Books of the Book: John

Judgment & Eschatology

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00011B

00:01 And we're back.
00:02 We're talking about eschatology in the Gospel of John.
00:06 And we said-- what Dr. Paulien said
00:09 that the father raises the dead
00:12 and gives life to them the time is now.
00:16 So this time referring to is that spiritual revival.
00:20 This passage is divided into two parts.
00:22 You have verses 21 to 25 and verses 26 to 30.
00:27 Both of them are introduced with the same Greek words just as
00:31 and then the father gives life and then Jesus gives life.
00:35 So both of them start the same way,
00:37 but it's clear that they're not exactly the same
00:40 because the one is now and the other is later.
00:43 The one is spiritual and the other is physical.
00:46 So the eschatology has two parts,
00:49 there is a present tense to it and there is future tense to it.
00:53 Most of us when we think of end time
00:55 theology or eschatology
00:57 we're thinking about the end time,
00:59 we think into the future.
01:00 You know, when Jesus comes,
01:01 but here John brings that future into the present.
01:06 That future resurrection can be present now.
01:10 So the resurrection of Jesus not only predicts
01:14 that all of us will be resurrected at the end,
01:17 but resurrection power can come into our lives now
01:21 when we receive Jesus.
01:23 And that revolutionizes faith I think.
01:26 Because we come to realize
01:28 that there is a real and living power.
01:30 The word of Jesus brings real
01:32 and living power into our lives today.
01:36 So we can experience that resurrection of life now.
01:39 Now, that's right.
01:41 Now the old age is still here.
01:43 You know, the works of the devil are still here.
01:45 So it's not a complete freedom from life as it now is,
01:50 but it's a joy and a taste of that future
01:52 that's present right now.
01:55 And so where are we are picking up now then.
01:58 Well, what I like to do is review quickly
02:00 some of the different eschatologies of the Bible.
02:03 Many people read the Bible as a whole,
02:06 you know, Genesis to Revelation
02:08 and try to construct a single theology
02:11 and that is good and very, very helpful,
02:14 but what we sometimes miss
02:16 is the perspective of different eras of the Bible.
02:19 So you go back to Moses and you say to Moses,
02:22 okay, "What's the end going to be like?
02:25 What is your view of the end?"
02:26 And Moses says it's like this Deuteronomy 28,
02:30 if Israel obeys and does what God asks them to do.
02:34 They'll become more and more prosperous,
02:37 they'll be more and more peace,
02:38 their enemies will be defeated.
02:40 Gradually, heaven will be come on earth.
02:44 In other words, it won't be a dramatic entry.
02:47 It will just be a gradual process
02:50 of getting better and better, happier and happier
02:53 sin more and more being dealt with.
02:56 If Israel disobeys, things are going to go downhill,
02:59 instead it's going to get worse and worse
03:01 until they end up going into exile.
03:03 So Moses has a conditional eschatology,
03:06 he gives them two paths.
03:08 Your future can go either way depending on how you choose.
03:11 So it's a conditional future,
03:14 it's a gradual process kind of future,
03:17 that's the end time through the eyes of Moses.
03:21 Now when you get to the prophets,
03:23 you know Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel and so on.
03:27 I think it's getting pretty obvious,
03:29 Israel is not going to obey,
03:31 they're not going to achieve that positive end time.
03:34 And so the prophets add to the idea.
03:37 They say things are going downhill here,
03:40 but some day God is going to break into history.
03:44 He is going to come either with a Messiah or Himself,
03:48 there's this two different ways of expressing it.
03:51 He is going to come and break into history.
03:53 He is going to transform history,
03:55 transform the nation.
03:56 He is going to transform our hearts.
03:58 He is going to transform the environment
04:01 and then that gradual path toward
04:04 the future blessing is going to start.
04:07 So God will break-in into history,
04:09 into geography, into the world as we know it.
04:12 And gradually develop this perfect world
04:14 that Moses promised.
04:17 You get passed the Old Testament
04:18 and you get into the Jewish apocalyptic writers
04:22 and I think, the sense is just,
04:24 you know, even if God broke-in this world is too hopeless.
04:30 And so when the apocalyptic writers--
04:32 you start getting this vision that when God does break-in,
04:36 He's going to completely destroy the old.
04:38 He is going to just smash it to bits.
04:41 And He's going to start all over,
04:43 create a new heaven and a new earth,
04:45 reestablish everything, resurrect the righteous,
04:48 plant them there, and move on.
04:51 So in the Jewish apocalyptic writers
04:53 between the Old and New Testaments
04:55 you have the idea of two ages.
04:57 There's the present evil age,
04:59 the age in which everything's messed up,
05:01 God will destroy that
05:03 and He'll create a brand new age, a new earth
05:06 in which everything is going to be different, all right?
05:10 Which of these views that the New Testament writers
05:13 accept in a sense all of them,
05:16 but particularly the Jewish apocalyptic view?
05:19 The idea in the Book of Revelation
05:21 God doesn't step in here
05:22 and gradually make things better.
05:24 He smashes it at the end
05:25 and it's a new heaven and new earth.
05:27 So that kind of language is drawn from the prophets
