Do you have questions about the end-times? Armageddon? The Apocalypse?
Don’t you wish you had some assured insight to what might come to pass in the future?
It’s really interesting to step back from eschatology and realize that our ideas about end-times are not a far stretch from the contentious environment of Jesus’s day. I even heard someone recently say that the one thing that all the disciples likely shared was a passion about eschatology… they followed Jesus primarily because, as a prophet and possible Messiah, they wanted to know more and be a part of what might transpire. Let’s face it, all signs were sure enough pointing to it.
Jesus’s teachings and the disciples writings (especially John) oozed with eschatological mystery. It was a focal-point of engagement with people and generally intended it was used to get to a much larger, much more personal point.
It is really no different today. We want to know how its all going to end and we’re turning over ever proverbial scripture to try and find a clue… The more I pray about it and the more I study, the more I believe that there are no such concrete answers to any of it (end-times wise). I think most of “it” is intended to draw us back into the simplicity of personal faith.
So many of the verses which are now referenced to supposed future “end-times” can either be attributed to the past or are perfectly relevant in any version of the present. I have no doubt there are foreshadowings of what is to come, but generally speaking, the interpretations of such are off-base from the primary message of the Good News— the finished work of the cross, the revealing of the eternal covenant between Father, Son, and Spirit. Therefore, we must be overly cautious in our approach and filtering towards these writings by any certain eschatological means. Jesus as anything other than he presented himself to be, should be our last filter instead of our self-inclined first.
Our primary filter for interpreting any scripture which should always be:
How does “this ” (insert catrostrophic bible verse here) fit into the revealing of Jesus as the exact representation of the Father?
Truth is, we all want to believe that some part of God is *right-now* ready to separate the wheat from the weeds…the goats from the sheep. We all want to watch the bad people get what they deserve and the good people “raptured” (in some way or another) to get what we think “we” deserve. The challenge we must come to accept is this, while there is undeniable truth in the parables of judgement and kingdom which Jesus taught, there are also undeniable truths of unending mercy and grace…and none of us—NOBODY, really knows how far and to what ends (if any) Triune Love extends.
Bottom line, eschatology generally becomes a barometer of who “God” is to someone:
– Apocalyptic wrath and bloodied sword vengeance = Angry retributive God.
– Metaphorical language of blending prophets, history, and the conquering of all darkness = Happy merciful God.
– (and countless blends in-between)
I personally tend to think that we all (literally every single person) will have to walk through the narrow gate of physical death. There is not a viable sparing from this ending, (not from what I can find with any biblical certainty); and to me, it makes beautiful sense!
We must die in order to live. We must lose in order to win. We must become lost in order to be found. We must fall in order to overcome. We must become last to be made first… this backward system is the Way of Jesus!
It’s what he taught, lived, and breathed. Jesus takes what is dead and resurrects it back into life! He alone is our tangible, testable example of God…the perfect reflection of the Creator. If resurrection is what Jesus does, then, resurrection is what God does!
This is the greatest walk of faith anyone (perhaps outside the likes of Elijah, Enoch, and Moses) can and will ever take. Trusting God fully in our most weak and desperate final moment, the last hint of your assured self… The very end, when we cannot control what is coming next… To accept (or reject) His perfect Love and wide-open embrace on the other side of the grave.
To me, this moment is the Revelation reunion of heaven and earth, where perfect grace restores all unrighteousness and transforms everything into resolved glory. For us to live openly free in the eternal dance of unseparated union with God in paradise…Better than Eden could have ever been, because here, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil will now have fully served its perfect role, established by Love, with Love, in Love from before the beginning of time.
So, I’m not sure how literally or figuratively the end-times will play out. To me, I now see the idea of the “Second Coming” from a “was, is, and is still to come“, perspective. There is NO separation between God and the focus of his love: You and me, now or forever… (and there never really was).
It’s a progressive revelation, a patient exposition. The Holy Spirit gently correcting the perversion of humanity’s mind, where we choose to believe everything but the hard to believe simple truth…the Truth where your spirit of faith was designed to dwell:
God really is Love, and you are wholly included in it.