The eschatological terminus is the summing up of all things (Eph. 1:10). History is going somewhere and Christ is no passive by-stander. Not only is he active in the souls of believers, but in him all things hold their current form/state of existence (Col. 1:17) and any changes are ultimately connected to his sovereign rule over all things. He is driving the massive ship we call the universe, aiming it to end up harboring in his special presence on the last day. On that day he will both be marveled at and dreaded. On that day he will speak and souls will be infused back into bodies which will be transformed to be able to exist in their eternal abodes – some to honor and some to dishonor. That final day will witness something greater than “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The old creation was ushered in in such a way as to be mutable; it was susceptible to change and did change due to sin. But in that day, when the new heavens and the new earth come, only righteousness will dwell there. Not only will there be no more tears, no more death, no more sin, and no more effects of sin, there will be no possibility of anything but righteousness, peace, joy, and unbroken eternal life and communion with God and fellowship with saints and angels. This, surely, was plan A from the beginning – God will get all the glory through the work of new creation brought in by the skull-crushing Seed of the woman who entered into his glory by the power of the Holy Spirit at his resurrection and will usher his seed (and the heavens and earth themselves) into the same glory when he comes again. The present era is heading to the consummation due to the fact that the Father has given to the Son all things to sum up (Eph. 1:10).
Dr. Richard Barcellos is associate professor of New Testament Studies. He received a B.S. from California State University, Fresno, an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary, and a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Whitefield Theological Seminary. Dr. Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA. He is author of Trinity & Creation, The Covenant of Works, and Getting the Garden Right. He has contributed articles to various journals and is a member of ETS.