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Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Blood Moons" and Christ's return

I don't know when Christ is returning. As I understand the Bible, no one else does, either. Bible scholars do not even agree on a timetable for His return. Some believe that the Biblical signs of His return have all been fulfilled already. Some believe that the indications of His return are for our spiritual warning only. Some believe that there will be a Rapture, with Christians taken away. Some don't. Some Christians believe that there will be a seven-year tribulation. Some don't. See here for a conservative (in the sense that he takes the Bible very seriously) scholar's take on some of these beliefs. Based on prophecies that the Bible, itself, tells us have been already fulfilled, it seems that interpreting prophecy is a difficult job. The Bible says a lot less about End Times than some people seem to think that it does.

Nonetheless, throughout history, there have been many people who have proclaimed that something or other is a sign of Christ's return, and even predicted the date of that return. See here for a recent unfortunate, and well-publicized, example. The result of all these predictions seems to have been that people take the prospect of Christ's return much less seriously than as if those explicit predictions hadn't been made.

Why do we try to predict the future, when Christ, Himself, said that we don't know what it will be? One reason is curiosity. There was clearly some of that, about end times, in the New Testament church, so it's not surprising that there should be some now. It's not up to me to judge the motives of other Christians, so I won't go further to answer the question.

A recent prediction is that, because of the connection between lunar eclipses and the Jewish festivals, great events, most likely the return of Christ, are imminent. This has been proposed by a Mark Biltz, and also by TV preacher John Hagee. Perhaps. If you do a Google search for "Biltz blood moon," as I did, you will find that there are some people who believe Biltz and Hagee on this matter, and some who don't. In fact, the first web site that came up was a site that said it debunked Biltz's theory about the eclipses and End Times.

I looked at Answers in Genesis, a ministry that, whatever its faults, is steadfast in its belief in the Bible as the word of God. A scientist who writes for their web site has an article, casting considerable doubt on the blood moon prediction, and explaining, in terms understandable by lay people, what causes so-called blood moons. I recommend that anyone interested in this subject read that article.

Thanks for reading! I thank one of my introductory biology students for bringing this topic to my attention.

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Added September 23, 2015: Mr. Hagee is predicting that something important is about to happen, involving Israel, associated with the current tetrad of "blood moons." He mentions September 28, in particular. Perhaps he is right, perhaps not.

You may want to look at the most negative reviews of Mr. Hagee's book, Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change. (The first review, and the majority of other reviews on Amazon, are very positive, but the rest of them from that link aren't positive at all, citing errors, such as in the book's use of history, and scriptural problems, as well.)


Irv said...

/ Hi Sun and Shield. Saw this item on the net. Any response to it? /

Pretrib Rapture History's Stages

If a young woman in Scotland hadn't dreamed up the "pre-tribulation fly-away" in 1830; if a British clergyman hadn't hijacked her dream and sneakily planted it around the world in the 1800s; if a crooked, jailed-for-forgery lawyer with no theological background hadn't come out with a reference Bible in 1909 with the same fly-away escapism in marginal notes; and if modern-day rapture robber barons and tribulational tycoons hadn't found numerous ways (and gimmicks like four "blood moons") to widely mass-market the same delicious delusion for the masses while breaking sales records, no one could now be into the moonshine, looking up at the moon and saying "Moon, you mush be drunk becaush I shee four of you!" LOL (If none of this had ever happened, no one would have written anti-pretrib articles that are on Google etc., articles like "Evangelicals Use Occult Deception," "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," "Pretrib Rapture Pride," and "Pretrib Rapture Stealth." And no one would have written "The Rapture Plot" - the most accurate, most detailed, and most highly endorsed nonfiction history of the 184-year-old pretrib rapture theory, available by calling 800.643.4645; the author of it will give $1000 to anyone proving there is any deliberate dishonesty in it.)

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks. I claim no expertise in this area. It is possible that the pre-tribulationists are correct.

However, it is true, as implied by the material in your comment, that pre-tribulationist belief is relatively new in church thought, less than 300 years, to be exact. That doesn't make it wrong. The anti-slavery movement is also a change in the thought of most Christians, which is approximately that old. But it does mean that pre-tribulationist belief is not what the New Testament church held.

For more, see the three links in the first paragraph of my post, which indicate the shaky ground that such views are standing on, scripturally, and the Wikipedia article on Dispensationalism:

I also think that some Christians probably spend way too much time worrying about the timetable for Christ's return, and not enough trying to make disciples and serve others.

Thanks for your comment.