I’ve been reading The End Series by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall, four books about the end times. It’s fiction, just as the earlier Left Behind Series, which began publication in 1995. Fictional eschatology is not a new concept. Vladimir Soloviev was writing his views before the 20th century – and referred to events in the 21st. I’m not too certain he was very far off:
Humanity had outgrown that stage of philosophical infancy. On the other hand, it became equally evident that it had also outgrown the infantile capacity for naïve, unconscious faith. Such ideas as God creating the universe out of nothing were no longer taught even in elementary schools. A certain high level of ideas concerning such subjects had been evolved, and no dogmatism could risk a descent below it. And though the majority of thinking people had remained faithless, the few believers, of necessity, had become thinking, thus fulfilling the commandment of the Apostle: "Be infants in your hearts, but not in your reason."His short story of the Anti-Christ is available is a variety of formats in English translations as well as the original Russian. I would imagine it is available in other languages, too. His story of the 20th century’s wars were a bit off. Although his reasons remain fictional, at the end of the 20th, he does describe Europe:
As a natural consequence of this fact, the old traditional organization of individual States was everywhere deprived of its former importance, and the last traces of ancient monarchal institutions gradually disappeared. Europe in the twenty-first century represented an alliance of more or less democratic nations -- the United States of Europe.For Christians, the study of eschatology goes much further back. Jesus spoke often of the Kingdom of God and the book of Revelation is all about the end times. I met a young woman who said she was afraid to read it – it was too scary to even think about. I think it is too important to ignore – and I also think the Bible is the place to study it.
I do enjoy comparing the fiction, though, to historical reality, biblical verses and the possibilities of our unknown future. I also believe Jesus was correct (as always!) when He said:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36 KJV)
Anything else is just as fictional as the above referenced writings. There will be signs, as Jesus said in Matthew 24, which we could recognize:
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (Matthew 24:33-34 KJV)
After those signs exist, it won’t take a generation for all to be fulfilled.
We are not, however, to sit around and wait for all of this to happen. We have specific instructions in the Bible that we should be doing from the time we acknowledge Christ as the savior God provided. We continue to do them until we are no longer here to do them. That’s God’s timing, not ours.
Enjoy fiction, if you will – as I do, but do the serious study in the Bible.