Once again I have noticed a discrepancy between myself and the Scriptures.
Shocking, I know.
When I think about living in the final days or the fact that it’s getting closer to the time of Jesus’ return, I most often feel doom and gloom. “Life’s going to get difficult!”. I’m terrified of what my family is going to face. What does this mean for my children? What terrible situations is the Church going to experience and how will we make it?
That’s usually where my thoughts go.
But did you know, for the Apostle Paul the fact that the end of the Age was “soon to come” was a reason for excitement, joy, and even a greater fervency in sharing the good news of God’s kingdom?
What’s the difference you ask?
Well, Paul knew his Scriptures and what they said about the age to come:
– God dwelling fully and physically with man in Jerusalem
– God’s kingdom covering the earth and His glory flooding the nations
– The lion and the lamb actually living together in peace and the nations flocking to Israel wanting to learn about and worship the God of Israel
– There will be peace for all and justice and righteousness will abound
– There will be no more wars, no more famine, no more struggles. Finally shalom, peace, a wholeness
Paul didn’t focus on what he thought would be a short time before his Messiah returned to rule and reign from Jerusalem. He focused on the long-term, where it was all going in the end, the culmination of the ages; the time when the Covenant promises to Israel were finally and totally fulfilled and all the nations blessed beyond compare because of that; the new Covenant fully in effect so no one needs a teacher because everyone knows God; the Torah written on people’s hearts so they’re able to obey it completely; no more sin, no more death, no more destruction.
When Paul talked about the end of age and living in the final days that’s where his thoughts mainly dwelt. And no wonder! What an amazing time that will be! How much more encouraging and uplifting are those thoughts rather than my own that too often cause me to lay awake at night terrified and worried about the future?
Believer, I don’t know what the short-term future holds and I won’t pretend to. I do, however, know what your long-term future holds: glory beyond compare, peace, faithfulness, joy that abounds, a fullness that leaves you overflowing and not empty, eternity with your God at His feet, worshiping, loving and adoring Him, and blessed all the more because of it! May we learn to focus on that. How absolutely amazing that sounds!