Eschatological Hope

Eschatology is the study of end time events.

Few areas of scripture are more hotly debated, and perhaps misunderstood and misused, than parts than deal with end times events. Stuff can get off-the-wall pretty quickly.

Some faith traditions talk more about eschatology than others. For example, it’s not a big focus in The United Methodist Church, at least not compared to the tradition I grew up in. Some people are “pre-trib” or “mid-trib,” while others are “post-trib,” or even “pre-wrath” (terms used to describe the timing of Christ’s return in relation to the “great tribulation”).

But like most areas, some balance is a good thing. We shouldn’t necessarily ignore the end times, but we shouldn’t be preoccupied with them, either.

The return of Christ is the most important part of end time events. Immediately after Jesus ascended into heaven, angels appeared to the disciples, who were left staring into the sky, and said …

Galileans, why are you standing here, looking toward heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you saw him go into heaven. (Acts 1.11)

The eventual return of Jesus gives us hope.

When the Apostle Paul described the return of Christ, particularly in relation to the Christ followers who have already died, he concluded, “So encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4.18).

The return of Jesus encourages us and gives us hope to endure whatever we face!

Jesus once told his disciples, “nobody knows when that day or hour will come” (Mark 13.32). And, just before his ascension, Jesus informed his followers, “It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority” (Acts 1.7).

We don’t need to know how all of the events will play out. We just need to be ready for Christ’s return.

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