If you know the end of the story, there’s a lot you can disregard – As seen on TV

082214Usually we don’t like to know the end of the story and when someone blurts out the ending it’s called a “spoiler.” What fun is it to read a “whodunnit” when you already know who did it?

But when it comes to the faith, not only should we know the end of the story—we must never forget it and must base our very lives on it. As we look about the world, it is easy to get discouraged and think that evil is winning. And yet Scripture plainly states that Satan’s plans are going nowhere, that Jesus has already won the victory. Mysteriously, the Lord allows Satan a little time to sift through the ruins of his former kingdom, but do not be deceived—Satan has lost and so have all who are allied with him.

Some lines from Psalm 37 come to mind:

Wait a little, and the wicked will be no more;
look for them and they will not be there.
But the poor will inherit the earth,
will delight in great prosperity.
But my Lord laughs at the wicked,
because he sees that their day is coming.
Wait eagerly for the LORD,
and keep his way;
He will raise you up to inherit the earth;
you will see when the wicked are cut off.
I have seen a ruthless scoundrel,
spreading out like a green cedar.
When I passed by again, he was gone;
though I searched, he could not be found.
mark the upright;
Because there is a future for a man of peace.
Sinners will be destroyed together;
the future of the wicked will be cut off.

Spoiler Alert! Yes, dear brethren, I checked. I went to the end of the story and sure enough, Jesus wins! There it is right at the end of the Bible. But this is a spoiler you need to know, because you have to choose which team you’ll be on and it’s nice to know ahead of time whose team has already won. It’s like going to today’s horserace with tomorrow’s paper. You’d be a fool to bet on any horse other than the winning one. Well, you have tomorrow’s paper and here is what it says:

20:7When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison. 8 He will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 They invaded the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10 The Devil who had led them astray was thrown into the pool of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. 12 I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. 13 The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death.) 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire (Rev 20:7–15).

21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.”
5 The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” 6 He said to me, “They are accomplished. I [am] the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. 7 The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. 8 But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Rev 21:1–8).

22:6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits, sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.” 7 “Behold, I am coming soon.” Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book. 20 The one who gives this testimony says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all (Rev 22:6–7; 20-21).

Keep this in mind; keep it always on your mind. The result of this victory is obtained in the paradox of the cross. Jesus destroys death by dying and tells us that to save our life we must lose it to this world. Whatever the struggles and setbacks, do not be dismayed. Love and humility have already overcome hatred and pride. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred, only love can do that. Pride cannot drive out pride, only humility can do that. And thus the Lord allows opportunities for the light of truth to shine in the error of darkness, for love to endure in the face of hatred, and for humility to shame pride.

Until the last day when the trumpet shall sound, the drama carries on. But see what the end shall be. You already know the end of the story. Just make sure you serve in the Lord’s army and wield the weapons of light, love, and humility.

Well I know this video is going to seem strange after such a serious reflection. But what could be more humble than a little pig “spoiling” the movie as the patrons go in? And yet, if you listen to his advice, he’s basically saying what I just did. “Don’t waste your time on losers; don’t waste your time going down a path of wrong ideas or theories; don’t get all worked up about characters and things that don’t matter—here’s what’s really going on in the movie.”

Not bad advice for life either. If you know the end of the story, there’s a lot you can disregard along the way, and you’ll know where to set your focus. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the truth of His Gospel.

13 Replies to “If you know the end of the story, there’s a lot you can disregard – As seen on TV”

    1. LOL…cute video.

      Monsignor Pope,
      Beautiful and encouraging!! Thank God for your gifts of wisdom and counsel.
      I’m going to try harder to focus on Jesus!!

      1. The last time I remember seeing a frown as the lady has at 0:09 in the video was a few weeks ago when my sister and nieces dragged me to the zoo. I was visiting with two grizzlies and noted the male kept picking marrow from a rather large bone then lapping it from his rather large claw. The words came out of my mouth “I wonder what they did with the black bear that just died?” That’s when i saw the scowl from the lady behind, except she had her mouth open. As my fam laughed and pulled me away they said she was still looking in disgust. It’s not that I’m insensitive but I couldn’t spend too much trying to figure her anger, God knows. It’s like Msgr. says at the end, it’s not the estimation of self and others that matter so much as it is the estimation of God.
        God bless!

        1. Jas, I hope your surgery went well! Please keep us posted…hope all is well.
          Keeping you in my prayers.

          1. They’re monitoring and waiting until it’s necessary. I probably shouldn’t have spoken of it, I’m sorry. I’m fine, better actually. Thanks for your prayers! As always, God bless!

          2. Oh no, not too curious. please, no need to apologize. I’m never offended for myself but for God. It’s that I tend to think I’m a bother. I worry too much that I’ve caused others to worry. For example, my elderly neighbor worries. She asked today “isn’t the waiting a terrible thing to have hanging over your head?” I said things could be worse, I’m fine. You pray for and have been kind to me. I don’t know if I’m making sense here. I care that you care. No worries 🙂 and thank you! God bless!

          3. Ok, Jas…there’s an elephant in the room. And the curiosity is making me mad. Ha ha
            I’m glad you aren’t upset with me for asking. I tend to scare guys away with my direct approach.
            Honesty isn’t preferred these days…people like playing games. Ah, but I digress.
            I will continue to pray for you…and your “waiting”. Stick around, kid! You’re good for this soul

          4. You were worried I was upset? I was worried I upset you. Internets are difficult. No, time is short, I want a job in Heaven, honesty is required. I worry often that, being too simple, I’m a bother. No elephants on Monsignor’s excellent blog. If you like I can tell YOU why the wait. I risk spam and cruel pranks but here’s my jastheleast2 at gmail address. God bless!

          5. Rereading what I wrote, it seems stupid and disrepectful. Please forgive me? If Monsignor Pope can give my email can I just keep you posted so as not to be disruptive to his site? Amen, I don’t know who you are but make this act of faith after prayer. Even should I die I ask for your prayers.

  1. Dear Monsignor,

    Thanks for the encouragement to refocus on what is lasting, as well as for the humerous video. My only…er, what shall I call it?, un-positive comment would be to wish that you had used the Vulgate for your excellent Psalm reference, since the Vulgate says (36:11), “The meek shall inherit the earth.” It kind of, well, goes with the Gospel.

    My prayers for the continued fruit of your good work. –Ben

  2. That commercial drives me nuts. If I ran into a pig like that, I’d want to turn him in pork chops, honey-glazed ham, and bacon. But, maybe now I’ll hate it a little less than I did before. 😛

  3. Monsignor –

    Thank you for this post. I try to remember this, but here is what I struggle with when I am told not to be anxious because “we already know how the story ends – Jesus wins!” Doesn’t the story also end with some non-negligible number of souls spending eternity in hell? Between “now” and “the end” there are literally millions of souls at stake and among them are not only our own souls but the souls of those we love dearly – parents, children, siblings, spouses – who by all appearances may be on the wrong track. Their fates will be determined by their lives, despite Jesus’ ultimate victory. His victory won’t necessarily be theirs, because the story does not end well for everyone. And some of those for whom it ends poorly may be among the people about whom we care most. So, I remain anxious and am not really at peace. I wish I were, but in some ways it seems seflish to me to say “I am confident in my own salvation and Jesus wins in the end, so not to worry.” Not because I despair of Jesus’ ultimate victory, or of my own share in it, but of the fate of so many souls who have turned their backs on Him.

Comments are closed.