Soteriology has to precede eschatology, it only makes sense. One can live and die ages before the end times, and even if there exists a last judgement there was a time before when some after-life was present; even abeyance of self, some temporary timeless and self-less suspension counts as an experience of the afterlife though nihil, it indicates that there was a real afterlife that was nothingness. It also represents the fact that an eternal fate is not eternal, there was a period where the "eternal" fate was not applied. Infinity can't be infinity with a piece missing.
Ahh, years of college and university. Glad my English major wasn't the most useless thing I picked up.