With impactful events taking place in the world these days, there seems to be a sense among many that something big is about to happen. The Middle East especially continues to be hotbed of activity, dating back to nearly 70 years ago when Israel became a nation. The last couple of years have seen the significant rise of the terrorist group ISIS in Syria.
Is it possible that these events are a setup for the prophecies spoken about in the Bible that we refer to as the “Second Coming?”
I grew up in the church with the teaching that the church would be raptured before the Second Coming. As teenager, I began to learn that many other Christians believed other theories about the Second Coming. It seems that, as time has passed, things have become more confused, especially when theologians and pastors talk about events and entities such as the Great Tribulation, the Millennium, the Antichrist, the mark of the Beast and the rapture itself—whether or not it is going to happen before or after the tribulation, or perhaps midway through.
To grapple with these topics, Charisma House released a new book this week called The Armageddon Code by New York City journalist Billy Hallowell, the faith and religion editor for The Blaze. He takes an arm’s-length view of the various views of the Second Coming. He tries to explain these views to people who are usually confused by all the contradictions. The book also presents some research showing what Protestant ministers believe about the Second Coming. The results were surprising.
I had the privilege of interviewing Billy Hallowell on The Strang Report podcast, which will be online in a few days. We talked about how the book is being released this week in what they call “a thunder clap,” in which 136 people sent out information about the book at the same time to a combined total of more than 2 million people. It helps to draw attention to this important book.
We also talked about the study conducted by Lifeway Research in which 1,000 pastors, drawn randomly from the population, revealed what they believe. The greatest group—36 percent—believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. The next largest group—25 percent—believe that the rapture is not be taken literally. Most of these pastors come from what we would call more liberal segments of the church. Interestingly, 73 percent of Pentecostal pastors believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. Yet I remember when I was a child nearly all Pentecostals would have believed it.
One chapter of the book deals with questions surrounding the Antichrist:
Exactly who is he and what will his personality be like?
Where will he come from?
When will he arrive on the scene?:
Interest in the end times is at an all-time high. But what does the Bible really say about what will happen and when? Why are there so many different viewpoints among Christians, and are any of them right? With questions like these, it’s no wonder that the subject of the end times creates confusion, doubt and anxiety for many people today.
I encourage you to pick up a copy of The Armageddon Code wherever Christian books are sold or online. There is so much more information that I can go into in this short newsletter, but click here to order the book or find out more information about it.
Hallowell also interviews “experts” on end-time prophecy and what they believe. He conducted interviews with Greg Laurie, Tim LaHaye, Joel C. Rosenberg and even Hank Hanegraaff on what they believe. He lays it all out for the readers and allows the readers to decide for themselves.
I am finding the book fascinating reading, the topic is fascinating, and I encourage you to let me know what you think about end-time prophecy by leaving your comments below.
Steve Strangis the founder of Charisma and CEO of Charisma Media. Follow him onTwitter and Facebook. Click here to subscribe to the Strang Report podcast, and hereto sign up for the Strang Report newsletter.
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our “Life in the Spirit” devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?
Did you enjoy this blog? Click here to receive it by email.
Love For His People, Inc. founded in 2010 by Steve & Laurie Martin. Charlotte, NC USA