Apocalyptic Terror and Mr. Diabolical, Conclusion

It is necessary that we avoid the extremes of dogmatism and sensationalism when it comes to what the Scriptures say about future events. In the previous post we started a discussion about using the Bible as its own standard of interpretation in respect to prophecy. Initially we must begin with the overarching premise that God is sovereign. It is then important to see the Word of God as multi-layered and multi-dimensional. We resume and conclude our thoughts with the concepts and principles that follow.

Regardless of what or how the future unfolds, believers are assured that God’s redemptive rescue is certain. We must, however, avoid the arrogance of thinking that we are always “reading God right.” God is under no obligation to operate according to our limited knowledge. The essence of idolatry is having a “God-of-my-agenda” mentality. We cannot coax God into action or conjure up enough momentum for God to adjust his course. We can only discover and participate in what God is already doing, and this always begins with repentance.

We must be aware of haphazard interpretation such as arbitrary genre-jumping, whimsical choosing of when a passage is to be taken literally, or retreating for comfort to the “what we’ve always been told” at any sign of challenge or confusion.

We must understand and value the implications of history and of chronology in our studies. How we arrived at the present and the sequence of events will be valuable in looking to the future.

Prayer is the most effective medium for understanding, interpreting, and processing prophecy. From the surety of the Scriptures we enter into the sanctuary of prayer to be awed by God’s person and aligned to His purposes.

As a community of students and followers of Christ, we must progressively explore together what we do understand with humility, gratitude, and patience. We realize that God reveals and God conceals. He reveals more than enough to engender our trust. He conceals just enough to maintain mystery and to ignite hope. There is wisdom in knowing when to pursue and when to exercise restraint.

Throughout all of the prophetic and apocalyptic passages of the Bible, we see God systematically defining, denigrating, and then destroying evil. Human nature gravitates with morbid fascination to these things instead of being drawn to the righteousness, justice, and beauty of God. It is of little important for us to know the identity of the future “Mr. Diabolical,” the antichrist. It is vital that we find our identity in the eternal Christ, our Savior.