Repentance is turning from worldliness and sin and turning to God. Sin is simply lawlessness, living without or outside of Godâ€™s law. So, to repent is to turn away from sin and living without God, and turn to God. It is both a process and a product. The process begins when we recognize that we have not been living as God would have us to live, and the product is finalized when we put those things behind us.
What was written of them, the Hebrews and later the Israelites, was recorded so that history might help the Corinthians and thereby us too. That we might have forms and types — character copies given to identify what to do, and (certainly) what not to do in serving God. The apostle said we can see a similarity or a contrast by examining the record, something in comparison we can use to identify and work through a response, so that we can provide a course of action.
The apostle also said these examples were given as an advisement or caution. And, as he said to those Corinthians of so long ago, they were the people “upon whom the end of the ages are come.”
I wonder: if the Corinthian’s then were alive when this end of the ages set upon the world and they were parcel to it and first in line when it started, exactly where does that place you and me right now?
I suspect the apostle was not talking about the end of the world, and the world certainly hasn’t ended in the interim. And if the apostle could not have meant the end of the world was coming right around the bend when he wrote this, then he must have been going after a different point.
But the “end of the ages” had to have had its start then — the end of the ages was starting while these things were being laid down. That is what the apostle wrote. And he apparently wasn’t writing something to the Christians there that had application thousands of years later, as that would be altogether meaningless to those to whom he had directly addressed the letter. Certainly by now we have surely passed much farther into this “end of the ages?” So the distance from one end to the other must be unknown but the point must be that it started then and that we are still among those “upon whom the end of the ages has come.”
Therefore he must have meant the end of the ages had its start while the servants of God were finalizing the plan of God and putting together the written word, while the very events were playing out; and that the people should understand that the instruction set was about to come to an end, when all was set and instituted. The Spirit aided pen was at that time about to be put back into the desk forever. The ages were coming to an end. That this age of which they were at least a part (and then, by clear inference, we too) was the very last of its kind; the final age where God had for a final time given supervision in a direct fashion, and had opened a door to allow us to pass through by doing his will. This signaled the end of the eternal plan of God. Active participation by God was coming to a halt.
There is nothing more to be added. The pattern then has been established and set. It is full. It is complete. Christ finished his part upon his death, resurrection and ascension. The Holy Spirit finished his work upon the death of those apostles and prophets, who each finished their work as had all the prophets before them, right up to John and the rest. And they are all now in heaven, as is the Holy Spirit, with the Son of God, and the Lord God Almighty; and things are as they should be and as we were told that they would in fact be. So the Lord God Almighty, and Creator of all things had completed his work too. The pattern is now available for modeling.