The beginning of the end – November 22, 2020
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
To better understand the end of time, it may help to consider its beginning. After all, the One who started it will end it.
We have lived our lives with mountains, oceans, and stars in place. It’s hard to imagine them not being there. They impact our lives. They brush off our feeble attempts to control them. We have learned we are at their mercy if they threaten us.
Their size and power may impress us, but we do not seem to impress them. They threaten us with earthquakes, hurricanes, and radiation as if we do not exist.
But the One who made them and controls them, he knows about us.
He has taken the time to tell us what he thinks about us. What he says is worrisome before it becomes wonderful.
We began as nothing at a time when this universe was nothing. When he started what now is, we were not in it. We could not be. We would not have wanted to be.
Out of nothing came something: a creation. It started without form, without light, but with God upon the waters.
Before time was, before creation was, before mankind was, God was. If all that exists now would cease to exist, he would still be.
So, would we!
The reality is that we will exist forever—either with the Lord God or without him.
To exist apart from him is the punishment assigned to fallen angels. The same punishment awaits all those who leave earthly life joined in spirit with them.
That is the worrisome part.
We understand those who rebel against the Maker of heaven and earth. We were born among them. We were born one of them. What’s worse, we still find ourselves carrying out acts of rebellion at times. The common name for that rebellion is sin.
We are sinners.
When time ends, we could find ourselves locked forever in what Jesus called, “outer darkness” where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12).
We then might wish we had never been born, or that the world had never been created.
But we have been born—and reborn—while in this creation.
The wonder is, the miracle is, that if all this creation were now destroyed, the children of God will be forever with him. They became his children when the Holy Spirit created faith in their hearts. For many, that happened when they were baptized as a baby. For some, like the thief on the cross, it took place a half-step before death.
At some time, it happened to us. Our faith in him testifies that we are his children.
That is the wonderful part.
The purpose of creation is to allow the Creator to be glorified and his people to share in his bliss and glory.
When we look back to the beginning of time, we see God. When we look forward to the end of time, we see God.
The banner that is strung across the band of time from start to finish carries the words, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
He makes sense of it all. He is in control of it all. He is Jesus. He tells us, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End “(Revelation 22:13).
With him, we need fear neither the beginning nor the end of anything. Nor need we ever fear the beginning of the end of everything.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, without you, life would only end in death. With you is the beginning of life that never ends. Accept now our heartfelt thanks and our life of service in your kingdom. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
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