Let the Earth Rejoice!

For my Latin mass this morning, we had the priest who preaches about love. The topic was our response to the second coming of Christ. The priest said that many people fear the event, thinking it will be the end of the world. But we should actually rejoice that Christ will return, for Romans 15:10-12 tells the Gentiles to be glad at the coming of the root of Jesse, their ruler.

I thought about my weekly quiet time in the Book of Isaiah, which I did roughly a decade ago. In Isaiah 14:6-7, we read that the whole earth will break forth into singing when oppressive Babylon is overthrown. This stood out to me because it contradicted certain pictures of the end-time that I had read or heard: that most of the world would be following the Beast and would resist the second coming of Christ (Revelation 13), or that Christ would come and toss non-believers (the vast majority of humanity) into a fiery hell (II Thessalonians 1:8). In Isaiah 14:6-7, by contrast, most people are happy that God is coming to rule, for he’s overthrowing a dictator who made their lives miserable. It’s like the end of the Return of the Jedi, the updated version: the planets are happy because tyranny has been overthrown, and they are now free!

I like Isaiah 14:6-7 because it expresses the sentiment that God is on the side of the vast bulk of humanity, not just those who believe a certain way. Is there a way to embrace this inclusivist eschatology, while also doing justice to the more exclusivist passages of the Bible?

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
This entry was posted in Bible, Church, Religion, Weekly Quiet Time. Bookmark the permalink.