Eschatology is simply defined as the study of last things. I personally like the phrase last things rather than the oft-used end times, primarily because the latter phrase can leave solely scary images in peoples’ minds. Even Hollywood has picked up on this idea in all of their apocalyptic films. We need healthy and hopeful theology, whatever theological camp one lands in.
Even more, there are a lot of crazy things going on in our world today, right? A pandemic, racial unrest, political turmoil, regular occurrence of massive hurricanes, and more. Sounds like something out of Matthew 24:
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matt 24:6-8)
What are we supposed to make of this? Is it the end times, or again, last days?
I don’t believe in the rapture!
Well, I actually do believe in the rapture. But not in the particular version that we find espoused by many Christians, including the Left Behind series, which has now been launched as a new movie as of today. This version is known as a “pre-tribulational rapture” where God removes all Christians from earth, takes them to heaven, all the while a 7-year period of great tribulation takes place on earth. This is, then, followed by a millennial (1000-year) reign of Christ.
I don’t believe this version holds much water under the scrutiny of Scripture’s teaching. Continue reading
Eschatology is simply defined as: the study of last things. I personally like the phrase last things instead of end times because the latter phrase can leave a lot of scary images in peoples’ minds. We need healthy and hopeful theology, whatever camp one lands in.
When studying eschatology, one of the first questions that could arise is: When are the last days? And I’d say it’s an important question. Some teaching might place it around a time period such as the last seven years before Christ returns, or something of that nature (what many have termed the “Great Tribulation”). But I’m convinced we are already in the last days……and we’ve been in the last days for a very long time. Continue reading
What, you don’t believe in the rapture?!
Well, I actually do believe in the rapture. But not in the particular version that we find espoused by many Christians. The version known as a pre-tribulational rapture where God takes all Christians to heaven while there is a 7-year period of great tribulation on the earth, then followed by a millennial reign of Christ.
I don’t believe this version holds water under scrutiny, at least the scrutiny of what Scripture teaches. Continue reading
Within the discussion around eschatology (the topic of last things), there are a few different perspectives one will find amongst Christians. First off, one could approach the topic by discussing the millennium – the thousand year reign of Christ mentioned in Rev 20:4-5. One might hold to:
- Premillenialism – Christ’s second coming will take place before this thousand year reign. Hence, the prefix ‘pre’.
- Postmillenialism – Christ’s second coming will take place after this thousand year reign. Hence, the prefix ‘post’.
- Amillenialism – We are currently in the midst of this thousand year reign, with Christ’s second coming to take place in the future. The prefix ‘a’ means ‘without’, but that is a bit of a misnomer, as amillenialism typically sees the thousand year reign of Christ as representative of a very long time with it beginning quite a long time ago.
I find myself leaning more towards an amillenial view. I can only see Christ as reigning now, since he as much said that all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to him (Matt 28:18). And, within Jewish apocalyptic literature, under which Revelation falls, the number 1,000 is representative of a long, long time. Kind of like we’d say today – A billion years! We don’t always see the reality of Christ’s reign on earth as it is in heaven. In some form and fashion, he will finalise it one day. But, by faith, I am settled on the fact that God has made Jesus both Lord and Messiah. Reigning at the Father’s right hand stands as a proclamation that Christ is truly reigning, though one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess.
Still, the millennial discussion not withstanding, there is another perspective one could look at in regards to eschatology. This falls into mainly 3 categories Continue reading