The return of Christ is an ever-present experience and a permanent hope.  Opinions about when and how He will return are confusing and further muddled by elitist dogmatism and hyper-sensationalism.  In spite of these diversions, Scripture encourages us to remain in a constant state of expectancy in order to recognize Him when He appears.  In the broad sense, we learn to recognize Christ’s self-disclosure through creation and the Bible.  But once we are immersed in the Bible, there are some factors to consider in order to maintain a wholesome perspective about the appearing of Jesus.  This is an organic and necessary process called interpretation.

When it comes to interpreting prophecy, several features come into play. Foundationally, it is unwise to formulate assumptions about the future without first having an understanding about Biblical history. We must also discern if a passage is intended for the Jews, gentiles, or both. How do we decide if a prophecy is literal or symbolic? Will the prophecy be fulfilled immediately, partially, ultimately, or a combination of these? Sometimes it is even difficult to decide if the passage in question is talking about Christ or antichrist. As we conclude in the next post, we will see how all of these (including the previous posts, Anticipation and Recognition) form an infinite and inter-connected whole to humble us and to give us hope.