Monday, September 20, 2010

Eschatology and the Kingdom: Part 1

Have you ever thought about your views on eschatology? If you are a Christian and you haven’t, it may be time that you do. And even if you are not a believer in God at all, it is still important to understand what some believe on the subject, and I will tell you why shortly. The word “eschatology” is a based off two Greek words. The first, “ἔσχατος” meaning “last”, and the word “λογία” meaning “study” so eschatology is the study of the last days, or the study of end times.

It is important that as Christians we have a basic understanding of what many call the “End Times”, because views on eschatology directly relate to what one believes about the Kingdom of God now. For example, many eschatological views do not believe that the Kingdom of God has come to (that is past tense mind you) earth. Many of these same views teach that the Kingdom of God is a physical dominion and power.

Both of these views are clearly flawed as the scriptures and teachings of Jesus show us. First, Jesus said nearly 2,000 years ago that the Kingdom had come (Luke 11:20, Luke 17:21). Jesus spent large amounts of time teaching about the Kingdom, because the Kingdom of God was coming to earth during His ministry. And his disciples were to continue the global expansion of the Kingdom as the church.

Secondly, the Kingdom is not a physical thing. The Kingdom is not a physical country, like the United States, Canada, France or Israel. And the Kingdom does not hold physical boundaries because the Kingdom is not of this world -it is spiritual. Jesus made this very clear while speaking to Pilate before his death: “My kingdom is not of this world”, said Jesus. “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36)

Now, this is a very important matter because most of the terrible acts that have been committed in the world throughout history in the name of God were done so because the Kingdom was thought of as a physical force here on earth.

The Kingdom is here and now. And it is spread through actions of love, grace, and forgiveness as lives are liberated by Christ the King.


john keese said...

Excellent post. We don't hear to much about the kingdom already being here. It's always, "Your kingdom come and will be done..."

brettincasie said...

I have in fact thought about eschatology, and sometimes still feel a little in over my head. I'm anxiously awaiting the next parts. :)

The New Mexican said...

John and Brettin, Thanks for the feedback! I have recently become aware at how many different "Christian" beliefs there are on what the Kingdom of God is, and how important it is to know and understand our own personal beliefs as well as those of others. A part of what I have seen is that many different perspectives on "The End Times" from Mormon(LDS), Jehovah's Witness', and Christian Premilinialist are getting all rolled up into one thing.

So as a heads up on where the series will go, I will primarily be exploring views of eschatology that I don't hold. And how these views (the three above) effect our world in terms of National governments, war and politics.

I'll probablly only be able to dish out one post a week on the subject.

Its good to hear from you guys!