Pastor Tom Hughes of the 412 Church in San Jacinto, California, wrote an article titled, “Five Reasons Pastors Don’t Teach Bible Prophecy.” Below are the five reasons from his article.
They don’t understand prophecy, They fear offending members of the church, They sense it will scare people, They fear people will stop giving, and they fear looking like fringe groups who take things to an extreme.
Even though written several years ago, the list remains relevant today. Fear stands out as the key motive behind the silence. Pastors also say they do not understand prophecy, but do they take the time to learn or turn to those who do understand it? Someone might ask: “Why does that matter?
Does it really make a difference if preachers keep quiet on future things as long as they proclaim the Gospel with biblical clarity?” It not only matters a great deal, but it’s risky to ignore a topic that the Bible emphasizes over and over again. The neglect of biblical prophecy in the pulpit results in:
1. BELIEVERS RELYING UPON SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET FOR END TIMES THEOLOGY
When pastors remain silent on biblical prophecy, believers look for information on biblical prophecy on social media and the Internet. There they find a wide array of teachings and opinions, some biblical, but most are false and misleading.
Some believers possess the needed scriptural discernment to sort through the mess of various teachings. But as the lack of biblical knowledge reaches epidemic proportions among those claiming to be Christians, most churchgoers lack the necessary discernment and fall prey to the misinformation available at their fingertips.
A couple of questions for preachers: Do you really desire for social media and the Internet to be the primary source of information regarding prophecy for those in your church? Would it not be better for you to provide the sound biblical guidance regarding our hope that they so desperately need during these perilous times?
2. THE FLOURISHING OF FALSE TEACHING
Many pastors fear causing division in their congregation and thus remain silent on matters related to the Rapture. However, they fail to realize that it’s their refusal to preach on what the Bible says on this matter that has led to the very diversity of opinions in their churches.
The potential for disunity is there even if they remain quiet. Last year, I met with a pastor who said that if he preached what I believe, half of his congregation would walk out the door. It occurred to me later that if he taught what he really believes, the other half would quickly depart. We started attending his church after seeing that it’s statement of faith said it was premillennial.
The pastor, however, was most definitely not premillennial!! Pastors who ignore biblical prophecy allow false teachings to flourish or as in the case of the one I just mentioned, the church remains in the dark about what he really believes.
3. BELIEVERS LOOKING TO THIS LIFE FOR THEIR IMMEDIATE HOPE
Another consequence of silence in the pulpits regarding future things is that believers look for hope in things other than Jesus’ imminent appearance. A popular theology today, often referred to as “dominion theology,” teaches that the church will prevail against the evils of this word and usher in a millennial reign of its own before Jesus returns to the earth.
Many Christians falsely believe the church itself is their hope for the future. Additionally, even pastors who do not adhere to “dominion theology” also make the church the object of hope for those that hear them preach. Those who allegorize the book of Revelation often, in my experience, change its message to exalt the church rather than Jesus.
Still others give the impression that things will return to normal. “The world has seen difficult times at other times in history,” they say, “and the current crises are no different.” All these things point believers to this life as their hope rather than Jesus’ appearing.
4. REDUCED MOTIVATION FOR GODLY LIVING
The Lord intended our hope in the Rapture to be a motivation for godly living. John wrote these words in 1 John 3:2-3: Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will have not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is.
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Our hope in Jesus’ imminent return has a purifying impact on our lives. Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, said the following in a recent interview”
“I don’t know why more people don’t want to talk about eschatology or end-times events because Bible prophecy is not given to scare us but to prepare us,” he said. “And not only that, but I think it motivates us.” Laurie continued, “Talking about these things can be very motivating for Christians to keep us on our toes spiritually.
“Knowing Jesus could come back at any moment,” he said, can “be a motivator to live a godly life.” Silence in the pulpits regarding our “blessed hope” leaves those in the seats assuming they have their whole lives ahead of them although Scripture tells us this may not be the case. For many, this negates the urgency to walk closely with the Lord.
5. BELIEVERS THAT ARE UNPREPARED FOR THE DANGERS THAT LIE AHEAD FOR THIS WORLD
The scarcity of preaching on biblical prophecy leaves believers unprepared and unaware of the dark and threatening storm clouds gathering on our horizon. The Bible promises that Jesus may come at any time, but we may experience tough times before that happens.
The war in Ukraine has led to a humanitarian crisis not seen since WWII and will very likely lead to critical food shortages throughout the world by the end of 2022. We live in perilous times, and they are about to get much worse. The current silence in the pulpits not only shifts the hope of the saints to this life, but leaves them ill-prepared to deal with ever-present threats of nuclear war and famine.
If their focus is solely on their future in this life, these things will cause anxiety. Today more than ever before, believers need the assurances of Scripture regarding their joyful and glorious future. Pastors who refuse to teach about Jesus’ imminent appearing from the pulpit deny their people critically needed assurance as the threats of war and famine increase with each passing day. READ MORE