How Important Is It To Get Eschatology Right?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by TCGreek, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

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    1. Should we pay attention to Eschatology?

    2. Should we just accept any view on Eschatology, or do we owe it to ourselves to be diligent students of Eschatology?

    3. We all agree that Christ is going to return and all of the world events are going to come to an end, outside of this staple, Is anything lost in these various schools of Eschatology? Does any of these schools make too light of the biblical data?
     
  2. npetreley

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    Yes, we should pay attention and be diligent students (it's in the Bible, right?), but not obsess over it. Also, remember that some eschatology exists only so that we will recognize - after the fact - that God planned it all. In other cases, we are told to watch for signs.
     
  3. Steven2006

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    IMO, since these things are in the Bible, it should be important to us and we should have a solid knowledge in order to be grounded in our beliefs. However it should be kept in perspective. I don't believe it is close to being as important as understanding the Gospel message of the Bible. Personally I think there is more benefit for a Christian in studying more the areas of instruction that are in the Bible. Also I don't think people should be overly dogmatic about eschatology, unless someone's view are way off the reservation, and started predicting times and dates, and spouting clear unbiblical views. But the bottom line is anything in the Bible should be important for us to try and understand.
     
  4. TCGreek

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    1. But when I read Scripture, those eschatological passages are always followed by exhortations (2 Pet. 3; Phil 4;5).

    2. I know we shouldn't be as dogmatic, but is any doctrine, maybe theology proper, is being slighted because of a somewhat carefree approach to eschatology?

    3. Why are so many still computing dates? Doesn't this apply to the newspaper prophets as well?
     
  5. Steven2006

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    Because we should be looking to Christ and His return. We should be telling people about Christ and that He will return, that is very important. But saying that I still don't know if that also means it is so essential to understand exactly every detail of that happening.

    I don't know the answer to that question. I suppose it would depend on the maturity of the individual. If they need to understand some other areas, that would affect their confidence or understand of their salvation, I would say that the study of eschatology would not be as big a priority for this person. Likewise someone that had little knowledge of knowledge of Christian daily conduct and how to mature and be more Christ like. Or likewise someone that didn't know much about Gods grace and love, or maybe the importance of prayer. But back to the question, I don't know when and where you exactly might draw that line you asked about.
     
  6. npetreley

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    This is the red herring of eschatology. I think it's foolish to compute dates. Speculate, maybe, but predict, no. The Bible tells us to watch for certain signs, and it says we won't be deceived because we will recognize some of them. But I do think it's way too easy to see "the beginning of the end of the world" in everything that happens. I'm extremely skeptical of any alert about how this or that new technology or whatever will be the "number of the beast", etc. It's almost always alarmist bogosity.
     
  7. J.D.

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    I think that God made prophecy intentionaly vague so that we would focus on being ready for his return at any and every given moment. Not "counting down", or looking for signs, etc.
     
  8. J.D.

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    There is such a thing as "doubtful disputations" over which the Lord would not have us to be in serious conflict. Does eschat come under that rule? I don't know, but my opinion is that a particular view of the mechanics of the return of Christ is not something to get riled over.
     
  9. npetreley

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    Counting down is hopeless, because we can't know a date (maybe when things get really close we'll have an idea, but that's not the same thing).

    But we're told to watch, and we were told signs. In fact, we're told that the people who miss some of the more subtle signs will do so because they're getting drunk and carousing, or just wrapped up in the cares of daily life, and are therefore not paying attention.

    We're also told in 2 Thes...

    This passage makes no sense unless we'll be around to see the rebellion/apostasy, and the man of lawlessness revealed -- AND be able to recognize these as signs.
     
  10. TCGreek

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    But aren't these definite signs a type of computing?
     
  11. TCGreek

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    1. Wouldn't that be going against what we see in Scripture? For example, prophecies about certain events in the life of Israel under OT that have to come where hardly vague.

