My Response to J. Lee Grady's Article in Charisma Magazine (4/15/2015), "Don't Get Caught Up in Last Days Hysteria"
April 22, 2015
On April 15, 2015, an article appeared in Charisma magazine entitled, "Don't Get Caught Up in Last Days Hysteria." It was written by one of the magazine's long-time writers, J. Lee Grady, author, award winning journalist, and ordained minister. One of the things that caught my attention as I read the article was the use of the letter "D" in the four reasons he gives for not getting caught up in all the hype or why you should avoid an "unhealthy overemphasis on the end times." As some of you may be aware, in March, the Lord gave me a dream which involved the letter "D." In the dream He revealed to me many coming events and/or words which would be important to the Church, both in the United States and in the world "in these Last Days." So, the use of the letter "D" by Mr. Grady definitely caught my attention. However, when I read Mr. Grady's article, I was sickened by his total twisting of the Scriptures, and especially the effect his statements will have on the already slumbering saints in the Church in America.
Mr. Grady's reasons for not getting caught up in Last Days hysteria were as follows (and notice the "d" words): (1) It is distracting; (2) It is depressing; (3) It is deceptive; and (4) It is divisive. If you believe everything Mr. Grady has written in this article, then you will fall into the category of "D" is for Dumbbell, when you should be in the category of "D" is for Disciple. Why? Because a dumbbell takes everything someone says about what the Scriptures say without searching the Scriptures! Here are some of the false statements in the article - and these are the ones under just one section of this article, 'It's distracting':
(1) Nowhere does the Bible give us permission to speculate about when Jesus will return or when the world will end. Notice the careful choice of the verb "speculate". A few years ago, I was attending a church where the pastor said that we could not know the time of the tribulation. I wrote a letter and asked him how it was that we were not going to know the times, especially when the book of Revelation is filled with days of time, as in "time, times, and half a time," forty-two months, and two sets of 1,260 days. I never got a response to my letter.
I know that in the past people have been deceived about the end times and dates; however, that does not mean that there is no truth hidden in the Scriptures regarding the last days. That does not mean that you throw the baby out with the bath water, as the saying goes. Actually, if you read the books of First and Second Thessalonians, you will find that we are told that we are not to be left in the dark regarding the end times, the return of Jesus, the rapture of the Church, the Antichrist, and the Tribulation. I would prefer to believe the apostle Paul than Mr. Grady. Think about this. God seems to be the one obsessed with time. Jesus came right on time at His birth. He entered Jerusalem a few days before His death - right on time! He died on time, rose on time, and ascended on time - all times relative to the Jewish calendar. And, He is coming back on time!
(2) He gave us one major focus: to reach everybody with the Gospel. Really? I don't think so. Again, if you are in the two types of most American Christians, dumb and dumber, you would swallow this lie hook, line, and sinker. Paul the apostle said that he was taught by the resurrected and ascended Christ, so it stands to reason that Jesus did not stop talking at His ascension. Paul had not failed to declare the whole counsel of God to the Church, but apparently, J. Lee must think that the only counsel we last days Christians need is about witnessing. I wonder what J. Lee did with the Scripture in Acts of the Apostles which states that the Holy Spirit actually forbade Paul from going into a certain area to "witness"? J. Lee would probably be outside Noah's Ark telling all of them to get off the Ark and get out there and witness! He would probably be sending Lot, his wife and their daughters back into Sodom. Of course, Lot's wife probably would have been thrilled at this kind of preaching!
A few years ago, I spoke at a church where the pastor allowed me to give a test to the congregation. Most of the test had some pretty basic questions. For example, What are the six foundational doctrines of the church? Name the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. Name the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit, etc. After the meeting, one lady came up to me and summed up what I believe probably spoke for most of the congregation, even though, in fairness to this church and its pastor, she was a visitor that night. She said, "We have never been taught this in my church." To put it briefly, she has never been taught the basic foundational doctrines of Christ! What is your answer to that, J. Lee? Do you think J. Lee would allow me to come into his congregation and give the test? Probably not. They would be too busy evangelizing! So much for the whole counsel of God!
(3) Evangelism should be our obsession. If you agree with Mr. Grady, then please find out where he is preaching/teaching and go there. I think I have said enough about the "evangelism" subject.
