Future Shock: Jesus and the End of the World

(Paperback - Aug 2002)
$8.99 - Online Price


The Reality Check series makes just one assumption: that you re serious enough about your spiritual journey to investigate Christianity with an open mind. This isn t about joining anyone s religious club it s about being real with yourself and with the others in your group. Since no one has all the answers, there s plenty of room for discussion. After all, if there is any truth to the Bible s stories about Jesus, then one thing he d welcome are questions and opinions that come from honest, earnest hearts. What do you think the future holds? Right now it looks pretty scary. And Bible prophecy hardly brightens the picture not with its mind-boggling images of singing saints, ten-horned monsters, mystical numbers, and a lake of fire. What does it all mean? Fortunately, it does mean something. A great deal. And while the Bible paints a grim future for a world bent on worshiping its own ways, it offers great hope for those whose hearts are set on God. Future Shock includes these sessions: Will Jesus Return This Year? . The Scroll Opener . After the Gavel Falls . . . . Ultimate Evil: The Antichrist, the Beast, and 666 . Happily Ever After? . Flight Training For the Group Leader Reality Check is for spiritual seekers of every persuasion. Uncompromisingly Christian in its perspective, it steers wide of pat answers and aims at honesty. This innovative and thought-provoking series will challenge you and those in your group to connect heart to heart as together you explore the interface between Jesus, the Bible, and the realities of this world in which we live."


  • SKU: 9780310245278
  • UPC: 025986245276
  • SKU10: 0310245273
  • Title: Future Shock: Jesus and the End of the World
  • Series: Reality Check (Zondervan)
  • Qty Remaining Online: 2
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Date Published: Aug 2002
  • Pages: 96
  • Weight lbs: 0.31
  • Dimensions: 9.04" L x 5.96" W x 0.32" H
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Category: STUDY GUIDE
  • Subject: Christian Education - Adult

Chapter Excerpt

Chapter One



At the turn of the millennium to the year 2000, the media went wild with predictions of doom. Some said Y2K would ruin society, others said massive warfare would erupt, and still others insisted that Jesus would return.

Just as they do every year around the time of New Year's, astrologers, psychics, and stockbrokers make predictions about the coming year. They tell which Hollywood couples will get together, where wars will erupt, what will be the direction of the economy, and which businesses will boom.

Take a look at the predictions that were made on the Internet for this year. Which of them seem to be happening?

Which didn't occur?

Every year someone predicts the end of the world. This was particularly true in 2000, but such predictions seem to find their way into every New Year's forecast. From looking at the headlines, it's clear that media hype about the end of the world didn't end with Y2K and the turning of the clock to the year 2000. Nor has it ended with any year since then.

How-and when-do you think the world will end? Check any that apply.

___ In nuclear or biochemical war

___With the return of Jesus someday

___ Through a kind of environmental disaster

___ Because of invasion by aliens

___ Due to asteroids crashing into Earth

___ I don't know, but it won't be for centuries. So why worry?

___ Other _______________________________

If you knew for sure the world would end in six months, what would you do differently?

Read Matthew 24:1-14

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."


1. Why might Jesus' initial bombshell comment rattle the Jewish men who were his followers?

2. Jesus' disciples ask him both about signs for the "end of the age" and for some understanding of when that would be. So Jesus lists a number of key things that must happen before he returns. List each of those events as a group, and then discuss whether you think any of them have come to pass in the past two thousand years.

3. After reflecting on these events, do you think Jesus' return is near or still far away-and why?

Read Matthew 24:15-36

"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel-let the reader understand-then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect-if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.

"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

"Immediately after the distress of those days

"'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'

"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."


4. What will characterize the string of false prophets who come before Jesus' return?

5. Which people (historical or living) fit Jesus' description of a "false prophet"? Explain why you think so.

6. Throughout history, people have claimed to pinpoint the year-or even the exact day-of Jesus' return. How might you respond to such a claim after reading Jesus' teaching in the book of Matthew?

7. How will you know for sure whether it's actually Jesus when he returns?


Which of the following statements most accurately reflects what you think about Jesus' return, and why?

___ Jesus isn't coming back.

___ Jesus' return is going to take a long time.

___ Jesus' return will be in my lifetime, but not in the next few years.

___ Jesus is coming in the next year.

___ I have no idea, but hope he comes back before ___________________.

___ I have no idea, but hope he waits until _________________.

Jesus makes some fairly audacious claims about his identity, his life, and his "second coming"-his return to earth. How can you determine whether to believe-or not-these claims?



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