Jesus Christ is God’s unique eschatological figure who communicates to the world the fullness of God’s love and plan for everyone. The message of Christ contains a transforming power to save. The concept of “to save” stems from a Greek root that means to heal. Hence, salvation, usually understood in the sense of faith in Christ, brings complete healing of body, soul, and mind. It involves the enrichment of the whole individual and redemption of society from evil. We can understand this basic concept of the gospel by a critical study of God’s eschatological plan in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Eschatology brings realities of the kingdom of God to view. There are two eschatological aspects of the ministry of Jesus. First is the historical eschatology. It talks about his first advent as a historical figure. He preached about the coming of God’s kingdom which involved the establishment of justice through love in the world. The second aspect is the final eschatology. This is hope in the final redemption of creation from its temporal corruption into the eternal history of God’s new order for the whole creation. Overall, God cares for our lives.
Historical eschatology involves Christ’s ministry in the daily lives of people. It is said of him in Acts 10: 38, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” Jesus cared so much about the wellbeing of the people he served. Although sometimes neglected, there is always this aspect of the gospel that confronts the daily challenges (poverty, sickness, racism, corruption, tyranny, war, terrorism, etc.) of people. The gospel has a commanding authority to address anything that dehumanizes or brings destruction to the world. Historical eschatology makes the gospel to have fulfillment in the process of time. Sinners should turn around (Acts 2:37-38), the rule of demands of love (John 13:34, 35), and affirmation of just and godly principles (Mathew 5). If the gospel is not relevant to uplift social standards, then what else?
The final eschatology is the end of this temporal history. It is the second coming of Christ: “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done” (Mathew 16: 27). Some have called this the climax of history. Eternity will consume temporality. As it is written, “in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality (1 Cor 15:52, 53). Here, we find hope affirmed for all creation, including the dead. The final eschatology is a culmination, the fulfillment of all the promises of God. God’s children will live not to hope again. Our good intentions for the creation will find its perpetual destiny.
God has given to the world a complete layout of achieving wellness. The gospel in Christ’s story is God’s speech through which every willing person will find wise transcendence for quality lifestyle that embraces God.