When Do Christians Think the End Times Will Happen?

A Comparative Theologies Discussion of the Second Coming
  • Stanley J. Grenz


“When will this happen?” asked the astonished disciples in response to Jesus’ prediction that the beautiful temple in Jerusalem would one day be destroyed. Convinced that such a catastrophic event would by necessity mark the end of the world as they knew it, they added, “and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3 New International Version). According to Matthew’s narrative, what followed was Jesus’ lengthy depiction of the end times, which is often termed the Mount Olivet discourse because of the location where the gospel writer places it. The disciples’ query has been raised by Christians at nearly every turn in church history. Indeed, concern for this perennial question—“When will this happen?”—accounts in part for the popularity of the Left Behind series. In these books, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins present in fictional form one widely propagated interpretation of the end-times scenario that Jesus outlined in his conversation with his disciples on the Mount of Olives nearly two thousand years ago.


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  1. The material in this chapter is adapted from Stanley J. Grenz, The Millennial Maze: Sorting Out Evangelical Options © 1992 by Stanley J. Grenz, and is used with permission from InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois.Google Scholar
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© Bruce David Forbes and Jeanne Halgren Kilde 2004

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  • Stanley J. Grenz

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