The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Atlanta Live TV Show Interviews Gary DeMar about Bible Prophecy — Why Bother if We’re Living in the Last Days?

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I was recently interviewed on the Atlanta Alive television program about my book Last Days Madness and Bible prophecy. You can see the interview above in the embedded video.

WorldNetDaily goes a great job in directing readers to articles and topics that show where America has gone wrong. In fact, there is so much of this material that one can get information overload. This is one side of the coin. The other side is a preoccupation with end-time speculation. Hal Lindsey is a weekly columnist and periodically there are articles informing readers that we are living in the last days. A few years ago, at the top of the WND page, we were asked this question: “Are We Living in the Last Days?” It was an advertisement for Greg Laurie’s book of the same name.

[get_product id=”157″ align=”right” size=”small”]One sentence caught my attention: “Are We Living in the Last Days? will help you take some of the guesswork out of understanding the last days and will encourage you to live confidently and expectantly in an uneasy and uncertain world.” Laurie believes that world events are pointing to an end-time climax that will happen soon. This messy world is about to come to an end. This is why, given the condition of the world, we must live “expectantly” that it’s all going to over soon. Of course, we’ve heard this before. We’ve been hearing it for nearly 2000 years! All of these prophetic prognosticators have one thing in common: They’ve all been wrong. All the “signs” that Laurie sees as evidence of our near end refer to events that led up to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. For a thorough study of this topic, see my book Last Days Madness.

If Greg Laurie and the folks at WorldNetDaily are right, then why bother trying to fix a broken world that is about to be thrown on the ash heap of history? Why concern ourselves with peace in the Mideast? It will never happen this side of the millennium. Israel must be judged one more—two-thirds of the Jews destroyed (Zech. 13:8)—before things can get better. The only event worth considering is the “rapture” of the church to rescue us from this mess. So then, why bother with anything?

Consider what so-called prophecy experts have written about the last days: Hal Lindsey wrote, “We are the generation that will see the end times ¼ and the return of Christ.”[1] When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and coalition forces led by the United States sent troops to force him out, John F. Walvoord revised his Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East, first published in 1974, to address how the Bible applies to “the future of the Middle East and the end of Western Civilization.”[2] Based on current events coupled with Bible passages which he believes throw light on the state of affairs just prior to a so-called Rapture, Jerry Falwell boasts, “We will not be here for Armageddon.”[3] On a December 27, 1992, television broadcast, Falwell stated, “I do not believe there will be another millennium ¼ or another century.” Well, there was another century and another millennium. Like Falwell, Walvoord expected the rapture to occur in his own lifetime. He died December 20, 2002. “So many people will be suddenly missing,” he wrote in 1991, “‘I wish I could be around to see how the media explains [sic] it.’”[4] According to William T. James in Storming Toward Armageddon, “We live in days such as delineated in 2 Timothy 3:1–5. The evidence is astoundingly abundant to anyone not wishing to be a foolish, deceived, brute beast but rather desiring to seek to be wise unto salvation.”[5] A careful reading of 2 Timothy 3 will show that Paul was describing conditions in Timothy’s day, what the writer of Hebrews characterizes as the “last days” of the Old Covenant (Heb. 1:1–2). This type of prophetic speculation has been going on for millennia. Why are these guys right? I know, it’s because Israel has become a nation again. Where in the NT is there any mention of Israel becoming a nation again? If Matthew 24:32 is all you have, then you don’t have much.

The New Testament is clear, when the Bible uses “last days” it is referring to the last days of the old covenant order with the end of its sacrificial system, sinful priesthood, and stone temple. With the coming of Jesus, the last days have past since He is the perfect sacrifice that takes away the sin of the world, our high priest, and our enduring temple. Paul wrote nearly 2000 years ago to the church at Corinth that “the ends of ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11). “Have come,” not “will come.” Jesus was manifested “once at the consummation of the ages” (Heb. 9:26). “The day” was “drawing near” in the first century (10:25). I know this might be new to many of you. Maybe it’s time that we stop reading the Bible through the lens of the daily newspaper and start with a fresh reading of the Bible.

Endnotes:[1] Back-cover copy of Hal Lindsey, The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon (King of Prussia, PA: Westgate Press, 1980).
[2] Cover copy of John F. Walvoord, Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, [1974, 1976] 1990).
[3] Cited in Kenneth L. Woodward, “The Final Days are Here Again,” Newsweek (18 March 1991), 55.
[4] Cited in Woodward, “The Final Days are Here Again,” 55.
[5] William T. James, “What the Future Holds,” Storming Toward Armageddon: Essays in Apocalypse (Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 1992), 45.
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