(Part 114)


December 31, 2014

Today’s readings:

1 John 2:18-21

Psalm 96:1-13

John 1:1-18

By the end of this day the year would have ended. A new year starts. The cycle of life goes on. It is a significant transition, from the old to the new, marked by countdowns, feasts, fireworks, and even goodwill to all. New year’s resolutions are made. Hope is renewed. Oftentimes though, a new year turns out to be just like the old year, a bit better or a bit worse, but much of the same.

What is it that really matters? What is the grander scheme of things? It has to do with God.

“In the beginning was the Word” (Jn 1:1a). God existed from all eternity. Then “the Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14a). The Son of God became man. Jesus came, he gave his life for us, he returned to heaven. He will come again at the end of time. This is where we are now. “Children, it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18a).

What is of crucial importance? Jesus came to restore us to the Father. “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name” (Jn 1:12). We need to have faith in Jesus and accept him as Savior and Lord. Unfortunately many in the world do not. Many in “the world did not know him” (Jn 1:10c), and many “of his own people did not accept him.” (Jn 1:11b).

Those who do not know Jesus need to meet him. Those who do not accept Jesus need to experience personal conversion. How can this happen? This happens as Jesus is proclaimed, as the good news of salvation in him is made known. We need to share Christ. This is the most urgent task at hand.

What new year’s resolution then should we make? We should, as individuals, resolve to be evangelizers in our day-to-day lives. We are to “proclaim his salvation day after day.” (Ps 96:2b). Then, as a community, we are to spread that good news everywhere, to the ends of the earth. “Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his marvelous deeds.” (Ps 96:3). We are to help make disciples of all nations. We “declare among the nations: The Lord is king.” (Ps 96:10a).

This work is urgent. Even now, as we race to the end of time, there are many who distort the truth of Jesus and the gospel. In these crucial end times, false prophets and “many antichrists have appeared.” (1 Jn 2:18c). Many are being misled. Many are falling into apostasy. These are among the signs of the end, as Jesus told us. “Thus we know this is the last hour.” (1 Jn 2:18d).

It is not just the last hour for this year. It is the final hour before the second coming of our Lord Jesus. Then will come the final judgment. How many will be saved? How many will make it to heaven?

You can contribute to that number.

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