Lesson 5 - Eschatology: The Study of End Times




When we get to the study of end times, there are almost as many ideas and thoughts as there are people studying the subject.  No matter who you ask, they are likely to have a different opinion on the subject, and some people get very upset if you do not agree with their point of view.  There is so much confusion and noise about what to believe, sometimes it is difficult to know what we SHOULD believe.  One thing is for certain.  You will come across people who will disagree with you about the proper interpretation of end times events.  Most likely, you already have.

Because of this, eschatology (the study of end times) is one of those areas where it is absolutely critical to understand the difference between essential doctrines and non-essential doctrines.  When it comes to the study of end times, therefore, there are 2 questions we need to get absolutely right – even if everything else is wrong.


1.     What should we definitely declare as important to believe?

2.     What should we be more flexible about what to believe?


The expectation is that as we go down this path, we will see that the vast majority of the issues surrounding end times – particularly with respect to the timing and nature of events leading up to the end – are non-essential in nature.  Certainly, there are some essential elements as well, but most of the things we typically disagree about are non-essential. 

The objective of this lesson, therefore, will not be to convince you that any one particular view is right and accurate (except where we might determine that such is an essential doctrine).  Rather, the objective will be to present the various views and hopefully provide you with not only a better understanding of your own beliefs, but those of others as well.  If, upon examination of scripture you determine that your current beliefs are wrong, do not let that concern you too much.  Examine the scriptures carefully and then stand behind what you have learned, giving grace as appropriate to those who may disagree with you.


Eschatology is ultimately about paradise and the judgment of evil that will be necessary in order for God to bring about paradise.  A major aspect of that study, however, involves the concept of the Kingdom of God (discussed more fully below).  That Kingdom, which may today be spiritual in nature, will ultimately include every living creature in heaven and on earth.  Christians, therefore, ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom of God may come and that God's will be done on earth.  We do this by bringing the lost into the present Kingdom of God through our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  However, the full consummation of the Kingdom of God ultimately awaits the return of Jesus Christ.

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end.  According to his promise, Jesus Christ said that he will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth.  The dead will be raised and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.  These things are undisputable facts repeated over and over in the New Testament.  Likewise, they are represented even in the Apostle’s Creed.  Therefore, we must hold as essential these crucial truths:

1.     Christ will return physically

2.     The dead will be raised

3.     The unrighteous will be judged and sentenced to Hell

4.     The righteous will be rewarded with perfected bodies and eternal life


To dispute these simple truths is to question the very nature of the gospel itself.

The study of eschatology, however, goes beyond these simple truths into the details surrounding those events, including the timing of when it will occur and how it will come about.   This is where disagreements create divisions between us.

To begin this discussion, let us examine what the Bible refers to as the Day of the Lord.


The Day of the Lord


All significant events in Jewish history were denoted with the prefix “the day of _________.”   For example, scripture speaks of “the day of battle” or “the day of trouble” or “the day of wrath” or “the Day of Atonement.”  The Day of the Lord was a term used generally to describe the day in which Yahweh (Jehovah) would come and visit his people.  It would have been a time of anticipation and joy, except that the prophets gave it an entirely different outlook.  As a result of the prophets, The Day of the Lord became associated as much with judgment as it did with rejoicing.

 Both Isaiah (Isaiah 13:9, 11-12) and Zephaniah (Zephaniah 3:8) speak of the Day of the Lord as a day of terrible wrath from God.  Regarding God’s intentions on that day, Zephaniah says in Zephaniah 3:8, “My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy.” 

Isaiah also says that on that day, God exerts his authority (Isaiah 2:12-18).  It will be a day when men tremble (Isaiah 13:6-8).  Joel also says this in Joel 2:1-2, “Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand—a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains. A great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like; neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.”

According to both Isaiah (Isaiah 13:10) and Joel (Joel 2:20-32), The Day of the Lord will be a day of miraculous celestial events.  Hear also the Apostle Peter’s words regarding this in 2 Peter 3:10-12


10 But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.


11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy manner of living and godliness,


12 looking for and hastening unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?



Amos likewise refers to it as a day of darkness (Amos 5:18-20).   Malachi refers to it as a day of punishment (Malachi 4:1-3).  According to both Paul (in 1 Thessalonians 5:2) and Peter (in 2 Peter 3:10) say that it will be a day that catches everyone by surprise.  Zephaniah summarizes the frightfulness of it well in Zephaniah 1:14-18


14 The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hasteneth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord; the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.


15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of waste and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,


16 a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers.


17 “And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.”


18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy, for He indeed shall make a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.


