“There are signs that would indicate we are in the Last Days leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus… The Bible is clear. As we get closer to his return, there are going to be great global catastrophes.”
The above prophecy is from Jack Hibbs, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Hills, as he promotes the February 20-22 Southern California Prophecy Conference. Here are some other prophecies from the same conference:
“There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established already in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power.”
“At no time in the history of the Christian Church have the conditions necessary to the Lordâ€™s return been so completely fulfilled as at the present time.”
“We are the generation that will see the end timesâ€¦ and the return of Jesus.â€
Just kidding. These quotes (in the order listed) are not from the conference, but from Bishop Martin of Tours (France), ca. 316-397; Clarence Larkin, American dispensationalist, 1918; and Hal Lindsey, American dispensationalist, 1980!
When will these false prophets stop? What’s even more amazing is that all of these American dispensationalists equate the kingdom of God with America. In his latest book pandering to the fear of the present economic turmoil, The Late Great United States: What Bible Prophecy Reveals About America’s Last Days, Mark Hitchcock writes that although America (a.k.a. Abraham) has historically enjoyed the blessings of God (cf. Gen 12:3), those blessings might be ending:
“Unless we experience a moral revival and shake off the domination of the secular humanists who control our government, media, and public education, we will be a fifth-grade power in twenty to thirty years.”
Of course, the nation Israel always has to be in the dispensational equation. Hibbs speculates that the economic crisis today could weaken America by hampering its ability to help Israel. Again, the false teaching that the future of America and the world centers on Israel, and not on Christ and his church.
When will the “signs of the times” be upon us? Anthony Hoekema, in The Bible and the Future, writes about common misunderstandings concerning the “signs of the times”:
In other words, because the “last days” encompass the period between the first and second comings of Jesus, the “signs of the times” will be present in this period, although with increasing intensity. So there is no point in saying that we are the “terminal generation.” Every false prophet throughout the history of the church, beginning with Montanus in 150 A.D. all the way to present false prophets such as Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, John Hagee and others of the same ilk, had always declared that Christ will return during their days!
For more on the subject of the “last days” and the “signs of the times,” see the following:
“The Israel of God” by Dr. R. Scott Clark
“A Present or Future Millennium?” by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger
“The New Millennium” by Dr. Michael Horton
“Are We Living in the ‘Last Days’?” (my own post)
Beale, G. K. 1-2 Thessalonians. IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: IVPress, 2003.
Beale, G. K. The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
Demar, Gary. Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church. Atlanta: American Vision, 1999.
Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2001.
Hoekema, Anthony. The Bible and the Future. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.
Koester, Craig R. Revelation and the End of All Things. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.
Mathison, Keith. From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2009.
Poythress, Vern S. The Returning King. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2000. (This book is published online by permission of publisher.)
Riddlebarger, Kim. The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist. Grand Rapids: Baker, June 2006.
Venema, Cornelis. The Promise of the Future. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2000.