It’s time again to hear from you! This week, we asked Coming Home Network community members the following question: “In your years as a Christian, what are some of the things that you believed would happen at the end of the world, based on your interpretation of the scriptures?” Many of the responses were extremely interesting, but too long to fit in their entirety here- you can see a couple of them in full in the Fellowship Hall of our Community Forum. Some samples:
“There was often talk of ‘one world religion’ and ‘one world government’ with the False Prophet and the Antichrist running each respectively but in cooperation with one another. Anything remotely resembling either of these things–the United Nations, the ecumenical movement, World Council of Churches, the EU–were immediately under suspicion of being evil. Of course with Vatican 2 launching ecumenism, the Papacy became numero uno for the title of False Prophet. Between ecumenism, and its ‘false religion’, and its heresies, there could be no better candidate.
Another thing I remember were certain groups or persons being mentioned as candidates: The Bilderberg group was speculated to be full of Illuminati. Conspiracy theories abounded about these people. Certain EU members or other hidden candidates were watched and jealously held to be ‘the one’.”
Jennie, CHN Community Forum Member
“Classic Dutch Calvinist eschatology and Catholic eschatology are not very different. Calvin did not write a commentary on the Book of Revelation, and dominant Calvinist eschatological schemes tend to be “a-millennial” (sometimes called “pro-millennial”), meaning we did not believe in a “millennium” that was different than the age of the Church. The mysterium fidei chant that used to be used in the English liturgy—”Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again”—fairly well sums up the end-times view that I grew up with inside of Dutch Calvinism. Christ would come back suddenly, execute the final judgment, and that would be it. My views did not change much upon becoming Catholic.”
Dr John Bergsma, author of “New Testament Basics for Catholics”
“Dispensationalist theology and belief in a ‘rapture’ existed among some Evangelicals when I was young, but it did not become popular until long after I had become Catholic, and I was never attracted to it. My background, my intuition and my faith all led me in another direction.
St. Thomas Aquinas, whose philosophy had a major role in setting me on the road to becoming Catholic, speaks of a ‘cleansing’ rather than a ‘destruction’ of the world (Summa Theologica, Supplement q. 74). The glorious ‘new heaven and new earth’ (see Revelation 21:1) are an integral part of the ‘last days.’ Moreover, in the Acts of the Apostles (2:17) we read, ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.’ Consequently, in concert with the prophets of Scripture and the Fathers of the Church, Catholics see the present day (the Christian era) and the end of the world in the same scan, with the same interpretation.”
David Emery, CHN Community Forum Moderator
No doubt these responses have triggered some thoughts for you- please explore the links above for more from this week’s featured members, and please share your own reactions in the comments below!