Is anyone else sick of hearing that “The End is Near”? Apparently, the End has been near for 2,000 years according to some Christian minds. I used to buy into that, until I began to seriously seek the Lord and not depend on my own understanding. The truth is that we had bought into the hype so much that we had even moved to the country and started raising Beef cows, Chickens and a garden out of fear of “The End”.
Because Jesus and Paul had very serious warnings that they gave to their audience. But, how do we apply these things to our lives, 2,000 years later?
DON’T GET MARRIED!
Paul warned the church at Corinth (early 50’s AD) that it was best too not get married! Why? Consider the words of Jesus as you read Paul’s words. “Woe to those who are pregnant or nursing in those days…” (Matt.24:19)
Paul to Corinth in 1 Cor.7 ~ “26I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
V.28 “But if also you shall have married, you did not sin; and if the virgin shall have married, she did not sin. But such will have tribulation in the flesh, and I am sparing you. “
This is not a relevant instruction to the current church! It was time specific to them at that time because they knew that Great Tribulation was coming in that generation! (Matt.24:34) It gets even more clear that he was speaking of Jesus’ famous words in “The Olivet Discourse” in the next few verses ~
29But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.”
Notice the similarity to Jesus words in Matt.24:21-22 ~“21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.22“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”
DO NOT REJOICE? GET RID OF YOUR POSSESSIONS?
Did you catch what Paul said above?
“and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods” ~ 1 Cor.7:30
Was he telling the future church of the next 2,000 years to stop rejoicing? NO.
This was a specific warning to them, confirming the words of Jesus and the Prophets about the destruction coming in that generation! This judgement was specifically on Jerusalem (fulfilled in 70 AD) and this verse was a reference to the warning of Ezekiel 7:12. Lets start at the beginning of the chapter for the sake of highlighting the context.
” 1Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2“And you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel, ‘An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land. 3‘Now the end is upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways and bring all your abominations upon you.”
This judgement on the “4 Corners of the Land” is later articulated in Revelation 7:1 but, only the YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) accurately translated it “Land” and not earth. This judgement was not for the entire world but, the entire land of Israel! The end was not the end of the world but the completion of the Old Covenant and it’s entire system! Remember what Paul told Corinth ~ “The form of this (that) world was passing away!”
6‘An end is coming; the end has come! It has awakened against you; behold, it has come! 7‘Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land (still Israel). The time has come, the day is near—tumult rather than joyful shouting on the mountains. 8‘Now I will shortly pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you…
Just like John’s Revelation; God’s wrath was being poured out fully on the Jews according to Paul! (1 Thess.2:14-16) All of the Prophets from Jacob to Moses and Isaiah to Daniel prophesied the end (culmination) of the Jewish system would end in God’s wrath and their destruction. This would result in God’s mercy for the rest of the world! Remember, it was called “The time of Jacob’s trouble“. Jacob represented Israel not the Gentiles.
Finally we get to the verses that Paul quoted back in 1 Cor.7 ~
Ezekiel 7:11, 12~ “None of them shall remain, none of their people, none of their wealth, nor anything eminent among them. 12‘The time has come, the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice nor the seller mourn; for wrath is against all their multitude.”
Paul was doing what he so often did when he quoted OT passages. He was not randomly quoting Scripture; he was applying OT prophecies to their day (not ours) for a specific purpose.They were supposed to see the connection. That’s why Paul wrote to them not to get married, not to buy and not rejoice. It has no practical application for us, 2,000 years after the judgement.
The End of the Age (not world) was fulfilled in 70 AD, when the Romans destroyed the Temple and leveled Jerusalem. It all happened in that generation, just as Jesus prophesied many times in Matthew, Mark and Luke. The Kingdom of God is here and it will continue to increase until it fills the entire earth! There is no pause in the Kingdom; while the Kingdom of Antichrist and the Beast take over for a few years.