05:30 but has a deep meaning from the developments
05:34 in the intertestamental period.
05:36 So along comes Paul
05:40 and Paul believes we're living in the old age
05:43 but at the very end of the old age Messiah's going to come.
05:48 Messiah's going to reign for a period of time,
05:50 it's actually 400 years and then He's going to die.
05:54 And when Messiah dies God will destroy the whole thing.
05:58 We actually have documents that teach this.
06:01 Destroy the whole world,
06:03 they'll be seven days of primeval silence
06:06 and then the new world will come,
06:09 so there is a distinct gap between the old and new
06:12 they don't mix together at all.
06:14 Now you can understand why Paul would reject Jesus,
06:17 as Saul of Tarsus,
06:19 because if he believes that Messiah
06:21 is the last event of this old earth
06:25 and that when Messiah dies this old earth is destroyed.
06:31 How would he know that Jesus is a fraud?
06:33 Because Jesus dies and nothing happens,
06:36 the world is still here, nothing is changed,
06:39 Satan is still busy.
06:41 He's saying come on this is a fraud.
06:44 What changes his mind?
06:47 Why does he suddenly change in his mind
06:48 and say, yes, Jesus is the Messiah,
06:51 because on the road to Damascus he meets Jesus Himself
06:56 and then he goes to Simon the Tanner's house
06:59 and for three days, his theology is messed up.
07:02 He has got to figure out, how do I fit this Messiah
07:05 into the reality that the old age is still here?
07:10 And Paul develops the New Testament
07:13 view of eschatology then.
07:14 He is the most clear exponent or even perhaps, the first.
07:18 In that the new age has come back into the old
07:23 and the two are now side-by-side.
07:25 With the coming of Jesus the new age has come
07:29 and it overlaps the old, so you have in a real sense,
07:34 the new has come.
07:35 Heaven is present now, but in the real sense also
07:38 the old is still here so there is a tension between them.
07:42 And I think this is what Christians experience,
07:46 when they recognize that,
07:49 you know, I want to follow Jesus, I love Him,
07:52 I give my life to Him and yet my life is still messed up.
07:55 There is that tension inside of you
07:56 because Christ has entered your life
07:58 and yet Satan is still at work and trying to trouble you.
08:02 So Christians can live in a life of turmoil.
08:05 And that's the story of the New Testament that's normal.
08:08 It's the way things are in the present evil age,
08:12 but you can begin to taste the life of heaven now,
08:17 right now in what Jesus brings.
08:20 So for the New Testament writers
08:22 the end has already come in one sense,
08:26 and has not yet come in another sense.
08:29 That's kind of hard to bend your head around,
08:31 but over time it becomes clear
08:33 and it helps to explain some of the struggles
08:36 we have, in following God.
08:38 In Romans 8, Paul says,
08:39 you know, "We groan within ourselves longing for the end."
08:42 You know the things that are not quite,
08:44 we have the taste in us of eternal things
08:47 and yet we're often stuck
08:49 in the mundane things of everyday life.
08:52 So when you come back to the Gospel of John,
08:55 John is the New Testament writer
08:57 that most strongly emphasizes the present reality,
09:01 heaven has come, the judgment has already passed.
09:05 We are already accepted with God,
09:07 we have present tense eternal life.
09:11 And it's real and it's here right now.
09:14 Yes, there is still something coming
09:15 in verses 26 to 30 get into that,
09:18 but in reality the power of the resurrection is a present tense.
09:23 Now the term judgment often sounds very frightening
09:28 for many people,
09:29 how can someone take courage in facing the judgment?
09:36 Well, the good news about the judgment is,
09:38 it isn't just a negative thing.
09:40 We think of judgment as God coming down
09:42 and smacking us in the face,
09:44 you know, or spanking us or throwing us in prison
09:46 or killing us or something like that.
09:48 But now judgment is not just reckoning
09:53 that some person has not,
09:56 you know, reached the level that they should be.
09:57 Judgment is also saying, look, in Jesus Christ,
10:01 you have an eternal life now, you are acceptable to Him now,
10:04 when you receive Jesus
10:06 that faith brings you into this new age.
10:09 And now you have a reality that you didn't have before.
10:13 So judgment in the New Testament
10:15 sense is not a frightful thing
10:17 because judgment also protects us from the evil one,
10:21 judgment also acknowledges
10:23 that we are with God and where God wants to be.
10:26 And there is a security, a stability there.
10:28 It's says you have eternal life.
10:30 You have passed over from death to life.
10:33 Now you will not come into condemnation at the judgment.
10:37 So we can have an assurance now
10:40 that when the judgment comes it will be positive for us.
10:43 So judgment then is to our advantage. Exactly.
10:46 We should not be afraid of it. Exactly.
10:48 It's a metaphor of what God has already determined to do for us.
10:52 Yeah, and we can have the assurance of that now,
10:55 so we don't have to be worried
10:57 about the judgment in the future.
10:58 And how can I have that assurance now?
11:01 In Jesus Christ.
11:02 When you give your life to Him
11:04 and have that trusting relationship.
11:06 Dr. Paulien, thank you again
11:08 for being with us in this Bible study.
11:09 And, friends, I pray that you accept Jesus Christ today.
11:13 And have that assurance of eternal life in Him.
11:16 God bless.


Revised 2014-12-17