No matter how you look at it, scripture makes it clear that the Day of the Lord is a very real, very physical, and very frightening event that will take place at some point in the future.  However, as scary and frightening as it may be, the Day of the Lord also comes with hope.  To begin with, while it may be a day of worldwide war against Israel, we know that Jesus will be victorious as Israel’s champion (Zechariah 14:1-7; Revelation 19:11-21; Ezekiel 39:1-6).  More importantly, we know that the end result of the Day of the Lord will be our salvation.  As the prophet Joel says in Joel 2:30-33


30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth— blood and fire and pillars of smoke.


31 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.


32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.


Based upon these discussions, do you think it is important to believe in a literal Day of the Lord where God will physically crush the forces of evil on this earth? How can we not read these scriptures and believe otherwise?


The Kingdom of God


The phrase “Kingdom of God” does not show up in scripture until Jesus uses it in the gospels.  Matthew uses the phrase “kingdom of the heavens” while Mark and Luke uses “Kingdom of God” but all refer to the same thing.  As previously discussed, there are multiple views of God’s kingdom.  It can have multiple meanings which may all be right in some respects.

First of all, the Kingdom of God can refer to God’s eternal kingdom over all of creation.  The Psalms repeatedly refer to God’s kingdom in this respect.  In his prayer before the assembly in 1 Chronicles 29:11, David refers to God’s kingdom in this same way.   And in Daniel 4:2-3, Daniel declared all of creation as belonging to God’s kingdom.  In this way, all the nations of the earth are a part of the kingdom of God (Psalm 103:19).  However, in the Old Testament, it was Israel that was generally considered to represent the Kingdom of God.   In turning over his throne to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:5, King David referred to that throne specifically as the throne of the kingdom of the LORD (Yahweh/Jehovah) over Israel.

Jesus spoke extensively of the Kingdom of God.  It was the dominant theme of the Sermon on the Mount and it is generally the point of almost all of his parables. When Jesus, however, began speaking of the Kingdom of God, he was not referring to either the nation of Israel or all of creation in general.   When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God, the context is clear that what he is talking about is our final destination - what most Christians would generally refer to as “heaven.”  However, the manner in which he speaks of the Kingdom of God implies a literal, physical kingdom, not some spiritual realm.  In other words, heaven will be a physical, literal place where we will live in our resurrected bodies.

Consider, therefore, what these verses say about that kingdom:


Isaiah 32:1 - Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice.


Jeremiah 23:5-6 - “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’


Both of these passages are prophecies about Jesus Christ.  Therefore, based on this, it appears that Jesus will be ruling over this kingdom.  As such, not only will it be a physical kingdom, but it will be a kingdom whose ruler is none other than Jesus Christ himself.


The Reign of Christ


If indeed, Christ is the one ruling over the Kingdom of God, then Daniel 7:13-14 tells us that Christ will have reign over all of the earth.


Daniel 7:13-14 - “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.  And there was given Him dominion and glory and a Kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”


The question is, however, what does it mean to say that Jesus will reign over the earth?   There are a number of different views about this.  Most of the differences in the views centers around differences in our understanding of the 1000 year rule identified in Revelation 20, which is often referred to as the Millennial Kingdom or the Millennial Reign of Christ.  

One view on the Millennial Reign is that it is a symbolic reign from heaven in which Jesus rules spiritually until the end of time.  This symbolic view considers the “Day of the Lord” to be the end of all things, where God creates a new heaven and a new earth (see Revelation 21:1-8).  It links the second coming of Christ to this end of the world event.  Therefore, there would not be a physical millennial kingdom where Christ rules here on this earth.  It considers Christ to be currently on the throne in heaven, but until such time as God creates the New Heaven and New Earth, Christ will not literally rule here on earth.

In contrast to that is the view that Christ will literally reign, but he will do so from heaven, not from here on earth (see Revelation 20:1-6). This view also links the “Day of the Lord” to the end of time rather than a second coming of Christ that establishes an earthly, Millennial Kingdom.  However, this view believes that at some point in the future, Christ will literally rule the earth, but he will do it from heaven.  Essentially, Christianity will at some point gain political and spiritual dominance over the earth and usher in 1000 years of Christian reign (human-led on  the earth; Christ-led from heaven).  In other words, Jesus will not literally be here as the figurehead of the Millennial Kingdom.  It will be “Christianity” that actually rules here on earth, but since “Christianity” is under the authority of Christ, Christ will essentially rule the earth from his throne in heaven.

Then there is the view that Christ will reign over the earth, but will do so literally here on earth (see Zechariah 14).   This view links the second coming of Jesus Christ with the establishment of a literal, 1000 year reign with Christ on a physical throne here on earth.  In this view, the Day of the Lord is when Jesus returns, punishes the evil forces of the world, and set up his 1000 year reign – not the end of days where God creates a New Heaven and a New Earth.

