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Why I Keep On Trucking

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People ask me what keeps me going. Why do I continue to write on subjects that so many people resist? For the simple reason that I see progress. When I first did radio interviews on Bible prophecy in the late 1980s, I was bombarded by some pretty nasty callers. I was called a heretic. Some called to ask if I was a Christian. As time went on, the nasty callers faded, and I started to get calls from people who had been questioning the popular system of end-time speculation but did not know there was an alternative position until they heard me.[1]

Since then, my book Last Days Madness has gone through five printings and four editions. It’s had enough of an impact that the other side feels obligated to deal with my arguments.[2] Periodically I get letters from people who have been impacted by my work. Here’s one great example. Just by asking questions, you can get people to think. [product id="157" align="right" size="small"]

Dear Mr. DeMar,

This email is to tell you what a positive impact you've made in my life. I grew up in a pre-trib[3] church and was often discouraged. In high school it was difficult to plan for a future that was going to end in 1983. In college and my career it was the same negative outlook with new dates set for the coming rapture.

After the year 2000 I realized that perhaps something wasn't quite right about this pre-trib prophecy stuff. I sat down on my computer and listed all the negative predictions from the church that I could remember that didn't happen. For example, in 1990 my pastor gave a sermon on why we wouldn't make it to the year 2000 (AIDS, national debt, natural disasters, a nuclear exchange with Russia, etc.). I found your web site and ordered study material. I believe the Lord led me to you.

I soon realized that the partial preterist[4] viewpoint was a much more clear interpretation than the pre-trib plethora of complicated reasoning that somehow was supposed to fit scripture. My future outlook improved dramatically. When I pray now, I realize that yes, things may get better and my prayers can be effective in bringing this world to Christ. And things that I work hard for on this earth such as my career to provide for my family are not in vain. For some reason I remember thinking previously that the end times would be especially bad for those with kids. My wife and I decided to have a child and we're considering another.

Recently, one of my many futurist friends was ranting about the state of the world and that the end times are almost here. When I told him I believed it’s possible that world events could actually improve at some time in the future since God is all-powerful and in control of history despite what we read in the newspapers, he looked at me like I was lost. I then asked him where in the Bible it speaks of rebuilding the temple. He then told me about the plans in Israel to build the temple. I asked the question again. He thought about it for a while and said it’s in Revelation somewhere. [product id="31" align="left" size="small"]

I asked the question a third time. In frustration, he called someone who was a knowledgeable futurist who gave a very long and complicated answer. Afterwards, I asked the question a fourth time and he had to call his resource once again. After three hours he finally started to realize that maybe there isn't such a verse. He's starting to at least respect my viewpoint.

I've had similar discussions with other futurists. There are other questions I ask such as: Where does the Bible speak of the antichrist as a single person?[5] Why did Paul believe the man of lawlessness was alive at his time?[6] Where does it say that natural disasters will increase, and who says they are increasing? They cannot answer my questions. Most people I talk to, I believe, are more mature Christians than myself and more knowledge about the Bible overall. It’s only by God's grace that I know what I now know. I think its just too shocking for them to believe that the end-times model they have believed all their life is all wrong.

THANK YOU AGAIN!

Endnotes:[1] Gary DeMar Under Fire was a tape series that included more than five hours of callers challenging me on prophecy issues.
[2] For example, Thomas Ice, “Preterism,” The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy, eds. Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2004), 287–288.
[3] There are five rapture positions: pre-trib, post-trib, mid-trib, partial rapture, and pre-wrath rapture. The pre-trib rapture positions teaches that the church will be taken off the earth prior to a seven-year period, the second half of which is the “great tribulation.” There is not a single verse in the NT that teaches a rapture position separate from the resurrection.
[4] A partial preterist is someone who believes the majority of NT prophetic passages have already been fulfilled. “Preterist” means “past.” When a prophecy was given (e.g., Matt. 24), its fulfillment was in the future. Since that first-century generation passed away (24:34), the fulfillment is in the past
[5] The Bible says there were “many antichrists” in the first century. John writes: “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). In another place, John defines “antichrist” for us: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 7).
[6] Paul writes to the Thessalonians that they knew who and what were restraining the man of lawlessness “now,” that is, in their day (2 Thess. 2:6–7).

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