With common reports of terrorism, various natural disasters, and even potential nuclear war, people are again fascinated with the subject of the end of the world. So topics like Bible prophecy, the rapture, the Antichrist, and the nation of Israel are frequently subjects of Christian discussion. Moreover, it seems virtually every year or so a Bible teacher, prophet, numerologist, cult leader, or futurist predicts a specific date for the second coming of Jesus.
Since Christians are not united on all the details relating to eschatology (known as “last things” or “end times”), there is a lot of confusion and debate about just what the end of the world will entail. And when Christians continue to make false predictions about Jesus’s return, skeptics use these prophetic blunders and public failures as reason to question the truth of Christianity. So in 2013, I published my book Christian Endgame: Careful Thinking about the End Times as an attempt to help Christians carefully navigate the rough waters of end-of-the-world prophecy.
Top 10 Ideas in Christian Endgame
My book doesn’t take an official position on a lot of the controversial eschatological debates concerning Bible prophecy (rapture, millennium, interpretation of the book of Revelation). Instead, I seek to educate Christians on the various views and let them decide for themselves. A special part of my book involves identifying the common ground that all Christians share when it comes to a biblical view of end times.
Here’s a brief summary of 10 of the book’s most important points:
1. Irresponsible approaches to eschatology create apologetics problems for the church.
2. Excessive speculation about the end times and date setting for Christ’s second coming are unbiblical practices.
3. Evangelical Christians should study the field of Christian eschatology because Christendom has been divided over the topic for centuries.
4. Given the debates over eschatology throughout church history and the difficulty of interpreting the Bible’s apocalyptic books, we should hold our views about the end times tentatively.
5. Eschatology is one of the most divisive areas within Christian theology. Therefore, there is a genuine need to treat Christians who hold different views than we do with respect and charity.
6. There is a “mere Christian eschatology” (common views held by all Christians) that few people are actually aware of and thus fail to appreciate.
7. Christian eschatology is actually about the future, the past, and the present—the “already—not yet.”
8. There are doctrinal challenges to the historic Christian views of heaven and hell, involving positions like universalism, conditional immortality, annihilationism, and purgatory.
9. What the Bible teaches about the future should impact the way we live right now in a powerful manner.
10. The church needs a clear, careful, and objective primer that emphasizes careful biblical thinking about a controversial and challenging topic.
While there are many books on the market that discuss various aspects of Bible prophecy, I respectfully think my book could significantly help many Christians to think more carefully about the end times. I believe this is because my work provides guidelines for being eschatologically responsible and seeks to be fair-minded in identifying both the greatest strength and greatest weakness of all the major views.
If you are interested in end times prophecy and have lots of questions about it, or if you know someone with questions, I invite you to read and study my brief eschatological primer. When you read it, let me know what you think by posting a comment at Reflections on WordPress.
Check out more from Dr. Kenneth Samples @Reasons.org