I find myself often thinking about responsibility. It is sobering for us to realize that each generation of believers has had its own responsibility to be faithful to the Bible and its teachings. That responsibility includes the appeal of our Lord Jesus to watch and pray for the day of His return.
 We must admit that many believers throughout the long centuries did become weary and discouraged. They concluded that the Lord was indeed delaying His return. We have had a demonstration of this disinterest in our own Christian circles. There has been a definite decline in prophetic preaching and teaching. I am not alone in relating this decline to the excesses of preachers and teachers who were carried along by the moving tides of history during the first and second World Wars. These teachers produced many exciting sermons and lectures, complete with colorful charts and books. Week after week they fed congregations with minute details of future events. They were dogmatic in insisting that the old Roman Empire was being restored before their eyes. Many of them regarded Mussolini, who had come to complete power in Italy, as the soon-to-be-revealed antichrist described in the Bible.
 They built up all of this to an ultimate climax that did not happen according to their predictions. They presumed to know more about the future than Daniel knew. They considered themselves wiser than Isaiah. They held themselves capable of seeing farther into the future than John the revelator. In a sense, many Christian were “burned” by the extreme and forced interpretations of these would-be prophets. Just as a burned child fears the fire, so Christians of that era came to fear any further exposure to prophetic ideas or study.

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