Though most Christians refrain from predicting exactly when our world will end, many believe that when earth's finale does arrive, it will be a catastrophe. They expect that before Christ comes back to reclaim His own, Satan will escape his chains and return to wreak havoc on our planet. Details vary, but the general assumption is the same: things will get much, much worse before they get better.
But is this really what the Bible teaches?
Leaving aside the theological terms that often confuse and muddle this question, Douglas Wilson instead explains eschatology as the end of the greatest story in the world—the story of mankind. He turns our attention back to the stories and prophecies of Scripture and argues for "hopeful optimism": the belief that God will be true to His promises, that His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, and that the peace and good will we sing about at Christmas will one day be a reality here on earth.
From the Introduction:
J.R.R. Tolkien was once asked whether he believed that Middle Earth was real. His reply was, "One hopes." Even a work of fiction, if it is compelling enough, can awaken a deep desire for it to have been true. So here is my proposal. There are many Christians who believe that the future of our world (prior to the Second Coming) is bleak indeed. I am asking them to read this little book as though it were a work of fiction. Just for a short while, I am asking for that willing suspension of disbelief. And if that request in granted, then I believe that a striking feature of this kind of historical optimism will become plain. Every Christian can agree on one thing at least. Wouldn't it be glorious if this really were true?
For my part, I want to write as though it were a story because it actually concerns the most wonderful story in the world—which, as it turns out is the story of the world.
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