Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Author Jeff Kinley believes that there's a lot of confusion and apprehension when it comes to the study of the end times—and considering the strange pop culture buzz—complete with people making odd claims about when the apocalypse will definitively unfold—the cautiousness and fear is understandable.
But Kinley, who spoke with "The Billy Hallowell Podcast" days before Sept. 23 "prophecy" headlines began to rage, also offered up some cautions for those who might completely ignore eschatology (the study of the end times).
"I think most people sort of view Revelation and prophecy sort of in the 'Sci-Fi' category of theologies. It's kind of one of those things where you can talk about when you make a movie about it but hey, is it really real?" Kinley said. "Then the other thing ... is that there's a lot of confusion, there's a lot of white noise out there concerning prophecy and the end times."
That white noise, he said, often comes in the form of sensationalism and speculation. As a result, some people either avoid the topic entirely or assume that, for whatever reason, it's "above their pay grade."
But Kinley, who recently released the book, The End of America? Bible Prophecy and a Country in Crisis, said that prophetic texts are just as much a part of the Bible as any other Scripture, chapter or book that people hold dear.
"The way I see it is, Revelation is in the Bible, just as much as Psalms and Proverbs and Colossians. It was there for us to know and to read and understand," he said. "In fact, God promises a blessing to those who read the book of Revelation. I think it's one of those things that's sort of been hidden, but needs to be brought to light, especially in light of the times at which we live."
Kinley also tackled one of the questions that frequently comes up among those who study the Bible and, in particular, eschatology: How far are we from the biblical end of days? To illustrate his response, the author offered up a fascinating analogy.
"It's like when you're in the grocery store and you hear Christmas music playing and it's not even Thanksgiving yet, you know that something's going on. It may not be Christmas yet. It may be Christmas Eve and you don't know it, but when you hear Christmas music playing, you know that Christmas is coming," he said. "I think what we're hearing is the music of Bible prophecy playing across the world and there's so many specific things that are being put into place."
While these elements aren't quite there yet, Kinley said they are "being put into place."
Kinley also said that he's not sure how close we are to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, though he pointed back to his analogy to make a point worth considering: "When you hear the music playing, you're probably getting pretty close."
Despite his views on the dire state of American culture, Kinley said it's possible to turn the situation around.
"I'm not sure that America as the country will or will not be saved in the end, but I do know that American's can be saved," he said. "That's really our call is to rise up and to make this our finest hour as believers because we may well indeed be in those last hours."
Readers are Leaders! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, Ministry Today and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - Sign me up!
3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click here to draw closer to God!