Illustrations About Eschatology or the Second Coming of Christ
Eschatology is a branch of theology that studies the second coming of Christ.
The Bible speak great things about the second coming of Christ. The book of Revelation briefly described of what will it be in the end of times. There will be famines, darkness, and sores. I a suggest that you also try to see my post “Days of Elijah with Chords and Lyrics”. The song briefly describes on the days of Elijah.
There are several views concerning Christ’s second coming, and the most popular are these two; Pre-mellenialism and Post Mellenialism. It will be a great deal of theology in discussing these two which we will do in later times.
However, today, I will only be giving you some of best illustrations about eschatology or about the second coming of Christ. May you enjoy the stories.
An Advent Promise: Goodness and Mercy Will Win
As some of you know, Fiorello LaGuardia was mayor of New York during the Depression, and he was quite a character. He would ride the city fire trucks, take entire orphanages to baseball games and whenever the city newspapers went on strike, he would get on the radio and read the Sunday “funnies” to the children.
At any rate, one bitter cold winter’s night in 1935, Mayor LaGuardia turned up in a night court that served the poorest ward in the city, dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench himself. After he heard a few cases, a tattered old woman was brought before him, accused of stealing a loaf of bread.
She told LaGuardia that her daughter’s husband had deserted her, her daughter was sick and her grandchildren were starving. But the shopkeeper, from whom the bread was stolen, insisted on pressing charges. “My store is in a very bad neighborhood, your honor,” he said. “She’s got to be punished in order to teach other people a lesson.”
The mayor sighed. He turned to the old woman and said, “I’ve got to punish you,” he said. “The law makes no exception – ten dollars or ten days in jail.”
But even as he spoke, LaGuardia was reaching into his pocket and pulling out a ten dollar bill. “Here is the woman’s fine,” he said, “and furthermore, I’m going to fine everyone in this court room fifty cents for living in a city where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Baliff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.”
The following day, the New York Times reported that $47.50 was turned over to the bewildered old woman. It was given by the red-faced store owner, some seventy petty criminals, people with traffic violations and city policemen – and they all gave their mayor a standing ovation as they handed over their money.
That’s how it will be with God’s world. Just when it seems that all hope is lost, and goodness and mercy shall never win, the Great Judge will come to set things right, deciding for the hungry and the meek of the earth. Yes, there is also an Advent promise for the nations of the world in perplexity and distress: “Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Erskine White, Together in Christ, CSS Publishing Company
A Bit of Contrast
A bit of a contrast, isn’t it? The sweet strains of “Away in a Manger” followed by “…distress among nations…the roaring of the sea…People will faint from fear and foreboding…the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Ho, ho, ho! Where is Santa when we need him? So why in the world would the church choose a Gospel lesson such as this to begin Advent and our preparation for the coming of the Christ child?
Good reason. The sad truth that all of us who are old enough knows is we do not live in a “Santa Claus” world. Children’s visions of sugar plums are washed away with the hot tears of grown-up disappointment and despair. Disease and death are constant companions. The fear and foreboding of which Jesus spoke greet us at every turn. Somehow we need to be reminded that this misery is not the end of the story.
David E. Leininger, Eyes Up!
The Hope of a New Birth
Unfortunately, our gospel lesson doesn’t at first seem to instill us with any sense of hope at all. In fact, after reading this passage, we can be overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness. This passage sounds a bit like the one we heard two Sundays ago, only this one has more doom and gloom, more destruction, more chaos and catastrophe. We hear of these mysterious signs in the sun, moon and stars. There are images of people fainting. Heaven and earth pass away, there is talk of a trap, and our hope for escape, and by the end of the reading, it seems the walls are closing in on us.
And yet, in the midst of the chaos of this reading, if you look closely enough, calmly enough, there are some words of hope in the midst of the confusion. Jesus says, “when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near . . . when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” He speaks of fig trees, an image which may not communicate much to us, but his hearers in that time knew that the fig tree was a symbol of life out of death, a symbol of the hope that comes after the winter, the hope of new birth.
Beth Quick, Ready or Not….
Peace: Good Is Not Far Away
What anxious people need more than anything is peace, especially peace of mind. On Black Friday I went into a Fossil store that sells watches. The store was crowded and I could barely make my way to the counter. I was on a mission. I had a fossil watch that needed a battery. I was certain that the last thing any clerk wanted to do on the busiest shopping day of the year was to install a new battery in a watch. Much to my surprise the man said he would be glad to put in a new battery. I could leave it and pick it up later. When I came back, again much to my surprise, he only charged me $5. In the midst of all that craziness I experienced the reality that life goes on and the simplest of things continue in spite of all the craziness. I gratefully left the store, watch in hand, ticking along, marking time for years to come. I felt a sense of peace that God is still in the midst of all the chaos.
