When writing a good story the ending can be the most difficult part. God’s story of redemption found within the Bible is no different. The difficulty is found when one is required to interpret the Bible’s ending from a list of possibilities. As a result, for centuries many scholars and layman have debated exactly how Jesus will return. Churches have split, false teachers have risen, and new Christian sects have developed from a variety of end time theologies. Therefore, it is very important that Christians interpret prophetic passages in the Bible carefully.
According to author Jermaie Rinne in the book How Will The World End one can be careful by simply remembering that, “Jesus is returning.” No matter how Jesus will return, He is returning. When He comes back one won’t argue if His return is theologically correct or not. Rather, one should be glad He has returned, period. This simple, yet profound truth allows Christians to be able to “focus on the work at hand” than “watching the clock” for His return. By knowing He will return, Christians should be motivated to engage in missions more. After all, this best prepares as many people as possible for His certain return. These pieces of sage advice are sprinkled throughout How Will The World End, along with specific theological explanations and other practical applications.
For example, one-way Rinne made How Will The World End practical is by using contemporary examples people are familiar with. Early in the book he references movies like Armageddon, and Pacific Rim to contrast what the Day of Judgment will look like from the happy endings often shown in Hollywood. However, if one has professed Christ as Lord then there will be a happy ending for the Christian. This book is also concise, which makes it easy to understand basic end time theology without the elaborate prophecy charts found in other eschatological systems.
No end time theology system is more elaborate than dispensationalsim. This version of eschatology involves the concept of a secret rapture before a time of tribulation that precedes a literal millennial reign of Christ. Often this view is very popular America, but is not popular among other Protestant Christians around the world. Due to its popularity in America Rinne discusses dispensationalim, while gracefully rejecting it. For some readers, Rinne’s position on the rapture may cause them to reject anything else found in this book. After all, many people in America grew up believing in a literal secret rapture, so to be challenged to think differently can be uncomfortable. However, to flat out reject anything positive in this book due to one area of difference undermines Rinne’s thesis, which is simply, “Jesus is returning.” His return has not yet happened, so it leaves open the possibility that dispensationalism may be wrong. In fact, other end time views may be incorrect too. As a result, one should remain humble about their interpretation of Christ’s return since it is really a secondary issue. This is what Rinne advocates for because one’s humility should really foster a greater spirit for missions than arrogance for being correct.
Lastly, since Christians know that Jesus is returning to restore creation then one should be more confident to share Christ through missions and evangelism. This is because Rinne believes prophetic “warnings are not to scare us, but to encourage us.” His point is that Jesus didn’t just save people from the negative of Hell; he saved people for the positive of a future hope with Him. As you read How Will The World End you can hear Rinne’s hope about Jesus return. For him, How Will The World End is not about getting end time events right, but focusing on the hope found in Revelation 20. This is a hope that God gives to all who receive Christ as Lord.
In closing, God will complete what He sets out to do, which should give all Christians the confidence to do missions and evangelism until Jesus returns. Rinne clearly communicates this in How Will The World End. As a result, this short book is perfect for any person wanting to obtain an introduction into eschatological theology. For the seasoned scholar, this book serves as a great refresher and as a point of humility. Often it is easy to obtain too much confidence in one’s theological standpoint. No matter what your exposure is to end time prophecy. The point is that Jesus is returning so let’s focus on the mission work at hand. By doing so, one will find far more reward than being certain they are right on how Jesus will return.