WHAT DOES THE END OF THE WORLD MEAN?
Throughout history, the idea of an end to the world preoccupied the minds of mankind. However, never has an apocalyptic event been mentioned as often as in the period from the year 2000 to the present, especially with the “2012 phenomenon” fever that led to the creation of the movie 2012.
As of July 23, 2017, if we search the Internet for the term “the end of the world,” we will receive about 415,000,000 results. If we wanted to read all of those results, dedicating one minute per result without rest, we would need about 790 years. Yet, even with such a great volume of information handy like that, too few people really understand the true meaning of the term “the end of the world.” The main problem is that there is simply too much information out there that conflicts with the prophecies of the Bible, causing confusion about the end of the world.
From the Bible, we can learn much about the origin, history, and future of humanity in relation to God the Creator. In fact, most of what we know about the end of the world derives from the Bible, which provides extensive details on the event. The Bible is a collection of 66 books written in two ancient languages, Hebrew and Greek. The oldest books were written about 3,500 years ago and the latest books were written about 1,900 years ago. For those who believe in God and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible is undeniably humanity’s written Word of God.
Out of the 8,352 verses found in the Bible, approximately 27% of them are from prophecies, or 1,817 predictions of events that will happen in human history . Within a period of nearly 3,500 years, more than 90% of those prophecies were fulfilled, which is an eloquent testimony to the fact that the Bible is indeed the Word of God. The Bible predicted the rise and the fall of empires and Christ’s birth and death to redeem humanity from sin. Soon to come true, the Bible also predicts the end of all wicked things and the establishment of the new heavens and new earth for God’s Eternal Kingdom.
The Bible is the true source for the meaning of the end of the world, the purpose of it, and the events leading up to it. Only the Bible has the authority of God to make these truths known to mankind. So, what exactly does the Bible have to say about the end of the world, and why should you care about its prophecies? First, we must understand the meaning of “the end of the world,” according to the Bible.
What Does The End of the World Mean?
In a narrow sense, “the end of the world” means the end of all life on the earth and the earth itself. In a broad sense, “the end of the world” means the end of the entire physical world, the whole universe. In a Biblical sense, “the end of the world” means neither of these things. Rather, it is the end of all things old and bad and the beginning of all things new and good.
According to the Bible, *God allowed mankind to self-govern for about 6,000 years, but He will end it with an unprecedented event called the “end of the world,” also known as “the apocalypse” or “doomsday.” The end of the world will last seven years, and it will be filled with natural disasters, epidemics, famines, and terrible wars like no man has ever experienced in history. These seven years of suffering are called “The Great Tribulation,” which ends with the Lord Jesus Christ coming down from heaven to destroy all of the forces against God and to judge all the nations in the world.
Immediately after that, *God will usher in a new era called “the One Thousand Year Kingdom.” During this period, the believers who died during the Great Tribulation will be resurrected in a body of glory and immortalized. They will rule the One Thousand Year Kingdom with the Lord Jesus Christ, and the believers who survived the apocalypse will become citizens of the Kingdom.
Thus, according to the Bible, the end of the world does not mean the destruction of all life on the earth. Rather, it is an event in which *God will end the sinful era of humanity to usher in a new era ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Purpose of the End of the World
Mankind has sinned against God for about 6,000 years, bringing upon its self-destruction. Therefore, the end of the world is a way for God to end mankind’s period of self-governance and to punish the whole world for its sins. Furthermore, God will lock up Satan in hell’s abyss for 1,000 years during the apocalypse, and the Lord Jesus Christ will establish the One Thousand Year Kingdom.
During those thousand years of peace, mankind will continue to reproduce and fill the earth. There will be no evil spirits to tempt mankind to sin, and everyone will instantly have a full understanding of God; no one will doubt God’s existence or have a skewed perception of His character, like people do today. Wolves will live with lambs, leopards will lie down with goats, calves and lions will be together, cows will feed with bears, and children will play near cobra’s holes (Isaiah 11). In other words, it will be a peaceful and prosperous kingdom with the Lord Jesus Christ and His saints as the rulers. As a result, all the angels (good and evil) and all of humanity will notice how peaceful and happy the world of an understanding God is like and most will surrender to Him.
Yet, even if there are no evil spirits to tempt mankind, there will still be those who prefer a lifestyle contrary to the love, righteousness, and holiness of God. At the end of the One Thousand Year Kingdom, those who oppose God will be associated with Satan, who will be released from the depths of hell to attack the city of Jerusalem. The opposers will be destroyed by fire raining down from the sky, and Satan will be casted into the lake of fire to suffer forever (Revelation 20:7-10).
After the One Thousand Year Kingdom, there will come a time called “the End of All Things” (I Peter 4:7). The old heavens and the old earth will pass away, and the physical bodies of those who did not believe in God will rise and be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of God the father with the conviction from God the Spirit. Finally, *God will establish the new heavens, the new earth, and His Eternal Kingdom. Sin, suffering, and death will not exist in the Eternal Kingdom of *God. All who belong to *God will live forever in happiness with Him in His kingdom.
The Events That Signify the End of the World
The Bible recorded many prophecies about the end of the world, particularly in Revelation. It is crucial that we pay extra attention to these prophecies because they are going to be fulfilled right before our very eyes! According to the Bible, the following three important events must be fulfilled before the Great Tribulation:
Israel must re-born as a nation.
A great apostasy will occur in the Church (the Assembly of Christians).
The Lord Jesus Christ will appear in the sky to rapture the Church.
The first event was already fulfilled on May 14th, 1948. The second event is happening in the present, and the third event can happen at any time. We hope that, as you read these words, the third event has not yet happened, so that you can promptly accept the salvation of God and escape the Great Tribulation. If you are reading this and the third event already happened, then please read the chapter “If You Were Left Behind” at the end of this book, so you can know what to do in order to be saved while living during the Great Tribulation.
There are no other apocalyptic prophecies of the world that mention these three important events. The Nation of Israel’s miraculous re-establishment after spending more than two thousand years without a place call their home country proves that the Bible is the Word of God. Before long, those who have hardened their hearts and do not believe the Bible can no longer deny its validity as they see the prophecies being fulfilled before their very eyes.
The Authority of the So-called End of the World Prophecies
Although there are many so-called prophecies about the end of the world by various religions of the world, none were as detailed or as accurate as the prophecies in the Bible. In fact, the Bible even dedicated a whole book to specify the process of the end of the world. For those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, believing in the apocalyptic prophecy in the Bible shouldn’t even be a question. For those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, they have the choice either to believe in the Biblical prophecies, to believe in the thousands of so-called prophecies of the world, or to not believe about the end of the world at all.
So, keep in mind that all the so-called prophecies of the world, or prophecies that are not from the Bible, are the products of human imagination or from the deception of the evil spirits. Only the Bible, the inspired Word of God, has the authority to proclaim the truth God wanted to reveal to mankind. Therefore, believing in any of thousands of so-called apocalyptic prophecies will only bring confusion. Rather, only the apocalyptic prophecies of the Bible can truly prepare us for what is surely soon to happen. Thankfully, the Bible cannot be any clearer on the kind of changes we need to expect from ourselves if we are to escape the punishment of God on Judgment day.
 “Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy,” J. Barton Payne: http://www.konig.org/wc24.htm
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