The Essential Nature of Eschatology
The Coming of Christ is set forth in the Bible as the one clear token of the end of the age. On this point both the Old and the New Testaments agree. In the Old Testament it is merely the coming of Christ that is the theme. Nothing clearly distinguishable is known of a second coming until Christ came the first time. Then His coming unfolded into two comings.
The First Coming of Christ initiated the end of the age. It is clearly indicated that Christ came in last days (Heb. 1:2), that He died in the end of the age (Heb. 9:26), that the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost in last days (Acts 2:17), that the Church has been living in the end of the age (1 Cor. 10:11), that scoffers have come in last days (2 Pet. 3:3 with Jude 18), that it is the last time for many antichrists have appeared (1 John 2:18), that the resurrection has already begun (1 Cor. 15:23). All this means that the second coming of Christ is near (Rev. 1:3), nearer by 2000 years than the day when John received the Revelation from Christ. Someone may be amazed that the end has now stretched out into such a long period. But this does not vitiate the fact, it only enlarges on the long-suffering and grace of God.
The Second Coming of Christ constitutes the crisis that will terminate the end. Christ's second coming will usher the crisis into full swing. A crisis is a period of transition, when the present order of things passes away, and a new order of things is ushered in. This is the nature of the period during which the Church has been living since Pentecost. To consummate the transition all that is necessary is the coming of Christ the second time. This is the burden of the teaching of the Scriptures concerning the second coming of Christ. There will be supernatural intervention into this natural order. There will be the introduction of new elements into this natural order, and suddenly and catastrophically this present order will be precipitated into the period of crisis which will eventually result in the passing of this present order and the ushering in of a completely new order.