Wednesday, April 7, 2010
from the Mount of Olives, you can see the end of time--part 3
The Word for today:
Over the last couple of days, we took a look at the most important eschatalogical (end times) prophecy in scripture. It is called the Olivet Discourse, found in Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
Today we will not look at specific prophecy, but at prophetic themes which are so big that we can lose sight of them, as one might lose sight of the forest for the trees.
First, in a very real sense, heaven is all the way from here to there. We can be, right now, in as close a relationship to God as if we'd already been in heaven "10,000 years, bright shining as the sun." The important thing is not that the hour draws closer, but that we draw closer--in trust and obedience--to him. Our eternal relationship with God depends on, and is lived in, the now.
Jesus himself did not know the day nor hour of his return (1). He told us to expectantly watch for that day; but he, slain from the foundation of the world (2), lived out a timeless truth. This may border on the existential, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had a one-day calendar.
Jesus dealt in words bigger than day or hour; Jesus' mind was more often on never and always:
"I will never leave you nor forsake you." (3)
"I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (4)
Why wait for the Second Coming when he is here? Please don't make light of such a question. We can enter into new understanding through the contemplation of silly little questions such as that.
Finally, my birthday is just a few days from now. I will be 57 on April 11. My own, personal end times are "nearer now than when I first begun." I need not wait for the abomination of desolation. I need not look for the lightning, nor listen for the trumpet, because soon enough I will see Jesus in the flesh.
The end time has come for my father, 26 years ago. He may have had a relationship with Jesus. I do not know.
We live on the dash, between the 'born' and 'died' dates on a gravestone. And then the end shall come.
(1) Mark 13:32; (2) Revelation 13:8; (3) Hebrews 13:5; (4) Matthew 28:20