“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:2-3, ESV)
These words from Daniel clearly and succinctly depict the coming final day of judgement. That will be a day of reckoning and punishment for the wicked, those who rejected the Lord and abused and persecuted His chosen ones. But that same day will bring eternal life and rewards to those who have placed their faith in Him. Salvation by faith in Jesus is the message we see proclaimed in the New Testament and it is the message we who are God’s chosen people are now to bring to the people in our world.
Yet many Christians who contemplate the book of the prophet Daniel assume we can interpret all the visions contained in this book as they relate to the end of the world. But this is not so. In fact we get no details about the climactic and terrible events that will take place then. Rather we are told that the very things we crave to hear, when and how all these things will take place is not for us to know as the angel Michael tells us they are sealed up. Therefore it is rather curious why so many Christians talk about the end times, about dates, times and events and harken to the voices of those who claim to be able to give the exact details of the end times. This should lead us to conclude that all such speculations about these matters cannot and should not be dogmatic. In fact, they are a waste of the believer’s time and resources because we will know only when God chooses to reveal such things.
Rather than speculate we must act on what is revealed here. We are told that despite the outward circumstances, despite the pain suffering and persecution that the world and sinful men and kingdoms inflict on God’s people, the Lord is in control. He will set all things right. Therefore we can rejoice in the certain hope of deliverance.