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ESCHATOLOGY -

ESCHATOLOGY

Eschatology is the study of the last things, it is the capstone of systematic theology with every branch of theology finding finality in it.

Eschatology deals with death, the end of the world, the ultimate destiny of humankind, the final events in the history of the world, the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the last judgment, Heaven and hell.

Eschatology is derived from two Greek words;

            Eschatos        ἔστατος          last, uttermost and final.

            Logos              λόγος            word, study and reason.

Eschatology is broken into 7 categories.

1. Christ’s second Coming;Titus 2:13 ‘Glorious appearance of Christ.’

2. Death; Acts 23:6 ‘Concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead.’

3. Millennium; Rev 20:2-7 1000yr period specified about the kingdom of God, the day of the Lord, and the reign of the Messiah.

The word millennium is not found in scripture, though its meaning is mentioned six times in Scripture.

There are 5 view points in millienialism.

  1. Postmillennialists believe that the period is a figurative reference to a thousand-year period of global peace, equality, and godliness that will ensue before the2ndcoming.
  2. Premillennialism believe a physical and earthly reign of Jesus on earth.However, contention exists among the exponents of this view concerning the place of the nation of Israel during this time.
  3. Historic premillennialistsbelieve many Jews will be part of the redeemed.
  4. Dispensational premillennialistsbelieve that the nation of Israel will inherit the Abrahamic promise at this time. Gen 12:1-3
  5. Amillennialismdenies the one-thousand years of peace before or after the2ndcoming.Amillennialists estimate that 1000 yrs is a symbol of the spiritual reign of Jesus over the regenerated.

4. Resurrection; There are 2 types of resurrection.

  1. The resurrection unto life. At the beginning of the millennium. Righteous dead will rise. 1 Thess. 4:16
  2. Resurrection unto death. John 5:39 At the end of the millennium. The righteous living will rise. 1 Thess. 4:17

5. Judgment;There are 2 judgments.

  1. Great White Throne is judgment non-believers. Rev 20:11-15
  2. Bema Judgment Seat of Christ is the reward to the redeemed. 1 Cor. 3:13

6. Rapture; 1 Thess. 4:17 We will meet The Lord in the clouds.

            There 3 views about the timing of the rapture.

  1. Pre-tribulation; Beginning of the 7 year tribulation.
  2. Mid- tribulation; Middle of the 7 year tribulation.
  3. Post-tribulation; End 7 year tribulation.

7. The Great Tribulation; described as the day of the Lord. Isa 2:12, 13:6,9, Ezek 13:5, Joel 1:15, etc, Amos 5:18,20, Obad 15, Zeph 1:7, 14, Zech 14:1, Mal 4:5

Central teaching in the Bible is 2ndcoming of Jesus.         Acts 1:11

Date of Jesus return is unknown.    Matt. 24:36

There are 2 viewpoints of Jesus’s return; 

  1. Delayed return; Kingdom now. Matt. 24:14
  2. Eminent return; Kingdom then. Matt. 24:42-44

There are 5 ways Jesus Christ will return;

  1. Personal, physical coming. Acts 1:11, Rev 1:7
  2. Visible coming. Matt. 24:27, 30, 26:64, Col 3:4, Tit 2:13
  3. Matt. 24:37-44, 1 Thess. 5:2-3, Rev 3:3, 16:15
  4. Tit. 2:13
  5. Rev. 19:11-16

There are 7 Signs of the Second Coming of Christ;

  1. False Christ’s. Matt. 24:5, Mk 13:6,
  2. Wars and rumors of wars. Matt. 24:6-7
  3. Natural disasters. Matt. 24:7
  4. Persecution of believers. Matt. 24:8-13
  5. Evangelization of the World. Matt. 24:14
  6. Matt. 24:11-12
  7. Re-gathering of Israel. Isa. 11:11

TIMELINE OF ESCHATOLOGY

  1. Christ comes to resurrect the dead saints and rapture the living saints (1 Thes 4:16-17).
  2. They will be given glorified bodies and enjoy sweet fellowship with Christ at a grand marriage supper in heaven (Rev 19:7-9).
  3. 7 years of tribulation – God will send plagues of judgments to punish the whole world (7 bowl judgments in Rev 16).
  4. First 3yrs 6 mths will seam peaceful.
  5. Second 3yrs 6 months will chaotic with the manifestation of the anti-Christ.
  6. The False Prophet and the Antichrist will perform miracles by Satan’s power.
  7. The biggest military battle in history will be launched against Israel at the Battle of Armageddon.
  8. Just when everything looks bleak, Christ will return (2 Thes 2:8) to save Israel as King of Kings and Lord of lords, and defeat the enemies (Rev 19:15-16).
  9. The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be cast in the lake of fire (Rev 19:20).
  10. Satan will be bound for a thousand years in the bottomless pit (Rev 20:1-3).
  11. During the Millennium, Jesus will rule on earth with the raptured and resurrected saints from Jerusalem (Isa 2:1-4; 1 Cor 6:2, 2 Tim 2:12, Rev 5:10, 20:4).
  12. There will be perfect peace, order and harmony. Even in nature, lions will eat straw and children will play with snakes (Isa 6:8, 65:25).
  13. All Israel shall be saved and will worship Christ in a glorious temple (Ezek 40-46).
  14. At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released to stir up one final rebellion against God, and will be defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone to burn forever (Rev 20:7-15).
  15. All the unsaved dead shall be resurrected, judged and cast into the same lake.
  16. The old heaven and the old earth will be destroyed with fervent heat.
  17. A new heaven and new earth will appear together with the new Jerusalem city & new garden of Eden where God’s people will dwell forever with the Lord.

Mark Visser

About the author

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