Opinion Piece: Two Hundred Years Since the Close of the Age

Jay Tyson is the author of “The Wise Men of the West: A Search for the Promised One in the Latter Days”. SOOP proudly encourages its authors to express their views on its blog. – Something or Other Publishing

As we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Bab this year, and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah in 2017, it is worth contemplating that much of the Christian world also recognized that period as marking the achievement of a goal which Jesus Himself said would herald the end of the age.

In Matt 24:14 He states:

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.”

Christian nations began to learn how to sail across the oceans in 1492. During the next three centuries or so, they gradually reached “all nations.” Sometimes they attempted to colonize new areas. Sometimes they established trading ports. But always they brought missionaries, who would preach the ‘gospel of the kingdom’ wherever they went.

Some areas were difficult to reach. Missionary work did not begin in New Zealand until 1814.  Mission schools were not opened in Madagascar until 1818. But after that, many Christians began to recognize that the milestone Jesus described as marking the ‘end of the age’ had been reached. Others might have defined ‘all nations’ differently, but within the next couple of decades, even those areas were reached with the gospel.  

Ever since that time, the Christian world has been in a state of expectation, hopeful that the reappearance of Christ was imminent. And since then, the evidence of the dawn of a new age has appeared ever more clearly in every realm. Thousands of books have been written in anticipation of His return. Yet, for 200 years, the expectations have remained unfilled.   

The 200th anniversary of the dawn of this new age is an opportunity to invite our Christian friends and relatives to consider why the expectations have not been fulfilled. Has God chosen to ignore His promises? Or is it possible that there may have been some misunderstanding in our expectations? Can we detach ourselves from our previous expectations of major outward miracles, and start to look with spiritual eyes?

What if someone had gone looking for the return of Christ by searching for a Teacher who had innate knowledge, even as a child? What would he have found, at the start of the new age?

This is the premise that is explored in my novel The Wise Men of the West: A Search for the Promised One in the Latter Days”. Starting during the days of the ‘Second Great Awakening’ in America in the 1830s and 1840s, traveling to the Holy Land in search of the return of Christ in ‘the West’ (Volume I) draws our spiritual explorers to the conclusion that they must also search in ‘the East’ (Volume II) in accordance with Jesus’ directions from Matt 24:27.

What they find there is truly astounding, forcing them to wonder whether their own people in the West will be able to bear the news.

The book aims to use the medium of story-telling to remove as many potential stumbling blocks as possible for the Christian reader. It can be a suitable gift for Baha’is to give to Christian friends and relatives. I hope that it will serve as a basis for starting many conversations of spiritual significance about God’s promises, and the sometimes unexpected ways which He may choose to fulfill them.


To learn more about Jay Tyson and his new book “The Wise Men of the West: A Search for the Promised One in the Latter Days”, please check out the Publishizer pre-order campaign that has been recently launched!

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