ESCHATOLOGY, DOCTRINE OF FINAL THINGS.
Neither the individual Christian character, nor the Christian or the church as a whole, attains its destined perfection in this life ( <450824>Romans 8:24). This perfection is reached in the world to come ( <461310>1 Corinthians 13:10). As preparing the way for the kingdom of God in its completeness, certain events are to take place, such as death, Christ?s Second Coming, the resurrection of the body, the general judgment. As stages in the future condition of men, there is to be an intermediate and an ultimate state, both for the righteous and for the wicked. We discuss these events and states in what appears from Scripture to be the order of their occurrence.
<450824> Romans 8:24 ? ?in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth?? <461310>1 Corinthians 13:10 ? ?when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.? Original sin is not wholly eradicated from the Christian and the Holy Spirit is not yet sole ruler. So too, the church is still in a state of conflict and victory is hereafter. But as the Christian life attains its completeness only in the future, so with the life of sin. Death begins here but culminates hereafter. <590115>James 1:15 ? ?the sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth death.? The wicked man here has only a foretaste of ?the wrath to come? ( <400307>Matthew 3:7). We may ?lay up...treasures in heaven? ( <400620>Matthew 6:20), but we may also ?treasure up for ourselves wrath? ( <450205>Romans 2:5). i . e., lay up treasures in hell.
Dorner: ?To the actuality of the consummation of the church belongs a cessation of reproduction through which there is constantly renewed a world, which the church must subdue. The mutually external existence of spirit and nature must give way to a perfect internal existence. Their externality to each other is the ground of the mortality of the natural side and of its being a means of temptation to the spiritual side. For in this externality the natural side has still too great independence and exerts a determining power over the personality. Art, the beautiful, receives in the future state its special place for it is the way of art to delight in visible presentation, to achieve the classical and perfect with unfettered play of its powers. Every one morally perfect will thus wed the good to the beautiful. In the rest, there will be no inactivity and in the activity also, no unrest.?
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