Posted by: watchmancurtis | October 28, 2009

Is studying the End Times….a waste of time?

I’ve spent a decent amount of time during the last 13 years studying Eschatology…or the End Times.  Part of that may have been because of my lack of teaching in that area growing up.  My church just kind of ignored it.  I knew one day Jesus was going to show up, but that is it.  In these past 13 years though I’ve been really surprised at how many people think that I am wasting my time or see no need to look into these matters.  Time and again I’ve heard people say things like, “I just don’t worry about that stuff…it will all work out in the end” or “You need to be spending your time studying other things and trying to reach the lost and help people.”  I do try to reach the lost and I do minister to people…that should be what our lives are about.  Now while I agree that we should not focus on Eschatology to the exclusion of other truths within the Bible,  I think the reverse is true as well…we should not ignore what the Bible says about the second coming of Christ.   Here is a small list of misconceptions about  Eschatology that I came up with.  It is certainly not exhaustive.

Common Misconceptions about Eschatology:

1. It is not relevant.   This one I just don’t understand.  If it isn’t relevant why are there eight times as many prophecies about the second coming of Christ than there are about the first?  There are 31,273 verses in the Bible.  Of those 31, 273 verses, around 2,400 of them deal with the return of Christ.  That seems pretty relevant to me.  If it’s in the Bible…that alone should make it relevant.

2.  It is all symbolic or allegorical  It seems logical to me that if the prophecies of the first coming were all fulfilled literally (and they were) then all of the prophecies regarding the second coming should be fulfilled literally as well.

3.  It is too hard to understand.  We are told in 2 Timothy 2:15 that we are to study to show ourselves approved so that we can handle the word of God correctly.  We also have the ultimate teacher….the Holy Spirit!  John 14:26 says that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things.  Yes it does take time and effort and it isn’t always easy, but I do think it can be understood.

4.  It is too divisive.  This one has nothing to do with what is being studied.  This one has to do with the people involved.  If we would discuss our differences with gentleness and love there would be no division.  I can certainly agree to disagree and still love a brother or sister in Christ.

On the flip side…here are some reasons why we should study Eschatology.

1.  It’s mysterious and fascinating.  Who doesn’t like a good mystery?  This one may seem like a trivial reason, but is it really?  God wired us to want to unravel mysteries.  We all have a fascination with the unknown and what is to come.  As I mentioned yesterday, we are told in 1 Peter 1:10 that even angels long to look into these things.

2.  It is commanded by the Lord.  That’s right, Jesus told us to.  Matthew 24:42 “Therefore be on the alert (keep watch), for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”  There are many other verses that could be used as well.  He wants us to be prepared and know the signs of the times.

3.  It helps us to live with urgency.  When we are hit with the reality that the time may be near, it can change every aspect of our lives.  I still remember the day I was hit with this reality.  My life changed for the better.  I wanted  me and my family to be prepared.  Pastor Eric just finished a sermon series on “Live Like You Were Dying” and had a sermon titled “Living In Light of Eternity”.   It is a needed message for today and far too few Christians live with that in mind.

4.  It can help keep us from being deceived.  Jesus has a lot to say in Matthew 24 about the deceit of the last days.  Read 2 Thessalonians 2 for some more info on that topic.  Sometimes we think we won’t be deceived, but deceit creeps up on you…it doesn’t hit you with a baseball bat.  Jeremiah 17:9 says that our hearts are deceitful above all else.  If we aren’t being vigilant we are a candidate for deceit.

5.  The return of Christ gives us hope.  Titus 2:13 says that we are “waiting for our blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 1:13 says, “fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation (revealing) of Jesus Christ.”

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it will show that studying these things is far from a waste of time.

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Responses

  1. What a blessing this is going to be. I am so excited to be able to “look in” on your study and glean.

    • It will be nice for quite a few people who have wanted to join us, but can’t for whatever reason. Hopefully everyone won’t be shy and will feel free to comment and question along with the rest of us.

  2. Wow, I really identified with a lot of what you wrote in your introducation. I tend to act like Revelations isn’t there because it’s just too intimidating. It’s one of those books I hesitate to open because I’m a little afraid of what I might learn! ~k

    • Heheh I can relate. I avoided Revelation for years. Then it was thrust upon me. I cried out to the Lord for help and He began to show me that the book of Revelation can be understood. Thanks for sharing!


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