What will happen at the end of time? How will the world end? How will our lives end? Where is history heading to? Is there any sense or coherence in this increasingly complex and challenging world that we live in? That is the subject of Hollywood movies and popular science fiction novels down the ages. Popular movies and novels can be great fun and escapism, but then you have to get on with the rest of life with all of its predictability and mundaneness.
Could there be another narrative? Indeed, what does the world's best selling, and also arguably often least read and understood book actually say about the end of the world?
On this podcast I have a fascinating conversation with Bible scholar Chris Wright on a subject that is often not given much serious consideration, at least not in popular culture. Is it a subject we can give sustained deliberate thought to in a world of such diverse views and opinions? There is certainly much mystery, but understanding 'The End Times' has profound implications on the way we live our lives today in the here and now.
Do join us on this podcast as we discuss the seven last things, according to the Bible, of this life and universe:
Death and resurrection: how the end of the world is actually a new beginning and how Jesus' bodily and physical resurrection points to a new level of life and existence.
How the metaphor of sleep describes the interim state between the physical death of our bodies and the end of the world.
The return of Christ at the end of history as an integral part of the Bible narrative and its implications for us.
The resurrection of the dead and what that actually means for our earthly bodies. Do listen out for the analogy of twins in their mother's womb!
Why the day of judgement and hell is actually a good thing in a world where so much evil and wrong-doing appears to go unpunished and unresolved.
What the Bible actually reveals about what heaven and the new creation will be like. It is so much more than sitting on a cloud, playing a harp, endless singing or even one long holiday! Heaven is not even my final destination when I die! It is only, as it were, a transit lounge for the new creation. In fact, the Bible makes clear that we don't even go up to heaven! The new creation is actually heaven, at the end of time, coming down to earth.
Quoting from Chris' book, 'The God I Don't Understand':
"The new creation will start with the unimaginable reservoir of all that human civilisation has accomplished in the old creation - but purged, cleansed, disinfected, sanctified and blessed...... Think of the prospect! all human language, literature, art, music, science, business, sport, technological achievement - actual and potential - all available to us. All of it with the poison of evil and sin sucked out of it forever...... Whatever it may be like, we can rest assured that, for those who are in Christ, anything that has enriched and blessed us in this life will not be lost, but infinitely enhanced in the resurrection and anything that we have not been able to enjoy in this life (because of disability, disease or premature death - or simply through the natural limitations of time and space) will be amply restored or compensated for in resurrection life."
So how should we then live?
"We are to live then as people who not only have a future, but know the future we have and go out and live in the light of that future, in preparation for it and characterised by its values."
What questions, thoughts and comments does our discussion raise for you?
The link to Chris' book is below.
You may also find of interest: