What in the World is Going to Happen?

Dr. Steve Viars November 28, 1989

Tonight-starting a new study-"What In The World Is Going To


Let me give you "the plan" for this series:

        1)  want to study what the Word of God says about

            end-time events

        2)  planning to go approx. 16 weeks (ending sometime

            in the spring)

        3) plan to get all the staff members involved

I.  Striking a Balance in Studying Prophecy

    -In this series-we want to avoid 2 extreemes:

    A)  prophecy is everything

        -some believers get so carried away with prophecy

         that thats the "only note on their piano"

        -in 1988, Edgar Whisenant sold over 4.3 million

         copies of a book predicting that the rapture would

         come in 1988

        -when that didn't happen, he printed a sequel in 1989

        -point-some folks make prophecy their singular

         pursuit - want to identify every event in the news

         as some fulfillment of prophecy, and on and on

        -problem is that often times individuals like that

         are viewed, (maybe we should say,set themselves up

         to be) the real spiritual ones

        -Pastor taught us something in the Hebrews study that

         helps balance that out - INPUT - Heb. 6:1-2 -

         passage identifies eschatology as some of the basics

         of the Christian life, its not the real "meat, only

         for those who are super-spiritual"

        -Point-those who view prophecy as being the most

         important thing in the Bible to the exclusion of

         other things are out of balance

    B)  Prophecy is nothing - On the other hand, some hold

        the position that prophecy isn't worth studying

          INPUT - some reasons people who hold this position

                  might give?

                  a. too hard to understand

                  b. irrelevant (no application to today)

        What Scripture would we have to remember to counter

        that?  - II Tim. 3:16 - All Scripture is given...

****So we want to maintain a balance.  We want to study what

    the Scripture says about this because its part of the

    Bible, but we aren't going to make this the only part of

    our Bible study die

    There is another way to look at the balance and that is:

    C)  "Hyper-applicational Approach"

        - this is the mystical view of prophecy which likes

          to chill and thrill

        - its an emotional approach instead of a biblical

          exegetical approach

        - people who study prophecy this way want to twist

          every detail of prophecy to fit some current

          situation today.

        - these are the kind of folks who said the UNIVAC

          computer was one of the beasts in Revelation

        - or the scorpians look like F2 fighters

        - we're talking about making the Bible say something

          that it never said

        - that kind of stuff can really get an audience

          going, but I'm sure you recognize that thats an

          improper use of the Scriptures

        On the other hand:

        D.  "Non-applicational" approach

            - In this approach, prophecy has no application

              to contemorary life

            - its a dry, intellectual study that isn't

              geared to changing people

            - you'll see below that we certainly intend to

              make this study practical

**** So we also want have a balance in the way we make

applications.  We're not going to identify the antiChrist and

the ten toes of Daniels Statue.  But we are going to talk

about present day applications.

II.  Goals for This Study


    A.  Learn basic prophetic timetable

        - If I asked you to list 8-10 end time events in

          chronological order, would you be able to do it?

        - if I asked tonight, what is the next scheduled

          event on the prophetic timetable?, would you be

          able to answer?

        - If I asked, What is the difference between the

          GWT judgement and the Bema seat judgement?...

        - Now I realize that some folks are here who could

          answer all those questions, others are here who

          would say, "I don't have the foggiest idea of what

          you are talking about"

        - one of our goals is that everyone in the study will

          learn at least a basic outline of 8-10 end time


        - at this point, I probably need to say a word about

          rote memory.  You may have reacted to this point by

          saying, "well, thats just rote memory".  While I

          realize that rote memory:

               1) is not the only kind of learning and

               2) it is not always the best kind of learning,

               3) sometimes it is a key first step to other

                  kinds of learning.

