Church History Forum: Revelations

Revelations QUESTION from Thomas Pickering on March 17, 2002
I have recently studied the book of Revelations ans have pondered on the idea that maybe we are closer to the end than we think.. For example the seven seals could only be opened by the Lion of Judah, Which I believe is Jesus Christ. That would mean that the first seal would have been opened 2000 years ago. You can incorporate the seals from the symbolistic terms in which they are described by john to a modern day explanation..I think hat the seven churches he is writting to represents society. The fact that we as a society have adapted to the ways of the world (satan)so easily is the sadest part. I the last ten years we have went from not accepting Homosexuals to bieng proud to be associated with the. It is only a matter of tie before they can adopt, get marrried(already can in some states). There is a reason the gays cannot produce children through gay means... If you look back to pre-flood times( I have also done a timeline according to genesis..and from creation to the flood was about 1500 years. Sohow many muslim owned gas stations and convience store's there are and what kind of kaos they could provok by shuting there doors even if it is only for a week.............(sorry so long and jumpy...... just some thoughts I have had)
ANSWER by Q & A Staff on March 22, 2002 Dear Thomas,
please don't fall into the trap of thinking the end of the world will come soon. Even though we do not know the day nor the hour yet it is rash to speculate on a time. The saints of the Church throughout the ages have constantly prophesied a chastisement and an era of peace before the end of the world, neith of which have as yet come to pass.
For a good book on the book of Revelation ,I suggest Scott Hahn's The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth. Among other topics covered, Hahn shows that there are basically four different approaches to take with regard to interpreting the Book of Revelation, and these are not mutually exclusive. The four approaches are:

1) historicist : thr Book of Revelation is a description of the two thousand years + of Church history. The 'beast' can stand for Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler etc.
2) preterist: this view says most of the Book of Revelation was fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. The beast in this case would be Nero.
3) idealist: this view regards the Book of Revelation as a summary of the sppiritual struggles that each Christian goes though during his/her pilgrimage on earth.
4) futurist: this view has been much popularised among Evangelicals by sensationalist books like Protestant Hal Lindsey's Late, Great, Planet Earth which became the second best seller of the 1970s (after the Bible) with ideas such as the Soviet Union as the Beast and so on.
For further reading on the issue of the end times, Desmond Birch's Trial, Tribulation and Triumph deals with prophecies of Catholic saints through the centuries and the evidence is conclusive we are NOT near the end of the world.
Thanks Thomas,
God bless,
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