June 18, 2020

Is There One View of the End Times That Is More Convincing Than the Others?

Nathan W. Bingham & W. Robert Godfrey
Is There One View of the End Times That Is More Convincing Than the Others?

Throughout church history, serious students of Scripture have come to different views regarding the end times. Today, W. Robert Godfrey considers the major perspectives and discusses the position he prefers.


NATHAN W. BINGHAM: I'm here on the Ligonier campus with Ligonier's chairman and one of our teaching fellows, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey. Dr. Godfrey, is there one end-times view that you find more convincing than others?

DR. W. ROBERT GODFREY: The end-time view I've always found most convincing is the one that my wife holds to, which she calls the "pan-mill" view. "It'll all pan out in the end, and Jesus will come again in glory." That should really unite us, and we must never lose sight of what unites us. Jesus is coming again in glory. And when He comes again in glory, He'll make all things clear.

Nonetheless, it is part of our calling as students of Scripture to know as much as we can about what He's told us about what will precede His coming, what His coming will be like. And very sincere Bible-believing Christians have come to significantly different conclusions about what the Bible has to say about those things.

We usually describe those differing views in relation to the millennium, the thousand-year reign of Christ that's prophesied in Revelation chapter 20. You have people who call themselves premillennialists, who believe that Christ will return in glory before the beginning of the millennium. Then you have the postmillennialists, who believe Christ will return in glory after the thousand-year period has been a period of prosperity for the church on earth and a success for the church on earth. And then you have the people who call themselves amillennial, who believe the thousand years in Revelation 20 is meant in a symbolic sense, not in a literal sense. And you have, through the history of the church, very sincere and powerful intellects who hold all three of these points of view.

For myself, I'm drawn to the amillennial point of view. I would like to be a postmillennialist. I really would like to believe that a great day of success is coming for the church in history before Christ returns. I'm just not convinced that's what the Bible says. I believe the church will have periods of success and periods of persecution before Christ returns in glory, and we won't know the moment of His coming. We won't be able to date it by the events that are happening in history before it comes. But we should all be united. We should be charitable, recognizing good people have been on all sides of this issue, and pray for, and look eagerly forward to, the day of His appearing.