Every week it seems that there is a new preacher, televangelist, or “numerologist” proclaiming that the end is here. If you walk around many cities or college campuses you will find someone screaming that, “The End is Nigh!”
It seems like everyone is looking for “the end of the world.”
Like we will miss it or something.
Christianity teaches that the end of things will be a noisy, noisy day. We won’t miss it. It’s a day that will come. We just don’t know when. It will be on us like a “thief in the night.” But it won’t be quiet. You absolutely will not miss it. I promise.
So what do we know about the end? We know that Jesus will come back, bodily and personally. We know that when he does he will judge the living and the dead. We also know that he will reconcile the world and make all things new.
Check out this bit from Revelation 21,
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:1–5
There was “no longer any sea” means that all the chaos of the world was gone. Everything was set to rights and order.
How amazing will it be to hear, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
This calls us back to Jesus being called, “Emanuel” or “God with us.”
The promise of the culmination of time for the Christian is not “escape.” It is the opposite, it is eternal presence.
If eternity is about “presence” then how does that shape who we are and what we do now?
It means that we are to be present. We must open spaces for one another and others in our lives. To be present in the lives of those around us is what it means to pray, “Your kingdom come.” When we are present in the lives of one another and others, we are bringing the kingdom to bear right here, right now.