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You Shall Not Be Afraid of Him: Rejecting Unbiblical Apocalypticism

Fauxpocalypse Now

Early on in the COVID-19 faux-pandemic, I remember being shocked by the gullibility and fearfulness of many Christians I had previously admired. It wasn’t merely that these brothers and sisters were buying into the propaganda they were being fed by the media and social media outlets. What really shocked me was that these individuals seemingly forgot that God alone knows the end from the beginning. He alone, and those whom he has chosen to serve as his prophets, can tell us what will inevitably come to pass. What is more, God teaches us how we ought to evaluate the predictions of men.

In Deuteronomy 18:20-22, God tells the children of Israel —

…the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

While the Lord is teaching his people how to judge a self-identified prophet’s legitimacy, there is a general principle we can glean from this instruction. Those who claim that a certain event will inevitably come to pass, and use this as justification for assuming the authority to rule over men’s lives, forbidding the divinely revealed way of worshiping God, as well as prescribing new ways of worshiping which he has not revealed, these men are to be put to the test. And if their predictions fail, they are not to be feared.

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