No matter which view it taken, however, there is one common theme.  Christ will physically return – either as part of this earth or as a precursor to establishing a New Earth.  And in all views, Christ will reign as King.


To summarize the discussion thus far:  we have seen it is essential that we believe in a coming day of judgment where Christ will judge the world.  We have seen that God will establish for himself a kingdom of righteousness and that it is important we believe that Christ will rule that Kingdom – either from heaven or here on earth.  Either way, though, we have seen the essential doctrine that eventually Christ will return.  Where we have differences, apparently, is around the nature of the return of Christ.  So let us now take a closer look at the various views regarding the Return of Christ.


The Return of Christ


It is natural for us to be inquisitive about the return of Christ.  In Matthew 24:3, the disciples asked Jesus about the end times, which led to the Olivet Discourse, where Jesus himself speaks of the end times.  One of the critical things Jesus says in that discourse is that he will return to gather his elect (Matthew 24:30-31).  This is no different than what he tells his disciples in John 14:2-3, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.”   Or what the angel told the disciples right after Jesus ascended into heaven in Acts 1:11, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven.”   A critical element of our hope is the fact that we place our faith in the anticipated return of Jesus.  But like the Day of the Lord and the Reign of Christ, while we can agree that he will return, we often run into problems trying to come to agreement on both the timing and the nature of his return – and most of these disagreements relate in some way to our differences regarding the Millennial Kingdom.  The following describes the three main views on his return.


Pre-Millennialism.  This view believes that scripture differentiates between the second coming of Christ and the time of the final judgment (including the New Heaven and New Earth).  With Pre-Millennialism, there are essentially two “days of the Lord” – one where he returns for his church and sets up his 1000 year reign and one where the present heaven and earth are destroyed and remade for eternity.  This view is derived from the fact that sometimes prophecies concerning the Day of the Lord say that day will result in the burning up of the whole universe - while at other times, prophecies concerning the Day of the Lord say that a new Kingdom will be set up here on earth.  Therefore, Pre-millennialists believe that the first Day of the Lord is when Jesus physically returns to earth to gather his church, destroy the enemies of Israel, and set up a literal 1000 year reign here on earth with Jesus on the throne.  Likewise, they believe that the second Day of the Lord is after this 1000 years when God brings about the final judgment and the present Heaven and Earth pass away and the New Heaven and Earth are created.   Pre-millennialism takes the view that the return of Christ is related to a period of intense tribulation and persecution of the saints that will occur prior to the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom.  This tribulation period is alluded to in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 9), is referenced by Christ in Matthew 24, and is described in great detail in Revelation.

Pre-millennialism was the primary view of the early church for several hundred years until St. Augustine claimed that the book of Revelation was allegorical and should not be taken literally.  Based upon that, he re-studied the scriptures and developed the Amillennial view (see below).  Pre-millennialism made a resurgence in the Anglican Church in the 17th century in England, but was discredited in favor of Post-millennialism (see below).  It wasn’t until the theory and concept of Dispensationalism (see discussion below) came about in the 19th century that Pre-millennialism made a comeback.  With the increased interest in prophecy over the last couple of decades, the Pre-millennial view has quickly become one of the dominant views among evangelicals.


Amillennialism.  Because the Day of the Lord is often identified with the return of Christ, but it is also identified with the complete destruction of the universe, those who hold this view believe that the Millennial Kingdom is purely symbolic.  Jesus reigns from heaven now through the lives of the church, with the millennium being symbolic for the long length of time that Jesus has been reigning from heaven since he ascended into heaven – as opposed to a literal 1000 years.  Because Amillennialists view the book of Revelation as purely symbolic, they do not believe in a literal, 7-year period of tribulation.  Instead, they believe that we are always in the tribulation period.  Indeed, no matter what point in history you may study, there are always Christians in intense persecution and there are always those who are like the Anti-Christ.  Pointing to these facts, to the many scriptures that refer to Christ’s coming as “imminent,” and to the verses that say the Day of the Lord will be a surprise, Amillennialists therefore see the Tribulation period of Revelation as either always happening or having already happened at some point in history.  Therefore, Jesus can return at any moment and end all things, ushering in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Amillennialism is the second-most common view held by evangelicals. It was the dominant view of the medieval church beginning with St. Augustine and it is a fairly common view held by Reformed and Calvinist Christians today.


