For decades Christians have been enamored with prophetic speculation.
The 1970s saw a rise in the genre with the publication of Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earththat sold tens of millions of copies. It was named the most popular non-fiction book of the 1970s.
The speculation died down a bit after 1988 when the “rapture” did not take place like Lindsey, Chuck Smith, and other prophecy writers predicted that 40 years from the return of the Jews to their homeland in 1948 it would take place. Then Tim LaHaye’s multi-volume Left Behind series hit, and prophetic speculation was on the rise again.
Prophetic speculation did not begin in the 1970s.
Every time there has been a major war, an earthquake, or a weather system, prophecy writers started speculating and their followers enthusiastically got caught up in the prophetic moment. There’s such a long history of this type of hysteria that it’s embarrassing to read modern-day prophecy writers claim that our generation is the “terminal generation,” as Lindsey called it, which was the previous generation.
Most Americans have no sense of history or geography.
Prophetic speculation creates a numbing effect as Christians view life through the lens of current events. The following appeared on The Bible and Prophecy website (9/12/2017):
BLOCKING/BANNING OF CHRISTIAN SITES: Rapture Ready site is being blocked by the Worldwide Web…. Also, to some who try to access the Rapture Ready Bulletin Board site (depending on device they use & what malware alert they have), a screen pops up telling them it’s a dangerous site. Soon any mention of Christianity will be banned from the … internet, another reason why it is so important to have biblical materials in a central location in your home. Those left behind after the rapture will need to realize what’s happened & what to do.