(4) The healthiest churches I know are those that are winning the lost, discipling new converts and investing their people and money in reaching the nations. This may be partially true, but is it a good enough reason to have a lopsided church that emphasizes evangelism and reaching the nations without even having some understanding of Bible prophecy or what Jesus says about the End Times? If you do not realize that we are in the end times when we will be forced to make a choice, Christ or the mark of the beast, you are in serious trouble!
(5) Churches that become consumed with eschatology drift into weirdness, and they eventually lose sight of the Great Commission. What is the weirdness? Who are the ministries J. Lee is referring to? Who are the churches? OR, is J. Lee too much of a coward to say? Is he afraid of being challenged by some thinking Christians? Eschatology is probably one of the greatest witnessing tools Jesus has given to the Church for the Last Days! Oh, but I forgot. J. Lee wants me out there witnessing. Apparently, he thinks I should not get too caught up in Matthew 24, or too caught up in Jesus' warnings about the last days being like the days of Noah and Lot! Whether J. Lee knows this or not, Jesus Himself gave the eschatological warnings of the events surrounding the days of Noah and Lot, warnings that He said we should pay attention to. J. Lee, I think I will stick with Jesus. When the ark door shuts, I want to be on the inside, Bro!
(6) Jesus' last words to His followers were clear: "You shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:11). Those may be the last words of Jesus that J. Lee Grady has read, but for the informed disciple - not the dumbbell - those are NOT the last words of Jesus to His followers. If that was the case, then you might as well rip out all the writings of the apostle Paul from your Bible. But, J. Lee, before you take that drastic step, take a whole year off, and study nothing but the book of Romans to find out what Paul says that Jesus told him - AFTER Jesus' resurrection and ascension. And, by the way, all that Paul wrote about in Romans is the Good News, the Gospel we should be spreading!
Here is the final deceptive statement J. Lee makes in just this one section of his article:
(7) Yet when He ascended into Heaven, the angels rebuked the disciples because they were staring into the clouds. They said, "Why do you stand looking into the sky?" (Acts 1:11) In essence they were saying: "Don't sit around and wait for Jesus to return. Get busy doing what He told you to do." Again, if you are a dumbbell, you would be thinking, "You know, J. Lee is right! We should be out evangelizing instead of looking for the Lord's return. We should avoid an unhealthy overemphasis on the end times!" Unfortunately, for the uninformed (dumb and dumber) Christian, there would be an immediate "Amen!" to J. Lee's statement. But, just what did the angels say? And, on top of that, what did Jesus say before His own ascension and after He had given the command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel?
Beloved, I am not going to answer any of those questions. What I want you to do is to search the Scriptures to see if what J. Lee Brady has stated in his article is true. I personally do a lot of reading and studying in my Bible regarding the Last Days. I am not distracted; I am not depressed. I have been a Christian over 40 years. I have never been more excited about what the Lord is doing and where He is taking the Church in this hour!
While Mr. Grady says that the Last Days hysteria is deceptive, I would say, he is the one deceived. If you believe him, then you are the one who is going to have to give account for your actions on judgment day. Your choice is between what Mr. Grady is espousing and what Jesus has told us and warned us of. The end times prophecies were not given to us to completely ignore while we are out witnessing! According to apostles Peter and Paul, they are given for our instruction and warning. But, apparently, J. Lee wants to leave you in the dumb and dumber categories.
Is the discussion about the last days divisive? YES! And rightly so. Do you not think it was divisive in the days of Noah and Lot? Noah and his family were divided from the whole antediluvian world! Lot and his surviving family members were divided from everyone else in Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities who did not have a clue as to what was getting ready to happen.
Christian, for the sake of your family, friends, and enemies, read your Bible. Read what it has to say about the End Times. If you are accused of being hysterical, so what? Do you not think that Lot was a little hysterical when he went to warn his relatives about God's coming judgment? Do you not think that Noah and his sons were a little hysterical when trying to warn the people of coming judgment? What is happening in churches that do focus on the end times is not just people crying, "Wolf!" It's the real deal. God is trying to warn His Church, but if you listen to what J. Lee and his type have to say, you will be shut out of the ark or left in the cities set for destruction. The choice is yours. J. Lee or Jesus.