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The study of the end times (technically known as “eschatology”) can be daunting. There’s a huge amount of information out there – not all of it helpful! It’s important that we allow the Bible to speak to us on its own terms about such things as the second coming of Christ, the end of the world and the final judgment. Here are some good places to start digging.

Two great books

Firstly, here are two outstanding introductions to what the Bible teaches about the future. Ian Paul's booklet is a short (28-page) overview of the whole subject. Tom Wright's book is quite a lot longer but well worth a read, especially if you've never read his material before.

The pastoral importance of eschatology

New Testament scholar Ian Paul features quite prominently on this page. We've already recommended his booklet published by Grove Books, but the conclusion of that booklet can be found here. It's an excellent explanation of why it's important to be clear on what the Bible teaches about the end times.

Resurrection and renewal of creation

The Bible teaches that the Christian hope is for the restoration of all things. This can be a strange idea for those who have grown up with the Greek idea that our hope is to escape this material world and go to heaven. Tom Wright's masterly treatment of this subject in "Surprised by Hope" has already been mentioned, but you could also take a look at these videos.

The 'little apocalypse' in Matthew 24 & Mark 13

In this video, Ian Paul gives us guidance on how to read the 'end of the world' passages from the Bible in general before examining the text in Matthew 24 (which parallels Mark 13) in particular. Here, he uses broad brush strokes. We'll look at the idea of 'rapture', which some people see in the Matthew text, in another section.


This is an extremely contentious area in the western church. The first thing to say is that while it's important that we all agree on the basics - Jesus is coming again to judge the world; believers in Christ will be physically resurrected from the dead; we will rule in a renewed earth with him - there's plenty of room for disagreement on the fine details of what will happen at the end. These articles sum up our take on the rapture at Grace Church but if, having read the articles carefully, you take a different view, then that's ok!

The modern state of Israel and biblical prophecy

Here's another very contentious area. What we said previously about not getting too hung up on the detail of end times theology is applicable here, but it's also important to know how to respond to the claims made by various Christian groups about the status of the nation-state of Israel.

The Millennium

The doctrine of the millennium is rooted in Revelation 20. This overview by Ian Paul (including the handout) is a helpful overview of how to navigate the various views that Christians hold on the thousand years.

Making Progress

These provocations from AW Tozer are helpful in considering how we set our priorities in light of the return of Jesus and asking the question "How should we live in the meantime?"

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