If your hope is tied to political or cultural renewal as the evidence of Christ’s work in the world, then you will eventually find yourself in despair. — Dayton Hartman, Jesus Wins, p. 55
The world gives us many reasons to despair. Open a news feed app or scroll through social media for even a minute and you’ll find a day’s worth of events and perspectives to grieve.
Despite this, Christians ought to have an eschatology of hope.
And it’s not a hope we need to conjure out of thin air. For centuries, the Church has found profound hope in the return of Christ—it’s written into our creeds.
In recent centuries, the Church has argued more and more about the end times, but the bulk of our history is united on the matter, all sharing a common hope. Look at what the three creeds affirm together:
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in . . .
The resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ . . .
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end . . .
I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Athanasian Creed
[Christ] rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, is seated on the right hand of the Father, whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. At his coming, all men shall rise with their bodies and give an account of their own deeds. Those who have done good will enter eternal life, and those who have done evil will go into everlasting fire.
No Charts, but Hope
Though there are no charts or timelines in these creeds, they are profound. Christian eschatology of hope is plain in Scripture, and it’s mirrored clearly in our creeds: Christ will come again to establish justice and peace forever.
So, as Dayton Hartman writes, “Resist the urge to despair at the state of affairs in our nation and our world by joining the early Church in simply and confidently confessing: Jesus is coming soon, and Jesus wins” (Jesus Wins, p 58).
- 4 Views of the End Times—and What They Have in Common
- The Return of Jesus: How Many Times Is Jesus Coming Back?
- Eschatology: Why We Should—and Can—Teach and Preach It