A Preponderance of Evidence
Vol: 27 Issue: 17 Monday, October 17, 2016
One of the most difficult things about preparing a daily briefing like the Omega Letter is trying not to sound like a broken record. The Bible’s scenario on this side of the Tribulation only goes so far.
And there are so many examples of Bible prophecy coming to pass that the sheer volume of evidence creates a brand-new problem.
When I was first called to the ministry of proclaiming the soon coming of the Lord, it was as a writer for the hit television program, “This Week in Bible Prophecy”, a weekly news and information program that compared the headlines of the day with the prophecies for the last days.
(For the record, This Week in Bible Prophecy was a ‘hit’ before I got there and it remained a top-rated program after I left — lest any man (especially me) should boast.)
That said, “This Week in Bible Prophecy” was pretty much a gamble on faith; faith that we were far enough along the Bible prophecy timeline that there would be enough examples to fill a thirty-minute time spot one day a week.
When I worked with the ministry, it took a whole week (and four writers) to compile enough material to fill the timeslot.
But between us (Peter, Patti and Paul Lalonde) and with the benefit of a lot of research that Patti developed over the course of editing their monthly newsletter (called, not coincidentally, The Omega Letter – great name) we were always somehow able to make our deadline.
Almost twenty years later, the problem isn’t finding enough material. The problem is that there is so much evidence it sometimes all starts to sound the same. Every day something in the news provides a better illustration of a point made in an earlier brief.
When it comes to making the case for unfolding Bible prophecy, the standard of proof is different than that necessary for doctrinal issues of eternal importance like salvation. It’s like the different standards of proof required for a criminal court vs. a civil court.
In a criminal court, one is placed in jeopardy of life and limb; the standard of proof demands evidence ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ The same applies to one’s eternal destiny. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith and saving faith is, by definition, beyond a reasonable doubt.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
But when it comes to the question of whether or not we are living in the last days as foretold by the Scriptures, there is more room for reasonable doubt. The interpretation of Bible prophecy does not rise to the standard of Bible doctrine.
Nobody’s eternal security is at risk – nobody is saved by believing we are living in the last days.
While the standard necessary for salvation is faith beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard of proof when it comes to whether or not something is unfolding Bible prophecy is similar to the standard required by a civil court — a preponderance of evidence.
One can be pre-Trib, pre-Wrath, mid-Trib, post-Trib, no Trib, or pan Trib (“it will all pan out in the end” – meaning no position at all) and still be saved by grace through faith in the all-sufficiency of the Cross as full propitiation (Gk hiasmos – atonement) for sin.
“And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world. “(1st John 2:2)
The terms of salvation are not something that must be gleaned by interpreting Scripture – the Bible lays them out in clear, unmistakable detail.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”(Romans 10:10)
But when it comes to Bible prophecy, the Apostle Peter warns us as follows:
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (2nd Peter 1:20)
The Bible is infallible. Men are not.
When the interpretation of unfolding Bible prophecy is elevated to the standard of doctrine, one has stepped into a dangerous place. The enemy is a dangerous adversary and he knows what buttons to push.
When one confuses interpretation with bedrock doctrine, the enemy has all the ammunition necessary to shatter one’s faith and, consequently, one’s effectiveness as a witness to the coming of the Lord.
The Rapture itself is not interpretative, it is doctrinal. It is the timing of the Rapture that is interpretative, not the event itself.
The Bible says that when He comes at His triumphal Second Coming, it is to judge the world for sin. The Church, however, is instructed to look for His return ‘unto salvation’.
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28)
I am convinced that we are living in the last days based on the preponderance of evidence that lines up with the signs of the times as outlined in the Scriptures. But since it is interpretative, rather than doctrinal, the only way to fact-check the interpretation is by continually sifting for evidence to the contrary.
I don’t want to be a false teacher. I have an obligation before the Lord to be as certain as is possible that I am not leading anybody down a primrose path. That necessarily requires going over some of the same old ground because that is where the evidence is.
There are many key indicators that we are living in the last days. The existence of a global pariah state called “Israel.” The moral collapse of Western Christendom. The rise of a global economy, a global government and a global religion.
Earthquakes, famines, wars, pestilences, strange signs in the sun moon and stars, the global warming debate, the decline of Church influence in world affairs; the absence of any entity resembling America during the Tribulation.
The unification of Europe, Russia, Iran, the developing anti-Israel alliances, the ascendant Kings of the East, the disgruntled Kings of the South, the total indifference to the world-wide media’s pro-Marxist propaganda machine, the delusional status of significant portions of the population – all these are key indicators of the approach of what Jeremiah called, “The time of Jacob’s Trouble” and Christians call the Tribulation.
The preponderance of evidence pointing to this being the time of the end is overwhelming, and to my mind, beyond a reasonable doubt. The objective of the OL’s ministry is two-fold.
First and foremost, to obey the Great Commission to spread the Gospel into all the world.
To share the Good News of the hope of “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”
To remind you that you “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
To encourage and exhort you to “greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” (1st Peter 1:4-6)
And to show, by a preponderance of evidence, that the time is short, our mission remains unfulfilled and our obligation undiminished. I believe with all my soul that we are living in the last days.
I believe, from the preponderance of evidence, both interpretative and objective, that the world stands on the brink of the Tribulation Period.
The preponderance of evidence supports the view that the only thing restraining unrestricted evil in the world today is the presence of the Church. The Apostle Paul’s statement that the antichrist won’t be revealed until after the Restrainer is ‘taken out of the way’ is powerful evidence supporting a pre-Trib Rapture.
But doctrine is infallible – interpretation is not. The purpose for Bible prophecy in the last days is to provide a preponderance of evidence that the Lord is preparing for His return.
That is not to say I have any doubt whatever about what I believe to be the truth or I would keep my view to myself until I was sure.
But my being certain is not the same as “Thus sayeth the Lord.” On issues not touching salvation, reasonable people can agree to disagree agreeably.
The mission isn’t to proclaim when He is coming. It is to proclaim that He is coming. And He is coming soon.
Even if it does sometimes sound like a broken record.
Featured Commentary: The Lesser of Two Evils ~Pete Garcia