End Times and Revelation


(Jason Thor Carle) #1

I am new here and have been reading for perhaps a month now. I have yet to find anything about the End of Times and Revelations other than, well, the entire universe will die someday by either entropy or gravity. While that is of course the scientific answer, what are the theological answers to the book of Revelations and the end of times messages in the Bible.

What about to the return of Jesus to bring us to heaven, or send us to hell?

About me, I grew up in various forms of Catholicism and Fundamentalism, left home, left the church, travelled the world in the Marine Corps, went to college, found Science, and still have a little voice in the back of my head, to sum it all up quickly.


(Laura) #2

Welcome, Jason. :slight_smile:

Now that’s an age-old question right there! A lot will depend on the theological perspective one is coming from. I’m sure you’ve encountered some views already – I grew up being taught that the rapture could happen at any moment and that those who weren’t Christians would be “left behind” during the Tribulation, and after the Tribulation, Jesus would begin his thousand-year reign.

At this point, I’m not as clear on which parts of Revelation are spiritual allegory and which are meant to give us clues as to exactly how/when things will unfold when they do. But I do believe that Jesus will one day return for his church, and that those who believe in him will spend eternity with him. Even though there are many different perspectives on how that will all unfold, that seems to be the most important part.

(P.S. – I just changed the title of the thread to describe your question for those scrolling through the topic list.)


(Mervin Bitikofer) #3

Hi, Jason – I’m glad you came out to let us know you’re here and have interest.

Those are good questions. There are those who express exasperation that Biologos refuses to “nail down” specific theologies about past and present actions of God, and I think I’m safe in saying that you’ll find it even harder to find a united landing spot on this one. By searching “eschatology” on the main Biologos page, I saw this article by Ted Davis about a John Polkinghorne homily titled “end fo the world”. In a nutshell it basically says … “we don’t know and can’t know” [from anything science has to say, anyway]. But you might read it to see what you make of it. Biologos attempts to focus on where science can address things that also are addressed by theology. And that is one area that may be more exclusively the province of theology alone. You are right that we can muse on about things like “heat death” or other such things billions of years from now. But it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of other stuff will have happened before any of that ever would come into play (if it does). I see others here are replying too … but anyway, welcome!

[…I should add that the one thing most believers here probably are united on is that our hope is in the living Christ and that this hope will not disappoint, even if we can’t agree on the details of how it all unfolds.]


(Christy Hemphill) #4

Welcome to our little forum.

There are some relevant posts, but you probably have to use our preferred vocabulary to search for them: :wink:

Like eschatology: https://biologos.org/search/?q=eschatology
Or New Creation: https://biologos.org/search/?q=New%20creation&idx=prod_biologos_date&p=0
Or New Jerusalem: https://biologos.org/search/?q=New%20Jerusalem&idx=prod_biologos_date&p=0

A book we always recommend is N. T. Wright’s Surprised By Hope.


(Jason Thor Carle) #5

No worries regarding the title edit.


(Phil) #6

While I have always been a member of churches that heavily lean toward dispensational premillianialism of the Left Behind type, few of the rank and file could actually tell you what that meant, and I now am pretty amillinialist or hold partial preterism as my eschatology. Not that I really focus on it as feel such things are beyond my knowledge.
I think there are a wide range of interpretations represented here, and no official position is taken.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #7

The events of revelation were fulfilled long ago, as were the events of Matthew 24, as Jesus explicitly said.

9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.


(Jason Thor Carle) #8

That’s certainly an interesting view I have never heard of before.


(Jason Thor Carle) #9

Googling those two has landed me in the midst of quite the argument.

Sometimes I wonder why there are no easy answers to these questions.


(Jason Thor Carle) #10

Thank you for the links. I have read them, and will check out the book.


(Laura) #11

Yep… this is why I try to hold views about the end times very loosely, because with all the disagreement people can have about the past, which at least has evidence we can evaluate, trying to figure out what is taught about the future can be even harder. It can still be a fascinating study, I just get very wary of “prophecy experts” who believe they have it all figured out.


(Phil) #12

Scot McKnight’s blog today addresses the subject:


(Mervin Bitikofer) #13

When people ask me what my favorite song is, I’m usually at loss. But right now I think this one, which gets to the core of my ‘end times theology’ would have to be one of my top ones that I sing and listen to most lustily, especially now. It isn’t that those of us who live in wealthy circumstances don’t dread such times too … but when we remember that our true brother and sisterhood is actually with Christ among the poor, we enter into their spirit, their excitement and longing along with Mary and even Hannah of old. So … if you want emphatic end-times theology … then feast your ears on “The Canticle of the Turning”; performed by the Goshen College chamber choir, and recently put back up on Youtube after it had disappeared. (I think they took it down because of Garrison Keillor’s scandal, but the Prairie Home Companion was merely an occasion for their performance of a song they really like to sing at Goshen. I’m glad they put it back up.) I also think I am forever ruined for listening to the typical slow versions of this now. During its hiatus, I had searched in vain for a performance of it as good as this one.