What Happens at the End?
By: Dave Ebert
We humans can be impatient. We binge watch entire seasons of a TV series to see what
happens. We fast-forward through commercials (when possible) to get to the next chapter of a story. We eat fast food and heat most of our meals in microwaves.
Even as kids, we develop the habits of trying to find out what's coming.
What am I getting for Christmas?
What's in the box wrapped for my birthday?
When are we going to Disney?
We are in a hurry to find the end.
But, in my estimation, it's not just impatience, at least not completely.
We, as humans, are also curious.
We are also worriers and prefer to know bad news as opposed to waiting to discover good news. When we don't know, we feel a loss of control. And we don't like to feel like we're out of control or helpless.
This is why we get such a brief idea of what eternity with Jesus will be like. Only two chapters in The Revelation are devoted to some description of eternity.
I believe there three reasons why God's Word isn't more in-depth in describing life with Him in His Holy City, the New Jerusalem.
18 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20 MEV)
First, for God's purpose for our lives, that is, to fulfill The Great Commission, we need to focus on bringing as many as we can with us into that eternity, not what we will be doing with that time. The focus in winning hearts, minds, and souls for The Kingdom is not the fun and benefits of being in Heaven. It's about the need for relationship and the restoration of that relationship through the sacrifice of Jesus. Making Heaven, or the New Jerusalem, an eternal vacation spot is not the reason to follow Jesus. Finding a restored relationship with God through Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is the purpose. That is the focus of The Great Commission. That is the reason we share the Gospel. So, God rightly and wisely focuses on right-living, relationship-building, and disciple-making in the Word, instead of the cool stuff He has planned for us when we get there.
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth.” For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. 2 I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:1-2 MEV)
The second reason, I believe, is simply that it is too complex, too beautiful, too exciting for human minds to communicate or understand. John, as he wrote Revelation, did the best he could to communicate the power, might, and majesty of the visions he saw. In describing the things to come, he is able to give us a glimpse of those end times before the new Heavens and Earth come, but for the human mind to comprehend and report the way of life in the eternal presence of God? No way that can happen. Even if God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, gave John the ability to write the story of eternity, how could we, having child-like faith, ever hope to comprehend such a vision? So, the second reason we don't know more about eternity is we simply, as finite humans with finite minds, could not handle it.
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11 MEV)
Finally, God is our Father. He loves us. He loves to bless us and pour out amazing gifts upon His children. Since He is our Father, like most parents, He likes gifts to be surprises! He wants to reveal to us all the joys, the splendor, the fun, the excitement, the awesomeness of life with Him eternal as a great, big celebration! How much joy does a parent feel seeing the wonder and appreciation in the eyes of their child when that child receives an amazing, incredible, exciting gift? Sure, TELLING them about it is fun...but to revel in the moment of the discovery and seeing that immediate joy wash over the child...THAT is the exhilaration a parent revels.
So, let's focus on Jesus and how to live like Him now, relying on His words, The Bible, and the power and understanding offered through the Holy Spirit. Let's lead people to that eternal mystery with God that is so amazing our minds couldn't comprehend it, and so joyous and excited to share it, God is looking forward to the surprise for His children!
God is good. Trust in Him. His plans for us are beyond words, beyond imagination, and beyond wonder. Live for Him now and await the reveal of His Holy plans for eternity at just the right time.
And let us not tire in working to bring as many as possible with us to that glorious day!