An Open Door Closes

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  • #130235
    No Other Rock
    No Other Rock
    Moderator

    An Open Door Closes

    By Jan Markell
    April 4, 2017

    When I began Olive Tree Ministries years ago, I ministered in hundreds of churches, home fellowships, women’s groups, and even some men’s groups. Every week I would pile my small vehicle with a 12-string guitar, sound and audio-visual equipment, books, and a map, and head toward destinations large and small. My audiences were enthusiastic as I shared messages focusing on Bible prophecy, Israel, Israel in prophecy, Christ in the Passover, Jewish evangelism, and current events.

    I could not keep up with the demand. I could have ministered 5-6 times a week. This was more than a decade after Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth. That book opened the eyes of a lot of people and caused them to want more insight. Many thought end-time issues were irrelevant until John Darby in the 1800s. The one-third of the Bible that referenced prophecy was for real and could no longer be ignored. It was for today.

    If church pulpits didn’t want me to talk about it, then I was invited to classes and retreats sponsored by churches from every denomination.

    How Times Have Changed

    Today about 90% of these doors have slammed shut. It is not just indifference, it is outright hostility towards topics that a few years ago generated great enthusiasm. Yes, there are small pockets of interest that remain but opportunities continue to shrink.

    We are now in the days of 2 Peter 3:3: The mocking and scoffing generation as to end-time events. We are in a time when Israel has been so maligned that even within evangelicalism, she is seen as an “apartheid occupier” more than God’s Chosen People. Anti-Israel sentiment is global. Anti-Semitism is raging. Entire denominations are engaging in the Boycott, Divest, Sanction Movement that harms Israel economically.

    If I were to still make my living by visiting churches across America tapping into these very same topics, I would be out of business.

    How Did This Happen?

    I’ve reported on Pastor Tom Hughes’ excellent article before about church indifference to eschatology. He pastors the Calvary Chapel 412 Church in San Jacinto, CA. Tom writes that many pastors refuse to touch the topics of Bible prophecy and Israel because (1) They don’t understand it; (2) They fear offending members; (3) They are concerned about scaring people; (4) They fear losing the tithes if they talk about end-time events; (5) They are afraid of being identified with the “loony fringe” such as Harold Camping.

    Consequently, 90% of our church pulpits today are totally silent on the good news that the King is coming.


    The Cry of the Young: Social Justice!!

    As a young person, I loved these topics. Bible prophecy ignited my spiritual life which was slipping into complacency. My trip to Israel at age 30, plus my Jewish heritage, allowed me to have an all-new worldview that was actually Israel-centric because the Bible is Israel-centric!

    The Pre-Trib Research Center has an excellent article written by Dr. James Showers on the eroding evangelical support for Israel. He addresses one major area that is problematic: Young people are more troubled by injustice than they are inspired by Bible prophecy. They perceive some injustice and consider the “occupation” of the Palestinian territories. They have bought into the propaganda that Israel is an abuser of the Palestinians. I will list the Pied Pipers who have taught them this in a moment.

    He suggests that the old adage that we support Israel “because the Bible tells me so” is over. As a result, there is a trend among younger people to leave the evangelical nest previous young adults occupied to fit into their new postmodern worldview. Postmodern/Emergent leaders only reinforce this as across-the-board they are anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian, pro-Islam.

    He accurately states that young adult evangelical events such as the Justice Conference, Empowered 21 and Catalyst have become pulpits for pro-Palestinian groups to come in the name of peace and blame the lack of peace on Israel. The Justice Conference emphasizes Leftist politics and features the likes of Marxist Cornell West. The annual Catalyst event will not have one Israel-friendly or prophecy-oriented representative.


    Evangelicals Who Influence

    We expect the postmoderns and the religious Left to distort truth, but in the last 20 years, evangelicals have been in the forefront of discouraging believers on these topics. I will now name some names that will cause many to unsubscribe from these emails. I am not attacking these individuals. I am just reporting on what they say.

    Popular blogger Tim Challies wrote back on January 31 that there are seven “false teachers” in the church today. One category of false teacher he labels as “the Speculator.” He says that, “Today, as in every age, the ‘Speculator’ obsesses about end-times and somehow his failed predictions dissuade neither himself nor his followers.”

