What is Christian Eschatology?
Christian Eschatology is the study of what the Bible says is going to occur in the end times. Many treat Eschatology as an area of theology to be rejected. Definitely, Eschatology is not as crucial as Soteriology or Christology. That does not mean though, that it is insignificant to a Biblical worldview. How we understand Eschatology has an impact on how we should live our lives and what we are to expect to happen in God’s plan. Some vital and debatable issues within Christian Eschatology are these:
What is the Rapture? The word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible. The idea of the Rapture though, is perfectly taught in Scripture. The Rapture of the church is actually synonymous with the second coming of Christ, although some believe that these are two separate events.
Is there going to be a seven year tribulation period and an earthly millennium? This is yet another debatable issue for eschatology students. The issue rests mainly on what type or hermeneutical style is being used by the student.
Will the generation that saw Israel re-formed as a country still be alive for the second coming? It is Scriptural to teach that the generation that views Israel once again become a country also view the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This may be what is currently being taught by some, but Scripture in no way say this plainly.
The bible explains a horrible period of tribulation in Revelation chapters 6-18. Will this tribulation will led by the Rapture, or will it end with the Rapture, or has it in fact already happened? These different perspectives have an amazing impact on what we should be preparing ourselves for. Christian Eschatology helps us to know the Bibles prophetic passage and how to live our lives in what God is going to do in these last days. This is an amazing deal of controversy in Christian Eschatology, but that does not relieve us of our responsibility to study and know what the Bible teaches about the end time. An understanding of Christian Eschatology will get rid of many of the fears we have about the future. Our God is sovereign, he has a big and special plan, and it will all unfold according to his will and timing. This is an amazing encouragement to those who are in Christ.
The aim of Christian eschatology is not to relax human curiosity about the future events, but rather to challenge the hearts of people today in light of Gods future for the earth and His people.