The end of the age is filled with great hope
Good day faithful ones,
I am starting, I believe being led by Holy Spirit, a series of devotionals on the “end of the age”, literally the consummation of this current time in history, when all things come together to its predestined conclusion. As I was reading through Matthew 24, I noticed the repetition of the word “end”. What is the end, and when will it happen? If there is an end, there must have been a beginning. And if there was a beginning, there must be Someone who is orchestrating the whole series of events from start to finish. When Jesus left the temple in Matthew 24:1, He clearly tells of a time when the temple would come to an end, and every stone torn down (Matt. 24:2). The disciples could not imagine their sacred temple torn down, which prompts them to ask a series of questions regarding the future, all the way to the “end of the age”. It is a question that fascinates all of us – what does the future hold? Jesus then launches into the “Olivet Discourse” (because it happens on the mount of Olives), to explain how the “end of the age” will come about. Sadly, this passage in Matthew 24-25 has caused more division and arguments than we can count. It is sad because we fight over the timing of events and miss the heart of the message that “the end” is inevitable, and we need to remain faithful till “the end” arrives. (Mt. 24:13).If the end is coming…how now shall I live? That will be a discussion for a future writing, but for now, let’s just focus on “the end of the age” as a reality.
This term ‘synteleias’ means a culmination or completion; literally when all the parts come together as a whole, not to stop everything dead in its tracks, but to usher in a new era. I can probably safely assume that we are all at a point in life where we are eagerly desiring a new era to come – “stop the bus, I want to get off”. As we continue to read Matthew 24, we seem to be living in a time when many of these predictions (signs) of “the end” are being realized in our own era. I recently spoke to several non-Christians at a birthday party and the topic of conversation was the condition of our world. It seems to be on many people’s heart…rightly so - We are living in volatile, precarious times. Yet…God is on the move! And… He is bringing everything to its intended conclusion…into a new era of the reign of our King and His kingdom. I believe it is time for followers of Jesus to stop playing church and get in line with the plan of God to bring about the kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15).
This term “end of the age” appears 6 times in the New Testament: 5 times in Matthew (13:39, 40, 49; 24:3; 28:20) and Hebrews 9:26. In Matthew 13, the passage speaks of a time when the angels of God will separate the wheat from the tares, the wicked from the righteous. In Hebrews 9, we learn there is a beginning: “the foundation of the world”, and a “consummation of the ages”(NASB) when Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world. Now this is very interesting since it defines the “end of the age” beginning when Jesus “manifested” (appeared) upon the earth. We are living in the end times as many of the New Testament writers declare, meaning it is no wonder things seem to be escalating so quickly towards the “last days”. They have been building for 2000 years, like birth pangs just before delivery time (Matt. 24:8).
The passage in Hebrews directs us toward what our focus ought to be until the completion of God’s plan in order to fill us with hope. For in the middle of a world that is rapidly escalating towards the inevitable chaos Jesus describes in Matthew 24, the author of Hebrews writes, “so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him” (Hebrews 9:28). The joy of the follower of Jesus, in the middle of a rapidly declining world is the appearance of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Lord and King. He is our blessed hope, and we will see Him face to face one day, even soon! Until that day, our last passage where we find the term “end of the age” is found in Matt. 28:20 where Jesus says, “Behold! Surely, I am with you always, even to the end of the age!” What a great promise! Jesus wants us to “behold” - perceive, know, and see with our mind by faith that He is always present with us to get us through the “end of the age” until we are safely home with Him! Praise God we are living in the last days for we are that much closer to our heavenly destination. Until the very end…we keep our eyes on Jesus and walk with Him until He takes us to be with Him. Remember the “end of the age” is the beginning of eternity with Christ!
Have a blessed week!
"Advancing the Kingdom of God by releasing Spirit-filled followers to serve Jesus in freedom and joy."