The End of An Era
In order to follow this message, we need to define the term era: which is a major division of geologic time comprised of a number of periods. It is marked by a date or an event forming the beginning of any distinctive period. On a grander scale, it could be even millions of years as in the “era of dinosaurs.” But for this essay, this block of time goes back to the formation of the nation of America, the potential creation of God’s country.
From the birth of this nation as an infant America had a very rocky beginning. Even to this day, it is currently going through periods of drastic change. With the benefit of years of corruptibility that one could acquire wisdom, inhabitants are slowly learning what not to do. This corruptible nature has to put on incorruption. In order for this nation to become God’s country, this mortal has put on the cover of immortality.
In this nation’s historical accounts there is much talk about God and country. In order to bear the name of God associated with anything, there are certain criteria that must be present. We must learn to put away our wicked ways and turn indeed to God for His blessings if this nation is to become what God knows to be possible. The death of our sinful past has to be swallowed up so incorruption can be born. “Therefore we must be steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Too many brave souls have fought and died for this to be possible.
Currently, America contains an amalgamation of people from the entire planet. People from every corner of the globe need to learn how to assimilate with each other and learn to love one another as God loves. After hundreds of years of chaos and birthing pains, we are just at a defining reflection point marked by the year 2020. To honor the many brave souls that fought and died so this nation could be born we must remain vigilant for the cause. We have to acknowledge that we stand on many piles of rubbish with the opportunity to make this a more perfect nation under God’s divine care.
God has always been ready to reveal the many shades of His rainbow of humanity but up to this mark in time mankind has not been ready to receive the true essence of the Almighty. This is not yet a shining city on a hill but the opportunity is finally present to make it so. We are on that precipice today. Will we submit to God and obtain what He desires or will we remain in darkness yielding to our selfish and sinful desires?
The one thing that most of us have a hard time seeing is the passage of time. It happens so gradually and always moves forward. Can you imagine watching a huge iceberg melt? Unless you are a scientist studying the melting of icebergs and how that affects our planet why would you even sat and watch something that gradually changes over such a long period of time? Imagine likewise the end of an era? That could take hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years. Even one generation on average lasts nearly 25 years according to our geneticists. Who watches and records such a slow movement?
When people and things become a fixture in our society it is a slow arduous process witnessing them fade away. It is like losing childhood in order to become an adult. Even though you might relish the days of others taking care of you, there comes a point in time when you have to take care of yourself. This passing of the torch is not always graceful. You might remember when your parents or grandparents were the older generations until one day you realize that you are sitting in that same seat. The end of a lasting thing is like watching time slowly passing through. One-day things were here and the next batch of time they were gone. Usually, we don’t acknowledge a clear-cut line in the sands of time.
I’m reminded of the words of the great King Solomon when he wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes that life is utterly meaningless. He said: “Utter meaningless? Everything is meaningless.” Solomon became Israel’s king in 970 BC nearly 3,000 years ago. He continues to express:
“What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.”
Can you imagine how many years, months, days, or hours has passed of time since Solomon wrote this passage? How many generations have been born and died while the earth remains somewhat the same?
We were born here in order to experience life as so many have faced before us. We too will die at an appointed time but to what gain? The same sun will continue to rise and set for us as it did for Solomon, his parents, and his parent’s parents and so on… but what it is all for? No! It is not meaningless because everything God does has meaning, reason, and purpose. However, living through the bubble of time does not make much sense to us if you see no purpose of life itself. The problem for most is that it takes quite the afford just to wake up the soul so you can see life. Unfortunately, it is not until approaching life’s end that you look back and regret what it should or could have been.
The end of an era is but a small nugget of time when you look at the totality of time itself. There was a time when dinosaurs roamed the very same earth that we are walking. How many sunrises and sunsets have the earth witnessed and yet it is still here? Our time here is very short but what does it mean? Are we born just to die and make way for others to come or is there more to life than being born and dying? Utter meaningless! I think not!
Perhaps our first task is to acknowledge our Maker. After that, we must learn to connect with Him in order to discover life’s purposes and meaning. Ultimately in the end we would like to hear God say, “Job well done my child!” At such time we want to be with our Heavenly Father in His abode, the kingdom of heaven.
Is the year 2020 A.D. any more or less significant than the year 2020 B.C.? Over the course of over 4000 years, what did all that time mean? Back in the Abrahamic Era Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his 12 sons were establishing a pathway for the entrance of the Messiah. Today here we (mankind) are still here trying to figure out this puzzle God left us in. What was it that summoned Abraham to do what he did back in his day? What was it that summoned us here to this particular juncture in time? What is the reason, meaning, or purpose that we are called to live at this particular juncture of time? Even though it may appear nearly meaningless to us… to God, every millisecond is numbered and there are significant meaning and purpose to all things that God allows.
