The 2014 release of the Left Behind movie starring Nicolas Cage raised many questions about the biblical idea of end times. The movie, based on the Left Behind series of books, demonstrates a view of end times that theologians call “dispensational premillennialism.” This framework for understanding end times (or “eschatology”) is relatively new, having developed in America around the time of the civil war. The popularity of the Left Behind books and movies has helped to make dispensational premillennialism the most widely held position of American church goers. But is it biblically accurate? I personally think the dispensational position has some serious holes and interpretive leaps. However, any study of end times forces difficult interpretations due to the Bible’s heavy use of apocalyptic images and metaphors.
For a summary of the different views on end times, look at the following excellent articles:
- What Does The Bible Teach About The End Times? (Bryn MacPhail)
- Amillennialism (Anthony Hoekema)
- End Times / Second Coming (John Piper)
While it is appropriate and good to study eschatology, we must avoid idle speculation about the end times. No one can know the time and way (Matthew 24:36). We must rest in the simple certainty that’s God’s purposes will one day be brought to completion.