Post Millennialism.  This view also believes that the Day of the Lord and the return of Christ are linked more directly with the ushering in of a New Heaven and a New Earth.  However, unlike the Amillennialists, Post-millennialists believe that through the preaching of the word and evangelism, Christianity will become a dominant force in the world.   Evil will not be eliminated, but righteousness will be triumphant.  This will last for a long time, perhaps even a literal 1000 years, after which Jesus will return and end all things.

This view is not widely held today. It came into prominence in the 18th century after political unrest discredited those who were promoting the pre-millennial view.  Some very prominent theologians and preachers, including Jonathan Edwards, held this view.  It remained dominant until Pre-millennialism returned to prominence in the late 19th and 20th centuries.


Dispensationalism.  Dispensationalism is not specifically a view on the return of Christ.  Rather is it is branch of theological study.  However, as a branch of theological study, it has aspects that directly impact some people’s view on the return of Christ.  Dispensationalism is a field of theological study that breaks scripture down into dispensations or eras.  Each dispensation is essentially dominated by a particular covenant that God has made with the people.  Dispensationalism does not look at all of scripture as holding a single, unified message, but rather is premised on the view that God differentiates and deals with humanity differently depending upon which dispensation you are in.  According to Dispensationalism, we are currently in what is referred to as the “Church Age”   - or the time of the gentiles. 

The dispensationalist view is that the Great Tribulation of Revelation is the 70th week of Daniel.   Daniel prophesied 70 weeks of years that God would deal with his people, the Jews.  Dispensationalists say that there is break between the 69th week and the 70th week – with that 70th week being the 7-year tribulation period.  Dispensationalists believe that the gentile church and Israel are two distinct and separate entities.  They believe that the Old Testament did not contemplate the church but dealt only with the Jews.  Therefore, because it is the 70th week of Daniel, they believe that the tribulation period is only about the Jewish people. The “saints” in Revelation, therefore, are Jewish believers, not gentile Christians.  Dispensationalists say there is a “secret” return of Christ at the beginning of the tribulation period that scripture does not directly reveal.  At this secret coming, Christ will only appear in the air and will gather his church to meet him in the air – that is, the rapture.  The actual second coming – where Jesus returns to step foot on the earth - happens at the end of the 7-year period.

Dispensationalism specifically adopted the Pre-Millennial view because it advanced their theological process.  However, in doing so, it created yet another subset of views concerning the return of Christ, dividing the Pre-millennialists into three further sub-categories that differ depending upon one’s view of the rapture of the church.


The Rapture of the Church


Although the word “rapture” does not appear anywhere in scripture, the rapture of the church is a concept that is based upon a number of scriptures, including Matthew 24:30-31, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.  Essentially, the rapture is tied directly to the return of Jesus Christ and refers to the time when he will gather his elect to himself – both the living and the dead.    The idea of the rapture is unique to the Pre-millennial view of the return of Christ because it is intricately tied to the concept of a literal 7-year tribulation period.  The three views of the rapture are as follows:


Pre Tribulation – This view holds that the rapture of the church will come immediately prior to the 7-year tribulation period of Daniel and Revelation.  The primary scriptural arguments for a pre-tribulation view are as follows. 

       1 Thessalonians 5:9 says that Christians will not face God’s wrath.  Proponents of the pre-tribulation rapture view say that “wrath” here is referring to the tribulation period in Revelation.  Those who do not support the pre-tribulation view argue that God’s wrath does not mean the physical difficulties and persecution of the tribulation period, but rather the judgment of God on sinners.  Revelation is clear that many of the judgments will not affect the saints who are alive during the tribulation period.

       2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 speaks of how the man of lawlessness is currently being held back so that he currently cannot reach power.  Proponents of the pre-tribulation view say that the one who is holding back the man of lawlessness identified in these verses is the Holy Spirit.  Since the Holy Spirit lives in believers, the only way to remove him is to remove the believers, which is accomplished through the rapture.  Those who do not support the pre-tribulation view say that there is nothing in this verse to suggest that the one who is holding back the man of lawlessness is the Holy Spirit.  It is more likely that it is an angel, and even if it is the Holy Spirit, that does not mean Christians have to be removed in order for the Holy Spirit to be removed from restraining the man of lawlessness.

       Revelation 3:10 speaks of how the Church of Philadelphia will be spared from the coming tribulation period.  Proponents of the pre-tribulation view suggest that “the Church at Philadelphia” is symbolic for “true Christians”.  Those who disagree say that this implies all of the other 7 churches were not true Christians, which is reading way too much into the text.  It is true that the church at Philadelphia will be spared from tribulation, but the question remains unanswered: Who is the church at Philadelphia?

