A few general questions about the end times

Discussions on Christian eschatology including different views pertaining to Jesus' second coming, rapture and tribulation, the millennium, and so forth.
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A few general questions about the end times

#1

Post by cubeus19 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:18 pm

Hello everyone, I'm very glad I came across this section of the God and Science message board. Eschatology is a area that I need tons of help in. Growing up in church I was exposed to so much 'junk eschatology' like the 'left behind' theories, I also remember my old pastor was a big fan of Jack Van Impe and Hal Lindsey. During those times I thought these people knew what they were talking about but after the year 2000 came about and the y2k computer crisis didn't play out to their liking I started to lose faith in their expertise and when I started studying apologetics and started coming here and have read all the more credible scholars debunking left behind eschatology I'm pretty much done with these nut cases. So with that said, I'm still left with a lot of questions concerning the end times. I currently don't know whether or not the stuff in Revelation is all supposed to be figurative, or that most of it happened a long time ago, or if this stuff will pan out in similar but different or completely different ways that the left behind crowd holds to, or like what William Lane Craig says, it's all ambiguous. I find it kind of odd and scary that one of the top Christian intellectuals of our day or any day would throw up his hands and say that the book of Revelation and eschatology is ambiguous. Because quite honestly, that's what I feel like doing myself. So for those of you who are studying what real scholars are saying about eschatology and the end times here are some questions that I'm pondering quite a bit right now.

What is the evidence for and against Christians having to go through the tribulation?

What will the antichrist be like? Will he be a real ruler? Will he have like a one world government? Is he just a metaphor? Was someone from the past like Nero, the antichrist?

Will the return of Christ be literal or figurative? How will God destroy the earth? Many say it will be by fire, will this fire be by meteorites? Climate change? Supernatural fire? Will God destroy the universe along with the earth or just the earth?

These are just a few but some of the top questions I have about end times events. I think my questions and my confusion over the whole deal kind of sums up the feelings that most ordinary Christians feel about end times. If these things are NOT as ambiguous and confusing as they seem please let me know and how I can get ahold of good, high quality resources from respected scholars on the topic of end times and the book of Revelation. Thanks for your time guys, God bless you all.

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#2

Post by narnia4 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:45 pm

Well, you definitely aren't alone in your questions, and these questions and others like them have been some of the most controversial among Christians. It's a subject that interests me and a lot of other Christians greatly, but it's very hard to get a good handle on it. I'm sure there are lots of opinions on your questions, but it's something that Christians aren't all going to agree on. At one point in my church, the the pastor, youth pastor, and Christian school principal all had different positions on the same subject.

Was never really a fan of Jack Van Impe, but I have followed Lindsey in the past- one thing that turns me off these guys is date setting, and as a general rule I consider date setting to be a huge question mark.

So, I would say you're right that it is difficult and easy answers won't come. There ARE some good resources out there though.

Just my opinion on a couple of your questions- the anti-Christ is yet to come, and Christ's return will be literal. Maybe when I have some more time I'll try to dig up a few good links to look at.
Young, Restless, Reformed

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#3

Post by Gman » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:59 pm

cubeus19 wrote: What is the evidence for and against Christians having to go through the tribulation?
There are many books that go over that.. These are some good sources.

http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/l ... ology.html
http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/tribulation.html
cubeus19 wrote:What will the antichrist be like? Will he be a real ruler? Will he have like a one world government? Is he just a metaphor? Was someone from the past like Nero, the antichrist?
The best answer I've heard is that the antichrist will be a Muslim (called the Mahdi). The false prophet however (the Islamic Jesus), shall come from the west to support the anti-Christ.
cubeus19 wrote:Will the return of Christ be literal or figurative?
Definitely literal..
cubeus19 wrote:How will God destroy the earth? Many say it will be by fire, will this fire be by meteorites? Climate change? Supernatural fire?
It could be a combination of each.. Also man may contribute via nuclear weapons..
cubeus19 wrote:Will God destroy the universe along with the earth or just the earth?
Just the earth..
cubeus19 wrote:These are just a few but some of the top questions I have about end times events. I think my questions and my confusion over the whole deal kind of sums up the feelings that most ordinary Christians feel about end times. If these things are NOT as ambiguous and confusing as they seem please let me know and how I can get ahold of good, high quality resources from respected scholars on the topic of end times and the book of Revelation. Thanks for your time guys, God bless you all.
No problem..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#4

Post by A Y323 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:57 am

Gman wrote:
cubeus19 wrote:Will God destroy the universe along with the earth or just the earth?
Just the earth..
Why just the earth? I thought the universe was made for the earth, so what would be the point of the universe without the earth?

