The NEXT 2010 conference this past weekend was characteristically outstanding. Jeff Purswell’s message on eschatology was a fitting close to the conference (amil-).
Teaching from 1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:11 Jeff developed five points:
- Eschatology is rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Eschatology is centered on the return of Christ.
- Eschatology looks forward to perfect fellowship in the presence of God.
- Eschatology pronounces the coming justice of God.
- Eschatology provides hope and motivation for our daily lives now.
You can download the message—“The End Times”—here, or stream it here:
Here’s a handful of gems:
- “Here’s how we can sum up the thrust and import of eschatology: Eschatology assures us that God’s purposes will prevail and it motivates us to live faithfully until those purposes are fulfilled.”
- “Eschatology is not intended to be an add-on to your theology. In many ways eschatology is the crown of theology. It answers questions that other doctrines raise.”
- “We want to avoid the extremes of obsessing about the end times—eschato-mania; or reacting to that and just saying, ‘I’m scared and I don’t want to talk about it’—eschato-phobia; or somewhere in the middle, just shrug our shoulders and say it doesn’t matter what you believe.”
- “Creation is like a beautiful castle. A riot broke out and furniture was thrown around and paintings were defaced and the place went nuts. But Jesus is coming back and he’s going to set everything right. He’s going to put all the furniture back in place. He’s going to kick all the rebels out. He will restore all the paintings. He’s going to make it beautiful again. He is going to set it right.”
- “When the New Testament deals with eschatology, it is much more concerned with the last One than the last things. The early church looked not so much for a succession of events as they did for the arrival of a Person. It was very personal for persecuted Christians. It should be very personal for us as well. Let me put this in theological terms: Eschatology is thoroughly Christological. It’s about Jesus. Christ’s return is like the hub of a wheel and all the other stuff is like spokes coming off that wheel. And they only have meaning relative to the hub, relative to Christ’s return. That’s not our normal tendency when it comes to this topic. Our tendency is to be fascinated with times and seasons and charts and graphs, the events of the end, the when and the how. The Bible is primarily concerned with the Who. When the last One arrives, the succession of events will matter little.”