When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened. These things must take place, but that is not yet the end (Mark 13:7).
I used to know a lot more about Bible prophecy than I do now. –Warren Wiersbe in his mature years
They canceled Sunday School at my church for tomorrow morning. Some kind of issue with a busted water pipe in the fellowship hall area where construction people were doing something. So, we’ll be having church in the auditorium of a private school at 10:30 am. And I am not unhappy at all about it.
The Sunday School lesson–which I was scheduled to teach–was really difficult to get my mind around. Mark 13 is our Lord’s Olivet Discourse, with its counterparts in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. Each of the three has its own uniqueness but for the most part they’re much alike.
Prophecy is hard for me. And I don’t mind admitting it. There is a little history to this.
As a college student, I worked for a preacher in downtown Birmingham. Reverend Jim Irwin owned the Upper Room Bookstore which I operated the summer between my freshman and sophomore years. Brother Jim pastored a small church and had a radio program called “The Radio Bible School.” One night a week he held a Bible class in the bookstore for anyone wishing to attend. It was my job to type up his handouts, which is how I learned his views on prophecy. On paper at least, he seemed to have it all figured out: The Lord was on the verge of returning and all the prophetic signs were being fulfilled even as we speak. Jesus was due to set foot on Planet Earth at any moment.
That was 1959. Sixty-four years ago.
A big thing back in the day was the year 1948, the establishment of the nation Israel. After all, taught the prophecy experts, didn’t our Lord say that “this generation would not pass away before all these things came to be”? That’s Mark 13:30. This clearly means, so they would teach, that within one generation of the establishment of Israel all these prophetic signs would be fulfilled. And how long is a generation? Most said 25 years. Some said thirty or thirty-five.
It’s been seventy-five years.
I learned early on that expounding on Bible prophecy was easy and easy to get wrong. As someone has said, “The graveyards are littered with the bones of prophecy experts.”