Escatology - Whatever
- Rapture Ready - Rapture resource for the end times
The rapture of the Church will kick-off the end times. Are you rapture ready?
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1 : a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind
2 : a belief concerning death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind;specifically : any of various Christian doctrines concerning the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, or the Last Judgment
The end is near?
When I was a young lad I often wandered Oxford Street in Central London, during my lunch hour to window shop, and without fail I would see this nutter with a sandwich board declaring 'The End is Near' in huge letters, with 'Repent NOW' carefully positioned underneath.
Hand written and lacking in marketing punch, but effective, because 35 years later I still remember his sign, and 25 years later I heeded his warning.
The real embarrassment was, I found out he was a family member!
So, when I came to faith; after I had been through my 'I only want to read the red letter bit' phase, and once I had gone through my 'fundamentalist, probationist, bible thumper' stage, I finally got to my 'eschatology - what's that mean' stage.
Don't worry, God wins!
But before I got anywhere near studying eschatology, I had to get past all the crazy (to a new believer) things that the church 'laid on me'
There are (apparently) 30,000+ Christian denominations, all with their separate doctrines, which they are 100% sure are correct, and which they are prepared to disassociate from anyone who believes differently to them over.
No wonder people leave churches screaming 'hypocrites' - they get immunised against Christ by the constant back biting and arguments between believers.
Fortunately I was able to watch with mild amusement whilst these battles over doctrines went on, with scripture volleys flying overhead and bibles drawn at dawn on the church lawn.
"What on earth is this all about?" I asked God, and He replied "Don't worry, if you read the end of the book, I WIN" - OK forget the audible words bit, but it was clear to me that He was telling me something important, like.... don't sweat the small stuff.
Folk in churches all believe the same thing
I gotta tell you, when I was first in a church it was all I could do to stay sociable let alone 'love' all these people, and the politics.... just don't let's discuss the politics, and the 'correctness'.
I could see that stopping reading tarot cards was required, likewise the rune stones and biorhythm calculator (very useful in Satan's world for timing events correctly).
Divination was an obvious NO NO amongst other congregationalists, and thankfully God gave me discernment and words of knowledge to replace that.
Stopping smoking I could accept as needed, especially as I only used tobacco to roll joints with, and drinking a bottle of vodka a day seemed prudent to cease doing.
Fornication and Lust were more tricky areas to repent of..... I digress again!
Non Essentials... (yeah right)
Pretty soon when you join any church you will come to be taught their particular take on various 'non essentials' that you'd better believe in, or leave.
There will be no point in trying to show them they are in error, because they decided they were correct when the original leader laid out that which he was 100% sure God had told him, and the first of the faithful gathered around his ministry.
Many churchgoers have no idea WHY they believe what they say they believe.
The 'non essentials' (that you'd better believe in) will normally contain some of the following items in my little quiz...:
Let's do a little test...
What is THE most important thing to agree on?
The weather forecast....
The weather forecast (in my world) refers to Matthew 24, which is a hinge upon which most eschatologists will view one way or the other, and which colours their personal take on eschatology.
For me it was a defining text in building my faith, scripture that seemed to be fulfilled more each day as I watched the news, hence I call it my 'weather forecast' because it tell me what each day will bring.
Wars and rumours of wars...
Matthew 24: 3-25
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?"
Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you.
For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, and will deceive many.
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.
Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,'spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand - then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house.
Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.
How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it.
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.
See, I have told you ahead of time.
Cheerful stuff huh!
But nobody can deny that these things are happening.
Now you could say that these things have always been happening, and to a degree you would be correct, except that now is the only point in time when ALL these things have been happening at the same time.
....and knowledge shall be increased.
Another indicator of our position in time would be the fact that 500 years before Matthew was reporting Jesus's prophesy, Daniel an Old Covenant prophet was telling us more indicators to look out for when studying the end of the age...
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
Guess you may be wondering about the whatever part of the title, well it does figure in eschatology, because it's how the world views Christ, His end times prophesies and those of us who try to tell a rapidly dying world where things went wrong, and the reply we get is normally....
Well the 'whatever' will be kinda tough to experience, but more of that in the next section.
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