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Series: New Testament Eschatology

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From time to time, I hear a lot about the early church’s understanding of the “end of the world” or their belief that the “Second Coming of Jesus” would take place within their generation. And it’s usually not in a very good light. “They were obviously mistaken,” is often the remark I hear most. I know it’s hard to imagine but what if we’re mistaken? What if we’ve misunderstood what they meant? I’m hoping that this series on some of the major statements from the New Testament about the “end of the world” will show that they weren’t mistaken in their understanding of the “signs of the times.” Before we begin, however, let’s look at some terms that will have to be used. As most of you know, I try to refrain from using big “church” words. My reason for this is because those words are like suitcases where ideas and thoughts and understandings are packed into them. To explain the words would mean a long time spent unpacking the suitcases and explaining their contents. While such a pil

A Response: “A Biblical Guide to Revelation” — Part 3

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In this series we’ve been following a free guide I downloaded titled, “A Biblical Guide to Revelation” (hereinafter, “Biblical Guide” or “Guide). In the first part , we just looked briefly at the Introduction . In Part 2 , we looked at Chapter 1: Who Are the Seven Churches in Revelation. Now we’re ready to look at the next chapter. Chapter 2: What Should We Know about the Rapture? In this chapter, the Biblical Guide starts by noting that the term “rapture” was first used by the 19th century Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, John Nelson Darby. It’s an English translation of the Latin word rapio meaning to “seize or snatch away.” Think about this for a moment. The idea of the “rapture” wasn’t taught until the 19th century and it’s not found in most Christian traditions even to this day. That is to say, it’s pretty much a Western, Evangelical, Protestant doctrine. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this, per se. I’m just pointing out the stream in which this Guide swims. The Guide then states th

A Response: “A Biblical Guide to Revelation” — Part 2

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In Part 1 of this series we very briefly looked at the Introduction to this “Biblical Guide to Revelation” (hereinafter, “Biblical Guide” or “Guide”). In this part, we’re going to address the first chapter. Chapter 1: Who Are the Seven Churches in Revelation Revelation 1.1-3 (CEB; adapted): [1] A revelation of Jesus [the] Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place . Christ made it known by sending it through his angel to his servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the witness of Jesus [the] Christ, including all that John saw. 3 Favored is the one who reads the words of this prophecy out loud, and favored are those who listen to it being read, and keep what is written in it, for the time is near (emphasis added). This is how the book of Revelation starts. But one wouldn’t know that by using this Guide as it starts with verse 4 and the “seven churches that are in Asia.” Why would it start with verse 4 instead of verse 1 ? Probably be

A Response: “A Biblical Guide to Revelation” — Part 1

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In this series, we’re going to be going through a study guide I downloaded one morning in July. There was an ad on my daily lectionary email (I use this because it’s a lot easier than looking it up every day) and I clicked on it by mistake. The ad was for a study guide — A Biblical Guide to Revelation: On End Times, Faith, and the Significance Today (hereinafter, “Biblical Guide” or “Guide”). If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that studying eschatology — the “end times” — is an important subject for me, so I was intrigued to see what they had to say and signed up for the free guide. I downloaded the 25 page PDF Biblical Guide and started to read it. From the table of contents one can tell this has a specific evangelical slant. But, we all do, right? By that I mean we all come to the Bible with our own theological views. We can’t avoid it and I’m no different; if anyone tells us otherwise they’re mistaken or trying to sell us something. Still, the table of cont