Does it matter what you believe about end time events?
One of the most divisive doctrines in the church is end-time teaching, a.k.a. eschatology. Because of this many Christians have taken the approach that says, “it doesn’t really matter what you believe about eschatology” or as one well-known preacher used to say, “pre- trib?…post-trib? I am pan-trib….it will all pan-out in the end.”
Though I can understand people’s dilemma, I believe with all my heart that what you believe about end time events not only matters, but it really matters! I would go so far as to say that much of the way you are living your life now is directly related to what you believe about the future. Certain things are not nonessential, but are necessary to see the church rise up in its God-given purpose on the earth.
Personally, I refuse to listen to end time preaching that pushes all the promises of God into the future, puts fear into the hearts of God‘s people, and creates an escapist mentality, turning this world over to death and destruction.
My goal in writing this is not to attack anyone’s theological position or put forth a verse by verse system with charts and graphs as to what will happen in the end. I do however, desire to challenge some of what has been commonly accepted over the last hundred years and hold it up to God ‘s big picture of a transformed world where King Jesus dwells.
Here are five reasons why I believe that much of our traditional end time views must be left behind if the church is going to arise in victory. This view:
- Strikes fear into the hearts of God ‘s people. Fear and faith don’t mix. He who fears has not been made perfect in love.
- It destroys hope and causes Christians to take an ‘endure until heaven’ attitude instead of an attitude that says, “Let’s bring the kingdom to our cities and communities by preaching the Gospel and discipling nations”
- It changes the nature of our loving Heavenly Father, creating a villain and empowering a devil that Jesus defeated on the cross.
- It cripples creativity and stifles the influence of Christians in business, economics, media, the arts, and education. It carries the idea that Jesus could come back at any moment so why get an education and try to do something good in the world?
- It flies contrary to the big picture of scripture which is not heaven when we die, but the new people of God living within a new creation where Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
I do not claim to have all the answers and there are many things that are just not clear. But one thing is clear to me, Jesus came and established His kingdom on the earth and it has been growing in influence and power for the last 2000 years. The climax is not the devil and his minions ruling the earth but Jesus destroying all evil and ushering in the renewed earth. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom! This is the message of redemption, God restoring His world back to the way it was created to be, and it starts with us being restored back to Him.