Daniel 12: Interpreting Prophecy
Daniel 12 talks about what is going to happen at a certain time. We don’t have perfect dates for everything, but Daniel was quite a bit like us today. Certainly, we all, as Christians, have beliefs about what will happen at the end of time, but we also have a lot of questions. No one has a perfect picture of everything that will take place, and, again like us, Daniel wanted to know when all of this would come to pass.
Dan 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
Dan 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
I know that this might not be an answer that everyone wants to hear, but it was the answer that Daniel is given. It is similar to the answer that Jesus gave to the disciples in Matthew 24. No one knows exactly what is going to happen at the end of time outside of God Himself.
Now, that does not mean that we don’t try to come to the best response given the Biblical text. Obviously, just like any other passage in the Bible, we want to do all that we can to make sure that we come to a responsible and appropriate understanding. I am certainly not saying that all answers are right answers because there are plenty of thoughts about the end times that are not consistent with the Bible. I think about people like Harold Camping; his interpretation of the end times was obviously incorrect. Therefore, it is certainly not the case that all answers are right answers.
However, rather than try to convince you that my personal view is right or debunk your view, let me just urge that we make sure we consider the Bible. That needs to be our bedrock for making these kinds of judgments. Make sure the way that you interpret the end times is consistent with all of the Biblical data. I think that is the best approach to take in this (and any) situation.
PS: I know that this is not my normal devotional style, but I know that this is one of those issues that is incredibly divisive for many Christians. I think that we need to, as Christians, recognize that some of our brothers and sisters will interpret the honest Biblical data differently than we do, but we’re still part of the body of Christ.