To See the End of the Church

Cross

 TO SEE THE END

Matthew 26:57. “And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
58. But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, TO SEE THE END.”

The events which brought Simon Peter to the High Priest’s house had happened so fast. It seem only hours since the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, followed by the cleansing of the temple.

Matthew describes the reaction of those in authority. “And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,” Matthew 21:15.

This was followed by those terrible sermons which still sting a sinful world, as described by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.There were great discourses on the events leading to the end of the world and the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24, the parable of the Ten Virgins and Judgment of nations in Matthew 25, and returning to the Mount Of Olivet each night praying.

The plot to kill Jesus grows and thickens each day, of which Peter is unaware of. One of the disciples (Judas) becomes disillusioned, and because of greed, sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver into the hands of the High Priest.

On the night before his arrest, Jesus shares what we call “the last supper” with His disciples. During the feast Peter affirms his allegiance to Jesus.

Matthew 26:33. “Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
34. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
35. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.” And They All Meant What They Said.
After the supper was over and Jesus had washed His disciple’s feet, they sung a hymn, and began the walk to Gethsemane. During this time Jesus talked to them to comfort them, and we have these words recorded for us in John 14, 15, 16, and 17, words that we also use to comfort one another in times of distress.
In Gethsemane Jesus prays that if it be the Father’s will to let this cup of suffering pass from Him. As Jesus agonizes in prayer Peter, James, and John are heavy with sleep and hear only a portion of what went on there.
Then the mob scene and a scuffle takes place, Peter pulls a sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the High Priest defending his Lord, but Jesus puts a stop to the fracas by telling Peter to put up his sword and surrendering meekly to the guards, who immediately bound Him and led Him away.
Matthew 26:58. “But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
As Peter sat, no doubt his mind goes back over the last 3½ years, to the time his brother Andrew brought the news, “We found the Messiah.” Not long afterward Peter had left his nets and ship and followed Jesus.
He remembers the time he walked on water in the midst of a storm, he remembers exclaiming to Jesus, “Thou art the Christ.” He thinks about the glorious view of the transfiguration, and his answer to the Lord’s question if they would go away from Him. Peter’s response, “To whom shall we go, thou hast the words of eternal life.”
Now as he sits by the fire and sees and hears what has and is happening, he thinks that This Is The End, the end of the hopes and dreams he had of the Lord’s Kingdom, and he a part of it.
But things get darker still as he is questioned about him being one of the Lord’s disciples. He denies this with an oath and then he hears the cock crow and sees the look on Jesus’ face and immediately runs out weeping bitterly.
Jesus is lead away bearing a cross, nails are driven in His hands and His feet, the cross is raised and Jesus hangs suspended between heaven and earth.
The end seems to come as the heavens grow dark, and the earth begins to shake and rock are rent and fall off the Clift. Then the cry from the cross, “It Is Finished,” and Jesus hangs His head and His body goes limp.
Jesus is taken from the cross and placed in a tomb, and a large stone is rolled across the entrance. Guards are placed to keep someone from stealing the body.
To Peter This Was The End. The next day or two was a dark time for Simon Peter.
But Simon Peter Was Mistaken, a new day was dawning. Three days later an angel descends and rolls away the stone, and Jesus came forth victorious over death, hell and the grave.
Simon Peter Saw Only The Beginning:
For forty days Jesus showed himself off and on to them comforting, encouraging them, and proving Himself to them that He was truly alive. He gave them what we call the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:47-49) just before He ascended back into heaven.
At Pentecost, Simon Peter saw the beginning of the Church. Many have sat down since then to see her send; but Jesus said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 28:20).
There have been times when the future looked dark, but God brought her (the Church) through. There were dark ages when it looks like the light would go out and The End Had Truly Come, years of rule by apostate religion.
But I feel that God had some people who would not bow to this ungodly system and as the centuries rolled on God once again poured out His Spirit in a marvelous way beginning in early 1900. The fire of the Holy Spirit ignited the embers and Today The Sun Never Sets On The Church Of The Living God.
The road has not been easy for the Church. Many have sat down at various times to see her end. But To The Church Of God There Is No End. It has always a new beginning, always a resurrection, springing up in an untold number of places.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
The trumpet is not the end; the gathering of the saints is not the end. The next to the last phrase indicates that “We Shall Forever Be With The Lord.”
Today we see magnificent edifices all across the world bearing Her Name, and tomorrow someone else will sit down to see her end. There will be scoffers and mockers until the trumpet sounds. And then the Church will be caught away to her eternal home. God Bless The Church!

About the author

James Thornton

I am a retired pastor currently living in the Nashville, TN area. We attend First Church, Bro. Ron Becton pastor. We've been putting our sermons and Bible studies online for more than five years in an effort to continue our ministry.


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