The question is often asked, "Are we in the end times, and how
can we predict what will happen in the next few years?"
As world events become increasingly traumatic, there is bound
to be a great deal of interest in prophecy. There are some
dangerous temptations in the study of prophecy. Some teachers
and writers go far beyond the boundaries of common sense.
There have already been many wild and irresponsible claims
made by prophecy teachers, and there certainly will be many
more errors taught during this time. The effect of this will
be to mislead many and to discourage many others from study of
this important aspect of our current times.
I personally believe it is futile to attempt to set dates and
predict specific world events. Many have attempted to
make specific predictions, and have in fact done more damage
than good by by date-setting. It is no wonder that Jesus
told us we can not know the date of His return. It just leads
to disappointment, and results in discrediting the people who
set wrong dates.
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels
in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father". Matthew
Instead, I believe we are told to be constantly watchful and
aware of situations as they arise. We are told to be in
a state of general preparedness, instead
of trying to predict exact dates.
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day
your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the
house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he
would have kept watch and would not have let his house be
broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man
will come at an hour when you do not expect him". Matthew
So, I believe that familiarizing yourself with end-times
prophecy, and keeping an eye on current world events from that
perspective, is a directive from Jesus Himself.
Another commonly asked question is "Who is the Anti-Christ?"
Again, I do not believe that it is possible to predict who
Antichrist will be. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, he
will not be revealed until the Holy Spirit, the Restrainer,
has been taken away, presumably by the Rapture.
Instead of knowing who he is, we are taught to constantly test
every spirit to see whether they are "for real".
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