I am convinced there are beliefs claimed about God that lead to many tuning out God. I have written HERE how we can decide what God is really like. Our relationship with God cannot exceed our understanding of God. Why would a Creator not love us and others how we are seemingly created to love others? What if you discovered all this crazy talk about the world ending with the Battle of Armageddon isn’t in the Bible?
- People talking about Jesus coming and such predictions never coming to past make God-folks seem slightly loony. Too, certain end-time views can lead to passive living and not taking care of the world for the next generation. God surely prefers focusing on making a difference than escaping. I have to admit though being lifted up in the sky (i.e. rapture) doesn’t exactly thrill me because of my fear of heights!
- There are many different views of the end-times in the Bible by scholars. I would suggest since we can’t know for sure that we ought to live lives as if it mattered for the next generation. One should ask if the Bible teaches God is coming again to destroy the word in the future, why did Jesus tell his audience that supposed predictions about the world ending would happen in their lifetime: “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass way until all these things have happened” (Mt. 24:34)?
- If Jesus is coming again down from the sky, which is supposedly an idea from the Bible, why did the disciples ask Jesus: “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age” (Mt. 24:3)? Only non-visible, spiritual comings are missed.
- Maybe the end-times were not an earth ending event. As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Mt. 24:3) In the first century the temple and Jerusalem was destroyed and millions of lives were lost. Biblical Judaism ceased to exist. This could have been the end of the age that Jesus warned of. Biblical writers go on to say God no longer dwells in temples but people’s hearts.
- End-times talk is often associated with the talk of hell and heaven. Jesus didn’t say much about heaven as one may think. When Jesus spoke about eternal life, He spoke of it not in terms of something after death but a quality of life that begins here on earth to avoid future regrets. See here.
- Why doesn’t the Bible say more about heaven? A solely heavenly focus can lead to passive earthly living, similar to focusing on Jesus’ coming rather than making a difference in the world we live in currently.
But, what about the Book of Revelation?
Revelation was written to people in the writer’s era warning about their near future; it is not a letter written to predict a distant future. Self-destruction is predicted if looking to nations then our Creator for solutions. Words “antichrist” or “rapture” are not found in Revelation. Many simply use such words from other books in the Bible to weave into their story advocating for an end to the world. Revelation doesn’t require a violent end by God but encourages its readers living in such a way that can lead to peace in our future here on earth. See insights on Revelation: https://thinkingpacifism.net/2019/06/27/revelation-for-post-christians-peaceable-revelation-1/#more-8468
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