The longer I live the more convinced I am that one’s eschatology matters. As a technical study of Scripture, I understand why people avoid it and “leave it to the scholars.” But I’m not speaking of the technical aspects of the exegesis of Scripture, but of the “big picture” of where history is heading and its final resolution. When John blessed those who read and heard the prophecies (Rev. 1:3), I think he was referring to the “big picture,” and that was one of Jesus Christ victorious with all sin and evil put down.
We can leave the minutia of the text to scholars, but we should see the clear presentation of the victory of our Lord in time and eternity. Then, as John said, we should “Keep those things” – we should keep our eye on them so we do not lose sight of them.
It was not easy for the early Christians to stay focused on the certain victory of Jesus. They faced a series of persecutions designed to either end Christianity or make it secondary to the emperor cult. The same could be said for the believers of many eras in many places.
One of the parables of our Lord described the Kingdom’s growth as corresponding to yeast in rising bread (Matt. 13:33). It is just a sing verse because the image was so familiar in that era that its meaning would have been easily understood. You cannot see yeast at work, but it is there and its effect must necessarily be felt necessarily throughout the dough. Jesus also spoke a warning about the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees – their negative influence in Israel was pervasive, one of the reasons for the judgment in A.D. 70.
Not much in the early centuries of the church seemed to point to growth and victory, yet the faith outlasted all its early oppressions and grew.
It is still growing, and will continue to do so. We are on the winning side in time and eternity. If we look at the big picture, much in our current culture needs to fail because it is of no value to the Kingdom.
Chalcedon works in advancing a confident faith in the certain advance to victory of the Kingdom of God and His Christ Jesus.