Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘eschatology’

Final the End!

My younger sister and I used to argue a lot as kids.  But I got the upper hand when I convinced her that she had to stop whenever I said, “Final the End!” 

This silly memory came to mind the other day when I read the last chapters of the book of Revelation.  After all the atrocities, blasphemies, catastrophes, and devastation written in this book are finished, there will finally and forever be an end to all evil!  When the abominable “Babylon” is totally wiped out, the earth mourns and all in heaven rejoice (chapters 17-18).  Satan and his two puppets are banished forever to the “fiery lake of burning sulfur,” as are those who have give their allegiance to them.

Heaven finally reigns uncontested—and what a celebration!  Its citizens will at last participate in breathtaking splendor and joy. 

–A dazzling new heaven and earth

–No more tears, pain, or death! 

–Water of life, the tree of life

The throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.  And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. Sun And they will reign forever and ever.  (22:3-5)  

Where we will be then depends on whom we follow today. 

Divine Evacuation

Poor Lot!  He’s taken in a couple of strangers (actually angels in human disguise) who showed up in town needing a place to stay overnight.  And now at his door is a howling mob intent on gang-raping those angels. When Lot refuses to allow this, they accuse him of being intolerant and judgmental:  “…he dares to judge us!” (Does this sound familiar now?) God was about to destroy Sodom for their wickedness, but first He had to get Lot out of there.  So the angels grabbed Lot, his wife, and their two daughters by the hand and dragged them out of town before calamity hit.   (Genesis 19.)

And Noah—another divine evacuation.  “Yahweh observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So Yahweh was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” (Gen. 6:5-6) So He decided to wipe clean the earth and start from scratch.  But first He had to get Noah and his family to safety.  Once they were in the ark, God shut the door before calamity hit.

This earth is ripe for another catastrophe as human wickedness reaches the point of no return.  When will it happen?  Based on these two examples from Genesis, we can speculate about what might happen, and what will become of the godly minority.  Peter does have some appropriate words about this:

I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he … destroy[ed] the ancient world with a mighty flood. 

And by the same word, the present heavens and earth …are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.…The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief…On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.  (2 Peter 3:3-14 NLT)

Heaven on Earth

In the book of Revelation, the scene repeatedly shifts back and forth between earth and heaven.  On earth it’s going from bad to worse.  Meanwhile in heaven, God is on His brilliant throne, surrounded by the praise of all different kinds of enthusiastic worshippers.

Till the climax of history when at last heaven comes to the renewed earth and God makes his home among men and women. He will live with us His people, personally wiping the tears from our eyes (21:3-4) and shining the light of Himself on us.  We will see His face, be marked with His name and reign with Him forever (22:4-5).  God and people, so long estranged, will be together again.  Earth and heaven, long separated, will be one. 

Joy to the world! 

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