No theology is complete without dealing with the question of eschatology. The study of the eschaton is a study of what is to come. It is to move our gaze into the future and as best we can to what is often called ‘the end.’ This question is an ultimate concern for man and is easily symbolized by our certainty of death. It is human being’s ability to see the end, their consciousness of death, their knowledge of ceasing to be that sets them apart from other beings. We know that there is an end and much of theology and religion has to do with answering this ultimate concern. What we think about the future, whether or not there is life after death, and ‘end times’ have major implications on the way we live. For example the folk with an evengelical dispensational eschatology that believes that the earth will be destroyed at any minute don’t tend to do much in regards to sustainable practices. Recycling seems like a silly practice when its all going to hell in a hand basket.
Our anticipation of nonexisting is naturally a point of major anxiety for us. Existentialist philosophers speak at great length about the angst that comes with this consciousness. ‘Whats it all about?’,’ Who is in charge?’ and as Alan Watts asked ‘Who is gonna clean it all up? These are difficult and important questions and must be addressed by any system of theology that take human existence into consideration.
The oppressed face the possibility of nonexistence on a daily basis and therefore hold this future in the present, a present that is often tormented by the past as well. The question then becomes about the relationship of the past, present and future to the context of the oppressed. The more the kingdom is pursued the more the end is near, in the very practical repercussions of the oppressed demanding justice and the threat of death. James Cone pointed out that their ‘eschatological perspective must be grounded in the historical present, thereby forcing the oppressed community to say no to unjust treatment, because its present humiliation is inconsistent with its promised future.’
So what is the end? What is our promised future?
Here is one of a ton of prophetic chapters of scripture that help us paint a picture of the direction we are to head.

Micah 4

1 In the last days
the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and peoples will stream to it.
2 Many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
4 Everyone will sit under their own vine
and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
for the LORD Almighty has spoken.
5 All the nations may walk
in the name of their gods,
but we will walk in the name of the LORD
our God for ever and ever.

This chapter in Micah is exactly the same as Isaiah 2. It describe a peace and security among all peoples. The vision is of a community that no longer practices or even learns war. They demilitarize completely, recycling all of their arms into agricultural tools for the sake of cultivation. Isaiah stops here but Micah continues the vision with a community sitting under food that they own, control, and have themselves produced. With the security that comes from a stable food source there is no need for war any longer and ‘nobody can make them afraid’ because they are a community that has the power of self determination. Power is not in force but food source. The vision painted by the prophets speak of a time familiar to Jesus’ vision of the kingdom of God. No longer will there be kings, temples, governments, or even countries but homesteads that share, give and welcome travelers and the poor. ‘WE will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.