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The End Didn’t Come in 2015 Either…

January 4, 2016

Another new year, another disappointed look on the face of all Christians: Oh bother, Jesus didn’t return in 2015 either…

No? You don’t recognise that in yourself or your church-going friends? I’m not surprised, really; we don’t think very often about the fact that Jesus promised to return in glory, to judge the living and the dead and usher in the new heaven and new earth. Actually, it seems we’re more likely to associate such thoughts with wild-eyed fanatics predicting the end of the world in 1844 or 1914 or 2000 or 2012 or last month …

Which is sad, seeing as the return of Jesus is a very common and very important theme in the New Testament. The problem seems to be twofold: a) some people get too caught up in calculating the date and speculating about the details, putting the rest of us off; and b) we see the end of the world as something negative, something we don’t like to think about.

Again, that is very sad, and also somewhat mystifying. Surely most of us would recognise that the world is in no fit state to go on forever? That something has to be done? That we desperately need “a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13)?

And that is exactly what Jesus has promised. This promise should be a cause for joy and celebration amongst Christians – for what could be better than a world where Jesus reigns, and where there is no sin or death or suffering, no ISIS, no banking crisis, no cancer, no AIDS, no selfishness, no greed, no tax returns…

From a Christian perspective, the ‘end of the world’ isn’t scary. It also isn’t really the end of the world as such, only the end of the brokenness, the sin and the hardships of the world. And who would want them to last forever? Jesus has promised a new universe, where we will have unhindered access to God, we will meet Jesus, we will worship together with all Christians from all ages and all places, and the earth will be restored to the glory it was meant to have before human sin marred it.

So let’s not be afraid of the end; instead let’s tell everybody who bemoans the current state of the world that one day, God will put an end to the present situation. Surely that is good news!

 

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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