One of the things that I recently challenged myself with is the Christian belief of eschatology, or the Second Coming. It’s the belief that Jesus will one day come back, judge humanity, and usher in the Kingdom of God on an eternal basis. It’s a common belief presented in the Bible (not just Revelation), and pretty common throughout mainstream Christianity. More recently, the concept has become quite fantasized through media, such as the Left Behind book series and movies. I’m going to stay away from the more popular questions of whether everything described in the book of Revelation is going to come true or when Armageddon will strike, mostly because those are topics that would deserve a full write-up in and of themselves. My self-challenge is simply directed at whether I believe that Christ will return or not. It’s a silly question to some; but let’s face it –anyone who has thus far predicted the End of Days was wrong.
THERE’S GOT TO BE MORE…RIGHT?
I really appreciate N.T. Wright’s language in his book Simply Christian, who says that the Second Coming is God’s act of “putting the world back to rights again.” Of course, this assumes that God created everything perfect in the beginning and that somewhere along the line it got all flubbed up. This is a strange concept in itself since “the world” and “humanity” are terms that connote imperfection. An imperfect world is all we know…it’s hard to conceptualize anything beyond that. Yet at the same time I watch the news and look at my life and beg for something else. Truly, this can’t be all there is…right? I hope for something more; for God to put it all back to rights again.
HOPE ON STAGE
That hope is driven not only by my inherent desire for more, but sometimes I see that hope being played out in life; like foreshadowing in a film. I see kindness to strangers, reconciliation after years of bitterness, unexpected love, and undeserved grace. I see these things and get a little window into the vision of God’s restored order. Is there really an End of Days? If you’re looking for an analytical, scientific answer…or even an unexplained “yes,” I can’t give you one. But I do hope for Christ’s return. When people say they “hope” for something to happen, it’s usually attached with a shadow of doubt. But this kind of hope for me is a quiet, confident hope. It is what is described in the Bible as the Hope. So if you’re caught up in the overwhelming drama of this world and feeling a bit depressed, I invite you to hope with me. And just maybe God will put it all back to rights again.