Broken and Crushed...I will remember

How to counter when Christians dismiss prophecy

Revelation 3 is a letter to the Laodicean Church, and Jesus has nothing good to say about them. He says that He would rather they be cold or hot, but they are lukewarm, saying they are rich and in need of nothing. Jesus knocks at the door, but they do not open. He tells them that since they are neither hot nor cold, that He will vomit them out of His mouth.

He is not saying that He will vomit Christians out, because once we are saved not even the devil can snatch us out of Jesus’ hand, (John 10:28) but He will spit out lukewarm believers. In other words, lukewarm people are those who talk the talk, but never really repented to walk the walk. They make a show of Christianity, but Jesus knows their true spiritual condition, and it is an unrepentant sinner. Belief never reached the heart.

I mentioned the other day on Saturday’s prophecy newsletter, (email me if you want to sign up) that I find it harder to talk with lukewarm Christians than cold atheists. The most common response I get when talking to CHINOS (Christians In Name Only) when I mention prophecy, the rapture, or end times, is “Oh, we don’t know the day or time...” and with a wave of the hand they dismiss all prophecy. Do NOT let them get away with it!

Prophecy is incredibly important. It comprises almost 30% of the entire bible, Old and New Testaments. One could summarize the Old Testament as ‘faith and the promise of a future Messiah’, and the New Testament as ‘salvation and the promise of future judgment’. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 specifically urges us not to despise the prophesies “Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”

No, we do not know the day or the hour, but too many real and fake Christians use that as an excuse not to study prophecy at all. At this late point in God's timeline, the prophesies left to be fulfilled are all about sin and judgment, and that hits too close to home for too many wobbly Christians, and certainly too close to home for Christians In Name Only. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not knowing the season: "Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times." (Matthew 16:1-3)

When the disciples asked what would be the signs of the end of the age, He gave a long and specific answer. (Matthew 24:1-51; Luke 21:5-38), Mark 13:1-37). Revelation is a letter describing what will happen to the ungodly, unrepentant, unredeemed at the end of the age. It is also the only book that blesses the one who reads it. (Rev. 22:7).  Jesus placed a great deal of emphasis on end time prophecy. Why anyone would turn their back something our God thinks is important is beyond me.

When Paul says "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile" I am also not ashamed. I'm not ashamed of any part of the Gospel. The flip side to God's Holiness is judgment. The flip side to the cross's salvation is unredeemed sin. I am not ashamed of any part of what is in the bible, and you shouldn't be either. CHINOS and others attempt to paint a taint onto prophecy, marginalizing it to something less important, less savory. It is not. It is the fulfillment of all that God is, all that He has shown of Himself to us. It is something to cling to, it buttresses our faith and gives us the next pictures in our walk that we clamor for and are blessed to read. Stand firm in your prophetic studies. At the end of his life, Paul said,

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6-8). We are near the end. Keep proclaiming, Keep studying.Keep longing. And keep looking up!

Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this! This very topic has been so heavy on my heart lately and has been causing me great sorrow. It reminds me of what C.S. Lewis said in "Mere Christianity"; the word 'Christian' has been completely bastardized by The World, and sometimes that fact is so discouraging. You're such an inspiration. Keep up the Great Work.

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  2. Elizabeth I love reading your blog and you are right on target! May God continue to inspire your posts as you share things with us that are so important ot keep up encouraged that we never hear in the mainstream news!!!!!

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  3. I have tried to talk with people but get the "no one knows the day or hour..." too.

    May He grant us wisdom to speak to believers who are asleep and awaken them to the Joy that is soon to come!

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  4. "He tells them that since they are neither hot nor cold, that He will vomit them out of His mouth."

    I was wondering about this. I wonder if one possible meaning is this:

    Those that are warm will not seek to understand prophecy and will die rather quickly in the end-times.

    Those that are hot will understand what is coming and position themselves to survive.

    I have noticed that most Christians don't care all that much about prophecy. Perhaps it's too depressing.

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  5. The verse gos on to say that Jesus will say "Depart from em you who practice iniquity." I beleive the verse has less to say about prophecy per se, than it does about sinners overall. The first few seal judgments cause a quarter of the world's people to die. That is almost 2 billion people. Those who are warm are the people who pretended to practice Christianity but never knew Jesus (I.E. had a repenting relationship with Him). As with the false teachers, false prophets, and the ones who departed from the faith (1 John 2:19), those who were fake Christians will have a rougher go of it because they knew ABOUT Jesus, yet STILL rejected Him.

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