I was recently asked about my view of seeing all people as God’s children. As my response became quite long, I opted to create a mini-series about it. This is Part 2. Part 1 can be found here.
A third element to all of this, of course, is eschatology. As you know, soteriology (the study of salvation) is tied to eschatology (the study of last things) and it plays a heavy role in my understanding of the New Testament. This is a three stage process: proclamation; inauguration; establishment. Think about it like a presidential campaign: The candidate makes promises about her presidency (proclamation); she wins the election and becomes the president-elect (inauguration, though this isn’t the best word for this example; but this is the time when there are two administrations—the current one of the existing president and the soon coming one of the new president); and then, after some time, she actually becomes president (establishment). God’s Kingdom worked the same way. Starting with the New Testament (although, we could start with the Old Testament promises), God’s Kingdom was proclaimed to be coming soon by Jesus (Mark 1.15), inaugurated or began at the resurrection (John 20), and established when the old (Jewish) age ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE by the Romans (Heb. 8). The way Jesus tells the story (Matt. 23-25; cf., Luke 21), the Romans would be God’s “rod of anger” against Israel like Assyria before them (Isaiah 10). Maybe this quick list might be helpful:
- Israel (shadow of reality under the lordship of Christ—Heb. 8; 10; Col. 2)⟶
- Therefore, the then “current age” (old covenantal age) ended with destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE and the new age was fully established (Matt. 13). There were only two ages in New Testament, “this age” and “the age to come”—Matt. 12.32; Mark 10.30 (Luke 18.30); Luke 20.34-36; Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God).
One of the key components in the last two places of this list is the “already/but not yet” of the New Testament. Over and over again they believed and taught that Jesus would (“must”; Rev. 1.1-3) come back “soon” or “shortly.” For example, Jesus said he’d return while some of his disciples were still living (Matt. 16.28). This is all tied together. And since I’ve written extensively about it before, I won’t go into it any further here.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC