Friday, September 26, 2008

The end of the world?

An edited version of my Morning Thought, for BBC Radio Wiltshire
Talking about the end of the world used to be the preserve of cranks and eccentrics. You would sometimes see them in town centres wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed, “THE END IS NIGH”. But now it seems that almost everybody is at it. News reports tell us that global warming will mean the end of life as we know it.

Muse tapped into this sense of unease in their song, “Apocalypse please”, singing,

It’s time we saw a miracle
Come on, it’s time for something biblical
To pull us through
And this is the end of the world.

The other week our children came home from school asking, “Is the world going to end today, dad?” It was the day when the Large Hadron Collider at Cern was switched on. Apparently, the collider was going to re-create conditions moments after the Big Bang. There was a danger, it was reported, that the experiment could have created a super massive black hole which would have swallowed up the whole universe. Well, that didn’t quite happen like that did it? Responsible scientists said that the end of the world scenario was highly unlikely anyway. But just in case you are still worried, you can sleep easy in the knowledge that the £5bn machine has developed a fault and won’t be operative again until Spring 2009. Perhaps the end isn’t quite so nigh?

But I don’t believe that the world will end because of a scientific experiment or anything like that. God made this world and he upholds it by his power. The destiny of the universe is in his hands. The Christian faith is all about having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. But there is more to it than that. In Jesus, God has acted to rescue the world from evil and suffering. What we look forward to is not in fact the end of the world, but the renewal of creation when Jesus returns. Of that new creation it is written,

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4).

If you share that hope, then don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world!

You can listen to recordings of this week's breakfast show here. I'm on about 40 minutes into the programme.

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