Bible Prophecy on Trial
Because there is a growing connection between those who
promote contemplative spirituality (i.e. mysticism) and those who
reject the study of Bible prophecy regarding the second coming of
Jesus Christ, the following information and documentation is
crucial to our understanding. In ‘Faith
Undone’, Roger Oakland states that Bible prophecy is
He explains, "Many who were once looking for the
return of Jesus have fallen asleep. We now live in a period of
time where numerous prominent Christian leaders are telling the
Christian masses that paying attention to the signs of our times
in light of the Bible is a waste of time. And many of them take
it a step further and accuse those who believe what Bible
prophecy says about the end of the age of being negative and
"In the ‘Purpose Driven Life’, Rick Warren
was actually laying ground work for the emerging church’s
new reformation, a reformation that rejects thinking about the
return of Christ and works more at convincing the multitudes that
Christ is already in them as a global Christ-consciousness. As
you will see in the following documentation, Warren has a low
regard for Bible prophecy. Perhaps this helps explain why so many
who once were anticipating the return of the Lord have become
occupied with worldly ambitions. Warren writes, "When the
disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus quickly switched
the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on
their mission in the world. He said in essence, ‘The
details of my return are none of your business. What is your
business is the mission I have given you. Focus on
that!’" WHAT ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!
I find it simply astounding that a statement of this sort
would be in a New York Times best-seller in the present-day
Christian book market. Jesus was telling the disciples they could
not know the day or the hour, but nowhere does Jesus ever
indicate that ‘the details of my return are none of your
business’. Rather than quickly changing the subject, we
find in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 two of the longest passages in
Scripture quoting Jesus’ own words, and what’s more,
where He details the signs of His coming.
In essence, Jesus was saying that because you cannot know the
day and hour of My return, you need to educate yourself in Bible
prophecy and take heed of My words about the end times. Later on,
one of those disciples, John, was given an entire book to write
on the details of Jesus’ coming. Jesus continually spoke
about being alert and ready for when He returns. In both parables
and straightforward talk, he spoke of this.
In Luke 12:35-40, Jesus emphasized that it is essential to be
prepared for His return, "Let your waist be girded and
your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for
their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he
comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are
those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find
watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and
have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if
he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch,
and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that
if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would
come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be
broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is
coming at an hour you do not expect".
Jesus frequently referred to the Old Testament prophecies.
Those prophecies became the evidence that Jesus Christ was indeed
whom He said He was - "Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty
God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace"
But Warren tells readers to think about something other than
Bible prophecy, "If you want Jesus to come back sooner,
focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out
Warren ends this section of his book by stating that Satan
would have you ‘sidetracked from your mission’ and by
quoting Jesus out of context, saying, "Anyone who lets
himself be distracted [by studying Bible prophecy] from the work
I plan for him is not fit for the kingdom of God"
But Jesus was not referring to His return when He made that
statement, which in the King James Version says, "No
man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit
for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). The Purpose Driven
kingdom of God leaves no room for Bible prophecy, and in fact,
condemns those who study it. The apostle Peter, inspired by the
Holy Spirit, had a different view.
He writes, "We have also a more sure word of
prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light
that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day
star arise in your hearts". (2 Peter 1:19 KJV)
Christians are called to witness and be watchmen. No Scripture
exists that tells us to ignore the events that have been pointed
out as signposts indicating the return of Jesus. If we do, we
might be like the "foolish virgins who fell asleep
waiting for the bridegroom" (Matthew 25:1-13).
In light of Warren’s end-time views, what does he think
of the emerging church? The statement he made in the foreword of
Dan Kimball’s book answers that question. He notes,
"Today seekers are hungry for symbols and metaphors and
experiences and stories that reveal the greatness of God. Because
seekers are constantly changing, we must be sensitive to them
like Jesus was; we must be willing to meet them on their own turf
and speak to them in ways they understand".
Rick Warren is enthusiastic about the emerging church because
he believes it is the church of the future. And ... the emerging
church is equally fond of Warren’s view of Bible prophecy,
or the omission thereof, and of his plan to usher in the kingdom
Warren isn’t the only one prepared to forgo the end
times teaching in the Word. Tony Campolo says that Christians who
"make a big thing of their claim that we are now living
in the final stage of church history prior to the second coming
of Christ have been the cause of ‘extremely
detrimental’ consequences. They discount the Sermon on the
Mount, they don’t care about the needy, and they have had
such a negative impact on geopolitics", which Campolo
says "can lead only to war". Basically,
according to Campolo, "they are the reason the world is
in such a mess, and they are holding back progress of a more
emerging spirituality" (‘Faith
Undone’, p. 160, quoting Tony Campolo,
‘Speaking My Mind’).
This view breeds strange bedfellows. Alice Bailey, the
well-known occultist says, "It is time that the church
woke up to its true mission, which is to materialize the kingdom
of God on earth, today, here and now.... People are no longer
interested in a possible heavenly state or a probable hell. They
need to learn that the kingdom is here, and must express itself
on earth ... The way into that kingdom is the way that Christ
trod. It involves the sacrifice of the personal self for the good
of the world, and the service of humanity".
Robert Schuller’s advice to young church leaders would
seem to apply to new apostolic Christians, "Don’t
let eschatology stifle your long-term thinking". (C. P.
Wagner, from ‘Reinventing Jesus
Mark Driscoll from Acts 29 Network says, "We are not
eschatological Theonomists or Classic Dispensationalists (e.g.
Scofield) and believe that divisive and dogmatic certainty
surrounding particular details of Jesus’ Second Coming are
unprofitable speculation, because the timing and exact details of
His return are unclear to us".
Yet souls uncounted have been won through the end times
message! Former New Age follower, Warren Smith explains what
happened to him and how he came to understand the significance of
Bible prophecy in light of Christ’s return,
"Coming out of New Age teachings, I had learned in a
very personal way that the details of Jesus’ return are
definitely our business. Understanding the events surrounding His
return was critical to understanding how badly I had been
deceived by my New Age teachings. I had learned from reading the
Bible that there is a false Christ on the horizon and that for a
number of years I had unknowingly been one of his followers.
Because the Bible’s clear authoritative teachings about the
real Jesus and His true return had been brought to my attention,
I was able to see how deceived I was. By understanding that there
is a false Christ trying to counterfeit the true Christ’s
return, I was able to renounce the false Christ I had been
following and commit my life to the true Jesus Christ"
(from ‘Deceived on Purpose’, p. 147).
In the Bible in the Book of Revelation, it says that Satan
will "deceive the whole world" (Revelation 12:9).
The emerging church movement has three essential elements
that are consistent throughout the movement that may help this
great deception to occur:
- The embracing of mysticism
- The belief that the kingdom of God will be established on
earth BEFORE Christ returns.
- The rejection of eschatology (the study of end-times and
Bible prophecy relating to it).
The combination of these three things could help to bring
about the great falling away of which the Bible speaks. We pray
that every Biblebelieving Christian will be able to comprehend
these things and warn their families and loved ones.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 says, "But of the times and the
seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For
yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a
thief in the night. For when they shall say, "Peace and
safety!" then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as
travail upon a woman with child. And they shall not escape. But
ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that Day should overtake
you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the
children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of