Eschatology helps us keep things in perspective. This is especially true of apocalyptic literature, which draws back a curtain and allows a glimpse of the realm of the heavenlies, a taste of what seeing with the eyes of faith is all about, to remind us that what we see here is not all that there is. Studying eschatology forces us to recognise the truth that there are realities which go beyond the here and now and which touch eternity.
Many of us would recognise that if there is one thing which will dampen our enthusiasm for the Gospel, or which will bring about a coldness of heart towards our God and Saviour, it is the pressure we all live under in our society to own the latest iPhone, drive the newest car, or wear a particular brand of clothing. The values of our culture seep into our lives and wear down our faith.
What is true of us as individuals is also true in our corporate lives. Church fellowships can also find themselves trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’, or at least with the larger church down the road. This can mean they become more worried about whether the congregation is sitting comfortably on a Sunday morning than if missionaries they support have enough money to feed their family. In other words, we often fail to lift our eyes from the temporal to see the eternal.
The antidote to this is time spent in God’s Word being reminded of the reality of God’s purposes for his creation. Studying eschatology helps us to ensure that our treasure, and therefore our heart, is where it ought to be (Matt 5:19-21).
If a stranger were to look at my use of money, where would they say my heart is?