This is the one-hundred-seventy-ninth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.
“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, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:27-28
Do you worry about the end of the world and think about what will happen then? What do you think will happen to you?
Of course, a lot of people don’t think much about it, assuming they’ll be dead and gone long before any apocalyptic events unfold. Or, as a character in an American comic strip said: “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”
Everybody wonders about the end of the world in one way or another. Scientists predict the sun will run low on energy, become unstable, and expand into a red giant that will engulf the earth. Don’t worry about that happening soon, though. The sun is going to be fine for another five billion years. Other scientists warn that a massive asteroid could collide into the earth at almost any time—and they can’t track such objects until the last minute. And since the advent of nuclear weapons, people have worried about humanity unleashing the demons and engulfing the earth in deadly radioactivity.
When Jesus’ followers asked him about the end, Jesus had a specific and certain reply. He said wars and revolutions will come and go. Kingdom will rise against kingdom. There will be earthquakes, famines, and pestilences. And persecution. But in the final analysis, the end of the world as we know it will not be an accidental cataclysm—it will be the intentional act of God drawing this history to an end and beginning a new era with a new creation. The Son of God will come with “power and great glory” and that’s when final redemption draws near. Remember, redemption means to be freed by someone able to purchase your freedom. On the final day the world will see Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, free his people from one world to be released in glory into another.
Throughout today, do this exercise: when you see something good or beautiful (a part of the creation, a person you appreciate, a good conversation), say to yourself: “Better than this.” Use this phrase to remind yourself that the new creation will be better than the very best we experience in this life.
[See previous – Who Will Make Me Free?]
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Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s teaching pastor. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel’s many books include Spiritual Leadership Today: Having Deep Influence in Every Walk of Life (Zondervan, 2016). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.