Thursday, April 30, 2009

What Do We Know About The End?

When I was a kid, my Sunday School teacher gave me a copy of The Late, Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey. If you're over 40, you probably remember that as a runaway best-seller in the '70s. Lindsey shared his view of the apocalypse, right down to identifying specific nations that were represented by strange images (beasts, horns, etc) in the book of Revelation and other biblical prophecy. It was all gripping stuff. Reading Lindsey's work, one got the impression we really were living in the Last Days...any moment, we expected to hear that trumpet blast.

We've been studying the biblical information about the afterlife for over two months now, and I hope you've enjoyed it half as much as I have. But there are still plenty of unanswered questions. One of them is, "What happens between now and the New Earth?" It's been over thirty years since Lindsey's book, and End Times speculation isn't nearly as "en vogue" as it was among Christians back then. But Christ is returning to this Earth, whether we're watching the skies or not. On the one hand, we can easily become enamored with our own prophetic scenarios, or those of our favorite preacher or author...I have known quite a few "prophecy nuts" who seem fixated on that subject to the detriment of their overall Christian walk. On the other hand, if we ignore biblical prophecy, we risk not being truly ready when Christ does return. After all, the Lord chose to put information about the End in the Bible for a reason.

So how do we cut through the hype and hysteria and gain a biblical view of the End of this age? That is what we'll try to do this Sunday. My main text will be the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, but I'll spend a lot of time giving an overview of Biblical prophecy before I get to that Scripture. Pray for me, always, I want to be true to the Word. May I decrease so that He might increase...the last thing y'all need is more of me, and the thing we all need is more, so much more, of Him.

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