Fire falling from the sky. A massive tsunami. An abandoned city. Let’s be real—it’s probably Los Angeles or New York (although sometimes Sydney or Hong Kong makes a cameo). These are the images we most often associate with the end of the world. Whatever comes to mind for you, no doubt it has been shaped in large part by literature, art and, of course, Hollywood. Humans have a morbid curiosity about the apocalyptic, as well as a tendency to explore it in our stories, songs and art.
Why did God choose to reveal Himself through a sacred text? Were there no other ways? Does God still inspire scriptures today?
I remember years ago driving to my hometown of Robertson in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia. It was a wet, foggy evening, and as I was nearing the crest of a hill on the outskirts of the village, I noticed a small, grey form rapidly approaching. Out of nowhere, a voice told me: “Veer to the right, now!” Startled, I did as I was told, and as I swerved at 80km/hour, I looked to the left to see an enormous wombat crossing the road where my car would have been.
Please, not now! Don’t come right now! Please... I suddenly opened my eyes in the darkness of my bedroom and, all of a sudden, the heat wave building up during the nightmare met the coolness of the night reality. You haven’t come yet... Thank you, God!
I don’t like change.
When the ball dropped in New York’s Times Square on December 31, 2020, the world breathed a collective sigh of relief. The chapter had closed on what TIME magazine declared on its December 14 cover to be “The worst year ever”. 2021 was supposed to be a bright light at the end of the tunnel—potential treatments like the Astrazeneca vaccine promised to fight the Covid virus, the US government switched leaders and places like Australia’s fire-ridden landscape and Beirut’s blown-up zone could look forward to rebuilding.
The book of Revelation, in chapters 13 and 17, does refer to a world order, but it could hardly be called “new”. It is more of a return to an old historical order, but this time with unprecedented, worldwide success.
A significant number of Christians of various denominations, both traditional and Protestant, are concerned by the online materials announcing the establishment of a one-world religion: Chrislam. The news is that this is just the first step, which will be followed by a one-world currency, and a one-world government that is up to no good.
On May 19th, 1780, a strange phenomenon turned a sunny morning into an unexpected night. The event, known as the Dark Day, was seen as a sign of divine judgment by contemporaries and as a means of ridiculing apocalyptic expectations by sceptics.
There is a lot of talk today about the fact that things are not what they seem. It is not easy to distinguish between conspiratorially motivated speculation, and the real hidden things of our world—but most of the time the sources make the difference.
Contrary to one's initial impression, vigilance is not the main theme of Jesus' parables of "absence and expectation." Absence is central to these stories, because it is absence which enriches them, rather than impoverishing them. Absence is not a shortage, a gap, or a sign of non-existence—it is a catalyst.
God reveals Himself through the Bible, the person of Jesus Christ, nature, and our conscience. Prayer is not revelatory. If it is neither revelatory for humans nor for God, what is prayer then?
Virtually every civilization has been characterised by religious beliefs about the end of all things, not least about the timing and the conditions that precede the end, and signs of its imminence. There are many differences between these beliefs across civilisations, but many similarities too.
How important is the second coming of Jesus Christ in traditional Christianity?
"To feel that you have meaning is to feel immortal," psychology professor and author Clay Routledge wrote in 2014. Is this the only kind of immortality we will ever have?
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