The study of the end-times can be daunting, misunderstood and completely overlooked. There is so much confusion as to whether or not it’s meant to be understood as symbolic or literal. Really, what’s with all the beasts with many wings, heads and horns? That’s kinda weird. Is it symbolic? Are there literally dragons? How do I know what’s literal and what’s symbolic? There are so many questions and the answers are usually hidden behind droves of technical names of beliefs that really only confuse. Premillennial Dispensationalism? Amillennialism? Futurism? How can I figure this stuff out without a PhD?
Fear not, reader! The books of the bible that deal with the end times were written to be understood by all. The majority of society in human history have been uneducated farmers, and these books are meant to be understood by them, not just scholars and theologians.
The biggest question amongst all these is Why study the End Times?
First, because the generation in which the Lord returns will experience vast extremes of darkness and light. Matt. 13:24 speaks of this generations two extremes when it says
“Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
The tares (wickedness) and the wheat (unprecedented revival) will grow up together and this generation will be pressured to choose a side. There will be no room for middle ground.
Second, we study the End Times because the generation in which the Lord returns is the most written about generation in scripture. Over 150 chapters in the Bible have the End Times as their main theme. Jesus spoke more about the last generation of natural history than the generation that He was born in. Why? To prepare the Bride (church) to be victorious in love and power during the most dramatic time in world history.
Over 150 chapters in the Bible have the End Times as their main theme…
Third, we must study the End Times because the generation in which the Lord returns most openly manifests Jesus’ heart and leadership to the nations. The four gospels (totaling 89 chapters) give us a record of Jesus’ heart and power at His first coming when He accomplished redemption. In a similar way, the end of the age (over 150 chapters) reveals Jesus’ heart and power as He takes over the leadership of the whole earth. The gospels and the end-time Scriptures reveal the same Jesus operating in the same power of the Holy Spirit. The book of Revelation is called the revelation of Jesus because it reveals His heart, power and leadership (Rev. 1:1)
Fourth, God has announced this generation as having the most prophetic signs. These prophetic signs include: supernatural disturbances in the heavens and on earth, natural signs in nature (earthquakes, etc), trends in society, and political, military, religious, scientific, technological, and economic developments. These signs increase in intensity as we get closer to Jesus’ returns. We must learn how to discern these signs. In fact, Scripture requires those in the generation in which the Lord returns to know the prophetic signs and to respond appropriately. (Mt. 24:32-34; Lk. 21:25-29; 1 Thes. 5:1-6; 2 Thes. 2:1-11)
God promised to give these prophetic signs in the generation which the Lord returns as an expression of His mercy, so people can make the necessary preparations far what is coming. These prophetic signs serve the Church like a weather station that signals trouble before it comes so people can prepare and save lives. An example is the Southeast Asia tsunami caused by the Sumatra earthquake in 2004. 230,000 people died. Most of those who died could have been saved simply by knowing and hour earlier that the tsunami was coming.
We don’t study the End Times out of fear. It’s very apparent that people are afraid of the End Times because it has been portrayed as the ‘end of the world,’ and the destruction of all things, for so long by so many. The End Times is never phrased as the end of the world in scripture, but the end of an Age – meaning the earth and humanity continues on after, with a perfect, righteous, loving King of humanity.
We must study the End Times because it clearly displays Jesus’ character, as revealed in the book of Revelation (the Revelation of Jesus Christ). It shows His heart, dominion, righteous judgments, and ultimately His undying love for humanity. The storyline of the End Times is that of a fiery lover willing to go all lengths to purify a Bride to spend eternity with. We study the End Times because of love.
Study Guides & Resources:
End Times Simplified: Preparing Your Heart for the Coming Storm by Dave Sliker
Most people don’t know how to approach the end times, but the Bible is clearer than you might think on this subject. If you want to understand end-time events and how you fit into them, the straightforward language and biblical truths in this book make it an excellent resource.
Book of Revelation Study Guide by Mike Bickle
A simple but inspiring, verse-by-verse guide to the book of Revelation, with a glossary of terms and symbols, and in-depth articles and charts. Mike Bickle’s straightforward approach brings the message to life and emphasizes its relevance for us today.
- As an "end-time book of Acts,” it reveals God’s glorious plan to use a lovesick Bride at the end of the age in unprecedented power and authority. She will partner with Jesus as He cleanses our planet of evil and ushers in the kingdom of God.
- It’s an “infallible prayer manual” that maps out the global, strategic prayers of the praying church. We’ll be equipped to pray in unity with Jesus’ heart as He unleashes His judgments upon the Antichrist’s evil empire.
- While many saints are waiting to “go up” in the rapture to avoid the tribulation, God is waiting for the church to “grow up” to release the tribulation judgments by prayer on the Antichrist. This is truly the Church’s greatest hour.