Summary: When is Jesus coming back? Is the millennium right around the corner? All the answers found here!

-Has anyone ever read any of the books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins? Has anyone read any of the books in the “Left Behind” series?

-The series of books has really taken the world by storm

-The only problem is it is pure fiction – Yeah, yeah, I know that it is intended to be fiction but some people believe that it will really happen exactly as described in the books

-The fact is that it is more than just historical fiction. It is completely made up. They did more than take poetic license, they flat out told the story wrong.

-First, I’d like to expose you to the different views of eschatology or the study of the end times

-There are some great schematics of the end times views that I found online at

-Spend some time explaining and contrasting the different views

-Dispensational Premillennialism is the most prominent American view of eschatology right now

-However, it has really just come to the fore in the last 100 years. There were many postmillennialsists who thought that we were perhaps living in the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ until the first and second world wars shattered those dreams. Cyrus Scofield came on the scene with his Scofield’s study bible in 1909 which spoke about the gap between creation and the final judgement that contained seven eras or dispensations in which God dealt with mankind.

-One of the big keys to Dispensational Premillennialism is the belief in the rapture - that Christians will be taken up to heaven - before the tribulation

-One of the proof texts is Matthew 24:40-41 where it says that two men will be in the field, one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding, one will be taken and the other left. It is assumed that the one taken is the believer. I believe that it is the other way around. Everyone one of Jesus’ parables about the end of the world speaks about the unbeliever being thrown out into the darkness. Hence, the one who is left is the believer.

-In addition, God speaks about the end of the world in Isaiah 11:1-9 speaks about the end of the world in terms of the Garden of Eden. Also, in Revelation 21, John speaks about the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven to earth. At the end of time, God will restore the Garden of Eden on earth.

-Have you ever had an instructor for a course who was born and raised in an eastern culture?

-Did they teach differently than your western instructors?

-I had two professors in seminary who were easterners. One was from India and the other from Korea.

-Westerners are all about the facts – don’t bore us with the details – just tell us what we need to know

-When we would ask questions or have a lecture on a specific topic from our eastern instructors it was maddening for me. I could not follow their thought progression. There seemed to be little rhyme or reason to the discussion. They seemed to be talking around the issue. It is because they were talking around the issue. That is how many easterners teach. They don’t tell you the answer. They talk about the issue and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

-Do you read prose the same as you read poetry? Show examples of the two types of literature on a screen or in a bulletin insert.

-Dispensational premillennialism does not take seriously God’s use of the author’s personality in the book of Revelation and other prophetic books and it doesn’t take seriously the different genres of literature that comprise the books.

-The book of Revelation is a genre of literature that we don’t find anymore today but was fairly common in 1st century Israel. It is called apocalyptic literature.

-The book of Revelation was written by 1st century Jewish Christians for 1st century Jewish Christians

-We as westerners should not necessarily be expected to understand every nuance but we should get the main idea.

-Remember how I said that easterners have a tendency to talk around a subject while westerners basically just get the facts down and keep moving

-The book of Revelation was never intended to be read chronologically from beginning to end. It is a retelling of the story of salvation from Jesus resurrection/ascension until the end of time several times through.

-Let me give you an example. In Revelation chapter 6, verse 13 all the stars in the sky fall to the earth. However, in Revelation, chapter 8, verse 12, all the stars in the sky again and a third are turned dark and in Revelation chapter 12, verse 4, a third of the stars are knocked out of the sky again.

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