This week I am wrapping up my Amarillo High School New Testament Bible Class and we have spent the last few days on the Book of Revelation. In order to give a meaningful and helpful overview I had to revisit several of my books and notes on this important and controversial last book of the Bible.
Apart from my favorite commentaries on Revelation, the reading I did that had the greatest impact upon me was a Christianity Today article from February of 1987. That article is more than 32 years old and is still as relevant today as it was then!
It was written by Kenneth S. Kantzer, a biblical scholar and editor of Christianity Today at the time. Three things he wrote in that two page article convicted, challenged, and encouraged me about the subject of the title of this post.
He began the tenth paragraph of his editorial with this observation: “Too often . . . Christians have allowed eschatology to divide them.” Of course, he was right then, and what he wrote then is still true today. Discussions about the end times, the book of Revelation, and Jesus’ second coming divide Christians today.
Too many of us are over confident and rigid about our understanding, interpretation, and position when it comes to the Bible’s teaching about these things. I admit I used to be one of those. I still believe what I teach about eschatology, but after all these years of reading, learning, and teaching I am less arrogant and overbearing when I discuss the end times, the book of Revelation, and Jesus’ second coming.
In going through my file of papers on the book of Revelation it was the title of Kantzer’s article that got my attention and then his closing point that most encouraged and challenged me. The title of the article is quite simple: “Agreement Is Not Required.” I only wish he had added one word and made it “Total Agreement Is Not Required.”
In the final part of the article, entitled “A plea for unity,” Kantzer suggests the greatest strength of all the different millennial views “is their common allegiance to Jesus Christ as the Lord of history.” Then he continues, “God has a goal for this planet as well as for individuals. Human life is neither aimless nor determined by evil powers that can destroy us. God is sovereign. History has meaning. And God is working through it to achieve the goals from which he has never deviated.” I hope all Christians can agree on these powerful affirmations regardless of their specific positions, interpretations, and understandings of Jesus’ Second Coming, the Book of Revelation, and the End Times.
Continue to read about, study, and discuss these important subjects; and do so with commitment, humility, respect, and grace.
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WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERSIt is perilously possible to make our conceptions of God like molten lead poured into a specially designed mould, and when it is cold and hard we fling it at the heads of the religious people who don’t agree with us. from Disciples Indeed Dear Bob, We finished a 22 week study of Revelation by NT Wright.It was really good. We chose it because every week was a chapter and not 2 or 3 chapters combined. The final thing that was said in the group was:” It is clear that things are not clear”Sandy and I enjoy your articles. Sandy always says she likes how you write. Love you Brother,Phil909-260-2801
I appreciate your attitude and that you shared some of the insights from the Charisma article.
I love this blog entry. We can change our point of view on a few things but certain beliefs remain constant. Continue to learn and change you’re an awesome teacher of the Word! 🥰🥰
Why do we get so caught up with what going to happen at the end time. God has a plan, and that plan will be done. All we need to know is thru Jesus Christ we will come face to face with the Lord himself