Endless Hope or Hopeless End by James M. Rochford


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Modern cinema can’t help from speculating about the end of the world—though with little agreement on how the world will end. Will flesh-eating zombies tear humanity to pieces? Will an extraterrestrial race invade the Earth? Will we die from communicable disease? Dystopian government? Sentient machines? Nuclear war?

Can Will Smith really save us from all of these horrors? (A brief look at his acting career will show you that he has…)

But what about the real world?

Humanity only recently crawled out from under the debris of two world wars, and we wonder if we can really survive a third. Threats bombard us on all sides: disease, terrorism, nuclear war, poverty, racism, genocide—the list could go on. As we look at our past and our present, we can’t help ourselves from peering anxiously into our future. Where is the world headed? How will it all end?

Picture2The Bible gives us a unique vision of the future—a picture that is not only true, but also desirable. It not only conforms to reality, but it offers us hope. Scripture tells us what the future holds, but more importantly, it introduces us to the One who holds the future: Jesus Christ.

Jesus will return to Earth, and he’s bringing Heaven with him. With such an inspiring message, we owe it to ourselves to study, reflect, contemplate, meditate, pray, and dwell on the Bible’s vision of the future. Yet most Christians remain surprisingly ignorant on this topic. If you talk to ten different Christians about biblical prophecy, you’re likely to hear eleven different opinions!

Endless Hope or Hopeless End clearly and carefully communicates this difficult subject for the average reader. This incredibly accessible book brings a complicated subject within the easy grasp of the average reader. Bible prophecy and eschatology lead to endless debates among interpreters. Here, examine all the main schools of thought and how they get their conclusions. For more advance readers, extensive footnotes offer documentation and further reading.

Table of Contents

Preface      i

Introduction         1

Part One: Why Believe in Prophecy?        7

Chapter 1. Fulfilled Predictions of Jesus of Nazareth   9

Chapter 2. Fulfilled Foreshadowing of Jesus     23

Chapter 3. Fulfilled Predictions of Israel’s Regathering            33

Chapter 4. Fulfilled Predictions of the Destruction of Cities and Nations     43

Chapter 5. Fulfilled Predictions of World Empires       55

Part Two: Competing Interpretations of the Future     67

Chapter 6. Interpreting Prophecy          69

Chapter 7. Revelation: Hindsight or Foresight?            83

Chapter 8. Was Jesus a Preterist?           101

Chapter 9. Dispensationalism versus Covenantalism: The Role of Future Israel       115

Part Three: The Mystery of the Millennium      135

Chapter 10. Premillennialism      137

Chapter 11. Amillennialism         153

Chapter 12. Postmillennialism     169

Part Four: Interpreting the Future    177

Chapter 13. Rapture: The Rescue of the Church           179

Chapter 14. Tribulation (Part I): Overview      195

Chapter 15. Tribulation (Part II): World Empires & World Warfare 207

Chapter 16. Tribulation (Part III): The Antichrist       225

Chapter 17. Tribulation (Part IV): Is it Plausible?        237

Chapter 18. Tribulation (Part V): Technological Advancement          249

Chapter 19. The Second Coming: The Return of the King      257

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[Artwork courtesy of Lindsey Tobin]

Fulfilled Prophecies

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Daniel 2 Prophecy

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Millennial Views

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The Rescue of the Church

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Dispensationalism and Covenantalism

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Preterism and Futurism

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Hermeneutical Principles

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The Future

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