Scripture instructs the Church to continually watch for the return of Christ, but why do so many people seem uninterested in the signs of the last days?
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- A Quick Reference Guide to the End Times by Todd Hampson and Jeff Kinley
- The Non-Prophet’s Guide™ to Spiritual Warfare by Todd Hampson
- Interview with the Anitchrist by Jeff Kinley
- Wake the Bride by Jeff Kinley
- The Non-Prophet’s Guide™ to the End Times by Todd Hampson
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Jeff: What do you do when the bride falls asleep? That’s what we’re going to talk about today on the Prophecy Pros Podcast. Todd, one of the questions that you and I get a lot is from believers who are attuned to what God is doing in the world today and the Bible prophecy. They understand what’s going on. But one of the frustrations that they have is they don’t know how to help people that are not tuned in. You know what I’m saying? In other words, these people are asleep. They may even be hesitant to even talk about Bible prophecy. I think sometimes they think that maybe they’re a little bit on the fringe. People come to them and talk about it and stuff. So the question has come to us, what do I do when nobody will listen to me about this Bible prophecy thing. Maybe they think that you’re like some Star Trek convention person, something like that. You’re into it a little too much kind of thing. So what do you do with people like that?
Jeff: And so we want to talk about that. We want to address that issue because this is a common thing. Because what’s happening is, at the same time that God is really helping Christians to understand what’s going on in the world today prophetically, there’s also a huge element of the church, of evangelicals, of Christians, of professing believers that are just not into it and are not tuned in to what God’s doing. So let’s talk about some ways that we can just acknowledge that and ways that we can begin to help people do that.
Todd: Yeah. It’s funny too. And I’m sure you’ve noticed this too, Jeff. It seems like people who study Bible prophecy and see the things that we’re seeing are spread out and maybe that’s strategic by the Lord. Like he wants to use people on a grassroots level. There’ve been several things over the past 20 or 30 years where the church itself has moved away from teaching Bible prophecy. Seminaries have moved away from teaching Bible prophecy, even though it’s a key line of theology and it connects to everything in the Bible.
Todd: And I understand why. Like you said, there’s been a lot of sensationalism, a lot of people who have set dates or just over sensationalized everything instead of sticking to scripture. Matter of fact, you and I were talking this morning, there’s a couple of viral videos going around right now that everyone’s latching onto and forwarding and all kinds of stuff. And none of it’s based in the Bible. I mean, there’s just enough truth in it to get people’s attention, but instead of doing their homework and digging in the scripture, people just kind of run with it. And some of that’s because of fear. Some of it’s because they just want some want to see something happen. Yeah. There’s many reasons for it, but we’re trying to talk about the solution here for it. And I think one thing we can do is number one, don’t lead with Bible prophecy. Don’t just walk up to somebody say, hey, let’s talk about the Antichrist. That’s probably not going to get their attention. But I think if we intentionally love people and just pray for God to send people to us. God, give me wisdom to know how to introduce this topic or who to introduce it to. But the good and the tough thing is, it’s on everyone’s mind more than ever.
Todd: Even unchurched, non-believers are wondering what in the world is going on right now. So we have a golden opportunity. It’s teed up for us to talk about, but we have to be really careful on how we do it. Make sure we’re not divisive. Make sure we understand. And this is key for anybody listening out there because most of our listeners have already studied Bible prophecy, at least to some extent. Remember that the people that you’re talking to have not done the same study you have and put yourself in your shoes way back before you started studying Bible prophecy and remember how new it was to you, and how tough it was to study and put the puzzle pieces together. So give them a little bit of leeway, but just build that relationship. Point them to scripture and maybe just pray for God to open up an opportunity to leverage the times that we’re in. Even just to say, hey, you trust the Bible. Hey, why don’t you go study Revelations or Daniel 9, or some of these other passages that lines up a lot with what we’re seeing right now.
Jeff: No, those are great points, Todd. I was thinking, as you were talking there, is that, it’s like when you marry someone, all of a sudden you’re sitting at the dinner table and then you ask, where’s the so-and-so. Well, we don’t do that now. I didn’t grow up eating that, so I don’t know how to cook that or whatever. It’s like, it’s not on the menu. And we have a lot of Christians who come to us, and text us, and send us emails, and messages that just say, look, it’s not on the menu at my church. I mean, it’s like, I wish that we could devour that kind of spiritual food, but it’s not being served to me at church. And much of the frustration that we’re seeing is within their own churches. But as you mentioned, Todd, the whole world right now is thinking about the end of the world.
