The End is here!

My new book, Starting at the End, is hot off the press, available from Concordia Publishing House!

Is there any more intriguing topic than the future? Will humankind exterminate itself, come together in a peaceful existence, or be ushered into eternal states of heaven or hell after the Judgment Day of God? People want to know.  Understanding the Bible as well as other worldviews will help Christians to grasp events happening in the world around us today.

Since not all people believe in God, they have a different starting point, or assumption, on which to base their understanding of reality. If there’s no God, and this material world simply exists, void of any spiritual realm or afterlife, then that presupposition shapes how unbelievers view life now, as well as how life could be in the future. Combining that belief with the notion that humans are basically good, and not sinful, leads to worldviews that suggest humans can create a utopia, or an ideally perfect place—“heaven on earth”.

Knowing what these worldviews believe—their starting assumption, view of reality, and how to behave—will pay off in comprehending what the unbeliever thinks will affect the future and the formation of this idyllic existence. This knowledge will also allow Christians to witness more effectively to the need of Jesus as Savior when the dreams of utopia come crashing into the reality of sinful humans living in a fallen world.

Furthermore, knowing what the Bible actually says regarding the end of days and the signs of the times will aid believers in being vigilant as Jesus commanded in Mark 13:37, “What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!'” Will humans exterminate themselves? No—Jesus said that “all the nations of the earth” would mourn when they saw His return (Matthew 24:30). Will humans create a perfect world? No—Jesus said there would be an “increase in wickedness” in the last days (Matthew 24:12). Will there be a Judgment Day and eternal states of heaven or hell? Yes—Jesus said that He would gather all the nations before Him and separate the Christians and unbelievers as a shepherd divides sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-33).

In order to figure out the times in which we live, we need to start at the end. What do Secular Humanists think the future holds? What do Marxists understand? What do the New Age adherents say? What do Muslims believe? What do Christians know from the Bible, since it is the true Word of God?

When we go on a trip, we first determine the destination—the end point. Once that is known, we try to figure out the best method of transportation to get us there. Will it be by car, bus, train, or plane? If we decide to drive by car, a map is used to reach the destination. And whether we use MapQuest, GPS, or our own, trusty atlas, we try to figure out the best route to get us there. In a similar way, we can’t understand the times we’re in unless we know where we are going. We can’t grasp why people are living the way they are unless we know the destination. We need to start at the end—be aware of the various worldviews, their vision of the future, and how the Christian worldview “map” matches reality better in order to witness to the truthfulness of the Bible and the need for Jesus Christ as Savior.

As stated earlier, there is no more intriguing topic than the future—and this one has eternal consequences. We need to show the world Jesus, who is the Way and the Truth and the Life, since no one comes to the Father except through faith in Him as Savior (John 14:6).

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March 18, 2013

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