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Allow me to elaborate.

The most popular places in the Bible to find information on the end times would have to be Revelation, Daniel, and Isaiah; Revelation being John's vision of the final chapter in human history received on the Isle of Patmos, Daniel and Isaiah being two of the major prophets in the Old Testament. If I understand the timeline correctly (forgive any discrepancies, as I am no scholar of Bible prophecy), a European country, led by a very charasmatic, attractive, loveable man, will make a peace treaty with Isreal for seven years. Right around that time, all Christians on Earth will disappear, having been caught up into Heaven at Christ's second coming.

The disappearance of the Christians, or the Rapture, as it is called, will signify the beginning of a seven year period known as the Tribulation. The first three and a half years will be relatively peaceful. The European leader will bring Israel and Palestine together in peace, and the world will be terribly happy, united under this man's leadership.

At the three and a half year mark, the European leader will move his image into the temple, will proclaim himself to be Christ, and all hell will break loose on Earth. There will be various judgments, earthquakes, fires, floods, etc. Christians will be persecuted. So will Jews. People will not be able to buy or sell unless they take some sort of mark on their hand or their forehead.

Finally, at the end of the seven years, after millions are killed at the hand of the Antichrist or in the various judgments, Christ will return and put an end to the whole thing. Those left who did not accept Christ face the Great White Throne Judgment and basically end up in hell with the Antichrist and all the other baddies.

Now the period just before that treaty is signed is known as the end times. In the Bible, it is compared to the labor pains of a woman, growing closer and more intense until finally everything breaks loose.

The way I'm putting it paints a rather nasty picture of God, but that's not my intention at all. My apologies. I'm also not trying to make this sound trite. I'm just summing up so I can get to the real reason I started this node.

Lots of people seem to think that we are living in the end times, that Jesus is coming soon, and that all of us who love him and have accepted him as our savior are shortly headed for Heaven. And most people seem to be quite pleased about that.

I, on the other hand, would rather put it off a bit. I'd like to be able to say it's because I want to give more people a chance to hear the gospel, but that wouldn't be entirely truthful. The main reason is because I like my life here on Earth too much. There's so much I haven't done, so many goals I have, so many dreams I want to see come true. I'm clinging, which the Buddhists would likely tell me is the reason I'm troubled by this whole thing. All life is suffering, eh? Some would probably think me a really terrible Christian, not wanting to be in Heaven, hanging with God, being completely happy, etc. But geez, I'm young. There's bunches of stuff I still want to do before I'm whisked away. So all this talk about now being the end times, about the stuff going on in the middle east being possible fulfillments of prophecy...it just freaks me out a bit.

So God, if you're reading this, could you postpone your arrival a bit?

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