It’s 2012. This year, we have had two failed predictions of Christ’s second coming, and now there is confusion over the Mayan calendar ending. In this month’s Tabletalk from R.C. Sproul’s ministry, the magazine is devoted the book of Revelation. I shall follow suit and share some of my thoughts on the Second Coming.
Matthew 24:36, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” From this verse we can be certain that if someone places a date on Christ’s return, then Christ will make sure not to return then. Jesus said that as a human, he did not even know when he would return. We certainly do not know more than Jesus.
Other speculations are over the millennium discussed in Revelation 20:1-6. Post-millennials say that we already finished the millennium which is just a symbolic number for our current church age. Amillennials also believe that the church age from the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple in AD 70 to the time of the tribulation is the millennium, also a symbolic number. There are two kinds of pre-millennials: classic pre-millennial that believes the rapture will happen in the middle of the tribulation, and dispensationalists who believe that the Christians will be raptured before the tribulation and that the biological Jews will get a different ending than the rest of the elect.
I follow the amillennial belief. To me, it makes more sense to believe that Christ will return at the end of this present age and then it will be the end of Satan. It does not make sense for Christ to come, reign for 1000 years, and then Satan still be alive at the end of it. Also, if all the non-Jewish believers are grafted into the spiritual Israel, then it makes no sense for the biological Jews to get a different ending than us.
If you ask all the paid staff and elders at Trinity, we will all give you a different answer on what we believe, but this is not essential to salvation. What is essential is that you believe Christ will come back, that this world and all its evil will come to an end someday, that Christ will build a new kingdom not of this world (meaning we don’t have to build it), and that God wins in the end. Also, it is good to never be afraid of the book of Revelation. It records everything from the end of the Jewish temple until the end of time. We live in it right now. Its purpose not to give you nightmares, but to warn non-believers of the coming judgment lest they die separated from Christ for eternity, urge true believers to influence as many people as possibly to surrender to Christ as their only salvation from sin and death, and to encourage those going through bad times that in the end, it will be okay. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.