Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Revelation 1:1-3 Biblical View of History

KEY TEXT: Revelation 1:1-3 The revelation [apokalusis] of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place... for the time [kairos] is near. 

KEY THOT: The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos (χρόνος) and kairos (καιρός]. While chronos refers to chronological or sequential time, kairos signifies a proper or season for particular occurrence to take place. Together with the word revelation [apokalusis-unveiling], the three words paint for us a picture of the biblical view of history as linear: time has a beginning and an end, and it will end abruptly with the inbreaking of God into time to bring time to an end.  

There are basically four basic views of history:

1. Cyclical view: History keeps repeating itself. It is not going anywhere. History  is an eternal cycle of birth and rebirth and it never ends. There’s no getting off--we are caught in this endless births and rebirths (reincarnations). This is the view of Hinduism and Buddhism and most eastern religions. 

2. Evolutionary ViewHistory is a product of purely evolutionary forces and will get better through a process of natural selection. It may be considered an optimistic view and history is always moving upward. Communism is founded on this evolutionary view of history that class struggles will result in a better society. Secular humanism now adopts this view to justify new forms of sexuality and same-sex marriage as a consequence of evolutionary progress.
3. Pessimistic ViewHistory is on a downhill journey. It will end in death and destruction as the Earth's natural resources are depleted due to over-population growth. Mankind is doomed to self-destruct through global warming, global wars and global natural disasters. It is opposite to the Evolutionary View which is optimistic.
4. Apocalytic ViewHistory will go downhill as mankind becomes more corrupt and Satanic forces are released to deceive and corrupt humankind. However, there will be a sudden inbreaking of God's kingdom that stops history from going into self-destruction. This view is also known as the apocalytic view, where history experiences an unveiling of God's kingdom in fullness, which has been growing since Christ's first coming. 

However, the inbreaking of God's kingdom in fullness at Christ's return is not sudden. It is but the culmination of the inbreaking of God's kingdom from the day of Jesus' birth, especially manifested at the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost. So, even as the world's history is going downhill, God's kingdom is progressively growing (indicated by the dotted line). It joins in with Christ's inbreaking at His return to become an eternal Kingdom. 

The kingdom of God in time (chronos) will soon and suddenly becomes the eternal kingdom of God at the time (kairos) of Christ's coming! This biblical and apocalytic view of history gives us hope that one day chronos will end in a kairos moment when Jesus returns to usher His people into eternal glory. Hallelujah!

Abba-Father, thank You that Your view of history gives us hope in the midst of deterioriating conditions in the world. Thank You that Christ's return is imminent to restore all things that mankind has destroyed. Amen.

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