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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

End Times

We often hear people talk about the end times - referring to the prophecy in the Biblical book of Revelation where Christ returns to earth. It's a blurred image for most people, and we have difficulty delineating exactly what the end times means.

The Bible describes it as a long period, a thousand years (at least metaphorically speaking). It's pretty clear that it won't be accomplished in what we know as one day.

Why all the ambiguities? There are actually several reasons. For starters, God has only revealed a small portion of His understanding and His plans. While the book of Revelation gives us glimpses of God's plan for the future --- most theologians agree that it is quite unlikely to be a complete revelation of God's plans for the future.

Secondly, the end times is understood by mankind in the dimensions of both time and space. But neither of these are dimensions which God lives in or respects. We must remember that God created both time and space for the benefit of mankind. He doesn't need it Himself!

When God refers to time, what is He actually referring to? Is 1,000 years, for example, the same time we understand to be 1,000 years? Or is it something else? The Bible tells us that a day is like a thousand years to God (2 Peter 3:8). But that doesn't mean God's day is equal to mankind's understanding of a thousand years. It simply means that anything God would view as a day would be quite far from anything we could understand as a day.

So what are the end times, and when will they occur? Perhaps the more important way to answer that question is to look inside our hearts and determine the perspective that God sees. Is my heart in the end times? If so, is that a good thing? How would God see it?

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