The end of the world

December 21, 2012 § 4 Comments

Well, we made it!  If you’re reading this then we are still here! Unless, of course, utter destruction awaits when the last time zone enters the 21st of December.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think that the Mayans built global time zones into their cosmology.

At any rate, we’re still here—and once again lots of folks raked in lots of dough on lots of other folks’ fears. The end of the world always means big business for someone.

None of this is new, of course.  Hollywood, for one, has learned to cash in on this with countless doomsday flicks, some of which draw upon Biblical imagery not out of a desire for biblical faithfulness but for the sake of epic drama.  In practically every one of these movies, some individual manages to save humanity from certain destruction either by cracking some kind of code, bravely circumventing a series of “inevitable events” or satisfying the childish anger of “the deity.”  When all is said and done, man wins and humanity is saved.

Not surprisingly, the Bible presents practically the opposite reality.  The end of all things is not ultimately about destruction; even Bible-believing Christians get caught up in the imagery of worldwide war, destruction, the beast and the anti-Christ.  Ironically, both Hollywood and many “end times” teachers are man-centered in their view of the end because their attention is almost completely on the events instead of the one driving the events.

Biblically speaking, the real of focus of the end times is the same focus as the beginning of time—and of everything in between:  the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  If Romans 11:36 is true—“for all things are from him and through him and to him:  to him be the glory forever!  Amen”—then the start of history is about its Creator and the unrolling of history is about the Providential Hand that guides history to the consummation of its only lawful end:  Christ.

The meaning of history is found in the revelation of Christ to his people, from the very first promise of the coming Redeemer’s defeat of Satan in Genesis 3 to the exultation of Revelation 11:15:  “…‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.’”

Just as surely as he came once before, Jesus Christ is coming again.  Yet this time he will come neither in a quiet corner of the world nor only unto his own people; this time he will come in all of his power and authority, and all people everywhere will bow unquestioningly to his rule. Some will do so as the beginning of an eternity of joyful praise and worship.  The rest will do so only because they have no other choice—and it will be the awful beginning of their eternal end.

Which it will be for you depends on what you will believe now; James 4:13 and 14 tells us that none of us guaranteed tomorrow—and Paul says there’s no time like the present to believe the Gospel (my very loose paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 6:2):  The Son of God became a man, lived, died and rose again to forgive the sins and of all who trust in him alone for their righteousness.

If this is what you believe, I have great news for you:  You never have to worry about the end of the world again—and you can get on with the true wonder of living every day of life in this world in the beauty, wonder and power of God’s amazing grace.

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