Some time back, I told you of a program on TBN. (see article: Time’s Almost Up) On a pre-recorded program, prophecy teacher John Hagee said the (then) current Iraqi crisis was the beginning of the end, and that the Rapture would likely occur within six months. The host, Benny Hinn, appeared shocked, and asked, "Are we that close? Are you saying the rapture could be in six months?" Hagee responded, "We are that close." .
Well, the time is up for Mr. Hagee’s prediction to come true. It is now September, 2003. Next Saturday is the six month deadline, and nothing has happened. On that day, I will be in Decatur, Alabama, engaged in a public debate, affirming that Christ came at the end of the Old Covenant Age of Israel in A.D. 70. You know what? The Rapture will not happen between now and then, or afterward. Mr. Hagee has been proven wrong, as so many of his compatriots have been proven wrong. Their proclamations are a shame on the Christian community.
In Luke 21:8, Jesus said some Christians would come with a premature message of the end. They would say, "The end has drawn near, do not go after them." To what generation did that warning apply? Jesus said no one was to proclaim the end was near, until the end was actually near. He told his disciples not to follow anyone that said the end was near, when the end was not actually near. Anyone proclaiming the nearness of the end prematurely was to be considered a false teacher.
Thomas Ice and Tim LaHaye, in their new book Charting the End Times, chide other prophecy "experts" for setting the date of Christ’s coming. They say this kind of thing is harmful to Truth. I could not agree more. However, they then say: "Our generation has more signs to indicate that Christ could come in our generation than any generation before us." (P. 119) They also believe that the generation to see the signs is the generation of the end.
Now, if Christ’s coming is yet future, when our generation comes and goes without Christ returning, Ice and LaHaye will be manifested as false prophets, since they declared the nearness of the end when the end was not near. It will mean that they are some of the very ones Jesus warned about in Luke 21.
On the one hand, they believe it is wrong to predict the time of the end, and then they say the generation to see the signs – ours, naturally – is the generation of the end. Jesus said no one was to say the end was near before it was near. But according to Ice and LaHaye, Hagee and Hinn, etc. our generation is the only generation to see the signs.
Jesus’ personal disciples said the end was near (James 5:8; 1 Peter 4:5, 7, 17, etc), 2000 years ago. According to Ice, LaHaye, Hinn and Hagee, the Biblical writer were 2000 years early in their proclamation. That means they were wrong. That makes Jesus’ own disciples to be the very false prophets that he warned them about when he said don’t say it is near before it is near.
Don’t you think it is about time to take the Bible writers seriously and accept their declarations that the end was near in the first century? Don’t you think it is about time to hold these modern men making all of these irresponsible prognostications responsible? John Hagee was and is wrong. He needs to be courageous enough and honest enough to admit it.