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Author Topic: The Second Coming  (Read 3856 times) Average Rating: 0
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MartinIntlStud
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« on: April 23, 2003, 03:10:50 PM »

Is there a brief exposition of this from an Orthodox perspective anywhere? I've got a couple of friends who are evangelical Protestants and I don't want to be stuck not knowing on this subject, which they seem to like to discuss a lot.
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Buzz:


« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2003, 03:30:52 PM »

They discuss it a lot because "Peter" said
Quote
~{2Peter 3:1}~
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you;
in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets,
and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3 Knowing this first,
that there shall come in the last days scoffers,
walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming?
for since the fathers fell asleep,
all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.


Schhheeesssschhh;
I thought  Catholics put a lot of Faith in Peter:
    ----
Peter Continues with this----[/list]
Quote
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,
that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness;
but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come --------------------------------- "

    ----
Peter Advises---[/list]
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, ------------------------ "
.
    ----
Even Paul Speaks of This----[/list]
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;
even as our beloved brother Paul also
according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; ------------------------------- "
The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.

God Bless Your "Bible" Studies;
Buzz:




« Last Edit: April 23, 2003, 03:31:56 PM by Buzzard » Logged
TonyS
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2003, 03:54:54 PM »

I think this book http://www.christianity.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID3863|CHID102308|CIID240028,00.html is a worthwhile read. It does have some interesting ideas.  It addresses the notion of the "rapture" as set forth by many Protestant clearly.
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and if everbody's a sinner then everybody can be a winner
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2003, 07:40:56 PM »

Martin -

The best book I have read on the subject thus far is A Second Look at the Second Coming, by T. L. Frazier (Conciliar Press; Ben Lomond, CA:1999).

I believe it is available at www.light-n-life.com.

Oops! I just recommended the same book TonyS just did!

Oh well, it's a good book! :disco:
« Last Edit: April 23, 2003, 07:45:10 PM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2003, 07:51:11 PM »

Martin -

Another good book with a brief exposition of the Orthodox position on the Second Coming is The Truth of Our Faith, by the Elder Cleopa Ilie of Romania.

I don't remember the publisher's info on the book, but you should be able to find it. It is an excellent book that every Orthodox Christian should have, since it deals with a lot more than eschatology.
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2003, 10:07:26 PM »

Martin -

I realize this is my third post in a row on this thread, but since no one else is posting here, I would like to go ahead and offer a critique of Dispensationalism and give you the highlights of what I think the Orthodox position on eschatology is. If I make any errors, please excuse me. Perhaps those who are more knowledgeable than I will correct them.

Chiliasm, which is the belief in a literal thousand-year reign of Christ on earth (also known by the Latin term millenialism), was rejected by the Church at the Second General Council, at Constantinople, in A.D. 381. That is the same council that completed the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (The Symbol of Faith).

Thus chiliasm or millenialism, in whatever form it takes, is not an option for Orthodox Christians.

The current popular craze among Evangelical Protestants is Premillenialism, especially in its Dispensationalist form. Dispensationalism is a system of theology that was invented in the early-to-mid-19th century by the English lawyer John Nelson Darby, who later became an Anglican clergyman and then a leader in the Plymouth Brethren denomination (which is still strongly Dispensationalist). Darby's theories were popularized by the Congregationalist Minister C.I. Scofield in the notes of his Scofield Reference Bible and by other writers and speakers such as D.L. Moody.

Darby's errors have been perpetuated and spread in recent days by Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, Dave Hunt, and a whole host of other would-be soothsayers. There are a number of "Bible colleges" and seminaries that also teach Darbyism as truth, particularly Dallas Theological Seminary, the "Vatican" of such stuff.

Darby taught that God has divided history into seven different ages or "dispensations," each with a slightly different plan or method of salvation.

He also taught that God has two kingdoms and two peoples: literal, fleshly Israel (the Jews), and the Church. The former Darby believed comprise the "kingdom of heaven," the latter the "kingdom of God," this despite the fact that the Scripture uses the two terms interchangeably (see Matt. 10:7 and Luke 9:2; Matt. 4:17 and Mark 1:15-15; Matt. 19:23-24).

Darby taught that the Church (by which he meant the invisible phantom church of all "true believers") will be caught up ("raptured") to meet Christ in the air just before a 7-year period of terrible suffering called the "Great Tribulation," during which the Antichrist reigns on earth.

