The Christian Post reports that “Former congresswoman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has accused President Barack Obama of being ‘pro the goals of Islamic jihad,’ which she explains includes welcoming the ‘hidden imam’ to bring on the apocalypse.”
She went on to say, “Talk about what you see in the newspaper every single day. We can talk about God’s time clock and the fact that Jesus Christ’s return is imminent. Is there anything more important to talk about? That needs to occupy our time and our thoughts from virtually morning to night because we have very little time, in my opinion, left before the second return of Christ.”
A person can be against Obama’s Iran deal and still not believe that we have very little time left before Jesus returns. Similar claims were made about WW I, WW II, and the Cold War, and nearly every war going back centuries.
For nearly 2000 years people have claimed that some form of the end was near. Christian prophecy writers have developed elaborate charts and intricate timetables to support their dogmatic claims. They all have one thing in common; they’ve all been wrong. And while millions of Christians are being told that there is “very little time . . . left before the second return of Christ,” liberals are transforming our culture and taking away our freedoms. This has been going on for decades.
It’s no wonder that a tiny percentage of homosexuals (less than 3 percent of the population) are beating tens of millions of Christians who could right the ship of state in the next election if they weren’t so preoccupied with the claim that the end of the world is near.
My library is filled with prophecy books going back hundreds of years that assured the readers in their day that Jesus’ Second Coming was “imminent” for them.
It wasn’t too long ago that 1988 was the end date. Edgar Whisenant had written 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988. (When 1988 came and went, it was 1989 and later 1992.) I debated Mr. Whisenant on the radio a few months prior to his September 1988 endpoint date. He told the radio audience, “If I’m wrong about this, then the Bible is wrong.”
Hal Lindsey had written The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970. It sold tens of millions of copies. Lindsey made a similar claim that 1988 would be the final year before Jesus would return. It was based on the claim that Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 was prophetically significant. He then turned to Matthew 24:34 to establish how long after 1948 it would take before Jesus returned. Here’s what Lindsey wrote:
“A generation in the Bible is something like forty years. If this is a correct deduction, then within forty years or so of 1948, all these things could take place. Many scholars who have studied Bible prophecy all their lives believe that this is so.1
Lindsey and Whisenant weren’t the only prophecy writers who made the 1948-1988 connection. The late Chuck Smith, pastor of the original Calvary Chapel, argued in a similar way. Smith wrote in his 1976 book The Soon to be Revealed Antichrist that “we are living in the last generation which began with the rebirth of Israel in 1948 (see Matt. 24:32–34).” You will search in vain in these three verses for any mention of “the rebirth of Israel.”
He repeated the claim in his 1978 book End Times: “If I understand Scripture correctly, Jesus taught us that the generation which sees the ‘budding of the fig tree,’ the birth of the nation of Israel, will be the generation that sees the Lord’s return. I believe that the generation of 1948 is the last generation. Since a generation of judgment is forty years and the Tribulation period lasts seven years, I believe the Lord could come back for His Church any time before the Tribulation starts, which would mean any time before 1981. (1948 + 40 – 7 = 1981).”2
I realize this is a controversial subject for many people. Many of you may agree with Michele Bachmann about the end times. Just so you know, there is a long history of prophetic speculation based on this or that historical figure, reckless nation, or series of signs. See Francis X. Gummerlock’s book The Day and the Hour: Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Predicting the End of the World to gain some perspective.
Keep in mind that there is an alternative to the wildly speculative topic of end-time prophecy speculation. If you are interested in this topic, I recommend Is Jesus Coming Soon?, Last Days Madness, Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future, 10 Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed and Answered, Basic Training for Understanding Bible Prophecy (one of the actors in the original Left Behind film series watched this video series and left behind the Left Behind prophetic system), Identifying the Real Last Days Scoffers, Left Behind: Separating Fact From Fiction, and Prophecy Wars: The Biblical Battle Over the End Times.
- Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1970, 53–54).
- Chuck Smith, End Times (Costa Mesa, CA: The Word for Today, 1978), 35.
Gary DeMar is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. Author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, he has been featured by nearly every major news media outlet. Gary also has hosted The Gary DeMar Show, History Unwrapped and the Gary DeMar’s Vantage Point Webshow and is president of and a regular contributor to AmericanVision.org.
American Vision’s mission is to Restore America to its Biblical Foundation—from Genesis to Revelation. American Vision (AV) has been at the heart of worldview study since 1978, providing resources to exhort Christian families and individuals to live by a Biblically based worldview.
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