Every time a young boy went over to his friend’s house to play, he saw his friend’s grandmother sitting quietly reading her Bible. He asked his friend why she was always reading it, and the friend said he didn’t know for sure, but thought that she might be studying for her finals.
It is my desire to give you information that might help you start studying for your real final test. Of course, I am talking about getting familiar with the Bible; and increasing your understanding of what God wants you to know. And like I said last week, it is every Christian’s responsibility to know something about the End Times, for how can you properly get ready for something that you have no knowledge of?
With that in mind, I would like to approach it the same way many books approach learning something new about a variety of subjects. We have all heard of those books entitled, ‘Such and such for Dummies’ haven’t we? Let’s approach our study of End Times, or Bible Prophecy with that same concept and see what we can learn.
LUKE 17 is perhaps the most prophetic parts of the New Testament. That is because Jesus, Himself, speaks about His Second Coming. But to do that properly, we must first define some of the often-used words in prophecy, so that we fully understand the context in which they are used.
‘APOCALYPSE’ means to ‘unveil’ or to ‘reveal’. In other words, when we speak of Apocalyptic Writings, we are talking about writings that reveal previously hidden meanings.
When people talk about End Time Prophecy, most often they are speaking about Apocalyptic Writings, or passages that, by studying them, we find out more information about End Times.
‘ESCHATOLOGY’ is another big word that many Christians and scholars use. It simply means ‘a study of the Last Days.’ So any study of the Last Days is called eschatology.
‘THE DAY OF THE LORD’ refers to all events associated with the return of Jesus. It is not a 24-hour period, but a period of time at the very end. And it covers a multitude of events, all pertaining to His return.
If we say we live in the day of cell phones, we are talking about an era, and that is the same with the Day of the Lord.
That gives you a basic background of what Bible Prophecy includes. Now, let’s switch modes and talk about God’s Prophetic Agenda, or the things He has planned.
‘RAPTURE’ means the moment that Christians will be caught up in the clouds to be with the Lord Jesus. This is different than the 2nd Coming, because in the Rapture, Jesus will not come to earth, but will call us into the air to meet Him. And then He will take us back to heaven with Him.
Now, there has been happenings throughout history that were on God’s agenda. To name a few: Creation; the Flood; and the first appearance of Jesus on this earth. The next thing on God’s agenda, according to the Bible is the Rapture. And that is a prophecy, too, or a statement of what will happen before it happens.
‘THE TRIBULATION’ means the seven years between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming. As we discussed last week, the first half of this period will seem like Heaven on earth, but right in the middle of it, the Antichrist will go into the new temple that will have been built and he will declare to the world that he is God and everyone will honor and worship him.