declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
- Psalm 19:1-4
But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out
into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
- Romans 10:18
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
- Revelation 20:7-10
“God is the Everlasting God. The Creator of the ends of the earth. He is not created. He creates.”
- David Robertson, A. S. K. – Real World Questions / Real Word Answers
In doing a word search on my favorite Bible site, I searched for “Ends of Earth.” The site found 48 verses that contained all three words, but not all were arranged in the order of “ends of the earth.” The first few of these references pertained to God bringing up a nation to destroy Israel if they drifted from their faith and prescribed worship of God (Deuteronomy). Yet, in Psalm 19, we get ‘earth’ and ‘ends of the world’ pertaining to knowing God. This reference is quoted in Romans 10:18.
On the other hand, the same search for “Corners of Earth” came up with three references, two in Revelation and the third Isaiah (talking about the chosen). The Revelation corners seem to pertain to the corners where darkness hides.
Why did I do these searches? I read the sentence in David Robertson’s book and it hit me that the radio preachers of my youth used those terms interchangeably. Go to the corners of the earth or go to the ends of the earth and preach the Gospel. Does it matter?
First, the two references to the corners of the earth in Revelation are not referring to spreading the Gospel, but the one in Isaiah might have that meaning. But when referring to spreading the Gospel, the ‘ends’ of the earth is more common.
But, I sometimes get into my geeky, engineer mood. We just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon. They took pictures! The earth has no ends or corners! The earth is ROUND!
Ah, now that I got that out of my system, when I read the sentence from David Robertson’s book. He was talking about the creation. The beginning. We often speak about End Times, or the end of the world as we know it. Could God want us to spread the Gospel to both the corners of the earth and the ends of the earth? The corners meaning every country, nation, village, and house. At least each of those have edges that could result in ‘corners.’ The ends meaning from the point in time when we receive Jesus into our hearts until the day we pass to the next life or Jesus returns. Which ever come first without going over.
Whenever I picture God outside of time and space, I picture God looking at a hologram depicting the timeline of all time. God is the I AM. He exists at all times. Why not have all times visible before Him? On one gigantic table. God sees the dawn of time, when time and space began. God sees the End Times. All there on the table. He can zoom in on one spot and freeze time. No freezing necessary as far as earth is concerned, but for God, outside of time and space, He can spend as much “time” dealing with every aspect of our lives as is needed for each individual second of our lives.
Now, while my mind, or God planting an image in terms that I could understand, came up with the holographic display, my wife had a dream, many, many years ago. She dreamed that she had gone to Heaven. She went into a room where there were many photo albums. She was told that she could investigate any of the photo albums except for one. She opened one at random and the photos were videos of her life. One can assume that the album that she was not allowed to open (in the dream) was that part of her life yet to be. But again, God had a room with photo albums for everyone, except He could adjust things to ensure that His will would be done. We could only watch from Heaven – if invited through a dream.
But with that mental image imprinted in my brain, I thought of the “ends” as being the beginning and the end of time. That still left the corners of the earth for the spatial aspect.
I think of the places in the world that have not heard someone speak of the love of Jesus as being the corners. If you look at maps of the world showing where Christians are persecuted, the edges of those highlighted countries look like corners.
Whether I am all wet or ‘touched in the head’ or interpreting this correctly, when Jesus gives us a commission, we need to shout praises to God on every rock on earth, flip the rock over, stand on it again and shout praises again. We need to keep doing that until we physically cannot do it anymore.
So, for all those radio preachers of my youth, it doesn’t matter which word you used. And it doesn’t matter for us either. We must shout to the Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.