Eschatology: Restoration in the End
Eschatology is the study of the end times. As the book of Revelation has circulated through generations, much fear, confusion, and anxiety about the end have come about when in reality, the end is full of hope and restoration. We get so caught up in the antichrist and the “rapture” that we have forgotten the main idea of eschatology: healing. Eschatology is full of beauty when we associate it as the achievement of God’s ultimate goal. It is the prophesied hope that we have held onto since the beginning of time. It is the victory. It is our true beginning.
We have made eschatology about us. This idea is called individual eschatology because it focuses on self over God. “Where? When? How?” are the questions we ask. Eschatology is about Jesus and Him only. It’s about His glory. It’s about His Heavenly paradise. We don’t need to know the answer to the “Where? When? How?” questions because we know the answer to the questions of “Why?” and “Who?”
Everything is brought to a final point of completion at the end. Corruption will end. Evil is defeated. God’s justice is served. Physical and spiritual renewal begin. Eschatology is a part of the big picture of transformation that is shown throughout the Bible. Salvation is possible because of the gospel., and the hope of eschatology is a part of that same gospel narrative. It is all tied together with Jesus as the connecting thread. Eschatology cannot be separated from the rest of the story without losing part of its purpose.
We often associate eschatology with the future because the end has not yet arrived. However, because of the Holy Spirit’s transforming presence, there is a tension between what has already happened and what is yet to come. This is called the “already, not yet” concept. We already have fullness of life. We already have God’s promises, blessings, and salvation. However, there is still evil in the world. The second coming has not happened. The Kingdom has come, but not fully. The process has begun, but it is not finished. This partially answers the question of the problem of evil. We must be careful not to associate everything with the future because we then lose sight of what we have now. We also must not expect all that is coming in the future to arrive now. We must embrace the tension, understand what it entails, and share with others.
With this knowledge, we are called to action. We must pursue a life of holiness. We must be Kingdom-minded. We must share the hope of the gospel because we do not know all the answers, but we know enough. We must hold fast to the main idea of eschatology. We must abandon a selfish mindset when it comes to the last things. We must read the Bible, including apocalyptic books like Revelation, as one, whole story.
Eschatological verses to meditate on: 1 Peter 5:10, Acts 3:21, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 14:3, Revelation 20:10, Hebrews 9:28, Daniel 7:14, 2 Peter 3:10, 1 John 4:17, James 5:8.
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Madison Burnette is a Religion major at Carson-Newman University. She is a Nashville native and an aspiring writer. In her free time, she enjoys watching sports, singing, reading, and trying local coffee shops with her friends. She has a heart for sharing the hope of Jesus with others through her platform. Her favorite Scripture is Psalm 73: 25-26.