Having created man in the fullness of his potential tasks, God entrusts to him their fulfillment. In this sense, the world created by God is completed by man, not as a creator
"out of nothing"
of course, but as the accomplisher of God's designs. Man accomplishes this mission according to the modalities of creaturely creative activity. Without this accomplishment the fullness of the universe cannot be manifested, and the universe cannot attain its end and its ultimate transfiguration, the passage to the new state of the future age.
The royal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ takes place in history. This enthronement of the Lamb is realized in the war of the Lamb against the forces opposed to Him. This battle continues with growing intensity until the very end of history.
The images of the Apocalypse clearly reveal the fundamental idea indicated in the New Testament concerning the royal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ: namely, that this ministry takes place in
and that it takes place not only as the inner manifestation of the power of the accomplished redemption but also as the new and effective action of the «Lamb as it had been slain»
This enthronement of the Lamb is realized in the war of the Lamb against the forces opposed to Him — first in their confused interaction and then in the final separation of the forces of good and the forces of evil. Only as its final result does this tragic accomplishment include the triumph of the new city descending from heaven onto the new earth under the new heaven. This tragedy fills all of history from the Ascension of the Lord to heaven until the very end of history. Christ's enthronement is accomplished by a long and intense battle, and this enthronement represents His continuing ministry, which does not end until the end of history. It represents His royal ministry on earth. Here, according to the mistical images of Revelation, Christ redescends from heaven to earth to the battle, and those who serve Him and do His work participate in it. On the one hand, there are those «that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held»
they lament about themselves: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
On the other hand, these very same, together with those who did not worship the beast, participate in the first resurrection and reign upon the earth
Since the battle continues with growing intensity until the very end of history, it follows that Christ's royal ministry too is continuing and is not very finished. The entire Apocalypse (i.e., the revelation of the true content of history)
is in fact this continuing enthronement.
All that has been said in no wise diminishes the guiding significance of the idea of the thousand-year kingdom, which for us is the guiding star of history. This idea is an expression of the Christian notion of progress, where the latter is liberated from its limited naturalistic conception. This idea is proper to Christian humanism, in contradistinction to pagan or anti-Christian humanism. … The end of history is not due to an arbitrary
deus ex machina,
to a divine act of violence that interrupts the contentless bad infinity of human history. On the contrary, a positive goal is set for history: its inner ripening to a good end, although this end comes convulsively and catastrophically. …
idea of the millennium
can be the
soul of Christian progress,
the motive force of Christian humanism, the inspiration of
Christian creative activity.
There can be and therefore there must be a historical creativity in the name of Christ and with Christ, in the battle against destructive, theomachic and anti-Christian forces in history.