During this Tribulation some will become Christians, including 144,000 Jews, and will suffer persecution under the Antichrist.

Just as it looks as though the Antichrist will triumph, the Lord Jesus returns, catching up the remaining believers in the air, and destroying the Antichrist and his followers. He casts the Antichrist and his henchman, the False Prophet, in the Lake of Fire, and binds Satan for a thousand years.

A judgment and a literal one-thousand-year reign of Christ upon a literal throne of David in Jerusalem follows.

During that time believers who were not dead when Christ returned will be procreating in the usual way, since they were allowed to into the millenial kingdom in their unglorified, physical bodies. Children born to them will be born in a state of Original Sin, with all that  implies.

Ultimately some of their descendants will chafe under the Lord's "rod of iron."

Satan is loosed from his imprisonment and leads in a revolt against our Lord the rebellious humans who were born during the millenium.

The rebellion is, of course, suppressed.

The unrighteous dead are raised at that time and a final judgment is conducted. Eternity then ensues.

As I am sure you can see, there are many many problems with this scenario. To make it work, there must be at least three resurrections, three Second Comings, three Last Judgments. All of that is ridiculous.

The Orthodox position is that the millenium represents an indeterminate period of time that is occurring now, between the first and second advents of the Lord.

The "first resurrection," spoken of in Rev. 20:4-6, is the new birth, as experienced in holy baptism (see John 5:24-25; Rom. 6:13; Eph. 2:1, 4-6; Col. 2:11-13, 3:1).

In Rev. 20 the millenium is said to occur after the first resurrection, during which time the saints will reign as kings and priests.

Well, Rev. 1:6 declares that we are already kings and priests, and Eph. 2:4-6 indicates that we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Rev. 20, the only place in the Bible where the thousand year period is mentioned by name, says that Satan is bound at the start of the millenium.

At His first advent, our Lord and Savior bound Satan (see Matt. 12:28-29; John 12:31-33; Eph. 4:8; Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14; 2 Peter 2:4; and Jude 6).

As Rev. 20 indicates, Satan was bound with respect to his ability to deceive the nations (v. 1-3) and not necessarily totally restricted.

During the indeterminate period represented by the figure of one thousand years (10X10X10 years), the Gospel is preached in the world and the Church grows like the Mustard Seed in Jesus' parable (Matt. 13:31-32).

Near the end of the period, a ferocious persecutor of Christians, the Antichrist, arises, claiming to be the true Messiah, God Himself (2 Thess.2:3-12). He will try to destroy the Church and will nearly succeed. Many will be martyred during that time.

In the end, however, our dear Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory with His saints and angels. A general resurrection will occur: the dead in Christ will rise first, then those Christians who are alive when the Lord comes will be caught up in the air to meet Him, being transformed instantaneously (1 Thess. 4:15-17). The Lord will destroy the world by fire (2 Peter 3:7, 10; 2 Thess. 1:Cool. The unrighteous dead will also then be raised.

The Lord will sit on His throne and judge all who ever lived (Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:11-15). Those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life are rewarded with eternal life in the presence of God. Those whose names are not found in the Book are cast into the Lake of Fire (hell).

There is ONE Second Coming, ONE Resurrection, and ONE final Judgment.

Jesus said He would raise up all those who believe in Him on the LAST Day (John 6:39-40, 44, 54), NOT 1,007 years BEFORE the Last Day.

I could go into greater detail, but I am afraid this post is already too long, and it is time for me to bid the computer "good night."

I hope all this has helped somewhat.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2003, 10:13:47 PM by Linus7 » Logged

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MartinIntlStud
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2003, 10:24:02 PM »

Thanks a lot! It makes more sense to me. It seems that the whole idea that Christians are exempt from tribulation could only arise from Evangelical Protestants who have been lucky enough to avoid the massive persecution and tribulation that the Orthodox have had to deal with since the 1st century.
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2003, 12:21:16 PM »

Thanks a lot! It makes more sense to me. It seems that the whole idea that Christians are exempt from tribulation could only arise from Evangelical Protestants who have been lucky enough to avoid the massive persecution and tribulation that the Orthodox have had to deal with since the 1st century.

You're right there, Martin!

Tribulation is what we are called to.

I often wonder, since so many of the Fundies are looking for an earthly kingdom ruled from Jerusalem, whether or not they are really primed to fall for the Antichrist when he comes.

