The Bible and the Future

The Bible and the Future

The Bible and the Future

The Bible and the Future

Excerpt

This book is an attempt to set forth biblical eschatology, or what the Bible teaches about the future. As noted in the Appendix, there are three major eschatological positions, each with a different perspective on the coming of the kingdom of God: the kingdom is either (1) present, (2) future, or (3) both present and future. The point of view adopted in this study is the third: one that recognizes a distinction between the “already”—the present state of the kingdom as inaugurated by Christ — and the “not yet” — the final establishment of the kingdom which will take place at the time of Christ’s Second Coming.

In keeping with the thesis that eschatology is a reality involving both the present and the future, the book is divided into two sections. The first section, Inaugurated Eschatology, deals with the present fulfillment of the kingdom and the blessings already enjoyed by the redeemed community; while the second, Future Eschatology, takes up such topics as the state of the believer between death and the resurrection, the signs of the times, the Second Coming of Christ, the millennium, the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, and the new earth.

I should like to acknowledge my indebtedness to my colleagues at Calvin Theological Seminary, and to my students over the years, whose comments in class discussions helped to sharpen my thinking on these topics.

I should also like to express my gratitude to the Board of Trustees of Calvin Theological Seminary for granting me a year’s sabbatical during which this book was begun, and to the library staffs of Cambridge University and Calvin College and Seminary for the use of their facilities.

I owe thanks also to my wife, Ruth, for her invaluable support and help during the writing of this book.

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