Sermon and Bible Study Theme: Eschatology (The Study of Last Things)
The word “eschatology” is a word used among theologians and biblical scholars to refer to “last things” or “the last days.” According to the Harper-Collins Bible Dictionary “biblical, intertestamental (writings dated between the Old and New Testaments such as the Apocrypha and the Dead Sea Scrolls), and Rabbinic writings often distinguish between the present aeon, the period of history in which life is being lived, and the future, coming age, or period of transformed existence that God will bring at the end of history. The latter age or aeon is sometime also referred to as the age to come or coming age, the kingdom of God, the new world, or the new messianic age” (302). Old Testament prophets, Jesus, the apostle Paul, and John the revelator all spoke, at one time or another, in eschatological terms.
In anticipation of the dawning of a new age (Aquarius), this sermon and study series will investigate and discern the implications and meanings of “the last days” for our own time. We will study selected eschatological passages from both Old and New Testaments and discover that “the last days” are an integral part of the Divine order, should be welcomed by people of faith, and are the signs that freedom is near.
Eschatological experiences were envisioned differently by the various biblical writers. The Old Testament prophets often spoke of “the day of the Lord” when God would overthrow both the enemies of the people and/or God’s own enemies. Jesus used the phrase “the kingdom of God” and sometimes spoke of it as though it had already come and at other times as if it was going to come sometime in the near future. The apostle Paul thought that the Kingdom of God was “realized” and already present in the believer in God through Christ that would be fully realized at the Parousia, the second coming of the Christ. John the Revelator envisaged a great battle between God and God’s angels, and Satan (also called the “dragon” and “destroyer”) at the end of the age. All of these various ways of envisioning/defining eschatology will be addressed in this sermon and study series.
It is possible to argue that Africans in North America have always been “eschatological peoples” in the sense that we’ve always envisioned better days ahead where there’d be no more suffering, no more pain and no more oppression; days when Da Lawd would come and set us free. Such themes have historically been voiced in our singing, in our praying and in our preaching.
Sunday, April 18
Biblical Text: Isaiah 65:17-25
Sunday, April 25
Biblical Text: Matthew 16:27-28
Sunday, May 2
Biblical Text: Luke 17:20-21
Sunday, May 9
Biblical Text: Mark 13:24-27
Sunday, May 16
Biblical Text: Philippians 3:17-21
Sunday, May 23
Biblical Text: John 5:25-28
Sunday, May 30
Biblical Text: 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12