11/4/2015 2:33:30 PM
It's Only the End of the World (so what's the big deal?)
The truth is, the world has been ending for a long, long time. The Apostle Paul spoke about it a lot in his letters to the different churches. He said in 1 Corinthians, “The world in its present form is passing away.” It was almost like he expected it to happen any moment. Jesus himself gave us many signs that the end of the world is coming.
And what was Jesus’ promise to the apostles, to believers throughout the centuries, and to you and me? "It only gets harder." The wars become more frequent. The famines and floods and natural disasters keep coming. The turmoil in this world increases. The love of most will grow cold. Many will fall away from the faith. Christians get treated worse and worse.
Hey, it’s only the end of the world—don’t worry! Right?
Jesus says “be on your guard” and “watch out” but he doesn’t say get worried. In fact as things get more difficult, as the end draws closer, Jesus gives you and me confidence to share the gospel. Martin Luther would agree: it’s only the end of the world—don’t worry.
Martin Luther stood firmly on the gospel. The apostles lived and died standing on and defending the gospel. Where do you stand? Don’t raise your hand, but do you find yourself defending one presidential candidate more than you defend your Savior? Do you find that it’s easier to talk about how bad things are getting than how good our Savior has been? It’s so much easier to get wrapped up in all the day-to-day things that we forget the end is coming. People do not wake up anticipating the end of time, but they do suddenly die. With the end coming, where do you stand?
Jesus doesn’t give us the warning to scare us; he gives it to help us so that we stand firmly on the gospel, like the apostles, like Luther. The gospel means everything to you and me because, in a world that is passing away, the gospel is life. The gospel is the sure and certain promise that for every time you failed to live up to God’s expectations, Jesus did. Every single time the devil or this world of false teachers tried to deceive Jesus, he wasn’t fooled; he prevailed over them. And he did it for your sake because he knows how weak you and I are and he covers us with his perfection. This is the gospel we stand on: that God considers us perfect for Christ’s sake; that Jesus lived for you, he died for you, he rose for you. He did all of this so that you could stand firm, all the way to end.