Tag Archives: End Times

-Hope in the Now and the Future

where?

(Image by Keoni Cabral via Flickr)

I have heard many Christians refer to the future and proclaim that they have ‘read the back of the book’ so they are not afraid because God is in control. In response I wonder if they have really studied it at all with all of the upheaval portrayed in the Book of Revelation.

I have read the last chapter also but find myself naturally afraid at times considering the chaos we seem to be facing daily; coming at us economically, politically, and in natural cataclysmic events. A lot of Christians have been seeking ‘signs and wonders’ but some of the natural signs we have been getting lately are nothing like what we have been praying for. If we are in the beginning of ‘end times’ like some seem to think, then it sure isn’t going to get any better any time soon -only worse. At least until the very end.

It reminds me of a famous quote from the first Star Wars movie when Luke Skywalker says that he is not afraid and Yoda responds: “You will be.” That scene always send chills up my spine.

We may be entering times that the Bible says will try our very souls and cause hearts to fail. How are we Christians to respond to the fear and the chaos all around us? We will not be able to ‘faith’ it all away and change reality like some of the ‘health and wealth’ folks seem to teach. Particularly if God is in the chaos bringing about his own ‘end time’ purposes.

This is a good time to remember and hold on to all of the promises that God has made to believers over the years. When I really get down sometimes I turn to an old paper back book that I picked up during the ‘Jesus people’ move of the 70’s. It’s got one page after another of encouraging promises that God and his Son Jesus have made to believers through the generations including those who find themselves in the very final moments of history.

Here’s one scripture that I find particularly helpful right now:

Jer 29:11-14
11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD,…”
ESV

Jeremiah spoke these words of encouragement to a people who were in exile and had lost everything, their jobs, their homes, their church (Temple), and their nation. We don’t have it quite that bad yet.

While the current events are disconcerting, I believe that the Lord has plans for His people to rise up and still bring the Gospel to every nation and people …then the end shall come.

It is not a time to dwell on our fears or what we might have lost but what we might gain through a closer relationship with the Father in the midst of fulfilling His destiny and calls on our lives. The church has yet to rise up and become that shining beacon on a hill –but it will.            *Top

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-Are We Really in the End Times?

The Night of the Blood-Red Moon.
(Image by Athena’s Pix via Flickr)

Earthquakes, Wars, natural catastrophes, signs in the heavens above, rumors of war, the whole earth in confusion, leaders calling for a ‘new world’ order, and everyone seems to be against Israel.

Could we really be in the ‘end times’? I hear this question being posed over and over again by Christian friends lately.

When I was younger I was totally convinced that we were in the ‘end times’ and that Jesus would be coming back very soon. I can remember being especially excited over those prospects after reading Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth in 1973. I was convinced at the time and still am that the reestablishment of the Jewish nation of Israel in 1948 was a major end time sign.

Over the next 15 years I read everything that came off the presses having to do with the End Times and Eschatology. PreMil, PostMil, AMil, PreTrib, PostTrib, MidTrib, and PreWrath—I studied it all with as open a mind as I could without letting my brains fall out. In the process I came away with the realization that I could find something missing and sometimes something down right wrong in every book and every eschatological tradition.

If I was forced to pick I would probably lean toward a PreMil-PreWrath approach but most of the time I like to say that I am PanMil and PanTrib—I am going to wait and see how it all ‘pans out’.

Fact is at the end of time when we look back at the final events, every single scripture and prophecy will be completely fulfilled and it won’t be necessary to stretch a thing when it comes to hermeneutics or Bible interpretation.

The only thing that I have studied more than eschatology is hermeneutics and that is why I am super sensitive to the ways many ‘prophecy’ writers run ruff shod over even basic rules of Biblical interpretation.

I have come to believe (and I have stated it before) that when it comes to the end times every single book printed regardless of the tradition has one thing in common—they are all wrong somewhere and lack something. Not only that—if I wrote a book on this subject I would be wrong also on some point or another.

This doesn’t mean that reading books on this subject is a waste of time. Many are valuable and it is important to become conversant with the basic issues and gain an understanding of the possible end time signs. However, I have come to believe that Lord has made it all somewhat cloudy in the scriptures on purpose except for the basic events. The timing and sequence is where there is the greatest disparity between the different traditional schemas.

I have come to believe that the last will be like the first. The last generation will be caught by surprise and be somewhat unprepared for the way the final events happen just like folks were not ready in the first century for a Messiah that came as a poor baby in a stable and went on to become a sacrificing servant cursed and killed on a Roman cross.

Not one ‘prophecy’ teacher in the first century was looking for that sequence of events and a ‘suffering servant’ Messiah. Also I believe that not one prophecy teacher in the end generation will have it completely nailed down either. I do believe however that the reestablishment of ‘prophetical ministry’ in the church will be helpful in preparing many for the events to come.

So, are we really in the end of the ‘end times’? I don’t know, maybe. It sure seems to be stacking up that way!

Next Post: More on the End Times

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