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End Times: Jesus is coming soon
End Times: Jesus is coming soon
Have you ever been curious about the future? Have you wondered if things are going to get better or worse on earth? Have you wondered how the world is going to end? Have you wondered how much time is left for this world?
The technical term for this is eschatology. This word comes from the Greek word eschata, which means “the last things.” Eschatology is the study of the last things or the end times.
Among many Christians, eschatology has been a hot topic recently. The 20th century saw more attention given to eschatology than did any other Christian century. It has been said that eschatology is the “battleground of today’s theology.”
Many Christians seem to have an unhealthy preoccupation with the topic. For some, eschatology seems to be their starting point and the center of their theology.
Lutherans do not make eschatology the center of their theology. For Lutherans the chief teaching of the Bible is justification by faith. When a Lutheran pastor has his first visit with prospective members, he will tell them about their sin and the sin of all people. He will tell them that God declares the world innocent for the sake of Jesus Christ, who died innocently in our place and rose gloriously for our justification. He will tell them that this gift of justification is received by faith in Jesus Christ. Lutheran outreach tracts will present the law and the gospel. Justification by faith is the starting point and center of Lutheran theology, because this is the one doctrine by which we are saved. The other doctrines do no eternal good if we don’t know justification by faith.
But Lutherans in the past have perhaps been too quiet about eschatology. In contrast to the veritable flood of publications on the end times in some Christian circles, there is little current Lutheran writing on the topic. One Lutheran has lamented, “The relative neglect of eschatological teaching constitutes one of the great ironies of the Lutheran Church.”
The fact is that eschatology does hold an important place in Christian teaching and life. In some ways, eschatology can properly be called the crown or the capstone of Christian theology. It shows us the end result of God’s plan of salvation. It lifts our eyes to the ultimate goal to which we are heading. As such, eschatology is very practical for daily Christian living. The Bible’s doctrine of the end times gives us hope for the future. It also influences our fundamental attitudes about life on earth and can have a profound impact on our daily behavior.
Posted with permission of Northwestern Publishing House
Interested in learning more about what Lutherans believe about the end times and Judgement Day? Check out the book End Times: Jesus is Coming Soon by Thomas P. Nass from Northwestern Publishing House.
Do you have more questions about what the End Times means? Check out the Q&A section on the topic.