Equip: Eschatology

Usually when we think of eschatology most, if not all people of different faiths seem to immediately jump to the debatable issues of life after death or the end of the world.  For Christians the issues of the second coming, the resurrection of the dead, or the final judgment. After I was asked if I would write on this topic I immediately asked the question to myself “why would God leave so many questions up for debate? What does the end of things impact us or how should it affect us now and how we are to live as Christians?

While I do believe the questions that surround eschatology are valid and legitimate to ask in order to know God better, as well as, what He is trying to communicate to mankind about His future plans, the destiny of Christians and non-Christians alike.  I think in debating those issues the question I posed earlier of why God leaves questions is the type of question that gets lost in the weeds. I will hopefully address that concern.

Once I stopped thinking about the debates that come up I did start to think about being at Home, in Heaven with Jesus.  This led me to ask the question why do I not think about Heaven and the implications of Jesus' resurrection more than I do?  When I was approached about writing this blog the person was curious as to my view on the resurrection and what that means for me given that I am disabled.  I found that very interesting because, sadly, I do not think about it much more beyond the implications of salvation for people. The only other times I think of having another home is when I am hearing a song like "Do Lord" or "I'll fly way."  The only other times I think of the resurrection and having another home is when I read a passages in the Bible like John 14:1 - 3 or 1 Peter 2 2:4 - 25, which remind me that this place is not for us and that we have another home. I tend to think in very temporal ways with relationships, my wants, and what will my life look like in a year or two, but the fact is that I am not so Heavenly minded that I am of no Earthly good.

The fact is that as Christians we are to be Heavenly minded.  I say that not because this place is horrible, even though it is in comparison of eternity with God. However, I say it because for the Christian being Heavenly minded to me infers recalling the Resurrection and its implications just as much as we recall Christ death.  It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 15 verses 12 to the end of the chapter. There Paul makes the argument that Christ did resurrect from the dead.  He makes the argument that if Christ did not rise the preaching the gospel is dead.  Not only that, but if He did not rise then a Christian's faith is futile and we all are still in sin.  However, He did raise, therefore, as believers we are made alive.  The fact that He has resurrected me means I need to be Heavenly minded.  This is because by being Heavenly minded means that I will declare the gospel in Word and in deed, which is what Jesus calls us to when He essentially tells the disciples to go unto all the world and them declaring the gospel.  Reminding myself of how Jesus resurrected and what that means for my eternal security if truly grasped it seems to me it would cause me to let go of all this world has to offer and totally be sold out for Christ in word and in deed regardless of the consequences.  

Can you imagine what it would look look like if Christians were sold out for out for Christ in America?   Can you imagine the mockery Christians would face if unbelievers felt Christians expressing the expectation that they really do believe that there will be an end to this place and that will be at a better place?  Sure we would be mocked and teased if we actually lived that in our lives daily, but imagine what it would look like. I have a funny feeling that the Church would resemble much more to those Christians who were living in Acts 2:42 - 48 who automatically fulfill people's needs in the Church and proclaiming the gospel to those around them regardless of the consequences because Christ's love compels as well as because they know this is not their home.  I am not saying to guilt myself or others because it is not being lived out now by many, but I think it would be increased because our minds would be that that we have a future hope and home Jeremiah 29:11 and so we would not continually be trying to score points here. Instead we would do things for an eternal purpose in mind Matt. 6:19 - 21. So, I do not us want to merely look at Eschatology as a topic that merely causes discussions and debates in the Church, but a study of the hope finally being fulfilled because we will be will be whole with God due to  Jesus death and resurrection. The lion will lay down with the lamb, there will be no more sin, and He will have wiped away every tear from His saints' eyes.

The fact is this; as believers, once we are in Heaven we will be clothed with heavenly tents.  We will have heavenly bodies. It is crazy that I do not have an emotional reaction this. Many if not all of you who are reading this know I have Cerebral Palsy, which has put me in this chair and made my experiences different than most of you.  I need help with most if not all of the most basic daily tasks that we all need to do to make our lives function such as getting into and out of bed, using the restroom, cooking, cleaning, etc. I have dealt with it very much with the attitude that this is the way life is for me, but there have been many times where tears have flowed.  Oddly many of them have not come from the disability itself, but how my disability affects my relationships with people either because I can not just visit them or I wonder if they treat me a certain due to the disability. So, in my minds eye I will be able to do everything for myself in which case I view my relationships with people being different because the disability will not be with me.  I will be able to go places without wondering if I have someone to help me use the restroom, or I need a clothing protector, or if people treat me different because what they see. What issues do you face that will be gone in your heavenly body? We will finally be fully known in Christ. What a glorious day that will be!