Final Act

Final Act

Author: The Rev. Dr. David Bridges, Priest
November 18, 2020

 In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus’ disciples ask Him, “What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” Jesus describes what the world will be like when the “end” comes: “… many will fall away [from the faith] and they will betray one another and hate one another … And because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matt 24:10 & 12)

The key question here is, what will be the sign of the “end”. The Greek word used was “Eschaton”, literally meaning, “the final act”. The disciples were asking when the final act in the story of the Kingdom of God will happen. 

In the first part of the story, the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament, the message centers on God’s promise to send “Savior” and “Messiah” to redeem humankind from the law of sin and death.

In the second part of the story, the Greek Scriptures, or New Testament, Jesus is the key figure proven to fulfill that promise, but that was not the end of the story. As we read and re-read scripture we are looking for ways to make that ancient and inspired message real for today.

We encourage people by the promises of salvation by grace, and we lift them up to be the best they can be. We work to inspire one another to achieve the greatness that has been implanted in all of us.

Meanwhile, we must acknowledge one fact: there is an end to the story. Jesus continues, “But the one[s] who endure to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to the nations; and then the end (eschaton) will come.” (Matt. 24:13 & 14)

Eschaton is defined as: “The final event in the divine plan; the end of the world.” Jesus continues, “… the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then the sign of [Jesus] will appear… and [all] will see [Jesus] coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matt. 24:29b-30)

Is that day closer than we realize? We have turned one against another. We are at war with each other. We are casting earthquakes of distrust and hatred at each other. We have become so polarized that our Nation could break out in a form of civil war or revolution.

Jesus told his disciples, and us, that this is what would happen just before His coming in power and great glory to judge the living and the dead. Do we want Jesus to catch us hating one another after He advised us to love one another? Do we want Jesus to find us lacking in spiritual strength at such a critical time as this? Think about it.

Blessings and Peace to You All,
Fr. David+


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