Growing up, I was absolutely terrified of the end times. It was the 90’s and Left Behind was everywhere. My mom read them and I ended up reading the YA versions of the books. Every night I would close my eyes and pray not to be left behind. The fear that at literally any moment the trumpets would sound and everyone I knew (my social circle was fairly small, as a homeschool kid in a small town in Arizona) would vanish and suddenly Nicolae Carpathia would become a real person.
It saddens me to know that there will have been countless kids whose stories haven’t turned out the same as mine has. I’m 31 now and I’m an overseas missionary. The apocalypse and its associated fear-mongering didn’t result in me abandoning the hope of the gospel. This is an act of God and I think it can only be found on the fact that the gospel is actually good news. The gospel means that the end is good news.
Right now, one of the most frustrating things that I see online is people not realising what the end of everything means for Christians. But before I go further, let me first state that I don’t believe that what we are seeing is any more a sign of the very end than Nero’s reign was a sign of the very end. Global pandemics are not new. Microchips are just another form of technology, they aren’t a sign of worshipping the devil. Vaccines are not the government’s way of tracking its citizens. Unfettered use of social media and a failure to manage privacy settings means that no government needs to try that hard to know what its people are up to.
Ok, here’s why the end is good news.
Jesus is coming back
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (ESV)Acts 1:11
The Jesus who lived a sinless life on the behalf of sinful people is coming back. The Jesus who died a sinner’s death on the behalf of sinful people is coming back. The Jesus who rose from the grave and conquered death and the enemy is coming back. The Jesus who did all of this to save you is coming back.
That’s what the end means. The end isn’t about Christians losing their status or privilege in a world that has been actively seeking their destruction since the fall. The end is about God’s people being reunited with their Saviour.
The end means no more suffering
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (ESV)Revelation 21:4
In 2016, my wife and I suffered a miscarriage. This little life that had been growing within her was suddenly gone. It was one of the most painful experiences that we have ever had. We had so much hope and joy from the expectation of a new member of our family.
And one day, it was gone.
But we are not without hope because one day there will be no more pain. One day, we will get to see this life that we were so excited for. Our family will be reunited and it will be better than it ever could have been here on earth. It will be better because we will be together with Jesus. We will be together with our Saviour and we will no longer know pain or tears.
stop fearing the end
If you are in Christ, then you cannot be lost.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (ESV)John 10:29
So much of the fear that I see around ”the end” is a fear of being caught unawares. It was my fear as a child reading Left Behind. But the thing is, our hope is not in our ability to keep our salvation.
Our hope is that we have a Saviour who keeps his promises. So, while we press on in the faith, we press on with the assurance that the Holy Spirit is at work in us and is preparing us for the day we meet our God.