Where is my Inheritance? Are all of God promises for now… or later… or both?
Eschatology (S-KA-TAL-O-G) is one of those fancy theological words which basically means the study of the last or end times. An over-realized eschatology is a mistake that can be made when we read the bible and blur the lines by overlapping God’s promises for the future and God’s promises for today.
You might be tempted to think: if we do what we are told, read the bible, pray, and follow an endless litany of 3 biblical steps to happiness or fulfillment…. THEN we will then truly experience the victorious life, obtaining all of God’s promises, and experience heaven on earth.
If that is so, why do things never work out as as we believe the bible said they would? Why do we still experience suffering, loss, discouragement? Why do our friends or family or churches disappoint us?
Is it because we do not have enough faith?
Experiencing this reality can often leave us feeling like we have missed out or that God is not living up to his word. Almost as it we are saying to God, “When do I get my inheritance??”
Biblical thinkers that study Paul call this The Already and the Not Yet. We are already saved by what God has done in the past, as is recorded in the Bible, and it is applied to us now in the present, but it is equally as true that attributes of our salvation are still awaiting future or eschatological fulfillment.
So, how do we live in this tension:
Discern the line
Talk it through with other Christians (living and past Christian thinkers). What are God’s promises for today and what do we have to wait for until our death or the 2nd coming of Christ?
Learn to be content
The hard part, and I’m not so great at this, is learning to be content with God’s promises and provisions that we do experience in the present. Don’t be too stressed about what’s not going right in the world.
G. K. Chesterton was famously asked what was wrong with the world, and he answered, “I am”
Stick to the mission
Our mission, as the church, is not dependent on experiencing perfect bliss at all times. The apostles and evangelists in the book of Acts did not always experience it, nor did they teach that we would, but they stuck to their mission, to bring the gospel to every corner of the world. We are a living example of their faithfulness.
A great companion to this article is our latest series: DOES GOD REALLY CARE??
It’s a study in the book of Job, a good man following the ways of God who experiences the hardship of this life. Jump in and see how Job navigates an extreme situation.