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FOUNDATION OF FAITH -
- from the Greek ἔσχατος, Eschatos (meaning "last")
- concerned with the final events in the history of the world and the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world.
- eschatology related concepts judgment, end time, and the end of days.
End of Days
- The "Left Behind" Series
- Times and Dates:
- End Time Fears and Hopes:
- Fascination with the way time and earth will end.
- The scenarios are often speculative and include more detail than Scripture intends.
- They are often dark and fearful.
End Time Texts -- Daniel, Zechariah, Matthew 24, Mark 13, 2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation
These texts are sometimes run through a blender to fit a predetermined end time scenario, but there is still something going on in these texts. What is it? What is the actually eschatology? What is apocalyptic?
The object of this literature in general was to solve the difficulties connected with the righteousness of God and the suffering condition of His righteous servants on earth.
The eschatological and apocalyptic texts are written in the context of crisis.
They are intended to address situations in which the foundations of faith seem to be in turmoil. The evil seem to prosper, the faithful are persecuted, it looks bad for Gods people, some have given in to other powers and have been seduced by safety and security.
These scriptures affirm that whatever you may think right now, no matter how inevitable the outcome may seem, God always gets the last word.
The Scriptural texts are harsh, but they are always hopeful.
We know the one significant eschatological event has already happened and all else that happens is defined by this:
It IS the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ and we await his return as he promised.
This is no secret. God has made it plain.
Why the mistrust of God? Fear of His fickleness.
He is not fickle. God has told us what He expects and what to expect.
We must live as those who know they exist between the resurrection and the return.
The Turn of the Ages
Crucifixion and Resurrection
Judgment (Son of Man)
Christian Eschatology acknowledges that God has acted in Jesus Christ, but he ...
1) Continues to act in Christ and the church (Acts 2).
2) He will act a second time once and for all and all things are done.
So, we live between the now and the not yet.
So the Christian emphasis will take you to the end, but then bring you right back to the now and ask how we ought to live in this interim.
Revelation does that (see especially Revelation 18) and 2 Peter 3 does that.
Living in the Last Days
- Strangers in the world (1 Peter 1)
- Holiness (1 Peter 1:15; 2:11-12)
- What sort of people ought we to be? (2 Peter 3:3-15)
Living in the Last Days:
- Even in the first century, Peter knew what it meant to live in the last days.
- In his first letter to believers he called them strangers in the world (1 Peter 1:1).
- Although rejected by the world, they chosen by God (2:9-10).
- And so he calls them to holiness (1:15; 2:11-12):
- Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy ..." Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
- In his next letter he reminds us that the return of Christ is not only important for the future, but for the present (2 Peter 3:3-15)
You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
- Because we acknowledge one lord, Jesus Christ.
- Because we know that his resurrection and return is THE defining event of human history.
- We are aliens and strangers in this world.
- We are nomads, sojourners, and colonists.
- We live here, but we dont belong here.
- If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. C. S. Lewis
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 22 April 2007
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