David Jeremiah has written a flurry of books on Bible prophecy that deal with end-time themes that claim that the rapture of the church is near with the rise of “the Antichrist” and a great tribulation to follow. The following is about his 2021 book Where Do We Go From Here?:
I’ve studied the signs of the times and believe we’re approaching a global cataclysm — one predicted in our Scriptures and unfolding before our eyes. All this came to me in a sort of rush months ago as my wife Donna and I were watching the morning news — every story more distressing than the one before. We sat there viewing the burning cities, backbiting politicians, runaway infections, heated elections, social upheaval, racial tensions, skyrocketing crime, shouting pundits, deafening lies, eroding sands, and cracking foundations.
I said to her: “You and I are watching the dismantling of America.” My new book, Where Do We Go From Here? was born in that moment.
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Dip into any century and you will find similar descriptions by prophecy writers. I know, I know, this time it’s different. That’s what prophecy writers said with the rise of Islam, the Holy Roman Empire when the papacy was identified as the antichrist (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:1–3; 2 John 7), the man of sin (2 Thess. 2), and the great harlot (Rev. 17–18), the Black Death in the 14th century where it’s been estimated that 25 million people in Europe died when the world population was only around 400 million (it’s more than 7 billion today), the French Revolution, World War I, the Spanish Flu, World War II, the Third Reich, and even godless Communism. Today, it’s COVID-19, the Great Reset, Globalism, China, Islam, and the ongoing Middle East crisis. There’s little that’s new in Christian prophetic speculation as the following very short list indicates: The Pattern of Expectation 1644–2001 (1979), Antichrist in Seventeenth-Century England (1971), Evangelical Millennialism in the Trans-Atlantic World, 1500–2000 (2011), When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture (1992), American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism (2014), Bryan W. Ball, A Great Expectation: Eschatological Thought in English Protestantism to 1660 (1975); Peter Toon, ed. Puritans, the Millennium and the Future of Israel: Puritan Eschatology 1600 to 1660 (1970), Crawford Gribben, The Puritan Millennium (2000), Richard Kyle, The Last Days Are Here Again (1998), and Katharine R. Firth, The Apocalyptic Tradition in Reformation Britain 1530–1645 (1979).
David Jeremiah’s latest claim regarding prophetic speculation is that self-centeredness could be a sign of the coming tribulation. When was self-centeredness not part of our world? It’s the essence of all sin. Here’s the basis for his view that the end is near:
How can we account for such reckless disregard for humanity? I want to show you a prediction about the last days that will put all of this into prophetic context. The apostle Paul wrote his final letter to Timothy, his son in the faith, from a Roman cell. Near the end of his letter, Paul drew a surprisingly detailed picture of how people will behave prior to the tribulation. “But know this,” he wrote, “that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim. 3:1–5).
Paul was writing to Timothy about what was happening in his day, the last days of a temporary covenant order. The “last days” were a present reality for the first-century church. The Apostle Peter announced that Joel’s prophecy about the last days was being fulfilled in his day (Acts 2:16–21). The author of Hebrews wrote that the “last days” were present (Heb. 1:2), and Peter wrote something similar: “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer” (1 Peter 4:7; also see 1:20). Paul wrote to the early Church that they are the ones “upon whom the ends of the ages have come [are arrived]” (1 Cor. 10:11).
Jude pointed to his own time as the fulfillment of the last days: “But you, beloved, remember what was foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ when they said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow after their own ungodly desires.’ These are the ones who are causing [present active participle] divisions, who are worldly and devoid of the Spirit” (Jude 18–19). Not “will cause” but who were presently causing divisions.
But back to 2 Timothy 3:1 and Paul’s use of “last days.” Ken Gentry writes that Paul “is dealing with a particular historical matter in the first century. He is speaking of things that Timothy will be facing and enduring (2 Tim. 3:10, 14). He is not prophesying about the constant, long-term, unyielding prospects for all of history.”
Gentry then quotes the following from Benjamin B. Warfield (1851–1921) on 2 Timothy 3:1–13 in his 1886 article “Prophecies of St. Paul” that is reprinted in Warfield’s Biblical and Theological Studies: “It would be manifestly illegitimate to understand these descriptions as necessarily covering the life of the whole dispensation on the earliest verge of which the prophet was standing…. Paul had the first stages of ‘the latter times’ in mind, and actually says nothing to imply either that the evil should long predominate over the good, or that the whole period should be marked by such disorders.”
