At the bottom of the day’s mail was a challenge from a promoter of the pretribulational approach that reportedly could earn me an easy $10,000.

IT boldly proclaimed itself unique: pay the subscription price, the newsletter said, and I would have in my hands all I needed to keep up to date on the way current events, in rapid-fire order, were fulfilling biblical prophecy. As soon as the event occurred, I was assured, the newsletter would show its proper connection to Scripture.

If that were not fast enough for me, I could avail myself of an additional service (at no extra charge): a hot line. I could simply pick up my phone, dial a toll-free number, and learn of daily fulfillments. Imagine scanning the paper over breakfast, and then dialing the 800 number for instant biblical analysis of, say, Anwar Sadat’s assassination!

I was urged to see that only such a combination of hot line and newsletter could keep me on top of our world’s roller-coaster rush toward the pretribulational Rapture and second coming of Christ.

Hard on the heels of this offer came another in the following day’s mail. It offered cassettes in addition to a newsletter and hot line. Unfortunately, this system took a divergent view on how to interpret the events of the day, though it offered its analysis with a confidence at least equal to the previous day’s approach. At the bottom of that day’s mail was a challenge from a third organization: its pretribulational approach to prophecy could pick up an easy $10,000.

Another day brought the offer of a dynamic new Second Coming New Testament, complete with the latest prophetic charts. For simplicity, the flyer said, these were not buried in an appendix, but printed cheek by jowl with the Scripture text. Further, each ...

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