The End of Normal

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We indisputably live in the last days. In fact, as you read these lines, you are living on the oldest day in the history of this earth; for you see, today is older than any other day.

For generations the church of Jesus Christ has awaited the consummation of the church age. No human being knows when the last day of this age will occur; however, with each succeeding day that comes and then goes, we can confidently state, “Today we are one day nearer to the end than we were yesterday!”

While these thoughts may startle us betimes, we often view our existence as comparatively ordinary. God promised Noah that “while the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” This natural rhythmic pattern has become the norm of our lives. It is normal that the sun comes up in the morning and goes down in the evening. It is normal that we experience spring, summer, fall, and winter each year nearly at the same time.

We work during the day and sleep at night. We labor and toil during the week and go to church and worship on Sunday. We plant our crops and gardens in the spring and harvest them in the fall. We are born, we grow up, we get old, and then we die. The ebb and flow of life remains perfunctorily normal.

The Apostle Peter says “that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation”. These last-day scoffers seem to conclude that normalcy lasts forever! “Since the promise of Jesus’ coming still has not occurred, everything will continue as it always has since the creation,” they reason. Peter, in rebutting these erroneous sentiments, exposes two flaws. First, the scoffers have forgotten that the routine norms of the world were catastrophically interrupted by the flood of Noah’s time – “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished”.

Secondly, God never forgets His promises. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness…”

Peter further warns, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” We may not allow the methodical march of our mundane routine to become so normal that we begin to believe that nothing will change. The Lord will come.

The Scripture is exceedingly clear that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” a shout, a trumpet blast, and the voice of the archangel shall shatter the normal routine of the followers of Jesus Christ! The Church of Jesus Christ, both the resurrected dead and the living, shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air and live with Him forever and ever!

Every day God blesses our lives with predictable processes, common occurrences, everyday events, and usual incidences – normal life, we call it. Within this reoccurring framework of existence, we
are called to live and work for Him. Our human tendency, however, is to become so preoccupied with the normal that we forget to focus on the eternal. The Scripture warns us not to fall asleep or to be ensnared with the cares of this world.

Brother, sister, be alert! be aware of the late ness of the hour. Be sober and watch unto prayer. Hold fast. Preach the Gospel to every creature. Work, for the night is coming when no man can work. Mind the signs of the times. The end of all things is at hand. Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh! Normal will end; eternity will ensue!

“Behold I come quickly.”

Even so come, Lord Jesus.