Our life group at Brentwood (Tenn.) Baptist Church has begun a study of the end times, the events surrounding the return of Christ. I have to confess that I am less than thrilled with the assignment to teach this course — not because the Day of the Lord is unimportant, but because for centuries Christians have focused more on debating the details of Christ’s return than understanding the clear teachings about it in Scripture and heeding our Savior’s call to “be ready” by living in the light of eternity.
So, whether you’re a pre-tribulation-rapture premillennialist, an amillennialist, a postmillennialist, a panmillennialist (“it will all pan out in the end”), or someone else altogether in your view of the end times, I offer these 10 simple truths every Christian should keep in mind:
- Jesus has finished the work of salvation and today is seated at the right hand of the Father as our Mediator and Intercessor.
- Jesus is coming back to earth one day personally, physically and visibly.
- There will be a resurrection and final judgment of all people.
- Jesus will create new heavens and a new earth completely purged of sin.
- Believers will spend eternity with Christ and enjoy face-to-face fellowship with Him.
- Unbelievers will spend eternity separated from Christ in hell.
- The kingdom of heaven is here now (in the hearts of believers) but will be fully revealed and established at the return of Christ.
- Christians who uphold the truth of Scripture may disagree about how to interpret the prophetic passages about the end times, but they should never be disagreeable.
- End-times prophecies that generate confusion now will become crystal clear when they are fulfilled.
- The teachings of Jesus and the apostles concerning the Second Coming urge us to be prepared.
Going through Isaiah’s “shorter apocalypse” (chapters 24-27) led our Sunday school class to take stock of four major views on what the Bible teaches about the tribulation and the millennium. The views are: post-millennalism, amillennialism, historic premillennialism and dispensational premillennialism. Notes and audio from the April 19 lesson are available under “Isaiah” from the drop-down topics menu.