End Times

<<end of the world>>

The Bible declares this world as we know it will end (Mt 24:14; 2 Pet 3:10).  God always has been totally in control of all events on earth, although He has let Satan and humanity exercise limited management. Our finite minds can’t comprehend the magnitude of the devastating events that are coming.  “There will be terrible times in the last days…” where self-centeredness and sin become

  Now is the time to get                        right with God

increasingly dominant in society with Satan's deception rampant (2 Thes 2:9-11; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 3:1-7, 4:3,4; Rev 9:20). One of the many comforting promises given by Jesus is, “Certainly I [through the indwelling Holy Spirit] will be with you always, to the very end of the age” so do not be afraid or fearful (Mt 28:20; Jn 14:27).

There is much speculation and numerous beliefs about what is soon coming on this world. Many Scriptures speak of major events and different happenings. They can be interpreted in a variety of ways and therefore give rise to different conclusions, particularly relating to their order. Satan and his representatives are the cause of the persecution and death of many people in the Great Tribulation while God’s wrath is revealed in distinct events of godly judgement against evil and directed at the beast and his followers (Rev 13:2-4,16-18).   

The term “The day of the Lord” can indicate a span of time in which God, directly or indirectly, intervenes to accomplish some specific aspect of His plan, such as this present time of grace, yet it is mostly identified as a precise period or day when God's will and purpose for His world and all mankind will be fulfilled (Act 2:17-21; 1 Cor 5:5; 1 Thes 5:2,3; 2 Pet 3:12).

Here is an overview of the major events stated in the Bible, however they do not necessarily occur in this order and while we don’t know everything now, the certainties are the events, not necessarily the timing or the finer points.

Rapture

This is when the believers are caught up to be with Christ. There are differing views on the timings of this event. The most widely held belief is this could occur at any moment (Jn 14:1-3; Rev 3:10).

Tribulation

The Antichrist and the false prophet who are Satan’s puppets come to power and head up a religious system that requires worship of the Antichrist (Rev 19:20). The Abomination of desolation is the term used to describe some of the evil forced on people during this is period of increasing hardship experienced by all those on earth when many are martyred (Mt 24:4-34; Mk 13:5-27; Lk 21:5-28). During this time many, especially Jews, will turn to Christ with the promise that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Act 2:17-21; Rev 7:14). The Antichrist will require everyone to accept an identifying mark on their body, however if received it will exclude them from God’s Kingdom (Rev 13:5,16-18, 14:9-12).

The battle of Armageddon

Jesus returns and saves Jerusalem from annihilation by defeating the armies of the nations fighting under the orders of the Antichrist (Mk 14:62; Rev 19:11-21).

The Millennial Kingdom

Christ will rule His earthly Kingdom for 1000 years after Satan has been bound and cast into a bottomless pit (Rev 20:1-6). After this period, Satan is released for a short time, defeated again, and then cast into the lake of fire for eternity (Rev 20:7-10).

The second coming of Christ

This is when He returns “to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him” and destroys the Antichrist and his armies, casting them into the lake of fire (Heb 9:28; Rev 19:11-21). It is an essential doctrine and included in all orthodox creeds.

Eternal judgments

There will be a resurrection of both the righteous and wicked (Jn 5:28; Act 24:15; 1 Cor 15:12-54).  Everyone will be raised and judged according to the lives they have lived. Every person will bow and acknowledge God’s right to judge on the basis of the choice they, themselves, made. At the judgment seat of Christ, believers good works and faithful service are rewarded, while any activity that does not stand His scrutiny, and lack of obedience, will result in loss (1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10).

Eternal destination

The world as we know it is destroyed, with a new heaven and new earth created where the New Jerusalem, the heavenly city is located (2 Pet 3:10; Rev 3:12, 21:1-27). Genuine believers, will join the celebration that marks the beginning of a glorious future, enjoying the physical presence of Jesus for eternity (1 Cor 15:20,42-44,51,52; Phil 3:21; 1 Thes 4:17; Rev 19:6,7). 

The unsaved will stand before the great white throne and be sentenced to eternal suffering in the lake of fire (Rev 14:11, 20:10-15).

The bottom line

The world as we know it will end at some future time, with the actual nature and timing known only by God, so it is futile to try and predict it although there are increasing indicators that it is soon to happen (Mt 24:32-36; Lk 21:28). Many people will be

   Concentrate on recruiting citizens for heaven                                     and let God attend to His affairs

caught off guard, with no time to ‘change sides’, so we must be prepared – ‘Now is the time to repent and live for Him’ (Mt 24:37-51; 2 Cor 6:2; 1 Thes 5:2,3). It is not essential for us to know the details – let God attend to what He is well capable of bringing to pass while we pray for and do what He has called us to do – the reaching of the lost with the power of the gospel. What Christ accomplished by His death and resurrection will be brought to consummation by His glorious return, Jesus instructed us go and make disciples, not just get converts (Mt 28:19). While we are to pray and be active in advancing God’s Kingdom, the Bible indicates many will ‘fall away’ though some predict a  great ‘end times harvest’ of souls (Mt 24:10,12; Lk 18:8; 2 Thes 1:3-12, 2:3). Thank God for each person who turns to God, as many will during times of trouble and persecution, but a worldwide revival is unlikely.

    See also: abomination, Antichrist, Armageddon, controversial topics, day of the Lord, deception, eternal security, eternity, future, judgment, lake of fire, mark of the beast, marriage of the Lamb, millennium, new heaven and earth, rapture, second coming, tribulation.

     


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