Submitted by Robin Martens
As if a never-ending pandemic wasn’t enough, in the past year we’ve experienced raging fires that have burned communities to the ground and torrential rains causing major flooding — even cutting off Vancouver from ground access. All of this served to compound already existing fear for the future, rising mental health problems and domestic violence, political and social division, and power-seeking leaders taking advantage of the prolonged crisis.
Sadly, human history is a replete with repeating cycles of trouble and sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10), which cycles have acutely intensified with population growth and global connectedness. Surely we’re overdue for a deep reality check! How much more can we handle? Will we ever know anything more? Is there any hope for a better world? Is there an actual end game beyond Marvel mythology?
Our collective experience amply illustrates the ancient words of the Apostle Paul: the whole of creation has been ever groaning in pain akin to childbirth (paraphrase of Romans 8:22). Fortunately, Paul’s metaphor and analogy also speaks hope to us, that something new will be born through the suffering. There most certainly is an end game!
However, due to our exile from Eden, the rebirth of a new creation will come through a single cosmic event: “He [God] has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31).
The prospect of divine judgment is an uncomfortable topic for most, to say the least. Yet, consider two thoughts: first, a final judgment is necessary and good. It is the only action that will truly fix our world and make all things right. Second, and most importantly, God wants us to be fully ready for that final day.
The final judgment is the doorway through which we shall all pass, whether into eternal joy or eternal misery. Being fully ready means heeding God’s gracious command and loving desire for you to enter into life with Him — through his Son Jesus Christ, who alone is Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:32, Matthew 25:46, Luke 15:7, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:3-4).
As you think about the new year ahead, strongly ponder God’s perfect end game and let Jesus make you ready for a brand new world of everlasting joy (Acts 16:30-34, Matthew 7:24-27, Jude 1:24-25).
Robin Martens is pastor of Kinnaird Park Community Church