After all, he is going to make himself look good and appear to be the Messiah. Could some of the Fundies convince themselves the millenium has arrived?

Probably not, but who knows?
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2003, 04:13:26 AM »


-snip-


After all, he is going to make himself look good and appear to be the Messiah. Could some of the Fundies convince themselves the millenium has arrived?

Probably not, but who knows?

    "Could some of the Fundies convince themselves the millenium has arrived?"[/list]

    Only about 98% of them,

    The reason being,
    they will fall for the Strong delusion, and be part of this Movement
      ~{Daniel 11:14}~
      14 And in those times
      there shall many stand up against the king of the south:
      also the robbers of thy people
      shall exalt themselves to establish the vision;
      but they shall fall.  
      The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.


    God Bless Ypour Bible Studies;
    Buzz:
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    « Reply #9 on: April 25, 2003, 07:43:47 AM »

    Quote
    From Linus7: Could some of the Fundies convince themselves the millenium has arrived?"

    Response from Buzzard:
    Only about 98% of them

    You could be right, Buzzard, you could be right! Grin

    I am not sure of your interpretation of that passage from Daniel 11, though.

    Blessed Great and Holy Friday to you!

    « Last Edit: April 25, 2003, 07:45:29 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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    « Reply #10 on: April 25, 2003, 10:24:09 AM »

    So Linus are you saying that the idea of the rapture is dispensationalist or Darbynist (Spelt that wrong ^_^;Wink or both?

    Oh and i was following you up until you got to this point:

    Quote
    During that time believers who were not dead when Christ returned will be procreating in the usual way, since they were allowed to into the millenial kingdom in their unglorified, physical bodies. Children born to them will be born in a state of Original Sin, with all that  implies.

    Ultimately some of their descendants will chafe under the Lord's "rod of iron."

    Satan is loosed from his imprisonment and leads in a revolt against our Lord the rebellious humans who were born during the millenium.

    The rebellion is, of course, suppressed.

    The unrighteous dead are raised at that time and a final judgment is conducted. Eternity then ensues.

    As I am sure you can see, there are many many problems with this scenario. To make it work, there must be at least three resurrections, three Second Comings, three Last Judgments. All of that is ridiculous.

    The Orthodox position is that the millenium represents an indeterminate period of time that is occurring now, between the first and second advents of the Lord.

    Could you explain this portion a little more and perhaps the logic behind believing so as to make it look plausible, it would have to seem plausible afterall for so many to believe it would it not?

    The Orthodox position is actually what i believed to be the way things would occur..although i am not sure i understand or get the 1000 year reign or rapture (I find this a very "pop" term today)
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    « Reply #11 on: April 25, 2003, 12:46:30 PM »

    Lavis -

    The idea of a secret, pre-tribulation rapture is a product of Dispensationalism, yes.

    Once again I am on my lunch break and do not have my Bible with me, but Dispensationalists do not believe that God will allow His Church to suffer and so believe He will remove them before the Tribulation starts. They interpret certain passages that refer to the Second Coming as referring instead to this secret Rapture.

    Dispensationalists also interpret the Book of Revelation chronologically and literally, when that book is actually not meant to be interpreted in that way. Revelation is a series of visions that are repeated. In other words, St. John was shown the same sequence of events under different sets of symbols throughout the book. Revelation is not to be understood as "just-one-thing-after-another." It is without a doubt the most figurative book of the Bible, as well.

    In order for the Dispensationalist interpretation to work, Jesus must: 1)return for His Church at the Rapture, raising some of the Christian dead; 2)return again at the end of the Tribulation and the start of the Millenium, raising some more of the Christian dead and the OT saints; 3)return again to crush the Satanic rebellion at the end of the Millenium, raising the rest of the dead.

    How many "Second Comings" does that make?

    How many bodily resurrections?

    How many "Last Judgments?"

    Jesus said He will raise up ALL those who believe in Him on the LAST DAY (John 6:39-40, 44, 54). He did not say He would raise up some of them one day, some more 7 years later, and the rest a thousand years after that.

    Last means last, doesn't it?

    Jesus also said He would judge all of mankind at one time, dividing them as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-46).

    Dispensationalism seems plausible because it is exciting. It sees biblical prophecy fulfilled in every edition of the morning newspaper and promises believers a quick, pain-free and death-free end to all their troubles. Dispensationalism is also bolstered by reams of scriptural passages misinterpreted and ripped from their contexts.

