A Fork of Three Roads

The whole discussion about the End Times (eschatology) seems to focus strictly on the events taking place when Jesus returns, or maybe seven years prior. The unsung, and equally (if not more) important question that we answer inadvertently with our eschatology is this: what in the world is going to happen to the Church in the meantime? In answering this question, there are really three roads taken by thoughtful Christians; times are going to get tougher for the Church as evil grows in the world, the Church is going to see massive growth and expansion over evil in the world, or a somewhere-in-the-middle, I-don’t-really-know view. In my mind, this is the more important question underlying the whole End Times discussion.

For Better or Worse? 

It is my view that the Bible teaches the Church age to be one of continual expansion, growth, and Gospel victory over lawlessness. One such passage that I believe describes such growth is Isaiah 2:2-5.

When will this glorious day take place? The text makes that clear, “in the last days”. So, the next question following is obviously, when are the “last days”? The New Testament witness is clear: the last days started with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.[1] We are in these latter days, and they are going to see the expansion of God’s Kingdom, the supremacy of God’s Law, and the healing of the nations. Or, to put it another way, the Great Commission is going to be fulfilled. [2]

Thy Kingdom Come

When Jesus came, the Kingdom was inaugurated on earth. [3] All authority on heaven and earth is His, He has been given dominion.[4] So, what then are the applications of all this for Christians? They are, at the least, threefold: trust in what Jesus has promised regarding His Kingdom, pray the way Jesus has taught concerning His Kingdom, and obey what Jesus has commanded concerning His Kingdom.

Jesus promised that His Kingdom would start like a mustard seed, and grow into a mustard plant, larger than all the others (so large, in fact, that the only place for evil to reside is within the Kingdom, in the form of hypocrites).[5]

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.[6]

Jesus commanded His disciples to baptize, and teach all things He commanded (including the Law), to the nations.[7]

Christians should expect glorious things for the Church which Christ is building in history.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Cf. Heb. 1:1-2, 1 Pet.1:20, Acts 2:17
  2. Cf. Mat. 28:18-20
  3. Cf. Mat. 12:28, Mark 1:25
  4. Cf. Dan 7:14
  5. Cf. Mark 4:30-32, Mat. 13:31-32
  6. Cf. Mat. 6:10
  7. Cf. Mat. 28:18-20
This entry was posted in The Gospel, Theology, Worldview and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *