How’s your sheltering in place going? I’m finishing more border blocks for the Bible Sampler quilt:
I’m also spending lots of time in the garden. Today I’m gathering nopal paddles.
I find it interesting that I am at this section of the Bible, the books of the prophets, at the same time as the Coronavirus pandemic. These days sure put the end of days on one’s mind.
I’ve mentioned before that I came of age right in the middle of the Jesus Movement. The outcome of the Six Day War fulfilled a biggie on the list of end times prophecies. Israel had gotten its promised land back, so the last days must be coming soon, right? Did you read Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” too? I don’t think I knew anyone who didn’t read that book. And Bible teachers were watching the signs, doing the math, and predicting the day of the second coming. It didn’t hurt to try to figure it out, even though we read in Matthew that no one would know the day or hour of His coming.
Our youth group was singing Larry Norman’s “I Wish We’d All Been Ready”.
And here’s my favorite verse of Pat Terry’s “I Can’t Wait to See Jesus”:
“I can’t wait to see heaven,
And to walk those streets of gold,
I can’t wait to check into my mansion,
Get my sleeping bag unrolled. . .
Tell me how it’s gonna be
Read it from the Bible again
I can’t wait to see Jesus
‘Cause Jesus is coming again.”
Funny how lyrics are stuck in a brain file, intact, word for word, after all this time. But my point is that the Christian world was buzzing about the end times back then.
Out of curiosity, this morning I googled: “Coronavirus end times” just to see what the internet had to say in these days. I didn’t spend much time poking around the conversation, but just caught the gist. One messianic Jew assured us that we are not in the last days, reason being that the temple has not yet been rebuilt in Jerusalem.
Hold up a minute. I’m no scholar, but I’ve recently read Ezekiel, where God gave him a vision of the heavenly kingdom. In chapters 43-44, Ezekiel was shown the Most Holy Place. There was no ornate room protected by a thick veil. Instead of the ark of the covenant, there was a throne. This seems plain as day to me. Jesus came to fulfill the law, and He did just that, completely. No longer did we need a place to keep the scrolls. So I would say that an actual temple erected in Jerusalem is no longer a requirement of the second coming.
And Jesus himself said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up”. Jesus Himself was the temple: Diety in the flesh, the Incarnate Word. In answering the Jewish leaders about his authority to clear the temple, Jesus foretold of his own death and resurrection that would fulfill the old covenant, and usher in the new.
So that third and final temple has been built, built without hands, and He is in Jerusalem, in Asia, in Europe, in the Americas, in our hearts.
So that final prophetic requirement has been completed, in my humble opinion. Where does that put us now?
I would answer that we are in the place we’ve always been. We live in the age of grace. The history of Jesus’ life and the events of the church are in the books. And we’ve got The Book, the Holy Bible, all written, canonized, and translated into our native tongue. We all have the opportunity to pray to God, through the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus, and ask Him to dwell in our hearts, our minds, our souls, and to be our strength. Because Jesus did it all, the day we receive Him as our Lord and Savior is the day of our reckoning, the day of our salvation, the day of His second coming in our own lives.
I’ve finished reading the book of Daniel. It ends with these words in Chapter 12:
Verses 8: “I heard but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.”
The final verse in the book of Daniel is a good way to end this post:
“As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”
Roll up that sleeping bag, Daniel.