Jeff: I mean, this is a golden moment for Bible prophecy because it’s on everyone’s mind. And it may not be from a biblical perspective obviously, but you look at what the world’s talking about. It’s talking about climate change and the end of the world. It’s talking about nuclear war and the end of the world. It’s talking about pandemics and the end of the world, or some other unforeseen global event, that’s going to drastically change. I mean, the doomsday clock, the guys who put this thing together, these nuclear physicists that do this have moved the doomsday clock up to two minutes to midnight which is closer than it’s ever been before. So even secular scientists are saying, we’re just metaphorically speaking, two minutes away from an extinction event on planet Earth. So as you said, it’s really being teed up for us to do that.
Jeff: Well, in light of that, I think about Christians being asleep and my mind goes to Revelation 3, as Jesus is addressing the church at Sardis. And one of the things he says to them in the very first verse there in chapter three, he says, “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” It sounds like Jesus is saying, your church is called life church, but you’re really dead church. And one of the reasons they were dead church is because they were not walking with Christ. They were not ready for his return. They had become complacent. They were asleep in the light. And this is a gradual regress, I think Todd, that happens in churches and with Christians, but Jesus’ word to them, his excoriating rebuke to them in verse 2 is, wake up.
Jeff: And of course I wrote an entire book called Wake the Bride to help Christians do that and to help others do that, but he says, “Wake up and strengthen things that remain, which were about to die in you for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of God.” And then he says, “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; keep it and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief and you will not know what hour I’ll come upon you.” And I think when he says, I’ll come upon you, he’s talking about coming in judgment to them. In some of the other churches that he had given rebukes to, he says, I’m going to remove your lampstand or your effectiveness. I think sometimes as Christians and as churches, we think that knowledge of certain things and activity sort of equates to life.
Jeff: So if you’ve got a church that something’s going on every night of the week, or there’s a lot going on Sunday, we’ve got 20 different ministries. That somehow that means we’re alive, but not necessarily. It’s what is the nature of that life and what is the understanding that you have of the Lord? So the first thing obviously that we would say is that the bride needs to be woken up and she needs to be introduced to the subject of Bible prophecy, as you said, the right way. And that begins ends by building a relationship. So obviously, cold calling strangers, knocking on their doors, they’re not going to talk to you about Bible prophecy. You’re not going to get very far with them. But people with whom you already have a relationship, I would say, look for common ground or look for things that you can agree on.
Jeff: For example, you and I, a year ago, we were at the largest Christians high school in Arkansas, speaking to over 500 high school students. And Todd, you remember the day you sat up and you said, “How many of you guys have ever had anyone teach you the book of Revelation or Bible prophecy?” Not a single hand went up and representing hundreds of youth ministries and churches out there. And then you said, “How many of you thought about the end of the world in the past week?”
Todd: Every single hand went up.
Jeff: Every hand went up. And that just gives me chills to think about that. We’ve got these young people that are thinking thing about their world and again, may be getting their cues from the world. Greta Thunberg may be giving them more theology from their perspective than the Bible, but they are thinking about it. So we have to inform them, but to build a ramp up to that and to find ways to do that. And one way to do that would be perhaps… Like for example, I get a lot of moms and dads who write me and say, I’ve got this college age son, high school son, I can’t get them to read the Bible or whatever. I’m like, does he like zombies? Does he like fiction? I’m like, I got books on that. It’s like, give him a fiction book. Let him read about the Antichrist from a fictional standpoint and maybe that will wet his appetite and sort of be like breadcrumbs leading to the truth if you will.
Jeff: And so sometimes we just have to find that open door, that unlocked door in their life, that area of common ground or of openness that we can just say, hey, would you be interested in this? Sometimes it’s a podcast or perhaps even a video or a book like we’ve written, the Prophecy Pros, A Quick Reference Guide to the End Times, which is a short little book, but it gives a lot of information. So we can begin there.
Todd: Hey, thanks so much for tuning in today and listening to this episode of the Prophecy Pros Podcast. We know that when we study Bible prophecy or talk about it, one answered question might lead to other questions you have. So we have a special place set up on the website where you can go and ask Jeff and I a question. Just go to prophecyprospodcast.com. And there, you can also learn more about our books, where to find them and other resources. We thank you so much for tuning in. Be sure to share this, subscribe, like and anything else you can do to let your friends and family know about the Prophecy Pros Podcast.
