Some people have believed that maybe there is nothing like an actual “end of the world” when all of history will come to an end. Some say that the “end” is for each; when a person dies, “his world” has come to an end. However, Catholic faith teaches the contrary, there is such a thing as an historical “end” of the world. Christ will come with great glory, calling all men out of their graves
“all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgement” John 5:28-29.
WHAT DOES GOD WANT FROM CREATION?
The confusion we sometimes face is rooted in the fact that some of us do not know there is such a thing as a “Plan”; that God has something specific in mind for creating us and the world as we know it; for giving us freedom, for coming to save us, for pouring his spirit upon us. He wants us to be saved, and he wants to create a perfect world where all things will be good; where justice and selfless love will thrive and where he the Lord will live amongst his people. When he made Adam and Eve, this beauty was tasted, however the big difference came when they disobeyed, and from there, sins multiplied in the world.
God wanted to create a world of intelligent beings who freely choose to do what is right and just. This is impossible without actually letting these beings choose to be a part of this world; letting them choose to actually merit a reward or reproach for their actions.
OUR PRESENT LIFE; A CALL
This life of ours is a constant call to be part of this “New World” and our actions are either an acceptance or a rejection. By accepting God’s mercy and love, and by doing what he wills, we say “Yes” to his loving invitation, and by sinning against him, our neighbor and ourselves, we say “No” to his invitation. Our lives are a constant dangling of a pendulum of choice, going back and forth these responses. However, at the our of death, that dangling pendulum stops at either an irrevocable “yes” or “no”, and this is what makes the whole difference. If we have remained in God’s friendship all through our lives, and have died in this union, but still are not clean enough to enjoy the blessed life in heaven, we are purified on our way to the heavenly Jerusalem. If we have not lived right, and have rejected God and his love, then the soul is left off; since he has chosen to remain on its own, God honours this choice. And the state of being “left alone” or “punished” is called “hell”. Whilst the state of being purified is called “purgatory”.
THE PAROUSIA; THE NEW CREATION
The second coming of Christ is eagerly awaited by the whole of creation and by the Christian faithful whose heart cries “Maranatha” “Come Lord Jesus”. When Christ comes, it will no longer be as a helpless little child in Bethlehem, he will come with great might to overthrow evil in the world.
When a person has chosen to love and be with him forever, he is blessed with a place with God in this new creation.
I like to think of it more as the completion of creation. The intention of God for the world at that time will become fully manifest. Right now, the whole of history is moving and is being moved towards its end in Christ. When the time comes, all will see and praise the provident hand of God who directs creation to its full maturity. When the full glory of the world is revealed, all those who are for peace and love will dwell in it; all those who have chosen to follow Christ, who have given their lives to living in charity and pursuing truth.
Many do not know that the Angels, like men, are free and intelligent creatures. They too were presented with an opportunity to choose to dwell in a perfect heaven with God or to reject his reign. This was when Lucifer and other angels fell. Their choices were irrevocable because they are spirits, and are more intelligent than we are. They could perfectly foresee the outcome of their actions; in a glance they knew perfectly well the real implication of their choices. So they had no chance for change or forgiveness since “they knew what they did”. Fulton sheen says that one of the reasons why men are given second chances; why we are forgiven is because of our ignorance; because “we know not what we do”. Were we capable of knowing for certain and with perfection, the exact result of our choices, we would not have any second chances.
The church believes and teaches two kinds of judgement:
1. Particular Judgement: which occurs at the moment a person leaves the world. He is immediately sentenced by God to either eternal bliss or damnation. When called to eternal bliss, some souls approach heaven unhindered, whilst some undergo the last process of purification, (which could not be completed while they were on earth). This in no way contradicts the fact that there are two eternal destinations viz. Heaven and Hell. These two remain the eternal destination of souls; purgatory is a mere a stage or a passageway to heaven experienced by some souls.
2. General Judgement: which will bring an end to the world as we know it, when Christ will come to separate “goats from sheep”, and say to some “come to me, ye blessed of my Father” and to some “depart from me ye cursed into eternal fires”.
WHAT CAN I DO?
God does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance” 2Pt 3:9. He has provided us with the means to attain to salvation. All we have to do is corporate with his grace, trust in his mercy, and never be tired of struggling; never be discouraged at the sight of our sins, our constant failings, our bad habits. But keep being SINCERE with him in our struggles. The huge difference lies in our attitude toward sin, how we fight to be free from them, how we work towards peace, justice love and collaboration, how we help the poor and needy, not only with our resources but with a simple smile, a listening ear, a simple touch, a call, a visit; how we extend care and warmth to those around us. When we have engaged sin in brutal combat, struggling not to fall and not to be discouraged if we ever fall, being humble and trusting God to save us, and being God’s hands that blesses the whole of creation, we can rightly hope to be saved.
We can hope to be part of that world where all we have begun here will be perfected. Where the love that burns in our hearts shall know perfect reciprocation in God, our Lady, the Angels and Saints. This is what God wants from us. When we have fulfilled his will on earth, judgement will no longer be a moment of fear, but a grand reception; when the soul will be united with Christ who has been the sole object of its love; we can hope to rejoice at the sight of Christ, and our Joy shall be complete.
I pray thee therefore, I implore thee my Jesus, the King of my heart to pardon, to help, to direct my soul and those who wish to work with thee towards salvation. To help us all as we struggle to live right and please thee in our actions. Grant that at death, we may be securely hidden in thy heart of Love, free from the fires of hell, and safe from thy just anger. Amen.
Jesus, may I love you always, may I die loving you, and may I spend all of eternity burning in this love united with thy heart. Amen.
HELP US SHARE !!