THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
LOOKING TO THE END TIMES AND TO HEAVEN
End of the Liturgical Year
Today is the end of the Church’s liturgical year. Today
we look to the end times.
the end, the world and the plan of God would have come full
circle. God created everything in the beginning. He created
paradise, the garden of Eden, where He placed Adam and Eve.
It was a perfect place. A river flowed to water the garden,
and in the middle was the tree of life. In John’s vision
of heaven, there is “the river of life-giving water”
(Rev 22:1a), and there “grew the tree of life”
(Rev 22:2). It is a perfect place. “Nothing accursed
will be found there anymore.” (Rev 22:3a).
are differences though. There is no more tree of the knowledge
of good and bad. Those who make it to heaven would have overcome
the temptation to usurp the place of God, to themselves be
like gods. Now “his name will be on their foreheads.”
(Rev 22:4b). They will fully acknowledge that they are God’s
people, that they belong to God. Further, in Eden there was
day and night, but in heaven “night will be no more,
nor will they need light from lamp or sun” (Rev 22:5a-b).
is at the center of it all. “The throne of God and of
the Lamb will be in it” (Rev 22:3b). The river flows
“from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev
22:1b), and “the Lord God shall give them light”
How do we get to that glorious place? While on earth, we put
on the mind of God and understand His plan for the world.
we recognize Him as the Creator, “whose hand holds the
depths of the earth; who owns the top of the mountains. The
sea and dry land belong to God, who made them, formed them
by hand.” (Ps 95:4-5). If God made everything and everything
thus belongs to Him, it is His plan that is best. Veering
away from His plan brings darkness and evil.
we recognize Jesus as the Savior. We “cry out to the
rock of our salvation.” (Ps 95:1b). Sin entered Eden
and paradise was lost. We found ourselves under the dominion
of the evil one. But Jesus came and saved us. He freed us.
He brought us back to our relationship with the Father-Creator.
If Jesus is our Savior, then we must accept him as Lord of
our lives and follow in his footsteps. “Enter, let us
bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord who made
us.” (Ps 95:6).
we recognize that in accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord, we
are now part of his body on earth, the Church. Here we find
grace, wisdom and pastoral care. “For this is our God,
whose people we are, God’s well-tended flock.”
(Ps 95:7). If we are the sheep of the sheepfold, we must live
the life of Christ within the life and mission of the Church.
Here we will be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Now the devil, who brought humankind down and caused Eden
to be lost, still, and even more so, assaults those who try
to accept and follow Jesus. The devil tries to prevent us
from making it to heaven. He causes us to sin grievously so
that we are cut off from God. He distracts us with worldly
matters--both pleasures and problems. Thus, especially in
these end times, we are to be wary. “Beware that your
hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life” (Lk 21:34a). Why? Because
we might ending up paying a very high price--as our first
parents lost paradise, we might also lose heaven. Let it not
be that “that day catch you by surprise like a trap.”
devil knows that the end is near. He has his last chances
of bringing down as many as he still can. Everyone is under
threat, even those who are already with Jesus. “For
that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the
earth.” (Lk 21:35b). What then should we do? “Be
vigilant at all times” (Lk 21:36a). Be aware of the
enemy’s work, and be careful about the way we live our
lives. Then, since this is about spiritual warfare, “pray
that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that
are imminent” (Lk 21:36b). Only God can truly protect
us from the assault of the enemy, including the final persecution.
Finally, be expectant, trusting and hopeful. After the tribulations,
if we are worthy, then we will “stand before the Son
of Man.” (Lk 21:36c). We will be victorious.
In this end of the Church year, we look to the end of the
world. Rather than a frightening and depressing time, it will
be a glorious and joyful time. Even now, but more so when
we are finally in heaven, we “will look upon (God’s)
face” (Rev 22:4a). Then “his servants will worship
him.” (Rev 22:3c). “Come, let us sing joyfully
to the Lord; cry out to the rock of our salvation. Let us
greet him with a song of praise, joyfully sing out our psalms.”
end is near. “Behold, I am coming soon.” (Rev