Our modern world would be wise to heed the biblical prophets, because their warnings ultimately focus on the end of the age—the times in which we are living. In fact, God's prophetic warnings are still being delivered today!
The Christian world is selective about what it believes from the Bible. Scripture states that "God is love" (1 John 4:8) and that a loving God sent His Son to die for the sins of the world (John 3:16). Jesus taught that we should love God, our neighbors and even our enemies (Matthew 5:44; 22:36–40). For centuries these noble teachings have been embraced, but not always followed, by professing Christians.
However, this same God also sent prophets to warn His chosen people and the world that serious consequences would result if His instructions were ignored and His laws were violated (see Deuteronomy 28). This crucial aspect of biblical teaching has never been popular. Sadly, most of the warnings God sent through His prophets went unheeded—and millions suffered terrible consequences as a result. Our modern world would be wise to heed the biblical prophets, because their warnings ultimately focus on the end of the age—the times in which we are living. In fact, God's prophetic warnings are still being delivered today!
Some critics assert that the God of the Old Testament was a bloodthirsty tyrant who delighted in destroying the world with a flood; they ignore the wickedness and corruption that humanity had embraced, and fail to see that God sought, for mankind's own good, to put a stop to its evil behavior (Genesis 6:5–13). Before sending the flood, God sent Noah, a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5) to warn the world of what was coming. Noah's warning message lasted approximately 100 years (Genesis 5:32; 7:6). This is consistent with the actions of a loving God. Scripture proclaims: "Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). Even though God provided a warning for nearly a century, only Noah and his family (eight people) heeded the message. Everyone else continued to "do their own thing," until it was too late and they perished in the flood (Matthew 24:36–39).
God later chose to work with the nation of Israel. He blessed the Israelites and gave them His laws so they could be an example to the world (Deuteronomy 4:1–8). However, the rebellious, independent-minded Israelites forgot God, violated His laws and followed other religions (Jeremiah 7:22–26). Out of concern for His chosen people, God sent a series of prophets to warn them that unless they changed their ways they would reap severe penalties, including disastrous defeats and foreign captivity. God's prophets were instructed to: "Cry aloud… tell My people their transgressions, and the house of Israel their sins" (Isaiah 58:1).
Instead of heeding God's warnings, the Israelites ignored, mocked, persecuted and even murdered God's prophets. Isaiah was told: "Do not prophesy to us right things [uncomfortable truths]; speak to us smooth things" (Isaiah 30:10)—and was later cut in half by his own countrymen. Jeremiah was threatened: "Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, lest you die by our hand" (Jeremiah 11:21). He was thrown into a dungeon several times by his own people (Jeremiah 37:14–16; 38:6). As a result of violating God's laws and despising His prophets, the nations of Israel and Judah lost God's protection, were conquered by their enemies and were carried into captivity to Assyria and Babylon. They paid a heavy price for failing to heed warnings from God.
But how does this relate to us today? Many people who "love the Lord" do not seem to realize that almost one-third of the Bible is prophecy, much of which is dual—meaning that it had an initial, partial fulfillment in the past, but its ultimate fulfillment would occur even thousands of years later! Many prophecies concern, as their major focus, the events surrounding Christ's return at the end of this age. About 90 percent of Bible prophecy concerns the days just ahead of us! This is a sobering thought that should get our attention.
Jesus not only commissioned His disciples to preach the gospel to the world (Mark 16:15), He also gave them a message for the "lost sheep" of the house of Israel (Matthew 10:6)—the descendants of Israelites who were carried off to Assyria around 721bc. These people eventually migrated to northwest Europe, Britain, America and other choice parts of the earth, where they were blessed by God because of promises He made to their forefather Abraham (Genesis 12:1–3). Jesus' disciples were to explain to Israelite nations why they were blessed, why they were chosen by God, and what consequences they will face for compromising or rejecting His laws and instructions. Jesus also told His disciples that this would not be a popular message (Matthew 10:16–20).
Many professing Christians today wrongly believe that Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled long ago and are no longer relevant. Those prophecies, which will have a devastating effect on modern Israelitish nations, provide vital details about end-time events developing on the world scene today. Moses warned the children of Israel that "evil will befall you in the latter days" and that "the Lord will bring a nation against you from afar" (Deuteronomy 31:29; 28:49). Jeremiah called this period "the time of Jacob's trouble" and foretold that "in the latter days you will consider [understand] it" (Jeremiah 30:7, 24). Scripture provides a catalogue of sins (cf. Jeremiah 2; 5; 23; Ezekiel 20, Hosea 3; Amos 2; Micah 2; 3) for which God is going to correct our people with the most astonishing series of punishments the world has ever seen (Jeremiah 4; 18:15–17). Jesus told His disciples to watch world events, so that they could recognize when these prophesied events were beginning to happen (Matthew 24:42–43, Mark 13:32–37). Those disciples who monitor world events and warn of their prophetic significance will function as the watchmen for Israel—a role God outlined long ago (cf. Ezekiel 3:4, 17; 33:7). God wants this warning message delivered to His people because, as He stated: "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (Ezekiel 33:11).
The Church of God has delivered this warning for decades, though God said that "the house of Israel will not listen to you… for all the house of Israel is impudent and hard-hearted" (Ezekiel 3:7). Because our peoples will not heed God's warnings to repent, God will punish our proud nations to teach a powerful lesson: that disobedience does not pay. God is going to use a European power revived from the roots of the Roman Empire—led by a great religious figure and a deceptive political leader called the "Beast"—to administer this punishment because of our national sins.
It is sobering to see other voices beginning to sense the dangerous direction our nations are heading. Dozens of books and articles have been published in recent years documenting the staggering decline in Bible-based morality, and the increasing crime, violence, divorce, drug abuse and religious confusion that plagues Israelitish nations. These same problems afflicted the ancient empires of Greece and Rome before they crumbled. The handwriting is on the wall for America, Britain and other nations of northwest European descent. Will we heed the warnings in time, or will we repeat the mistakes of our ancestors? Bible prophecy indicates that our nations will not listen to warnings from God, but you individually can make a different choice. You can choose to come out of this world and follow the teachings of your Bible. Request our free booklet, What is a True Christian? You cannot afford to ignore the sobering prophecies that are coming alive today.
—Douglas S. Winnail