Eschatology is a branch of theology which attempts to explain the “last days”, “end times”, or more specifically the events surrounding the return of Jesus Christ to bring both judgement and rest. The term “eschatology” is seldom paired with “leadership” as they may, at first glance, be a strange blend of concepts. As the Apostle Paul penned his letters to the fledgling church in Thessalonica, he expressed great concern that false ideas regarding the return of Christ had crept in after his abrupt departure. In 1 Thes 4:16-17, Paul writes, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” With these powerful words of encouragement, Paul wanted these new believers to think eternally as they dealt with great persecution each day.
The eschatological leadership that Paul displayed should also be embraced by contemporary Christian leaders. In leading others, we should always keep in mind the eternal implications of our decisions, our actions, our words, and our plans. This earth with all its beauty and greatness is yet only temporal. Therefore, leading in a way that points to the culmination of history changes lives and has a tremendous multiplication factor. The Christian leader is well aware that genuine and lasting peace, contentment, and joy can only be found at the foot of the cross where we submit all that we have, all that we are, and all that we wish to be to the sovereign will of God. Hence, leading in any other way than one which points to this cross and its eternal message would be a travesty. In James letter, he notes that we “are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). Let us use this “little time” to point others to the importance of the end of time and thereafter.
-Soli Deo Gloria