What this all says to me is that no matter how anxious the times we live in, God is not far away. The problem is that we are so afraid we miss God’s presence. We let those who use scare tactics mislead us. We allow doom and darkness to dominate our lives rather than hope and light. Jesus is telling us that “to understand the world’s troubles as omens of doom is to misread them. The world’s tribulations and our personal trials can be understood as reasons for us to remain faithful, hopeful and optimistic.” (Homiletics, December, 2006, pg. 33)
Keith Wagner, Hope for the Overwhelmed
Keeping Spiritually Dressed
When Eisenhower was president of the United States, he once visited Denver. His attention was called to a letter in the local newspaper saying that a six-year-old boy dying with cancer expressed a wish to see the president. One Sunday morning a black limousine pulled up in front of the boy’s house. Ike stepped out of his car and knocked on the front door. The father, Donald Haley, opened the door wearing faded jeans, an old shirt, and a day’s old beard. Standing behind him was the boy. Ike said, “Paul, I understand you want to see me. Glad to see you.” Then he took the boy to the limousine to show it to him, shook hands, and left. The family and neighbors talked about the President’s visit for a long time before the father always remembered it with regret because of the way he was dressed. He lamented, “What a way to meet the President of the United States.” If we keep in fellowship with God through prayer, we will keep ourselves spiritually dressed for Christ’s coming at any time.
John R. Brokhoff, Wrinkled Wrappings, CSS Publishing Company.
When Everything Becomes “Merely”
Virginia Owens in her book, And The Trees Clap Their Hands, suggests that we lose the wonder of it all, because along the way everything becomes “merely.” Things are “merely” stars, sunset, rain, flowers, and mountains. Their connection with God’s creation is lost. During this Advent season many things are just “merely.” It becomes “merely” Bethlehem, a stable, a birth — we have no feeling of wonder or mystery. That is what familiarity can do to us over the years.
Owens goes on to say that it is this “merely” quality of things that leads to crime. It is “merely” a thing — I’ll take it. It is “merely” an object — I’ll destroy it. It is this “merely” quality of things and life that leads to war. We shall lose “merely” a few thousand men, but it will be worth it. Within the Advent narrative nothing is “merely.” Things are not “merely” things, but are part of God’s grand design. Common things, such as motherhood, a birth, a child, now have new meaning. This is not “merely” the world, but a world that is charged with the beauty and grandeur of God’s design. It is a world so loved by God that God gave his only Son. What is so great about the Advent season is that everything appears charged with the beauty and grandeur of God.
John A. Stroman, God’s Downward Mobility, CSS Publishing.
Exchanging Our Eschatological Heritage
Neill Hamilton, who taught at Drew University for many years, once observed how people in our time lose hope for the future. It happens whenever we let our culture call the shots on how the world is going to end. At this stage of technological advancement, the only way the culture can make sense of the future is through the picture of everything blowing up in a nuclear holocaust. The world cannot know what we know, that everything has changed in the death and resurrection of Jesus, that the same Christ is coming to judge the world and give birth to a new creation. And so, people lose hope. As Hamilton puts it: This substitution of an image of nuclear holocaust for the coming of Christ is a parable of what happens to Christians when they cease to believe in their own eschatological heritage. The culture supplies its own images for the end when we default by ceasing to believe in biblical images of God’s triumph at the end.
The good news of the gospel is this: when all is said and done, God is going to win.
William G. Carter, No Box Seats in the Kingdom, CSS Publishing.
In the Peanuts comic strip, Linus and Lucy are standing at the window looking out at the rain falling. Lucy says to Linus, “Boy, look at it rain…What if it floods the earth?” Linus, the resident biblical scholar for the Peanuts, answers, “It will never do that…in the ninth chapter of Genesis, God promised Noah that would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow.” With a smile on her face, Lucy replies, “Linus, you’ve taken a great load off my mind.” To which Linus responds, “Sound theology has a way of doing that.”
Charles Schultz, Peanuts, adapted by David E. Leininger
Second Coming and Faithfulness
During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy often closed his speeches with the story of Colonel Davenport, the Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives: On May 19th, 1780 the sky of Hartford darkened ominously, and some of the representatives, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand. Quelling a clamor for immediate adjournment, Davenport rose and said, “The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought.” Rather than fearing what is to come, we are to be faithful till Christ returns. Instead of fearing the dark, we’re to be lights as we watch and wait.
Preparation for Christ’s Coming
Maybe you’ve heard the story of the little boy who decided to write a letter to God one Christmas. He started out by writing: “Dear God, I’ve been a really good boy this year.” Unfortunately, he remembered that God was all knowing and all seeing and he decided that he couldn’t lie to God. So, he crumpled up that letter and started over. This time he wrote: “Dear God, I know I haven’t done everything I should have, but I really tried to be good.” He stopped and crumpled up that letter, too. It was obvious that he was struggling with what to write to God.
As he sat there thinking he looked up and saw his mother’s favorite piece of sculpture on the mantel. It was a beautiful rendition of the Madonna, the mother of Christ. The boy perked up and ran out of the room. He came back with a towel and a shoebox. He walked over, carefully picked up the Madonna, gently wrapped it in the towel, carefully put it in the shoebox and then hid it in the closet. He immediately went back to the table and wrote: “Dear God, if you ever want to see your mother again . . .”
It’s time the Church took back Christmas. And we do. Every year we take it back and bring back the meaning and the purpose. The world tries to hold it for ransom each year, with its multiplicity of gadgets and this year’s list of must have toys; the world tries to make demands and hold Christmas for ransom but it never works. The birth of the Christ child is just too powerful, even for Wall Street. The sight and the sounds and the remembrance of this child born so long ago changes all the rules. His very presence makes the glitter of our Christmas presents pale in comparison.
Billy D. Strayhorn, Stay On Your Toes