Don’t Get Caught Up in Last Days Hysteria

by | Apr 15, 2015 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Everywhere I go today I meet Christians who are wringing their hands and fretting about how dark the world has become. Some are conspiracy theorists who say the world’s economy is controlled by dark forces. Others are convinced that recent astronomical phenomena signal the end of the world, and they are stocking their garages with food to prepare for Armageddon. If I suggest that Jesus might want to pour out the Holy Spirit in a fresh way on this generation, some people get angry. They want God to hurry up and judge America!

Why so much pessimism? It’s partly because many people have exchanged their passion for God for a misguided fascination with doomsday eschatology. They latch onto Bible prophecy “experts” who make a living speculating about things nobody knows for sure. And this sky-is-falling mindset never produces good fruit. Here are four reasons we should avoid an unhealthy overemphasis on the end times:

1. It’s distracting. Nowhere does the Bible give us permission to speculate about when Jesus will return or when the world will end. He gave us one major focus: To reach everybody with the gospel. Evangelism should be our obsession. The healthiest churches I know are those that are winning the lost, discipling new converts and investing their people and money in reaching nations.

Churches that become consumed with eschatology drift into weirdness, and they eventually lose sight of the Great Commission. Jesus’ last words to His followers were clear: “You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Yet when He ascended into heaven, the angels rebuked the disciples because they were staring into the clouds. They said: “Why do you stand looking into the sky?” (Acts 1:11). In essence they were saying: “Don’t sit around and wait for Jesus to return. Get busy doing what He told you to do.”

2. It’s depressing. I don’t go to church to hear one person’s opinions about Islamic terrorists, why weather patterns are changing, or how European bankers plan to manipulate the world economy. Why focus on the negative? Do we believe in the lordship of Christ, or not? I have read the book of Revelation, and it ends with Jesus on the throne! He is the victor—no matter what men conspire to do or how hard they fight against His authority.

Churches that only talk about blood moons, wars in the Middle East, the Antichrist or the date for America’s demise leave no room for the joy of the Lord or the hope of His ultimate triumph. My Bible says we have a future and a hope. We have the promise that, as the gospel is preached, “all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Num. 14:21). Why should we be pessimistic about the future when we know Christ will overcome all His enemies? People who focus on doomsday theology are killjoys who derive morbid pleasure from spreading fear and anxiety. A gospel without hope is not the gospel!

3. It’s deceptive. A group known as the Adventists predicted that Jesus would return to earth in 1874. When this didn’t happen, the group’s leaders covered their error by suggesting that Jesus appeared “invisibly” on that date. A theology developed around these ideas that is still accepted by Seventh-day Adventists. In the 1970s, when Americans were so worried about gas shortages and war in Israel, author Hal Lindsey sold millions of copies of his book The Late, Great Planet Earth—and he predicted the world would end in a few years. Many other Christians have made similar predictions—such as the Y2K scare in 1999 or Harold Camping’s infamous warning that the world would end on May 21, 2011.

We have no business setting dates for the end of the world. God alone sets His timetable.

Jesus said of His return: “Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). If anyone claims to know when the world will end, you can be sure he is a false prophet. What we should be telling people is that Jesus died for them, and that they have been given a chance to receive His forgiveness while they are on this side of eternity.

4. It’s divisive. Christians have different views of the end times. Some are post-millenialists while others emphasize the Rapture. This is not something we should be arguing about because no one has the full revelation of the future. I tell people I am a “pan-millenialist.” I believe it will all “pan out” in the end! I am not as concerned about how the last days will unfold as I am about how many people I can take to heaven with me. We should all be united in our desire to share Christ with others.

I know Jesus will return one day, and it gives me great comfort to know that all heaven will say of Him: “The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). Let’s live our lives as if He were coming back today, but let’s work as if He weren’t coming for 100 years. Let’s stop hoping for judgment and instead pray for mercy for our wayward country. Let’s stop being so negative and instead show people the supernatural joy that only Jesus gives.

Please consider donating to The Mordecai Project, India and help put a stop to the horrific atrocities these women face daily. To donate, visit christianlifemissions.org.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His work to protect women from abuse was featured in the March issue of Charisma. Check out his ministry at themordecaiproject.org.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

One thing is crystal clear in America: If we truly want change, we must re-spark biblical boldness and flame the fires of biblical action. If we won't fight, then spiritually speaking, we will fade away. I recently attended a large gathering of pastors in San Diego...

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

One of the biggest excuses we have is that we somehow feel God doesn’t speak to us. This excuse shuts down our ability to hear from Him, trust Him and surrender to Him. All three things are integral when we are trying to change our habits, lose weight, get healthy and...

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

Two weeks ago, I shared several practical guidelines on how to leave a church gracefully. I wrote this because I hear so many stories about people storming out of churches because their feelings got hurt. But one astute reader didn’t appreciate my observations because...

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and...

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

You have an enemy. His goal is to keep you from entering a covenant relationship with God. However, once you do, his goal changes. He wants to make you doubt your identity, doubt God’s ability and keep you from walking in your purpose. He changes his accusations...

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

Just as the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons depicted a future full of video phones, robotics and Google-style office space, some modern-day prophets have prophesied about a future full of exposing corruption, fighting for individual freedom and shining a light on truth. One...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

Have you ever seen blueprints? If not, blueprints are detailed drawings, containing specifications approved by the builder of a home. A blueprint fully outlines the quality of the materials needed...
9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]