       Revelation 4:1 tells how John was “called up” into heaven. Many proponents of the pre-tribulation view believe this is the rapture.  In opposition, others say such an interpretation is reading way too much into the text, because it was specifically referring to John being called up into heaven for the purpose of seeing the Revelation.

       Revelation chapters 5-21 never use the word “church.” The church is clearly mentioned in Revelation 1-3, but never mentioned in the rest of Revelation.  Pre-tribulation proponents believe that “saints” in the remainder of revelation, therefore, must mean something different than “church”.  By contrast, others say that “saints” has always been synonymous with God’s people, including the church.


By far, the Pre-tribulation view of the rapture is the most widely held view among evangelicals today.  There are 3 reasons for this:

1.     The influence of Dispensationalist theology – even among those who don’t realize they are influenced by it

2.     The cultural influences of Ron Hubbard’s “Late Great Planet Earth” and Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind” books.

3.     Western Culture – Western culture is one of comfort and ease that has a difficult time believing that God would put his people through the events of Revelation, even though Christians all over the world are experiencing that same level of persecution today – and always have since 44 AD when the apostle James became the first martyr.


According to author Dave McPhearson, although the pre-millennial view of the return of Christ has been around since the 1st century, the pre-tribulation view of the rapture has only been around since 1830.  According to McPhearson, a 15 year old Scottish girl had a dream that Christians would be raptured before the great tribulation.  She told her pastor, who took it as prophetic and began teaching it.  It began to catch on regionally and was ultimately adopted by the Dispensationalists because it supported their biblical interpretations.  Dispensationalists soundly dispute this claim. 


Mid Tribulation (or Pre-Wrath) - This view holds that Christians will go through a portion of the tribulation, but not all of it.  They base their beliefs primarily to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.  The events referred to in those verses happen about mid-way through the events of Revelation.  Because Pre-Millennialists believe in a literal 7-year tribulation period, then these verses would suggest that the rapture will occur at the middle of this tribulation period.  Note however, that this verse doesn’t say it will happen at that time, but after.  Therefore, some take the view that the rapture may not happen exactly in the middle of the tribulation period, but sometime after the mid-point but before the very intense wrath that occurs towards the end of the tribulation period – thus the term “pre-wrath.”     However, the theological distance between a mid-tribulation view and a post-tribulation view is very small, with the difference being one’s interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 5:9.  Based on that verse, Mid-tribulation (Pre-wrath) proponents say that Christians will not face God’s wrath here on earth. Post-tribulation proponents, however, say that verse is not talking about the tribulation period of revelation, but rather of God’s judgment in general. 


Post Tribulation - The Post-tribulation view holds that the events of Revelation may or may not represent a literal 7-year Tribulation period. This is because you will be hard pressed to find a 7 year period identified in Revelation. However, given the prophecies in Daniel 9, it is generally presumed by most post-tribulation proponents that the tribulation will be roughly 7 years.  Regardless, there will at least be a literal 3 ½ years of GREAT TRIBULATION, unlike anything the world has ever seen.  At some point towards the end of that period, the Lord will return to rapture his church.  The dead in Christ will rise, the rest of us will be raptured to meet him in the air in accordance with 1 Thessalonians 4:16.  Either immediately or at some very short interval thereafter, Jesus will physically return to the Mount of Olives, destroy the enemies of Israel, and usher in the Millennial kingdom. It is generally believed that this view is the one that was held by the 1st and 2nd century church until the time of Augustine.  Based upon Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 (and its parallel passages in the other gospels), there was no expectation on the part of the early church that they would escape the great tribulation.

Post-tribulation advocates also look to Revelation 20:4-6 – which appears to be at the end of the Tribulation period.  These verses refer to the resurrection of the church as the “first resurrection.” Since the resurrection of the church occurs at the same time as the rapture, then the rapture of the church must occur at the end of the tribulation period.  

Despite being the view of the 1st and 2nd century church, a relatively small number of Christians today hold this view today.  Instead, because of the major cultural influence of Dispensationalism, most hold to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view.  However, whenever Christians abandon Dispensationalist influence, they tend to drift towards the post-tribulation view.


The End of All Things


At the end of the day, the study of end times should not so much focus on these details as it should the end of all things – or more appropriately, the beginning of eternity.  Whether you are facing tribulation today or simply looking forward to the return of Christ at some point in the future, the beauty of apocalyptic books such as The Revelation is that they bring us great comfort that God is victorious in the end and that we shall spend eternity with him.  Yes, things may get bad, but in places all over the world, they are bad today.  What we can rest assured in are the following clear truths of scripture:

·      Jesus will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords,

·      Judgment will come on all wickedness and those who reject Christ,

·      Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire, and

·      Death will be last enemy defeated.