Sunday, March 02, 2008

Through a Glass Darkly

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
now I know in part;
but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

My View of Eschatology

Many people are anxious to know the future and will seek out those who may be able to give them some clue to their fortune. Whether it is seen in a horoscope, tea leaves or a crystal ball, the future fascinates us and those who make predictions have a certain audience.

The Bible teaches against witchcraft, divination and fortune telling and many Christians would never consider consulting those who use dark arts. But throughout my life I have heard predictions about the future in sermons and studies. As a child, many of these things terrified me! I was twelve years old when Israel won the Six Day War and occupied Jerusalem. I remember an old pastor telling us that all prophecy was now fulfilled and the end of the world was imminent.

"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west;
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:27

I would sit at the top of the stairs during a night time thunderstorm, or awaken my mother to complain of a stomach ache just so I could be sure I was not alone in the house.

Well, we made it through 1967 and a host of other end of time deadlines including Y2K. Now we have to prepare for December 21, 2012. (If you don't the significance of this, just Google the date.) I have heard many people called the Antichrist, from Gorbechev to Clinton. Before my birth, Hilter was the most likely suspect. I have seen the sudden fall of Communism in Europe and the rapid removal of Bible prophecy books that had to be re-written before they could be returned to store shelves. I have found my own children frightened by overhearing those who spoke at length about plagues and judgments coming to the earth.

The future is as clear as the dark windows on the old shed I found along the river last week. Ecclesiastes 8:7 says, "Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?"
I no longer fear what is ahead and know that each day is a gift to be lived in the best way possible. Troubles will come but I do not need to know about them before they happen. Fear is a strong tool that can be used to control others, but faith allows us to believe the words of Romans 8:28.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,

neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 comments:

  1. That is our verse: 1 Cor. 13:12
    Thanks for posting another good post.

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  2. Long before, well maybe not that long as I now measure time, I had a pastor who said that he didn't see how the world could last another ten years. He was referring to all of the signs being fulfilled and the second coming.

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  3. That verse ("now I see through a glass") is just so pregnant with meaning! I was thinking of that very verse over these last couple of days.

    Jesus taught, "take no thought for tomorrow" and I try and remind myself of that when worries for the future try to crowd in ... I know He is sufficient for any needs that may arise.

    A good Sunday Post!!

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  4. Ruth. The pictures. The quotes. Wonderful, particularly couched in such a thoughtful narrative. Thank you for sharing the wisdom.

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  5. What a fine post, so well reasoned. As always, thanks for the thoughts that lead to more thoughts!
    Beth

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  6. I think people in every age have firmly believed they are living in end times. So, with that mind set, they look for signposts, and voila, they find them.
    Years ago, we had a pastor preach on Genesis and The Book of Revelation--he said: God took care of the beginning, and will take care of the end, so he (the pastor) encouraged us to take care of the present. Good advice.

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  7. Jean- A good verse for your situation. Thanks for sharing what you are living in your blog.

    AC- Pastors, environmentalists, political analysts all can send doomsday messages. And movies take our wildest imaginings about the end of the world and make them seem plausible.

    CS- Thanks. "Take no thought for tomorrow..." that verse from the Sermon on the Mount is a good addition to the thoughts in the post.

    Cathy- Thank you too. I took that picture for no particular purpose, and when I downloaded it, the verse from Corinthians popped into my mind.

    Beth- I doubt I will take my musings further on this subject. There are some topics that generate more questions than answers.

    KGMom- Excellent advice and well expressed. I will have to remember and share it.

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  8. Another thought-provoking post, Ruth. 12-21-2012. We have always heard of "doomsday" but I've never heard of the date. Scary.

    However, we'll keep on living each day...

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  9. Mary- I put no truth in the date 12-21-2012 at all. It is just the next example of a whole line of doomsday date-setting which so far has been 100% inaccurate.

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  10. Ruth, I'm with you. And Romans 8:28 is one of the most powerful verses in Holy Scripture. I know that it gives me comfort in times of great stress.

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  11. Mary C- It is a great verse and one I memorized a long time ago. Thanks for commenting.

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  12. I wouldn't want to know the future even if that was possible. We're here this moment so let's enjoy this moment.-Nice post.

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