    But it is an error and a means of deception.

    Check out the book, A Second Look at the Second Coming, by T. L. Frazier (Conciliar Press, 1999). It is available at www.conciliarpress.com or www.light-n-life.com .

    If you want a non-Dispensationalist Protestant perspective, check out the book, An Examination of Dispensationalism, by William E. Cox. It is available at www.prpbooks.com .
    « Last Edit: April 25, 2003, 12:47:43 PM by Linus7 » Logged

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    « Reply #12 on: April 25, 2003, 01:47:12 PM »

    Actually Darby did not start the Idea of a "Secret Rapture"
    It was 1st brought out in about 350 AD,
    by some guy who claimed he saw it in vision
    I'm going strictly by memory here"
    and I don't remember by who
    nor why it was rejected by the church I think at
    " Second General Council, at Constantinople, in A.D. 381"

    Whether it was taught after that I don't know,
    there is no written record of it,
    that I know of,

    1400 years later, just before the Millerite Movement
    that resulted in "The Great Dissapointment" of 1844
     
    a woman named "Margaret Mitchel" a member of the Brethern
    claimed some visions of the 2nd coming,
    Darby picked it up and taught it,
    Schofield was a student of his and made it popular,
    when he included it in his referance bible,
    it was picked up here, by men such as Hal Lindsey and made popular,
    thru a series of books,
    some what like the Left Behind stories by Laheye and Jenkins

    Basically it goes like this:

    God has Two Peoples:
    Jew
    Gentiles
    .
    After the Church Age
      ~{Lk.21:24}~
      24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword,
      and shall be led away captive into all nations:
      and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,
    until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
    The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769
    [/list]
    God will "Rapture" the Gentile Church off the Earth,
    to protect them from the Tribulation,
    just before, or as the Anti-Christ makes his move
      ~{Rev.3:10}~
      10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
      I also will
    keep thee from the hour of temptation,
    which shall come upon all the world,
    to try them that dwell upon the earth.
    The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.[/list]

    Fulfillment of Daniel Chapter 11, and most of Revelation
    will be during the 7 year reign of Anti-Christ from a "New Temple" in Jerusalem,


    God Bless Your Bible Studies;
    Buzz:


     
    « Last Edit: April 25, 2003, 01:55:24 PM by Buzzard » Logged
    Linus7
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    « Reply #13 on: April 25, 2003, 03:17:34 PM »

    Buzz -

    I believe your 4th century reference is to the writings of "Pseudo-Ephrem," writings attributed to St. Ephraim the Syrian but not actually written by him. Even Pseudo-Ephrem does not teach a secret rapture but rather refers to a "catching up."

    Of course believers living when Christ returns will be caught up in the air to meet Him. That is biblical, but it is certainly not the same thing as a secret "rapture." Christians will be caught up in the air to meet our Lord at His Second and Glorious Coming.

    The "Margaret Mitchell" you refer to (I do not believe her last name was Mitchell, however) was a young woman who claimed a prophetic gift and was part of the 19th-century Irvingite Movement out of which Darby and the Plymouth Brethren emerged.

    You quote Luke 21:24, which was fulfilled when the Roman legions under Titus destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. That particular passage has nothing to do with any 7-year period just prior to the Second Coming.

    There is no such thing as a "Gentile Church." The Church is the true Israel of God (Gal. 6:16). She was founded by Jesus Christ and the believing remnant of Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah. Throughout her history she has been made up of both Jews and Gentiles who have become true Israelites through faith in Christ.

    Being kept "from the hour of temptation" is not the same thing as being taken out of the world. Nowhere in Scripture are we told that Jesus will remove the Church from the world before the Last Day or that Christians will be spared suffering and persecution. In fact, we are told just the opposite.

    I do not have my Bible with me, but I remember that Rev. 3:10 was a specific message addressed to one of the seven churches of Asia Minor named in the first three chapters of Revelation. As such, there is no indication that it has anything to do with the "Rapture" or the "Great Tribulation."

