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Eschatology: Understanding the Basics

Eschatology is the study of Prophecies in scriptures of the Final Days, or "Last Days". THE Last Days concerns the events of when Christ returns in Judgment against the world that has fallen apart. These last days begins with the deterioration  of mankind into sin equal to that of the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. As the world economy falls apart into chaos, in which famines, sickness, wars, decimate the population, a world leader will rise up under the inspiration of satan himself, and will set up a kingdom under a false prophet and leader who will seem to "fix" this world but in the process brings Great Tribulation, trials, and destruction to the Church. The "Beast" as the Prophet John calls him, will rule for forty months when Christ returns. At his Coming, The Christians who have died are raised from the dead, those who are alive are transformed along with the dead into glorious beings, and we become His army who follows him to be his army against the beast. The beast and false prophet are thrown "alive" into the Lake of fire to burn forever, and satan is cast into a prison. God's army of saints then rule with him for a thousand years over the nations and peoples who survived.  

At the end of the this thousand years, satan is released and gathers a second army against Jesus, and this time it all ends. The whole world and the ungodly are burnt up by fire. Immediately every person who has ever lived will stand before him to be judged for what they did while they were alive. The just will be granted to enter heaven while the unjust are cast into the lake of fire.  

When this judgment is over, these Righteous saints return to a New Earth to live with God face to face forever. The Bible says it has not even entered the imagination of what God has in store for us.  

This in a nut shell, are the events described in the Book or Revelation. We have no idea when these events begin to happen or when Christ will return. And yes there are many various positions and other ideas made by many other people, but This position is closest to what the Early Church Fathers believed, or the Christian men who lived through and after the events of A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed according to Christ Prophecy contained in the Olivet Discourse. (Mathew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21)

No one person has it right or does every person have it all wrong (ok some do). There are several views that could very well be possible and several views that are dead wrong. My goal here is to point to a safe place where an ongoing dialogue with honest discussion takes place. I know some people are set in their beliefs and no amount of "debate" is going to change their minds. Yes, there are some ideas we should not ever let go of no matter the argument presented from what we would call "aggressive opposition". There are a set of "guidelines" that defines what it means to be Christian, to stray from those guidelines it fall into "heresy". Things such as denying the deity of Christ, the Incarnation of Christ, the Trinity, the Bodily Resurrection of the saints, and the Bodily Second Coming of Christ.

Recommended: Two books that will help shape and form your understanding of the Last Days, Giving you hope and a Promise for a glorious Future.
From N.T. Wright, one of the best scholars in the church today, offers a challenging notion to what exactly is our final destination.

"Son of Man Coming on Clouds"

The prolific understanding for many Christians is that Mathew 24, The Olivet Discourse is a promise of the Second Coming of Christ.  When the prophecy is examined in the context of Old Testament passages, the phrase "son of man Coming on Clouds" is not about a Christ coming down but in His ascension He sits at the right hand of the Father and executes Judgment on that generation who not only rejected him, but also killed him on the Cross. This view is held by many scholars but as yet has failed to reach the pulpits of America. With this view held in mind, the chronology of the last days is made easy to understand as it should have been from the very beginning and was by the Early Church Fathers.  I am not creating a new Eschatology but returning to the very beginning.