    Dr. John Piper wrote in 2002 and again in 2014, “Israel has no warrant to a present experience of divine privilege when she is not keeping the covenant with God. Israel has no divine right to be in the land of promise when she is breaking the covenant of promise. For now, the people are at enmity with God in rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ, their Messiah.”

    Lynne Hybels, wife of Willow Creek’s Bill Hybels, has been an outspoken proponent of Palestinian issues and a prominent critic of Israel’s wall of partition. This was built some years ago to stop the slaughter of innocent Israelis by the Palestinians. She states, “I believe that the ongoing military occupation of the West Bank and the continuing blockade of Gaza is a violation of human rights; as such, it deeply harms the security, freedom, and dignity of both peoples.”

    First, she states she is both “pro-Israel and pro-Palestine,” but then she suggests there be a one-state solution. She is deceived thinking that the Palestinians want to live in a peaceful co-existence with Israel. Her one-state solution would only be for the Palestinians. Hybels softened her tone after a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial.

    Pastor Brian Brodersen, son-in-law of Calvary Chapel’s founder Chuck Smith, recently told Calvary Chapel pastors to avoid the “gloom and doom” of eschatology. Calvary Chapel may be the last denomination in the world that has maintained an eternal perspective with an emphasis on end-time issues. Now they are encouraged to dump the topic and cater to younger people.

    Pastor Rick Warren writes in his Purpose Driven Life book, “When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission in the world. Jesus said in essence, ‘The details of my return are none of your business. What is your business is the mission I have given you. Focus on that.’ If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.” (See pages 285-286)

    Author and columnist Jim Fletcher reached out to Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He asked him about his views on eschatology and Israel. Moore declined and later blocked Fletcher on Twitter.

    I have previously written that the Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, states often on his call-in radio program that God’s Chosen People are only Christians. He says God is not a land-broker and suggests Israel does not belong to the Jews. Hank says the Rapture is “nonsense” and is forced into the biblical text. His listeners have had a nearly 30-year diatribe of error in these areas. Many have been turned off on these issues for life.

    Space does not permit me to quote many other leading evangelicals and evangelical organizations who take negative positions on these topics. World Vision is just one organization that has been anti-Israel for decades. They were recently caught funneling their humanitarian funds to Hamas though they denied it.


    Postmoderns and The Religious Left

    Jim Fletcher also writes about leftists like Shane Claiborne. Fletcher writes, “Typically pro-Palestinian activists like Shane Claiborne portray Israelis as Nazi-like oppressors of the downtrodden Palestinians. It’s all a toxic stew of political and religious claptrap designed to turn more Millennials against the Jewish state.”

    Every other year the patriarchs of the religious Left such as Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, as well as ardent anti-Israel speakers and writers such as Wheaton’s Gary Burge and the U.K.’s Stephen Sizer, gather at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference for a solemn assembly of Israel-bashing. Lynne Hybels is also a frequent speaker at this pretty shameful event.

    Emergent Church leaders are far more interested in yoking with Rome than considering the things to come or looking at Israel-related issues. This is preparing them to receive a counterfeit Christ.

    Dispensationalism Declines

    Eschatology and pro-Israel sentiment have always found a home within Dispensationalism. Twentieth Century teachers John Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, Chuck Missler, Mark Hitchcock, Ron Rhodes, Dave Reagan, Thomas Ice, Ed Hindson, and many more, have educated millions.

    The rise of Amillennialism, Preterism, Dominion/Kingdom Now Theologies — and what often comes with them, Replacement Theology — are crowding out Dispensationalism. Dr. Jim Showers says, “Dispensationalism has become a dirty word in many corners of Christian higher education.”

    Showers continues, “The next generation of ministry leaders, at best, sees no value in studying future prophecy and, at worst, views it with disfavor or as something to be avoided entirely.” He suggests even those who hold to Dispensationalism and a Christian Zionist view of Israel, born out of a literal interpretation of the Bible, are distancing themselves from these topics.

    At a time in history when headlines are at best maddening and bleak, the very theologies that make sense of them are declining in favor of theologies that fill pews and offering plates.

    This ministry encourages you to tell the inconvenient truth as it concerns our times no matter how unpopular it makes you. God will honor you some day.

    But the conclusion here is that the days are gone when
    to be an evangelical Christian was nearly synonymous with being pro-Israel and pro-prophecy. It’s a new day and not a happy one. Yes, the Bible states that Israel will be on her own someday (Zechariah 12:3), but watching the process unfold remains heartbreaking.