Todd: Yeah, exactly. I’m glad you mentioned those two resources, Jeff. Your book, Wake the Bride, deals with this specifically and has a lot of practical information people would want to get. And our little booklet that you mentioned, A Quick Reference Guide to the End Times is a gift that’s easy to give, and it’s not a weird way. Hey, check this out, here’s the top 10 questions about the end times and it’s thoroughly biblical. You’d be surprised how many people would pick that up. I found every time I’ve offered it… A matter of fact, this morning at the hotel, I gave five of them to the lady who was preparing the breakfast and stuff. And she went nuts. She was so excited. So it’s something that’s easy to give away and it’s not weird. You don’t have to give a big speech or anything, but those are two resources.
Todd: And Jeff, just to backpedal on a few things. You mentioned how even the world now is noticing and coming up with reasons, whether it’s climate change stuff or whatever it is, they’re noticing and talking about, they are talking about the end of the world. The difference is with us; we actually have hope. Their discussion of the end of the world is all dystopian, lack of hope. Like there’s really no hope or nothing that’s going to really want people to be around in the future. But the difference is we have hope. We know that God’s in control, that all this is heading somewhere and ultimately that we’re raptured out of here. And also I should mention, when we’re talking about the bride that’s asleep, please know we’re not talking about any specific church or anything.
Todd: We’re talking about the church at large, believers at large. And I think of one verse. I think it’s Matthew 18:8, if I’m correct where it said, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the earth.” That lines up with scripture as well, that we’re no longer looking, the bride is asleep. But the encouraging thing is we’re seeing a real groundswell, grassroots kind of level of people who do want to know what’s going on because you can’t deny the craziness that’s going on and you can’t deny that it lines up with, even from a cursory review, what you know about the Bible.
Jeff: That’s a great point. And when reading Revelation 2-3, I mean, keep in mind, this is just too short generations past the resurrection of Christ and the early writings in the New Testament. So it’s about 40 years or so past the writings of the epistles. But here’s the deal, by this time, the majority of the church had already fallen asleep again. They had already detoured doctrinally, morally. They had lost their first love with Jesus, or they had fallen asleep. Yeah, they’re still meeting, but what’s going on in those meetings. And as one pastor said recently, a lot of churches today are just a light and music show followed by a TED Talk. Just something kind of to make you feel good, make you [crosstalk].
Todd: It’s a cultural thing. It’s something like, check this off the list for this week.
Jeff: Exactly. And that is what many of the people that write us are seeing in their own churches or in their own areas, is that there is a cultural Christianity, casual Christianity, people have become very comfortable. They’ve become very complacent. They checked off the box. Yeah, I go to church. I’ve got that thing going on.
Todd: What I watched online this week.
Jeff: Yeah, exactly. Totally. Sort of watch online.
Todd: It was on the TV while I was cooking breakfast.
Jeff: Exactly. So I can count that I was there. But there become sort of a spiritual amnesia that sets in I think with believers sometimes is that one point, we had that fervor, we had that fire. We even wanted the Lord to come back. We were looking forward to that. But then as time goes on, we sort of lose that. And part of that, Todd, I believe comes from the fact that because we are in the world… Jesus said in John 17, “I don’t want it Father for them, take them out of the world.” But we’re in the world. But sometimes we’d become also of the world. And what I mean by that and what I think scripture means by that is that we began adopting some of the values and the important things that the world says are important. We sort of adopt those as our own.
Jeff: And Paul addressed that in Romans 12:2. He says, “Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” And let’s be honest, we’re not living in neutrality here. Your book, The Non-Prophet’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare, really illustrates the fact that this is not this neutral zone where it’s like you can choose this or choose that. No, Satan and the world is actively trying to conform our minds, to force us to think certain things about reality and about relationships and gender and sexuality and reproductive “rights.” I mean, all these things, the world is active. It’s proactive really to do that. And so we have to be careful as Christians, not to sort of settle into that, let our feet sort of sink into the sand to the point where we’re not able to move anymore.
Jeff: As one person said long time ago to me, Jeff, don’t drive your tent pegs too deep into the world soil because it’ll be hard to uproot those things when Christ comes. James 4:4 says, “Friendship with the world is enmity or hostility towards God.” So we certainly don’t want to be friends with the world’s values although, we do want to be friends with those in the world. God so loved the world, that’s people, right? So we want to make sure that we don’t fall into that sort of complacency and get to that point where we don’t even care anymore. And so when you introduce Bible prophecy to people and you’re like, how do I wake them up? Well, just know this, you’re not going to wake them up by snapping your fingers or simply by quoting a verse to them.
