Reasons Why People Do Not Study Eschatology

Reason One

People who study eschatology are weird. I don’t know about you, but I think one of the reasons that a lot of people do not study eschatology is that many of the people that I know who do study eschatology seem weird. Have you personally ever noticed that? Over the years, I have attended several “home groups,” which are basically small weekly gatherings of Christians that usually meet in people’s homes for the purpose of community and mutual edification. And it seems like it never fails—there is always one person in each group obsessed with the end times. No matter what the discussion is about, they always seem to want to talk about the end times. It can certainly be a real party killer. It can really make people uncomfortable. Have you experienced this? Personally, part of my fear in writing this book is that I didn’t want to be viewed as “one of those guys.” Maybe you are like me and you likewise don’t want to be viewed as an odd bird, and for that reason have shied away from the study of eschatology. That’s understandable. But can I assure you of something? The type of person that we are talking about was a bit different before they started studying eschatology. Eschatology is not responsible for any person’s oddness or poor social skills. If you are the kind of person that doesn’t alienate people now, then you won’t alienate people after you become familiar with eschatology. And besides, what other people might think certainly shouldn’t be anyone’s basis for decision making (Proverbs 29:25). Paul once said that if his actions and behaviour were motivated by a concern for what people thought of him, then he was no longer a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10). I hope we are in agreement on this point.

Reason Two

Eschatology is impossible to understand. Another reason that people do not study eschatology is that they feel as though it is so confusing or impossible to understand, so why bother? Let me say very clearly, without any qualifications, that that assumption is a blatant lie. I agree that the world of eschatology can be confusing. But it has only become such because of the interference of people who don’t like what the Bible clearly says regarding these events and therefore try to devise systems of interpretation to get around the clear meanings. But the speculative theological contortionism of such systems is apparent to anyone who tries to follow such lines of reasoning. There are several very different perspectives regarding the end times. Some positions take an allegorical or symbolic view of the eschatological portions (and even entire books!) of Scripture while other positions attempt to simply understand the Bible at face value. This is to say that if we read a portion of the Bible that is, for instance, historical narrative, we read it as such. If it is poetry, we read it as poetry. If it is a parable, we read it as a parable. But if it is history, we do not read it as allegory. This is only common sense. The book in your hands is not an allegory. It doesn’t take a theologian to explain this to you. God did not put information in His Bible that is impossible to understand. Yes, some things are hard to understand, but difficulty cannot be an excuse to avoid trying. With some diligent study and a prayerful attitude (more on this later) the Scriptures will be opened up to you and even the more complex issues will become completely understandable.

Reason Three

Eschatology is irrelevant; there are other far more relevant issues to attend to.

Some people feel as though there are more pertinent and more relevant issues to attend to than studying eschatology. They think that we should be about the work of ministering to the immediate needs of the people around us rather than staring at the clouds, dwelling on some future events, perpetually on the horizon. Some might say that the Gospel message is about the good news of salvation, not about the bad news of the Antichrist and false prophets and persecutions, and so on. Again, I certainly understand these kinds of feelings. But if we just boil down “biblical eschatology” to its simplest function, what we have is essentially the study of the return of Jesus. The study of such odd and frightening concepts as the Antichrist and the False Prophet are not the primary reasons to study eschatology, but are rather simply one of the signs that happen to precede the true focus of a healthy eschatology, namely, “the return of the King.” While Jesus and the apostles did spend plenty of time talking about everyday issues such as healthy relationships and giving thanks and speaking in tongues and choosing deacons, etc., it cannot be denied that eschatology also featured very prominently in their preaching and teaching. And these men lived two thousand years before us. I remember a particular preacher who made the goofy yet very true comment that we are closer to the last days than anyone before us. So if Jesus and the apostles didn’t think that eschatology was irrelevant two thousand years ago, then why should we think any different? If they made these distant future events an integral part of their preaching, then why do we fail to do so? What did they understand that we might be missing?

Appendices :- Richardson, Joel. The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast. Midpoint Trade Books. Kindle Edition.

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