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23 Reasons Date Setters Should Be Fired

By Justin Johnson

The world ended again today, and, frankly, I am getting a little tired of it. After all, the world has ended at least once a year for the past few decades.

Did you miss it? Never mind, it will happen again soon.

That you chuckled just now means you know that failed date setting is a cliche.

This time so-called prophecy experts peddled September 23rd all summer as being when the rapture would happen, the Lord returns, or a planetary collision would occur. Their predictions are all based on reading the signs in star constellations, Bible prophecies, and looking at (fake) news headlines.

Well, the day is here and gone… again. All date-setters need to be fired.

Granted, it is not only religious quacks that predict the end of the world. There is a fair share of secular apocalyptic predictions as well (climate change, aliens, asteroids, worldwide floods, pandemic disease, nuclear annihilation, robots, not lowering the toilet lid), but they are rarely accompanied by precise dates.

These sorts of hopeless scenarios are expected from unbelievers, but date setting most always comes from Christians holding a Bible in ignorance. For shame.

If you are going to speak in ignorance, put down your Bible first. Leave God out of it.

A Much Needed Rebuke

I am a bona fide dispensational Bible believing literalist who has a sure hope in the future visible physical return of Jesus Christ to gather his saints, judge the world, and reign in his kingdom.

Date-setters are often seen as belonging in my doctrinal house, and this is why I need to get the broom and beat out the dust bunnies. They are making a mess and there is no room for them behind any pulpit (digital or otherwise).

By doing this I will be labeled by some as a scoffer and not a true believer, but this is not a scoff. I believe someday Christ will return, and we are closer now than ever before (right?).

This is a correction, rebuke, admonition, and warning. Especially for the protection of those who are continually deceived by the good words and fair speeches of teachers who serve their own belly through promoting dates for the end of the world (Rom 16:17).

Let me be clear. Anyone who gave weight to dating September 23rd as Bible prophecy should not be teaching the Bible, and you should not be listening to them.

They are not qualified to teach God’s word. They need to retire with Hal Lindsey.

23 Reasons Why September 23rd Date Setters Should Get Off the Field

When I say they should be fired. I don’t mean simply stop date-setting. They should be stopped from teaching anything from the Bible (Titus 1:11). A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Gal 5:9). Here’s 23 reasons why:

  1. Those who set today’s date are now proven to be either liars or Biblically incompetent.
  2. Every date that has been set to date has been wrong. A fable about a boy who cried wolf comes to mind.
  3. Setting dates benefits no one but the teacher in the form of book royalties and popularity.
  4. Getting the date wrong blasphemes the Lord. Blasphemy is attributing things to God that are not true, such as speaking “words from the Lord” that did not come to pass (the 3rd commandment).
  5. When the date fails it undermines the authority and credibility of scripture in the eyes of the simple (believers or not). They do not see the teacher as wrong, but the Bible as wrong. This is unacceptable.
  6. Setting a date perpetuates the spirit of fear among the weak. God has not given us the spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7).
  7. Date setting often accompanies people who are not of a sound mind to make judgments about what is more or less important in the scripture (2 Tim 1:7). Seeking new and secret things, the motes and trivia, rather than the most important messages of the gospel and God’s purpose for the ages.
  8. Date setting in this mystery dispensation always requires Bible misuse in the form of numerology, retranslating, spiritualizing, prooftexting, or applying scripture to us from different dispensations.
  9. Making prophetic predictions based on star alignments is called astrology. It is the stuff of horoscopes and fortune tellers not stewards of God’s word.
  10. Looking for God speaking to us through circumstances, patterns, or the weather is a form of divination forbidden in Israel’s law (Deu 18:10-12).
  11. Pointing out coincidences and speculating that it is God “telling us something” is superstition. The opposite of superstition is faith in the Bible.
  12. Making prophetic pronouncements and getting it wrong is the definition of a false prophet (Deu 18:20).
  13. God said no man would know the day and hour of his return according to prophecy (Matt 25:13), nor has God revealed a date for the rapture in scripture.
  14. The return of the Lord for the church is a mystery, not the subject of prophetic revelation (1 Cor 15:51).
  15. The book of Revelation is not describing events going on today during the ministry of the church.
  16. Our lives are changed by knowing Christ will return, not when he will return. If the date could be known, and you would change how you live as a result, you are living wrong already.
  17. Date setting hype distracts people from the true mission and purpose of the church (1 Tim 2:4; Eph 3:9).
  18. Hope in the Lord’s return, and setting your affection on things above does not include date setting and prophetic predictions about the sun, earth, and stars.
  19. Knowing the date of his return will not help you prepare for it. The only preparation you can do is to trust the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and grow in the knowledge of his purpose for the church (which does not include calculating dates).
  20. God will not judge the church on a failure to know the time of his return, but he will judge on our knowing and doing his will to see souls saved and saints edified (1 Cor 3:10-11).
  21. Teachers who sincerely think we are living in the time of prophetic fulfillment have missed the dispensation of the grace of God and could not teach the revelation of the mystery if you paid them to. (Don’t pay them.)
  22. There is a prophetic timeline in the Bible, but the body of Christ is not a part of it. Any teacher who thinks so is not qualified to teach the Bible rightly divided, and not worth your ears to hear.
  23. Date setting works against the grace of God which is offered to all men today for their salvation. The date points to either Christ’s return (when he closes this dispensation of grace) or his judgment on the world (which is wrath not grace). If the delay of the Lord is salvation, should we not be praying he delay for the sake of the salvation of the world?

What’s Worse

It is telling that as the day approaches, descriptions of the actual events that will happen on “the day” will always be diminished, clouded in doublespeak, spiritualized, or moved to a future date. It’s almost as if the teachers themselves are not certain of the very thing they teach once the rubber meets the road.

The worst part of it all is after the date printed in millions of books and seen by millions of viewers is marked off the calendar with no consequence, the audience gives the teacher a free pass, a right to be wrong, and the cycle of abusing the scripture repeats.

I don’t know what’s worse: a teacher who doesn’t believe what he is teaching, or those sitting under him that continue to listen to his claptrap.

It’s time to stop subsidizing date setters and those who encourage them. Their date setting betrays their supposed judgment and understanding of God’s word. It might help us remember the poor judgment of these so-called experts if they branded their false dates across their forehead, so when they are talking we remember why we should not listen.

At the very least they should be ashamed and educated about how to study (2 Tim 2:15). Teachers should be warning against the errors of end of the world date-setting not participating in it.

But they will never stop until you stop listening to them. Unsubscribe from their Youtube channels, turn their books into kitty litter, and avoid them (Rom 16:17; Titus 1:11).

Date Setting is Not What Dispensational Bible Belief Teaches

Date setting is not a ministry area for the dispensational Bible believing literalist. If someone is setting dates, they are not doing the Lord’s ministry today.

It doesn’t matter if they claim to teach the Bible rightly divided. When they started date-setting they submitted their resignation and have become more of a hurt than a help to the body of Christ.

It doesn’t matter if they found a secret Bible code that purportedly explains the events of 9/11, the past four presidents, and the mole on your back. Explaining past events is not prophecy, and it takes just as much skill as finding shapes in the clouds. It is certainly not making all men see the mystery of Christ.

I understand the wickedness and sin that is in the world; the desire to see things made right (judgment); and the sure hope that we, as Christians, have in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ (i.e the rapture), but date setting will not make it happen.

Next time someone sets a date for the end of the world, note that man, fire the teacher. Let it be God’s job. It is not yours to fill.

“It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” – Acts 1:7

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Published: September 23, 2017
Last Modified: October 12, 2017
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