Eschatology is simply defined as: the study of last things. I personally like the phrase last things instead of end times because the latter phrase can leave a lot of scary images in peoples’ minds. We need healthy and hopeful theology, whatever camp one lands in.
When studying eschatology, one of the first questions that could arise is: When are the last days? And I’d say it’s an important question. Some teaching might place it around a time period such as the last seven years before Christ returns, or something of that nature (what many have termed the “Great Tribulation”). But I’m convinced we are already in the last days……and we’ve been in the last days for a very long time. Continue reading
We are currently working our way through a short summer series at Cornerstone called, ’55 for 5′. We are looking at Isaiah 55 over 5 Sundays. I have been pretty stirred about the series, as I love Isaiah and this particular chapter follows some direction of the Lord given to us a year ago from Isaiah 54:1-3.
Last week, I looked at vs1-3a. From it, I highlighted 3 points:
- Vs1 – the invitation – Come
- Vs2 – the question – Why?
- Vs3a – the call – Listen
I also spent quite some time considering the imagery of water, wine, milk and bread (also giving out each of the items to 4 celebrated winners in our church!).
On Sunday, I’m moving on to look at vs3b-5. Continue reading
I was recently made aware of this video teaching of Dr. Michael Williams, one of my former professors from Covenant Theological Seminary. The teaching (35 minutes in length) looks at 2 Peter 3:10-13 and the apocalyptic language given to describe the end of this present age. Peter’s words come to us like this:
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
Most of the world, or western world, was made aware of Harold Camping’s end of the world prediction that was to take place on 21st May 2011. The day went and passed, and as usual, the end of the world did not take place.
Personally, I don’t like the phrase ‘the end of the world’. There is something in American pop theology that sees an importance in creating a kind of scary view on all things eschatological, or last things. I think some of that simply goes away when we realise important truth such as a) we have been in the ‘last days’ since the Christ-event some 2000 years ago, b) Christ has won the victory and so will his people, even if an intense future worldwide tribulation were to come, c) Christ is currently reigning over all heaven and earth, and now our task is to ask that this reality come in this world as it is in heaven, i.e., Matt 6:10. For me, this is a more biblical foundation for last things. Continue reading
I think that, by now, most are aware of recent predictions that the ‘rapture’ was supposed to take place on 21 May 2011, which was yesterday. I don’t want to join in with all the bashing of Harold Camping. We claim that Camping is making Christianity look nuts. But we must remember that we can contribute to such an outlook from the world as we participate as well. Anyways….moving on.
Still, amongst many Christians, I do recognise somewhat of an askew perspective on biblical eschatology (this word simply means ‘a study of last things’). I’m not claiming to have all the in’s and out’s figured out, all my i’s dotted and t’s crossed. But there are some more basic concepts that we need to remember, which I will try and lay out below. Continue reading