Revelation 21:1 says there will be "a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away". I thought that meant the universe would be destroyed with the earth...?

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#5

Post by CeT-To » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:02 am

I agree with Y323, im pretty sure the universe will go aswell y:-?
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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#6

Post by cubeus19 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:19 am

Gman wrote: The best answer I've heard is that the antichrist will be a Muslim (called the Mahdi). The false prophet however (the Islamic Jesus), shall come from the west to support the anti-Christ.
Interesting and revolutionary idea Gman, In all my research and listening to sermons on the end times I've never have come across this idea. I got to know more, what kind of evidence suggests this? Also how many scholars support this idea? And does scripture seem to support it. I know that Islam is still growing fast and we all know they are not a peaceful group. So we shall see I guess. Thanks again Gman.

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#7

Post by Gman » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:07 pm

cubeus19 wrote:
Gman wrote: The best answer I've heard is that the antichrist will be a Muslim (called the Mahdi). The false prophet however (the Islamic Jesus), shall come from the west to support the anti-Christ.
Interesting and revolutionary idea Gman, In all my research and listening to sermons on the end times I've never have come across this idea. I got to know more, what kind of evidence suggests this? Also how many scholars support this idea? And does scripture seem to support it. I know that Islam is still growing fast and we all know they are not a peaceful group. So we shall see I guess. Thanks again Gman.
Yes.. There is very strong evidence that the anti-Christ will be Muslim.

"In Shia and Sunni eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years (according to various interpretations)[1] before the Day of Judgment (yawm al-qiyamah / literally, the Day of Resurrection) and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "powerful and central religious idea" and closely related to the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, whose return from occultation is deemed analagous with the coming of the Mahdi."

* The Mahdi will be a descendant of Muhammad of the line of Fatimah, He will be descendent by one side (by one of the parents) by Al Hassan and by another by Al Hussain.
* He will have the same name as Muhammad.
* He will be a fore-runner to Jesus' Messianic Rule.
* His coming will be accompanied by the raising of a Black Standard.
* His coming will be accompanied by the appearance of the Antichrist.
* There will be a lunar and solar eclipse within the same month of Ramadan.
* A star with a luminous tail will rise from the East before the coming of the Mahdi.
* He will establish the Caliphate.
* He will fill the world with justice and fairness at a time when the world will be filled with oppression.
* He will have a broad forehead, a prominent nose, and a natural mascara will ring his eyes. (Despite Momen's findings, these physical attributes appear only in Sunni Islam.)

Additional characteristics specific to the Mahdi in Shia Islam include:

* His face shall shine upon the surface of the Moon.[8]
* The name of the Mahdi's representative will begin with the first-letter of a prophet's name and a verse of the Qur'an.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi

Case in point...

1. Muslims believe that Jesus was not the son of God thus fulfilling the anti-Christ requirements in 1 John 2:22-23, 1 John 4:3, 2 John 1:7. This information is confirmed in the Quran 19:34-35, Quran 112:1-4, nor do they believe Jesus was crucified, Quran 4:156.
2. Daniel 8:9 predicts that the anti-Christ's (Mahdi) strength will come out the Islamic states around Israel.
3. The Mahdi will unite the Muslim World, confirmed in Rev 17:12.
4. The Mahdi will rule for 7 years, confirmed in Daniel 9:27.
5. Muslims believe that after the appearing of the Mahdi, Jesus will appear and will march into Jerusalem following this Islamic leader and confess that he is a Muslim. The Bible reveals that a false prophet will arise following the anti-Christ, taking Jerusalem captive. Both the anti-Christ (Mahdi) and the false prophet (Muslim Jesus) will form a large religious following Revelation 13:11-15.
6. Muslims behead their victims Quran 8:12-13 just as they did in Revelation 20:4.
7. The first horseman, the anti-Christ will come on a white horse Rev 6:2. Muslim tradition also holds that the Mahdi will also come on a white horse.

There is a great concern that the Mahdi Army now at 60,000 will continue to grow after the Americans leave Iraq, which was just announced today.. In a way it will create a vacuum in which the Mahdi followers will thrive.. Unfortunately, as I predicted, it will flow back to Muslim rule.

