The Bible has much to say about Bible prophecy. Approximately 27 percent of the Bible contains prophetic material. John Ankerberg and Dillon Burroughs explain in detail what does the Bible say about the Middle East Meltdown in their book Middle Eastern Meltdown. This book is an exciting read discussing many topics ranging from Islam, Oil, and terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah. All of these topics are extremely important in understanding the day in which we live, and the importance of Biblical prophecy. We are living in incredible times and the rapture according to Ankerberg and Burroughs could come at any moment. If that is the case then we truly are living in the last days and we as evangelicals should know why we should study prophecy, what part does religion have in the last days, the Rapture, what happens after the Rapture, where is America in Bible prophecy, what is Israel’s future, and finally making your future certain. These are all things that these two great authors discuss and these topics will be broken down in depth.
The first thing that these two authors discuss is Why Study Biblical Prophecy? Within this chapter, seven reasons are given on why we as Christians should study Biblical Prophecy: 1. Prophecy is God speaking directly to humanity, 2. God Himself commands us to study prophecy, 3. Jesus personally encouraged the study of prophecy, 4.Prophecy is evidence that God exists, 5. Prophecy gives us hope for the future, 6. Prophecy encourages a lifestyle of integrity, and 7. Prophecy shapes our personal thinking and worldview. When it comes to the first reason it is amazing “that every twenty-fifth verse in the New Testament refers to the second coming. Prophecy is extremely important in the entire Bible and that is one reason why God wants us to pay attention to prophecy. When it comes to the second reason, the Bible says all scripture is inspired which means that it literally is God-breathed. Prophecy is inspired because all scripture is inspired so we must obey God and be familiar with what prophecy means. When it comes to the third reason Jesus personally encouraged the study of prophecy in Mark 13:23. Mark 13:23 says, So be on guard: I have told you everything ahead of time. So Christ tells them to be aware of the times and to be on guard. That is yet another reason why we should study prophecy. When it comes to the fourth reason, Ankerberg says that “all it takes is one false prophecy to discredit the claim that the Bible is God’s Word to us. Yet the fact no prophecy of Scripture (of the prophecies fulfilled so far) has been proven false serves as confirmation of God’s trustworthiness and existence (129).” Knowing that prophecy is reliable is evidence that God exists. When it comes to the fifth reason, “prophecies intent is to help individuals and communities of people to be encouraged regarding God’s future of the world.” We as Christians have a home to look forward to. We are pilgrims and sojourners passing through. When it comes to the sixth reason, prophecy encourages people to live holy and blameless before the Lord because the Lord could return at any time. Finally, prophecy encourages us in how we think about the world around and how we live for lives from day to day. It impacts our worldview.
The second thing Ankerberg and Burroughs discuss is Religion in the Last Days. These authors point out that there will be a great falling away in the last days and they provide ten points based on the Word of God on this issue. In the last days people will depart from the faith. This is evident in the society that we are currently living in. In the culture that we live people are denouncing the fundamental doctrines of the faith, and Burroughs and Ankenberg attest to that fact. Evil Spirits will mislead people. In this day and time the number of people who believe they had an encounter with spirits is mindboggling. There also those that do not even believe that Satan exists and some profess to be Christians. People will follow the teaching of demons. Not everything that is proclaimed is truth. There are many different religious movements and these movements are promoting demonic doctrine. People will not put up with those who teach sound doctrine. In fact many of the fundamental doctrines have been ridiculed and those that promote the essential teachings of Christianity are deemed narrow-minded. People will hear what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. Ankerberg points out that “while many churches continue to faithfully communicate the true message of Jesus, thousands of others have individually or corporately rejected the central beliefs of the Christian faith.” We are truly living in the last days.
People will base their religious beliefs on fiction. For instance the Da Vinci code attacks the Resurrection and many people have bought into these lies and are beginning to believe the fictitious accounts. There will be church leaders who deny Jesus Christ. In the last days false prophets will arise. For instance Ankerberg points out “that there was a pastor who after 25 years of ministry told his congregation that he no longer believed that faith in Jesus is the only way to Heaven (140).” The last days will be terrible times. Things in today’s culture are getting progressively worse. Ankerberg points that statistics show that violence, and sexual misconduct are becoming the norms for today’s society. This sounds familiar to the things described in 1 Timothy 3:1-4. People will abandon the true Christian faith. There are many people that believe that the God of Islam is the same God as the God in the Bible. Many people believe that doing good works will get you to Heaven. People are departing from Christianity. Finally, people will doubt the second coming. There are some that believe that Christ’ return is not imminent. Yet, the reason he does delay is for people’s benefit. He wants everyone to be saved and to go to Heaven.
The third thing that Burroughs and Ankerberg talk about is the Rapture. In this chapter these authors interview Dr. Walvoord on the Rapture. There is only rapture. The rapture “ predicts that Christ is going to cause dead Christians to be resurrected and Christians who are alive to be instantly changed to rise from the earth and meet the Lord in the air and enter Heaven (148).”
The fourth thing that Ankerberg and Burroughs discuss is what happens after the rapture. Ankerberg and Burroughs explain that there will be a Tribulation of seven years in which the four horsemen of the apocalypse will be unleashed on the earth. The purpose of the Tribulation is to get Israel to finally acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. Burroughs and Ankerberg talk about the Antichrist and explain that he will the greatest charismatic leader the world has ever seen. He will hate Israel and he will require the world to receive the mark of the beast.
The fifth thing that Ankerberg and Burroughs discuss is Where is America in Bible Prophecy? They point out four viewpoints about this topic. 1.America will remain strong, but unmentioned, 2. America will be weakened by attack from outside forces, 3. America will have lost her influence from decay, and 4. America is weakened due to the Rapture. These are all possible scenarios, but as Ankerberg and Burroughs point out “ America is not mentioned in prophecy, America does not hold a prominent role in the Tribulation period, and America will change dramatically upon the occurrence of the rapture.
The sixth thing that Ankerberg and Burroughs discuss is What is Israel’s Future? The author’s point out that Israel has been physically restored to their land and that happened in 1948. The authors go on to say that God has made divine promises to Israel that have yet to be fulfilled but will be in the future.
The final thing that Burroughs and Ankerberg discuss is Making Your Future Certain. They tell the reader that good works cannot get a person to Heaven. They tell us that God became sin for us so that we might have an opportunity to go to Heaven. They tell us that all we need to do is Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and we will be saved. They tell us that we do not have to have a lot of faith to be saved. All it takes is just a little bit of faith. They go on to tell us that once we call on the name of the Lord we can and will be saved.
We are children of God if we have made Him Lord of our life.Reading this book has really challenged me in my walk with Christ. It has challenged to dig deep into the Word of God and to live a holy life because I know that Jesus is returning again and it could be at any moment.