You have probably seen a rise in Christians panicking about the end of the world over the last few years. Some believe we are in the midst of it now, and some have even set dates of when they believe Jesus Christ will return again. Due to this, misinformation about the End Times has spread around like wildfire and almost none of it is actually backed by the Bible.
The Book of Revelation is the go-to when learning about the second coming. It can be a frustrating and confusing book to read, so it’s no wonder misinterpretations are rampant. These misunderstandings can lead to confusion, fear, and paranoia, so here are the facts.
“We can predict when the rapture will happen.”
End-times predications have become very popular, but all of them have been wrong. Scripture tells us that no one, expect our Lord, will know when this will happen. Mark 13:32 tells us, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We will not know at all when the rapture is coming, so don’t pay attention to any countdowns or predictions. It will only take you away from focusing on God in the present.
“Christians should be worried they will be left behind.”
In reality, no true Christian should have any fear that they won’t go to heaven when the End Times do happen. If you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, then you’re secure in God’s promise: “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). Do not focus on living out your faith only because you are worried you won’t enter His kingdom. Instead, enjoy living your life for Jesus here on earth.
“The Book of Revelation is too new to be true.”
Some Christians believe the book of Revelation is just the creative work of a spiritually minded man named John. People believe a rapture teaching was popularized in the 1830s by a woman named Margaret MacDonald, and cult leader John Darby made her views wide-spread. However, this is a well-disproven claim. These teachings date back to the 1400-1500s when the Reformation began, bringing back the literal interpretation of the Bible. Furthermore, biblical truth is determined by scripture alone, and not how that teaching has been perceived at different times during history. What the Bible tells us is that Christians won’t understand end time prophecy in its entirety until the time comes for it to be fulfilled.
“Everything in Revelation should be taken literally.”
Certain parts of the Bible, including the Book of Revelation, are meant to be symbolic and not completely literal. For example, when John says “I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit” (Revelation 9:1) he is not talking about a literal star falling from heaven and being handed a set of keys. That is a symbolic reference to Satan from Ezekiel 28. Some things, however, will be more difficult to determine. For example when Revelation refers to a “thousand-year reign” we do not know if that is a literal 1,000 years or just symbolic about a very long time. Before you jump to conclusions, discuss with other Christians you trust and do your research.
“We should be trying to identify the Antichrist.”
The Pope, Donald Trump, Ceaser, Ronald Reagan: what do they all have in common? Each and every one of these at some point in history have been suspected or accused of being the Antichrist. Such speculation is distracting to the mission God has give us. There’s no scripture that encourages guessing the identity of the Antichrist. We would be better off in leaving this secret thing to God for now.
“Jesus is the first of the four apocalyptic horsemen.”
Many believe that Jesus Christ is portrayed by the first of the well-known four apocalyptic horsemen, or the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6. However that rider is not to be confused with Christ. Christ appears on a white horse in chapter 19. The first rider is revealed to be a false messiah who brings false teaching. This negative identification fits well with the other three horsemen, who represent the effects of war, scarcity and disease epidemics.
Yes, Jesus is coming again. He will return to the earth just as He was seen leaving it nearly 2,000 years ago. He will come in power and bring us to heaven. Until then, we just need to continue to live our lives for Him.