Monday, July 1, 2013

The End of the Age

by Gregory A. Johnson
The End of the Age, by Gregory A. Johnson

Many today are wondering how much longer this world can go on like it is going. Is the end near?

The disciples questioned Jesus: "As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?’ (Matthew 24:3 ESV)."

Jesus responds: "And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:11-14 ESV)."

Allow me to quickly point out some things about the end of this age, according to Jesus:
  • Many will be led astray.
  • Lawlessness will increase, resulting in the love of many growing cold.
  • The one who endures to the end will be saved.
  • The gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed to all nations, and then the end of this age will come.
Many today are proclaiming a different gospel than what Jesus and the apostles proclaimed, leading many astray. They proclaim an easy gospel that is heavy on blessings and light on obedience. The recipients of that message leave with their flesh being fed and feeling good, but their faith remains anemic, collapsing at the hint of any storm or trial that will test it.

Under pressure to look tolerant, many have allowed a lawlessness to rule in their heart, resulting in a relationship with Jesus that is not hot, but lukewarm, and growing colder. Instead of allowing the word of God to dictate beliefs and actions, they allow popular opinion, media, and Hollywood to shape thinking and behavior. They seek an entertaining church that will feed their flesh instead of their spirit.

In the midst of all this mess, Jesus promises that those who endure will be saved. Those who will keep a hot relationship with him, allowing his words and actions to dictate theirs, will be saved from this world. They love others, but they never grow tolerant of what is contrary to Jesus. Jesus is returning for them, and he will rescue them from what this world has become.

When I was a young child growing up in a Christian home, I always wondered how the gospel could be proclaimed to all nations prior to Jesus’s return. Missionaries, Christian radio, and Christian television alone couldn't do it. Those were the only means available when I was growing up in a pre-Internet society. How could billions of people be reached with the gospel?

Now with the Internet and mobile technology, millions of people are learning about the Gospel of the Kingdom each day. Many are in nations where there is no freedom to worship God, read the Bible, or attend a church. They are receiving the Gospel through technology. My wife, Becky, and I founded (LGF) in 2005 for such a cause. LGF is utilizing technology and social media to reach hundreds of thousands of people per day in countries around this world with the Gospel of the Kingdom in their own language, and its outreach is growing daily. We are thankful for all those who partner with us to make this vital ministry possible.

Beloved, Jesus promised that the end of this age will come. Jesus promised that he will return for his faithful followers. Be ready. Until he returns for us, continue to proclaim his kingdom through your words and your actions. Doing so builds endurance.

Know that you are loved,