In The Beginning
There is no reason to assume the end of the world is going to come soon
choose that it end. The end of the world is meant to come when God's
and purpose is accomplished. What is the purpose of God? That the
be fulfilled by grace. This is now happening all around us, but "now"
is nearer the beginning of the time
of God than the end of it.
Ephesians 3:11 notes that things of God are directed: "According to the eternal purpose which is purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." The purpose of Christ's coming was to preach the new era of grace that was begun by Christ's appearance on earth. The time of grace was the Kingdom of God which Jesus said he was sent to preach. (Luke 4:43) By preaching He made the people aware of it. (That is preaching to the people who could be made aware of it and who were ready for it.)
The world is not meant to end until the purpose of God's Plan in Christ, which is to fulfill the people of the world with grace, is accomplished. For God has given us a plan of grace and revealed a Kingdom of Grace that completes the world and fulfils mankind. As part of this plan Jesus died on the cross to show us the suffering love of God, to redeem us, and to show us how to behave..
We may choose to frustrate the grace of God within us, as many people do: by not believing in God where they are given the will and desire by nature to believe in God. So grace can be frustrated. If we choose to frustrate the grace of life given us, we may end the world at any time. I pray we will not do this, but if the world is to survive, it must change its spiritual attitude and move more with the tide of the grace of God.
God with courtesy and suffering respects our free will. When Jesus came, mankind had the free will to crucify God, which they promptly did, but God made goodness rise out of Jesus' death. In this way evilly meant things fell out for the Gospel. Bad things and decisions were transformed by grace and were used to further spiritual and redemptive purposes, to accept grace, and to revel in grace. So we should be aware what we mean to do out of an evil mind may be transformed by a grace filled mind. God is not mocked by our bad use of free will, which pains Him, but He uses stale acts in fresh ways. It will not be made perfect in a time we can foresee, but we know things will be improved by spiritual awareness and the practice of spiritual things.
God has an intelligent design of developing grace that He is developing according to His will and purpose. This design desires you learn and know "the love of Christ... that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:19) This will happen according to the gift of the grace of God and the working of His power. (Ephesians 3:7) And while man may enjoy a free will which God with due courtesy respects, God may weave out of your way, His way. or another way. After all, we have a consummately ironical God who loves us and weaves out of our decisions strange designs and colorful visions.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.