“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3, NKJV
God is king. In this scripture, there is a hope that at the end of the age He will bring His Kingdom down from heaven and establish it on the earth, Revelation 12:5; Revelation 19:15. In His Kingdom, there will be perfect harmony between all creations; the prophet Isaiah depicted it as ‘the lion shall eat straw like the ox’ (Isaiah 11:6; Isaiah 65:25) and a little child shall lead them. The major prophets of the Old Testament had written a lot of things pertaining the eschatological hope, which is the kingdom of Messiah on the face of the earth, where Israel will be restored, even more than the golden age during the reign of David.
In His teaching, Jesus slowly introduced this understanding to His disciples. In the New Testament, He taught them to pray: “Let Your kingdom come, let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In Matthew 24-25, which is the parable of the end times, Jesus often depicted Himself as the coming King that will judge all people, beginning from His servants.
There are a few main features in the hope of the Messianic Kingdom, firstly, Jesus will become the King in The Kingdom. After the creation of man, God ‘rested’ from His work of creation. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t work at all, but it seems like the reign over the earth is delegated to mankind, Psalm 115:16. According to Biblical typology, this age is called as the days of man, where God seems to be behind the screen, though He is represented by the people whom He has anointed, He only works indirectly by anointing His chosen people. But on the ‘Lord’s day’, He will reveal Himself and take the reign from the hands of mankind.
Secondly, The Kingdom of God Brings Judgment. The Lord’s Day will bring judgment to the world for those who rebel against Him, but it will bring blessings to His servants who wait for Him faithfully. There are 27 books in the New Testament that contain the doctrine of eschatological hope. All the major apostles place this doctrine as one of the pillars of faith. Apostle John taught us that maintaining this hope means purifying ourselves in God’s sight. How does eschatological hope purify us? Firstly, Eschatological Hope is the Church’s, Highest Hope. This hope will encourage us to put our highest hope not on this world, but on Jesus on the day He reveals Himself, Hebrews 10:23, Colossians 3:24. In various parables of the end times, time and time again it is said that the king will reward his servants according to their faithfulness.
Secondly, Eschatological Hope Makes the Church be Wise in Action. Jesus commanded His disciples to be actively involved as salt and light to the world, to be multiply and be fruitful. The Lord Jesus told mankind to give back what belongs to God. It is man and woman who bear the image and likeness of God within themselves and it must be given back to God in the form of talents, resources, time and opportunities.
Thirdly, Eschatological Hope Gives Passion to the Church. This is because we know that it is God who will ultimately punish all our enemies. The body of Christ on the earth has a clear mandate, which is to be involved in spiritual warfare.
Source: GBI Gatot Subroto Jakarta’s Bulletin