The Movement of History

2015 is almost finished and 2016 will soon begin.  As many of us are all too aware, the calendar only works in one direction!  We do not get younger as the days fade into history.  We cannot go back and redo some moment from our past as if the original never existed.  History is only moving in one direction.

This begs the question:

To What End?

What is history moving from and what is history moving towards?

Francis Chan, in a video posted some time ago, tried to help people understand eternity and the significance of their lives.  You can watch it here:

This is a great illustration but I feel it is lacking in something:


History began at the moment of Creation.  Time has been moving in one direction for a few thousand years now.  Our little segment of time, what Francis demonstrates by the little red part of the rope, is somewhere in the middle.  There is a beginning of the rope well before we were ever born.

Of course, time will continue after we have gone.  What is history moving towards?

“But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.  This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

-Jesus, Matthew 24:13-14

There is an end to the history of this world as well as a beginning.  We are moving towards an end.  The Bible refers to this over and over again.  In fact, the New Testament refers to the end of the age at least 21 times.

Have a look at the header image for this post.  It is a small picture of a knot tied with two different ropes.  Sailors will read this and immediately recognise the sheet bend knot.  This particular knot is used to join two ropes together.  It is especially useful if one of the ropes is smaller than the other.  Tugboats might use this knot to join a line from one ship to the other.

History, pictured as a rope, is coming to an end.  At the end there will be a lot of distortion, pressure and twisting.  One strand of time – our recorded history – will be joined to another strand of time – the eternity of God’s kingdom and reign.  There will be distress, people will be pressured by increasing violence, constant wars and global troubles.

The end will come and the earth will be recreated by God.  Christ Himself will come to reign from His throne in the New Jerusalem.  Satan and his demons will be cast forever into the lake of burning fire along with those people who have not been saved by the grace of God through their faith in Jesus Christ.

What does this mean for you?  Let me come back to Francis Chan’s example.  He makes such a powerful point about how you can live your life.  Do you live for the little red segment?  You could choose today to focus on the eternal portion.  It is much bigger, grander, longer and more important!


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