The Design of Biblical Eschatology

| March 16, 2015

The design of biblical eschatology is rooted in the pre-fall order of creation, which is often called the covenant of works. In that covenantal arrangement, God sought to glorify himself by giving himself in a communion bond to a holy people in a holy realm and advancing them beyond probation through the perfect and personal obedience of Adam, the federal head of humanity. God’s ultimate design for his image-bearing people is life beyond the threat of death, life beyond conflict with Satan, life confirmed in righteousness and holiness, life that culminates in our communing with God in eternal Sabbath rest. The tree of life is a sacramental sign and promise of the future glory that awaits obedient Adam and holds forth the promise of eternal life.

Put differently, the covenantal kingdom of God is inherently focused on the future in glory because life in Eden is penultimate and provisional, rather than ultimate and final. Properly understood, a covenantal eschatology brings into view the ultimate things of God’s kingdom and the movement beyond the state of innocence in Eden to the highest form of human existence, which we call the state of glory (Westminster Confession of Faith 9 2-5).

This basic vision of the eschatological kindgom ought to inform everything else we say…

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