June 16, 2024

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June 16, 2024

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Why A Clear And Urgent Gospel Message Should Be The Centerpiece Of Every Bible Prophecy Sermon

My grandfather was a pastor whose dispensational eschatology served as a central motif in his preaching. He earnestly believed the rapture could happen at any moment, and he often sounded the alarm about the urgency of the hour. His son, my father, carried on the tradition of raising his children to eagerly await the return of the Lord (Philippians 3:20). Thus, for as long as I can remember I have been a student of Bible prophecy.

Not just a student of Bible prophecy, some might say I am obsessed with it. Reading what God’s Word has to say about the end times really makes my heart dance. I love to make sense of world events and interpret the headlines by relating them to God’s prophetic plan. The arena of Bible prophecy experts consists of authors and speakers who share this same passion.

One of my favorite things about speaking at prophecy conferences is not what happens on the stage; it is what happens between sessions as I engage in stimulating repartee with other speakers and attendees about all things prophetic. Could the digital ID system be the precursor to the mark of the beast? When precisely is the battle of Gog and Magog? How much time will elapse between the rapture and the start of Daniel’s seventieth week? How close do you think we really are to the rapture? These questions keep me up late, long after the last session has ended, sitting in hotel lobbies sharpening my eschatological iron.

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Given the signs of the times and given the fact that roughly 16% of the Bible pertains to unfulfilled prophecy, invigorating discussions about God’s end times plan are completely appropriate. Yet, I cannot help but wonder if sometimes we may be burying the lede when it comes to what matters most in God’s Word. As passionate as we are about eschatology, there is another area of theology that should take precedence: soteriology.

After all, what good does it do to proclaim the soon coming of our Lord, if we are not proclaiming the good news of salvation from sin? The clear, accurate, and urgent Gospel message should be the centerpiece of every Bible prophecy sermon, message, and conference presentation. We sometimes forget this. In our zeal to point people toward the eastern sky, we often forget to point them first to the cross.

For believers, end times prophecy is an exciting message of hope (1 Thessalonians 4:18; Titus 1:13). But for those who do not know the Lord, it is a somber warning of judgment. The same Jesus who will rescue the church from the wrath of God (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9) also rescues individuals from the penalty of sin (1 Timothy 1:15). Are we doing the world an injustice by heralding the return of the King of Kings if we fail to introduce them first to the Savior of their souls?

The message of salvation is simple, clear, and pervasive in Scripture. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. The penalty for sin is eternal life in a literal place of torment called hell (Matthew 25:41; Luke 16:23; Revelation 20:11-15). Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could never pay.

In His great love, God has offered each of us forgiveness and eternal life if we will simply receive it by faith (Romans 5:8). More than 160 times the New Testament conditions eternal life upon faith alone (e.g., John 3:16; 3:36). Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47).

Being an expert in eschatology, being conversant and well-studied in God’s end times plan, will not open the doors of heaven. Only faith can do that. Have you trusted in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, as the only One who can give you eternal life?

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It’s Not God’s ‘Hatred’ For The Lost World That Drives Bible Prophecy… It’s The Love Of God

It is not the hatred of God for the lost people of this fallen planet that drives prophecy. It is the love of God that powers His prophetic Word. It must be the Christian’s desire, therefore, to study Bible prophecy and put forth those forewarnings out of a spirit of God’s love, not through an anger-filled abhorrence of those who are lost.

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