Thank you for your inquiry to us regarding eschatology. The area of eschatology encompasses all things dealing with “end things,” not only relating to the return of Jesus, but also to death and our personal destinations. I am going to assume, however, that your question relates particularly to the Second Coming. If you have questions in the other areas, please let us know.
Let me recommend a long-time classic, Loraine Boettner’s The Millennium. It presents the three major views which are held among evangelical Christians in a very balanced way. You will have to read carefully to discover which is his own personal view. Having said that, let me give you three pastoral admonitions.
First, remember the most important things are the most important things. Don’t get so wrapped up in the order of events involved in Christ’s return that you forget that he is the central figure of importance. The various aspects of the revelation of his return are to draw us to himself, to encourage us until that time, and to spur us onward in service. The goal is not to figure it all out, but to be ready to answer to him. Regardless of how much or little you figure out, be sure that you rest in Christ by faith alone. And remember that that is the key issue.
Second, remember that godly men have differed over these things ever since Jesus left for heaven. Because someone comes to a different conclusion does not in itself mean that he or she has abandoned the faith. I have served with officers in the church who have held to each of the three major views, and we have served in harmony. Historically, the views have gotten more clearly distinguished. (This may or may not have been an advancement.) So there are more and more nuanced views being propogated.
Finally, remember the “fog” of prophecy. The prophecies of the birth and life of Jesus were clearly seen after his birth, but were blurred beforehand. Don’t expect everything to become crystal clear about his return until after that event.
Enjoy your study of God’s Word, and may he bless you as you seek to learn more about him.
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