Thoughts on life and Scripture...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Eschatology and Sanctification Part 4

While this will be the last post on this topic, much more could be said. But I hope that these posts will help to see the importance of eschatology and lead you to give  more time to study and meditate on this truth.

We should study eschatology so that we will be discerning when it comes to unbiblical ideas about the last things and so that we will have a proper perspective on the events that go on around us. Knowing what the Bible teaches concerning the end times is important so when you come across end time errors, you will be able to spot them. It was end time errors that lead Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Thessalonians 2 to teach the truth about the end times. Often false teachers and cults have wild and strange understandings of the last things. Think of Jehovah Witnesses or Seventh Day Adventists or the latest false teacher who predicts when Jesus shall return. Jesus warned us that many false christs would come in his name to lead people astray. Matthew 24:4. So we must be on our guard and one way we do that is to know from the scripture what the coming of Christ and the events around that time will look like. These truths will give us a proper perspective on current events. In Matthew 24, Jesus teaches us this world will get worse. He tells us what to expect in this age. Wars, famines, earthquakes, false prophets and lawlessness will increase. Paul warns of the increase in the wickedness of men and of times of difficulty in the last days in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The Bible clearly teaches not to hope for a golden era of the church before the coming of our Lord. This world will increase in wickedness. Things will get worse. But the fact that God knows this, means He is in control of the future and He will use it to do what is best.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed. 

 The study of the end times will bring comfort. We are comforted in death, persecution and trials of various sorts. Paul told the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 about the coming of the Lord and our  being caught up to Him in the air for the purpose of comforting them when someone died. All Christians will  rise together and meet the Lord in the air. Then we will always be with the Lord. At Christian funerals, people often read from Revelation 21-22 concerning the new heaven and the new earth. For those in Christ, death is only a door to a glorious future with the Lord and His people. We are comforted in persecution. God will judge our enemies. We leave vengeance to Him and do good to them that hurt us. In Hebrews 11:35 it says that "some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life." We can endure persecution knowing that this is only for a short time and that we will rise again from the dead and receive our reward for having stood firm till the end. Revelation 3:10-12 and Matthew 5:12.  Connected to this is the comfort we will have in trials. We can persevere in trials by fixing our eyes of faith on the things to come. This the great heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 did. Paul says the same thing in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."  We must pray that God may increase our faith so we see the unseen world and find strength and comfort in all our trials.

Finally, the study of Eschatology will lead to worship. We will worship God for His grace and mercy to us in Christ. How unworthy we are of the honours and glories of the world to come. How thankful we should be to be saved from eternal punishment in Hell. We will see more clearly the glorious salvation we have. What a Saviour we have. What a King we have as we see Him, by faith, destroy all His enemies and reign forever as King. We will worship God for His perfect justice, His patience and wisdom. We will praise Him for being faithful to His promises to Israel His people as He brings them as a nation into the New Covenant; providing them with new hearts in the land He promised to give them. Thousands of years do not change God's promises. Nothing can prevent them from coming to pass. We will see the importance of worship. One day, only God will be honoured and glorified. His glory will cover the earth. If it will be so in eternity, we should strive to bring glory to God alone here on earth. Eschatology is all about worship. Faith sees the things to come as certain as if they have already happened. See what the result of prophecy is in Revelation 19:1-10. Hallelujah! The multitudes in heaven worship God for what He will do. They and we can and will worship Him for His judgement on this wicked world, for His avenging His people, for His future reign on this earth, for the future blest communion God will have with His people. This is a good ending to this series. This is the greatest motivation for the study of eschatology.

In order to help you begin to study eschatology, I provide this link to an old free book on the subject.


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