As the world understands “final judgment”, it is commonly thought that there will be an ultimate “end of the world” when there will be a final reckoning of the evil, with goodness as the final victor…predictions about its arrival have been pretty frequent in these times, but we find ourselves here still.
Here are some historical references about final judgment from The Urantia Book, as background for the teachings of Jesus regarding this idea.
From The Kingdom of God:
135:5.5 All were agreed that some drastic purging or purifying discipline would of necessity precede the establishment of the new kingdom on earth. The literalists taught that a world-wide war would ensue which would destroy all unbelievers, while the faithful would sweep on to universal and eternal victory. The spiritists taught that the kingdom would be ushered in by the great judgment of God which would relegate the unrighteous to their well-deserved judgment of punishment and final destruction, at the same time elevating the believing saints of the chosen people to high seats of honor and authority with the Son of Man, who would rule over the redeemed nations in God’s name. And this latter group even believed that many devout gentiles might be admitted to the fellowship of the new kingdom.
In Mithraism, from which much of Christianity sprang, there is a similar understanding:
98:5.4The adherents of this cult worshiped in caves and other secret places, chanting hymns, mumbling magic, eating the flesh of the sacrificial animals, and drinking the blood. Three times a day they worshiped, with special weekly ceremonials on the day of the sun-god and with the most elaborate observance of all on the annual festival of Mithras, December twenty-fifth. It was believed that the partaking of the sacrament ensured eternal life, the immediate passing, after death, to the bosom of Mithras, there to tarry in bliss until the judgment day. On the judgment day the Mithraic keys of heaven would unlock the gates of Paradise for the reception of the faithful; whereupon all the unbaptized of the living and the dead would be annihilated upon the return of Mithras to earth. It was taught that, when a man died, he went before Mithras for judgment, and that at the end of the world Mithras would summon all the dead from their graves to face the last judgment. The wicked would be destroyed by fire, and the righteous would reign with Mithras forever.
When talking to the apostles about these matters, which were—and still are—connected with the Master’s return to earth, Jesus taught a different concept, emphasizing the “immediate”judgment of the individual after death.
176:2.7 “But what is the significance of this teaching having to do with the coming of the Sons of God? Do you not perceive that, when each of you is called to lay down his life struggle and pass through the portal of death, you stand in the immediate presence of judgment, and that you are face to face with the facts of a new dispensation of service in the eternal plan of the infinite Father? What the whole world must face as a literal fact at the end of an age, you, as individuals, must each most certainly face as a personal experience when you reach the end of your natural life and thereby pass on to be confronted with the conditions and demands inherent in the next revelation of the eternal progression of the Father’s kingdom.”
As regards the “end of an age, ” we are taught:
113:6.7 And even so, when a planetary age ends, when those in the lower circles of mortal achievement are forgathered, it is their group guardians who reassemble them in the resurrection halls of the mansion spheres, even as your record tells: “And he shall send his angels with a great voice and shall gather together his elect from one end of the realm to another.”
“The technique of justice demands that personal or group guardians shall respond to the dispensational roll call in behalf of all nonsurviving personalities. The Adjusters of such nonsurvivors do not return, and when the rolls are called, the seraphim respond, but the Adjusters make no answer. This constitutes the “resurrection of the unjust, ” in reality the formal recognition of the cessation of creature existence. This roll call of justice always immediately follows the roll call of mercy, the resurrection of the sleeping survivors. But these are matters which are of concern to none but the supreme and all-knowing Judges of survival values. Such problems of adjudication do not really concern us.
At these times, thousands upon thousands of sleeping survivors will find themselves at judgment, as in the dispensational resurrection following Jesus resurrection—but, will there really be an “end of the world?
Jesus speaks of it as a possibility, but that we are not to be concerned. As individuals, our only concern should be that we embrace our sonship with God:
176:3.2“And even you, Thomas, fail to comprehend what I have been saying. Have I not all this time taught you that your connection with the kingdom is spiritual and individual, wholly a matter of personal experience in the spirit by the faith-realization that you are a son of God. What more shall I say? The downfall of nations, the crash of empires, the destruction of the unbelieving Jews, the end of an age, even the end of the world, what have these things to do with one who believes this gospel, and who has hid his life in the surety of the eternal kingdom? You who are God-knowing and gospel-believing have already received the assurances of eternal life. Since your lives have been lived in the spirit and for the Father, nothing can be of serious concern to you. Kingdom builders, the accredited citizens of the heavenly worlds, are not to be disturbed by temporal upheavals or perturbed by terrestrial cataclysms. What does it matter to you who believe this gospel of the kingdom if nations overturn, the age ends, or all things visible crash, since you know that your life is the gift of the Son, and that it is eternally secure in the Father? Having lived the temporal life by faith and having yielded the fruits of the spirit as the righteousness of loving service for your fellows, you can confidently look forward to the next step in the eternal career with the same survival faith that has carried you through your first and earthly adventure in sonship with God.
IThanks again for writing…hope that this reply is useful to you…
Date published: 2013-03-01 13:17:00
Author: Truthbook Staff