An Introduction to the Study of End Times
People ask when Jesus is coming again, while others try to pinpoint the exact time and place. Jesus said that no one knows the exact time or place, only God has this knowledge. We must keep diligent to his coming and He used a parable of the ten virgins with the lamps that need oil. While five of the virgins brought extra oil the others didn't and when the groom arrived in the middle of the night they didn't have the oil to light his way and when they went to get it they were shut out of the celebration ( Matthew 25:1-13).
We as believers need to diligent in not only watching for Jesus' return, but also to continue to do His work among the people of this world. There will be setbacks and failures, but in the face of these obstacles we need to remember when one door closes the Lord opens another. Will we see them or will we miss them because of distractions in our lives? What are we to watch for to tell us that the Lord's time is near? In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 there are clues to look for including; people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful and proud, ungrateful, without self-control,brutal,traitorous, and holding to the form of religion but denying its power (just to name a few). In Matthew 24:4-8, Jesus tells us not to be deceived by some who say they come in His name but have their own agenda. In this passage He also says,''there will be wars and rumors of wars”, along with wars comes famines and earthquakes. We can look at the world today and see these signs of the Last Days evident in our lives and world culture.
So why is it important to know these things or to study them? Revelation or the study of the Last Days is a hard subject for some to grasp or deal with, but with the recent current events in the world and the characteristics we deal within our own communities its important to know. No one will know the exact time or place, but like He said we need to be diligent in our watch for Him. We shouldn't just pull out the lawn-chairs and crack open a cold one and wait for Him. We should be acting on His message of love and discipleship everyday not knowing the hour of His return.
There are many helps available to those who wish to study eschatology. Use your favorite search engine and put in "End Times" or "Revelation" to get you started. A word of warning the Book of Revelation is the most metaphoric book in the Bible, use caution and an open mind when reading the many translations that are available. End of Times study isn't just a Christian belief other religions and belief structures have some kind of "Last Days" belief. The most popular one outside of Revelation seems to be the Mayan prophecy involving 2012.
The study of "End Time" prophecy can take a lifetime or a short time depending on the individual and how deep they want to go. It is both a scary and fascinating journey, the only question is when do you want to start?
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