Eschatology is the formal theological term for the study of last things. It is the study of things relating to the return of Christ and the consummation of his kingdom. Very often when the “last days” or things pertaining to the return of Christ are discussed, many get bogged down with the if, when, and how of the rapture, the nature of the millennium, the meaning of the tribulation, the figure of Antichrist, and these difficult matters of interpretation often cloud out the import of the gospel and its bearing on how believers are to live lives to the glory of God in the last days. While there certainly is a place for the careful study of Scripture as it pertains to the various elements of eschatology listed above, believers must not forget the importance of living faithfully in these, the last days. The question is, “how, exactly, may believers live faithful lives in an unfaithful world.”
Don Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has done believers a great service in his exposition-turned-eBook entitled From the Resurrection to His Return: Living Faithfully in the Last Days (also available in paperback from Christian Focus Publishers). Carson plainly works through 2 Timothy 3:1 – 4:8, providing timely, challenging, and altogether helpful instruction to believers at all stages of maturity in Christ.
After a brief introductory chapter called “Living in the last days”, Carson draws out 4 more principles for living from Paul’s instruction to Timothy as it pertains to living faithfully in the difficult and evil days leading up to Christ’s return (cf. 2 Tim. 3:13). The remaining four chapters bear the title of the principle Carson exegetically unpacks. They are as follows:
- Hold the right mentors in high regard
- Hold few illusions about the world
- Hold on to the Bible
- Hold out the Bible to others
Though the book is brief, able to be read from cover to cover in about an hour (or less), it largely surpasses its size in impact. Theologically straightforward and plainly spoken, Carson speaks with pastoral wisdom and sensitivity as one who has lived to see the vitality and importance of being faithful to the Scriptures and the gospel declared therein. There is nothing incredibly intricate here, but that is to the book’s credit! Read and be encouraged!
*As a part of the From the Resurrection to His Return Blog Tour, the publisher, at no charge, for the purpose of review, provided a copy of this eBook. I was under no obligation to write a favorable review.
Read inside (PDFs): Sample Pages