What are the different End Of Time Theories?
Why do we as Lutherans, believe what we do?
In this week’s Question of the Week podcast*, one of our members asked about the various end times theories and why we as Lutherans believe what we do. I responded with the Who, What, Where, When and Why of end times teaching. Now I’d like to share the How. How do we apply what the Bible says about the end times to our daily lives?
First, let’s review some basics about the end times.
- Jesus ascended into heaven after His birth, life, death and resurrection on earth (1 Cor 15:3-5, Acts 1:9).
- In heaven, Jesus is enthroned in honor and glory (Philippians 2:5-11).
- Jesus established His Church by sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).
- As the end approaches, evil will continue to grow (Matthew 14:9-13).
- When the fullness of time is complete, Jesus will return the same way He went into heaven (Acts 1:10-11).
- When Jesus returns, all the dead will be raised to be judged according to what they have done (Matthew 25:31-46), and those who believe in Jesus will be saved (Mark 16:16).
- Jesus will establish a new heaven and a new earth where He will live with His people in peace and joy (Revelation 21:1-4).
This is all great information, but how does it apply to my life today? What difference does it make to me now to know what’s going to happen some day in the future?
Understanding the truth about the end times changes my life today in three ways:
- Knowing God has a plan gives meaning to my past.
Sometimes, when I look at my past, I start to feel sorry for myself. I have been through some very painful situations in my life. Some were the fault of others, but most were due to my own rebellious nature.
One of the main teachings of the Bible about the end times is that God has a plan. His plan has been in place since the very beginning of time, and everything is working together to make it come about. It comforts me to know that the pain of my past, even when self-inflicted, is being used by God to accomplish His purpose – the redemption of all creation.
2. Knowing God is in control gives me strength for life today.
Sometimes my life seems completely out of control. I try hard to stay on top of things, to keep up with everything that needs to be done, and to smile and be pleasant in the middle of it all. It doesn’t work.
One of the main teachings of the Bible about the end times is that God is in control. He is never surprised and never at a loss about what to do. It reassures me to know that God embodies ultimate wisdom, ultimate power, and ultimate love. God knows what He is doing, He has the power to do whatever needs to be done, and everything He does is an expression of His infinite love for me.
3. Knowing God will be victorious gives me hope for the future.
Sometimes I feel defeated. I want to live in victory over sin and be the kind of man God wants me to be. I try to set aside my selfish desires and live for Jesus, but I fail every day. It’s easy to get discouraged.
One of the main teachings of the Bible about the end times is that when the end comes, God is victorious! We win! It’s all going to be ok. And not only will God be victorious, but so will I. On that day, I will finally know how it feels to live in total victory over sin. I will finally be who I was meant to be – no more struggle, no more defeat, no more pain. The knowledge of the sure victory in my future gives me the hope I need to make it through each day today.
“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57)!