This is How it Starts

I’ve had a few people ask me recently, “do you think this is the end times?” The context for their question had more to do with the world’s fight against Israel and how we know Israel remains a key figure—and a controversial one—up until the last days.

But even without that context, is it difficult to imagine that the world we live in today might be rapidly approaching its end as we know it? That the labor pains we are warned about (1 Thessalonians 5:3) are the pains we see on the news right now? Our once perfect, now fallen world is groaning for redemption. It is easy to imagine that this world—just like us—is anxiously longing for God to swoop down and make it new again.

“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

Right now, it might feel like the world is rapidly deteriorating into a wasteland. We know God uses the wilderness often. He moved His chosen people around the wilderness for 40 years. He called Jesus into the wilderness to commune with Him. We often feel parched and sunburnt in wildernesses of our own—and it’s oftentimes that it is right there where we learn the lesson we’ve needed to learn, or right then that we feel His presence deeper and more closely than we had before. Perhaps that is God’s plan—maybe the world is becoming more of a wilderness so that when His rivers spring forth, the transformation will be drastic and incredible and glorifying!

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

Do you perceive it? I do.

It’s easy to believe that this—what we are witnessing here today—this could be how it ends. Jesus spoke of the end in quite a bit of detail (see Mark 13).

We serve an awesome and eternal God! Even the word “eternal” almost feels too small and restrictive to capture how truly boundless our Father is! We know from Genesis 1:1 that our story has a beginning—a beginning that God was already present for.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Psalm 90:2

While we might have a beginning—we also have been offered the free gift of eternal life! In Mark 13:31, Jesus says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” We know our time on earth will come to an end, whether He takes us home early or we ride it out until the end of days. But our end here is only the beginning.

Our life on earth is like a dot along a never-ending, infinitely extending line in God’s eternal realm. God has so beautifully and carefully constructed the story of mankind that He created in His image to glorify and magnify His holy name. Even when we rebelled and ran from Him, He wove such a beautiful tapestry of redemption throughout time and history to reconcile us to Him. He can’t bear the thought of being separated from us for eternity!

What a difference changing our perspective can make. It’s so easy to get caught up in earthly circumstances, to spiral in sync with a world descending into its sin and shame, to have a mindset focused on our present troubles. What if we constantly remembered ourselves to be the eternal beings that we are? That once we exchange our life for Christ’s life in us, we are no longer condemned to death—we will spend all of eternity with Him! It no longer matters how the world ends or what ailments or trials we must endure before then.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The world is aching and despairing. The wasteland is expanding. This might be the end. But for those of us in Christ—this is just the beginning. Let’s take advantage of the wilderness to draw closer to Him while He has us here. Let’s adjust our outlook. Let’s tell as many people as we can about the good news. Let’s live for eternity. This is how it starts.

Scripture cited: 1 Thessalonians 5:3, Revelation 21:5, Isaiah 43:19, Mark 13, Psalm 90:2, Mark 13:31, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
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kellie rogers - June 25th, 2024 at 8:26am

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…”

nThis right here is a promise to cling to when standing in the midst of life’s trials. Thank you for this reminder!