Most people who are familiar with the prophecies about the end of time will recognize the certainty of extreme catastrophic events before the end of the present age. The Bible uses three pictures to help us navigate the tumult of the final events: sealed scrolls opened (social dysfunctions and catastrophic events unfold), bowls of rage poured out (catastrophic upheavals unfold ), trumpets blown (catastrophic events unfold). The unprecedented nature of the three series has led to the word apocalypse being treated as simply destructive, but the word still means unveiling or revelation.
The Revelation is about Jesus and it is from Jesus. So it would be sensible to hear what he has to say about the time of the end (TTOTE).
His disciples had taken a good look at the temple complex buildings and were in wonder as to how beautiful things were and shared their amazement with him.
He did observe the temple complex and remarked (Matthew 24:22b) Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.
Then privately the disciples (Matt. 24:3) wanted the schedule, asking, “when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” In answer to those questions, our Lord predicted a series of national and international events and this forecast.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. Matthew 24:21
History and Christ’s story
Who can sit and listen to the fascinating preview of history, those mindboggling scenes in the Book of Revelation or the Book of Daniel and not be totally amazed as a child listening to a story told by a great storyteller would be? Christ has a story to tell. Assuredly, his infancy, flight from assassination attempt attempts, ministry to the people, opposition to his destiny, death, burial and resurrection are all vital to his narrative, but it is not all about him. His story includes our tenuous grip on life. Persecution and the list of birthpangs should sober us up. His story is the one that covers history with accuracy and authority. Everything happens exactly as he said it would and and when he says it will happen.
So as we are watching earthquakes, famines, pestilence, deception and international wars and rumours of war increase in frequency and intensity we are encouraged that that our priest-king is moving to the finale of history.
Attitudes for Troublesome Times
Avoid the ignorant and deceived. Stop being afraid and stop being troubled. Troubled people are not conducive to growth and security. According to the Lord’s forecast, neither we nor our abcesturs have seen anything yet. Troubles need not trouble us. Terrifying scenarios need not terrify us. The disturbing things need not disturb us. Criticism need not make us critical (being condemned does not mean we should walk around slamming the gavel on everyone).
Remember, it is just when that unprecedented crisis arrives that deliverance comes.
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
I am planning to be around to see our sun go supernova, which in the realm of the natural is millions of years away and a spectacle of immense proportions. The reliability of Bible prophecy needs no help from natural science. My faith says, “God is our refuge”.