There are two big errors that have infected the Church. There are others but these two are especially destructive.
The first error is that there is a sacred-secular divide. Too many Christians are under the false impression that Christians can only exist in the secular world, that there’s no transformative impact on the world with the Gospel and the application of the Bible to the world. While God created the world good (Gen. 1:31), since the advent of sin, the world is unredeemable. In fact, it’s so bad that God has turned it over to Satan.
Sin has infected the world. Sin has infected us. According to the Bible, we are a “new creature in Christ; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). We may not always live up to this newness, but it’s still a reality.
Paul writes this about the created order:
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer (1 Tim. 4:4-5).
The earth does not belong to Satan. It belongs to God; it always has: “FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S AND ALL IT CONTAINS” (1 Cor. 10:26), “the world, and those who dwell in it” (Ps. 24:1b). One of the last things Jesus told His disciples was that He has “all authority in heaven and earth” (Matt. 28:18-20) that has worldwide implications affecting the nations.
This first error leads to the second error. As Christians turn the world over to the forces of evil, they must create an escape from the rubble they’ve left behind.
The second error is that we are living on the edge of some impending eschatological event. This has been going on for centuries. See The Day and the Hour: Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Predicting the End of the World by Francis X. Gumerlock. Here’s the latest from Way of the Tabernacle that appears on Dean Haskin’s Facebook page:
President Trump will be re-elected in 2020, and his second term will start in January 2021. The Feast of Trumpets in 2021 will fall on September 6 that year. It will be somewhere around the year 2021 that the bride will be removed (on the Feast of Trumpets), and the antichrist revealed, which will begin the ten year period that will end at Armageddon.
The bride being removed is said to be a pre-tribulation “rapture.” There is no such thing in Scripture. The New Testament does not say anything about the Church being taken off the earth before, during, or after a period of tribulation. The tribulation period that Jesus mentioned in the Olivet Discourse took place before that first-century generation passed away (Matt. 24:34). John said that he was a “fellow-partaker in the tribulation and kingdom” (Rev. 1:9). The tribulation period was short. The kingdom is forever.
The early church endured the tribulation and outlived the Roman Empire.
When Israel became a nation again in 1948, prophetic speculation was all the rage. Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth, published in 1970, lulled millions of Christians into a prophetic sleep with his claim that something called the rapture would take place within 40 years, that is, sometime before 1988: 1948 + 40 = 1988. LGPE is getting long in the tooth. In 2020 it will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
How long will prophetic speculation continue?