        - recently heard a professor tell his class, anything

          you remember from this class is a fringe benefit,

          the real value is in the process of learning

        - thats overstated - over the years I've had

          individuals encourage (make) me memorize:

            1) certain Bible verses

            2) where things are found in the Scripture

            3) key ideas and concepts

        - I have found that that material has stuck with me

          over the years

        - so if we're going to spend 12-16 weeks on this

          topic, we ought to come away with a basic timetable

          of endtime events

    Let me give you a basic outline of some of the end-time

    events (some will know all of these, some will need to

    begin to work on them - we'll talk about them

    specifically as the weeks go by, define them, put

    Scripture with them--my intent here is just to give you

    the big picture)


                   10 Great End Time Events


    1.  Rapture

    2.  Tribulation

    3.  Bema Seat Judgement

    4.  Marriage Supper of The Lamb

    5.  The Revelation of Christ

    6.  Battle of Armegeddon

    7.  Millennial Kingdom

    8.  Battle of Gog and Magog

    9.  Great White Throne Judgement

    10. Eternal State


    B.  Gain A Greater Appreciation of Jesus Christ and a

        more balanced view of who He is

        - INPUT - who can tell me the name of the book of

          Revelation? - (not "The Revelation of St. John the

          Divine") - The Revelation of Jesus Christ

            - while learning a basic timetable and some the

              end-time facts are important, thats just the

              means directed at the end of learning more

              about the Lord Jesus Christ

            - Paul said "That I might know Him, and the power

              of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His

              sufferings, being made conformable unto His

              death" (Phil. 3:10"

            - How can a person get to know more about the

              Lord Jesus Christ?

                 1) study all the things He did before coming

                    to earth - Bible has a lot to say about


                 2) study what Christ did on the earth in the


                 3) study what Christ is doing now one additional way that is sometimes neglected:

                 4) study what Christ will do in the future.

                    Much can be learned about the Lord Jesus

                    Christ through studying prophecy.  One of

                    the greatest values is that the prophetic

                    literature presents a very balanced view

                    of who Christ is.  Sometimes individuals

                    want to be topical Bible

                    students...prophetic literature in

                    general and the book of Revelation in

                    particular won't allow that.



                    Its true that Revelation pictures Christ

                    as the Lamb, the only One who is worthy

                    to open the seals.  But that same book

                    pictures Christ as the judge, in one

                    place with a sword coming out of his




            - Some folks only want to talk about the God of

              love and mercy. In this study we will see mercy

              for people standing in the place of mercy, but

              we'll see judgement for individuals standing in

              the place of judgement

            - I'm convinced that one of the great needs for

              churches today is a balanced view of God.  Its

              especially essential for our young people, but

              its important for all of us.


            - another side of this is that our interest in

              and dilligence towards this series will be a

              demonstration of our love for Christ.

            - when you love somebody, you want to know what

              they are doing and what their plans are

            - Kris and I - long distance dating, spent hours

              on the phone, doing what? - talking about what

              each other were doing.  When you love somebody,

              you want to know about that.

            - our problem is that we're not that concerned

              about prophecy, what Christ is doing and what

              He will be doing because we are pretty happy

              with our things

            - Paul said there is a special crown for those

              who love Jesus' appearing--I'm not sure how

              many of us are going to get it.

            - its pretty easy to get caught up with the

              world's pleasure and the world's treasure and

              the world's applause , and the world's pride

            - to the point that this world becomes pretty


            - thats why a guy like Jerry Walden could make

              the statement he did - remember - he said a

              day doesn't go by where I don't pray - Lord,

              couldn't you come today?

            - thats not some cop out on life, thats a

              biblical view that this world is not that

              great, and that we need to be as busy as we can

              about preparing ourselves for his coming and

              rescuing others.


            Point-this study will give us the opportunity to

            learn more about the Lord Jesus Christ-and I'm

            sure you believe that is a worthy goal


        C.  Gain a greater understanding and appreciation for

            prophetic literature

                - if we are to grow in our understanding and

                  use of the scriptures, somewhere along the

                  line we must learn some things about

                  prophetic literature

                - 1/5 of the O.T. is classified as prophecy

                - So a significant portion of our Bibles are


                - there are 2 kinds of prophecy

                     1) foreteling - predictive

                     2) forthtelling - teaching (didactic)

                - Point I want to make here is that some

                  believers lack confindence when they are

                  reading or studying these portions of their

                  Bibles, and therefore miss the instruction

                  and blessing that these portions were

                  intended to give

                - We hope that when we're done with this

                  series, you'll think of the subject of

                  prophecy as one that evokes confidence and


        Can I give you 1 reason why that ought to happen?

                  Because so much of the prophecy in the

                  Bible has already come true!

