Pastor Tom Hughes of the 412 Church in San Jacinto, California, wrote an article titled, "Five Reasons Pastors Don't Teach Bible Prophecy." Below are the five reasons from his article.
They don't understand prophecy
They fear offending members of the church
They sense it will scare people
They fear people will stop giving
They fear looking like fringe groups who take things to an extreme
Even though written several years ago, the list remains relevant today. Fear stands out as the key motive behind the silence. Pastors also say they do not understand prophecy, but do they take the time to learn or turn to those who do understand it?
Someone might ask: "Why does that matter? Does it really make a difference if preachers keep quiet on future things as long as they proclaim the Gospel with biblical clarity?"
It not only matters a great deal, but it's risky to ignore a topic that the Bible emphasizes over and over again. The neglect of biblical prophecy in the pulpit results in:
1. BELIEVERS RELYING UPON SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET FOR END TIMES THEOLOGY
When pastors remain silent on biblical prophecy, believers look for information on biblical prophecy on social media and the Internet. There they find a wide array of teachings and opinions, some biblical, but most are false and misleading.
Some believers possess the needed scriptural discernment to sort through the mess of various teachings. But as the lack of biblical knowledge reaches epidemic proportions among those claiming to be Christians, most churchgoers lack the necessary discernment and fall prey to the misinformation available at their fingertips.
A couple questions for preachers: Do you really desire for social media and the Internet to be the primary source of information regarding prophecy for those in your church? Would it not be better for you to provide the sound biblical guidance regarding our hope that they so desperately need during these perilous times?
2. THE FLOURISHING OF FALSE TEACHING
Many pastors fear causing division in their congregation and thus remain silent on matters related to the Rapture. However, they fail to realize that it's their refusal to preach on what the Bible says on this matter that has led to the very diversity of opinions in their churches. The potential for disunity is there even if they remain quiet.
Last year, I met with a pastor who said that if he preached what I believe, half of his congregation would walk out the door. It occurred to me later that if he taught what he really believes, the other half would quickly depart. We started attending his church after seeing that it's statement of faith said it was premillennial. The pastor, however, was most definitely not premillennial!!
Pastors who ignore biblical prophecy allow false teachings to flourish or as in the case of the one I just mentioned, the church remains in the dark about what he really believes.
3. BELIEVERS LOOKING TO THIS LIFE FOR THEIR IMMEDIATE HOPE
Another consequence of silence in the pulpits regarding future things is that believers look for hope in things other than Jesus' imminent appearing.
A popular theology today, often referred to as "dominion theology," teaches that the church will prevail against the evils of this word and usher in a millennial reign of its own before Jesus returns to the earth. Many Christians falsely believe the church itself is their hope for the future.
Additionally, even pastors who do not adhere to "dominion theology" also make the church the object of hope for those that hear them preach. Those who allegorize the book of Revelation often, in my experience, change its message to exalt the church rather than Jesus.
Still others give the impression that things will return to normal. "The world has seen difficult times at other times in history," they say, "and the current crises are no different."
All these things point believers to this life as their hope rather than Jesus' appearing.
4. REDUCED MOTIVATION FOR GODLY LIVING
The Lord intended our hope in the Rapture to be a motivation for godly living. John wrote these words in 1 John 3:2-3:
Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Our hope in Jesus' imminent return has a purifying impact on our lives. Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, said the following in a recent interview"
"I don't know why more people don't want to talk about eschatology or end-times events because Bible prophecy is not given to scare us but to prepare us," he said. "And not only that, but I think it motivates us."
Laurie continued, "Talking about these things can be very motivating for Christians to keep us on our toes spiritually.
"Knowing Jesus could come back at any moment," he said, can "be a motivator to live a godly life."
Silence in the pulpits regarding our "blessed hope" leaves those in the seats assuming they have their whole lives ahead of them although Scripture tells us this may not be the case. For many, this negates the urgency to walk closely with the Lord.
5. BELIEVERS THAT ARE UNPREPARED FOR THE DANGERS THAT LIE AHEAD FOR THIS WORLD
The scarcity of preaching on biblical prophecy leaves believers unprepared and unaware of the dark and threatening storm clouds gathering on our horizon.
The Bible promises that Jesus may come at any time, but we may experience tough times before that happens.
The war in Ukraine has led to a humanitarian crisis not seen since WWII and will very likely lead to critical food shortages throughout the world by the end of 2022. We live in perilous times, and they are about to get much worse.
The current silence in the pulpits not only shifts the hope of the saints to this life, but leaves them ill-prepared to deal with ever-present threats of nuclear war and famine. If their focus is solely on their future in this life, these things will cause anxiety.
Today more than ever before, believers need the assurances of Scripture regarding their joyful and glorious future. Pastors who refuse to teach about Jesus' imminent appearing from the pulpit deny their people critically needed assurance as the threats of war and famine increase with each passing day.
6. BELIEVERS NOT WATCHING FOR THE LORD'S APPEARING AS JESUS INSTRUCTED US TO DO
Referring to His return, Jesus said this in Matthew 24:44, "Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." In the same discourse, He later said, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour" (25:13).
Jesus' instruction led to a church that eagerly anticipated His return. In Philippians 3:20-21 Paul wrote this:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject all things to himself.
The Greek word for "await" in verse 20 denotes to an "intense anticipation" or an "excited expectation" of a future event.[iii] In this text, Paul portrays believers as eagerly longing Jesus' appearing with great anticipation; they expected it to happen at any moment.
When we watch for Jesus' appearing, we copy the eager expectancy of the early church to meet Jesus in the air.
7. BELIEVERS NOT RECOGNIZING THE CONVERGENCE OF PROPHETIC SIGNS
My head is spinning from all that's happening in our world from a prophecy perspective. A few years ago, I believed that many signs of the approaching Tribulation were converging as never before, but today this reality has grown beyond what I could have imagined back then.
As the shadow of the approaching Tribulation grows darker by the day, those aware of this convergence of prophetic signs recognize that Jesus' appearing to take us home must be ever so close.
I never thought I would hear a president of the United States talk openly about the need for the New World Order, which during the Tribulation will morph into the kingdom of the antichrist. But yesterday, it happened as President Biden started talking about his commitment to it! I have long assumed this, but it's another matter to hear him talk about it as something that is going to happen.
The Rapture may happen soon, and I pray that it does. But if not, we will see our world rapidly deteriorate as critical food shortages develop and as the coming New World Order continues to suppress the rights of people throughout the world.
Pastors, why not start preaching about biblical prophecy now rather than wait until people in your church demand that you teach on this subject, or the threatening conditions around you leave you with no choice but to talk about the details of our joyous and imminent hope?
In Tom Hughes' article titled, "Five Reasons Pastors Don't Teach Bible Prophecy," he said this, "Let Jesus also be the example in what we teach and preach. He taught a great deal about His Second Coming and the signs surrounding it. We should, too."
A realistic look at our world is indeed scary and grows more ominous with each passing day, but as we view current events through the lens of Scripture and what it promises us about our future, the Lord gives us strength and peace to face the joyous future that lies ahead for us.
Originally published at Jonathan Brentner - reposted with permission.