This Generation Lived A Long Time Ago

eschatology-kidsWithin the discussion around eschatology (the topic of last things), there are a few different perspectives one will find amongst Christians. First off, one could approach the topic by discussing the millennium – the thousand year reign of Christ mentioned in Rev 20:4-5. One might hold to:

  1. Premillenialism – Christ’s second coming will take place before this thousand year reign. Hence, the prefix ‘pre’.
  2. Postmillenialism – Christ’s second coming will take place after this thousand year reign. Hence, the prefix ‘post’.
  3. Amillenialism – We are currently in the midst of this thousand year reign, with Christ’s second coming to take place in the future. The prefix ‘a’ means ‘without’, but that is a bit of a misnomer, as amillenialism typically sees the thousand year reign of Christ as representative of a very long time with it beginning quite a long time ago.

I find myself leaning more towards an amillenial view. I can only see Christ as reigning now, since he as much said that all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to him (Matt 28:18). And, within Jewish apocalyptic literature, under which Revelation falls, the number 1,000 is representative of a long, long time. Kind of like we’d say today – A billion years! We don’t always see the reality of Christ’s reign on earth as it is in heaven. In some form and fashion, he will finalise it one day. But, by faith, I am settled on the fact that God has made Jesus both Lord and Messiah. Reigning at the Father’s right hand stands as a proclamation that Christ is truly reigning, though one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess.

Still, the millennial discussion not withstanding, there is another perspective one could look at in regards to eschatology. This falls into mainly 3 categories Continue reading

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Two Persons, Two Responses

Matthew’s Gospel begins with the story of the Old Testament. We don’t ┬áreally see this today when we read those first 17 verses of chapter 1. Eesh!! Names!! But Matthew is communicating that this is the continuation of the story.

The account quickly moves into the birth of God’s Messiah-King and into the beginning proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom.

Then, the rest of the Gospel gives us God’s Messiah-King, Jesus, teaching us the ways of the kingdom and displaying the power of the kingdom.

The first major teaching section is known by the title the Sermon on the Mount. This might be one whole setting or a collection of settings put together in one ‘sermon’ (or homily) format. But what we find in Matthew chs.5-7 is foundational to what it means to live out the rule of God, not just as individuals, but as a whole people of the kingdom.

‘You’ve heard it said……., but this is really and centrally what it means to live in accordance with God’s rule and reign on earth as it is in heaven.’

And Jesus ends out by comparing two types of people in Matt 7. A well-known passage, no doubt. I think the comparison actually extends not just from vs24-27, but from vs15-27. And, at the end of it all (vs28-29), the people are taken aback by the authority by which God’s Messiah is teaching. They’ve never heard such before. This is something different from the status quo.

Maybe they ought to get used to responding that way when they hear Jesus teach and see Jesus display God’s power. Continue reading