2. Eschatology

An eschatology (pronounced es-kuh-tahl'-uh-jee) is a discourse about the “last things”, from the Greek word “eskhatos” meaning “last”. That means it is concerned about the final events and ultimate purpose of things. In terms of Christian theology, that amounts to God's final plan with people and the earth.

There are a number of divisions of the field eschatology, to refer to the end-time of specific aspects of the world. Some of the common terms are:

An Apocalypse

Apocalypse is a genre of literature. Specifically it is a narrative form of a revelation given to humans from a non-human source. It reveals a truth about the past, present or future, but most common use is in terms of the future.

As a result, apocalyptic literature is often concerned about eschatology, and eschatology often defined through an apocalypse. The term “The Apocalypse” is often used specifically to refer to the Book of Revelation in the new testament, because it is primarily apocalyptic writing. The name “Apocalyptic Discourse” is also given to the revelation of Jesus that is recorded in Luke 21, Matt 24, and Mark 13. It talks about things that were yet to happen before the plan of God would be fulfilled.

Parousia

A parousia is the coming or arrival of an important figure of history. It is particularly used of the second coming of Jesus. In the book of Acts, it was recorded that Jesus was “taken up” off the earth while his disciples watched, but there was a promise of him again returning. This was quoted of an angels who appeared at that scene,

Acts 1:11: "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." NKJV

This advent of Jesus returning is an integral part of the Bible, and appears either directly or by implication in many sections. In the Apocalyptic Discourse, Jesus had stated,

Luke 21:27: Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28. But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near." WEB

This is typical of the scripture, where the redemptive and resurrection aspects of the individual eschatology are tied to this event.

The Kingdom in Eschatology

Because the Kingdom of God is so closely linked to eschatology in the Bible, there is a series of terms that are used to describe the way in which the Kingdom could possibly fit into the end times and parousia.