Q. End times prophecy and the rapture are a very interesting and intriguing study, and the Bible speaks a lot about it, in many cases not giving all the details of future events. And so many good and faithful Spirit filled ministers seem to have their own ideas or translations of them, of course all leading us to eternity with Christ, but with many differences as to end times.
As a curious people, I know we want to know all things and how they will turn out and but just CAN’T know ALL those things. Some of this leads into counter-productive discussions or even arguments, like Titus 3:9 warns us about. Paul also commented about how not all things are profitable, whether they are unlawful doesn’t matter, but are they a waste of time which leads us to argument.
I am not talking about specific things that are fairly clear in the Bible and just need proper interpretation, such as pre-trib rapture, the 70th week and some of the main events of it, etc. But who certain people are or where they come from we can’t always know. We can guess, might even be close, but when human guessing comes into play, it leaves much room for contention, don’t you think?
A. Excessive focus on any one aspect of the Bible to the exclusion of others can give one an incomplete perspective, especially when that area is not fundamental to our belief. The Lord did command us to understand End Times prophecy (Matt. 24:15) but becoming obsessed with something like the identity of the anti-Christ is going well beyond His command. And like you say, when it’s just our opinion we’re defending, things can get out of hand.
In my opinion, the closer we get to the end the more our emphasis should shift from the acquisition of knowledge to its application. For example, we’ve learned that the Lord told us to store up treasure in heaven, and that Paul told us to strive for the crowns that will be awarded there. Now we should focus on applying that knowledge in preparation for the new life we’ll soon be experiencing.
Correctly guessing the identity of the anti-Christ will neither gain us treasure nor earn us a crown.