Eschatology can be found throughout the Bible, but what does it mean?
It is the study of the future and what is to come. But unfortunately, there are many beliefs about this topic that don’t align with God’s truth. So let’s look at what Christianity believes versus what the world claims to be true.
A.End Time Events
Eschatology not only declares what is to come, but it also is a warning of end-time events.
The Bible gives much discussion to the events that will occur at the end times and the coming of Christ. However, one thing is certain, and that is that Jesus will one day come back.
B.The Return of Christ
Did you know there are over 300 passages in the New Testament about Jesus’ return? This doesn’t even include the prophecy of the Old Testament!
Not only that, Jesus himself taught that He would one day come back.
“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:27, 30, NKJV
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Matthew 24:37-39, NKJV
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
Matthew 24:42, NKJV
Jesus made these declarations, so we can trust and know it is true.
Not only did Jesus proclaim this event, but his disciples anticipated his return! And God wants us to carry the same attitude of waiting as well.
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?’”
Matthew 24:3, NKJV
The attitudes of the disciples were one of preparation, and as Christ’s modern-day disciples, we should be alert, keeping watch for the day that Christ will descend from heaven.
Thirdly, the Apostle Paul taught that Jesus would come back.
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ as his coming?”
1 Thessalonians 2:19, NKJV
Paul is saying that the crown of his joy is knowing that we will one day be in the presence of our living Savior when He comes back. He is excited for us!
Lastly, the New Testament prophesies declare Christ’s return.
“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”
Revelations 1:7, NKJV
C.The Timing of His Return
The specific timing of Christ’s return is unknown to man, and ultimately God declares that it will be in His perfect timing.
“But of that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Mark 13:32, NKJV
The angels aren’t privileged with this information, and nor is Jesus; only the Father knows the exact time and day. That is profound!
D.Many Don’t Believe in His Return
Many people, in the past and present, don’t acknowledge the fact that Jesus will be back. This is genuinely troublesome, and boy, will they be surprised!
“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’”
2 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV
I plead with you, do not fall into that category!
B.Let Us Be Prepared
As His people, we must be prepared for and anticipate His return!
“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
1 John 2:28, NKJV
We always want to be postured and prepared to be in the presence of God when He comes. And may we have the belief and the ability to know that God wants us to be persuaded that He is coming back one day soon.
C.Key Terms to Learn
This event is the translation of the saved at Christ’s coming when He gathers the church to Himself before His wrath.
Now, there is much debate about when the rapture will occur. Some believe we will be taken from this world into the presence of God before His wrath, while others think it will take place in the middle or after God’s judgment.
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
1 Corinthians 15:50-53, NKJV
We will all change from our natural status to a spiritual one.
The Tribulation Period
The Tribulation Period is a short but intense period (seven years) of distress and suffering at the end of time.
One thing most believers agree upon is that this period will occur. However, what is debatable is the question of when the rapture will take place.
Some members of the church are Pre-Tribulationists, believing Jesus will come before the Tribulation Period, and they believe Christians won’t have to endure the things that are to come.
Some are Mid-Tribulationists, declaring the rapture will come in the middle of these end-time events.
And finally, the other percentage of people are Post-Tribulationists, claiming the rapture will come after the Tribulation Period.
Now, some of you may be wondering what I believe. Well, I am hoping we are gathered Pre-Tribulation, but I am prepared if it happens Post-Tribulation. Because guess what? Even if He doesn’t (because nobody knows when), we should be prepared to suffer for the sake of the Kingdom.
The Second Coming
The second coming is implied by many different terms in scripture; however, they all refer to the same thing, and that is the time when Christ returns to establish His kingdom on earth.
In other words, there will be a time when Jesus comes for His saints and establishes a new kingdom ruled by His principles and truth.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
John 14:3, NKJV
“Who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:11, NKJV
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”
Revelations 1:7, NKJV
The Millennium is a 1,000-year period when Christ reigns on the earth with His saints.
The day is coming when Jesus will establish His Kingdom, and He will reign for 1,000 years. He will run the show, and those of us who have been faithful in this season of our lives will be in a posture to rule with Him. (Revelation 20:1-8)
The Battle of Armageddon
This battle is the final war of this age in which God intervenes to destroy the armies of Satan. There will come a day and time when Jesus and His Kingdom will defeat evil once and for all. (Revelation 16:16, 20:7-10)
The bottom line is that ultimately Jesus is coming back, and every eye will see Him, and He will reign, establishing His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
I.Jehovah’s Witnesses: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that in 1914, Christ began operating His never-to-be-destroyed Kingdom. They also claim that His second coming occurred in that same year.
II.The Mormons: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
The Mormons believe there are three eternal kingdoms, or realms, of widely differing glories.
They teach that the status and place of the individual in eternity are based on the outcome of his own efforts, and advancement is possible depending on the acts, practices, and dedications of the individual.
III.The Moonies: The Unification Church
The Moonies believe that the soul goes to the spirit world after death. There is no resurrection, and members can advance by convincing others to follow Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church.
Shockingly enough, they believe that everyone will eventually be saved, even Satan.
IV.The Roman Catholic Church
The Roman Catholics believe that after death, an individual goes to purgatory. This is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those departing this life who have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.
Saints, we can know and trust that the end times will come because God’s word says so. And I pray that your mind, heart, and soul will be ready. May we remain awake and aware as our King comes back to reign.