Dispensationalists Forced to Adjust Their End-Times Charts


When I heard about Great Britain leaving the European Union I could not help but think about the years I spent as part of the dispensationalist wing of American evangelicalism.

Some of you may be unfamiliar with this wing of evangelicalism.  What is dispensationalism? Think Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind novels or Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth.  Dispensationalists take the prophetic passages of the Old Testament and New Testament and interpret them using charts and timelines in order to predict the exact order of end-of-the-world events.

For those with a deeper knowledge of 20th-century evangelical history, think C.I. Scofield, Charles Ryrie, John Walvoord, John Hagee, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Moody Bible Institute.

Want to learn more? Check out historian Brenden Pietsch’s book Dispensational Modernism.  (And while you’re at it check out his acknowledgments section.  Trust me, it’s good).

Most dispensationalists believe that the so-called “Antichrist” will lead a one-world government that he will use to persecute those Christians who have not already left the earth via the “rapture.” After seven years of the Antichrist’s reign, Jesus Christ will return to Jerusalem, gather all believers together, and engage the Antichrist in the so-called “Battle of Armageddon.”  The believers, of course, will win this battle and then Jesus will establish a 1000-year reign on the earth know as the millennium.

Dispensationalists thus love to monitor current events looking for prophetic signs.  In the last twenty or thirty years many of them have pointed to the European Union as the possible seed of the one-world government.  Now, with Great Britain out, the European Union is in jeopardy.  It may be time for dispensationalists to revise to the charts.

With all this mind, I got a kick out of the recent post at The Babylon Bee, the satiric evangelical website modeled after The Onion.  Here is a taste of the Bee’s post: “Dispensationalists Frantically End-Times Charts to Include Brexit Vote.”

“We’re thinking of calling this one ‘The Brexit Dispensation,’” Tim LaHaye told reporters as he hastily altered his precise wall charts to account for the new information. “We had previously thought that Saddam Hussein would be the one to usher in the one-world government, but that’s looking less likely now, so we’re going to make some official adjustments.” LaHaye added that the European Union might not be ushering in an age of one-world government after all, unfortunately.

Meanwhile in California, prophecy expert Dr. David Jeremiah of Shadow Mountain Community Church reportedly made an emergency early-morning phone call to Texas pastor John Hagee. “John, have you seen the news? This isn’t in any of the tables!” he is said to have screamed into the phone. After calming Jeremiah down, Hagee reportedly consulted a series of lunar charts taped across his bedroom walls and surmised that the Brexit decision had actually been accurately predicted by Halley’s Comet in 1986, before proceeding to scribble some corrections on his favorite eschatological timeline in red marker.

“We totally missed it!” Hagee told reporters as he explained his new chart at a Friday afternoon press conference. “It just goes to show when you’re not extremely careful about building your theology around current events and astrological signs, even the experts can make a mistake.”

Read the entire post here.

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