Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The futility of speculation

In the Interregnum series on prophecy here at the World, I've discussed a number of issues so far that I know cause doctrinal differences to become apparent for many. Doubtless, many Protestants who have read my musings are shaking their heads in disbelief. My point in writing some of these things, however, has been to make people think.

In my mind, it is futile to over-speculate about the End of Days. I think that any thinking and believing Christian knows what to look for when the time comes that we must worry about the Last Things in Time. In addition to the things Christ outlined in Matthew 24, we know to expect that there will be a "Man of Sin" who will arise and persecute the Church in the Last Days. Some speculate that "Antichrist" may be a system, not merely a singular person, and that the "Man of Sin" may be a different personage who represents the larger Antichrist system. I do not necessarily hold this view, but I do not think it can be easily discounted, either. Whether Antichrist is a single man or a larger system or a single man, the principle is the same: Antichrist will oppose Christ and His Church. As St. John has told us, the spirit of Antichrist is already in the world today.

Are we living at the time just before the End of the Age, can we say that we are experiencing the beginnings of the Last Things in Time? On a personal level, I will say that I am strongly inclined to believe that this is the case. However, others throughout history have also believed this about their own time, and have acted to convince others that what they believed was right. These efforts produced disaster for evangelization when the Lord did not return as predicted. Thus, it is not my place to declare this definitively, nor even to speculate, I will only say that I believe it as a matter of personal belief. I can only offer the same advice the Lord did, to be ready at all times, for the Lord will return when we do not expect him. Those readers who happen to share in the belief that we are in the Last of the Last Days will like the next installment in the series: IF we are nearing the End of Days, what are we Christians called to do?


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