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
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
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
ST. ANDREW’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
555 E. Third Street | Grove, OK 74344