wrath, because his research, which also tapped into Lifeway, revealed that 98% of the church will not teach on anything end-time related. Both eschatology and Israel are marginalized. You read that right: 98%.
Let's add one more equation into our discussion and that is what should be obvious to every observer. The book of Revelation tells us there is coming a one-world system run by the Antichrist. That new world order requires a crisis-a global crisis, not a local crisis. We have it-a global pandemic. Isn't this more fuel for a discussion?
The world is in meltdown mode right now and people are asking a lot of questions. We don't even know if life as we once knew it will ever happen again. It may not!
Pastors, are you talking about this?
The Church is to be removed before the revealing of the lawless one, the Antichrist. I maintain he is just over the horizon, raring to go. And the four horsemen of the apocalypse may be training on some race track somewhere! You can almost hear their hoofbeats.
Pastors, don't be silent! Maybe this is truly a new day for you. Seize the opportunity. Please see that all things are falling into place. Be excited. Be truthful. Don't marginalize such important news. Connect the dots for your people.
Jesus is returning any moment. Please stop the silence of the pulpits.