The Importance Of Eschatology
Guest Post by: Ken McCoy
When John wrote the book of Revelation, it became a source of tremendous encouragement to Christians. Much of Christianity was experiencing increasing persecution, false prophets were creeping into the church body, and the believers were growing tired and discouraged.
John penned that series of letters and visions from God so that Christians would understand that God was still in control and that He was truly providing for His people as He had always promised.
Throughout history, God had made promises to His people that He would provide for them a future glory and the blessing of being a part of His great plan, His great kingdom, and His great blessings.
Today, we are in need of the contents of this letter just as much as the first Christians were. However, the different attitudes of the two recipients are striking. Most readers in the early church were given this writing as a letter of HOPE in the midst of hopelessness and severe persecution. Today’s readers seem to be merely CURIOUS as to what’s in it and what it means.
Maybe it’s the comfortable lifestyle we enjoy, or that our casual relationship with God is not really a true relationship at all. Instead of Revelation giving us HOPE and CONFIDENCE in our Lord’s return, we merely want to UNDERSTAND the meaning behind all the symbols and the timelines.
Eschatology, a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind, must help us draw closer to God and not merely question His plans and time frames. The image is one of a person shrinking behind a protector who is holding a weapon against an enemy. When we are faced with danger and are defenseless against our Enemy, the best place to be is behind the great Protector who holds a weapon to fight with. God offers hope and protection against Satan’s ultimate plans to steal, kill, and destroy— but we too often turn on Him, questioning His strategies and choice of weapons against Satan.
Eschatology should send us running to God with a fuller confidence in Him and His “rescue” of His people. It should help us diminish the immediate struggles of today by allowing us to see the hope we have as our reward in the future.
As your group prepares to watch this movie, keep in mind that there will be many unanswered questions about events and timelines. But as you lead your students through the studies, help them keep in mind the fact that God knows what He’s doing and He can be trusted. This should give us great comfort and encouragement to “press on” with the Gospel and endure persecution and opposition with a renewed hope for the future.