[forthright] One-time End-time Events

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From: Randal Matheny <randalm@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 19:48:08 -0200
Forthright Magazine
http://forthright.antville.org


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One-time Events
by Randal Matheny

Within six years, the world will end.

So says eminent astrophysicist Dr. Piers Van der Meer,
of the European Space Agency. Seems he saw a solar
plume back in July. Just like the one Kepler Star shot
out before its demise and conversion into a supernova.

The good doctor says the sun "will blow apart like an
out-of-control nuclear reactor within six years,"
taking the earth and all the other planets with it.

Such talk produces at least one good result. When we
say the Bible teaches the cataclysmic end of the world,
people may tend not to reject it out of hand.

Hebrews 9:26-27 provides a nice little summary of the
gospel. (Other examples are 1 Corinthians 15:1ff and
Romans 1:1ff.)

". . . now once at the consummation of the ages He has
been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of
Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die
once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also,
having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will
a appear a second time for salvation without reference
to sin, to those who early await Him" (NASB).

This summary gathers three one-time events to summarize
the gospel.

First, Christ died once to remove our sins. He came as
man in all humility and resisted every form of
temptation (Hebrews 2:9-18). He proved to be better in
every way than the Jewish institutions and rituals
(Hebrews chaps. 3-10). He suffered cruelty and shame
"outside the gate," (Hebrews 13:12), that is, refused
by his own people (John 1:11) and condemned. We must
choose our place with him (Hebrews 13:13).

Second, the writer used as an illustration what was a
given for the Jewish readers: we will die but once. No
multiple lives, no reincarnations, no second chances
after death. The moment we die, only one event remains:
the judgment.

Third, the return of Christ will be a one-time event.
No human form-taking, no sin resolution, but the
vanquishing of evil and the scooping up of those who
are prepared for his coming. His coming signifies the
End (Mark 13:24-27) and the destruction of the universe
(2 Peter 3:10-14).

The great Day means we should devote ourselves to
meeting together in order to encourage and be
encouraged to faithfulness (Hebrews 10:24). Keeping
this day in mind should spur us on to holy living and
godliness (2 Peter 3:11,12,14).

Three one-time events. And only one has already
occurred.

Are you ready for the other two?

An astrophysicist preaching the end of the world offers
no hope. Christ extends to all the glories of eternal
bliss where the old has passed away and the new will
remain so forever.