F. A. Hughes.
As we draw to the close of another year it is well for us to consider what God has made known to us in relation to the "end." Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us "that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end;" but it has pleased God to reveal to us what His end is. The word "End" in the Scriptures quoted in this article does not refer exactly to a moment of time, but rather to a definite point, or goal aimed at.
The first four words of our Bible are encouraging to our hearts and illuminating to our minds, "in the beginning God." This is solid ground for our faith; nothing has come into the creation apart from God's knowledge of it. Then in 1 Cor. 15:24-28 we read "then cometh the end . . that God may be all in all."
Now it has pleased God to show us that the "beginning" and the "end" stand related (in their revelation to us) to our Lord Jesus Christ. We have the words spoken to John on Patmos "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end." As we read further in Revelation 22:13, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last," we are left in no doubt as to whom these titles refer.
In Chapter 3 of the same book we read that Christ is "the beginning of the creation of God," and we learn from Colossians 1 and other Scriptures that "by Him were all things created," "and He is before all things." He who is the beginning is also the end, and so we see from Ephesians 1 that God has been pleased to make "known to us the mystery of His will," that in the fulness of times He (God) will "head up all things in the Christ," (vv. 9, 10, New Trans.).
Thus God from the beginning has ever moved with the definite end in view that Christ might fill all things. This has always been God's end — the supremacy of Christ, He who was the Object of His affections before the beginning of time, (John 17:24).
As we pursue our pathways in this world, stimulated by God's revelation to us of His own purpose, we find many Scriptures referring to the "end" which are for our present encouragement.
John 13:1 perhaps stands supreme in this regard. "Jesus . . having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." That precious eternal love of Christ, undiminished by the sacrifice of Calvary, is the present portion of those whom He has purchased for Himself. What a bulwark this is to our souls as we commence another year of time, knowing that every moment of our sojourn here can be spent in the light and enjoyment of the love of Christ. The "end" which that precious love has in view — the result and purpose of it, is surely seen in the wonderful verses John 17:24-26.
Romans 6 speaks of our being set free from the things which end in death, in order that we might "become servants to God," the end in view being "everlasting (or, eternal) life." In a world marked by sin and death, the end of which is destruction, how blessed is the portion of the believer as brought even now into the enjoyment of a life the character and duration of which is eternal.
Space forbids further detail. 1 Corinthians 1:8, shows to us the ability of Christ, who in view of His appearing in glory, is able to confirm the saints "unto the end that ye may be blameless in the day of Lord Jesus Christ." Scripture speaks of the "day of Christ," and the "day of the Lord," references to different aspects of the same period. That period will also be marked by the respective glories of that Person as Lord, Jesus, Christ; and the purpose of God is that each one of us should be preserved blameless and in moral accord with the outshining of that glorious day.
Hebrews 3:6 speaks of holding fast "the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." The presence and voice of the Holy Spirit of God are available to us as we journey onwards, and He would ever engage us with the preciousness of Him in Whom our portion, present and future, is centred.
The "end of the Lord," as seen in the triumphant issue to which Job was brought, is set before us by the apostle James as an encouragement to us in the pathway of "affliction, and of patience." The "end of the Lord," the issue in view, is certain; nothing can circumvent it, and James, in the light of this says, "We count them happy which endure." Let us therefore accept the will of God in our pathway. If He had in mind the good of His earthly people at their "latter end," surely He will not fail to do us good also.
It was in the sovereign mercy of God that our pathway as believers commenced; that mercy has surrounded every step of that pathway, and as we press on through the changing years of time, we shall, as ushered into the presence of the glory, be able to exclaim "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof," (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
In conclusion let us remember the wholesome words of the apostle, "But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer," (1 Peter 4:7).