SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE END-TIMES. Two pivotal events in human history have been designed to forge the eternal status of humankind: the first coming to earth of Christ, the incarnated Deity as ‘Savior’ of humanity (Luke 2:11), and the second coming to earth by that same Christ as Judge of humanity (2 Tim. 4:1). As we humans stand now, between those two momentous events, we joyfully commemorate the first one as Christmas and, often with trepidation, await the second one, the ‘Parousia.’ The second event will mark the ‘end of the age’, the term used by Jesus four times in Matthew’s gospel–with no reference to the ‘end of the world,’ thus leaving open the prospect of the six-fold mention of the housand years of peace’ (Rev. 20:2-7). Our natural curiosity about this cosmic episode was articulated by the apostles: ‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?’ (Matt. 24:3). After a description of fearful events and widespread evangelization, Jesus summarizes his advice: ‘Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming’ (v. 42). The need is for preparedness, not exact calendaring. In this lecture that theme, echoed through the centuries, is explicated, along with Jesus’ personalized four-point program for ‘setting the stage’ for those end times.