Thank you for answering my previous questions. I enjoy hearing what you have to say about these topics! So I was wondering…what do you think of the end of times? Personally, it’s a subject that is of extreme fascination to me. What do you think of the book of Revelations? Do you think we’ll see the end of the Earth as we know it in our life time? How do you think it will happen? I would love to hear your thoughts. I’m actually taking an English class on the subject, and I’m really looking forward to learning all about the topic, as it has interested me for so long yet I never got a chance to study it. God Bless and keep on preaching the Good News!
Thanks for the encouragement!
Over a year ago, I wrote a pretty long, detailed, boring post on the End Times. I was really dissatisfied with how seminary taught it, though I’m grateful, so I shared some of the scholarly stuff while sharing my own thoughts.
I’ll simplify it the best I can for you here. The End Times — not just Revelation, but throughout the entire Bible — can be divided into two categories: What we know and what we don’t know.
What we know:
1) Jesus is coming back, this time a King instead of a servant.
2) There will be a global, catastrophic, awe-inducing judgment on the world.
3) There is a “rapture,” in which Christian believers will either be taken to Heaven, set aside from judgment, or be given their heavenly bodies. Some would say all three.
4) The earth will be transformed somehow by both total devastation and restoration.
5) Jesus will reign on earth.
What we don’t know:
2) The judgment is often coupled with a period called the “tribulation,” in which people “left behind” will have a time to decide if they want to believe. The tribulation will be marked with wars, disease, disasters, and political conflicts. What scholars disagree on is how long, whether believers will or will not experience it, or if it has already happened.
3) Jesus will institute a thousand year reign of peace where Satan is locked away. Unbelievers will continue to grow because of sinful hearts. Satan will be released one last time for one last judgment, and then finally an Eternal Kingdom will reign. Some scholars say this is all metaphorical.
4) Most of the symbols — the dragon, the mark of the beast, the birthing woman, the humanoid locusts, the seven bowls, seals, trumpets, scrolls — are open for debate. Many read Revelation as literally as possible, while others recognize poetic structures and allegories. Some say Revelation is chronological, while others say it is mostly flashbacks and flashforwards.
Apostle John wrote about 2000 years ago that he was living in the last hour. But both Moses and Peter said that in the mind of God, a day is a thousand years and vice versa. I believe we may be living in the last few minutes of that last hour, but I make no special claims. We can only be ready and stand guard, just like Jesus said.
One last thing here: When Jesus comes back, it’ll be awesome. Every knee will bow, every tongue confess, Jesus is Lord, finally. For some this will be terrifying, for others the moment we’ve been waiting for.