A Note about the End Times

One of the things that pains me as a pastor is how manipulative certain theological ideas can be.

For example, I grew up with a great fascination of the Book of Revelation. For one, there is no part of the Bible that is more “heavy metal.” Blood and moons and battles and demons and angels and epic stuff. It’s amazing imagery. At church camp, I told my counselor that my favorite verse was from Revelation.

But here is the reality, especially as conservative evangelical Christians latched on to it – the end times is pure symbolism. Even when Jesus is asked about the end times, he says only God knows.

But that doesn’t stop many pastors from claiming that it is coming soon.

It’s not coming soon.

I mean, it could be – but no average pastor is going to know.

Jesus didn’t know and didn’t speculate, so if you find yourself in a church where a pastor claims to know it is on the way, find a new church.

End Times theology is all about marketing – it’s all about getting butts in the seats. It’s all about donations. It’s all about fattening the coffers of that particular institution and using the fear of the end of the world to mask your other biases and fears which you should be working on.

A good pastor will love to talk about the metaphors and symbolism in the end times discourse throughout scripture, but they will say “I don’t know.” They will offer no predictions. They will encourage you to live your life now and embrace your neighbor and work for justice.

In the present moment.