USA Today remarks in an interesting article, that there is a run on prophecy books. People who see events unfolding in the Middle East with Syria, Iran, Israel, and Egypt are wanting to know more. This is good.
Joel C. Rosenberg was asked to speak at the Kansas House of Representatives chamber yesterday and he preached today on Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 in Topeka. He posted “A few pictures from the event inside the Kansas State Capitol discussing Syria & Damascus Countdown.”
|Joel C. Rosenberg
“So grateful for the questions people asked during the Q&A.”
Some quotes I like from the USA Today article:
“The situation in Syria as it relates to scripture could be something that we’re witnessing, but we should be cautious. What prophecy really is about is the faithfulness of God’s word.” (Pastor Gary Cristofaro of the First Assembly of God in Melbourne, FL)
Always, always remember that prophecy is a way to see God as sovereign. He declares the end from the beginning . When a prophecy is fulfilled we shout for joy because He is faithful to His word and He is showing Himself as King of events, people, heaven, earth, and the angels. In studying the end time prophecies, we become comforted because of this. We also become fervent in urgency to witness to the lost because we know time is short (either through death or end of days events).
“Interpreting events doesn’t lead to an understanding of what’s going on. I believe it actually clouds the understanding,” said Tom Lombardo, a San Franscico-based author and researcher of end time beliefs.
Some people might not like me saying this and I may take heat for it, but I’ve stopped listening to Pastor JD Farag of Calvary Chapel Kaneohe. His weekly prophecy updates have been a blessing but I have noticed a sad trend. When I found his teachings several years ago he used to explain the prophecies from the bible. He’d take a passage and show from the bible what it meant. Slowly over time during his prophecy updates, he now focuses more on the news than on the bible. That balance has been tipped.
Last Sunday’s message was noteworthy in a negative way, unfortunately. He said that due to events occurring in Syria and Egypt and the Middle East, he had read and read and read the news, it all became a blur and he had read it for hours. I thought, “he should be spending that much time on reading the bible, not the news.” Then he said that he was putting off their regular study in Samuel so as to spend time bringing the flock up to speed. See? The congregation collects to worship God through the hearing of the word, not the news.
I think that Pastor JD is a tremendous pastor, sensitive, studious, mindful of Jesus and the Great Commission. I only mention this because we can get so wrapped up in the news that we forget the word. I have been guilty of this myself. But the more that I see events happening that seem to be hurrying us to the end, the more I back away from the news and stick with the bible. If God-ordained troubles are going to be unleashed on the world soon, and I personally believe that they are, then I want to be sure to be as strong as possible spiritually so as not to be deceived. Be mindful of the balance between the news and the word. Because, as the man said above, “Interpreting events doesn’t lead to an understanding of what’s going on. I believe it actually clouds the understanding,” Only the bible brings clarity.
I liked this tip on how to maintain a balance from Pastor Gary Cristofaro of the First Assembly of God in Melbourne FL again,
“We try to find balance by immersing ourselves in prophecy rather than being affected by it.”
Because when we immerse ourselves in prophecy of the bible we are immersing ourselves in the bible. Far from being an also-ran sphere of study, prophecy is mentioned in every New Testament book except Philemon. All the NT authors make reference in one way or another to prophecies, some new at that time, some reminding us of the prophecies of old. Either way, immersing yourself in prophecy is a good thing and hardly can be avoided if you read the bible at all!
Read the next quote: This is a good sign, actually.
Christian bookstores such as Family Christian Ministries in West Melbourne report that book sales of prophecy-themed works by charismatic minister Perry Stone, Pastor John Hagee and novelists such as Joel Rosenberg have increased in recent weeks since tension in Syria and Egypt escalated.
But just like anything, WHO you turn to for illumination is just as important as realizing prophetic implications of current events and praising God as a result. Perry Stone and John Hagee are not too solid as biblical scholars. Joel Rosenberg has been careful and he sticks with bible verses and not speculations.
People’s instinct is always to turn to the bible for understanding when large events happen. In 2008 when Obama was elected, there was a collective shudder that ran throughout fundamentalist Christendom, and for good reason. Back then, there was a run on books and studies on the antichrist. People ran to the bible and to prophecy books. When the Japan quake happened in 2011 (magnitude 9.0 which rocked the earth off its axis) people again ran to the bible. On my blog, any essay dealing with God and earthquakes got enormous hits. People want to make sense of the world and intuitively understand that sometimes it’s just the world but sometimes there is a spiritual overlay and anomalous events drive them to the bible. Earthquakes do that.
Now again two years later in 2013 with the Syria issue, people are feeling uncertain, hopeless, questioning, or just plain afraid. This is perfect time for us who have the answers to share them!! The Gospel is powerful to save and for the heart that wants answers, who are clamoring for understanding of prophecies, now is a ripe time to share and proclaim!
Maybe this is the last essay I’ll ever write, if we are raptured in the next moments of time. Maybe we will still be here five years from now and we will look back on this heightened period of biblical portent with wistfulness that the Lord still hasn’t come. I don’t know. But I do believe the time is dwindling quickly. I believe equally that every day is a good day for salvation.