PREACH THE WORD
Delivering sound doctrine to an unsound world
Vol.1, Issue 1 --- January 25, 2000
And The Believer
An Editorial by Joey Kelly
As everyone knows, Y2K was a bust. Months of preparation either paid off or turned out to be totally unnecessary. Much has been said about the non-event, and the media hype that led up to it, but I would like to take a look at the whole idea from a fresh perspective.
I was talking to my pastor after church on New Year’s Day about the remarks he made in his sermon concerning what many preachers had erroneously (and foolishly) predicted would happen when the clock struck 2000. He told the congregation that he hoped these preachers would apologize to their flocks for not looking to God’s word for guidance, and for forgetting to seek God’s face for wisdom concerning Y2K and the supposed impending economic ruin of America. I had seen some of the false teachers on so-called Christian television imploring viewers to stock up on dried food and ammunition (one can only wonder if the ammunition was to be used “in love”), but I had to confess to my pastor that I did not know that ministers here in New Orleans had succumbed to this type of dangerous thinking. In retrospect, I suppose that the same thing had happened in other parts of the nation as well.
Believers are supposed to be unmoved by the dangers of this world. For a follower of Jesus (much less a leader of the flock) to fall into this kind of trap shows that that particular Christian does not read his Bible, and if he does, then he obviously puts little trust in it. A quick look at Hebrews chapter 11 reveals the correct response to things too big for us to handle. True men of God look to heaven for their safety and assurance, and are unafraid of calamities, real or imagined. Had the economy fallen because of computer glitches, those that had a habit of depending upon the Lord for their sustenance would have carried on as before, untouched by panic and want.
What does trouble me as preacher of the gospel is not fear of an economic breakdown, but fear of a spiritual one. Isaiah spoke of a famine, but not one of bread. The prophet was referring to a lack of the word of God in people’s hearts. There are several things that Y2K has brought to my mind that I would like to share with the reader concerning the spiritual diet of believers in the last few decades.
Back in 1988 there was a book that was very popular entitled “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Occur In 1988", written by (if I misspelled the name please understand that this was 12 years ago) Edgar C. Wissennat, a retired NASA scientist, if I remember correctly. Aside from the glaring fact that we are still here in 2000, there remains the problem that some of his “reasons” were not from the bible, but were culled from statements made by psychics. Because of these and other errors (like scriptural admonitions against date-setting, for example), his whole thesis was wrong and obviously not from the Lord, and should have been tossed out by the church of the living God. Sadly, this was not the case, because his prophecy was accepted by every major protestant denomination, including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Assemblies of God, and the Church of God. These organizations that claim to hear from heaven all proclaimed that they believed that the rapture would occur in September 1988, and that every Christian ought to get right with God in preparation for the event. Undaunted by the failure of the Lord to return on the promised date, Mr. “Wisdom-not” revised his book and re-released it under the title of “89 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Occur In 1989".
Can we discern a pattern here? Taking a hard look at these two events, we can see Satan working behind the scenes to deceive the body of Christ and mock the second coming of our Lord. The false teachers responsible for the rapture frenzy in 1988 and the Y2K panic were tools of the devil to lead men from the word of God and away from His Christ. First, Satan and his legions made many to doubt the scriptural truth of the catching away of the people of the Lord (known as the rapture), then he was able to cause widespread concern and even outright alarm in the church over the Y2K doomsday warnings. Even if believers doubted the rapture, they should still have looked forward to the (second) coming of the Lord, knowing that they could depend upon Him until then to keep them clothed and fed in the event of an economic catastrophe. With colossal blunders like these two, one can but wonder what the sinner man thinks about the Bible and those who profess to believe it.
Truly the end of civilization was prophesied last year, but Jesus was not in the equation. Famine, hunger, and anarchy were foretold, but too few in the pulpit encouraged their charges to trust in the Lord. Why? Because we in the ministry have, by and large, forsaken the fountain of living waters, choosing instead to hew out broken cisterns of prosperity and psychology for ourselves and our little ones. We need a revival of repentance and true faith in the Lord and a sincere acknowledgment of the truth of the Bible and its relevance for today.
What’s next? Hopefully a return to our Master in humility, but definitely the return of Jesus Christ to this earth in the not-too-distant future. Is there anything to fear? Most certainly, for those that do not know Him, during the great tribulation period.
One question: when Christ does come back, will He find true faith in the earth?