Q: What is Eschatology?
A: Eschatology is defined as theology having to do with final events in the history of the world and humanity. It is primarily concerned with events leading up to and including the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection of the Dead, the Final Judgment, and the Destiny of Humankind.
Q: Why is the study of Eschatology important? Do we really need to understand end time events? Can’t we just live for Jesus and let things unfold as they will?
A: Jesus Himself, as well as the New Testament writers, stressed that we should recognize the signs of the times so that we will:
- Be prepared, ready, and watching for His return
- Not be deceived and can stand firm in the difficult times to come
- Encourage each other as we see this day approaching.
Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 12 & 21, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, and many more verses encourage us to understand and keep watch. The overwhelming volume of scripture on this subject alone emphasizes the importance God puts on his people understanding and being prepared for the difficult times to come.
Q: Throughout the centuries, many Christians have believed they would see the return of Christ in their lifetime. History shows they were wrong. Many today believe the same. What makes our generation any more likely than theirs to see the end of days?
A: Every generation since the time of Christ has believed they were living in the final days of earth’s history. This is mostly due to Jesus’ own statements, as recorded in the Bible, that he would be returning soon. As well as those by New Testament writers, who stress that His return is at hand. Consequently, many have interpreted these to mean that His return is imminent.
However, Jesus himself never claimed His return was imminent. Or even that it would be soon. The doctrine of imminence was brought about due to a faulty interpretation of Revelation 22:12, which states, “Behold, I am coming soon“. This word soon, is more accurately translated as quickly, speedily, fast, or unexpectedly. In context, it conveys the meaning that once we begin to see certain prophesies come to pass, we should expect to see them continue in increasing speed and intensity that will quickly culminate in His return.
Nevertheless, because the general thought has been that Jesus’ return is imminent, multiple prophecies requiring fulfillment prior to His second coming (which have not yet fully come to pass) have been largely ignored. What makes our generation different is that we are witnessing the fulfillment of these prophecies before our eyes, and in rapid succession.
Two very important and specific prophecies; 1) The reformation of the nation of Israel in 1948, and 2) The reclamation of Israeli control over Jerusalem in the outcome of the Six Day War in 1967; alone place our generation in the position of being the generation to witness the return of Christ, and the end of the age. Mark 13:28 says, “Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know the summer is near. Even so, you too when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”
Q: How do I know that what you are teaching is true?
A: It is my passion to teach the Truth of God’s word, so that we might be prepared and faithful in the days to come. But you should never take my, or anyone else’s, Bible interpretation or teaching as truth, simply because it is taught as such. God expects each of us to study the scriptures prayerfully, and allow the Holy Spirit to confirm whether what we’re being taught is actually Truth. See Acts 17:10-11.