Purpose of this Session
For many, arguments and discussions regarding the end of all things is just that, a mere argument to be endlessly discussed. For others, it is a reason to sow fear and doom mongering. Still others revel in the potential for clothing the mystery of the end times in Hollywood style blockbusters. Regardless of what others may draw from these truths, what are the benefits of a heart engaged with the truth concerning the days in which we live?
The Bible has something to say of the importance of these things, and the results in the life and character of the believer who holds them.
John the Apostle says that a true knowledge of Christ’s imminent return will cause us to live in purity and preparedness:
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
(1John 3:1-3 KJV)
Love and Prayerfulness
Peter points to prayerfulness and fervent love as being a fruit of the end-time doctrine seed in the heart:
“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
(1Peter 4:7-8 KJV)
The end times are a period in history where the intense stresses and challenges to faith will cause many to grow cold in their love toward God and one another. Living faith in Christ’s victorious return guards against this. (Matthew 24:12).
A confident expectation of Christ’s soon return inspires evangelistic zeal in the heart of the believer, knowing that there is limited time before the opportunity to repent and turn to Christ will soon come to a close.
Safety from deception
Again and again Paul stresses that the end times will be a time of widespread deception:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
(1Timothy 4:1 KJV)
A solid grasp of what the Bible says about prophetic events will keep us from being drawn away and deceived.
Jesus also warned about a time when people would turn from the truth, and fall away:
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24 KJV)
If we understand what the Scriptures say, we will be kept from deception (2Thessalonians 2:1-12).
As we move on to study some of the details of eschatological doctrine in the sessions that follow let us be careful to keep in mind these things; that doctrine is not in itself an end, but a means to holiness and conformity to God’s perfect will for our lives.
Be encouraged to question and dig into the Scriptures concerning the end times and the events and personalities that surround them, but do not be drawn away into questionable details and doctrines, and keep your eyes on the Personality, the First and Last Himself, Jesus Christ.
It is He who is our focus, and the fire that inspires us to seek and save the lost while we eagerly await His return, as a Bride awaits the coming of her Bridegroom.