1. You might be a false prophet if your end times prediction exposes your bad math. “I’m sorry. Let’s see you take the 70 weeks, minus 3 and a half years, plus 666, and carry the…”
2. You might be a false prophet if all your predictions come from the cheap palm reader down the road at the strip mall. “I see a great downfall in your future. One that is…unprecedented. You will sound the alarm because Jesus is returning…I’m sorry that’s all that $20 will allow me to say.”
3. You might be a false prophet if your predictions allow for at least one mulligan. “He’s coming back today! (Today happens) Wait. Ok, I’m sorry. I’m being told that I misunderstood that date. It’s next week, for sure!” (Next week happens) Ok, well this is embarrassing. Ha. It’s tomorrow…but if it doesn’t happen…it’s because we’ve listened! Also, can I have your money?
4. You might be a false prophet if you have to delete last week’s prediction video because…you and everyone else are still here. “Nothing to see here people. Kindly divert your attention over there and I’m just going to put this video in my horseshoe and hand grenade pile (almost).”
5. You might be a false prophet if you’re asked to be the headline speaker at an end-of-the-world retreat center (If that was a thing, I’m sure they’d be asked). “Great to see you all here this weekend! I know we’re all about to leave this Earth for good, but just remember what I told you last year and the year before…”
In all seriousness, God wants His people to be students of His word. He does not want you to be misguided and taught falsity. You might be a false prophet if you’ve made a prediction that did not come to pass. Scripture tells us that is the standard (Deut. 18:20-22).
With 2020 and all of the “unprecedented” (did you all just dry heave at that word like I do when I hear it?) things happening around the country and globe, how are we handling prophecies and end times predictions? Here are three things I have learned about eschatology and what the church must do now:
- There appears to be a gaping hole in prophecy and end time theological teaching in solid, evangelical teaching. I could be wrong, but some of my searching and research led me to believe that. The optimistic side of me wants to assume that it is because the church is busy about reaching people with the gospel, rather than spending time mapping out the days and times, which we will not know. Nevertheless, the level of understanding on eschatology is lacking at best in most churches.
- For those that are end-time prepping for the rapture in September or November (depending on which “prophet” you listen to), is the church ready to be there for people who will inevitably lose all faith in anything God or church? Not everyone, but some will turn away, simply because of frustration and confusion. “I thought this was it? So many said it, so no one must be right.” The truth must prevail and be proclaimed.
- Then finally, what should the church do? I say this for if Jesus returns tomorrow, November 3rd, or 250 years in the future: preach the gospel.