For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead,
to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of
teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears
away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
(2Timothy 4:3-4)

“No one knows about that day or hour[when Jesus returns], not even the angels
in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
― Jesus (Mark 13:32)

I was standing in front of the church building one Sunday evening after the
meeting. I listened as two of my fellow members were debating end-times.
One was pre-millennial; the belief that the church will be raptured before a
proposed seven years of tribulation taking place before Christ sets up his
so-called thousand year reign on the earth. The other was a post-millennial;
the church will be raptured after said tribulation. The debate was friendly,
but fiery.

Suddenly, one of them turned to me. “What do you think, brother Rod? What’s your opinion about this?”
Everyone within earshot turned their eyes toward me. I felt like E. F. Hutton from those old TV
commercials. In them, two guys would be discussing the stock market. Then one would say, “Well, E. F.
Hutton says…” Everyone around them would stop what they were doing and lean toward them to listen
to what the man was about to say. I was one of the pastors and they wanted to know my thoughts on the
matter.

“No,” I said, “you don’t want to know my opinion on this subject.”
“Oh, yes I do.” he answered.
“No, you don’t,” I said.
“Yes, I do.” he persisted.

I was trying to keep from being drawn into another fruitless, end-times debate. Because, if I gave them
my opinion, which differed from both of theirs, that’s exactly what would happen. So instead of
answering, I issued him a simple challenge.

“I will give you one thousand dollars cash money,” I said, “if you can show me
anywhere in the New Testament that
teaches that Jesus is coming back to the
Earth, set up a kingdom in Jerusalem and rule there for a thousand years,” I paused
and then continued, “It’s just not there!”

I have issued that challenge many times over the years and have never had to give a penny to anyone.
Nobody has met that challenge and I’m confident that no one ever will,
because God’s Word does not
teach it
. Yet, many preach it, write books about it, hold Revelation seminars, and make movies about it.
There’s even a video game based on the popular Left Behind series [The books has sold 60 million
copies so far].

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will
add to him the plagues described in this book.
(Revelation 22:18)

Many have taken verses out of context and tried to spin them to fit their particular point of view on the
subject. They’ve taken the Biblical apocalyptic writings of The Revelation of Jesus Christ and the book of
Daniel and made absurd, unfounded assumptions to support their claims about the Lord’s return. I
remember hearing one such preacher say from the pulpit, “Why… during the thousand year reign of
Christ, there are going to be grapes so big that you have to use a wheelbarrow to carry just one.” — talk
about people who “turn aside to myths.”

However, nowhere in the Bible does it clearly teach that Jesus is coming back to
set up a throne in Jerusalem and reign for a thousand years. Again, it’s not there!
Then the obvious question is, if the Bible doesn't teach it, why preach it?

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The
kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is, or ‘There it is,’
because the kingdom of God is within you.”
(Luke 17:20-21)

Sadly, many once-great Gospel preachers have become bogged down by their fixation on end-times. It
shows in the things they teach and the books they write. Their focus seems only on events surrounding
the Lord’s return and their particular slant on it. To them preaching the gospel has been relegated to
second or third priority in their so-called “ministry”. They’re more interested in Jesus’ second coming
than the are about his first coming.

“The future is big business.” — Hal Lindsey
(1)  (Author of The Late Great Planet Earth in which he claimed
that the world would end in 1988. Then in an “updated” version of the book he said that it will end in
2007. Whoops! Wrong again, Hal.)

“Naturally men were anxious to know when that day would come. Jesus himself had bluntly said that no
man knew when that day or hour would be, that even he did not know and only God knew (Mark 13:32,
Mathew 24:36; Acts 1:7). But that did not stop people from speculating about it, as indeed they still do,
although it is surely almost blasphemous that men seek for knowledge which was
denied even to Jesus.
” ― William Barclay (2)
Why do people, like Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins [authors of the popular Left Behind
books] persist on writing these books rather than offering practical books that discuss the Christian
walk, such as how to win souls and how live victoriously? I believe the bottom is simple; Practical books
don’t sale like books of tall-tales. As Hal said, “The future is big business.”

Apparently these end-times preachers have forgotten the words of one of the greatest preachers who
ever graced this planet. Look as Paul clearly gives us not only his secret to success in ministry, but also
his uncompromising message that led to that success.

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the
testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him
crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were
not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might
not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
(1Corinthians 2:1-5)

“Whatever subject I preach, I do not stop until I reach the Savior, the Lord Jesus, for in him are all
things.” — Charles Spurgeon (Taken from
ChristianQuotes.org on January 01, 2009

These self-proclaimed experts, with their end-time charts and fables, thrive because of the scriptural
ignorance of this vast following of end-time junkies. These junkies have very little personal theology of
their own. Their view of most things Christian is not based on individual Bible study and prayer. But
rather, it’s based on what they hear and see from these conveyors of myths.

They suffer from a baby bird mentality— eyes closed, mouth open. They believe what they hear without
question. They just open up their spirits and swallow whatever these spinners of yarns put in them. After
all, it’s much more fascinating and entertaining then what they perceive as dull sermons, or books, about
winning souls and how to be more affective as a Christian.

This fixation on end-times is a hugely successful ploy by the Enemy. Not only does it distract once-great
Gospel preachers from preaching “Jesus Christ and him crucified”, it also stumps the growth of those
Christians who join them in their obsession.
Financial and human resources are wasted—
resources that could be used to win souls and equip God’s people for service.

So, I say to all you end-time preachers, “Shame on you!”

"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have
fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your
lampstand from its place.”
— Jesus (Revelation 2:4-5)

Obey the Lord! Repent and do the things you did before. That is, before you got carried away and turned
“aside to myths”. Focus on the needs of the people today instead of trying to second-guess God about
that which 1Thessalonians 5:1-2 says,
“Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

(1) Quoted in “Welcome to America’s wildest holy rollers,” Features Section, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
(November 6, 2005).  
The Late, Great Planet Earth was published in 1970 by Zondervan. It became a bestseller. It has since been
published in 54 languages, has reported sales of over 35 million copies, and is still in print. Many of Lindsey's later writings are
sequels or revisions [because he was wrong about nearly everything he wrote in the first addition and, consequently, had to change his
predictions] and extensions of his first book. For an excellent article pointing all the errors in Linsey’s book. It’s entitled The Late Great
Planet Earth: Revisited, go to
http://home.comcast.net/~webpages54/ap/ap.html and click Eschatology link in the left side of the Home
Page.

(2)
At the Last Trumpet, chapter 32, p. 63, Like a Thief in the Night by William Barclay, © Westminster John Knox Press)
Tall Tales and End-time Preachers
By Chaplain Rod Davis