Jim Bramlett (17 Nov 2010)
"Visit by a young friend"

Dear friends:

Yesterday I was visited by a friend and former neighbor, a sharp and committed young man who had just graduated from a three-year course from a Bible college offered by a well-known ministry.  I commended him.  Just four years ago we were often playing basketball in his driveway with his dad and brother.  (I was a young 76 then!)

In our conversation, there was little or no mention of Jesus or the Bible.  There seemed to be no Holy Spirit fire in his belly.  He wants to go on the mission field, but first he is studying further at a secular university on "cross-cultural" subjects.  But by the time those secular professors get through with him, his faith may be a shipwreck.  Instead of dead classes from dead professors on dead subjects, he should be out there preaching the gospel and pulling people out of the soon-coming fire before it is too late.

Before the apostle Paul went to Rome, or Thomas went to India, or on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached to men "from every nation," they had no "cross-cultural" courses, but look what happened.  Under anointed preaching, the Holy Spirit takes care of the cross-cultural issues.

His Bible college curriculum was no doubt biblical, but probably mostly spiritual pabulum.  Knowing the ministry, it probably does not include anything about the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit, spiritual warfare, healing the sick, or anything else supernatural.

I said something about the prophetic times in which we live and the Lord's soon return.  He was clueless.  He said, "Uh, you mean eschatology?"  He said his Bible college "never talked about that."  All he knew was that the subject came under the "academic" classification of "eschatology."  Otherwise, to him it was a dead subject.

I was shocked.  Here we are at the end of the age, at the most exciting time in history, and his clueless Bible college doesn't even teach or acknowledge the signs of the times.  After many millennia, we literally stand at the edge of time, and many churches, seminaries and Bible schools are totally oblivious to it and rarely or never mention it.

God bless this great young man.  I believe his heart is right.  He has just had lack of teaching and leadership.  But that is the widespread condition of the church today.

Jesus said:

    “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:2-3).