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Prophets of Today

Dear Friends,
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to Sunday.
We are living in challenging times that call as never before for Biblical discernment. We have just come off two years of panic as it relates to covid-19. Some tin-foil hat-wearing end-time internet shamans and eschatology provocateurs have set forth all kinds of wild speculations that covid-19 is proof that we are in the tribulation and the vaccines are the mark of the beast. Additionally, Bitcoin is seen as the start of the one world currency of Antichrist’s empire, headed by – take your pick - Anthony Fauci, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, George Soros, Joe Biden, or even the Pope. 
The current war between Russia and Ukraine has only ramped up the endless speculation that the end is near. Gog and Magog are again on the move. I’m old enough to realize this is about the 10th time a military move by Russia has been seen as fulfilling Ezekiel 38. 
Let me offer some helpful suggestions that will help guide you through these turbulent times:
First, the most obvious problem with these predictions is that none of them have come true! After 2000 years of fringe Christian future-oriented prophecies, not a single one has had any merit. After tens of thousands of swings and misses, the “end times community” has yet to get a single one of them right. Our record of being trustworthy is about as accurate as Harold Camping’s date for the rapture of the church.
Second, since the punishment for false prophets is death by stoning, we ought to – at a minimum – think long and hard before running after the next sensationalist preacher with a radio program, TV special, or News magazine. Better to follow serious biblical thinkers and scholars than a few wild-eyed firebrand rabble-rousers on YouTube or the radio.
Third, the exegesis of Fox News or a news website that appeals to our carnal sensations of fear needs to stop! Giving these sources of news equal weight as scripture is embarrassing and has got to end.  Taking today’s headlines, which are truly frightening, and then forcing them onto and into scripture is not the route to go. We read the Bible first and the headlines second, not the reverse.
Fourth, we must become more Biblically literate. People today no longer want to become or be serious students of scripture. That is evidenced by the fact that today’s careful and faithful theologian can barely sell books (no matter the topic), while the health and wealth charlatans, the heaven and hell tour guides, and the eschatology hucksters who peddle the latest end times fiction, all get fat and rich off their foolishness.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I love prophecy and believe in it. But let’s not be sucked into the embarrassing speculations that many are peddling today.
See you this Sunday in person or online.
In the light of His glory and grace,
Pastor Doug
Photo by Tom Radetzki on Unsplash