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Christ and the Future: The Bible’s Teaching About the Last Things

By Cornelis P. Venema
July 2009 | Review by Gareth Williams

Synopsis

The Christ-centred nature of the biblical teaching on the future is the main emphasis of this book, as the author shows us the future of the individual, the church, and, indeed the whole universe.

  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • ISBN: 978-1848710085
  • Pages: 240
  • Price: £6.38
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Book Review

This is an abridged version of Cornelis Venema’s acclaimed The Promise of the Future, originally published in 2000. About half the length of the original, Christ and the Future is more a summary than a simplification of that work.

Like the original, it is a study of the ‘last things’. The shorter version aims to make the fruits of the original available to a wider readership and prompt those readers to reflect further on the subject.

Its content follows the same basic pattern as the original — we live presently in ‘the last days’, the period from NT times to the time of Christ’s return. The condition of those who die during these times is discussed, as is the time and nature of Christ’s return. The main millennial positions are described and, following an analysis of Revelation 20, a clear evaluation is given.

Like the former work, the present one is solid, sane and sound, and has the advantage of being succinct. It is refreshingly biblical, rarely speculative, and all sections deserve to be considered seriously.

The author presents his interpretations persuasively, although I remain somewhat skeptical about his arguments for the place of Israel (who of us agree on this particular matter anyway?). I was glad to see the form and nature of the resurrection body put more cautiously than it had been in the original.

Glad also to read of the asymmetry of God’s dealings with the righteous and the wicked in heaven and hell (respectively), and to read that heaven’s ‘rewards’ are based on grace and not merit. Most readers will find some questions unanswered, but this fine summary will go a long way to answering many of them.

The book is heartily recommended. Every page is worth reading. In days marked by chaos, this Bible-centred work should give believers more confidence in the God of the future and assurance in their own future security. The reader is left with an impression of the singularly momentous nature of Christ’s return and of the need yet for the lost to receive the gospel.

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