    2. Prophecies of the first coming of Christ were hardly vague.

    3. Why should prophecies about His second coming now be considered vague?

    4. Are they really that vague? Or are they vague because of the way we look at them?
     
  12. npetreley

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    The closest thing to computing is that (assuming we've interpreted things right, and assuming we can really know when the man of sin is revealed), there will be a maximum of about 3 1/2 years after the man of sin is revealed until Jesus returns. The exact time would be impossible to know, but it shouldn't last any longer than 3 1/2 years, and probably wouldn't happen immediately (like 1 month after the man of sin is revealed). The basis for this: The time alloted for the great tribulation is 3 1/2 years, but Jesus says that time will be cut short. How short, we don't know. So we only know a maximum time frame.

    Again, this assumes other stuff, like that the man of sin is revealed in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, that this event launches the great tribulation, etc. Since a lot of this is debatable, I wouldn't get that specific - unless it becomes obvious when it happens that it's all playing out as we interpreted things. But if we recognize the man of sin being revealed, I'd be comfortable saying, "Jesus will return really soon now". I wouldn't be comfortable making a more precise prediction. ;)
     
    #12 npetreley, Oct 5, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2007
  13. JustChristian

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    I taught Daniel and Revelation in adult Sunday School because I thought it was interesting. Actually, I don't think Escat0ology is very important at all. The important part can be briefly summarized:

    1) Accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and love God and your neighbor,

    2) Be prepared for the Second Coming,

    3) Be assured in your salvation.
     
  14. TCGreek

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    If Eschatology isn't important, then why those three exhortations, precisely because it is important.
     
  15. saturneptune

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    TC,
    What do you think of Hal Lindsey? That is what I used to pattern my belief about end times after. After reading the verses for myself over the last several years, I am really not sure which of the positions is correct anymore. I can see arguments for each by various verses.
     
  16. Ed Edwards

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    The Thessalonians were familiar with
    this saying of Jesus which we now find
    recorded in Matthew 24:13 (KJV1873):

    But he that shall endure unto
    the end, the same shall be saved.


    But some said of their friend "He got
    sick and died before Jesus came to
    get him, poor soul -- he didn't endure
    to the end."

    Paul addresses this problem in
    a clearly pretribulation rapture passage
    1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:11,
    one of the most comforting passages in the
    Bible.

    1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:11 (nKJV):

    13 But I do not want you to be ignorant,
    brethren, concerning those who have fallen
    asleep, lest you sorrow as others who
    have no hope.
    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and
    rose again, even so God will bring with Him
    those who sleep in Jesus.
    15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord,
    that we who are alive and remain until
    the coming of the Lord will by no means
    precede those who are asleep.
    16 For the Lord Himself will descend
    from heaven with a shout, with the voice
    of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
    And the dead in Christ will rise first.
    17 Then we who are alive and remain
    shall be caught up (LATIN: raptured)
    together with them in the clouds to meet
    the Lord in the air. And thus we shall
    always be with the Lord
    .
    18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

    1 Thesalonians 5:1 - But concerning the times and the seasons,
    brethren, you have no need that I should
    write to you.
    2 For you yourselves know perfectly that
    the day of the Lord so comes as a thief
    in the night.
    3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!"
    then sudden destruction comes upon them,
    as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.
    And they shall not escape.
    4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness,
    so that this Day should overtake
    you as a thief.
    5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day.
    We are not of the night nor of darkness.
    6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do,
    but let us watch and be sober.
    7 For those who sleep, sleep at night,
    and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
    8 But let us who are of the day be sober,
    putting on the breastplate of faith and love,
    and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
    9 For God did not appoint us to wrath,
    but to obtain salvation through our
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep,
    we should live together with Him
    .
    11 Therefore comfort each other and edify
    one another
    , just as you also are doing.

    Later the Thessalonians wondered if they
    had missed the rapture. Paul corrects this
    in a second letter:

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (nKJV):

    1 Now, brethren, concerning
    the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
    and our gathering together to Him,
    we ask you
    ,
    2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled,
    either by spirit or by word or by letter,
    as if from us, as though the day of Christ
    had come
    .
    3 Let no one deceive you by any means;
    for that Day will not come unless
    the falling away comes first,
    and the man of sin
    is revealed, the son of perdition,

    The falling away that comes first
    is the Rapture!
    Then the man of sin is revealed, the
    antichrist. Then the Tribulation period
    begins.

