End of the age
The Nicene Creed also states that Jesus, “will come again, to judge the living and the dead…”. This has been interpreted both literally and metaphorically by various groups of Christians. Taken literally, some denominations give significant focus to the ‘second coming’, and complex interpretations of apocryphal scriptures (e.g. Ezekiel and Revelations) have resulted in dates being set for this occurrence and speculations about contemporary events which offer evidence that it is nearly upon us. Debates have also been generated about a ‘thousand-year reign of Christ’, and whether this occurs before or after the ‘rapture’ (removal of those who are saved)- i.e. pre-millennialism or post-millennialism. Interpreted more poetically, the concept has been portrayed as a utopian ideal, to be worked for socially (e.g. through education, community care and social reform) or politically, through active engagement in civic society. Those influenced by Liberation theology have seen this as a source of inspiration to bring about the Kingdom of God in the here and now, and on the earth itself rather than in any other future world.