We can debate until Jesus comes back about the tribulation and other end-time events. Ultimately, the most important thing is Jesus is coming back.
That said, we need not ignore the book of Revelation or pick out certain key phrases about the Jezebel spirit (Rev. 2:20) or how we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev. 12:11).
That's why I was so excited to interview my new friend Billy Hallowell, faith editor at The Blaze and author of the new best-selling book The Armageddon Code: One Journalist's Quest for End-Times Answers.
In this series of interviews, I ask the questions that are on the minds of many Christians from many different streams. And Hallowell offers some strong answers.
Charisma News: Many Christians don't think too much about the end times. Why is it so vital that we understand what the Bible says about this topic?
Hallowell: Great question. I think there are a number of reasons why many Christians avoid the end times. To begin, eschatology is monumentally complex, with imagery and disjointed elements that seem difficult to comprehend.
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On the surface, I think it's fairly intimidating for many believers. There's also the fact that pastors—and I saw firsthand in doing original research for the book—disagree with one another over some of the major elements that comprise the end of days.
Aside from the complexity, there have also been some embarrassing attempts at date-setting and other extensions far beyond what is provided or permitted in the biblical text. These incidents possibly leave some uncomfortable with the subject.
As for why it is vital that we try to understand what the Bible says, I would argue that Christ's first coming was monumentally important to human history—a fact that any Christian knows well. That in mind, shouldn't we pay some mind to His Second Coming?
While we need to understand that the study of the end times is complicated and that we can't possibly know every eschatological detail before it comes to fruition, The Armageddon Code allows Christians to explore available end times theories and make determinations about what the Bible says about each of those constructs.
Charisma News: With so many different interpretations of Scripture, especially the tribulation, how do we know what's really true about the end times?
Hallowell: Some of the experts I interviewed for the book said that the end times is collectively "deliberately cryptic." The details are not mapped out as clearly as they could be, though I'm sure the Lord had good reason for permitting the information to be presented as we currently have it.
There are certainly some points of agreement among even the staunchest theological opponents, including the fact that the vast majority of Christians believe in a Second Coming.
It's the details about what comes before, during and after, though, that leads to some splintering. Studying the Bible is key to trying to assess what one really believes. Some of the theories are stronger than others.
In the end, one must study the Word and decide based on that what he or she believes to be the most realistic scenario—while keeping in mind that we likely won't have clarity on eschatological events until the end times actually come to fruition and we can look back and say, "Oh, now that all makes sense."
Right now, we simply don't have that luxury, but we can do our best to rely on Scripture to try and understand and to apply that understanding to our faith walk.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at email@example.com.
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