Christian Eschatology

Topics: Jesus, Christianity, Christian eschatology Pages: 5 (1701 words) Published: April 27, 2008
Eschatology is defined as a branch of theology that outlines the final events of the world and of mankind. It is also the study of the ultimate purpose of the world and God’s intentions. In Christianity, eschatology is often viewed as a forbidden subject in the study of theology. On the other hand, some regard eschatology as the most influential part of their religious life because they it determines the way in which they live their lives. These people live by a set of rules and ethics set by the Bible because they want to have the favorable experience after death that was outlined in the Christian Eschatology.

In Christianity, death is thought to be the point at which the soul leaves its earthly body and the soul is at rest until judgment day. Death is God’s punishment imposed upon humans resulting from Adam eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. The instant that Adam ate the forbidden fruit, humans gave up immortality. This is stated in Romans chapter 5 verse 12 which says, “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men.” Our souls are then at rest until the second coming of Jesus which will also be the day that we will be judged for our sins. The word Rapture is not mentioned in the Bible but is referring to the event of those who are saved being brought up from the earth by God. God will come down from heaven with a shout which will be heard in the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God. Those who died in Christ shall be brought up first and those who are still alive in Christ are then brought up. As a result of the rapture of the church, all Christians will be removed from the earth and only non-believers will remain. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 outlines these events of the rapture. According to James F. Stitzinger, “The rapture represents the translation or removal of the church to be with Christ forever.” There are different views on when the rapture will actually occur. Pretribulationalism states that the rapture will occur prior to the 70th week of Daniel, otherwise known as the tribulation. Others believe in a Posttribulational Rapture in which the rapture will occur after the tribulation when Christ returns. Posttribulational Rapture is different from pretribulationalism because it distinguishes between Israel and the Church and also it points out the difference between the rapture and the second coming (Stitzinger). The judgment of Christians will take place at the foot of God’s Great White Throne. At this time the devil, or Satan, will be banished to spend eternity in hell along with those who did not choose to be saved during their time on earth and trusted in the devil. Each person will be sent to either heaven or hell, there is no middle ground or purgatory.

In theology, heaven is defined as the dwelling place for God and a place of everlasting bliss for those who go there. Heaven is seen as a metaphor for the fulfillment of salvation enjoyed by those who are finally saved by God. The word hell is derived from the North Germanic term ‘hel’ which means realm of the dead. Hell is seen as an expression of failure to reach the blessed society of God. The book of Revelation gives many clues as to what heaven and hell are like. The Bible states that in heaven there is no pain nor suffering and Revelation 21:25 says that there will be no night in heaven. There also will be no hate, crime fear or complaints and heaven will be a place to worship God. According to the apostle John, Heaven will have an inconceivable beauty that is beyond our imagination. Those in heaven will be given new names and new bodies that do not deteriorate. The Bible also says that those in heaven will be wearing the white robes of righteousness. On the other hand, hell is the opposite. Hell is the place that non-believers and the unsaved are sent as a punishment. The Bible refers to being in Hell as eternal damnation. Jesus...
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