New Testament Eschatology
A Survey of New Testament Eschatology
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the most important passages in the New Testament on the subject of eschatology, the events leading up to and including the return of Christ. We look first at the Gospels and the teaching of Jesus, then the teaching of Paul and finally John and the book of Revelation.
1. NT Eschatology - The Gospels
Part One: Eschatology of the Gospels
Jesus does not deceive the disciples. He answers them honestly, while teaching them that they are mistaken in their view that the imminent destruction of Jerusalem implies the end of the world. Jesus speaks of a tribulation that begins with his death and resurrection and continues until his return. The way the New Testament uses this word consistently to refer to the present church age verifies this.
2. NT Eschatology - Romans
Part Two: Eschatology of Romans
There are a number of significant passages where Paul discusses eschatology. Two of them — Romans 8:18-25 and 1 Corinthians 15 — focus on the result of the return of Christ. Romans 8 deals with the liberation of creation. 1 Corinthians 15 defends the reality of the resurrection from the dead. There are only two passages where Paul focusses on the actual events of the end.
In Romans 9-11, Paul has discussed the saving plan of God in history, culminating in a great harvest of the Jewish people in the period immediately prior to the Lord’s return.
3. NT Eschatology - 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Part Three: The Eschatology of 1 & 2 Thessalonians
It is in the two letters to the Thessalonians that Paul is most specific about the events of the end, and where he most closely echoes the teachings of Jesus on the same subject. These passages are the primary source for the dispensationalist doctrine of the “rapture.” These are the critical passages for understanding what Paul taught about the events surrounding the return of Christ.
4. NT Eschatology - Revelation
Part Four: The Eschatology of Revelation
Revelation is not a handbook to last-days events. It is a pastoral letter written to Christians of every age and generation on how to live lives faithful to God and Christ in the midst of all the challenges a hostile pagan world throws at them. The visions given to John form a prophetic picture of the sovereignty of God working through all the ups and downs of human history. It assures believers that God is Lord over that history, and exhorts them to persevere in obedience in order to inherit an eternal reward that will infinitely compensate for the sufferings they have undergone in this present world due to their faithfulness to him.