Q. We go to a Bible believing church. But the pastors will not preach or have a Bible study on prophecy. They say it is too controversial. We don’t understand, since it’s part of the Bible. Is this part of the ‘falling away’ that we hear about? We are very interested in prophecy and feel like we are missing out on 1/3 of the Bible because of this stance.
A. Many otherwise competent pastors will not teach on prophecy, even though as you say it’s a big part of the Bible.
For some it’s because the seminary they attended didn’t spend very much time on prophecy, so they haven’t learned much about it.
Others were taught to avoid the subject because by teaching it they risk causing division in their congregations. Either way they often don’t feel comfortable teaching prophecy.
Therefore, unless pastors have a special interest in prophecy and want to learn what the Bible says about it through personal study, they’re often less knowledgeable about the subject than some members of their congregation.
It’s a shame really, because prophecy can be one of the most exciting and energizing topics in the entire Bible. Prophecy that was fulfilled in the past is the way God proves Himself to us (Isaiah 46:8-10) giving substance to our faith.
And prophecy that awaits fulfillment in the future gives us a sense of stability in an otherwise unstable world. Since God did everything He said He would do in the past, it stands to reason He will also do everything He said He will do in the future.
The great falling away, or apostasy, is the departure of “Christians in name only” from the evangelical church into groups that call themselves churches, but don’t adhere to the basics of orthodox Christianity. In Paul’s words they have a form of Godliness but deny its power (2 Tim. 3:5). You won’t hear any messages on prophecy in those places either.