The Bible encourages us to study its prophetic passages—but the Bible also warns us not to become obsessed with predicting the dates and times. It’s not our job to know exactly when any given event will take place. Our job is to preach the Good News and to be spiritually and morally ready at all times for the Lord’s return.

There’s a strange paradox taking place in the church today, and it is focused on Bible prophecy. I call it the end-times paradox. The paradox is simply this: There has never been more interest in the end times than there is today—yet that interest is not being manifested in the lives of Christians.

Prophecy conferences with speakers and authors promoting their end-times merchandise easily draw tens of thousands of people—yet prayer meetings draw very few. Social media is abuzz with various theories about the rapture (the return of Christ for His church), the signs of the great tribulation, and the identity of the antichrist—yet fewer and fewer Christians are willing to witness for their faith.

Do you see the paradox? How can anyone sincerely await the return of the Lord, yet live as if the world will go on forever? How can we be watching for the second coming—yet we do so little to reach out to those who would be left behind? There’s nothing wrong with reading about the end times and learning about Bible prophecy, but shouldn’t we also spend time inviting the lost into the Lord’s Kingdom?

One day, the Lord will return to take us to heaven. This Truth ought to motivate every dimension of our lives. It ought to inspire us to serve more, to witness more, to give more, to pray more, and to live in the daily expectation that Christ could return at any moment.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for those times when I have been swept away by the mystery and intrigue of Bible prophecy at the expense of the right response of compassionate, joyful evangelism. As I study Your Word, may I be motivated to submit to Your authority in all aspects of my life to Your glory. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.  

“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).


*Excerpt adapted from Fearless Living in Troubled Times by Michael Youssef © 2017. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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