Eschatology: What the Bible Says Will Happen in End Times

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The Bible says, "In the last days there will be very difficult times" (1 Timothy 3:1, NLT). Jesus Christ told his followers there will be "wars and threats of wars ... famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. ... You will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:6–14, NLT).

These Bible verses give us a brief snapshot of what will happen at the end of days. They only scratch the surface of a fascinating theological branch known as eschatology. Although a challenging area of study, eschatology helps believers understand prophetic passages of Scripture and how to live the Christian life in preparation for end times.

Eschatology Definition

Eschatology is the branch of Christian theology dealing with the biblical study of end times prophecies and the events of the last days. Some of these events include the Rapture, the Second Coming of Christ, the Tribulation, the Millennial Kingdom and the Future Judgments. The primary books of the Bible pertaining to end times prophecy are the book of Daniel, the book of Ezekiel, and the book of Revelation.

What Is the Rapture?

Although the term "rapture" is not found in the Bible, the theory is based on Scripture. The rapture describes a future, end-times event when all true believers who are still alive before the end of the world will be taken from the earth by God into heaven. Not all branches and denominations of Christianity accept the rapture theory.

What Is the Tribulation?

The Tribulation, as taught by many Bible scholars, encompasses a future seven-year period when God will complete his discipline of Israel and final judgment upon the unbelieving citizens of the world. Those who accept a Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory believe that Christians who have trusted Christ as Lord and Savior will escape the Tribulation.

Who Is the Antichrist?

The name "antichrist" is only found four times in the Bible. A study of these verses shows that many antichrists (false teachers) will appear between the time of Christ's first and Second Coming, but there will be one great antichrist who will rise to power during the end times, or "last hour," as 1 John phrases it. He will deny that Jesus is the Christ. He will deny both God the Father and God the Son. He will be a liar and a deceiver.

The Rapture and the Second Coming

According to scholars, the Bible speaks of two separate and distinct events—the Rapture of the church and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Rapture will occur when Jesus Christ returns for his church. The Second Coming will happen when Jesus Christ returns with the church to defeat the antichrist, overthrow evil and then establish his thousand-year reign.

The Battle of Armageddon

This epic end times clash, predicted by the apostle John in the book of Revelation, will pit Jesus Christ against the forces of evil. The outcome is a victory for Jesus Christ and his followers.

The Judgment Seat of Christ

At the Judgment Seat of Christ, Christians will appear before Jesus, to be rewarded for their works that were done in his name while they were on earth. It is a serious time in each believer's eternal life but should not be an occasion for fear.

Prophetic Books of the Bible

The Book of Daniel is an important prophetic book dealing with the future of Israel and the Millennial Kingdom.

The Book of Ezekiel has some striking similarities to the prophetic book of Revelation, with a vision of the New Jerusalem, the center of the Millennial Kingdom.

The Book of Revelation is largely devoted to the topic of end times prophecy.

Key Verses

2 Peter 3:10
But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. (NLT)

1 Thessalonians 4:16–18
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. (NLT)

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Fairchild, Mary. "Eschatology: What the Bible Says Will Happen in End Times." Learn Religions, Aug. 12, 2021, learnreligions.com/what-is-eschatology-700642. Fairchild, Mary. (2021, August 12). Eschatology: What the Bible Says Will Happen in End Times. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-eschatology-700642 Fairchild, Mary. "Eschatology: What the Bible Says Will Happen in End Times." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-eschatology-700642 (accessed November 27, 2021).