Oct 25, 2010
While There Is Still Time
One of the greatest misconceptions in life is the belief that time comes in
great abundance. When we are teenagers, we can't wait to get older. The passage
of time allows us to get a driver's license, graduate from school, and earn
money from a career. When we're in our twenties, we may begin to run into the
problems of life, but there is always plenty of time to start over.
When we reach our thirties and forties, we start to get the hint that there are
limits to the number of days we'll have on planet earth. We suddenly realize we
are too old to do certain things. We can’t achieve some of our goals because of
mistakes or choices we have made.
We still lie to ourselves about our own mortality. People who look younger than
their age are held up as models. You may have heard the slogan, “Sixty is the
new fifty.” I think that, at best, it’s possible to say, “Sixty is the new
fifty-seven.” We’ve done wonders to extend the length of life, but we fail
continuously at improving the quality of that life.
What makes me so certain about this is my experience with the people around me.
Every single one of my friends has some type of health condition. Some of these
afflictions are back pain, asthma, kidney stones, and high blood pressure. We
spend billions of dollars each year on drugs, yet all we can do is treat the
symptoms of most of our ailments.
I'm now forty-five, and I have a growing list of minor problems myself. I have a
constant numbness in my left hand, sometimes I have trouble swallowing food,
I've developed a hives-like condition, and my vision has degraded to the point
that I need to take off my glasses to read small print. I also get pains in
parts of my body that I didn't think could ever hurt.
In the field of prophecy, I'm still a spring chicken. I would say the average
age of a prophecy teacher is the upper seventies. Having come to know many of
them, I now realize that our productive years have a limit. Once someone reaches
his senior years, the creative juices seem to rapidly run out. I know of several
prophecy leaders whose minds and bodies have faded to the point that they have
no active role in their ministries. All the work is done by younger folks.
This past week, I saw a news article about the death of Penthouse founder Bob
Guccione. As I read his life story, I found him to be a perfect example of
someone who lived as if time had no end. In 1982, Guccione was listed in the
"Forbes 400" ranking of the wealthiest people, with a net worth of $1.2 billion
in today's money. He once owned the largest mansion in New York City. At the
time of his death, his empire had almost completely evaporated. Despite the fact
that his health and resources were running out, there was no indication that he
realized his days were in equal short supply.
Christians can be just as bad when it comes to wasting time. The Crystal
Cathedral, the birthplace of the megachurch movement, recently filed for
bankruptcy in California with debts that exceed $43 million. Its worship hall
opened in 1970 and remains an architectural wonder and tourist destination. For
years, Robert Schuller attracted congregants with feel-good sermons on the power
of positive thinking. Even though the church has a weekly telecast called the
"Hour of Power," there is very little spiritual power behind the venture.
I started Rapture Ready twenty-three years ago with the assumption that the
blessed hope would be the reason my work on this site would come to an end. The
realization that I only have a quarter-century of productive years ahead really
brings home the importance of staying productive.
It is so important to be good stewards of our time, talents, and treasures. I
truly believe that the most lasting reflection of our time here on earth will be
what we could have done for the kingdom of God.
"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the
most of your time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:15-16).
Strange Prophetic Silence: Part 2
So, again, we come to the seeming disconnect–the tremendous number of biblically
prophetic indicators from a strange prophetic silence that surrounds these
Todd and I analyze these matters without ceasing. The signs are everywhere that
we are at the end times as given by Jesus when He foretold, for example, that it
will be like the days of Noah’s pre-Flood time and Lot’s days in Sodom at the
moment He will break in like a thief in the night on an unsuspecting world. And,
yet, we are both amazed that the “prophetic progression” seems strangely
slow–even to the point of causing us to constantly ask why things seem at a
How can we ask that question when every one of the apostle Paul’s 2 Timothy 3
perilous-times characteristics of end-times man is observably on the front
burner of society today? People are lovers of themselves, boasters, proud.
Children are disobedient to parents, with the assisted rebellion built in to the
public school systems of America. We are a people–worldwide—who are unthankful
and, certainly, unholy. The government-backed--even
church-organization-backed--homosexual agenda, with hate crimes being legislated
and implemented to punish those who dare to say God’s Word teaches homosexuality
is a sin, shows the perilous-times characteristic “without natural affection” is
in our face today.
Abortion takes the lives of more than four thousand babies per day in America.
This, too, speaks to the characteristic Paul prophesied would mark the end-times
generation, “without natural affection.” We only have to look at the divorce
rate today to see that the characteristics Paul gave in prophecy are exhibited
within marriage. Infidelity is rampant. People are traitorous to their marriage
partners, they are false accusers and truce-breakers. We are an incontinent or
addictive generation, whether thinking on illicit or prescription drugs, or on
pornography that sears the minds of those who spend hours before computer
screens. Also, we are addicted to spending money to satisfy ever-increasing and
insatiable material desires.
People love pleasures more than they love God. Mankind is fierce, while at the
same time many have a form of godliness, but deny Jesus Christ–who is the power
of godliness. The holy name of Jesus is used far more as invective than as a
term of reverence and praise in this end-of-the-age hour. That name that God
says is above every other isn’t even allowed in many of America’s workplaces,
public schools, or government facilities–another panoply of reasons the nation’s
judgment is certain.
Why do Todd and I see this as a time of slow prophetic progression, considering
this avalanche of prophetic markers? How can we say this when Israel is in
position precisely as biblical prophets foretold that nation would be as history
draws to a close and Armageddon nears?
Isaiah and Daniel the prophets foretold that Israel would be involved in a peace
process at the very end of things to come. Zechariah, many other prophets, and
the Lord Jesus himself prophesied that Israel would be surrounded by and hated
by all nations of earth at the time of the end. All of those developing
prophecies regarding God’s chosen people are front and center right now!
There is a prophetic silence at present. But it is a perceived rather than an
actual silence, I think. It is part of the strange cognitive malady with which
we all suffer, perhaps.
Overload of day-to-day human activity causes desensitization to even the most
traumatic of injuries. “Time heals all wounds” is one common explanation of this
cognitive condition. We lose a loved one, and while we will often recall
memories of him or her and suffer anew, the overloads of life continue to cause
the scar to thicken. The pain fades, to some extent.
So it is in the matter of being watchful in the sense of Mark 13:37. We are so
saturated with issues and events of our time that look like prophecy in
stage-setting for fulfillment that we develop a malaise. We become desensitized
to the phenomenal crush of end-times exigencies.
This is so disconcerting to those who work within prophecy ministries such as
Rapture Ready, I think, because it is a solitary feeling at times that comes
from such lack of interest among true believers. One finds oneself almost hoping
something dramatic will happen to shake those believers into understanding
exactly how late is the prophetic hour.
Come to think of it…Jesus foretold a strange prophetic silence. He said it would
be just at such an hour that He would break in upon a world in darkness. Because
our time is so saturated with indicators of Christ’s Second Coming, the
apathy-ending event isn’t in the offing. Or maybe it will be the most
lethargy-ending event possible that will do the shaking up. Maybe the next
prophetic indicator that will end this strange prophetic silence will be the
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this,
that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come,
he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man
cometh” (Matt. 24: 42-44).