Things we evangelicals have got wrong, in brief #3 (“The time is near!”)

The end isn't near from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

My issues with the preaching of ‘End Times prophecies’ in churches began to appear often in my blogs a fair time ago. More recently, I have become even more skeptical of it all with realisations that things I took for granted have no basis in scripture (that’s what I get for listening blindly to pulpits too!), and I have already pointed these out in End Times prophecies 1, 2, and 3, and a recent brief thought.

Now I believe these issues have coalesced into a major problem, which occurs in maybe the vast majority of evangelical churches today. I have said before that anyone pointing to a date of Christ’s return is to be ignored, and fortunately many churches do recognise this. However, I have come to see something that is actually so glaringly obvious, I am amazed that I have never heard it being addressed….

When his disciples asked him how they would know when and how the destruction of the temple would occur (which happened in AD70, but this is a passage that is always linked to ‘end times’ and does refer to Jesus’ return)…

He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. (Luke 21:8)

The key words we seem to have overlooked here are ‘the time is near’ – how often have you heard this said, or similar phrases, like ‘we are in the last days’, ‘the signs are being fulfilled right now’, ‘I believe this is truly the last generation’, etc.? I have heard it repeatedly in every single church I have attended, and still do in my current church, so I know what I am saying will be controversial, and maybe quite unwelcome.

I had come to believe that ‘the signs are being fulfilled’ myself, although I have always said that when all things are considered, we cannot be certain about our interpretations, so we must only live by the knowledge that since we do not know clearly, we must always be ready for his return, which may be any day, soon or many years away. I must not actually believe it will be tomorrow, for then I would stop living for today, but I must act as if it could be tomorrow, so I shall be prepared for it.

I have recently come to believe that many things I thought were ‘signs’ are not (see blogs as listed above).

I have now concluded that if any pastor or preacher states that we are in the last days, or anything else that equates to ‘the time is near’ then I must ignore them, since my own Lord Jesus expressed that clearly. In fact, Jesus said ‘do not follow them’ but I know too many good pastors and preachers who say this, so I cannot choose to just dismiss them completely. I shall simply switch off when they say anything again that flies in the face of what Jesus commanded.

Well, for many years now, I have switched off any time an ‘end times’ sermon has been preached, so there’s little change on my part. Question is, what do you think?

Grace be with you.

One thought on “Things we evangelicals have got wrong, in brief #3 (“The time is near!”)

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