The Purpose of Eschatology
What is the purpose of eschatology? To read some of the post and comments on facebook you would think that the purpose of eschatology is to create division within the body of Christ. I have seen some of the most unloving, hurtful things said to brothers and sisters in Christ with regards to their view on eschatology. Eschatology is the part of theology concerned with the end of times. Now while it would appear that eschatology creates division within the body, I believe the opposite of this is true. This veiled thing called eschatology actually reveals who the sheep of Christ actually are. Do I think, by saying this, if you have a certain view you are a Christian, and if you have a differing view you are not? Absolutely not!
Eschatology is veiled, meaning that we do not know exactly what the end times will look like. We know that there will be an end, we know that Jesus will return at a time of the Fathers choosing to judge the living and the dead, but no matter what someone tells you, outside of this we know nothing. In fact Jesus said; “It is not for you to know time or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority” (Acts 1:7). Yes there is much in scripture that give us hints, but like I said, it is veiled.
The apostles were told by Jesus, that He would be captured, condemned, mocked, spit on, scourged, and killed. Then three days later He will rise again. The apostles were confused by this, they did not understand what He meant and even speculated, but once He arose from the dead they knew, the veil was gone. Because of the fact that Jesus arose from the dead, when we read this prophecy of Jesus, we are not looking through a veil, it is easy for us to see what He meant, not so for the apostles. Eschatology is the same way, once the end happens it will be easy to look back and say, “Oh yea, that’s what He meant.”
So then what purpose does eschatology serve if all we need to know is that there is an end, that Christ will return at a time of the Father’s choosing to judge the righteous and the unrighteous. The purpose of eschatology is to reveal who the sheep of Christ Jesus really are. What do I mean by that? Jesus said; “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
I’ve noticed that there are some who call themselves Christian and will bite the head off a follower of Jesus Christ because of his view on end times. I have seen some of the most venomous, unloving things said to a follower of Christ because of his views on end times. I see taunts made with regards to eschatology on social media on a regular basis. I’ve seen some of the most prideful, arrogant, post on social media with regards to eschatology. How can you treat a brother in Christ this way, especially when it comes to a subject that is so veiled like eschatology?
Christ Jesus is love! That is why He said; “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one that this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:12-14) Lay down your pride, lay down your arrogance, and love your brothers even as Christ loved you. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
A slave of Jesus Christ