Sometimes our prophecies and our teachings are wrong. Hey, this happens! But usually it’s not because of any sinister reasons on our parts, it’s just because we didn’t have enough light at the time. When it happens, we need to humble ourselves and say, “Forgive me. I blew it.”
Now, let’s look at the parable of the fig tree prophecy.
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. (Matthew 24:32-35)
The prophecy concerning the above verses in Matthew 24 as proposed by Chuck Smith, Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe, Tim LaHaye and many others in their popular books stated that the fig tree represented Israel. And that when Israel became a nation in 1948, the countdown began for that generation. So that some of those living in that generation would see the rapture of the Church by Jesus within forty years after 1948. (All presumed a generation was forty years.)
Thus, when 1988 arrived and left, what did most of these men do? Almost everyone said that his mistake was not in the fig tree representing Israel, or the year 1948, but rather, they misinterpreted the length of a generation. It should have been seventy to eighty years and not forty years.
Okay, 2018 has passed. The next date in which this prophecy can be confirmed as a true prophecy will be 2028.
Hello! Don’t hold your breath. This prophecy is wrong!
I don’t have any idea what revelations and insights Smith, Lindsey, Van Impe, LaHaye and the others had in mind when they pronounced their “parable of the fig tree prophecies.” These are good men, but somehow they missed it.
Maybe each overlooked Luke 21:29-33, where Luke states: “Look at the fig trees, and all trees.”
Or maybe their inner alarms were ringing so loud about us living in the last days that they ignored other Bible passages. This happens, you know!
Yet, it doesn’t matter because when the rapture didn’t occur in 1988, each should have stepped forward and said, “Forgive me. I blew it!” But none did!
Of course, that’s easy for me, an obscure nobody on the backside of the desert, to say. I don’t have millions of copies of books sold and millions of believers looking up at me, thinking, “He’s a somebody.” I don’t have that type of pressure laying on my shoulders to make it really hard for me to humble myself.
Hal Lindsey was once asked, “But what if you’re wrong” by a professor. His answer was perfect:
Well, there’s just a split second’s difference between a hero and a bum. I didn’t ask to be a hero, but I guess I have become one in the Christian community. So I accept it. But if I’m wrong about this, I guess I’ll be a bum. (See here)
The parable of the fig tree prophecy is wrong. So, let’s move on, okay?
(Continued in Part 6…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)