The End of the Age
The Wrap up of Human History
We’re now living in the time of human history that is far past the fullness of Creation, the fall of Adam and Eve, and millennia of human cultures, civilizations, and history since then. We have seen the Flood, the emergence of the tribe of Israel and its captivity in Egypt, and the Exodus of God’s people under the leadership of Moses. We have seen the kingdoms of Israel and Judah rise and fall and the appearance of many pagan societies and religions around the world. Jesus has come proclaming the Kingdom of God, healing the sick, raising up and commissioning disciples, and founding His church. We have seen Christianity spread over the entire planet in the presence of other competing systems of belief. We have had hopes for the continual progress of human society arise during the Enlightenment only to be brutally challenged by two savage world wars and numerous deadly conflicts that have brought us to where we are now.
In “Alpha” we examined the origins of our Universe and the beginnings of human life on the planet. Throughout the “Kingdom” section we have looked at how we as humans have handled many of the challenges of learning how to live together on our Earth. Now it’s time to move into the future.
Theologians and scholars have multiple, rather clearly defined (see Definitions), perspectives on what may happen during the time ahead and how and in what manner God will remain involved in human affairs. It’s clear that human society has gone through some serious transitions over the millennia, some positive and some negative, and has learned a lot over the years, some of which has been more helpful than other. Now what?
The Day of the Lord Will Come
Is this an important subject? We’ve just seen Jesus’ lucid, sober, and thorough response to His disciples’ question about the End of the Age in the Omega page that introduces this section. Let’s go on to read what Peter, one of the first 12 disciples to follow Jesus throughout His earthly ministry, had to say about the end of the age:
This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:1-13
Or we may choose any of a number of passages from the “Old Testament” or Tanakh, like the following one written by the prophet Isaiah at the time of his divine calling around 740 BCE:
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the Lord removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.”
The holy seed is its stump. Isaiah 6:8-13
What we will be covering here
Following our beginning “Alpha” and middle “Kingdom” sections, our last or “Omega” section will cover from where we are in history now and look ahead through the eyes of prophesy right up to the events of the Tribulation and into the End of the Age or Day of the Lord, the Millennial Kingdom, and the Final Judgment that usher in the New Heavens and New Earth presented so dramatically in the book of Revelation. My instructions are similar to those that were given to the prophet in Habakkuk 2:2-3:
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
The main differences are that today’s “tablets” are made of bits on the Internet, not clay, that we are much closer to the end times than Habakkuk was, and that my credentials as a prophet fall far short of his. Hopefully we will have time in closing to do some even more free-form speculation about what life will be like on the other side of the Final Judgment.