The End Insight: A non-traditional look at the signs of the times [Hope vs Hope]

Photo: Kelly Wilson, 2017

Photo: Kelly Wilson, 2017

With so much going on in the news and in the world—record-breaking hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars—the inner fundamentalist in many of us is hearing echoes of those old “the end is near” messages that chilled us through our youth. 

But as I see more and more social media posts about Biblical Prophecy coming true, sending us messages either about our lax moral standards or our callous dismissal of foreigners, I’m compelled to visit some of my thoughts about the apocalyptic writings in the Bible that I've picked up in my reading, study, prayer, and rumination over the years:

  • It’s not a formula. People have been reading the scripture for 2,000 years trying to figure out what “the end” is and when it’s going to happen, and they’ve been wrong every time. Nobody knows the day or the hour. 
     
  • When Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God being upon us, that didn’t necessarily mean things were ENDING literally, with fire and destruction and all of that. This may have been a new BEGINNING or a new era here on Earth, ushered in by the Holy Spirit. Things may have already been fulfilled. This may be the post apocalyptic era, a long runway toward our ultimate end, that we've been living in for over 2000 years. 
     
  • The book of Revelation was a message of hope for believers in the 1st century. It’s possible that all the blood moons and beasts and dragons were symbolic language to describe the events of the 1st century, not necessarily in the far-flung future. The beast is just as likely to be Nero as some modern Manchurian candidate. What if we look at this powerful book in that perspective? We no longer have to explain why the Temple would be rebuilt, or why Rome was back in power, or why armies once again rode on horseback, and so on. It would be a visionary look at history, and we could look to the parts of the book that were meant as messages for us: the letters to the Churches at the beginning, which were meant to live on through this tumult and come out on the other side...