“I often think we have missed the purpose of eschatology. We are not encouraged to be convinced of a system but to be comforted by a promise. Paul told the Thessalonians that he didn’t want them to be uninformed so they wouldn’t grieve like those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13) and they were to use his words to comfort and encourage one another (1 Thess. 4:18). The reason Paul explains the resurrection of Christ in 1 Corinthians 15 is because it ensures our resurrection. The entire book of Revelation was written to a persecuted and suffering church to hearten and cheer her with the good news that the Bridegroom is returning. In spite of whatever trouble we may be enduring, we have the assurance that Jesus reigns and will vanquish all enemies—especially death!

When I, as a pastor, hold the hand of a parent whose child cannot breathe and is dying in an incubator, eschatology matters desperately—but not necessarily a system or school of eschatology as we often debate and discuss. That grieving mother needs to know that Jesus has taken the sting out of death, that He is one day returning and is going to right the wrongs and defeat our enemy. That father beside her needs to have confidence in a big God who is absolutely in control and will one day send His Son to gather to Himself the very people He has redeemed from the sin that escorted death into this world.

Eschatological investigation and systemization has its place. We might find profit in studying the way events surrounding Christ’s return will unfold or the nature of the tribulation period. But when everything in life but life itself has been stripped away, when believing families huddle in grief beside a dying father, the reality of the resurrection of Christ matters far more than the identity of the 144,000. The things that the Scriptures most plainly teach are the very things we most urgently need. I do not know if my historic premillennial beliefs are more correct than my father’s dispensationalism, but this I know: my Redeemer lives!”

~From Hershael York. You can read the full post here.

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