Why Are You Interested in Studies of End Times?
I’ve written many books and articles on the subject of the end times. It’s been a big interest of mine.
Years ago, during the 1970s, I first began studying it. Because of the growing Charismatic Movement at the time, as well as books written by people like Salem Kirban (now deceased), Tim LaHaye and many others, the entire landscape became one of non-stop end times talk, discussion, books, and conferences. While a very important topic to know about, it’s kind of sad, if you stop to consider it because people became more interested in studying about the end times than understanding the real ramifications of studying it.
The interest in the 1970s lasted for a good number of years into the 1980s and then began to wane. However, within the past few years, there has been a resurgence of these same topics. But things like transhumanism, the coming demonic plague, and much more have been added to the mix.
During the 1970s, though there clearly were excesses, in general, it appeared that most people wanted to rightly understand Scripture. Today, there is an interesting difference. There doesn’t appear to be people who are so much driven by trying to figure out what God’s Word says about the subject of the end times using God-given discernment or wisdom. Instead, a much larger percentage of people today seem driven by how they feel about the whole end times thing. Many sense “something,” but they can’t tell you what it’s all about. They just “sense” something is up or coming. If they studied God’s Word, they would know. They prefer to read and follow people who can spoon feed them theology.
As a result, there are all sorts of preposterous and ridiculous discussions taking place by people across the board and from all walks of life, many of whom have absolutely no instruction in how to rightly divide God’s Word. The more gauche the teaching, the better people seem to like it. People have either lost sight of the actual meaning of Scripture or never had it in the first place, but they seem content with that.
These folks will look at Ezra or Zechariah and grab something from the Psalms or 1 or 2 Thessalonians. They will create some doctrinal position based on that while completely ignoring actual Scriptural context. It’s gotten so bad that these same folks will refer to passages from Revelation, Daniel, or Ezekiel and tell you with a straight face that we are “in” the Tribulation. They’ll even tell you which particular seal, trumpet, or bowl judgment just “opened.”
In all of this, there is one point in particular that usually goes completely unnoticed by too many.
What is that one point? It is this one found in 1 John 3:2-3
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Here, the apostle John points out a number of things. He tells us:
- we are God’s children
- we don’t know what we will be in the final form
- we know that when Jesus appears, we will be like Him
- we will see Jesus as He is now, not as when He walked this earth with deity hidden
Please do not fail to notice verse 3, because it is there that we understand the purpose for even thinking about the second coming of Jesus, much less studying it. The verse tells us that “All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”
What is this purification referenced by John here? Very simply, I believe John is telling us that when we begin to contemplate or study about the physical return of Jesus to this earth, we become purified in the sense of those things that mean little or nothing fade from our thinking. In other words, we prioritize our lives based on the truth of His return. We see what’s important and discard those things which are not important from our thinking and from our lives. We literally are what we think, what we dwell on. By focusing on those things that matter (the second coming of Jesus or in the general sense, life after this life), we learn to rid ourselves of those things which do nothing but clog our thinking.
What is the goal of studying the end times? Is it to become more educated there? Is it to store up information in our heads? Is it to impress family and friends because of how much we appear to know? None of those things should be the goal, but too often are that.
The goal of studying anything related to the end times is this: it should cause us to focus on the fact that eternity is always a breath away…for everyone. This fact should create within us a strong desire for one thing. That is, we should become more focused regarding the Great Commission. The thought of eternity, whether it is in Jesus’ return or our going to meet Him in death, should refocus our thinking onto what is right, what is true, and what is worthy as Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8. What is more praiseworthy than focusing on spending eternity with Jesus?
Shouldn’t our understanding of the end times cause us to have a greater desire to evangelize the lost? Shouldn’t our study of the end time, rather than filling us with fear and foreboding, create within us a greater desire to see souls saved, knowing what is ahead for all of us (some to heaven, others to hell)?
People spend precious time arguing about this doctrine or that one. These arguments, discussions, and debates keep us from the one job we are in the world to fulfill. That is, the Great Commission.
Would you agree with me that you have no clue when you will die? Many to most may die long before the Rapture occurs. In fact, many people from my parents’ generation were waiting for the Rapture and guess what? It didn’t happen and they are dead now. This is not to say that the Rapture won’t happen, but it’ll happen when it’s supposed to and it is very likely that our death will occur long before the Rapture.
I like studying the end times. I like it because it is contained in God’s Word and I enjoy studying His Word. However, I never want to get so caught up in things that I start seeing “signs” in the newspaper, the sky, or on the calendar. God is in charge.
One day, like you, my life here will come to an end. I will no longer exist in this realm because my living soul will have been released from its earthly “tent” as Paul says to be carried to eternity and to be with Jesus, either through Rapture or death. It doesn’t really matter to me which one it is either.
I want God to be glad that I spent much of my adult life preaching the gospel and whether I planted seeds, watered them, or was there for the harvest, I want to know that I was involved in the Great Commission. If there is one thing I have learned from my study of the end times it is this: it all focuses on the need to evangelize so that people will understand their need for Jesus.
150,000 people will have died today. I cannot help but wonder how many of them died without Christ. While I am not responsible for their rejection or even their receiving of salvation, I am responsible for telling people about Jesus, by my life and by my words. That’s really the only thing that will matter for each of us (and them) when this life is over.
Study the end times. Appreciate what you learn. But use it as an impetus to becoming more involved in the Great Commission.
Entry filed under: christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, eternity, Life in America, new age movement, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: end times, great commission, millennial reign of jesus, rapture, second coming, tribulation.