Part VI – Biblical Eschatology

PART SIX

Biblical Eschatology

Introduction

The Apostle Peter advised us to fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us “at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  I Pet. 1:13.  Our belief in this grace is the meaning of the title of Part VI, Biblical Eschatology.  Eschatology is the study about the end of the world, the last things; things like the second coming of Christ, resurrection, Judgment Day and the new age.  Jesus spoke of this age and the age to come.  He said life eternal belongs to the age to come (Matt. 12:32; Mark 10:30).

This present age is time.  Since the concept of time does not affect eternity, eternity continues simultaneously with time; therefore, the new age is not really new.  It belongs to the same eternity which was, is and will be.  According to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of New Testament Words, the Greek word AIONIOS is translated eternity or everlasting.  It means age lasting; consequently, it outlasts each aion or age.

God’s kingdom is everlasting and the quality of the life of its citizens is also eternal.  In order for us to develop a personal eschatological view of God’s kingdom, we must understand it did not originate in time or come from earth.  We should think of the kingdom with no beginning or end, which is the correct meaning of eternal.  Since this world is timed, we understand the kingdom of God originated in heaven.  Although King David wrote at a time when the nation of Israel was the man-dimension of God’s kingdom, we can see from the following excerpts of Psalms, he thought of God’s kingdom as something that had always existed in heaven.  The Lord abides forever.  He has established His throne for judgment.”  Psa. 9:7.  “The Lord is king forever.”  Psa. 10:16.  “The Lord is in His holy temple.  The Lord’s throne is in heaven.”  Psa. 11:4.  “For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations.” Psa. 22:28.  “Who is this King of glory?  The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.”  Psa. 24:10.  “Yes, the Lord sits as king forever.”  Psa. 29:10.  “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Thy dominion endures throughout all generations.”  Psa. 145:13.

The proper view of God’s kingdom is; it existed in heaven before God created the world and mankind.  God was the king and the quality of life in His kingdom has been manifested to us by Jesus Christ.  Since eternal things do not change, faithful Christians can think of us as somebody in time waiting to be added to what already existed.  Our hope is we will be added to God’s kingdom and be partakers of the heavenly life as sons of God.  The Apostle Paul gave the Christian’s present and eschatological view of us and God’s kingdom in the following scriptures.

I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.  And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.  For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.  Rom. 8:18-25

In Part One of this series of lessons we learned how God’s design of mankind was consistent with His purpose for creating mankind.  Since the reason is for us to have the glorious role of as sons of God in His eternal kingdom, He created us with a strong need for this level of glory.  In the foregoing scriptures, Paul defines our goal to satisfy our inherent need for glory but he framed it in “hope.”  Our need/goal quests generate strength for our character; however, only if there is a hope our goal will be attained to give us glory.  Since this world has been subjected to futility, satisfaction for our needs of security and glory must be sought through our faith in hope of the theology Paul presented.  Food, clothing and shelter are needs that must be satisfied – now.  Jesus promised satisfaction for these mundane needs, if we “seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.”  Matt. 6:33.  In this last part of this series of lessons on the kingdom of God we will learn how our hope for security and glory can become a reality through our own physical death, our resurrection in an imperishable body and our rewards on Judgment Day.

In Part II, we learned why God subjected all of His creation to futility, “not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it.”  We found when mankind got the knowledge of good and evil while in our physical bodies, we have a tendency to lust (Rom. 13:14).  Sin and death have become forces threatening our well being.  In Part VI, we will show how physical death, the resurrection, judgment and our inheritance will correct all of these problems for faithful Christians.  Also, we will understand the final destruction of those who do not accept God’s purpose for which they were created.

In Part III, we understood how God put His plan in action to have children in His kingdom and how the way He created the world was compatible with the container in which He housed us.  God maintained the highest spiritual level for the man-dimension of His kingdom that man’s strength of faith would allow.  Faith is the only element within God’s people on earth that is non-offensive to Him.  We learned how God rewarded faithful Abraham in order to use his offspring for the maintaining of His kingdom on earth through the nation of Israel.  In Part VI, we will show how the rewards at judgment will make it possible for us to be totally acceptable with God without the faith system of righteousness.  We will present God’s kingdom, with Christians in it, on the heavenly spiritual level.  Heaven is the final and highest plateau for mankind.  In Part IV, we investigated prophecies and saw them fulfilled.  This gave us Jesus as a divine king over God’s kingdom in heaven and earth.  We saw how Israel cooperated to make Jesus our sin offering and our high priest.

In Part V, we studied each blessing “in Christ” and learned how they form a perfectly healthy mental environment separate and apart from the world’s environment.  In this environment Christians can be sanctified, or socialized into the way of life in God’s kingdom.  We can develop character and personality like Jesus and bring others into His kingdom from Satan’s kingdom in the world realm.

In Part VI, we will show how there will come a time when God will “close out” His program on earth to have more children for His kingdom.  We will study how the reward for our dedicated service is our inheritance of God’s kingdom and eternal life.  We will understand what the Apostle Peter meant in the following scripture:

And after you have suffered for a little, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  I Pet. 5:10

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