I had a discouraging conversation with a fellow believer today. She posted a link to a Christian Post article about a megachurch pastor who is tackling the ‘confusion’ over end times eschatology. Eagerly I zoomed to the link provided, but was immediately disappointed upon reading his ‘explanations’ about prophecy. The author, Dr. Dixon of Cherry Hills Community Church wrote-
“Details of the End Times Up for Debate”: “Many details about the more popular topics regarding the end times, such as the Antichrist, the rapture, and the millennium rule of Jesus are more speculative…”
I was saddened to read that. I was going to write a point by point rebuttal of his vague, speculative, confusing and unknowable notions about the antichrist, the rapture, and the millennium rule of Jesus, but I decided not to. As with any topic about the bible it is always best to go to the bible to find truth.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is profitable for teaching. Not just some scripture, all scripture. Did Jesus say that all scripture is profitable for teaching… except for some scriptures that are left up for debate? No. He said ALL SCRIPTURE is useful for teaching. You can’t teach an unclear text, so if there is an issue with clarity then it falls to man’s failure, not Jesus’s deficit.
Secondly, “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Why would God declare Himself not a God of confusion and then insert confusing doctrines in the bible? God cannot contradict Himself.
This scripture comes to mind, “But he answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) He didn’t say “live by My Word except for the parts that you can’t figure out.” Every word from Jesus is filling.
Matthew 24:25, Jesus said to the disciples, “See, I have told you everything ahead of time.” Do we think that Jesus would tell us ahead of time but then make it unclear? No indeed.
2 Peter 1:19-21 “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” Prophecy is a sure word, not speculative, whereupon it brings light to our hearts, not cloudiness.
Dixon wrote, “I don’t believe the Bible is clear on this issue.” The bible says “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psalms 12:6). There are many scriptures that extol the perfection of His word as pure, and it is as clear as refined silver on every issue.
James 3:16-18 says “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. The wisdom from above is pure. Where confusion exists, self-seeking and envy may be present.
In a final example, the pastor wrote, “Although scholars and pastors give definitive answers sometimes about these prophecies, the Bible is unclear about the exact details and it is not necessary to be in agreement, Dixon asserted.”
Here is a final word on the ‘not necessary to be in agreement’ stance. I listened to a John MacArthur sermon last week. He was preaching through Mark and he had gotten to Mark 13:14-23, “The future tribulation.” Many of the end time doctrines are in these verses. He ended his sermon with a real-life example of what happened to him some years ago in Kazakhstan. He was teaching at a pastor’s conference, and many pastors from Central Asia who had never had the opportunity to attend a pastor conference were there. At one point the leadership came to him asking, ‘please explain to us the good part, the future for the church.’ MacArthur said he’d replied, “I don’t know what you believe but eschatology is a diverse subject, but ok, I’ll take Friday all day, I’ll teach everything the bible says about the church’s future. I spoke for 8 hours to people I had never met and had no idea what they believed. At the end of it, they came up to me and they said “You believe exactly as we do.”
“Really? I asked, but then I realized, we have been reading the bible. That is why we believe the same thing. To believe something else you read something else. If you read the same book I am reading, there it is! It is all laid out. You see what the scriptures say.”
If you have difficulty with the end times doctrines, take heart. The bible is there for YOU and the Holy Spirit is there to educate YOU in its wisdom. See what the scriptures say, see where the Holy Spirit leads.
You decide. This is where Pastor Dixon believes Jesus left us. Is this where you think Jesus left us?