What’s Going to Happen Next
Over the course of just the last few days, the world experienced the violent elimination of a high-profile military leader, a missile attack, a jet plane crash, and an earth quake. These kinds of things are happening all the time; the news is full of these stories.
As we consider world events, we may conclude that such things are entirely chaotic and haphazard. That is, it’s all just a bunch of random things happening. No one is in control, there seems to be no rationale; there seems to be no goal or end game in sight. We might even conclude that the same kinds of things happen over and over again. History is circular or cyclical—the same kind of things keep happening over and over. There is no rhyme or reason behind these events.
We are now perched on the cusp of another new year. Will this year unfold chaotically, randomly, and haphazardly; or will things move toward a predetermined goal/end? Is anyone in charge of world events?
If we believe the Bible, we must affirm that history and current events are going somewhere. If God is sovereign, then he is moving world events toward a predetermined end point.
We don’t know what’s going to happen next in our own personal lives, and we don’t know what’s going to happen next on the world stage. But we do know what’s going to happen next on God’s prophetic timetable. God has a plan, and he is moving everything unavoidably toward the fulfillment of that preordained plan. God is still on his throne; he is sovereignly controlling the events of this world. We need to look at world events with a strong belief that God is moving history toward his pre-ordained conclusion. Despite all appearances to the contrary, God is in control. We believe that by faith; God himself assures us that this is his world, and he rules over the affairs of men.
Today I want to briefly discuss God’s prophetic timetable. What’s going to happen next?
This branch of theology—the study of end time events or last things—is called eschatology. Most of these things are revealed in prophetic literature—books like Daniel and Revelation. Jesus also tells us a good deal about these things, especially in Matt 24.
Interpreting prophecy is rather difficult, and we must admit that good people come to different conclusions about eschatology. My understanding of end times events fits into the Dispensational category. Most churches like ours are Dispensational, and so am I. I am confident that this approach is thoroughly biblical, but I also recognize that other people have other approaches to the subject. Over the course of church history, believers have held different opinions on these issues. What I’m presenting here is based on a literal approach to biblical prophecy.