“In our days we often hear the statement that the coming of our Lord is an unessential doctrine. Those who make such an assertion are ignorant of the fact that the blessed hope is a part of the gospel itself. Christian preaching and teaching which ignores the blessed hope, the coming of the Lord, is incomplete; it omits one of the most vital truths which the Spirit of God has linked with the gospel and with the life and service of the believer” (Arno Gaebelein).
There are signs that preaching on Bible prophecy is being neglected among fundamental Baptist and other “fundamentalist” churches.
At the International Fellowship of Fundamental Baptists meeting in February 2020, one of the speakers observed that “you hardly hear anyone preaching on the Second Coming.”
Readers have sent the following comments:
“Fundamental Baptist preachers seem very reluctant to delve into prophecy. ... I don’t think I have ever heard a really solid message from an Independent Fundamental Baptist preacher from the mountain of Old Testament prophecies with momentous future fulfillment.”
“I was talking to my wife recently about how that prophecy preaching has all but gone away.”
“I have never heard a Baptist Bible Fellowship preacher speak on the Second Coming or related themes, not once!”
“About three years ago I was speaking with another fundamental Baptist pastor here in the area. I mentioned that I truly believed the Lord was coming soon. He said, ‘You know, everybody was preaching on this back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and thought surely Christ would come before 2000. I really don’t preach that much any more.’ I about fell on the floor and responded to him, ‘If Christ did not come by then, how much closer now?’ I said, ‘I preach His coming regularly trying to wake people up to holiness and living for Christ so that they won’t be ashamed at His coming.’ Speaking to a missionary friend who spoke at our church recently, I mentioned this story. His words were, ‘I have heard more from you today about the second coming than I have for months in other fundamental Baptist churches. This is from a man from a large missions ministry who preaches regularly across the country. Our people live in denial of this truth and unfortunately our preachers are also.”
“Some years ago I was leading a Bible conference as the director of Britain’s Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. When I and several pastors visited Spurgeon’s church (2002) its pastor ... said we were wasting our time on prophecy and also God was done with the Jewish people. How sad. I recently created a video on the reasons for the decline of fundamental churches in the USA. ... Based upon ... several surveys, including one very telling and significant in Britain, I could sum it up simply: Pastors - Prayer - Prophecy. Most people believe pastors are not teaching all Scripture and what they do teach on is very Calvinistic in outlook and does not reflect the Scriptures. Most people believe the churches’ corporate prayer life is weak at best. ... Sadly, few people are learning to pray. Finally, many attribute the loss of people in the church due to the lack of teaching prophecy, i.e. what is coming and what will be believer’s role in the Millennium and in eternity. I find young adults (20-45 year olds) really are interested in careful expository teaching on prophetic issues, when done in a literal/normal-historical-grammatical way. When the pastoral ministry is not biblical, when there is no real prayer, and when prophecy is ignored, the people leave the churches. Sadly, the churches are allowing the sheep to wander without shepherds.”
“I’m using your The Future According to the Bible in my Sunday School adult class. I love studying future things because I believe it helps ground us in the present. It's interesting, though, how few people attend that class. Seems as though the average Christian is more concerned about CV-19 than the coming Rapture, Tribulation and the events during that time. Christians, of all people, need to be aware of the times and understand what is coming. All too often though, they get too wrapped up in this world and the comforts of it. I wish our pastor would deal more with the last days events, but that is why not many in our church see it as important. He ... says that’s not his ‘forte.’ I don't get it, frankly. ... Christians are not living with the imminent expectation of His return in the Rapture for us. ... I thoroughly believe that if Christians would simply take the time to discern what Scripture says about the last days/end times and learn to live with the information contained in Scripture in mind, we would be much better evangelists and not so concerned about the things happening in society that we cannot control.”
This is a serious matter. Preachers who neglect Bible prophecy are not preaching the whole counsel of God and are not qualified for the ministry. God’s people must be taught how to interpret prophecy for themselves. The entire church needs to be educated in Bible prophecy, such as by going through courses in Sunday School or some other forum.
The Future According to the Bible and the course Understanding Bible Prophecy
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Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials