“When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.”
I wonder what compels us to talk like this?
Why do we so eaisily speak as if the return of Christ means the end of time?
Yes, I know we refer to the second coming as “the end times,” but that’s a rather unfortunate turn of phrase, and seems to have little to do with anything we find in the text.
On first glance it appears that it stems from a poor translation of Rev. 10:6, and a misunderstanding of the term “last days” which is about the restoring and judging acts of God, not the end of history and space-time.
Besides, what would that even mean? How can time not exist? On a philosophical level the idea makes no sense.
Time is simply the plane in which we exist, and neither thought nor action can work without a sequence of events we call time.
Without that sequence we are left with some sort of eternal, static, NOW.
The language we use matters, more that we assume. It shapes the way we conceive of things, even the categories we can use.
And with language like “and time shall be no more,” it is no wonder that so many in our churches cannot articulate the biblical hope for the age to come – new creation, resurrection, and a realized kingdom where the curse (not time) shall be no more.