These Last Days

Kim Riddlebarger writes the following in A Case for Amillennialism.

It is clear throughout the New Testament that the “last days” commenced with the coming of Christ and his triumphant resurrection(Acts 2.17; Heb 1.2). These last days are also the time of salvation (2 Cor 6.2), for with the coming christ, the new creation began. The old had gone, and the new had come (2 Cor 5.17). Paul said that certain blessings of “the age to come,” including reconciliation, were won for us by Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection (Rom 4.25; 1 Cor 15.20-28). Paul spoke of these blessings as the present possession of those in union with Christ, for they no longer belong to “the old,” that is, this present evil age. And yet it is equally true that these blessings are not fully realized until the consummation, when creation itself is finally released from bondage (Rom 8.18-25) and when the earthly at last puts on the heavenly (1 Cor 15.53). Paul said, “If we hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently” (Rom 8.25). It is the possession of the blessings of the eschatological “not yet” in this evil age that gives Christians hope until these things become a visible reality at the end of the age. In fact, Paul said, God has given us his Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance, which is not a temporal victory in this age but our ultimate redemption (Eph 1.13-14). It is this eschatological dimension that gave Paul a theological basis for the hope Christians need in the face of suffering until this present evil age comes to an end – “the fellowship of sharing in his [Christ’s] sufferings” (Phil 3.10). Indeed, we may be, as Paul said, crushed but not perplexed. We are not abandoned or destroyed, though we may be stricken down by our enemies. As Christians, we are to “carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4.7-12).

(HT: Rick Ianniello)

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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