Eschatology: Introduction

Part one of my overview study of eschatology (end times). This section introduces the topic and some of the issues to be addressed.

I’m a Star Trek fan and I’ll admit it. Not everyone enjoyed the science fiction story that began with the five-year mission of the starship Enterprise. However, my parents raised me watching Captain Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy and the entire crew. When the second television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, aired, I was slow to accept it. However, I began to look forward to watching Captain Picard, Riker, Data, Geordi, and others. Call me strange, but my daughter’s middle name came from a Star Trek character: Deanna Troi.

Now, I’m not a die-hard fanatic, though I have been called a Trekkie. I’ve never been to a convention, do not own any Star Trek uniforms, and do not speak Klingon. But I do enjoy the shows and movies. The final movie based on the original series, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Kirk overcame his fear of the future. During one of the final scenes, Kirk recalled the statement by the Klingon Supreme Chancellor, who called the future the “undiscovered country.” The idea is that the future is a mystery and unknown. One can call the future merely history that is yet to be written. I’ve heard people say that no one knows what the future holds.

Despite such beliefs in an unknown future, millions of people flock to psychics, the horoscope, and other such fortune tellers in order to know what lies ahead. Others say that fate determines the future, relying not on their knowledge of the future, but on some unknown entity that has predetermined all events. Those who trust in fate often say the future cannot be avoided, just experienced.

This series is designed to provide an understanding of eschatology. After reading this series on eschatology, it is my hope that you have a foundational understanding from which further study can take place. Many books, commentaries, and sermons have been preached on this subject outlining various belief systems. In this series, you will be introduced to some of the key terms, main doctrines, and leading viewpoints. Along with the introductory information, I will recommend quality resources for further study of eschatology. Below is the outline for this series.

About John L. Rothra
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