I’ve been seeing a lot of end times hubbub among Christians again, especially on social media.

People certain that the end is fast approaching.
People certain that the antichrist is somewhere now among us.
People certain that the ugly things in the book of Revelation will begin any day now, or Jesus will return to “rapture” the church away any day now.

I sometimes have people ask why I don’t preach these things.

How should I say this?  I was cured of this (or perhaps vaccinated against abuse of the ideas) a long time ago through study of the Bible and history.

This topic can be complicated and is easier to talk about in a blog than from the pulpit – so I’ll probably dedicate a few blogs to it.
The study of the end times is called “eschatology” from the Greek word “eschatos” meaning “last” or “end”.  Most of us are familiar with one school of thought regarding eschatology called futurism.  You’ve probably seen the maps of the end times depicting the rapture, the tribulation, the antichrist, the return of Christ, all of the judgments, and the millennium.  That’s futurism.

Futurism says that most of the biblical prophecies are about events still future to us, events connected to the very last days of the entire world.

Most of us were taught one popular version of futurism, and many of us were taught that this was the only right way to interpret the Bible.
Many of us assumed that this one version of futurism was always the view of the church since the days of the apostles, and anything else must be a departure from the true faith.

I used to think that way.  Then I studied church history and was “cured”.
I discovered first that there was not just one version of futurism, but several.

Then I discovered that the futurism popular today was never even heard of before the 1850’s!

And then I discovered that futurism itself wasn’t the most popular way to interpret prophecy throughout Christianity’s history.  Other methods of interpreting prophecy that said most of the prophecies had to do with things now long past were much more common, and the people who held these views were not liberal Bible-denying heretics, but solid heroes of the faith – biblically-rooted reformers, faithful Puritans, and renowned Christian leaders through all the centuries.

The more I read and studied both history and the Bible, the more I concluded that this was a topic on which good men who believed in biblical truth could disagree on minute details while still affirming the same faith in Christ.

Not every difference between Christians is a heresy.