Dr. Greg McFadden & wife, Sheila
Nothing in the Christian community evokes a more divided approach to theology than the consideration of End Times. On the one hand, many in the church shy away completely from the thought and the discussion, electing to avoid the issue altogether. They have decided that understanding requires too much information and produces unwanted dread. On the other hand are the experts. They are ready and willing to explain in great detail timelines and progressions. Armed with graphs, charts, and numerical codes they are determined to overwhelm the listener with their knowledge of the subject.
In addition, the easy optimism of the last century has been shattered by mounting national debt and world-wide terrorism in this. Children are growing up in a world scarred by 9/11 and global economic collapse. Christian persecution is climbing to unprecedented heights (Forbes Magazine; March 17, 2015). The images of orange suited Christians being martyred by ISIS terrorists for their faith are seared into our minds. In our own country, humanism has replaced Deism as the foundation for living. Even the most ardent Christ follower could lose hope.
This is why God told us so much about the end! Some scholars suggest that as much as 40% of Scripture is prophetic in nature. Jesus Himself said just before He died, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-4
In an effort to bring the Christ follower forward in an understanding of End Times reality, I will spend the five Sundays in August looking at how the Bible defines certain events that will surely take place. I am hopeful that these five weeks will help you build a solid foundation for your faith in anticipation of His return. The Bible will prove once again to be a source of hope and confidence in the future. The English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller was first to coin the phrase; “the darkest hour is just before the dawn”. It is into this present darkness that the hope of light will one day come!