The breathtaking progress of the natural sciences and new technology has created modern prophets. On the one hand, these prophets dream up new human paradises that include the hope for never-ending life. On the other hand, they predict apocalyptic disasters. Some promise to conquer the aging process or incurable diseases; others predict self-destruction of humanity by nuclear conflict or biological warfare.

Of course, they are not inspired by the Spirit of God but by the spirit of our time. Their hopes and fears are their utopias and their nightmares. They do not preach from public squares or ecclesiastical pulpits. Their stage is the media, from newspapers and magazines to television and the World Wide Web. Sometimes they reflect a pretentious sort of intellectual moneymaking entertainment or high-brow showbiz, which have overtaken the role of the former revival preachers, especially for upper-class society.

We Christians of the new millennium do not need such modern, sensationalistic prophecies and messages. We have no need of their predictions of abundant well-being or of universal mischief, because we live with the promises of God. In the first pages of the Bible, in fact, we possess prophecies that help us understand our exciting but overbearing world—and thus point implicitly to God's promises for his church.

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