    Jesus will raise up ALL those who believe in Him at the Last Day (John 6:39-40, 44, 54), NOT 1,007 years before the Last Day.
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    « Reply #14 on: April 25, 2003, 04:25:57 PM »

    Linus7
    Patriarch;

    Your right, it was Margaret MacDonald,
    or something like that

    I used the "Secret Rapture" as a very general term,

    Its been too many years,
    and my memory was never that good anyway

    No, it wasn't the writings of "Pseudo-Ephrem,"
    but someone else,

    #3:
    I don't buy into too much of the teaching,
    When taking the Bible as a Whole,
    there are too many places it dosn't fit,

    we are told that deception will abound,
    even too the point of the Whole World,
    except a small number,
    will follow False Visions and Fables
    as if they were true.

    God Bless Your Bible Studies;
    Buzz:

    « Last Edit: April 25, 2003, 04:27:51 PM by Buzzard » Logged
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    « Reply #15 on: April 26, 2003, 04:24:32 PM »

    From what I've heard, I think that Iranaes or Origen or someone might have believed in a pre-trib rapture(though in the details a great deal different than modern Rapture theorists). That being said, one guy thinking it doesn't mean that's the proper interpretation nor is it the feelings of the early Church, nor was it continually taught.
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    « Reply #16 on: April 27, 2003, 08:35:08 PM »

    From what I've heard, I think that Iranaes or Origen or someone might have believed in a pre-trib rapture(though in the details a great deal different than modern Rapture theorists). That being said, one guy thinking it doesn't mean that's the proper interpretation nor is it the feelings of the early Church, nor was it continually taught.

    St. Irenaeus was apparently a chiliast, but he knew nothing of any Pre-Trib "Rapture." He was evidently influenced by the testimony of Papias, whom Irenaeus mistakenly thought had heard from St. John himself. According to Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History), however, Papias got his information not from the Apostle John but from a certain Presbyter John.

    Both Sts. Irenaeus and Justin Martyr were chiliasts, but they testified in their writings that many other very orthodox Christians disagreed with them. The prevalent opinion in the Church has always been against Chiliasm.

    This was clarified and canonized at the Second General Council, at Constantinople, in 381, when Chiliasm was rejected as erroneous. At the Third General Council, in Ephesus, in 431, Chiliasm was referred to as "superstition."

    Origen was never a Chiliast. He opposed Chiliasm and thought that Chiliasts suffered from the same wooden literalism that had led many of the Jews to reject the Messiah when He finally came.
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    « Reply #17 on: May 08, 2003, 05:56:18 PM »

    Here's another book, by a Coptic Orthodox priest, The Abomination of desolation by Fr. Athanasius Iskander: http://www.stmarycoptorthodox.org/intor-abomination_of_desolation-introduction.htm
    This chapter mentions the rapture heresy: The Day of the Lord: http://www.stmarycoptorthodox.org/10-the%20day%20of%20the%20lord.htm
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    « Reply #18 on: May 08, 2003, 08:19:13 PM »

    Jonathan -

    I read a lot at the link you posted. Thanks.

    It was very interesting and certainly worth reading. Much of it, however, I found highly speculative.

    Father Athanasius seems to imply that Babylon, "the Great Whore," is the United States, without actually coming out and saying it.

    I disagree, but, then, I've been wrong before.

    I plan to go back and read more of it as time allows.
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    « Reply #19 on: May 09, 2003, 09:50:46 AM »

    Jonathan -

    I read a lot at the link you posted. Thanks.

    It was very interesting and certainly worth reading. Much of it, however, I found highly speculative.

    Father Athanasius seems to imply that Babylon, "the Great Whore," is the United States, without actually coming out and saying it.

    I disagree, but, then, I've been wrong before.

    I plan to go back and read more of it as time allows.

    He does a lot of speculating in the book.  It's not supposed to be a book that just teaches us what we know for sure, but makes us stay ready.  He basically says, ok, if it's going to happen soon, how does this work, and goes with it to make the point that it might not be as far off and comfortable as we like to think.  When you're concious of that it's pretty easy to spearate the for sure stuff from the maybe stuff, although I wish he'd been more explicit about it.  After the talk where he first presented the last chapter of the book as a presentation, someone asked him about it, and he said "we don't know if it will happen in our lifetime, and we hope not, but we want to make sure we stay ready incase."  He has pointed out that 2/3 of the instruction given to catechumens in the early Church was regarding the endtimes.  It's not that he's setting himself up as a prophet saying the world is ending, just that he's reminding us to stay ready in case.  And even assuming it doesn't happen soon, there's a lot of good information in there about what must happen and what won't happen.  Glad you found it worthwhile.
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