Monday, November 30, 2009

Fear of the End – Part 3

In earlier posts I wrote about the fear of dying and the fear of the End Times. In this post I continue about the End Times and then wrap up.

2. Why We Shouldn’t Be Afraid

If we are getting close to the End Times, shouldn’t we be afraid? I believe one major reason why we shouldn’t be afraid is that followers of Christ will be removed from the scene before things get really bad. The Apostle Paul clearly tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. NIV

This taking up in the air is called The Rapture. The hymn “I Know Whom I Have Believed” refers to the Rapture:

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air. (emphasis added)


Life on earth is difficult, although we have the assurance that this life ends in triumph for followers of Jesus Christ. We go on to something much better. As we approach the End Times, there will be an intensifying of the bad things that already happen too much on this earth already. But we won’t be around when things really get nasty, because of the Rapture. Eventually those End Times events give way to final victory in Christ, and we read about what will take place in Revelation 21:1-4:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”

So as Christians we have nothing to fear from death or the End Times, but instead we can look forward to the fulfillment of God’s plan. And thanks be to God, we are beneficiaries of that plan, and we share in Christ’s victory over sin and death. So let us look forward with eager anticipation to feasting at long last at that heavenly banquet.

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