Due to the recent controversy involving Oral Roberts University and the accusations against Richard Roberts as President of ORU, we need to make some clarifications. We do not believe this crisis has any bearing on the past ministry of Oral Roberts senior--who is the father of Richard Roberts. We do not necessarily agree with all the church doctrine that Oral Roberts, his family or the faculty of ORU teaches. On the Rock of Offence website, we include the recent vision of Oral Roberts senior concerning the return of Christ because we find no reason to doubt its authenticity.
Rock of Offence will continue to post articles that affect the overall Body of Christ even if we disagree with the author on other subjects. We need to recognize that our enemy, Satan, knows his time is short and is doing everything possible to discredit and stop Christ's Gospel. The recent controversy involving financial abuses in 3 mega-church ministries (whether the abuse is true or not) is yet another public scandal that moves our enemy closer to his goal of discrediting the message of the New Testament Church. We need to recognize the true purpose for these events and not allow our confidence in Christ to be destroyed. Our faith is never to be in ORU, Oral Roberts or any church organization or personal ministry. One clear teaching of Rock of Offence since its conception is that our faith must only be in Jesus Christ. "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand--all other ground is sinking sand".
Jesus Sends A Wakeup Call To The Church
I don't like to begin any discussion on a negative note. Yet, on this subject my comments will seem abrasive to some visitors. Anytime a warning is given to "wake up", it's an unpleasant experience. It suggests that something needs to change. This is especially true if the warning comes from our Lord Jesus Christ. As children, most of us can remember our parents opening our bedroom door in the morning shouting, "wake up, it's time to go to school". To be rudely "shaken" from a deep sleep didn't exactly give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Now that I'm nearing my senior years, I still don't appreciate someone shouting those words at me. My unspoken response goes like this: I am asleep -- and I want to stay asleep, so leave me alone. Many of you reading this today know what I mean -- because you respond in exactly the same way.
My wife and I talked about this topic today at lunch. Thirty years ago as young Christians we remember that whenever the Gospel was preached, it commonly carried the message of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I shared with my wife my intentions to post Oral Robert's vision from the fall of 2004 on the Rock of Offence website. I've hesitated for more than 3 years. However, I started to notice that Christian churches almost never teach their congregations about the nearness of Christ's return even though it's one of the central themes throughout the New Testament. From my own experience it always concerned me to see Christian people "switch off" (some even "snicker" and make jokes--the Bible calls this "scoffing") when you bring up the subject. Saint Peter talks about this practice when he said:
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2 Pet 3:3-4)
When I see "Christian people" react in this way I know that a serious problem exists with what they believe about Jesus, even though these same people love to worship Jesus, attend church services and read the Bible. I've also discovered that most preachers today won't teach about the return of Christ because it offends the more "intellectual" Christians in their congregations who honestly believe that the whole subject is irrational and is nothing more than fanaticism.
Generally, I don't follow the ministry of Oral Roberts. I am aware of his work and what he believes. I came in contact with his vision through the efforts of a friend who wanted me to hear his testimony. Oral's ministry gave birth to what's known today as Oral Roberts University (ORU). Whether you agree with his theology or not, graduates from this Bible-based college continue to have a major impact on the world for Jesus Christ. Oral is not someone who operates on the religious "fringe". When I first listened to his vision, I was impressed. When it was first released some ministries made public statements that from now on they would give the message of Christ's soon return "first priority". Yet, I noticed that within 4 months everyone went back to "business as usual". Why? Because the message deeply offends some people and causes division. This outcome is not consistent with our desire to advance "church growth" programs. When attendance and finances fall off, we change our message to please our audience. I'm sorry, but that's not a characteristic of the church that Jesus is building.
Wrong Theology About The End-Times Creates Apathy
There are many popular (and some fear-invoking) end-time "theories" and doctrines floating around the church. Time will not allow me to cover the 7 most popular beliefs. Nearly all result from the common practice of "spiritualizing" Scripture. This methodology fails to observe some basic rules of Bible interpretation and context. It allows anyone to read their own "spiritual" interpretation into the Bible to make it appear to support a particular doctrine or belief. Most of the popular end-time "theologies" are specifically designed to either minimize, redefine or discredit the New Testament warning about the return of Christ. I briefly discuss this problem in other articles on this website -- and it must be repeated here. One of the most popular beliefs (generally influenced by something known as "Dominion" or "Kingdom Now" theology) is the idea that there must be a huge world-wide revival or "harvest" of souls before the "rapture" can take place.
Those who hold to this belief suggest that we don't need to be concerned about the return of Christ until this "big" revival occurs. Many just show their support for this doctrine through silence and by refusing to talk about Christ's return, because it's not important to them at this point. I view this mindset as being somewhat "arrogant" and prideful. Why do I say that? Because it insists that the present-day New Testament Church is the only group that can bring about this gigantic "harvest" of souls. It's believed that if the Church leaves at the rapture, then nobody will remain on earth to launch this revival. Therefore, the revival must happen before the rapture. The New Testament clearly teaches that this popular belief is not based in Scriptural truth. Yet, the message is very popular because it removes the stress of having to prepare to meet the Lord face to face when He returns. Why? Because the revival hasn't happened yet and it doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon. Our "preparation" to meet Jesus involves a serious self-evaluation about what we believe -- and whether or not those beliefs are in line with the New Testament Gospel of Christ. This "self-evaluation" is very uncomfortable for the average Christian today and most of us will never put forth the effort if we don't have to.
Don't misunderstand; I'm always in favor of revival. We certainly need it today. I sincerely hope a "harvest" of people receiving eternal life through Jesus Christ occurs. The problem here is not the need for a revival, but of making the return of Jesus Christ dependent on the revival. No such teaching exists in the New Testament Scriptures unless you violate the context of God's Word in order to make it fit. Yet, this is a very popular message. This wrong teaching continues to empower apathy and disinterest concerning the nearness of Christ's return for His Church, His Bride. Biblically, there is nothing that needs to occur before the great departure of the Church that Saint Paul wrote about in his epistle to the Thessalonian church.
Visitors to this website can read about my views on endtime events by clicking
The hostility and apathy surrounding the subject of Christ's return reveals how far modern evangelism has fallen. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the completion of our salvation. It should be talked about frequently because it's a crucial part of what Jesus suffered and died for. To avoid the subject because it offends people and might start some unpleasant dialogue is a betrayal of the Gospel we've been entrusted with. Some folks actually insist that we should "walk in love" toward our fellow believers by avoiding this subject! I continue to be astonished at how easily we twist Scripture to fit our own wants and desires. For that reason, I've decided that Christ's soon return is definitely a subject I want covered on this website. Our ministry "focus" is not to reach millions of people, because we would have to compromise Christ's message to reach that goal. Our desire is to reach that small "minority" of sincere "Bible truth seekers" who overcome offense in order to obtain the truth that lies beyond it. If the Second Coming of Christ offends, then it's an offense that we desperately need in order to wake us up. Why? Because Jesus is returning, just as he promised -- whether we are ready or not -- and whether we believe in it or not.
Don't make the mistake of minimizing the "Wake-up Call" because of the date. It was released in the fall of 2004. God always gives us a short period of time to take action. It's difficult to say how much more time our Heavenly Father will give us. Since three years has elapsed and all end-time prophetic signs have aligned, this message carries more urgency now than it did in 2004.
Listen As Oral Roberts Shares The Vision
(Note: This is an MP3 audio file)