The False Prophets Who Cry “Wolf!”

Text:: Ezekiel 13:3-9


I.         It was 6pm on May 21 and thousands learned that they were duped into believing that Judgment Day had come.

            A.        So many were saying before the day

                        1.         Well, I’m certain it will happen, but even if it doesn’t, I rather be prepared just in case.

                        2.         Well, I don’t think he is right, but just in case, I’ll act as if it might happen.

            B.        Notice the fudging by both the believer and the unbeliever of this prediction

            C.        Like the little boy who cried “wolf” these false prophecies undermine true faith even when shown to be false

                        1.         Some see all of Christianity as being false when credence is given, even to the level of “well, it could be.”

                        2.         Others see it as Christians being gullible

                        3.         II Peter 3:1-4

            D.        It’s like the joke: “Economists have predicted 10 out of the last 4 recessions.” The point is that some have predicted more recessions than actually occurred.

                        1.         Sadly, the same has taken place with the return of Christ. There have been many more predictions than reality

                        2.         False prophets have predicted something like 250 of the last 0 returns.

II.        Samples of some recent false claims

            A.        Edgar Whisenant gave us “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988"

                        1.         When that didn’t work, he went back to the drawing board and claimed it would be September 1, 1989

            B.        In December, 1991, Fatima International, gave the dire prediction that the apocalypse would start in 1992.

            C.        Lee Jang Rim, predicted the end of the world as being October 28, 1992. It is interesting to note that he took 4.4 million dollars that he got from his followers and invested it in bonds which matured after his predicted end of the world. He was convicted of embezzling and served two years in jail.

            D.        Harold Camping wrote a book, “1994?” predicting the end would be in 1994. When that didn’t happen, he fixed is models and declared Judgment would be May 21, 2011.

            E.        Shelby Corbett published a book in 2004 called “November 2007 Rapture.” Despite her advertising campaign, it didn’t happen.

            F.        Ronald Weinland, published a book called “2008 – God’s Final Witness.” Finding himself wrong, he revised his time line to say tribulation started on September 20, 2009 and the end will be May 27, 2012. Ironically, in his book he stated, “If it doesn’t come to pass ... starting in April, 2008, then I’m nothing but a false prophet.”

            G.        And we have at least two other predictions for the world ending in 2012, one by Jack Van Impe and the other based on an ancient Mayan calendar finally reaching its end point in December.

            H.        We need to remember God’s words to Israel - Deuteronomy 18:20-22

III.       Christians look forward to the end

            A.        I Corinthians 16:22 - “O Lord come!”

            B.        II Peter 3:10-12 - An eager desire and hope for the speed of its coming

            C.        Revelation 22:20-21 - Either a desire for quick vengeance on those persecuting the church or a quick return of the Lord, or both.

IV.      But the time is unknown - Matthew 24:36

            A.        The Doorkeeper - Mark 13:33-37

                        1.         You don’t know when, so keep watching

            B.        The Flood - Matthew 24:37-39

                        1.         Some say, Noah knew

                        2.         But that isn’t the application drawn. The point is that the people didn’t pay attention and didn’t know until it happened.

                        3.         It is like the people, not like Noah, which the second coming will be like.

            C.        Life - Matthew 24:40-42

                        1.         Just as you don’t know when you will die, we don’t know when the Lord will return

            D.        The Thief - Matthew 24:43-44

                        1.         When you least expect it

            E.        The Lazy Servant - Matthew 24:45-51

                        1.         The wicked servant is caught unaware

                        2.         The good servants are not, but it isn’t because they had inside knowledge that the wicked did not. They simply remained ready at any moment.

            F.        The Ten Virgins - Matthew 25:1-13

                        1.         The point is that the wise virgins were prepared to wait however long was necessary

                        2.         The foolish tried to get ready at the last second and could not.

                        3.         And the point remains the same, remain on watch because you don’t know when it will be.

V.        Does the Lord have to tell?

            A.        Some quote Amos 3:7

            B.        This is in regards to the destruction of Judah, but let’s grant that it remains true.

            C.        God did tell us what to expect – He told us to expect the unexpected, to be always ready, to not think we can scramble at the last moment and make up for lost time.

            D.        Are you ready? Or, are you putting off being prepared, because you foolishly think there will be time later?