ARE WE “DOOM AND GLOOM” BIBLE-PROPHECY BELIEVERS?
by Shawn Brasseaux
One person referred to Bible-prophecy believers as “doom and gloom” individuals. To him, Bible prophecy was nothing but “bad news.” Consequently, he had no interest whatsoever in considering it or believing it. Prophecy involves the end of the world, and people fear what they do not understand. This is especially true of Bible concepts, things dealing with the God of creation, which to lost minds is “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 2:14). The book of the Revelation is one of the most feared Bible books, and for good reason. For us who have eyes of faith, however, prophecy is very exciting. What is “doom and gloom” to lost people is actually God’s wise destruction of Satan’s lie program!
Many years ago, a religious classmate and I talked via instant messaging. He admitted to me that he was “scared to death” of the “end of the world.” A lost man—and to this day I believe he is still unsaved—whose words typified what the unsaved mind thinks of prophecy. While some find it fascinating, Bible prophecy is perhaps the hardest topic for Bible scoffers to grasp. They laugh to hide their embarrassment and their fear. The Bible’s cryptic prophecies are terrifying. (One church-going man told me that whoever wrote the book of the Revelation was using drugs when he penned it! Most preachers dare not teach Revelation, perhaps fearing being labeled a “drug-head” as well!!)
Bible prophecy is highly graphic, very gruesome and disturbing. There is great judgment, horrifying divine wrath against man’s sin—wars, famines, droughts, overwhelming deception due to Satan’s miracles, terrible diseases, unusual astronomical phenomena (sun, moon, and stars blotted out), great seismic (earthquake) and volcanic activity, floods, satanic armies slaughtering people, wild beasts attacking and devouring people, relatives betraying relatives, people being imprisoned and beheaded, mothers eating their babies (to survive famines), and so on. Yes, the end-times scenario will be a most fearful time. God’s undiluted wrath will fall on this deserving world!
Actually, the Lord Jesus said this about the concluding three-and-one-half years of that wrath: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). Mark 13:19 says, “For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.” Literally, it will be the worst period ever in human history. The Great Flood of Noah’s Day—as awful as it was—was nothing compared to what will come upon this Christ-rejecting world one day. History’s two great World Wars and the Holocaust combined do not compare to the violence and slaughter that will be present on Earth one day!
The Prophet Joel, writing about the last days of Israel’s program, penned in his second chapter: “ Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;  A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.” According to the succeeding verses, angelic armies will invade Earth and slaughter God’s enemies. Indeed, it will be a very fearful time for those who are not members of the Church the Body of Christ (who are in heaven at this point).
A few centuries after Joel, the Prophet Zephaniah wrote in the first chapter of his small Bible book: “ The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.  That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,  A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.  And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.”
THE GOOD NEWS OF PROPHECY
Certainly, the above prophetic passages are jaw dropping. However, as Christians, we should not be confused or fearful. Through the eyes of faith, we see glorious events to be fulfilled in God’s own timing:
- Satan and his minions will be forcefully removed from the second heaven (outer space) and then from Earth, and cast into the lake of fire, their eternal punishment (Revelation 12:7-12; Revelation 20:1-2,7-10; et cetera).
- The curse of sin will be lifted from all creation—no more sickness, no more death, and no more carnivores (Isaiah 33:24; Isaiah 35:1-10; Romans 8:18-25; Revelation 20:4; et cetera).
- Israel’s enemies will be defeated and destroyed, sent to their eternal doom (Exodus chapter 15; Ezekiel 35:1-15; Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39; Joel 3:1-16; Obadiah; Zechariah 14:1-15; Matthew 25:41-46; Revelation 19:11-21; et cetera).
- Israel will be forgiven, restored to JEHOVAH God, and brought into her land to live forever in peace and safety, with all her covenant promises given to her (Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 13:14-18; Genesis 15:18-21; various Psalms; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Jeremiah chapter 31; Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37; Hosea 6:1-3; Joel 3:17-21; Zechariah 8:20-23; Zechariah 13:1-9; Matthew 8:11; Matthew chapter 25; Luke 1:32-33; Luke 1:67-75; Acts 3:19-26; Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:1-39; et cetera).
- Jesus Christ will be exalted as Head of Heaven and Earth (Psalm 89; Psalm 148; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Ephesians 1:9-11; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:16-20; et cetera). As members of the Church the Body of Christ, we will play a role in glorifying Jesus Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20-23; Ephesians 2:6-7).
