Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christ's Teaching about the End of the World

Why Christ's Teaching about the End of the World is Not Popular with Many Christians

Christ's teaching about the end of the world, isn't "worldly" enough for some Christians. People's curiosity is such that they crave to know more than they are meant to know. Christ taught that no one knows when the end would come (except, God, the Father). [Matthew 24:36] Yet, there are those who claim to know. This year, there was the big news by the Rev. Harold Camping that the end of the world would come at a specific date, [5/21/11] - but that day came and passed without incident.


Human nature is such that it craves for a super hero to fulfill fleshly and earthly wishes. People think that there is a perfect political leader who could and / or will make this world so much better and wholesome.

Christ's teaching about the end of the world doesn't give the details some Christians would like - so, they are sinfully prone to fill in the details. [Proverbs 30:6] Human imagination is quite capable of filling in the blanks. Especially, when it comes to the Bible, some Christians take liberty and misinterpret what Scripture actually says. They will add human reasoning and embellish certain Bible passages, not taking into account the clear passages of Scripture which don't give credence to their end of the world ideas and speculations.

Present day Christians repeat the same (type of) error as the Jewish people of Christ's (earthly) day. They will equate the "Kingdom of God" with a future earthly (millennial) rule of Christ. Yet, Christ, himself, stated to Pontius Pilate (in very clear words):


"....My kingdom is not of this world...." [KJV] John 18:36-37

And, in other places of Scripture, we are taught that Christ's Kingdom is not material, but an eternal spiritual reality:

"Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. [KJV] Psa 45:6

"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."[KJV] Hebrews 1:8

".....Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this....." [KJV] Isaiah 9:7

"....for the kingdom of God is.....righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost [Spirit]..." [KJV] Romans 14:17

".....Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins..... [KJV] Colossians 1:12-14

Please note Christ's words recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 25:31-46:

Christ's kingdom is spiritual and eternal. Nowhere in the historical literary record of Christ's words can an intelligent [reader] person, honestly conclude that Christ was talking about an earthly kingdom. Christ's words strictly refer to an abrupt end to the world as we know it and then the divine pronouncement (sentence / judgment) of the righteous and unrighteous for the duration of eternity. Those Christians, who teach a “millennial” earthly 1,000 year reign of Christ upon earth, do so with ignoring (and / or, perversion) of clear Scripture passages.

Christ’s “kingdom” is intended to bring spiritual healing, and spiritual well being, - not a materialistic (earthly, "human like" type) rule (dominion) of glory:

"....Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins......" [KJV] Colossians 1:12-14

".....For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ....." [KJV] 2 Corinthians 4:6

"...... To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me......" [KJV] Acts 26:18

".....These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." [KJV] John 16:33

Why Christ's Teaching about the End of the World is not popular with Many Christians

Christ's (Gospel recorded) teaching, and, Scripture's teaching, is the antithesis [opposite] of the desire of some Christians to anticipate a glorious and victorious Christ, finally, coming back to earth to finalize his authority and rule, reigning in a thousand year dominion as an earthly potentate. What is often the case with Christians, is, that Christians often give in to their old fallen (sinful) nature and discount the spiritual, over the [material] worldly. [Romans 12:1-2] They do not set their eyes (of faith) on the spiritual, but, rather, (sinfully) focus on the natural. Colossians 3:1f

Also, what is often missed and ignored, by many Christians, is that Christ's victory over sin, death and the devil was accomplished at Golgotha’s Cross, approximately 2000 years ago. That, was the focus of His coming, - to be born as a special perfect human being, living as the (sinless) God / Man, to complete the mission and sacrifice activity for which he was called and sent [John 6:38]:

"..... But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain....." [KJV] Galatians 4:4-11

Note: See also – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

You, ["unsaved"] unregenerate (unconverted) sinner:

You may take glee that this whole Biblical teaching of Scripture about the end of the world finds itself an issue of great controversy among various Christian groups. But, for a moment, deflect your Schadenfreude (gloating / glee type) thinking of Christians.

Attempt to seriously concentrate on your own sorry situation and pathetic circumstance. What are you going to do when the end of the world comes, (should it come within your lifetime) – or, at the end of your life, if and when you are not prepared to meet your Maker?

What will you do in your last gasps of breath? Do you think that you can sweep away a whole lifetime of denying your Creator God by a swift death bed confession of sin and then be converted? I will tell you that having ministered to those on their death beds, there are as few death bed confessions and conversions as there are, hen’s teeth. The Scripture warns and proclaims that “now is the day of salvation!” Don’t feel as though there is always time and opportunity to make your peace with God and be reconciled to your fellowman. Don’t put off dealing with the sinful disease of sin that has afflicted your lifetime soul from birth until your dying day! Isaiah 55:6-7

Search for spiritual wisdom in the divine revelation of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures [Proverbs 1:1f] Realize that you cannot leave this world thinking that you’ve been a good person which will qualify for a holy heaven. Know that God rejects sinners from his holy eternal home, and that you need [Christ’s] perfection to enter in! Matthew 22:1-14 ; Philippians 3:8-9

See yourself as a wretched sinner who needs perfect cleansing from all your sins against God and your fellow human beings! [Luke 15:11-32] Cry out to God to have mercy upon your pathetic and sinful soul! [Luke 18:9-14] Read and hear the Scriptures which are able to make you “wise to salvation” [2 Timothy 3:14-17] and which are able to work faith into your heart to believe [Romans 10:17] in the historical Christ, whose special birth and perfect life was holy Creator God’s perfect sacrifice for all of your damning sins. [Isaiah 53:1f ; John 3:14-21]

And, finally, may you, be counted (by God’s Grace) to be one of heaven’s redeemed!

Amen.

Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:


Related Scriptures To the Above Message

Scriptures:

Luke 17:20-24 ; Matthew 24:23-29 – Christ, in His own Gospel (recorded) words describes the awful conditions preceding the end of the world and how His disciples would be treated. Please note that there is no suggestion of an earthly (millennial) reign of Christ, as some Christians would believe and have others, believe.


Matthew 25:31-46 – The end of the world in Christ’s own Gospel (recorded) words

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.


Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3
2 -- How the saving (believing) process of the Christian Faith takes place
3 -- What are the tell-tale signs that a person has been “Saved” [is a Christian]



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