Abomination of Desolation – “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand.” (Matthew 24:15)
As noted in Chapter 1, Taming the Terminology, the phrase “the abomination of desolation” refers to the presence of an idolatrous person or object so detestable that it causes the temple to be abandoned and left desolate. (1) Continue reading “Abomination Of Desolation”
Worldwide Spread of Gospel – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Despite the widespread apostasy, despite the increasing spread of evil, and despite the downward spiral of love as it grows colder and colder, the end will not come until the Gospel is spread worldwide. This probably seemed like a dauntless task when Jesus commissioned the twelve. Yet within a generation, the Gospel had spread as far as Caesar’s household with the imprisonment of Paul in Rome. By the third century, Constantine had made it the state religion of the Roman Empire.
In the first century, the Roman networks of roads, the Roman peace (pax Romana) and a universal language (Greek) facilitated Continue reading “Worldwide Spread of Gospel”
Love Grows Cold – “…the love of most will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12b)
The love spoken of here is the highest form of love defined in Scripture (agape). It is one in which “spiritual energy is blighted or chilled by a malign [ant] or poisonous wind.” (1)Love growing cold is being cultivated by the increase of evil (“because of the increase of wickedness“). Continue reading “Love Grows Cold”
Increased Wickedness – “Because of the increase of wickedness…” (Matthew 24:12a).
In most respects, civilization is more advanced today than it has ever been. Paradoxically, the advancement of civilization has not led to a corresponding advancement in civility, as even a casual survey of “traditional” and “social” media will attest. Some may even argue that civilization (or at least civility) has retreated rather than advanced. But how does one accurately measure the decline in morality and the increase in wickedness when the standard of measurement is constantly being redefined by society? Continue reading “Increased Wickedness”
DISPENSATION – In its verb form the word dispensation means to manage, administer, regulate, or plan. The Biblical usage of this concept, however, has a deeper theological sense, in which certain responsibilities are placed on mankind by God during different ages. In Ephesians 3:2 and 3:9 Paul indicates that the current dispensation (age of grace) has been extended to the Gentiles, a mystery revealed by Christ that was kept hidden in past ages (dispensations – e.g. age of the law). Paul indicates earlier in the epistle that there is a coming future end time dispensation “to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment” in order to “bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:10). This is something that will not happen during the age of grace. See also Colossians 1:25–29. This seems to suggest that Paul believed Continue reading “Dispensation”
ARMAGEDDON – Another word that is referenced a lot in modern discussions of the end times, but occurs only once in the Bible (Revelation 16:16) is Armageddon. It refers to the place where the last great battle of the ages will take place and has become synonymous with the end of the world. The battle will coincide with the second coming of Christ (Revelation 16:15), when all the hosts of evil will be defeated (Revelation 19:11–21). (1)
MILLENNIUM – The word millennium is derived from the Latin words mille meaning a thousand, and annus meaning year, i.e., a period of one thousand years. Although the concept of the millennium has its foundation in certain unconditional covenants from the Old Testament, Revelation 20:4–6 specifically and unmistakably mentions that Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years. (2) There are three primary views on the millennium. Continue reading “Armageddon, Millennium and Last Judgment”
THE ANTI-CHRIST – The anti-Christ is the end-times antagonist of God and His people. He is a person who will be empowered by Satan and will function as an enemy of Jesus Christ and the Church. In the context of apocalyptic literature, this figure performs false miracles, deceives many in order to discourage people from worshiping the true God, and persecutes God’s people. The term anti-Christ could be interpreted either as Continue reading “The Anti-Christ”