Eschatology can make or break a nation. Our worldview has practical ramifications on our nation. Thinking the goal of the Christian life is more souls in heaven has a particular result in the here and now. Thinking the goal of the Christian life is to have more heaven on earth will have another result in the here and now. The power of the Kingdom to affect our world depends upon where we put it. If the Kingdom of God is where we go when we die, or waiting in our post-rapture life, then it does not do much for society now.
But if we are already seated in heavenly places with the ascended Christ, then the Kingdom of God is at hand. We have yet to tap even a small portion of the vast resources of the Kingdom. What is there at hand? What does peace look like released in a family? What does it look like in a nation? What does light do in the darkness? What does the healing of our nation’s wounds look like? What does education look like?
Christians will say we know who wins in the end. We mean that Jesus will be on the throne and the “bad people” will be destroyed along with the earth. We mean that winning will be eternity in heaven without the bad people and the bad earth. What if that’s not how Jesus views success? What if the Great Commission is not so much about saving souls for heaven, but saving souls and nations for earth as is in heaven? What if the Lord wants societies of people thriving upon the earth? A new heaven and a new earth bridge the divide between the two where the Kingdom flourishes. What if the meek really do inherit the earth?
We live as victims of a dark world, looking forward to the day that Jesus will save us from it. The world is dark, because we do not know that we are priest and kings who are the light of the world. The world is dark, because we are waiting for Jesus while He is waiting for us.
Our eschatology has become too simplistic. Too platonic. Too irrelevant for life to continue for any length of time upon the earth. We all want our tickets out of here. The Lord isn’t looking for the right day to rescue his Church before the final destruction. He is looking for the day where His Body has discipled nations and made the earth His footstool.
He is looking for the day He returns to rule and reign with His sons and daughters who are priests and kings and queens in the land they are given as their inheritance. He is not waiting for the day He gets to destroy the world. He is waiting for us to begin to bring the world to life with the same eternal life that we carry inside of us.