It was April 14th, 2017 and my friend Tyler and I were in my parked car outside his apartment in Coralville, IA. We had both been paying attention to the recent news surrounding North Korea and their nuclear missile testing. Needless to say, we were worried. With a new (and outspoken) U.S. President in office whose weak spot was foreign policy, how were we as a nation going to respond? Were we on the brink of inevitable geopolitical conflict? Was North Korea actually going to attempt a nuclear missile launch?
With all of these questions and anxieties running through our heads, we started to pray together. We prayed for peace on the Korean Peninsula. We prayed for leaders domestic and abroad. We prayed that nations would resolve their conflicts through diplomatic and nonviolent means. And finally, we prayed that Jesus would return soon to make all things right.
The last petition we prayed was not out-of-the-blue. I had been thinking about Jesus’s return fairly frequently over the past several weeks, perhaps more than I had at any point in my life. And so, praying for his expedited return was not unexpected. But as Tyler and I finished praying, said our goodbyes, and I drove back to my apartment, a number of thoughts went through my head. What, if anything, could I say that would be of comfort to Tyler concerning the end times? What do I actually believe about the return of Christ? Am I Pre-, Post-, or A-millenial? What do I believe about Preterism? Do I have any sort of working eschatological timeline?
I know I’m not the only one who’s had these kinds of thoughts. At various points, I’ve asked my pastors their views on eschatology, but they (through no fault of their own) usually have more questions themselves than answers. I could have read excerpts from systematic theologies, but those would have been biased. No, I wanted source content, so I turned to a particularly famous piece of apocalyptic literature in the Bible: Mark 13.
I am choosing not to post my commentary on the text here, because that would take up too much space. Instead, a link to my commentary on BibleArc.com can be found below. I pray that it would help you think more about eschatology and answer at least one question you had about the end times. However, I can almost assure you it will raise more questions than it answers!