In this article we will be taking an introductory look at eschatology, or the study of the end times, including key Bible passages, issues, my personal statement and a warrant for position.
Daniel 12:1-3: In this passage, Daniel speaks about a “time of trouble.” (Dan. 12:1-2) Jesus also spoke about the same time of trouble and that this will lead to his second coming.
Daniel also speaks about some of those who are resurrected from death. He states that some will have everlasting life while others will partake of everlasting contempt. In these instances Daniel is speaking about things that are going to happen at the second coming of Christ.
Matthew 25:31-46: In this passage, Jesus speaks about what is going to happen to two groups of people at the final judgement. He refers to these two groups of people as “sheep” and “goats.” (Matt. 25:32)“This is what we are longing for – that Jesus will return and set up his kingdom forever where he is going to be King.”
To the sheep Jesus will say “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34) Jesus saw the deeds done by this group of people as acts of kindness for him.
However, Jesus will say to the goats, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41) Jesus goes on to say that these people did not do acts of kindness for him.
Again, and just like with Daniel, Matthew’s passages details what is going to happen when Jesus returns to earth at his second coming.
Philippians 3:20-21: In these verses Paul reminds us that Christians have their citizenship in heaven and that we are waiting for our savior Jesus to return to earth.
Moreover, Jesus will transform our lowly bodies into glorious bodies like his. This is what we are hoping and longing for – that Jesus will return and renew our bodies!
Revelation 21:1-8: This passage speaks about what is going to happen at the end of time. At that point in history Jesus is going to renew the earth, and we are going to live within a new heaven and new earth. (Rev. 21:1)
Additionally, Jesus is going to dwell with his people and we are going to live in the city that he has been preparing for us. There will be no more death, sickness, crying, and pain. This is what we are longing for – that Jesus will return and set up his kingdom forever where he is going to be King.
One of the issues of eschatology centers around the exact details of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ that is found in Revelation 20:1-6.
Its an important matter because an understanding of the millennial reign helps us better understand the end times and in particular the second coming of Christ.“The Bible is clear that Christ is coming back, that we are all longing for his return, and that when he comes back we will experience resurrection from death and will live with Jesus forever.”
There are three primary views of the millennium. The first is called amillennialism, which does not understand the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth to be a literal thousand year reign.
The second major view is postmillennialism which sees the millennium as a time when “the world will come to Christ as they believe the gospel.”
Lastly, premillennialism understands that the passage in Revelation is a literal thousand-year reign of Christ.
Something else that is important to note is that some believers hold to each one of these views of the millennium.
When it comes to the view of the millennium and the second coming of Christ I hold to the postmillennial view. I’m encouraged by the evidence around me that the gospel has moved throughout the world and that many people around the world have come to faith. Moreover, the gospel’s reach and influence continues to expand across the globe.
I am a positive and hopeful person and the postmillennial view seems to have a lot of hope that things will get better before the return of Christ. With that said, I long for the return of Christ.
Warrant for Position
I believe the Bible is clear that Christ is coming back, that we are all longing for his return, and that when he comes back we will experience resurrection from death and will live with Jesus forever.
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Destruction of the Beast and the False Prophet, 1804 by Benjamin West. The William Hood Dunwoody Fund 15.22. The Minneapolis Institute of Art.