When the slaughtered Lamb is seen `in the midst of’ the divine throne in heaven (5:6; cf. 7:17), the meaning is that Christ’s sacrificial death belongs to the way God rules the world.”
A true biblical eschatology prepares overcomers for the difficulties they must endure and helps them to stand with confidence that the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit is surely coming.”
Let us consider this settled: that no one who has made progress in the school of Christ who does not joyfully await the day of death and final resurrection… Let us not hesitate to await the Lord’s coming, not only with longing, but also with groaning and sighs, as the happiest thing of all. He will come to us as Redeemer.
All we could ever imagine, could ever hope for, He is… He is the Prince of Peace whose first coming has already transformed society but whose second coming will forever establish justice and righteousness. All this, and infinitely more, alive in an impoverished baby in a barn. That is what Christmas means – to find in a place where you would least expect to find anything you could ever want.
“I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Hannah & Her Sisters (Movie)
“If Jesus came back and saw what was being done in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.”
We may say that in the possession of the Spirit we who are in Christ have a foretaste of the blessings of the age to come, and a pledge and guarantee of the resurrection of the body. Yet we have only the firstfruits. We look forward to the final consummation of the kingdom of God, when we shall enjoy these blessings to the full.
In my ministry I have noticed that when people are hurting, they frequently express their hope for Christ’s return – “Oh! I wish the Lord would return today!” But I have never heard anyone say, “Things are going so well…I wish Christ would return right now!”
The great doctrine of the second advent has in a sense fallen into disrepute because of…this tendency on the part of some to be more interested in the how and the when of the second coming rather than in the fact of the second coming.
God’s Kingdom is “present in its beginnings, but still future in its fullness. This guards us from an under-realized eschatology (expecting no change now) and an over-realized eschatology (expecting all change now). In this stage, we embrace the reality that while we’re not yet what we will be, we’re also no longer what we used to be.
When will he come
and how will he come
and will there be warnings
and will there be thunders
and rumbling of armies
coming before him
and banners and trumpets
When will he come
and how will he come
and will we be ready.
The world won’t end in a climate change apocalypse. The world won’t end in world war. The world ends in worship, neither a bang nor a whimper but a shout and song of praise.”
The early apostolic communities cannot be understood outside of the matrix of intense expectation. They were communities awaiting Christ’s return. They gathered in Eucharist for, among other reasons, to foster and sustain this awareness, namely, that they were living in wait, waiting for Christ’s return.
Julian of Norwich
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
The apostolic church thought more about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ than about death and heaven. The early Christians were looking, not for a cleft in the ground called a grave but for a cleavage in the sky called Glory.
When we turn to the New Testament, we pass from the climate of prediction to that of fulfillment. The things which God had foreshadowed by the lips of His holy prophets He has now, in part at least, brought to accomplishment. The Eschaton, described from afar…has in Jesus registered its advent. The supreme sign of the Eschaton is the Resurrection of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church. The Resurrection of Jesus is not simply a sign which God has granted in favour of His Son, but is the inauguration, the entrance into history, of the times of the End.
Eschatology in the New Testament, 1957
Life’s pleasures—success at work, a good meal, a beautiful song, satisfying sex, a splendid aroma—are sacraments, yes sacraments, of the new Heavens and earth.
J. Richard Middleton
To focus our expectation in an otherworldly salvation has the potential to dissipate our resistance to societal evil and the dedication needed to work for the redemptive transformation of this world.
[Faith] sees in the resurrection of Christ not the eternity of heaven, but the future of the very earth on which his cross stands. It sees in him the future of the very humanity for which he died. That is why it finds the cross the hope of the earth.”
Redemptive history remains incomplete until Christ returns. It is for the final act in the great drama of redemption that the church awaits with longing.
The immense step from the Babe at Bethlehem to the living, reigning triumphant Lord Jesus, returning to earth for his own people–that is the glorious truth proclaimed throughout Scripture. As the bells ring out the joys of Christmas, may we also be alert for the final trumpet that will announce his return, when we shall always be with him.
The Life of Victory. Christianity Today, v. 39, n. 14.
Like a smartphone screen made blank by the rays of direct sunshine, one day we shall see Christ’s face. On that day, all the vain spectacles in this world of illusions and all the pixelated idols of our age will finally and forever dissolve away in the radiance of his splendor.
Taken from Competing Spectacles by Tony Reinke, © 2019, p.154. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.
Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.
It’s important, as we go along in life, to create thirsts that death will satisfy.
Leadership, Vol. 3, no. 1
Hans Urs von Balthasar
In the “new heaven and the new earth” nothing that has ever been done or suffered in true self-abandonment will be lost. . . . All the treasures of the world will be brought into it. But they will be more beautiful and more precious than they were here because God’s grace will perfect in them what we would have wanted to express but were not able to.
God is not going to abolish the universe of space, time and matter; he is going to renew it, to restore it, to fill it with new joy and purpose and delight, to take from it all that has corrupted it. . . . New creation has begun in Jesus. There is a pilgrim highway leading all the way from the cross and the empty tomb right through to God’s new creation.
The Road to New Creation, Sermon, Durham Cathedral, Durham, UK, September 3, 2006.
Jesus is the resolution to a story in search of a completion.
…left to ourselves we lapse into a kind of collusion with entrophy, acquiescing in the general belief that things may be getting worse but that there’s nothing much we can do about them. And we are wrong. Our task in the present…is to live as resurrection people in between Easter and the final day, with our Christian life, corporate and individual, in both worship and mission, as a sign of the first and a foretaste of the second.
Early Christian writing has the ends of the world upon it, hence its emphasis on fulfillment, fullness of time: the shape of the world-plot can now be seen.
Our lives are eschatologically stretched between the sneak preview of the new world being born among us in the church, and the old world where the principalities and powers are reluctant to give way. In the meantime, which is the only time the church has ever known, we live as those who know something about the fate of the world that the world does not yet know. And that makes us different.
In the great drama of redemption, all arrows point down, not up. To say this more plainly, at no point in the biblical panorama is redemption a matter of our rising up to achieve a higher condition ourselves. Instead, at every point, God comes down to us, and at every point this world is the focus of God’s gracious activity…in the next great redemptive event (yet to happen) the Son will come down a second time to this world…just as the arrow has pointed down in at the incarnation, so the arrow will point down again as the Son returns to the world.”
What if this present were the world’s last night?
“So to end this time together, I won’t say everything will be okay. How could I know that? I’ll just look you in the eye, give you a nod of solidarity, and smile. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
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