    While the KJV uses "falling away" here, the
    English versions before the KJV used a
    form of "departure" - again, the idea of
    someone leaving this world as in the pretribulation
    rapture/resurrection

    2 Thessalonians 2:3 (Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition):
    Let no man deceiue you by any meanes: for that day shall
    not come, except there come a departing first, and that
    that man of sinne be disclosed, euen the sonne of perdition,

    There is nothing HAS TO HAPPEN before
    the rapture.
    Here are some things that could happen
    before the rapture but they do NOT
    have to happen.

    1) The destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17)
    2) the Ezekiel 38 Gog/Magog invastion
    (the Ezekiel 39 and Revelation 20:8
    Gog/Magog invasion will be after the
    Millinnial Kingdom period)
    3) the building of a Temple in Jerusalem
    on Mount Moriah north of and alongside
    the Dome of the Rock.

    But again, these things do not HAVE
    TO HAPPEN before the rapture, they may
    happen after the rapture; they could happen
    before the rapture. They do not HAVE TO
    HAPPEN before the imminent pretribulation
    rapture.

    -------------------------------------------

    But that isn't all THAT important :D

    Anyway, once the Pretribulation Rapture happens,
    the rest can all be dated within a few days
    (i.e. the date/s/ of the Pretribulation Rapture
    is known when the Pretribulation Rapture happens).

    One time someone got onto me cause I 'dated things' based
    on the day the Pretribualtion Rapture happens.
    Yep, I do that. It is just that the day of the Pretribualtion
    Rapture is NOT known; some other things are known
    from that date.
     
    #16 Ed Edwards, Oct 5, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2007
  17. TCGreek

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    Saturneptune,

    1. I'm just trying to get my teeth in to the heart of eschatology, so I'm not really that qualify on the fine details.

    2. Premil fits the biblical data quite well; outside of that, whether pretrib, midtrib, or posttrib, you'll have to decide, but again the data seems to favor pretrib.
     
  18. Allan

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    TCG, they WERE vague to the OT and people present at the time of Christ (before the Resurrection), even to His disciples. They did not have a proper understanding regarding the messiah even though it was right there in front of them. After the resurrection, believers saw clearly that which was vague before ONLY because it had been fulfilled and they were it's witnesses, and all believers attested to their testimony and that of the Holy Spirit of those things which were prophesied to come to pass.

    The Book of Revelation has many things in it that have never come to pass. Like for example, all the fish in the sea (Ocean) will die. ANother is an Angel flying all over the world proclaiming the Gospel in the air, and another right behind him proclaiming condemnation to those who did not listen. And of course many others.

    But what is most important is that the Anti-Christ will do physical battle with Christ Jesus. It is AFTER that Battle in which Jesus sets up the Kingdom of Israel (Acts 1) the Apostles asked, If Jesus was setting up at this time (after His Resurrection) and He will rule it with an Iron Rod. This HAS NOT happened.

    The signs are given so we can VERIFY that the prophesy is coming and will come to pass. NOT to give a time but so we can be watchful for that time which no man know but to be ready at all times. Will we continue in faithfulness of the Faith so that when Christ returns He will find us full of faith because we were faithful. Else why would Christ ask: when the Son of Mans comes again will He find faith on the earth?

    But it is not for to know 'The Time' which is in the Fathers power for that is His to know and do. We are to look for its coming and stand faithful, but how do we do this. By watching and do those things which we have been given power or authority To Know and DO and that is being a witness of Him in all places He sends us. (unlike knowing the time of His bringing the Kingdom of Israel to fruition which is HIS to know and do - Acts 1).

    Therefore I am pressed to quote Heb 10:22-25:
     
    #18 Allan, Oct 5, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2007
  19. TCGreek

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    1. Isn't there a difference between the details of the prophecies given under the OT and the people's understanding of those prophecies. I see VAGUE only in reference to the people, but not to the PROPHECIES themselves.

    2. The nature of apoclyptic literature is my hunch.

    3. And we are in agreement on that one.

    4. Makes sense.
     
  20. npetreley

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    Sorry, pre-trib is totally out of the question. But I know better than to get started on that. I'm so outnumbered, it would be pointless. ;)
     

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