A remarkably well researched book regarding the end time and all the predictions that have come and gone can be found in Francis X. Gummerlock masterfully researched: The Day and the Hour. He documents all the predictions of Jesus return based on Old and New Testament prophecies and books. Did you know that over 600 specific people have been identified as the end time “anti-Christ?” Since Jesus rose from the dead there has been a major prediction of the day and hour of his return every ten years! Probably more time and energy has been spend predicting the return of Jesus than obeying the command of Jesus which is to “make disciples.”
A word of clarification! I believe in a literal bodily return of Jesus as Lord, Savior and Judge. The Bible testifies that on that day “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him, even so. Amen.” Revelation 1:7 That day could be today, tomorrow or a hundred years from now. So why do I bring this topic up at all? I bring it up because Christians are being distracted from Jesus’ mission, “to make disciples” and focusing on figuring out the day and time of his return. I must admit speculating about the day and hour is much more attractive than spending weeks and months teaching a new believer the basics of the Gospel.
If you purse the internet you can find a major “end times seminar” somewhere in the USA virtually every week. At the same time searching for “disciple training” is present but in much less frequency. It is not unusual to get 5000 or more believers to an “end times” seminar but if you can get 50 to attend a discipleship seminar you feel like a success.
Having attended many of these seminars I have become increasingly alarmed at the emphasis on Israel, the anti-christ, Armageddon, rather than on the person, mission and focus of Jesus. He is the point of the entire Bible and he is the one we are to zero in on in thought, word and action.
Too often the church is like the middle aged couple that made an appointment for marital counseling. At the end of the first session the male counselor grabbed the client wife by the hand, pulled her up, gave her a passionate kiss and then watched her drop on the couch in exhaustion. The counselor looks at her husband and said, “That my friend is what your wife needs at least three times a week.” The husband nods his head, pulls out his calendar and replied, “Doc, I can have her here Monday and Wednesday but on Friday I play golf.” What we are doing in Christianity is not much different than this husband who is obviously focusing on the wrong things. Our mission is to be ambassadors of reconciliation bringing men and women to commitment and discipleship in Jesus Christ. The most important place we can put our time is learning how to disciple others and in turn spending time discipling them.
Turn to the book of Revelation. Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation are the favorite books that attract all the end time attention. If Daniel and Ezekiel are the melody then the book of Revelation is the Crescendo, the Climax of the end. All the visions, symbols, myriad of angels, the Great White Throne Judgment all lead to one point. What is that point? The book of Revelation and all end time prophecy have one message in two words: JESUS WINS!
This is our confidence, our future, our great biblical hope! Jesus Christ wins, has the final word, will correct all wrongs, heal all wounds, and give eternal life to all who trust in him alone. Everything leads to one point in history and that point is summarized in Philippians 2 “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”