James H. Snowden writes something similar:
One of the favorite passages that are adduced to prove that the present world will grow worse and worse is Paul’s description of it in the third chapter of his Second Epistle to Timothy…. The whole passage clearly shows that Paul in speaking of “the last days” was not thinking of future times but of the days then present. He and Timothy were living in the midst of these things, and he was warning Timothy against existing dangers and was not saying or implying anything about the future. The same explanation applies to similar passages in I Tim. 4:1 and in II Pet. 3:3. John expressly says, “Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye heard that antichrist cometh, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby ye know that it is the last hour” (I John 2:18). All these evils were then present and in the degree in which they were described by these apostles, and they were warning against them as present temptations. 
The fact that Paul described for Timothy what was happening in their day in the lead-up to the end of the Old Covenant Age that was in the process of passing away (Heb. 8:13) does not mean that these self-centered characteristics of people no longer manifest themselves in the world. Also, take note that Paul does not, contrary to David Jeremiah, say anything about “how people will behave prior to the tribulation.” John wrote that he was a “fellow-partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (Rev. 1:9). Paul suffered great tribulation and never mentioned anything about being taken out of the world in something called the “rapture”:
- After his conversion, the Jews plotted to kill him (Acts 9:20–25).
- In Jerusalem, the Hellenists attempted to kill him (Acts 9:28–30).
- In Antioch of Pisidia, the Jews stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their region (Acts 13:48–52).
- In Iconium, an attempt was made by some Jews and Gentiles to stone him and other believers (Acts 14:1–6).
- In Lystra, Jews from Antioch persuaded the people to stone Paul and left him for dead (Acts 14:19–20).
- In Philippi, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison (Acts 16:19–40).
- In Thessalonica, unbelieving Jews stirred up the city and attempted to seize Paul and Silas (Acts 17:5–10).
- In Berea, unbelieving Jews from Thessalonica stirred up the crowds (Acts 17:13–14).
- In Macedonia, the Jews plotted against Paul (Acts 20:3).
- In Jerusalem, when Paul’s seven-day purification was almost complete, Jews from Asia came to Jerusalem and pull Paul out of the temple beat him (Acts 21:27).
- Paul had to stand before Roman rulers to defend himself against charges from unbelieving Jews (Acts 22–26).
- Paul was under house arrest (Acts 28:16–20, 30–31).
Here’s how Paul describes the reality of his tribulation:
But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I am speaking in foolishness—I too am bold. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ?—I am speaking as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent adrift at sea. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus, the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands (2 Cor. 11:19–31).
Let’s get back to 2 Timothy 3. Did you notice that David Jeremiah stops quoting at verse 5? What follows puts the entire chapter in perspective. Will the ungodly dominate culture? At first reading, 2 Timothy 3 would seem to indicate that the ungodly will prevail and godly influence decline. Further study shows that Paul has something different in mind. He compares the progress of the ungodly in Timothy’s day with that of Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian sorcerer‑priests who opposed Moses (cf. Ex. 7:11): “But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, as also that of those two came to be” (2 Tim. 3:9). While it is true there is an attempt by the ungodly to dominate culture, the fact is, “they will not make further progress.” Their fling with ungodliness is temporary (cf. Rom. 1:18–32). Christians can remain optimistic even if the actions of the ungodly persist for a time.
Paul, however, does not allow Christians to remain passive as the ungodly self‑destruct. Timothy has followed Paul’s “teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, [and] sufferings” (2 Tim. 3:10–11). While the ungodly expend their demented self-absorbed capital in present-oriented living, Christians are to develop future-oriented spiritual capital to replace the bankrupt culture of humanism with a Christ-centered family, church, and society. Notice that the characteristics of the ungodly are all self-directed and short-lived, summarized by this phrase: “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (3:4). Sin has its pleasure for a short time: “He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not become rich” (Prov. 21:17). The love of pleasure and self-centeredness is not an investment in the future. The self-centered are killing their future via abortion. Homosexuality, transgenderism, and self-sterilization are self-maledictions.
The characteristics of the godly are future-directed, foregoing the lure of present pleasures for the benefit of future productivity. Teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and perseverance take time and energy from the present but result in a future reward. Even persecutions and sufferings should not deter the future-oriented Christian because “out of them all the Lord” delivers us (2 Tim. 3:11).
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Christians must think long-term. While the ungodly burn themselves out, the godly steadily influence their world: “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of” (3:14). In time, the effects of faithfulness will be realized: “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary” (Gal. 6:9).
The Christian’s view of the future determines how he lives, plans, and works in the present for the future. Even during Israel’s captivity under Babylonian rule, the nation’s darkest hour, the people were told to plan and build for the future: “Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens, and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease…. For I know the plans that I have for you, ‘declares the LORD,’ plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope" (Jer. 29:5‑6, 11).
(Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1952), 500.
The Coming of the Lord (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1919), 246–247.