So, I’m sitting around here trying to prepare to begin co-teaching a class on the Revelation to John – something I haven’t taught since teaching a junior high class in Springfield, Missouri almost ten years ago – and I’m suddenly wondering:
“Where does the phrase ‘end of time’ come from?”
Because it sure ain’t in the Bible.
“End of the age” or “world,” yes. “End of all things,” yes. “There shall be no delay any longer,” sure – in heaven as announced by an angel swearing all over the universe to the truth of it.
But no “end of time.”
There’s no “end-time” in there, either.
No single “tribulation,” although there’s one singled out as “great.”
And “rapture” is only hinted at – once, I believe. To mean “caught up,” or “snatched up.”
We sit in our churches and gladly sing “… and time shall be no more,” but shall it?
Won’t there just be a lot more of it in eternity? Won’t it just be a lot different from this age or this world?
I know I’m pickin’ nits here, and mite-y tiny ones at that, but …
What if there really ain’t no “end of time”?
What if death comes to all, except for those whom Jesus and his angels snatch up here and there, now and then; followers who have gone His way, collected by the score and the hundreds and the thousands every minute of every day?
What if we can’t know the day and the hour because it isn’t a single day or a single hour – except for each one of us, individually?
What if God chooses to perpetuate this troubled old globe for another few million years? Will the power of the gospel of Christ diminish to valuelessness over than span? Will technology and democracy and freedom and man’s inherently decent nature finally perfect ol’ planet Earth? Will sin cease to exist? Will people ever create some other way to live forever?
What if God chooses to prove His eternal righteousness to the angels who fell by demonstrating that the good news of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection never loses its capability to draw people close to His heart, even after entropy has increased and the sun has burnt out and mankind has fled to distant worlds orbiting far-flung stars?
What if God maintains for his collected family a new Jerusalem on the new earth within the new heavens on a whole ‘nother playing field of time … where entropy doesn’t increase and bodies are incorruptible and moths don’t consume white robes of righteousness and rust doesn’t ruin heavenly treasure and thieves don’t break in to steal it because they’re changed completely from the heart and besides there’s more than enough to go around for everyone?
Is all of that not a biblical concept, either?
Or is it some kind of revelation?