ANOTHER FORM OF AMERICAN ENTERTIANMENT
I Pet.4: 7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
One of the most overt manifestation of the hypocrisy and hollow wind within the church is the evangelical construct of studying prophecy. Imagine a family attends a certain evangelical church which is hosting a prophecy conference with special music and a few noted speakers who have written books and sell CDs and are considered experts on prophecy. The family prepares themselves, gets into their cars, and heads for church. They do not pray or fast together in order to beseech the Spirit to use the conference to change them. They just like all the rest are somewhat excited about hearing exciting theories about the sign of the times and the return of Christ.
So this family arrives at the church and follows the parking attendant’s instructions about where to park their cars. As they walk to the front door they greet friends and fellow members and they find some good seats inside. People are chit chatting about this or that and there is a low grade noise of conversation. At the set hour the pastor welcomes everyone and recognizes visitors and asks them to fill out cards later. The music begins. The speakers present all kinds of what if theories which are very interesting and even thought provoking. An invitation is given and then the service ends. There are many materials on sale written by the speakers.
This family drives home and fixes something to eat in the kitchen and some watch some television in the living room while the teenage kids retire to their own rooms. The next day they all get up and do what they always do on a Tuesday morning. There is nothing special and no change in their lives and only a quickly fading mention of the meeting. And the church maintenance crew readies the auditorium for Sunday morning just as they do every week. No call for fasting; no solemn assembly; no prayer meetings; nothing out of the ordinary.
So as we consider that narrative which is representative of many thousands each year, what are we to make of such a thing? What are we to think when professing believers gather to hear about the soon return of Christ complete with all kinds of signs and events that prove His imminent return and yet people go on living their lives just as they had before? We must conclude that these prophetic teachings are nothing more than Biblical curiosities which believers do not really believe. They provide some ecclesiastical entertainment but no authentic metamorphosis within the body of Christ.
The lip service many professing believers give about “hopefully Jesus will come soon” is another overt sign of our ignorance about what is going to happen when He does actually come as well as being completely ignorant of the condition of the church today. It would be like children who have wrecked the house and disobeyed all the instructions given to them before their parents left but yet as they stand amidst the wreckage they proclaim how they are looking forward to their parent’s return. And without an uncommon passion for the lost that hope for His return is self serving and without a real compassion for those who incur His wrath. Like everything else in this hedonistic culture the voicing of “I hope Jesus comes soon” is filled with a desire to escape any suffering and persecution, and it is more about arriving to a state of bliss rather than being in Christ’s glorious presence.
And at the heart of evangelical prophecy is an obsession with Israel or Zionism which is self righteousness and the overt suggestion that you are on God's side. And when you believe and operate from that perspective then it creates a space in which everything Israel does is approved by God. And although men like Hagee state it openly, much of evangelicalism seems to believe that unbelieving Jews who are antagonistic toward Christ are still favored by God. And the entire theological construct is as most other forms of error that are an amalgam of certain Old Testament passages and certain New Testament passages. For the record I cannot deny that there seems to be hints that there may be an end time gathering of many Jews although that cannot be honestly connected with the secular state called Israel.
And that theology provides an atmosphere of illogical competitiveness which not only suggests that Israel has carte blanche with God, but that America is "blessed" economically because of its support of Israel. To champion a cause is a thrilling mainstay of the fallen American mindset, and Israel along with a created narrative scratches that mindset just where it itches. It is quite amazing that the same men who hook their wagons to the "reformers" reject their view of Israel and the Jews. Jesus said there will be no sign given except that which mirrors Jonah's experience and yet how many evangelicals believe that 1948 was THE sign of all signs?
It is interesting to note that after 1948 the evangelical community taught with conviction that within 40 years ( a generation) Christ would return. And after 40 years had passed self proclaimed prophetic experts began to create new theories. Next year's blood moons is the latest fad. But it is all just conjecture and fleshly titillation. Perhaps Jesus will return next year. But when will we know people really believe Jesus is coming back at a certain year? When believers are literally consumed with Christ in such a way that the secular news cannot help but report the odd and curious way millions of people are emptying their bank accounts, praying for hours each day, and flooding the streets with their witness. And when church houses are having prayer services throughout the week and preachers are losing weight and looking somewhat spent because they are fasting often and praying into the night watches then we might believe that at least they believe Jesus is coming soon.
Until then prophecy is little more than evangelical water cooler noise which has as much affect upon our lives as guessing who will win the Super Bowl this year.