Google “end times” and you’ll find all kinds of Christians pedalling images and charts detailing the sequence and chronology of events that surround the apocalyptic conclusion of history. Quite frankly, most of what you find are nothing more than meaningless discussions that overstep the boundaries of Scripture and divert one’s attention from the intent of those very Scriptures — living in the present under the influence of the future.
The fact of the matter that the beginning of the end took place 2,000 years ago with the first coming of Christ.. He proclaimed the coming of God’s “on-earth-as-it-is-in-heaven” Kingdom through his life and introduced that Kingdom through his death and resurrection. In so doing, he began the end, so, we currently live in those “end times.” The conclusion of these “end times” is the preoccupation — dare I say obsession — of too many people who neglect to implement the fullness of the “end times” truths into their everyday living.
In our current sermon series on 1 Corinthians 15, we recently looked at the place of our resurrection at the conclusion of these “end times”…
1 Corinthians 15:22-26 (NIV)
22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
From this passage we can assume the following sequence of these concluding events:
- Jesus Christ returns
- We are resurrected
- Jesus will destroy all dominion, authority, power, and death
- Jesus will hand over the kingdom to God the Father
- The conclusion of the end times
In light of these truths — we didn’t map out this sequence on Sunday — we considered the following “on-earth-as-it-is-in-heaven” implications:
- God cares for the whole person…including our bodies
- Jesus Christ enables us with power to overcome
- We live a transformed life to transform our world
Go ahead…if you want…and jump into the discussion about the “end times.” But be careful! Don’t get deceived by all the garbage that proclaims to be biblical truth. Don’t get distracted by endless speculation. Instead, give yourself to living the truth of the resurrected life that is yours now and in the future through Jesus Christ.