From my youngest years I recall seeing different, varied newspaper and magazine cartoons of a dude with a long robe, long beard holding a sign on a public street on which was written “The END is NEAR”! Most folks would have a laugh and figure “Yep, whack-jobs out there sometimes!”
I have a number of friends throughout the world in the larger church -many pastors, teachers and otherwise leaders who write, speak and care deeply about God, The Bible and prophecy (both biblical and “thus-says-God” real-time speaking a lot of people do). And my friends do not always agree with one another 🙂
Between personal issues, natural disasters, political matters (!) and depending on what they read (or not) in The Book, plus hearing what others say in a meeting, writing, videos, via social media, conferences, etc.. there are a zillion variations and opinions on this. But mostly, people don’t qualify their statements by “I could be wrong, this is MY VIEW”, but rather, “This is how it IS!” sort of speaking.
Over the centuries entire movements have been founded on prophetic utterance, often scripturally based, at times “direct words” human-to-human.
They may have a solid interpretation, they may not. Such is life with everything!
Full disclosure: I am not a believer in dispensationalism (the reader can look that up for definition if needed). At the same time, whether one takes that view or not, I have all too often heard five speakers who know OT Hebrew and NT Greek largely -disagree- with one another’s interpretation on Bible prophecy, especially as related to how and when “the world will end”, “the rapture” and etc.. Guess what? My opinions (and yours) are a matter of opinion, not fact… and the weight of your favorite or least-favorite speaker and/or scholar may hold more… or less… water than your view or mine on any specific point regarding what/when/how things are going to go down… or up, so to speak!
Apostle Paul tells us to not despise prophesying but also to test all things. In that any of us are NOT God the Holy Spirit, and “I know in part”, “we know partially” (Paul in 1 Cor. 13) I would think serious humility and feet-on-the-ground study, prayer and “we shall see THEN what we likely may not see NOW” are the ticket.
But how boring to not “have all the answers”, right?!;)
So “that sounds right… or feels right… to ME so it must be that’s what’s up” often wins the day.
The scribes, pharisees, sadducees and quite a few others in both Bible and world history just plain got it wrong.
Do I personally believe we are living “in the last days”? I would say “Maybe, possibly but I could be wrong”.
Is Jesus coming? Without quoting all the passages, I believe He is. When? We shall all find out eventually…
So when one of my pastor buddies recently wrote me asking for my thoughts on such things (red moon, world economic collapse, etc.) I thought it worth perhaps sharing my response to him. He is a good man who has pretty much kept his sharing to “God knows, will work it all out, keep your focus on Jesus”. So, here is what I passed along to him:
“Bro., in a nutshell what you have been saying is solid and without fault. I read and appreciate prophesy, and on occasion have given one and had a number given to me. I also do accept wide (read world or nation-wide) here-and-now (scriptural but not actual biblical prophecy as such) thus-says-the-Lord “words” are at times accurate and from the Holy Spirit. I also think you take them with a grain of salt and live like Jesus could return either today or in a thousand more years…
These q’s always come to mind:
–What does it have to do with the Person of God (Father, Son, Spirit) and HIS character?
–What does it have to do with my/your/other Christian’s actual character and personal growth as a disciple, a genuine loving follower of Jesus?