It is no secret that a majority of evangelical Christians are very interested in the End Times. Although some believers do not take an interest in this subject, most tend to read up on topics such as the rapture, tribulation, the antichrist, heaven, and hell whenever they can. They debate on these subjects, and love listening to podcasts or other shows concerning them. Non-Christians, and even some Christians, believe this is more of an obsession; an unhealthy obsession that is seen as more than a little nutty. Shouldn’t these Christians use their time in a more productive manner?
Why do Christians, who are taught to love their neighbors and tell the world about God’s love, think so much about the end of the world? Why do they seem to put so much thought into the Antichrist and the tribulation, when so many people are going to suffer and die during that period? One wonders how Christians could be so excited about its arrival.
Is it biblical?
I do believe that this interest about the End Times is biblical and consistent within a Christian worldview. The Bible presents the reader with a salvation history that has eschatology at its core. God creates the world in a sinless, pristine state (Genesis 1-2). However, mankind rebelled against God bringing sin and death into the creation. God then began a process to bring mankind back into a sinless, pristine state (the new heaven and new earth, i.e., the end of the age).
This process began with the calling of Abraham and the establishment of the nation of Israel. Eventually, the church emerged in God’s plan, and believers are to go out, spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and make disciples in all the nations. This process is to last throughout the age until the return of Christ and the restoration of the world. (This is a very, very short summary of the biblical story – maybe a little too short).
As I argue elsewhere (see here for the first article in a series), this restored world is the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21-22). God will remove the curse, and no longer will we live in a world full of war, murder, rape, theft, loneliness, toiling, and all the other bad things that we experience on a regular basis. No matter how one thinks about the rapture and millennium, it is the new heavens and new earth that is the goal. Humanity, and the creation itself, will be resurrected and those people who are saved will live in a sinless world where they will live with God forever.
It is because of this future hope that so many Christians are interested in the End Times. Even though the tribulation will be a time of terror on the earth, what lies beyond it is something beautiful and amazing. No more death, suffering, or pain. The tribulation is like a dark tunnel. But at the end of the tunnel is a light that makes up for the time of trouble. The New Earth is worth that trouble.
Yes, perhaps some Christians will neglect other topics when they should not, but other believers ignore eschatology when they shouldn’t either. We need to balance that out. However, the study of the End Times is an important subject that all Christians should be interested in. It is the hope that Scripture speaks about. It is the end-game of the Gospel.
What do you think? Do you agree with this article?
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