Gospel: What Shall the End Be?

Ryan Coleman

Sometimes, when it’s quiet, do you wonder about the end of this life? In the half light, dreading the maelstrom of the morning alarm clock, perhaps your mind echoes with doubt? You are not alone. The haunting words "What shall the end be?" have couched in the reaches of every human mind since creation.

With more than just passing philosophy, 1 Peter 4:17-18 crashes into our quiet scene with wrenching force: What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? These jarring questions force us to face the truth that death and hell are real. The brutal reality of sin must be addressed now! Sadly, though, for most people there are three tactics that divert us from facing the end: we insulate, ignore, or insure against the gospel of God and the truth. Have you fallen for these sad substitutes?

Are you an insulator, cramming anything into your mind to silence the gospel of God? We have invented the most wonderful things to fill our minds and kill the time God has given us. When the gospel asks "What shall the end be?" do you turn up the iPod? Do you bury your head in the quarterly earnings report, try a new sport, or grasp for a more meaningful pursuit?

Luke faithfully records the life of a man tragically known only as a rich fool. With life by the tail, he ignored the end. "Take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry" was his mantra, and he drowned out the message (Luke 12:19). "There’s nothing to worry about, the end is far away and there’s no real God who will punish sin," boasts the ignorer. "It’s just a story, and it’ll all work out okay!" God responded: "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee" (Luke 12:20). Sadly, he learned that ignoring God ends in bitterness, not bliss.

Finally, are you banking on insurance to come between you and the end? A few dollars here, plan a bit there, eat right, get lots of sleep, and when I’m old and wealthy I’ll be ready for the end. You’ve got it all figured out! Sadly, no amount of insurance or busy activity will postpone the final payout for sin. "It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb 9:27). Don’t waste your life insulating against an inconvenient truth, ignoring the immensity of sin, or insuring against the inevitable!

Surely God has a better way! Consider for a moment that God has thought about you. You’ve insulated, ignored, and insured against His Word and His way. But, His thoughts toward you are peace and love. From the beginning, God purposed to send His only Son to us. The Lord Jesus’ death on the cross was not damage control. His remarkable death was in the "determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23). Even Eve, filled with worry and questions about her sin, heard about Him millennia before He set foot on earth. Through pictures and prophets God revealed His plan of salvation through the Lord Jesus.

Please let it amaze your heart today that God wants for you to personally know the hope of a secure, perfect heaven with Him forever. This is why Jesus died – to fulfill the desire of His Father, banish sin and its awful end, and bless you with everlasting love. He suffered to save us! "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 John 3:1).

So, what shall the end be? Sin has paved one way, and the end of that way is eternal death. Through Jesus Christ, God offers the way of hope, peace, and life forever. You are made for eternity; God made you for more than today. Isn’t it time you chose the life that never ends?

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