Thursday, December 29, 2022

The Illusive Last Generation

The end-time Prophecy Industry has hoodwinked believers for generations with tales about how they are the last generation that will see Christ’s returnPopular prophecy preachers have been telling us this for generations. Let us hope and pray thai this time they are finally correct!

Of course, if they are right, this would mean there is a rather long list of related prophetic events must also occur BEFORE he arrives! So far, none of the items on this list have come to pass.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash
[Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash]

There is something perverse in promising one generation of believers after another that they live in the very “last days” and will certainly see the “
Son of Man” coming to gather his elect. In fact, this confident assertion has been prevalent in the church since at least the 1830s.

But today, the Prophecy Industry looks to the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948 as the starting point of the ever-changing “last generation.” Originally, the popular belief was that Jesus would come within one “biblical generation” of that year, which the “experts” defined as “about forty years” in length.

Obviously, that did not happen. Despite books like ’88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Come in 1988,’ 1988 came and went with no Tribulation, no Antichrist on the horizon, and no Rapture. 

Rather than consider whether the entire proposition was wrong, the Prophecy Industry changed its definition of a “biblical generation.” Today, a "biblical generation" is claimed to be anywhere from forty to one hundred and twenty years.

Others reset the final generation’s start date from 1948 to 1967 when Israel recaptured Jerusalem, or to some other subsequent event in the Middle East. Of course, we are now more than forty years beyond 1967, so additional adjustments may become necessary, and soon as the "prophetic" clock is ticking.

To state the obvious, Jesus has not yet arrived in glory. But several other popular expectations are also missing, including but not limited to—

  1. The 7-year Tribulation.
  2. The rapture.
  3. The Antichrist.
  4. The 10-nation European confederacy.
  5. The attack on Israel by “Gog and Magog.”
  6. The construction of the third temple in Jerusalem.
  7. The revived Roman Empire.
  8. The global Beast system.
  9. The “mark of the Beast.”
  10. The False Prophet.
  11. The “man of lawlessness.”
  12. The Battle of Armageddon.

I would add the “apostasy” to the list, but I suspect it is well underway even now. The present deceivers who continue to “tickle the ears” of millions of Christians suggests this is so.

Perhaps these events are yet to come, but the prophecy preachers are running out of time and excuses, though rather than admit their errors, they simply redefine their terms and recalculate their chronologies.

One prediction that has come true is Christ’s warning that many deceivers will come and propagate false information and distorted expectations about his coming. The evidence for that is plain and abundant for anyone with eyes to see.

It is time to face facts: Either Bible prophecy has failed, its popular interpreters are mistaken, or they have lied deliberately and thereby misled millions of Christians. Should we not open our eyes and see what the Bible actually says on these matters?

Things went awry when the Prophecy Industry started to create loopholes in the words of Jesus - “No one except God alone knows the day or the hour,” and “the Son of Man is coming in a season when you least expect him.”

The usual explanation is that Jesus said we could not know the “precise day and hour,” but we can know the general “season” of his return. Yes, well, Jesus also said “it is not for you to know times or seasons,” plural. He did, in fact, state that his disciples do not know the ‘kairos’ or “season” of the coming of the Son of Man – (Mark 13:33).

Such loopholes are necessary for the prophetic game to work. If the words of Jesus are taken at face value, no one can presume to know whether they are part of the “last generation,” and the whole moneymaking house of cards collapses.

In reality, Scripture has not failed, and Bible prophecy remains reliable. The proliferation of deceivers, deceit, and apostasy in the contemporary church validates its many warnings about future deception. In contrast, not only has the Prophecy Industry failed, its very existence validates New Testament warnings about deceivers proliferating in the last days.

Having seen their predictions and projections falsified by subsequent events time and again, many of these hucksters are turning to calendrical cycles, numerology, astrology, Kabbalah mysticism, and other forms of divination to peer into the future and make new prognostications that will dazzle their victims.

The deception can and will only get worse, and the predicted final “apostasy” is, from Satan’s perspective, moving along quite nicely.