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 five 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