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Apocalyptic Literature

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  1. Apocalyptic Literature By definition apocalypse is a universal destruction causing the end of existence

  2. Where did Apocalyptic Literature come from? • Jewish society felt loss of identity and hopelessness • Ruled by romans • High priests of the temple were corrupt • Forced to adopt Greek culture • Memory of ancestors being exiled • Jewish society wondered if god abandoned them or is simply testing them • Came to the conclusion that the bad events will lead to the coming of god • God will arrive soon to overpower evil (Hope is in god) • Apocalyptic writers showed the end as a huge catastrophe (wars, earthquakes, disasters, etc.) • End = Good over evil

  3. Matthews apocalyptic literature How does Matthew differ? • God’s arrival is not a frightening sight • He arrives with goodness, “the blind receive sight, the lame walk” • God comes as a free gift of salvation (a way to be saved)

  4. From apocalyptic literature to kingdom of heaven • Kingdom of heaven or kingdom of God = symbol/metaphor for God • Kingdom of God has come to you = God is now among you • Jesus portrays god as being near • Through Jesus and His teachings, God has entered into history

  5. So…. What is the Point? • Gods arrival is no longer filled with doom but filled with ….LOVE • All people especially the sick, sinners, and outcasts experienced generosity • Jesus starts the Kingdom of God in human history (without earthquakes, wars, fires, disaster)

  6. The Church and the Kingdom of Heaven • The Church = people who follow Jesus accept God’s offering of salvation • The Church = “first fruits” or “first results”; community where Kingdom of God is at work

  7. IN Summary • Through Jesus, God’s kingdom has come and is present in history • God’s Kingdom continues to break into history through the Holy Spirit in the lives of the just • God’s Kingdom will come in fullness when Jesus returns at the end of time