What is Eschatology?


Eschatology (study of “last things”) has fascinated humanity throughout history.

Our attitude to the future is ambiguous, a mixture of fear and fascination. Some try to forget the future and squeeze as much purpose and pleasure out of the present as possible: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (Isa. 22:13; 1 Cor. 15:32).

The name for this approach to life is “Existentialism” and it is the zeitgeist (“spirit of the age”) of the postmodern world.

For the believer in Jesus Christ fear is transformed into a joyful longing, and fascination into an eager expectation of his return to Earth. The study of the "end times" should, therefore, be a source of great comfort, encouragement and inspiration to the believer. However, there is probably no other area of Biblical teaching that has caused confusion and bitter controversy among Christians than this.

The fearful student can never get into eschatology, while the fanatical student can never seem to get out of it. Attitudes towards the future range from jubilant optimism to depressed pessimism, from faith to fatalism.

Some of the questions I have been asked by students include...

When will the world end?

What is the end of the world?

What are the signs of the end of the age?

Is dispensationalism biblical?

How should we interpret and understand the Book of Revelation?

Is end times prophecy being fulfilled?

What is the "mystery of lawlessness"?

Does Israel have a future?

How should we view Nostradamus' predictions?

Is the so-called "New world Order" fact or fiction?

Is the antichrist a spirit, a system, or a person?


Proposition: Understanding the biblical definition and developing a balanced approach will replace fear and fanaticism with faith.


What is Eschatology?

The term eschatology is derived from two Greek words; eschatos, denoting last (in time and place) and logos, meaning word (subject matter). Therefore the technical definition of eschatology is "the study of the last things.”

In Foundations of Pentecostal Theology Duffield and Van Cleave defines it as "the doctrinal study that deals with the last events of salvation-history (heilsgeschichte), including all that is beyond this life and this age, as well as events of this present age."

Professor Wayne Grudem identifies two distinct branches of eschatological study:

Personal eschatology is the study of future events that will happen to individuals. It includes such topics as death, the so-called intermediate state, and glorification.

General eschatology is the study of certain major events that will affect the entire universe, including the second coming of Christ.

The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology defines general eschatology as “the consummation of God’s purpose whether it coincides with the end of the world (or of history) or not, whether the consummation is totally final or marks a stage in the unfolding pattern of his purpose."

The Last Hour

"Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour." (1 John 2:18)

In a letter attributed in the late second century to St. John, the writer describes the times in which he lived as the “last hour.” The apostolic writer appears to have lived in immediate anticipation of the Lord’s return and with a conviction that the external evidence of the present times seemed to indicate that his was possibly the final generation.

If John, or one of his followers, writing in between 90 and 110 BCE, could say, “this is the last hour,” as God’s prophetic time clock is ticking towards the climax of this present age, we may well be living in the final minute of that last hour. It is appropriate for believers in all generations to live in such anticipation and with such conviction.

The Johannine writer speaks both to the lateness of the hour of human history, and the subject of the Antichrist. The Bible contains revelation on a range of related topics, which all have to do with the end times. These include...

* The spirit of antichrist

* The Rapture of the Church

* The Big Trouble

* The Day of the Lord

* The restoration of national Israel

* The Second Advent of Jesus Christ

* The Millennial reign of Jesus Christ

* Eternal judgment and eternal destiny

The writer goes on to promise believers, that in the final hour, there has been made a special provision in the Holy Spirit, whereby he desires to impart an anointing to us that will enable us to distinguish truth from error (1 John 2:20,27). This ability to discern sound doctrine is especially needful today in the understanding of the "last hour" as many believers have either given up any attempt to understand eschatology or else have become bitterly divided over details of interpretation.

Developing a Sound Eschatology

In my eBook, Developing a Sound Eschatology (revised edition) I encourage students of prophecy to approach the subject with appropriate attitudes. These are...

Sobriety, because of the significance of issues; the return of Christ, the eternal destiny of souls, heaven, and so forth.

Humility, because while we know some facts, we do not know the details of time and order.

Teachability, because flexibility and a willingness to learn keeps our hearts open to sincere Christ-loving believers regardless of their eschatological perspectives.

Practicality, because any study of prophecy that does not affect your walk with God, your life and relationships, your witness and service for Jesus in the “now” is an abstract and invalid exercise.

Then I outline four interpretive principles that will help guide students in a sound and sensible approach. These are...

Understand that all prophetic Scripture is discursive in nature. That is, it passes rapidly and irregularly from one subject to another.

Always seek to take an eclectic approach. That is, you should remain unattached to any one school of thought. In my eBook I explain the principal schools of prophetic interpretation, all of which contain considerable merit, while at the same time each retains certain inconsistencies and inadequacies, which you need to be aware of.

Be aware that prophetic Scripture is frequently proleptic. A prolepsis is to see things which are not yet as though they already are.

Always keep your study of eschatology pragmatic. Constantly ask yourself, how does this revelation or prophetic truth affect the way I live my life today? What practical application is there for my worship and my witness?



For a more thorough understanding of the major interpretive approaches to understanding "last things" and the strengths and limitations of each, order my eBook Developing a Sound Eschatology, revised edition.

You may purchase the .pdf eBook for $15.00 through our secure PayPal service. You will be asked to supply an email delivery address to which we can email your .pdf eBook.

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NOTE: We can normally email .pdf eBooks within 24 hours of receiving the order. However, when we are traveling, especially overseas, we are not always able to check our website and emails every day. Please be patient if delivery is delayed for this reason as we do not have a home office staff. THANK YOU!



How to Teach Biblical Eschatology

I have taught Bible prophecy since 1980. With more than three decades experience in the field I have developed a distinct Biblical theology approach. In my opinion this is the best approach the helping students develop a sound and sensible understanding of "last things".

Coming Soon: Biblical Eschatology



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For a more thorough understanding of the major interpretive approaches to understanding "last things" and the strengths and limitations of each, order my eBook Developing a Sound Eschatology, revised edition.



You may purchase the .pdf eBook for $15.00 through our secure PayPal service. You will be asked to supply an email delivery address to which we can email your .pdf eBook.

Email address for eDelivery

NOTE: We can normally email .pdf eBooks within 24 hours of receiving the order. However, when we are traveling, especially overseas, we are not always able to check our website and emails every day. Please be patient if delivery is delayed for this reason as we do not have a home office staff. THANK YOU!







Would you like to host a Biblical Eschatology: Sound and Sensible seminar at your church, Bible school, or Bible study group?

For over three decades I have lectured on Eschatology and related themes in universities, colleges and churches throughout the world.

The basic class requires 10 hours of class time. This is ideal for a weekend seminar.

Dr. Ian Bond



I am able to conduct a Biblical Eschatology: Sound and Sensible seminar at your church, school, or study group throughout the United States and Canada. I am also available to facilitate seminars in other countries on a more limited basis.

Please contact me.