    In spite of this, the King is still coming, stage-setting signs are escalating, a trumpet is about to sound, the Church will vanish, and the hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen will be heard in the distance.

    Let your voice be heard!

    Fair use for education or discussion purposes
    http://www.olivetreeviews.org/

    I Am the Lord! Besides Me there is no Savior. For there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved!...For in him we live, and move, and have our being!

    #130242

    Watchman35
    Participant

    Powerful article. Have grown to appreciate Jan’s ministry very much. What she describes surely seems to fit like a prominent piece in a jigsaw puzzle that reflects a picture of the end times that will immediately precede the Lord’s return for His Bride. One of these days very soon, the final piece of that puzzle will be dropped into place and the picture will be complete. Maranatha, Lord Jesus!!!

    John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

    #130247
    TakeMeHome
    TakeMeHome
    Participant

    I like Jan Markell too. I can almost hear the creaking of the ark door being shut.

    #130256

    Mike Mc
    Participant

    Excellent article, No Other Rock.
    It just shows us where we are in God’s Time Line, and the Sleepy church

    Pastor Tom Hughes’ excellent article before about church indifference to eschatology. He pastors the Calvary Chapel 412 Church in San Jacinto, CA. Tom writes that many pastors refuse to touch the topics of Bible prophecy and Israel because (1) They don’t understand it; (2) They fear offending members; (3) They are concerned about scaring people; (4) They fear losing the tithes if they talk about end-time events; (5) They are afraid of being identified with the “loony fringe” such as Harold Camping.Consequently, 90% of our church pulpits today are totally silent on the good news that the King is coming.

    There are many things in the body of Christ today that divides and causes church’s to break up, these are what I consider the top 5… The first one that comes up, is you have regular lay folks who know more about the Bible than some Pastors why is this and when a person is called to preach, and they spend years in study and learn nothing about Prophecy. Prophecy is 1/3rd of the Bible. Prophecy still leads People who are still lost, to Jesus, just like it did when He first started the Church about 2000 years ago now.

    proph·e·cy

    /ˈpräfəsē/
    noun: prophecy; plural noun: prophecies

    a prediction.
    synonyms: prediction, forecast, prognostication, prognosis, divination, augury
    synonyms: divination, fortune-telling, crystal-gazing, prediction, second sight, prognostication, augury, soothsaying
    “the gift of prophecy”

    The one thing I have noticed when you start talking about the Bible and Prophecy, People run and that includes, church’s , People, and Pastors, and when you talk to folks who would never come to church about these things , well they thing you just came out of the Looney farm… Today we are blessed to have Scripture as our complete and final authority in all things, 2 Timothy 3:16-17… If someone now claims to have received a “special revelation,” we must test it against the Bible to see if these things are true are coming in the future… Many church’s won’t even touch this part of the Bible and run from it like the Plague…
    The Office of Prophet is no longer necessary for us today, we have God’s total Divine revealed word to us all to know Prophecy, and as we’ve seen, Heather and a few others here, has made very good use of this, and is Proof to me that God’s Word is True and will Be played out thru Bible Prophecy in the days ahead, as we all know here Bible Prophecy is not done just yet, and never will be… You will not here these things in church today for the most part.. I know this first hand… Church today is all about entertainment. Big Screen TV’s, Coat slapping Preacher’s who Promise and claim they can heal you…
    This touch’s on Super Natural and Divine Things and this leads into the other 4 in that list above…

    su·per·nat·u·ral

    /ˌso͞opərˈnaCH(ə)rəl/

    adjective

    adjective: supernatural

    1. (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
    “a supernatural being”

    synonyms: paranormal, psychic, magic, magical, occult, mystic, mystical, superhuman, supernormal; rareextramundane
    “supernatural powers”

    •ghostly, phantom, spectral, otherworldly, unearthly, unnatural
    “a supernatural being”

    •unnaturally or extraordinarily great.
    1. manifestations or events considered to be of supernatural origin, such as ghosts.

    ~

    #130259
    MyWhiteStone
    MyWhiteStone
    Participant

    Thank you, Rocki. Doors appear to be closing for sure. I suspect it’s not just about churches. I’m guessing there is a falling off of participation even in several Rapture forums.

    It would be an interesting study to know why, that is presuming this guess is valid.

