The Beginning and the End

 

Introduction: Everything has a beginning and an end. When we focus on the life of any given organism we know that it must be born and once born it must die. This is something we can understand. How hard it is for us to grasp not only the end of time, but the beginning of all that is. In part, this is why apocalyptic literature is so difficult for many of us. We hear these incredible word pictures and it is almost impossible for us to really understand what the author is trying to convey. We also should remember that this literature was written to give hope to those who were suffering persecution such as those in the early church did under Nero.

I) In Luke’s apocalypse, he talks about the end of not only our own lives, but the death of the earth, the planets, and the stars. All that is will cease to exist. What Luke is sharing with us is the end of the physical world as we know and understand it. This is the world we are most at home in and the world we have come to believe is the source of all that can be understood.

II) The question then arises what will take the place of the physical world? There seemingly are no new moons, planets, suns, or galaxies that will fill this void. Most especially, what is our role in this scenario? Do we as Christians have anything to offer to those around us?

III) Our temptation may well be to recall Ecclesiastes and along with the author of that work proclaim: “Let us eat and drink and make merry for tomorrow we die.” This is hardly a Christian approach and misses the mark in what we are called to do with our lives. God gave His life for us due to His great love for us. The insight we as Christians can witness to is that the physical world is only part of the entire creation. We must not overlook the spiritual world. This world though unseen and elusive is none the less real. What we do in the physical world impacts our spiritual lives and what we do with our spirit – how we pray, worship, and learn about God – will have an impact on what we do in the physical world. I believe what we do on this earth matters. We are given but a little time to do what we can to help others and make the world a better place. Our call then is to transform the world to be a mirror of heaven. As part of this transformative process we must be willing to stand in opposition to the world. For we are told that having more is better than having less; the first in line is better than being last; and life is better than death; where as in the spiritual realm we are told the reverse is true.