Why Aren’t Pastors Preaching on End-Times Prophecy? by GARY CURTIS for Charisma News
I have a pastor friend who frequently circumvents potential debates or prolonged discussions about the timing of the “rapture” and other end-times minutiae by simply saying, “I just know that the Lord and I have this agreement: when He comes again, I’m going up!”
It is, perhaps, a wise and witty response, but it is not exactly a satisfying, eschatological doctrinal statement on which to hang your theological hat until the appearing of our Lord from heaven.
If our congregations do not get regular biblical instruction and inspiration about the last days and our Lord’s Second Coming, we and they are in danger of deception by the devil (Rev. 12:9), his demons (1 Tim. 4:1-2), or—eventually—his end-time agents, the Beast (the Antichrist, Man of Sin, Son of Destruction; 2 Thess. 2:3, 7-12; Rev. 13) and the false prophet (Rev. 16:13, 19:20).
Predictive prophecy concerning the last days seems to be a purposefully-neglected facet of ministry, for some pastors and Bible teachers. Instead of embracing and teaching the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27b), many modern expositors seem to strategically avoid end-times eschatology, all together.
As shepherds of the flock of God, whom the Holy Spirit has made accountable overseers, end-times study and teaching are critical (Acts 20:27-31). Pastors are admonished to faithfully “give attention to reading, exhortation, and doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:13). Avoiding the “hard to understand” parts (2 Pet. 3:15-16) is not an acceptable strategy for these end times.
Consider Paul’s charge to the young pastor Timothy, regarding the last days:
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths (2 Tim. 4:1-4).
Eschatology is not meant to encourage idle speculation or controversy. Rather, it is meant to encourage us to witness for Christ and serve Him faithfully, as we watch, wait and do business in the present until He returns in the future. See Matthew 24:46, 25:13;2 Peter 3:12.