Jeff: It’s not going to be some magical potion or formula. But I will say first of all, just to pray for them and to help awaken them to some of these things. And I’ll give you just a quick example. My kids and their wives, they’re all in their 20s and that type of thing. And so I don’t just presume that they’re all just automatically going to be excited about every book that I write because I’m dad, right? That’s what he does, right? But I do recall just about a year or so ago, my daughter-in-law and her friend came up to our property and we sat on the front porch and they said, we want to ask you about Bible prophecy. We want to ask you about Revelation. We got so many questions. And Todd, we sat on the front porch for over three hours, where they just came back and forth asking all these questions. And it just goes to show that in the heart of every seeking Christian, they want to know the truth. They really want to know. I didn’t force that on them. I didn’t say now let’s talk about prophecy. No, it came from them. So just to pray that God would awaken within people this desire to know why is the world the way it is? Why are we headed in the direction we’re going? And how can I tactfully and lovingly share what God says about our current situation.
Todd: That is so true. And I want to pick up on something you said, and that’s Satan is active here. That’s a spiritual warfare element. In the end times, he wants the bride to be asleep. We’re the salt of the earth and the light of the world, he has great deception plans. So the more sleepy we are, the more junk he can get away with. The upside of that is as crazier things happen in the world, it’s almost like a teenager who sets their alarm for every 10 minutes from 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM knowing they’re not going to get up till 6:00 AM, but each time they wake up a little bit more. That’s kind of what’s going on in the world is that there’s been the past several years, one thing after the other, that it really is kind of shaking people out of their sleep to like either, all right, I need to either need to figure out what the Bible says about this, or I need to just ignore it and come up with some worldly view of it.
Todd: And what we’re finding is just like you said with your sons and your daughters-in-law, that that age group is really starting to ask some key questions. And that’s my encouragement is, pray for opportunities to network with them and maybe you’ll lead a small group. Maybe invite them for coffee, do one-on-one stuff. I think it’s going to be more grassroots because it isn’t something typically that you could answer all the questions in a 20-minute sermon. It does take three hours to unpack some of it. And one question leads to another and that’s a healthy thing. So maybe it’s a time when the church can really be the church on a grassroots level. And we’re not trying to leave it all up to the pastor. Like we got to be the body, we got to step up to the plate and pursue our own personal calling and look for those opportunities.
Todd: But they’re there. So be encouraged and know this, that God knows your heart. He knows you want to share that with people. He wants to wake people up. We have to tactfully wake up as many as we can. And the reality is, if the rapture were to happen today, I bet you millions, maybe billions of people, after the rapture, will become believers because of our witness. Of course, we want them to come now. We don’t want them to have to go through any of that stuff. But I just wanted to say those things just as a last encouraging thing. So Jeff, what’s something encouraging we can leave them with on this topic, that comes to mind?
Jeff: Absolutely. Yeah, totally. And the good news is you can do something.
Todd: That’s right.
Jeff: Don’t do just nothing, do something. And obviously, I say pray, but I really mean that. I mean, prayer’s powerful, and it will be great to see God answer some of your prayers. And get out a piece of paper and write down some names of some people that you think, hey, I want to really target to help them, encourage them in their Christian life because the point is not to correct them about everything. The point is to inform them and to expose them to biblical truth. So pray. And another thing too, some of our listeners may have the ability to lead a small group. Like, for example, hey, for the next five weeks, six weeks, whatever, we’re going to have some coffee and dessert at my house on Tuesday nights. And five of us are going to talk about what the Bible says in Revelation, and maybe pick up a book by myself or by Todd to kind of help give you a guide, some resources, and use that as a discussion tool to kind of lead you into that.
Jeff: Other people may want to even approach their pastor and say, hey, would you be willing to lead us in this on Sundays at some point or could I lead a small group in the church and that type of thing? So don’t do nothing, do something and move forward and be proactive because if that’s on your heart to see Christians that are obviously asleep concerning the end times and concerning Bible prophecy, just take a step out on faith, ask God to show you a way that you can make that impact. And again, Todd, it may be as easy as saying, here’s a gift to you. Here’s a book to you. I know you’re not a reader. Okay, but I’m going to give you this book because it has got a lot of pictures. Todd Hampson’s a great illustrator, and he’s going to give you this book and it’s going to help make this whole thing come alive or a fiction book on the Antichrist that I’ve written, whatever. But give them something that they can have tangible in their hands and ask God to use that as a tool, as a starting point, and then just pray like mad that God would open their eyes to the great truth of Bible prophecy.
Jeff: Did you know that you can find the prophecy pros on the Edifi Network? That’s right, we’re there now and we’re getting massive exposure. So cool. It’s E-D-I-F-I, the Edifi Network. Check it out, subscribe and listen with other podcasts as well on that great network.
Todd: And as always, we want to thank Harvest House Publishers for making this possible. We could not do this without them.