Three major things I learned during our Eschatology Lecture last Saturday:
First, when you talk about the second coming of Christ, it is better to focus on positive application. Anything that produces fear and panic doesn’t come from Christ. And anything that comes from Christ builds up faith.
Many people have the tendency to make eschatology morbid and terrifying. This is not the way of our Lord and His apostles. When the Bible talks about the end of the world, it also talks about the bigger themes of hope and eternal life. In 2 Peter 3:11-13, Peter emphasized that our knowledge of end times should challenge us to live holy and godly lives.
Second, eschatology is a broad and, errr, difficult (read: confusing) topic for most people. The abundance of symbolism in Daniel, Joel, Ezekiel and Revelation doesn’t help much. I mean, seriously, does anyone know what the dragon, the seven vials and the seven hills mean?
But the fogginess of the topic should never paralyze us. As one dear lady pointed out in the lecture, what we don’t know should not stop us from doing what we already know. We may not understand the scholarly approach to interpreting Bible prophecies but there’s at least one thing we know for sure: Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples. Let’s focus on that instead.
Lastly, let’s just accept this once and for all: we can’t know everything. Some things are simply veiled from our eyes. The sooner we accept that, the easier it will be for us to trust God. Deuteronomy 29.29 says it more clearly: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” Let God have His own secrets; our job is to obey what is revealed to us.
Of course this should not stop us from asking and seeking. But at some point we just have to learn to make do with what is given to us. As Pastor Nixon Ng of Victory Malate once quipped: “God may not answer you exhaustively but He will surely answer you sufficiently.”