This post is written by Andrew Hall and is published as a companion to Unit 17, Session 2 of The Gospel Project for Adults Vol. 6 (Winter 2022-23): From Captivity to Restoration.
Every generation faces its apocalyptic moment. In the 1960s, the threat of nuclear war meant that students did drills to hide under their desks in the case of an impending attack. The Cuban missile crisis only heightened fears that the threat of nuclear war was growing. In the 1970s, economic collapse appeared to be on the horizon as nations disputed oil supplies and distribution. Fear of climate change began with concerns about a global cooling, only to be replaced with increasing temperatures around the globe and the concern for rising oceans and an uncertain future. At the beginning of 2020, concerns were raised about a new virus and the potential effects it may have in killing many vulnerable people.
Is the End Near?
You don’t have to talk about the end of the world for people to be terrified. Life brings up many events that cause us to wonder if the end is near. Will humanity destroy itself by nuclear war or by pollution? Or will a virus wipe out humanity? The Scriptures are clear: the end will come when God plants His feet on the Mount of Olives, brings the nations against His holy city, and then judges the people for their sin, and no one knows that day (see Zech. 14:1-7). The threats in our news feed feel real and terrifying. But the true terror will come on the day when the Lord comes to judge the world.
We could be gripped with fear about the future: What will happen? How should we prepare? Will we be able to survive? But there is good news of great joy! Those who have been cleansed by the ever-flowing fountain provided by the Lord will know of the cleansing power that has washed away every impurity and stain (Zech. 13:1). The Lord will bring His people into His presence and they will dwell securely, in certain surety that they are safe from the curse that fell upon the world in Genesis 3 (see Zech. 14:3-11).
The return of the Lord will be a terrifying and joyful day all at the same time. There will be the terror of His judgment against sin. But there will be joy for those who have been washed in the cleansing flow of the fountain provided by the Lord. For them, God has kept their future safe and secure.
Peace and Security for Those who Trust
The Lord Jesus has come once, and at His first coming He was pierced for our transgressions. John tells us that at His crucifixion, Jesus was fulfilling Zechariah 12:10, for the people looked upon the One whom they pierced (see Jn. 19:31-37). From His side flowed the fountain of cleansing for sin. And one day He will come again and put an end to all tears, sorrow, pain, and sin (see Rev. 21:4). The lights that are extinguished (Zech. 14:6) will be replaced by the light of the glory of God (Rev. 22:5). The healing waters that flowed from the temple (Zech. 13:1; 14:8) will flow from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1-2). And the curse that existed (Zech. 14:11) will be no more (Rev. 22:3).
There is no reason to fear that day or any other day for those who have been washed in the cleansing fountain of the blood of Christ. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1)! There is only the promise that those who trust in the Lord will know peace and security in His presence forevermore (Zech. 14:11; Rev. 22:5).
Andrew Hall is the lead pastor of Community Bible Church, located in Ilderton, Ontario, Canada. He is a graduate from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Melanie, have four children.