The Saints are Looking Forward to a World Without End, NOT for the End of The World
|The Omega Letter Intelligence Digest|
Vol: 135 Issue: 21 - Friday, December 21, 2012
How It REALLY Ends . . . With a World WITHOUT End I don't want to say 'I told you so' (yes I do) but the world didn't end today. Granted, today isn't over, but I am still feeling pretty good about taking a victory lap. I am pretty sure we'll still be here at the end of the day. In fact, I'm completely sure of it. Let me explain why.
It is interesting to me to see how the whole Mayan calendar thing links to Doomsday which then links toDoomsday preppers which somehow gets linked to Bible prophecy, then to the Bible, then to certain churches and they all get lumped together as fundamentalist crazies.
I knew the world wasn't going to end today BECAUSE of Bible prophecy. The end of the world is an entirely secular concept with no parallel in Scripture. The Bible never speaks of the end of the world, except in the context of its replacement with new heavens and a new earth.
And even THEN it isn't really the end of the world in any meaningful sense since there it ends without casualties and is replaced instantaneously with a new one.
But since today is the day that so many (including many Christians) feared would be The End, it is probably a good day to take a look at what the Scriptures actually DO say about The End.
The end of the world comes in several phases, according to the Bible. The end began at Calvary when Jesus Christ drew in His last breath and used it to shout triumphantly, "Tetelestai!" meaning "Paid in Full" but usually translated "it is finished."
THAT was when the end of the world began -- when Jesus said it was finished. His Death on the Cross made full propitiation for sin. The sins of mankind were paid for, in full.
Your sin, my sin, the sins of all those who ever lived and all those that ever would live -- all paid for in that one majestic, Divine act of unselfish love. THAT moment was the beginning of The End. But the end is not yet.
The power of sin and death over mankind was not yet conquered. That event occurred three days later when Jesus Christ emerged from the grave, alive and in full view of up to five hundred living witnesses.
Once washed of our sins by the Blood of Christ and having obtained eternal life by His resurrection, the next step towards the end of the world occurred at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit took up residence in the redeemed of mankind.
The indwelling of the redeemed at Pentecost was the official start of "the last days." It is also called the Times of the Gentiles and it has a defined period of fulfillment. The Bible says that the times of the Gentiles will end when the "fullness of the Gentiles be come in."
Sidebar: What do you suppose "fullness" measures? Is it a measure of time? Perhaps -- we use phrases like, in the "fullness of time." But Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, used the "fulness of the Gentiles" in this instance, rather than the times of the Gentiles. Why?
The Apostle Paul says in no uncertain terms that the fullness of the Gentiles is not a function of time, but of numbers. God already knows exactly how many Gentiles will be saved. The Bible says of that number that they will be:
The operative word here is "predestinated". That's a word we don't much like. We don't mind it when speaking in terms of Bible prophecy, oddly enough. But when it comes to salvation, people object that it negates free will.
In any case, if He didn't predestinate us to be conformed, justified and glorified, then it means that your salvation came as a pleasant surprise to God and Romans 8:28-30 is meaningless.
Let's play the old "Let's Make a Deal" game for a minute. I know what is behind every door. You don't.
Does the fact that I know what the choices are in any way interfere with your free will ability to make a choice?
Because I know salvation lies behind Door #2 and that condemnation lies behind Door #3, how does that in any way affect your ability to choose Door #1?
It is admittedly an imperfect analogy in that I wouldn't know what door you might choose, but even if I did, I still can't see how what I know - and you don't -- affectsyour free will.
The concept that because God knows what your choice will be, your free will is somehow affected escapes me.
The Bible says God knows how many hairs are on your head. Does that bother you? The Bible says God knew you from before the world began. Does that bother you? The Bible says that God knows what you will do tomorrow before you do. Does that affect the decisions you will make tomorrow?
Then why is it so upsetting that God already knows whether or not during your lifetime you will accept the offer of Pardon extended by grace through faith? The same applies to the argument that if some are called, then there is no reason to evangelize -- God will call a person if he is to be saved.
That's an even dumber argument, because it assumes that God WON'T know how that person's salvation will come about. And it also assumes that you DO and that God didn't foreknow YOU were the tool He intended to use, according to His purpose.
If Satan knows that his time is almost up, then why bother keeping up the fight? After all, we know that his time is almost up from reading the Bible and comparing the signs. Satan can read, too. So if it is almost time, then why the last minute push on his part?
But if it is about numbers, then every soul Satan can keep away from the Gospel is a potential victory. And if it is about numbers, then there is a sense of urgency for us as we move along toward The End to hurry up and get that last guy saved so we can be evacuated.
Because that is the next step on God's real "end-of-the-world" calendar. The very next event is the evacuation of the Holy Spirit's ministry from the earth so that Satan's plan can move ahead unhindered.
The Holy Spirit's ministry on the earth is carried out via the vessels He indwells. The Bible says that the indwelling Holy Spirit is the restrainer of evil, the Discerner of truth, the teacher of doctrine and the witness of Jesus.
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26)The Apostle Paul testified to the Thessalonians that when the Restrainer is removed, together with the vessels He inhabits, THEN will that Wicked be revealed as the Tribulation Period moves forward.
So the Rapture marks that point in which the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, and it also marks that point at which God resumes His plan for the national redemption of Israel. (Romans 11:26-28)
Still the world hasn't ended. The Church Age has ended. The Church is in heaven. But the world is still here. During the Tribulation, the world takes a terrible pounding. At the end, almost everybody on earth has been killed. Almost.
But the world hasn't ended yet. There remains a remnant of the nations that survive at the Second Coming, the Bible refers to them as the sheep and the goat nations. Jesus will judge the nations according to the standard whereby they treated Israel.
The sheep nations will survive the Second coming of Christ and will then enter into the period of Millennial Rest, or the Millennial Kingdom.
So far, the Age of Grace has come to an end. The Age of the Law has come to an end. The Age of Human Government has come to an end, as Jesus takes up residence in Jerusalem, from where He rules with a rod of iron.
But the world is still there.
One thousand years after the Second Coming of Christ, this world DOES come to an end with the introduction of a world without end.
"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2 Peter 3:12-13)So this is where the world comes to an 'end' -- sort of.
One thousand years after the Second Coming of Christ, which occurs no earlier than seven years after the fullness of the Gentiles and the evacuation of the Holy Spirit.
So when somebody accuses you as a Christian of being a "doomsdayer" sitting around waiting for the end of the world, you can tell right off that person doesn't have a clue what he is talking about.
They are looking for the "end of the world". WE are looking for a world without end. Amen.
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