By Hal Lindsey
I have been part of the prophecy movement for a long time. We’ve had our ups and downs, but for the most part, prophecy teachers have been faithful watchmen on the wall. We have warned, enlightened, kept the focus on Jesus, and helped remind people to be watching for His return. These are important things.
A healthy Church discerns the times. Jesus scolded the Pharisees and Sadducees because they could forecast the weather, but they did not grasp the larger issues. They knew “how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times.” [Matthew 16:3 NASB]
Titus 2:13 instructs us to be “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 4:8 says, “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Followers of Christ should always be “looking for the blessed hope,” and love “His appearing.” Good prophecy teaching helps with both.
The 1951 sci-fi movie, “The Thing From Another World,” ends with these dramatic lines about a possible alien invasion. “Every one of you listening to my voice. Tell the world. Tell this to everybody wherever they are. Watch the skies. Everywhere. Keep looking. Keep watching the skies!”
I’m not looking for aliens, but my head is lifted up. I hope yours is, too, and that I and my fellow prophecy teachers have helped you see life on earth in its true context.
However, I am concerned that many in today’s prophecy movement are competing — not to get out God’s word, but to gain attention for themselves. They buy and sell conspiracy theories like soda pop, always looking for one with a lot of sugar and fizz. But friends, some things don’t need to be sensationalized, and the Second Coming of Christ is one of those things.
In today’s marketplace of ideas, it’s easy to feel the need for continual hype. “Gotta get those clicks!” I especially worry when ministers of the Gospel push conspiracy theories that were originated by Jew-hating extremists. Prophecy teachers who purport to love Israel and the Jewish people, too often let their agendas be set by radical conspiracy theorists who are antisemitic to the core.
Why? Because those groups have some real doozies of conspiracy theories — the kind that get clicks. Before you teach a conspiracy theory, look at its source. Examine it closely. Don’t believe something just because it backs up your political ideas, vilifies people you don’t like, or reads like the latest thriller. Never repeat a conspiracy theory just to build or hold your audience. A lot of prophecy teachers feel like they’re running down a hill on a railroad track with a train of their own making, chasing them every step of the way. You made your brand by reporting the latest amazing story, and now you have to keep on giving them jaw-droppers to keep them coming.
If you are my fellow prophecy teacher, take a step back. The world right now needs you, but not your hype. They need the truth that you know. God’s message is more sensational than your hype. Pray for discernment. Be humble enough to receive correction. Never lie on behalf the One who calls “lying lips… an abomination.” Examine your sources. Ask questions. Don’t add to His word. Don’t fulfill prophecy by becoming a “malicious gossip,” or one who scratches itching ears.
Focus on Jesus. He’s sensational enough.