There's been something on my mind for quite a while. I am quite sure that the Church holds that the Apocalypse to St. John the Beloved is a prophecy about the times immediately preceding the Parousia.....I'm sure the Church has anathematized "post-millienialism" (the belief that all of St. John's prophecies were fulfilled by the end of the first century), I just don't know when or where.
But this belief in the imminent end and destruction of all things and/or the dissolution of human society prior to this Tribulation and Judgment creates problems for me as far as views of the world and destiny go. In fact, I would go as far as to say that eschatology, or pop-eschatology (vis-a-vis "Left Behind" series, etc.) inevitably creates a negative impression of humanity and the world on the mind.....and this is a big root to the fundamentalist world-negating fear inherent in Evangelical forms of Christianity.
If everything is "set-in-stone" by prophecy to deteriorate at some future moment, wherefor God will intervene to stop it by an act of Wrath/Judgment, does this not inevitably cause a negative estimate of human destiny to be placed in the mind? This creates a pessimism in my opinion. Why even try to better society? Why even try to work towards the future?
And doesn't an act of Judgment-intervention on the part of God seem rather capricious, contrived, and artificial?.....a sort of deus ex machina? Why would God, at some point, decide to intervene in history and cause the natural unfolding of human destiny to effectively stop, unless He never really thought that humanity should unfold its destiny to begin with? And why stop there? Why not intervene in history at some mid-point? Why not intervene in history right after Pentecost? Isn't any date to submit the world to Wrath just as arbitrary as any other?
I need answers....because I have a hard time accepting traditional Tribulational eschatology at face value without it thereby causing me to have a negative estimate of history and the world.