Vol. 12 No. 2 February 2010
A recent Fox News report stated, “Scientists predict when the world will end.” According to astronomer Robert Smith of the University of Sussex, the sun will slowly expand into a red giant, pushing the earth farther out into space. The planet will be snagged by the sun’s outer atmosphere, gradually plunging to its doom inside the fiery stellar furnace. This will happen in approximately 7.6 billion years, but life on earth will end in about 1 billion years, as the slowly expanding sun boils off the oceans and reduces the earth to an uninhabitable cinder. If this prospect frightens you, don’t worry. A recent study done by the University of California at Santa Cruz proposes taming an asteroid to swing by the earth every few thousand years, which would slowly push the earth into a higher solar orbit, enough to outpace the sun’s own outward growth. Smith says that, while it sounds like science fiction, he believes the technology could be developed over the next few centuries to do it.
The world will indeed have an end, but not from the random acts of nature at work, but the intelligent purpose of the Creator. We are told our Lord will return, coming in the clouds, and that a shout of command, the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God will announce His presence (1 Thessalonians 4:16). His coming will be witnessed by everyone on earth, as John writes, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7). All the dead will be raised (John 5:28-29), and the physical will be no more. Peter tells us that by the will of God, “…the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). If we believe Scripture, evolutionary forces are not at work controlling our planet, but God as Creator and Sustainer (Colossians 1:16-17) is. It will be by the direct action of God that all things physical come to an end.
When will the end come? I sincerely doubt any scientist can pinpoint the exact time, as it is in the mind of God when He will bring the universe to its conclusion. Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36). It will come as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10), unexpected and unknown until it happens. We realize it could happen at any time, even today. Just because scientists say the earth could last a billion years doesn’t mean God wills it so. However, even if the end of the world in God’s plan is many years away, our lives could end just as abruptly. We have no guarantees about how many days we have, and when our lives end, we will be held accountable for how we lived them. “It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
We should live every day ready to meet the Lord, because each day may be our last. If we live for the will of God, then it will not matter when the end comes, as we can have confidence in what God has prepared for us in eternity, everlasting life. This should be our concern and focus in life, not evolutionary models advocated by this or that scientist, which change with time. Are you ready for the end? Are you ready for your end in life? “So then, each one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).
In Yagoona, Australia, a suburb of Sydney, a man lay dead in his apartment for a whole year before his body was discovered. The body of Jorge Chambe, 64, was found on Tuesday in his single bedroom, government-owned flat when police and firefighters broke in, after concerns about his welfare were finally raised on Monday by a worried neighbor.
News reports in the area stated that some neighbors at the apartment complex where Chambe lived described him as “a quiet man who was friendly but who kept mostly to himself.”
An overflowing mailbox was the only clue that anyone had noticed that indicated something was wrong. Chambe’s rent was paid automatically by direct debit from his bank account that was fed by his federal government welfare payments. Bank records supplied part of the evidence that Chambe had been dead for about a year.
New South Wales State Housing Minister Matt Brown asked a sobering question on the Macquarie Radio network on Thursday: "How can it happen that a person can die in such a lonely way and no one know?"* Chambe’s lonely demise and the plague of loneliness in our world today cause us to wonder: “Does anyone care?” The answer from heaven is a resounding, “Yes!” God cares.
He knows about every detail in our lives – even the exact number of hairs on our heads. Not even one sparrow that falls to the ground escapes His notice, and you are of far greater value (Matthew 10:29-31).
He cares so much for us that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins so that we might live eternally with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:10).
Through Jesus we can be reconciled to God (Romans 5:6-10) by believing in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38). He has promised that He will dwell with us and that we can dwell with Him for an eternity as long as we faithfully obey His will (Revelation 3:20; 1 John 1:7).
There IS Someone who cares, and He calls His people to care for others (Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus died ALONE on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to be ALONE anymore. Won’t YOU submit your life to Him?Works Cited
* Information gleaned from Associated Press article: “Man’s Death Goes Unnoticed in Sydney” from The News & Observer <https://www.newsobserver.com/2197/story/871917.html>.