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?
7 thoughts on “Not A Biblical Concept”
raptured>caught-up>tribulation or>just dead after 3 score and 10…>>I just want to be on his side, I want MY TIME to be in his presence praising him and whatever else he wants me to do in New Jerusalem or wherever he wants me to be.
you’re in waters seldom swam by our tribe. But thanks.
Keith, I’ve enjoyed reading your’s and Mike’s and all the commenters on your blogs (mainly his, sorry…) the past couple of days regarding the subject of Revelation. This theory you posit here is one of the ones that I went through on my journey to where I am in my belief about prophetic writings in the Bible. And speaking of being “in waters seldom swam by our tribe”, that’s just the way I feel about the position I stated on Mike’s blog the other day–that of being a dispensationalist among our brotherhood. I told my folks about what I felt was happening in the world right now as it applies to prophecy, and I felt like I was telling them I was gay or something. Mom finally said,”you know, I don’t go in for taking what people write about and basing my understanding of scripture on men’s opinions”. I told her I felt like my way of viewing prophetic language was strictly “it means what it says”, and less influenced by men’s doctrines (insert Replacement Theology, invented when it seemed to church leaders that Israel was no more, and could not possibly return as a nation) than the traditional teachings we have grown up with. She just said, “well, you’ve got a point there.”, and then we went on to baseball or something else mundane. I don’t remember, but it’s clear to me that most don’t agree with me. >>However, to me, the world is indicating that it’s happening as we watch. (For instance, did you know that 2012 is supposed to see the completion of a polar switch on planet earth, something that happens only every ten or so thousand years? A polar switch on the sun only happens once in many times that number of years, and the chances of both occuring simultaneously are infinitessimal. However, guess when the polar reversal on the sun is to occur; yep, 2012. See http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/3023.asp or just google “polar reversal” for several sites that confirm this. The process has already begun, and the magnetic north pole has actually moved across Canada and into Siberia as of now. According to the article I sited, this was the cause of the tsunami last year, and is expected to greatly increase the number and severity of quakes over the coming years. These are scientists saying this, not dispensationalists, but it fits like a glove into what many have been saying would happen about now for over a century, based on prophecy) “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things BEGIN to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, beacause your redemption is drawing near” >>This (the polar reversal) is only one of the signs, and not even one of the stronger indications to me that “THEY” (our dispensationalist friends) are on to something. >>I like djg’s comment above, and know that I can’t any more have all the answers on this than on anything else. What’s more, even if I’m wrong or you’re wrong or everybody’s wrong, being right on this is not something that will determine my final destination. >>But I feel it is good to study this stuff, for the same reason you gave when Dr. Ryan asked you about the Star of David on your umbrella: “In case they’re right.”
I just went back to another site, and the figure I gave on the polar reversal was wrong. It happens about every 750,000 years. Wowsers!! (yet this site says the same thing–it is overdue, and could have been the cause of the tsunami)
Okay Keith, i need to amend my first comment further. (that’s what I get for reciting facts from memory, instead of looking them up while I write) Solar polar reversal occurs much MORE often than terrestrial polar reversal. I must have gotten the two reversed (naturally) and north was south and vice versa, in my writing. However, they are still due to occur simultaneously in 2012, and the People Who Know say the effects should be dramatic, as I stated earlier.
Hey, don: how about a little wager on that? 2012 is just six years away … let’s say if we’re all still around on January 1, 2013 you buy me a dinner at the Heritage.>>And if we’re not, then I have to polish your halo once a week for the first century.>>Deal?>>(Okay … is God sending me a message about this comment? The word verification for it is “bmovi”!)
Deal. That sounds like you’re even giving me odds on that one. (Even giving me Odds? That’s a strange phrase) Dinner at the heritage is nothing compared to having my halo shined for a century.>>Print this out to keep in a safe place. If I win, we won’t be able to access it, so no reason for me to keep it.