                     1)  Jesus would be born of a virgin

                         (Isa. 7:14) - (over 600 years before


                     2)  born at Bethlehem - Micah 5:2

                     3)  led to slaughter of children by

                         Herod (Jer. 31:15)

                     4)  called out of Egypt - Hos. 11:1

                     5)  made a triumphal entry into

                         Jerusalem - Zech. 9:9

                     6)  betrayed by a friend - Ps. 41:9

                     7)  for thorty pieces of silver - Zech.


                     8)  was spit upon and scourged - Isa.


                     9)  no bone was broken - Psalm 34:20

                     10) given gall and vinegar to drink -

                         Ps. 69:21

                     11) garments parted by lots (Psalm


                     12) died in the place of sinful man -

                         Ps. 53:4-6

          Point - prophetic literature ought not to be

                  something we're afraid of--instead it ought

                  to produce confidence and courage



        Think of it, predictions that were made hundreds and

        in some cases thousands of years before, being

        fulfilled to the Word


        - that would be like you finding a document that had

          come over with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower

        - and it talked about some of the people that would

          born in this new land.  And it had your name on it,

          your date of birth, described your house, your

          parents, told about your bratty little brother...

        - you say - that would be amazing - but let me ask

          you this - what if there was more that hadn't

          happened yet?

             - what if it went on to say, If so and so is at

               the Burger King parking lot at 9:00 p.m. on

               November 29th, something wonderful will happen

                 - would you go?  (Of course you would,

                   because the document had been right in the


        - Of course you see the point--we can come to this

          study with great confidence, knowing that many

          Bible prophecies have already come to pass with

          amazing accuracy which could only be true if the

          God of heaven had inspired the prophecies and were

          in control of the outcome


    D.  Learn present Biblical applications of end time


        - there are dozens and dozens of practical

          applications of end-time events.  As we study,

          we'll be looking for ways to change and grow just

          like we do in all our studies.

        - INPUT - if we just gain knowledge without taking

          this step, what will be the result?  (Pride -

          because knowledge puffs up)

        - I'm sure nobody would think this, but it would

          certainly be wrong to approach a study like this

          with the thought, "O good, now I don't need to

          change for a while"


    E.  Exercise hermenuetical muscles

        - hermeneutics is simply the science and art of Bible


        - every believer has the right and responsibility to

          study and understand the Scriptures

        - from time to time we'll talk about some principles

          of hermeneutics

        - we'll learn that our hermeneutics don't change when

          we study a different type of literature like

          prophecy.  We'll also see that what separates us

          from other groups often is hermeneutics.

        - we'll also have the opportunity to look at some

          difficult passages, and exercise those

          hermeneutical muscles


    F.  Provide comfort in sorrow

        - prophecy is always given for a reason, or in a

          definite context

        - Jesus didn't just walk along the road and say to

          the disciples, I think I'll give you a little

          prophecy today


        - there was always a purpose, it was given to meet a


        - One of those purposes is to provide comfort in


        - one of the best passages we have on the rapture of

          the church is I Thess. 4 -, that passage starts

          with "But I would not have to to be ignorant

          brethren, concerning them who are asleep, that ye

          sorrow not even as others who have no hope"

        - many here tonight have believing loved ones who

          have passed away

        - some of us may have to face that situation soon

        - understanding end time events can be a great

          blessing and comfort in times of sorrow


    G.  Provide conviction for service

        - In some ways, this series fits in nicely with the

          end of stewardship month

        - II Cor.  5:9- "We have as our ambition, whether at

          home or

           absent, to be pleasing to Him".

        - Why? - because of the next verse - For we must all

          appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that

          everyone may receive the things done in his body,

          whether it be good or bad

        the more we learn about what will will happen in the

        future, the more we will be motivated to use our time

        wisely now

        - going right along with that one:


    H.  Be better motivated and prepared for evangelism

        - The study of prophecy is not all good news

        - learning about and thinking about the ultimate end

          of individuals who don't trust Christ as personal

          Savior is not pleasant.

        - However, even in that there is good news because

          those individuals can be saved if we will

          faithfully share the gospel.  I'm sure all of us

          would say that we can do a better job in that area

          and I trust that will be one of the results of our


Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video