What is Christian Eschatology? In short, it is a belief system about what the end of time will be like. It has to do with Christ’s Second Coming — when will He come back? What will conditions be like when He does?
Those don’t seem to be obviously difficult questions, right? “He comes back at the end.” Jesus himself described the end:
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Matthew 13:24-30)
Jesus later goes on to explain to his confused disciples in verses 36-40 that Jesus is represented as the sower of good seeds, Satan is the sower of bad seeds, Jesus’ angels are the reapers, and the fire where the tares will be burned is the furnace of Hell.
Jesus says the crop will not be harvested until the end. The wheat and tares will grow up together. Tares are weeds, and they are often hard to distinguish from the good wheat when both are still young — they have to grow to fruition and maturity before the differences become apparent. Since they’re sowed together, their roots grow together.
If the tares are uprooted, then so will be the wheat which will not have a chance to mature and bear fruit. Pulling up the tares too soon will destroy the crop and produce a bad harvest.
The inheritance of the people of God’s kingdom of Heaven will be eternity with the Lord. The tares will be disinherited and cast into the lake of fire.
There are different views on when the End will be, and disagreements on exactly how many times Jesus will come back between his ascension and his Second Coming. To understand the conversation, it’s important to first understand the common viewpoints and their definitions: amillennialism, premillennialism, and postmillennialism.
Are these concepts new to you? You most likely hold one of these views yourself. Do you know which?