Often when I teach Revelation, people are quick to let me know God’s got it worked out, so therefore this isn’t an important topic to study. Well, yes, it’s true that God does have it worked out. What people don’t realize is what we believe about end times affects our lives today. The easiest way to illustrate this is through songs. So I have a playlist on my phone entitled, “Eschatology” for just that purpose! J I thought it might be a fun blog to share that playlist with you…
Let’s start with the familiar, Premillennial:
These songs in substance, gives us the view of “Be Ready” and how our world is getting worse.
“I Wish We’d All Been Ready” DCTalk
“I Am Sure” Michael W. Smith
“Leaving Eden” Brandon Heath
“Someday” Michael W. Smith
“End of the Book” Michael W. Smith
Marching onward, let’s look at Postmillennial:
These songs in substance, gives us the view of Spiritual Warfare and “Ushering in the Kingdom”.
“Storm The Forts of Darkness” The Singing Company
“The Battle Hymn of The Republic” Mormon Tabernacle Choir
“Onward Christian Soldiers” Mormon Tabernacle Choir
“Kingdom Comes” Sara Groves
“With Every Act of Love” Jason Gray
Lastly, let’s look at Amillennial:
These songs in substance, tells us about how to live in between “The Now and Not Yet”.
“A Little More Time To Love” Steven Curtis Chapman
“The Now and The Not Yet” Amy Grant
“Prepare The Way” Paul Wilbur
“Heaven In The Real World” Steven Curtis Chapman
If we are honest, the songs on the Premillennial list leave us quite discouraged. The world is getting worse, and there is nothing we can do and there will be no hope until Christ’s return. And even to get to Christ’s return, we must first go through a bunch of horrible, negative, and scary things (which actually promotes these horrible, negative, and scary things to continue so the Lord will come back sooner) and it invokes fear in His return. Some claim this view makes people want to evangelize more, but I have yet to see that to actually prove true. It leaves us hopeless. It leaves us to play victim. It leaves us with a sense of humanity being flat out evil, and all we can do is sit by and watch until Christ returns.
The songs on the Postmillennial list do just the opposite. They call us to get up and fight a war! It calls us to action. If we want hope in this world, then we need to go create it and build it up, and by doing so, we speed up the Day of Christ’s return. We are not the victim, but rather, evil is the victim, and we will destroy it. This view leaves us with the hope that through Christ’s servants, we will make the world better and better until it’s perfect. It leaves us with a mission. It leaves us with an understanding that although the earth is sick, it doesn’t mean it will stay that way before Christ returns.
If Premilliennial is on the far negative side, and Postmillenial is on the far positive side, then Amillennial is right smack dab in the middle of the two views. This list leaves us understanding that the world is fallen, and it will remain fallen until Jesus returns. It’s not better or worse, “it is what it is”, but that doesn’t mean we give up and say “oh well”. Christ still works through His people in a fallen world. He still calls us to make a difference for Him and He still calls us to help transform others through the power of His Holy Spirit. The Kingdom is here and now, and anyone can partake of it, as we wait for God to inaugurate His Kingdom, and that is our hope. Our hearts anticipate the day of His return and our hearts glow with joy. And with this in our hearts, it motivates us to do what we can, in our corner of the world through His strength. We are Christ’s beacons.
If you read that last paragraph and thought, “Well isn’t that what the rest of The Bible teaches?” pay attention to that question. It’s an excellent one!
I believe when it comes to Eschatology we should have two responses: 1.) Hope and 2.) Mission. Eschatology should spur a response similar to:
“Rewrite This Tragedy” Sara Groves
“Heal The World” Michael Jackson (Do I really have Michael Jackson on my Eschatological Playlist? Yes, yes I do. And just to add a thought, it’s a Christian song by a Christian artist who sings of violence and war, but it’s a non-Christian song by a non-Christian artist who sings of swords turning into plowshares.)
“God of This City” Chris Tomlin
“Do Something” Matthew West.
If we aren’t sparked with a mission or given an inexpressible hope when we talk about Eschatology, then chances are we need to reevaluate our belief system. Jesus never used a message of fear/being scared or hopelessness in His first coming to bring people to Him, and I don’t believe He would ever use it in His Second Coming. To say the two are different is to say God changes character.
There are other songs on my playlist that are worth mentioning. These songs generally speak about Revelation and/or Jesus’ Second Coming without any particular view in mind:
“Glorious Day” Casting Crowns
“Glorious Unfolding” Steven Curtis Chapman
“Revelation Song” Kari Jobe
“The Throne” Michael W. Smith
“Wedding Day” Casting Crowns
If you are looking for some music that is neutral to all the views, but will take you through the book of Revelation, then I highly recommend Michael Card’s album, “Unveiled Hope.” Many of the lyrics he sings come straight from Scripture. Plus “City of Doom” is just plain fun, and “New Jerusalem” will give you Goosebumps! J
As you read this, I hope things start to ‘click’ on how vital it is that we understand and know what we believe about Eschatology. It does, in fact, affect how we live today! Do we live with hopelessness as the victim? “Woe is us, the world is getting worse.” Do we live with the power to change the world for the better until it’s perfect? “It’s off to battle we go to take down the enemy!” Do we live with the understanding, the world is what it is, but that doesn’t stop us from being Christ? “Am I living like Christ between the now and not yet?”
Granted, we may feel all of these at different times, but what is your initial response to the following?
What is your immediate reaction to when we read a negative story in the newspaper? There’s been a school shooting or another bomb went off in the Middle East… or perhaps a plane crash or a tornado hit… or there is another story about human trafficking… Is your immediate response:
“Leaving Eden” Mentality? “Onward Christian Soldiers” Mentality? “A Little More Time to Love” Mentality? Do you feel called to “Rewrite This Tragedy”?
How you answer that question says a lot about what you believe about end times.
I do not own any of these songs and the categories of the songs do not reflect the opinions of the artists