Are you tired of some evangelicals trying to scare you with their predictions of a “rapture” where all your righteous friends and loved ones will be instantly jerked out of the world into eternity? Tell you what…let’s jerk a little reality into the discussion.
Most of these scare-mongers are using their personal interpretation of Bible prophecy to flog their wares (books, movies, etc.). Really, this is nothing new. Here’s the recipe: take an obscure passage from scripture (preferably, Revelation), misinterpret it and, voila! Instant terror! Get ‘em scared and they’ll buy whatever you’re selling.
Here’s the problem: these guys don’t know what they’re talking about and here’s why:
2 Peter 1:20,21 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Here’s what I get from this passage:
1. The same Holy Spirit that inspired prophecy is the only one qualified and able to interpret prophecy. No mere human decides to prophesy by his own will and, by the same token, no prophecy is a matter of some human’s interpretation.
2. Unless the Holy Spirit interprets the prophecy (or it is so simple and plain that it needs no interpretation) those who say, “Now, this is what this means…” are simply guessing.
Now you may think this is not so serious. But have a look at these words from the very next verses:
2 Peter 2: 1-3 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Seems pretty serious to me. I’m not saying these fellows are denying the Master, but I think we have a little greed and exploitation problem. No wonder so many are turned off by such antics…God is not glorified and the gospel is hindered.
Come on folks…we need to quit swallowing this stuff about Israel and the “rapture” without question and do a little reading, studying and thinking for ourselves.