Urbana Seminary’s Master of Arts in Religion graduate Robert Sievers will be speaking this Friday in Mahomet on a topic that is very dear to him. Robert explains:
Islam and the End Times
“Behold, I am coming quickly”. These words from Jesus have resonated with His followers for over two millennia. Each generation believed it would see Jesus’ return, and the reasons why have varied as much as the ages in which each generation lived. But something is happening in our own time that has never occurred before. It is this unique historical trend that might lend some clues as to whether we will soon see the last days of which Jesus spoke.
The past century saw its share of crises just as centuries before it. As in times past these world events led many to conclude that the end times were upon them. But these kingdoms passed away. Cultural wars are now taking place. Covenants established by God are being redefined. Our great medical technology has allowed our society to sacrifice our children at the altar of convenience under the moniker of “choice.” As our forbearers thought in their days, these factors also lead many to speculate that the end times are upon us.
Yet as these ideologies have come and gone, there has been a constant threat in the background. 1400 years ago, a small band of men pledging allegiance to Muhammad and his message took over a large swath of territory. For centuries, Christianity and Islam only interacted on the edges. Christians didn’t really know what Islam was or what Muslims believed. Similarly, Muslims didn’t know what Christians believed.
All this is now changing. What was once a mysterious religion is becoming thoroughly studied and researched. The shrinking of our world and the advent of the internet has thrust Christians and Muslims together in unprecedented ways. Christian theologians throughout the ages have wondered how Islam might play a role in end time events, yet there was always some other immediate crisis which masked this possibility. But today Islam is taking a primary role in the events of our world.
Our current landscape is unique in the way Islamic theology is understood, how Muslims and Christians are interacting, and how global events allow Islam to be a major player. What portent might this hold for us regarding our understanding of God’s future plans?
Within Islam itself, there is a vast amount of information about how Muslims view the end-time scenario from their own perspective. After fifteen centuries, it is only in recent days that Islamic prophecies about the end times have come to be studied and analyzed by Christian theologians. Deeper investigation into these Islamic traditions offers stunning clues into what events might come next for the body of Christ. With that in mind, please accept this invitation to join me at the Community Evangelical Free Church in Mahomet on Friday, September 25th at 6:00pm for a walk through Islamic eschatology. The Biblical prophecies will open up in surprising ways when contrasted with Islamic traditions. I hope to see you there!