Matthew records a series of profound questions from some of the disciples. Among other things, they asked Jesus about the “end of the age” (Matthew 24:3). The answers given by Jesus were even more startling. In fact, we now understand that much of what has been left for us to know of the message Jesus Christ proclaimed focused on the end of this age and the establishment of God’s Kingdom.
Many generations–even that early Church of God which heard the words we now read–have thought that theirs was the final generation. Yet, one generation will indeed be the one spoken of by Jesus. Furthermore, the Bible is full of prophecies that describe events and personalities that are destined to arise at the end. Paul speaks of this in 1 Corinthians 10:11: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition [instruction], upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
Peter, one of the disciples who asked Jesus about the end of the age, in later years preached the same imminent truth: “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers…” (1 Peter 4:7). Peter explains that because of the times in which we live, we should live our lives accordingly–especially with “…fervent love for one another” (v. 8).
Speaking of the final generation which would witness His return to the earth, Jesus used the days before the flood of Noah’s time as a comparison. What He said of that former doomed generation was that they “…did not know until the flood came and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39). They did not watch–they were not ready for what was about to happen. The reason for this was that they simply went on with their daily lives in a world where the “…wickedness of man was great in the earth, and [ ] every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
Jesus contended with the Pharisees and Sadducees for their spiritual blindness: “…You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).
Can we each discern that we are now living at the end of this age? Are we able to believe what our eyes see and our ears hear? The status quo of this age has shifted remarkably and shockingly at the beginning of this new century, and events are now sweeping us along in fulfillment of the momentous end time prophecies Jesus Christ warned about!
Our safety and preservation can only be found in God. Just as Noah fulfilled the work given to him by God, those of us called into the Church of God must fulfill the great work entrusted to us. Jesus also left a promise in this regard when He said that “…for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened [“cut short”–not allowed to run to full completion]” (Matthew 24:22).
We have seen movies, read books, heard sermons–we have all, in one way or another, pondered about the close of this age. What we all must now do is wake up and believe the fearsome truth–these are the end times!