Last And Final Call! by Nancy White
One of my pet peeves regarding travel is the “last and final” call. First, I hear: “This is the last and final call for ABC Airlines flight 123 with service to XYZ. Doors will close soon.” And then, five minutes later, I hear, “Last and final call for ABC Airlines flight 123 to XYZ. Doors are closing and you will be left.” And then, about two minutes later, “This is the last and final…” And possibly the call will go out a few more times yet.
Really?! How many “last and final” calls are there? And why is it “last AND final?” Wouldn’t either last OR final work? Eventually, I guess they actually do shut the doors and take off. Hopefully, the tardy passengers hear the call and hustle over to their plane.
If you read the Old Testament story about the nation of Israel, you might be justified in wondering, how many last and final calls God was going to give them. Their story is one of being saved by God, a time of obedience and great blessing, falling into idolatry, punishment by God, repentance, being saved by God and then right back into the cycle. Eventually, we know that God sent them all into captivity, but even then, He let them know that it was not the “last and final” call to obedience. See Jeremiah 29:10-13, where in verse 11, God says (as He is sending them into captivity) His thoughts toward them are “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” And He tells them (again) if they seek Him with all their hearts, they will find Him.
What about us? I don’t know about you, but I am glad to wake up every morning with a new day – a new opportunity to serve the Lord – to live the life that I should live – to learn, to grow, to obey. Most importantly, I am grateful that there isn’t a “last and final” call on the sacrifice of Jesus. It never runs out. As long as I have sin to repent of, I can go to the Father, ask forgiveness and receive it from Him because the sacrifice of Jesus does not run out. The Father calls me to Him, and I rely on His mercy. “His mercy endures forever” occurs 42 times in the Bible.
Ephesians 1:7 says that, in Jesus, “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”
His grace is rich and deep and abundant toward me. Believe me, I have tested it, going back to the well of grace for a repeated sin and coming away thankful that God is willing to stick with me through many of what I hoped would be the “last and final” call on forgiveness for that particular sin.
The amazing beauty of the fall Holy Days that are upon us soon is that they rehearse for us every year that this age is not the “last and final call” for the human race and our unsaved family, friends, and co-workers. The Feast of Trumpets reminds us that Jesus is coming again to rule this earth. Those alive at that time will hear the words of life and truth from Him and learn what a loving leader really looks like in action.
The Day of Atonement reminds us that our arch enemy, Satan, will be put away from this earth so that he can no longer draw us into temptation. We will experience the peace that can come from the door being closed on him and his evil cohorts for a time. (Hold on, that is not his “last and final” yet.)
The Feast of Tabernacles gives us a glimpse into the 1,000-year reign of peace and abundance that will be the result of everyone having the knowledge of the Lord. We find one scripture about that in Isa. 11:9 “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” I’d say the “last and final” call will have passed for ignorance, hurt and destruction, except that I know there is yet one more call.
The Last Great Day depicts the really, truly “last and final call” for Satan, his demons and any shreds of disobedience or ignorance among the human race. For that time, Satan will be out and about again, trying to tear apart the beauty and peace built by 1,000 years of Jesus ruling this earth.
And here is where we see all the generations of people who never knew Jesus, who lived in a nation that never heard His name, who heard the Gospel but never accepted, who died unrepentant because they did not truly understand or who were too damaged to take it to heart. We are blessed to know that there is no ever burning hell fire of torment for them. They have been sleeping and awaiting this time when they will be able to easily compare the world under Jesus’s rule with the world under Satan’s rule.
This will finally be that “last and final call” for each one who ever existed. And I cannot imagine that many will miss it. The doors will shut again on Satan after that, as well as the very, very few who after all they are able to see and hear and learn still refused obedience to God.
Praise God that the “last and final call” isn’t something we have to fear that anyone has already missed. God will be sure that everyone who ever lived will have a chance to fully hear and learn and experience the joy of the Lord. He will not shout over the intercom in a crowded and noisy airport. He will personally come down to live again among us. He will send out many, many teachers and ensure that everyone is able to hear, face-to-face and personally, about His great love and the marvelous plans He has for us – His family.
Praise God, for His mercy, for His plan and for His call.