CHRISTIAN ESCHATOLOGY- Introduction
Eschatology, this is simply one of those 50¢ words that simply means “the study of last things” — but today it’s a hot topic for debate. Christians disagree when it comes to the millennium, the rapture, and how you are going to interpret the Book of Revelation. The question we have to ask ourselves is this, is this issue enough to break fellowship over?
CHRISTIAN ESCHATOLOGY- No Consensus
Strange as it seems there are few areas of theology on which Christians are as divided as eschatology. There just doesn’t seem to be a Christian consensus. Unfortunately, this lack of consensus has led to all kinds of division.
CHRISTIAN ESCHATOLOGY- Should We Divide?
The question is this, should we divide over issues like eschatology? My answer is Yes — and No! See we should divide from those who will deny essentials of the Christian faith like Christ’s literal return to earth, or the resurrection of the saints, even the judgment of the wicked. These issues are, of course, central to the historic Christian faith. However, it is important that we do not divide on secondary issues like the timing of the rapture or the nature of the millennium. It’s not that these things are unimportant, it’s just that they are not essential to a person’s salvation. Understanding of the rapture or the millennium does not in any way affect a person’s understanding of the nature of God the Father or of Jesus Christ. The rapture and the millennium are considered secondary issues within Christian theology.
CHRISTIAN ESCHATOLOGY- Debates, but not Division
So again, let’s not divide over peripheral or secondary issues. Instead I think it would be a lot more healthy if we studied the issues carefully in light of the Scriptures, and then came to our own conclusions. This is a topic of which we can have healthy debates, but not division. To be honest, I remember that Walter Martin held to a post-tribulational position — often times when pressed, he would say, “I’m a pan tribulationist, you know, whatever way it pans out.” What he meant is that whatever way it pans out I’m happy. What’s really important is that we are going to meet with the Lord in the air and we’re going to live with Him forever. These are the sorts of things that we ought to encourage each other with. So whether you’re pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib, the real issue is, “whatever way it pans out.” But again, let’s not say don’t study the issues — study it carefully, but don’t divide.On the study of the last things, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.