Collapsology or Culmination

Published at: 02/07/2020

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How things fall apart

Building off Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse the sixth episode of the new French mini-series, L’Effondrement, that premiered recently on the French Canal+ network, dramatises the concepts of a dystopian collapse in society from a combination of tipping points such as global warming, exhaustion of fossil fuels, population growth and global pandemics. Malthusian thought on the linear or progressive understanding of history challenges such faiths as “sustainable development,” “green growth,” or the energy “transition” and suggests that an out of control collapse is imminent. Covid-19 and the rise of Greta Thunberg as a spokesperson for the global warming action movement have been co-opted by the Black Lives Matter movement to protest about inequality, exploitation and a ruling class that is hell bent on destroying the world in the pursuit of its own greedy goals.

Culmination of the age

These developments take on a different hue when seen through the prism of the Bible. Reading from Genesis to Revelation is an account of the history of mankind, from the Fall into sin, God's flooding of the earth because of the violence of mankind, sparing only Noah, his wife and three sons and their wives, God's selection of Abraham to found a new race of people from whom a Messiah would come who would redeem mankind from sin by being crucified and rising from the dead to return to his father to prepare for the resurrection of all believers. The time from the coming of Jesus to the earth until that happens is called the last days or end of times.

1 Corinthians 10: 10 International Standard Version

These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down as a warning for us in whom the culmination of the ages has been attained.

The First Letter to the Corinthians By ROY E CIAMPA, BRIAN S ROSNER

Old Testament Prophets

The OT prophets looked ahead at the destiny for God’s creation

  • the future repentance of the nation of Israel (Hos 14:1-8; Zech 12:10-14),
  • the coming of the Messiah (Zech 14:3- 4),
  • the restoration of Israel to their land (Ezek 37:24-28),
  • and the establishment of the prophetic kingdom (Isa 9:6-7).

New Testament Perspectives

John’s eschatological framework received from Christ included:

  1. Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah delayed the establishment of the messianic Kingdom and resulted in the desolation of Israel’s temple (Matt 23:37-38; 24:2).
  2. During the present age, Jesus will build His church. (Matt 16:16-19; Acts 1:6-8).
  3. Jesus will personally come again to take His disciples to the dwelling places He is preparing for them in heaven (John 14:2-3). This return for His disciples is imminent (1 John 3:2).
  4. The second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth will be preceded by a period of tribulation for Israel and the nations (Matt 24:3-28) which will culminate in Israel’s acceptance of Jesus as Messiah (Matt 23:39).
  5. Jesus will return to the earth to establish His messianic Kingdom, which will include righteous Israelites and Gentiles (Matt 24:29–25:46)

Differences of Interpretation

An overview of the four main differing points of view

Pre-tribulation Interpretation followed here Rapture and Revelation

Revelation 3:10-11 Darby Translation (DARBY)

10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee out of the hour of trial, which is about to come upon the whole habitable world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 I come quickly: hold fast what thou hast, that no one take thy crown.

Hebrews 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,

2 Peter 3:10[ The Day of the Lord ] But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

What How When

  • In Rev 3:10-11, John reveals an eschatological what—the church will be kept out of the tribulation by the coming of Christ for His church.
  • In 1 Thess 4:13-18, Paul reveals the how—through such an event as the rapture.
  • Correlating John and Paul gives the when—the rapture of the church will be before the tribulation.

Revelation 22 The River of Life

22 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.