Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Truth Series - Eschatology

A child playing chess? Are you kidding me? Chess is too difficult for a child. Make him stop.

Of course, I am being facetious. A child can play chess. Teach him the basics and let him walk through it step by step.

But the same voice that hinders a child playing an advanced game is the one that says we shouldn't study eschatology. Today, end times sermons are few and far between. Want to know how I know this for a fact? Because I went to YouTube and put in "Joel Osteen end times," and do you know what came up? "Joel Osteen says you are an Extraordinary Person - by recognizing this and knowing that God has a bright future for you..." Uh-huh. That's right. So if Joel has nothing to say about the coming last days, then I doubt many others do either...

Seriously, no one wants to talk about the end times. The Left Behind Series has said enough for everyone and so apparently the matter is settled. When broaching the subject of the last days, here are the most common responses that I have received:

1. It's too hard to understand - no one really knows what's going to happen
2. We're not going to be here for it, so we don't need to study it
3. I'm just not interested in studying the future - I have enough problems today to worry about
4. Since no one can agree on what the Word teaches, why would I try?
5. The church has believed in pre-trib since Jesus was here and now you think you've figured out something new?

Notice there isn't a whole lot of scripture being given in support for any of these responses. So my issue today is, why do believers ignore the return of Christ? Isn't His return the "great hope of the church"?

Well, what does the Bible say?

First, it says that Jesus is coming again. I Thessalonians 4 and 5 are dedicated to this second coming. "...For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord..." (I Thess. 4:15-18)

Secondly we are instructed to look for His return, because it is our hope. Titus 2:11-14 instructs on how we are to live today - denying ungodliness, living sensibly, righteously and godly, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So how do we look for Jesus' return if we don't know what to look for?

Psalm 119:160 tells us that "...the sum of Your word is truth..." This implies that there is an equation. This plus this plus this will give us truth. So in looking at the last days, we need to add all the scripture together to find truth.

"But it's too hard to understand! Theologians through the ages have disagreed. It was never meant for us to understand. There's too much symbolism to be sure! Just stop trying to figure it out!"

This is such a sad view of scripture. II Timothy 2:16 exhorts us to " to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman who needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth..." Most want to add to this verse "...except when it comes to eschatology. Then don't even try..." But folks, that's not in there. We are to study the whole of scripture. It was given to us as God's instruction for man - not God's instruction for theologians with seminary degrees to teach the ignorant congregants. No, God's word was given to all men. We all have the responsibility to rightly divide it - to find the sum of His Word and stand on truth.

I am not impressed with the lame excuses for not studying the return of Christ. The salvation story did not stop with eleven men staring at the sky. These men took their story and changed the world. Why? Because they wanted to prepare the world for their Master and their Savior's return. Check out Peter's writings - in II Peter 3:11, after discussing the Day of the Lord, Peter writes, 'Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming..." The return of Christ was something to be longed for, to look for, that motivated every day living and Peter even challenged his readers to hasten its coming.

What has happened to the church since Peter penned these words? We quit looking. We quit studying. We quit using His return as motivation for our daily existence. And most sad of all, we quit longing.

Here's my take - if it's discussed in God's Word, then He wants us to know about it.

There. I said it.

Now, quit making excuses and go do it.


  1. Was waiting for this one! He wants us to know the truth about it, absolutely, and it can be known, with diligent study. And then when you understand the truth, it's like a hammer and fire and light in your soul. (Yes, I read James MacDonald's recent post.) Truth doesn't change though we may be in error concerning it at first. Truth is always truth. We are commanded to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. I like what Marv Rosenthal says about this verse...Growing in knowledge of necessity includes learning new truth, examining old truth, and correcting what was erroneously held to be truth.

  2. You know, Kathy, I'm not even going to try to use this forum to defend prewrath. I just want people to quit making excuses for not studying eschatology and roll up their sleeves and look at the scriptures for themselves. I have a strong feeling that if they would do that, not only would it be far more clear than they ever dreamed, but it will also challenge the current tide of teaching on the matter...

    Bottom line, I don't think that most believers today study anything, let alone eschatology...sad, but probably true...

  3. I find it fascinating when you can connect different parts of the bible together! It's like solving a puzzle, where each piece that you find brings you closer to the big picture :D Also just wanted to say thanks for everything yesterday. Helped a lot :)

  4. Thanks, Dane - I enjoyed it as well! You're a good kid...

  5. Your welcome! Good :) Oh and as for the good kid part, that's my parent's doing. :D

  6. This is a great posting.I love your message.I'm adding you to my Fath Based blog Roll. over on

  7. Like Dane said, the pieces always fit, because truth is truth no matter what. People like you help us all to fit it together in our own minds. Your insight is amazing, I hope you don't mind but I have linked your blog on my last post. More people need to read what you have to say.