Part eight of Jan Markell’s Chapter “Religionist Deceivers Rampant,” an exclusive preview of Terry James’s book “Deceivers: Exposing Evil Seducers & Their Last Days Deception.
The Greatest Tragedy of Our Day
In the last 20 years, I have received hundreds, if not thousands, of emails, letters, and calls telling me that solid believers cannot find a prophecy-preaching church. I honestly believe that this is a part of the end-time falling away. Their churches may be solid in many ways, but the pastors have concluded that the topic of biblical prophecy is controversial and might scare people away, so they bury it in the attic of the church along with the hymnals from which the congregation used to sing.
The church is no longer excited that the King is coming! A few remnant churches remain, many of which are in the Calvary Chapel stream, that continue to proclaim the news of Christ’s return, but their numbers are very few. As a result, those who long for new information on this topic flock to a handful of prophecy conferences around America.
In 2016, my prophecy event drew 6,000 people to a venue of 4,300. Traffic was backed up on Minneapolis freeways heading to the church we rent. Hundreds of people have told me that they cannot find this message in a single church in their community.
No one is asking a pastor to make eschatology the focus of his ministry, but the neglect of prophecy is unconscionable when one-third of the Bible speaks of it and a crown is promised to be rewarded to those who long for His appearing (2 Timothy 4: 8).
It is fine that the church has marriage seminars and financial seminars, but it’s not okay for it to not take one weekend a year to remind people to get their lives in order, for Jesus is coming soon! Jesus chastised the religious leaders of His day for not knowing the signs of His first coming. I believe He is chastising today’s church leaders for a sentiment that seems to say, “Come, Lord Jesus, but not too soon!”
There is a lot of blame to go around for this deficiency. It likely starts with our seminaries and trickles down. But the path was paved thanks to the seeker-sensitive movement, the Emergent/ Postmodern stream, Purpose-Driven motives, the social gospel efforts, and more.
At the same time, evangelical support for Israel has so tanked that I would have to almost include this as another sign of the great falling away. In my younger years, I recall that evangelical support for Israel was a given. After all, her rebirth was not just the miracle of the 20th century; it may have been the miracle of all time. Yet as I write this, I am aware of the new mood in the Church: to swing support away from Israel and toward those whom it perceives as the persecuted Palestinians—with Israel as the persecutor.
A part of this is born out of the strong appeal of “social justice” among the under-age-50 crowd previously mentioned. And a part of it is due to many voices now speaking on behalf of the Palestinians who, at the same time, denounce Israel as an “occupier.” Prominent teachers, authors, radio hosts, and more have done major damage over the last 30 years, including Hank Hanegraaff, Lynne Hybels, Dr. John Piper, Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, Gary Burge, and two dozen more.
How this must grieve the heart of God, who has preserved Israel and the Jewish people because He is a covenant keeper!
So the Church of today is vastly different than the Church of my youth that focused on prophecy, Israel, and eternity-related issues regularly. I truly feel today like a dinosaur—outdated and out-of-step with much of the Church. But is the loss theirs or mine?
Jesus states in Matthew 16 that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, but the gates of hell are surely trying to interfere! I know of very few people who are looking for the perfect church, but many are looking for a gospel-preaching church that is excited about the fact that the King is coming. They are looking for a church that will hold to sound doctrine and that will contend for the faith. The options are without a doubt shrinking, but some still remain.
I pray you—and your church—can be a lighthouse as the days shorten to get the gospel to a lost and hurting world.