    There may be scores of other reasons in play explaining our own Rapture forums’ doors sliding shut. Hundreds of genuine RITA Now enthusiasts of the past have seemingly slunk off since I started posting in 2012, or was it 2011..?

    I can offer my own experience anecdotally to this proposition. Number one is the serious emotional pain, or anxiety experienced for a couple years now, of still being here after missing reasonable and expected / predicted departure dates. This raving idiot called MyWhiteStone has suffered a loss of credibility through my insistence for years about certain urgency concerning a topic most believers began with and have remained skeptical about these last few years. Oh well. I’m appropriately warned about scoffers. Besides, it simply means I will have more believing Christian friends to explain the Rapture to on the way up! :yes:

    But nobody try to shame me! No one short of Jesus Himself would be able to shame me for my exuberant hope and expression of my soon expectation. And I don’t think He ever will.

    Sooooon!!!!! :yahoo: :yes:

    I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see Him with my own eyes -- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job19:25-27



    #130265
    Goodcheer
    Goodcheer
    Participant

    Yes, sooooon! This must be why there is a special crown of righteousness reserved for those of us who love His appearing. It takes a certain courage or perserverence to keep watching and hoping. As for me, I can’t imagine not watching.

    Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.


    #130279

    waragoodwarfare
    Participant

    Hi,

    Thanks for this thread. I remember years ago at one of her conferences about 5,000 were in attendance and
    she asked how many went to a church and most hands went up and how many of your pastors preached the pre trib
    rapture and only a few hands went up.

    We here at this site are looking for his soon return, but among those I know this is a very uncommon practice. I feel the silence when I bring up this topic and prophecy in polite conversation.

    So I value your friendship, prayers, and comments.

    Dave

    #130283
    churchgal
    churchgal
    Participant

    And all the people said….AMEN!!! The way that I have described what is happening over the last several years is that a sharp dividing line is being made, and people are now having to choose…be of the world and accept what they tell you to accept or be hated by the world and stand by Jesus and the Word. I know where we all stand, but the world is finally having to start making that choice and for those who don’t choose Jesus now…it’s going to cost a whole lot more to choose Jesus after the Rapture, although it would be the absolute best choice; but unfortunately starvation, imprisonment and death will likely accompany it.
    My pastor talks about the Lord returning and even soon…and for even that I am grateful…just wish there was more actual prophecy and details discussed…which of course is why I am here with you, my watching family! :yahoo:
    And I do agree with the premise that Jan is making…the doors are shutting, and the scary part is that it is supposed Christians that are shutting it–
    And waragoodwarfare…I can totally relate…every time I try to bring up prophecy or discuss the lateness of the hour, even with my Christian friends or family…they look at me like I just grew ears on the end of my nose or something…it makes me sad that they might love this world more than they love the thought of our Savior’s return…and I don’t get it :unsure:
    I can honestly say that I have been through trials in my life, but the Lord has also provided for me more than what I needed, peace and joy— I tend to look at His return with great anticipation because it is all the wonderful things He has already done for me and more…I mean who wouldn’t get excited about that??
    Great thread….we all have our tickets, just waiting on that trumpet!!

    "and all creation sing with me now, lift up your voice and lay your burdens down...let all of creation sing with me now fill up the heavens let HIs glory resound, and every knee will bow, oh in every tongue praise the Father, praise the Son and the Spirit in One!!"

    #130284
    No Other Rock
    No Other Rock
    Moderator

    There may be scores of other reasons in play explaining our own Rapture forums’ doors sliding shut. Hundreds of genuine RITA Now enthusiasts of the past have seemingly slunk off since I started posting in 2012, or was it 2011..?

    Yes MWS, I see that too and see the change. Even if we asked the reasons on a separate thread, only a handful of those gone or not posting would reply. The important point is, I’m glad you’re here and have not joined them, as well as being glad and thankful for the one’s left who participate.

    It will be wonderful in Heaven where we will all be there, no one gone of those who know Christ, and our fellowship will be enduring and forever :heart: I’m looking forward to those days of eternity with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and all of us who love Him.

    I Am the Lord! Besides Me there is no Savior. For there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved!...For in him we live, and move, and have our being!

    #130287

    Leroy
    Participant

    I was about to write a very diff response that would also explain things. However this came to mind instead:
    Isiah 26:20.
    Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

    Maybe the open door is closing because times up. No more preaching, no more warning, no more going before the king as in days of old to admonish repentance. TIME IS UP.

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