End is Nigh

Dating from about 1200 and displayed at the British Museum, the panels above and below depict St Peter welcoming the Blessed to the gates of Heaven while, on the right, Satan drags the souls of the Damned into the jaws of Hell. We Protestants with our eyes better fixed on scripture than papal traditions may harbour doubts about Peter welcoming to heaven and Satan, for whom hell was made, leading off his own party like a tour guide at Butlins. Yet the panel at the bottom might gain our approval. People behold signs that the end is nigh and Christ’s returning and judgement are imminent. The fashions might have changed and the timings might be inaccurate, but medieval eschatology was essentially correct: the world will end and Christ will return. It might be dismissed by moderns and neglected by the careless, but it really is going to happen.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” -Rev. 21:12-13