There is more evidence as well.. It's very interesting that both the Muslims AND the Christians speak of the EXACT same accounts in their holy books. Both have their messiah's and prophets. Basically the Christian's anti-Christ is the Mahdi (from Iraq), and the Muslim's Jesus is the false prophet depicted in Revelation 16:13. On the flip side our Christ, will be their anti-Christ and our prophets, their false prophets.. If you study it, it aligns perfectly like a hand in a glove..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#8

Post by Gman » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:23 pm

CeT-To wrote:I agree with Y323, im pretty sure the universe will go aswell y:-?
Or simply renewed like the earth.. But not completely destroyed.
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#9

Post by CeT-To » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:17 am

Gman wrote:
CeT-To wrote:I agree with Y323, im pretty sure the universe will go aswell y:-?
Or simply renewed like the earth.. But not completely destroyed.
Sure i guess but wont the world be in ruins after God comes but then who am i to say the he can just use the click of his fingers to turn everything as it was in the beginning ..abundance of nature. :esmile: Hey Gman ive been thinking and i want to ask a question. After the day of the Lord comes and after a thousand years God opens the Abyss and Satan will decieve the nations again but God then will end it all and throw all the those who side with him in the Lake of fire....does that mean that people in the new jerusalem will be able to be fooled by satan...because i thought after we die we wont be able to sin anymore ...?? im so confused ! y#-o hahaha if you can explain i would be delighted to listen ( read) :D
But joy and happiness in you to all who seek you! Let them ceaselessly cry,"Great is Yahweh" who love your saving power. Psalm 40:16

I Praise you Yahweh, my Lord, my God!!!!!

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#10

Post by Gman » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:47 am

CeT-To wrote:
Gman wrote:
CeT-To wrote:I agree with Y323, im pretty sure the universe will go aswell y:-?
Or simply renewed like the earth.. But not completely destroyed.
Sure i guess but wont the world be in ruins after God comes but then who am i to say the he can just use the click of his fingers to turn everything as it was in the beginning ..abundance of nature. :esmile: Hey Gman ive been thinking and i want to ask a question. After the day of the Lord comes and after a thousand years God opens the Abyss and Satan will decieve the nations again but God then will end it all and throw all the those who side with him in the Lake of fire....does that mean that people in the new jerusalem will be able to be fooled by satan...because i thought after we die we wont be able to sin anymore ...?? im so confused ! y#-o hahaha if you can explain i would be delighted to listen ( read) :D
When it comes to the New Jerusalem, you will get different opinions of it for sure. The best argument is that the New Jerusalem city, a 1500 mile high and wide cube, will come to earth but not descend directly to earth. Instead it will hang out in space like the moon. The New Jerusalem will descend after the thousand years are up, so no, people won't be able to be fooled by Satan since it is the final dwelling place for us and Satan will have already been conquered.

Image
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#11

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:53 pm

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And here I thought it was only Adventists that used colorful imaginative illustrations...
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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#12

Post by Gman » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:20 pm

cubeus19 wrote:. I got to know more, what kind of evidence suggests this? Also how many scholars support this idea? And does scripture seem to support it.
A number of people.. And yes scripture too..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-kmIU6PMc0
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#13

Post by CeT-To » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:11 am

Gman wrote:
cubeus19 wrote:. I got to know more, what kind of evidence suggests this? Also how many scholars support this idea? And does scripture seem to support it.
A number of people.. And yes scripture too..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-kmIU6PMc0
Wow nice vid Gman, funny how islam is fulfilling our prophecies to make the 2nd coming closer 8-}2 Oh and also if i can remember correctly was it the New jerusalem or the New earth that gravity would be different?
But joy and happiness in you to all who seek you! Let them ceaselessly cry,"Great is Yahweh" who love your saving power. Psalm 40:16

I Praise you Yahweh, my Lord, my God!!!!!

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#14

Post by Gman » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:20 pm

CeT-To wrote:
Gman wrote:
cubeus19 wrote:. I got to know more, what kind of evidence suggests this? Also how many scholars support this idea? And does scripture seem to support it.
A number of people.. And yes scripture too..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-kmIU6PMc0
Wow nice vid Gman, funny how islam is fulfilling our prophecies to make the 2nd coming closer 8-}2 Oh and also if i can remember correctly was it the New jerusalem or the New earth that gravity would be different?
Technically there wouldn't be any gravity, or heat for that matter.. This article gives a good description of it..

http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/heaven.html
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: A few general questions about the end times

#15

Post by ChrisB » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:21 pm

Gman wrote:Technically there wouldn't be any gravity, or heat for that matter.. This article gives a good description of it..

http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/heaven.html
eh... maybe.

Once the Curse of sin and death is removed (Romans 8:21-23), Earth and Heaven will be compatible once again. Heaven will become Earth and Earth will become Heaven.

One of four outcomes may occur:

A) No gravity.
B) Reduced gravity.
C) The Lord tweeks the laws of physics to allow for the city to exist.
D) The New Jerusalem, by its very nature, will be exempt from such laws. Heaven is after all very different from our physical universe, although it too has some physical properties to it (the city itself is an example of this).

^So as for which one, I'll go with C, but it is still just a guess.
"Materialists and madmen never have doubts." -G.K. Chesterton

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