Eschatology/Salvation accounts

Differing Christian interpretations of the Biblical acount describing the end of the World and God's ultimate purpose 

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  • Created on: 02-05-16 10:39
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Both Jews and Christians believe God created the World with the express intention of
enjoying a relationship with humans who would inhabit it
God established a covenant with his chosen people, the Jews, through which he aimed to
work out his eschatological purpose
This is to redeem all mankind and establish the Kingdom of God on Earth
The Saviour
The Old Testament speaks as a saviour that would followed in the footsteps of the
anointed kings of Israel and was therefore referred to as the Messiah (chosen one).
This person would be a Prince of Peace and Wise Counsellor who would rebuild the
covenant with God and reestablish God's rule on Earth
His death as the innocent `Lamb of God' was like the sacrifice of an innocent lamb in Judaic
tradition. This wiped out the debt of humans for original sin and ushered in a new
covenant Christians can look forward to eternal life.
"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, so that all who believe in
Him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16
Fundamentalist Xtians
Based on Paul's Jewish teachings in 50 ad.
There will be a second coming of Christ ­ his Parousia
This will spark of a cosmic battle ­ Armageddon ­ with `God and Magog' good
and forces of evil where Satan will finally be defeated. This will be cataclysmic and
bring the Earth to ruin but good will triumph.
"The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur...They will be
tormented day and night forever and ever" ­ Revelations
The living and the dead are resurrected with physical bodies so it is immortal and
beyond decay.
"When the last trumpet sounds, we shall all be changed in an instant" ­ 1 Corinthians
Then, judgement day takes place
All are judged according to what they had done. All those who names were not
written in the book of the living are "thrown into the lake of fire."
God separates the people like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats
The Earth is transformed in God's presence and rule are reestablished
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth...And I saw the Holy City, the new
Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride
dressed for her groom."
God dwells with his people . "He will wipe all tears from his eyes. There will be no
more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have passed away."
Liberal Xtians
After Jesus's death it became clear that the Parousia was not immanent. Slowly, teaching
began to shift to reflect the Greek philosophy influenced by Plato's `world of forms.' This is
especially in John's teachings in 110 ad.
Heaven is separate from this world
"There are many rooms in my Father's house, and I am going to prepare a place for
you" ­ John 14
This is a dualistic understanding . Our present state is a temporary one and
ultimately our souls will join God in a spiritual, eternal realm

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The soul of each individual is judged before passing into the eternal presence of
God. In Catholic belief, there is also a stage of purgatory. This might be individual
judgement upon death or a communal judgement .
Both accounts fulfil God's eschatological purpose, as God is reunited and in a pure and
Holy relationship with His creation. For both fundamental and liberal Xtians, God is a
personal being who is actively working in human history to work out his Salvation Plan.…read more


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