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history has a purpose and end

"Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."  (Matthew 24:30 ESV) 

"But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."  (2 Peter 3:13 ESV)

History has a purpose.  History has a beginning and it has an end.  Christ, who is Alpha and Omega, shall come again.  His return shall be personal, visible, and glorious (underlined above in Matthew 24:30).  His coming, as Carl Henry notes below, is not primarily a catastrophic cosmic event, but rather it is the fulfillment of our deepest longings (and highest hopes) for a just and beautiful world.  

"But, unlike current secular projections of the end, the final thrust of biblical eschatology is never catastrophe: what the Bible affirms is that the end of this age marks also the coming of a new world.  It does so, moreover, not simply as a cosmic phenomenon but in the context of the future day of the Lord.  The center of the new creation is the Servant of Yahweh and Son of Man; its glorious future involves banishing sin and punishing evil in a decisive separation of the righteous and the wicked.

"Creation looks to a grand climax, one that first supplements creation with a history, but then in turn brings that history to an end by adding something eternal to the history.  The primal creation is a prolegomenon to the coming new heavens and new earth: as creator of the present cosmic creation that he preserves, the God of eternity and of end-time ongoingly displays his glory (Pss. 8, 19).  The new creation will not differ in moral perfection from the first creation; it will, however, fully subjugate both the powers and the conditions that jeopardize the ethical integrity of the present creation.  Embraced in God's final goal is the perfection of his initial creation, the comprehensive salvation of penitent mankind from the dread consequences of sin." 

~ Carl F. H. Henry, God Revelation and Authority (1983), VI:494.


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