What You Will Learn...
Understand the apocalyptic texts in the Bible: from the OT prophesies to John’s Revelation in the NT. Where do our modern views of end-times come from? Are they founded in scripture? What is a Biblical understanding of end-times and what are the implications for the church’s activity in the world today?
A common way of seeing the scripture is to believe that the last days before the second coming of Jesus will be days of destruction. Often, texts from the Old Testament about the coming judgment on Jerusalem, which were fulfilled in the first century AD, are misinterpreted to be about the days we live in now. These passages about the last days were not speaking about the second coming of Jesus, but about the judgment on Jerusalem that marked the end of the Old Testament age.
Associated with the belief in a last days’ destruction, is the belief that in the last days there shall be a falling away, and the church shall greatly decline, and that the enemies of the church shall greatly increase. The church is then characterised more by an enemy consciousness and a militancy towards the world in which we live. The church’s negative view of prophecy becomes self-fulfilling. The church withdraws from the world and the world around us becomes more and more dark.
The passage from Thessalonians, which describes the Son of Perdition, the sacrilege of the temple, and the falling away, has for years, in recent times, been applied to our modern era. This man of perdition has been looked for in the political world in which we now live. I remember, as a young man, it was considered the Son of Perdition would come out of the Soviet Union, or from the papacy in Rome. In more recent years it has been suggested that the Son of Perdition would come from Iran.
Wherever he would come from, it is commonly believed that we are in that day today, and a falling away of faith in the world is our only expectation. The people we suppose the Man of Sin will come from, become our enemy as a whole, rather than people to be loved. Our ideas on this usually align with our political enemies.
However, it is clear that in Thessalonians, Paul was speaking of the coming Roman invasion of the temple and city of Jerusalem in his time. He was speaking of something that was imminent in his own generation. He was speaking of something that Jesus had clearly predicted would happen in that generation. Paul knew this, and Jesus’s prediction was the basis on which Paul was preparing the believers of Thessalonica for what was coming in their own day.
Each lesson includes part of, or all of the following:
- Audio Lectures from Prof. Kent Hodge
- Essential reading from Prof’s handout: Eschatology, Renewing Service
- Further reading from other authors (chapters, articles, blog posts)
Assignment & Exam...
To complete this course and earn credit hours with Christian Faith Institute you must:
- Complete an assignment paper – you will be given a number of essay topics. You must choose ONE topic and write a 1,500 word essay including references to your curriculum and other authors. There are no deadlines; submit when you are ready.
- Complete an exam – this exam will be carried out at either: CFI in Jos, or through one of our partner churches throughout Africa. You will be asked to write short responses to all the topics given for your assignment. Exams are always supervised and timed.