Historians and historical philosophers present history as a development from age to age and from moment to moment, each step always coming nearer and nearer to the highest possible development and evolution, provided that the guiding idea is belief in progress. Today then determines tomorrow; and today was determined by yesterday. Cause and effect, as he observes it, engages the thought of the historian. The New Testament view of history and the flow of time is an altogether different one: “The end of all things is at hand” (l Peter 4: 7), It would be a serious mistake to date this end or to be misled by speculations which have in the past brought discredit to Christian hope. One thing we know with solid certainty: “The end of all things is at hand.” This end gives direction to everything. Everything must be interpreted with this end in view. So the directional lines do not run from the present out to some ephemeral, evolutionary goal somewhere in the remote future, but they run from the end, that is, the consummation of the Kingdom, to the present and determine the present. Hence, from this point of view history does not repeat itself. We need to take the end of this present world form and age as seriously as we take our own death. “You know what hour it is” (Rom. 13: 11) . “Keep your ear to the ground,” Paul says. Every political movement, every social upheaval, every scientific development, forces the question upon us: What light does the end shed on this event, this discovery, this new thought? The minute hand of the clock of this age is steadily moving on and is nearing the point at which the clock will strike twelve. August Rehwald
About The Author
Rev. Bernhard Seter has been a Pastor in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for over 42 years. He served on the Board of LCMS World Relief and Human Care for ten years and is now the Chairman of the Board of International Missions. He has been privileged to travel around the world and see the churches' mercy work in action. He is convinced it is not only what we are "compelled" to do because of Christ; it is what we have been baptized for. Christ's love compels us, constrains us, and sends us forth.
January 1, 2019
January 27, 2018
June 25, 2019