Question: If the final coming of Christ and the resurrection has already occurred — for what do we hope? What is our modern day “eschatology?”
Answer: I do not believe that we are waiting an end of time, or end of human history. I believe that Biblical eschatology is about Covenant Eschatology, not Historical Eschatology. In other words, the time of the end, the end of the age, etc. predicted was all about the end of the Old Covenant, that represented sin and death, and the inauguration of the New Covenant World of Christ wherein is life and righteousness. I believe that the current Christian age is without end (Ephesians 3:20f; Hebrews 12:28, etc.). I believe that the story of eschatology is about the restoration of lost relationship between God and man, and not about the restoration of material creation, or the revivication of a human corpse. Eternal life is the hope, more, the present assurance, of the child of God, and as a result, when a faithful child of God dies today, there is no “waiting place” but, they can now “rest from their labors” (Revelation 14:13).
One of the great, historical problems of the church has been the undeniable fact that Christ said he was to return in judgment in the first century, and all of the Biblical writers affirmed the nearness of his coming and the end of the age. Yet, if we look at his parousia as a literal, visible, bodily descent out of heaven, everyone agrees he did not do that. This “failure” continues to haunt modern Christianity as the Jews, Moslems, and skeptics label Jesus as a false prophet, and the N. T. as a book of failed prophecies. However, if we understand that, just as he himself said, his coming was to be “in the glory of the Father” (Matthew 16:27), i.e. as the Father had come, then this means that he was not to come visibly, bodily, physically. He was to manifest his sovereignty in the same way the Father had come, many times, as shown in the O. T. scriptures. Viewed in this Biblical framework, Jesus did come in that generation, in judgment of the old world of sin and death, in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. I develop this extensively in my MP3 study of In the Glory of the Father (over 22 hours of instruction in regard to the nature of Christ’s coming). I think that you would find that it answers a lot of the historical issues, with solid, Biblical facts. It can be ordered from the website: www.eschatology.org.