As I was writing this essay I paused here to look at the final home-going of John Robert Lewis, a great historical American Civil Rights Leader. On the program, there were three previous presidents present at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta Georgia where Reverend Martin Luther King previously presided. Congressman Lewis was a part of the contingency of freedom fighters along with King and many others that died before him, many of whom recorded history will not give them proper respect or honor for the work they passionately fought and some died to achieve.
Over the past few months and years, we are losing a generation of very notable leaders of our era so yes this is the end of a very significant period in time. Yet, behind it all, our God sits on His almighty throne and guides His children through the storms of time. Not even one sparrow falls to the ground without His divine knowledge. What more do you think He cares about the countless souls that died during the formation of this nation? I am certain it grieves our Heavenly Father’s heart.
It is important to note how different the times are now compared with the history of early mankind. At this particular juncture, the world is facing an international pandemic. It feels as though the entire world had been brought to a standstill. Technology makes it possible for us to actually see and know what the rest of the world is experiencing. Because of this standstill the world as we know it will be forever transformed from this point forward. A “new normal” will be ushered in like spreading a new blanker over a bed. People will have to learn how to live differently because much of the old way of doing things will fade away. Hundreds of years of old habits (both good and bad) will be replaced with new ones. Like it or not people will have to adjust to the new world order or be left behind.
In essence, what we are facing is not only the end of an era but a brand new window of opportunity allowing us to make things better. America was conceived under a very rocky beginning of hatred, bigotry, and violence against fellow human beings. Such acts were against the Creator’s plan for all people and they must stop! Through our entire history, God has been drawing a line in time conforming the world into His likeness. Could a nation such as America be used as a model? Though many people will resist this opportunity to learn how to love, as does God, slowly they will melt into the past. In the formation of a new earth, many such things will be cast aside. Those who oppose God’s righteousness will not give up easily. In a similar manner most would prefer to appease their sinful desires rather than conform to godliness or righteousness.
To underscore this time in our history God allowed several things to happen so His glory would be magnified. Ruthlessness and wickedness prevailed in the light of day for an untold number of years revealing just how wicked and evil mankind’s true nature is from the core. Hatred and oppression were allowed to reign in order to show the fruit of man’s sinful nature. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer in order to bring out a distinct contrast. What are we to learn from this line in the sand that God drew? Just as in the days of Noah God sends His messengers to inform the people of the consequences of unrighteousness but do the people take heed in order to avoid God’s wrath? We are at such an inflection point in time so it is up to mankind to decide his fate. What will we choose! There was a similar inflection point in our history that Christ noted when he was asked about the end times.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matt. 24:36–39
So without question, this is the end of an era, the end of a season. This is the last of a peculiar batch of time. So many elements were set in motion by God to reconcile the world back into His divine care. Often times we do not see the undercurrents that cause change. We cannot even conceive of the things that God does in order to run the world and all of existence. All we know for certain is that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. God started existence, as we know it. He will real in the curtains at an appointed time when He decides the mission has been completed. Christ noted that no one knows the date and time, not even the angels of heaven currently with God in His abode.
So what are we to make of all this? Should we take caution or take cover? Should we take heed to the word of God? Should we continue to do as those in the days of Noah and continue to eat, drink, and be merry?
When the curtains are drawn all the countless lives and souls that have passed through this place will be summoned back before God to face His judgment seat. Every knee shall bow before their Maker and give an account of their time here on earth.
God will tally up the debts and make the proper allocations. Some will reap victory with joy and others there will be rewarded with eternal darkness and gashing of teeth. Not all will meet in the same heavenly abode.
God will summon each of us from the grip of death and ask us what we did with the life that He granted us as He blew into our mortal bodies the breath of life? Did you love your fellow mankind? Did you feed the poor and tend to the cares of those in need? Were you kind, decent, loving, caring, and compassionate? Did you even call out to your Lord and seek His advice and guidance?
When you enter the halls of God’s justice all your thoughts, acts, and deeds will be laid bare before His altar. In the bat of an eye, you will see it all before you and most importantly, before Him. Was it all meaningless or did you make the most of whatever the station He intentionally placed you?
“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
“The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:54–58
As I sat here on this cliff in time and space I can clearly see what God is revealing. He is cautioning us to take heed but that is a choice. Retribution, vengeance, and other human attributes are not how God handles His most precious creation. Grace, forgiveness, and love are His preference. On the other side of that coin, you do not want to see it!
For God so loved the world He created that He was willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son that all man could be saved. This is not because of what was earned but because of what God promised from the beginning.
Even though the messianic age is still upon us, how many will take heed and be transformed into God’s family? Five thousand years is but the bat of an eye to God but to us, it is a time of reckoning. After all these years, will mankind finally give God His proper honor, respect, and glory? Will it require another five thousand years before man is awakened? The same sun will rise and set for them as it does for us and before. This year in the time of our Lord will mark a very significant inflection point. Will mankind finally acknowledge his Creator? To Almighty God be the glory… Selah!