- Righteousness and prosperity will prevail throughout all governments, peoples, and lands (Isaiah chapter 2; Isaiah chapter 42; Psalm 45; Hebrews 1:8-9; et cetera).
- Sinners will be judged, and they will receive of God their just punishment—the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:8). No one has gotten away with anything!!!
- Both truth and error will be manifested for all to see. Satan will be manifested as deceptive and weak, and the God of the Bible will be manifested as the living and true God, the only wise God. In the end, truth wins, righteousness wins, and justice is served. Oh, praise our Lord Jesus Christ!
I have reproduced below two brief studies that I wrote about prophecy and the joy it gives the believer.
“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Revelation 1:3).
Although the Book of the Revelation is a source of confusion to many, it is a source of joy for the Bible believer!
Commonly known as “The Apocalypse” (from the Greek word apokalupsis translated “Revelation” in chapter 1, verse 1), the Book of Revelation is a very challenging book for so many. Actually, there are even preachers and denominations that simply ignore it because it intimidates them. They never teach the book because they claim that their members do not need to learn from it.
Speaking through the Apostle John, the Holy Spirit disagreed with those who view the Revelation as a burdensome mish-mash of verses. Verse 3 of the opening chapter testifies that the Revelation is a book that provides its reader with blessedness (happiness, joy). Its audience, the nation Israel (John is an apostle of Israel; Galatians 2:9), is to pay attention to its contents and obey them. John reminds them that their fulfillment is near; Israel’s program will culminate.
Although not written to or about us in this the Dispensation of Grace, Revelation should bring joy to our hearts. As people who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, and as Berean Bible students, we understand that Satan’s policy of evil has operated for the last 6,000 years. God’s original purpose and plan for creation has yet to be fulfilled. The Revelation is the “unveiling” or “appearance” of Jesus Christ: the last book of the Bible’s canon manifests the Lord Jesus Christ as the rightful King and righteous Judge; who physically returns to earth in great wrath, power, and glory; who utterly defeats prideful, rebellious creatures (Satan, his angelic rebels, and unbelieving mankind); and who literally assumes His throne in Jerusalem as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!
May we take the time to read the Book of the Revelation in our own time, bearing in mind that it is not to or about us, but still a most enjoyable book!
THE APOCALYPSE, GOD’S LIPS, AND OUR MOUTHS
“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).
What is the “Apocalypse” and how can it be honey from God’s lips to our mouths?
While people often use the term “Apocalypse” in religious senses, they usually have little to no grasp of what the term means in the Bible. The first word of the Revelation is apokalupsis—”revelation, unveiling, uncovering.” As the (Greek) Bible uses it, “Apocalypse” describes the unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS is hidden in the third heaven, having not been seen in 2,000 years, exiled since His beloved nation Israel rejected Him. The door to the third heaven is currently closed, but one day it will swing open, and out will ride the Lord Jesus Christ! He will be leading tens of thousands of angelic soldiers to purge Earth of all its unbelievers, utterly slaughtering those who have persecuted His Israel—stolen her land and killed her people. Just as Satan’s plan of evil crescendos, and it looks hopeless, the God of creation wins and then reigns over all creation!
No wonder John wrote to Israel in Revelation 1:3: “Blessed [happy] is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” The Book of the Revelation (“Apocalypse”) came from God’s lips; it should be as sweet honey to our mouths! Let us read it. It comforts us that evil will lose in the end, and our Saviour will be exalted in the end. Let us use our mouths to praise His holy name! 🙂
Whenever someone says that Bible prophecy is “doom and gloom,” one of two things is true of that individual: (1) He or she is a Christian unaware of what Bible prophecy really entails and consummates, or (2) He or she is a lost person aware that those events are God’s judgments one day coming against them! The “gloominess” is that the sinners’ “good time” has come to an end on Earth, and eternal “doom” is the only thing now awaiting them. They have had their fun in sin, living as they pleased, in complete disregard to Jesus Christ and His purpose and plan. Now, He has been exalted despite their opposition. He is no longer their potential Saviour, but now their righteous Judge!
A Christian brother once told me that he utterly feared the book of the Revelation. Doubtless a saved man, certain of his home in heaven because of the Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary on his behalf, yet, in light of Revelation 22:18-19, he dreaded studying that last Bible book. He feared “adding to it” or “taking away from it” would bring God’s chastisement on him. The poor brother had to learn that that warning is given to unbelievers in Israel’s program, not us believers (members of the Body of Christ) in this the Dispensation of Grace. If we are in Christ, we need not worry about “doom and gloom” prophecy! We should rather rejoice about “exciting” prophecy!