Stevens, Jeremy. So, What Happens Next? Exploring Biblical Prophecies to Make Sense of Today’s Chaos. Sisters: Deep Rivers Books, 2012. 216 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.
Jeremy Stevens is an award-winning teacher, currently instructing at St. Mary’s County Public Schools and is an adjunct professor at the College of Southern Maryland. He resides in Lexington Park, MD, with his wife Ali. Jeremy holds a B.A., from Cedarville University in history and secondary education, and a M.A. in history from the University of Indianapolis.
Divided into three parts over 13 chapters, Jeremy begins with a brief history of the role of eschatology in the west. The second part looks at the prophecies of the future found in Scripture and how current events are fulfilling these prophecies. Part three seeks to answer the question how close is the end.
From the outset, I was concerned about this work. On the back cover, it reads, “So…What Happens Next? explores the biblical prophecies of the past to learn about the potential future. IN it, Jeremy Stevens combines expert opinion with the predictions of the Bible, using a system known as biblical strategic forecasting.”
So, his expert opinion is going to be able to accurately assess the current issues are fulfilling actual biblical prophecy? I doubt it. His three arguments are:
- geopolitical predictions mirror Biblical prophecies
- the United States is crucial in the world’s future
- the return of Jesus is closer than you realize
Here is the problem. I can read a Biblical prophecy and make it say anything I want it to if I am not applying sound, biblical hermeneutics (the science of interpreting Scripture). In other words, we ought to let the clearer passages interpret the tougher passages rather than reading a newspaper and then finding a prophecy that is being fulfilled.
Second, to claim that the United States is crucial to God’s plan on anything is both egotistical and a reading into the Word of God something that is just not there. The Bible makes it clear “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). In other words, the United States is not as important as any other country. If one country or nationality is to be the most important of all, it would, of biblical necessity be the Jews and this depends largely on your understanding of Romans 11.
Third, it is great preaching to say that Christ is closer than you think as far as His return. Regardless of how well it preaches, the only way we can truly say this is that 1) today is closer to the end than yesterday and 2) you could die today and therefore Christ will have “returned” for you.
I cannot recommend this book as it reeks of popular Christianity that is more popular than Christian. While I do think it is a good idea to study both history and prophecy, I think it is a poor venture to read the newspaper and then seek to interpret prophecy by the current events. Rather, study your Bible and trust in Christ and proclaim His gospel to a lost and hurting world. Do not waste your time with this work.