Second Thoughts about the Second Coming: Understanding the End Times, Our Future, and Christian Hope

Book, 2023, 180 pp
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Various ideas float around about the subject of last things, leading many Christians to conclude that they don't know what to think about the subject. Yet at the core of the Christian doctrine of last things lies two simple and complementary hopes: that God ever and always offers hope for our individual futures and for the future of the whole world.

Allen and Cornwall explain how we don't have to subscribe to sensationalist theories or sketchy interpretations to believe in Christian hope. They walk the reader through the central biblical teachings on last things and then show the ways the church has interpreted those teachings throughout the centuries. In a respectful way, the authors demonstrate that end-time beliefs centered on the Rapture came into existence only recently, and they then offer several more life-affirming, contemporary interpretations as alternatives.

The book includes a study guide and web-based appendixes designed to help pastors develop both topical and lectionary-based sermon series on Christian hope.


You can access free digital preaching resources created by the authors to help preachers engage the second coming in the pulpit, including multiple sermon series options as well as approaches for those preaching from the Revised Common Lectionary.

The first resource is A Brief Guide to Preaching on the Second Coming, which includes both a general orientation to the subject and suggestions for sermon series based on biblical texts and topics.

The second resource is A Brief Guide to the Second Coming in the Christian Year and the Revised Common Lectionary. This guide calls attention to ways in which expectation for the second coming shapes the year and the lectionary. Preachers may prefer to frame this concern more broadly, as the expectation for the Realm of God or the fulfillment of God’s purposes for humankind and nature. In any event, this guide also highlights days and seasons in the Christian year, as well as texts in the lectionary that provide natural opportunities for thinking with the congregation about how to understand and respond to these texts and themes.

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