The Misplaced Hopes of Left Behind

left-behind-movie

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

It’s the Last Days

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

I Don’t Believe in the Rapture

the-raptureWhat, 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

This Generation Lived A Long Time Ago

eschatology-kidsWithin 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:

  1. Premillenialism – Christ’s second coming will take place before this thousand year reign. Hence, the prefix ‘pre’.
  2. Postmillenialism – Christ’s second coming will take place after this thousand year reign. Hence, the prefix ‘post’.
  3. 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

Wrong Angle on God’s Judgment

I recently read some of the blog posts on the topic of God’s holiness and wrath by neo-reformed blogger, Tim Challies. You can catch all 4 parts here – part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.

First off, let me begin by saying I have great respect for Tim Challies, and other neo-reformed folk. Not so much because I agree with their every theological approach. But because they typically engage and interact with great humility. All could learn a thing of two from these brothers and sisters.

Nevertheless, there is a problematic trend that I tend to see amongst those of the neo-reformed paradigm when they address topics like judgment, God’s holiness and the ever-growing popular topic of hell. I am very familiar with the particular approach because I would have argued very similarly in past days. Continue reading