Home> The Lower Lights> July 2003

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  Alan Jones, Editor

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"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48186     

Volume 3                                                                             July 2003                                                                                    No1 

 

"THE END"

 

   There is much speculation about “the end.”  Many books, movies, and sermons interpret today’s events as signs that “the end” is near.  But, what does the Bible say about “the end”?

              In “the end”, the Lord Jesus Christ will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels       (1 Cor 1:7-8; 2 Thess 1:6-7).  Jesus’ coming is said to be at “the end” because His coming will bring this world to an end.  The universe as we know it will be destroyed. (2 Pet 3:3-12).  How can we be sure?  In the days of Noah, God promised to destroy the world by water.  He kept that promise.  By that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire. In that fire, even the elements that make up this world will melt with fervent heat.  Some wonder if man will blow the world up with an atomic bomb, but the fire God uses to melt the elements will make the atomic bomb look like a firecracker!

              At Jesus’ coming or at “the end”, all will be made alive.  Cemeteries will be emptied, as men will be raised with imperishable bodies.  Those who are alive will have their bodies made imperishable as well.  Jesus will put death, the last enemy, under His feet.  Having put all things in subjection to Himself, He will turn the kingdom (rule or reign) back to the Father who gave it to Him. (1 Cor 15:20-27; 50-53)  (What a point of contrast we find when we compare the Bible tea-ching about “the end” with the popular teaching of today.  The Bible says that Jesus’ reign will end when He comes,  while theories of men have  Jesus reigning for 1000 years after He comes!)

 

                 Jesus is coming with His angels, not only to raise every man, but also to repay every man according to his deeds (Mt 16:27).  While all men are raised with imperishable bodies, their eternal destiny will depend on how they lived before God while they were in their earthly bodies. (2 Cor 5:10).  Those who did good deeds will come forth to a resurrection of life, while those who commit-ted evil deeds will come forth to a resurrection of condemnation. (Jn 5:28-29)

                 All nations will be gathered before Jesus and all men (whether dead or alive at His coming- 2 Tim 4:1) will be separated as the shepherd sepa-rates the sheep from the goats. (Mt 25:31-33).  The Lord will bring to light things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts (1 Cor 4:5).  He will hand out two sentences, one of eternal life (eternal fellowship with Him) or eternal punishment (eternal separation away from His presence). (Mt 25:46) Yes, the “last day” will be a day of judgment. (Jn 12:48; Acts 17:31)

                 Don’t be fooled by the “pseudo-scholars” with their wild and fanciful theories about “the end”.  Read your Bible for yourself.  Believe and act according to these simple truths about “the end”.  Do not follow after men who twist the more difficult passages of the Scripture to make them say something far different than the simple passages above.  Know for certain that when they excite people by comparing their perverted view of Scripture to current events in their books, movies, sermons, they do so to their own destruction. (2 Pet 3:16)

 

ARE YOU READY FOR "THE END"?

The focus of the New Testament teaching about “the end” is not about when “the end” will come, but on being prepared for “the end”.  As to when “the end” will come, the Scriptures tell us “the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.” (1 Thess 5:2-3). Thieves give no warning before they break in.  The onset of a woman’s labor pains is sudden and unpredic-table.  Don’t be fooled by all those who say, “the end is near”.  There will be no signs and those who predict the end today will be found to be wrong tomorrow just as all such false prophets before them.

            In view of the sudden manner of the Lord’s coming, the exhortation of Paul is to be alert and sober, living in the light and not the darkness       (1 Thess 5:4-11).  After speaking of the earth’s destruction, Peter asks, “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the day of God?” (2 Pet 3:11).  John admonishes, “Abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His  coming.” (1 Jn 2:28)

            Paul preached a lesson about “the end” that caused the governor Felix to tremble (Acts 24:24-25).  In this sermon, Paul applied spiritual

 

CPR to a spiritually dead man.  In preaching righteous-ness, he made him Conscious of the fact that God expected certain conduct of him.  In preaching self-control, he then Pricked Felix’s heart with guilt as he convicted him of his sin.  Finally, in preaching the judgment, Paul urged the governor to be Ready to meet God in the day of judgment when his eternal sentence would be handed out.  Sadly, though Felix saw where he stood with God enough to be scared, he put Paul off until later and did nothing to prepare for “the end”.  Paul’s effort to bring him to life failed.   He remained in his sins, spiritually dead and headed for hell, the second death, the lake of fire (Rev 20:14-15)

            Let thoughts of “the end” move you to obey the gospel of Christ. While the earth stands, before Jesus comes, and before you stand before Him in judgment, believe in Jesus and confess this belief with your mouth (Rom 10:9-10), repent of your sins, and be baptized (Acts 2:38) so that your sins will be forgiven.  The blood that Jesus shed on the cross for you will save you from God’s wrath (Rom 5:9).  Instead, you will have “life”, a relationship with God that begins now and lasts forever.  After your baptism, be on the alert, live godly, always prepared for Jesus’ coming and for “the end” that will come suddenly and unexpec-tedly.

            If we can help you to make preparations for “the end”, please write, call, or email today!



 

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