In 2008 Pastor Phil Johnson wrote,
My own assessment would be that evangelicalism’s spiritual condition at the beginning of the twenty-first century is reminiscent of the medieval church just prior to the Protestant Reformation.
No, I take it back. Things are much worse among evangelicals today than they were in the Catholic Church in those days. Modern and postmodern evangelicalism is just like medieval Catholicism was—only more superficial.
He made the same assessment again last week during the Reformation reminiscing.
The news just keeps getting more bewildering. Sometimes I look at people who perpetrate these heinous crimes and see these faux-pastors who perform blasphemous services and I think, Jesus please come.
Prophecy promises us that He IS returning. We don’t know when, but I am glad to know, as I saw on Twitter, that “Evil has an expiration date.”
Prophecy is all about movement. It is always moving toward fulfillment. For example, the lineage of Jesus was ordained from the beginning. Each generation of unions resulting in a child was a movement toward Mary’s birth of the Messiah. Sometimes prophecy seems to be fulfilled suddenly, sometimes extremely so by those who have not been following it. Other times it was impossible to follow, as in the generations that preceded Jesus. Who knew that 1300 or so years prior to the birth of the Messiah that Rahab’s faith would save her and that she would subsequently be included in the line that would produce the Savior? Who could know that the perfect line of generations that came before Him would result in the One who would fulfill all? So sometimes it seems to come out of the blue. But God’s hand is always moving, His Divine Providence is always working in the world.
Divine providence is the means by and through which God governs all things in the universe. The doctrine of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. This includes the universe as a whole (Psalm 103:19), the physical world (Matthew 5:45), the affairs of nations (Psalm 66:7), human birth and destiny (Galatians 1:15), human successes and failures (Luke 1:52), and the protection of His people (Psalm 4:8).” (source)
So everything that happens, He is aware of, causes, or allows. And that means everything that happens is on a path toward fulfilled promises, including prophecy.
Is the movement speeding up? It feels like it. And what it is speeding up toward? Remember, the last days of the Tribulation is the end this age. It is the culmination of all of God’s works regarding sin, with the exception of the short rebellion at the end of the 1000 year Millennium Kingdom.
If you are interested in studying eschatology AKA prophecy, AKA Last Things, AKA prophecy, good for you. Prophecy is pre-written history. It is a demonstration of the Bible’s inspiration by the Holy Spirit and its accuracy as being a book delivered to us outside of time by our sovereign and omnipotent God. He proves Himself over and over by its accuracy and fulfillment. Israel’s re-emergence in 1948, an prophetic fulfillment that occurred in some of our lifetimes, is an example. The fulfillment of prophecy and its constant movement toward fulfillment is the very word of God, validated.
God accomplishes prophecy: “Who confirms the word of His servant, And performs the counsel of His messengers; Who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited,’ To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’ And I will raise up her waste places;” (Isaiah 44:26)
Ultimately, we study prophecy because Christ is THE great subject of it, since the beginning. We love prophecy because we trust His word, we love God’s timeless sovereignty, and we want to seek the face of Christ, the great subject of all time.
“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” (Acts 3:22-24).