With problems and crises multiplying so rapidly in today’s society, many people are concerned about the end of the world. Even mainstream commentators are using apocalyptic language to describe current conditions.
Is this overreaction—or are we in the last days? And if we are, what does that mean, exactly? What can we expect in the time ahead? Is there any hope?
The Bible reveals the answers to these questions—and more.
It is certainly true that the world around you is full of danger, and it is getting worse. It is as the Apostle Paul prophesied of our modern era: “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse” (2 Timothy 3:13). The influence and spread of carnal-minded human nature, which leads to destruction and death (Proverbs 14:12), is increasing, resulting in growing levels of greed, immorality, violence and debauchery. Simultaneously, mankind has developed weapons that are capable of human annihilation!
Jesus Christ, the greatest newscaster who ever lived, knew the ultimate result of the terrible state of affairs men would bring on themselves in this end time. He predicted: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive—Moffatt]” (Matthew 24:22).
Yet, your Bible shows there is hope for mankind! God Almighty has promised to intervene in world affairs. He will not allow the scientific genius of man to destroy all life on this planet. He has promised to send Jesus Christ again—this time to save us from ourselves and bring us peace at last!
What Is the ‘End of the World’?
1. What did Jesus say about the “end of the world” and the sign that would point to His return? Matthew 24:3.
God inspired the New Testament to be originally recorded in the Greek language. The Greek word translated “world” in this verse is aion, meaning “age”—not the physical planet on which we live. The Revised Standard Version translates the expression as “the close of the age.” The disciples were asking Jesus not about the destruction of the terrestrial globe, but about the end of an “age” of human history.
2. Did Jesus prophesy that a time of great trouble would occur on Earth just before His return? Verse 21.
3. What did He declare would happen if these days of tribulation continued? Verse 22.
The Moffatt translation renders this verse more clearly as “not a soul would be saved alive.” This verse is not referring to spiritual salvation, but to being saved from physical destruction—from being killed.
4. Did Jesus prophesy that only the inhabitants of Jerusalem would be threatened by total destruction? Same verse.
The Revised Standard Version says “no human being would be saved ….” Jesus was talking about all the inhabitants of the Earth, not just those in Jerusalem.
5. Who will intervene in world affairs to cut short this time of trouble, and thus prevent the annihilation of all humanity? Mark 13:20.
Jesus Christ will step in at the very moment humanity would otherwise destroy itself. By His direct intervention, He will cut short the days of man’s rule over man, which would otherwise lead to the destruction of all human life!
World Government to Bring Peace
1. Does God intervene in world affairs without first revealing His intentions to His prophets? Amos 3:7.
If you study the messages of the prophets, you see not only forewarning of the trouble to come, but also promises of what God will establish on Earth after Christ’s Second Coming.
2. Will God establish a kingdom to supplant the kingdoms of today’s world? Daniel 2:44. Is this coming kingdom a literal, world-ruling administration? Psalms 67:4. Will this government have a presence within a specific city here on Earth? Isaiah 2:1-3.
An all-powerful, world-ruling government is indeed coming that will solve all global problems fairly and righteously for all peoples. This will be a government ruled not by carnal men, but by the living, all-powerful Creator of the universe!
3. Will there be warfare then as there is now among nations, or will people learn the way to peace and productivity? Isaiah 2:4.
Mankind’s very Creator will establish His government to teach us the way to peace—to guide our inventive genius entirely into peaceful channels.
4. Will that government produce not only peace, but also material prosperity for “every man”? Micah 4:1-4.
5. Whom did Isaiah prophesy would rule over this government, and hence, over the Earth? Isaiah 11:1-4. Is David the “stem,” or son, of Jesse? Acts 13:22. Then is the “rod,” or shoot, Jesus Christ? Verse 23. Does the “branch” growing out of Jesse’s roots also refer to Christ? Jeremiah 23:5-6.
This prophecy in Isaiah 11 predicted, centuries in advance, that Jesus Christ will personally and literally rule the Earth!
6. Before Jesus was born as a human being, what did an angel tell Mary about His destiny? Luke 1:30-33.
Jesus Christ will take over an actual throne and rule on this Earth.
7. Did God reveal to Daniel the time when the saints—Spirit-born Christians—will be given rulership over Earth with Christ? Daniel 7:18, 21-22, 27.
God’s 7,000-Year Plan
God has set aside a period of 7,000 years to fulfill His plan for mankind. His little-understood plan for man began about 6,000 years ago. The pattern for this plan is given in the first two chapters of Genesis. It is the week of seven days.
Note that the Earth has existed for much longer than 6,000 years. In Genesis 1, only verse 1 refers to the original creation of the Earth. Then, verse 2 states that the Earth “was without form and void,” but the word was should be translated became. There is a huge time gap between verses 1 and 2. Verse 2 onward describes the re-creation or refashioning of the Earth, which God accomplished in six days. Then He rested on the seventh day.
1. To God, is a day like a thousand years? 2 Peter 3:8.
2. What day specifically foreshadows a time period of 1,000 years? In Hebrews 4:4, 11, the seventh day of the week pictures a type of the peaceful “rest” on Earth which will follow Christ’s return. This time of Christ’s rule on Earth will follow this present age of human misrule and senseless warfare. Is it specifically prophesied to be a thousand years? Revelation 20:4.
Since the last “day” of God’s plan is 1,000 years, then it logically follows that the preceding six “days” would amount to 6,000 years—a total of 7,000 years.
3. When the disciples asked Jesus if He would restore the government of God in their day, what was His reply? Acts 1:6-7.
The apostles did not understand the general time frame of God’s plan while Christ was on Earth with them, and for many years thereafter. At first, they thought God would establish His rule in their lifetimes. But before they died, they understood Christ would return at a much later date. Peter said, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise [of coming again] … but is longsuffering …” (2 Peter 3:9). God is patient. He has refrained from intervening in world affairs for 6,000 years. For these six millennia, mankind has been proving the inarguable truth that the ways of man, apart from God, bring nothing but suffering and death.
By tracing the genealogies of Adam’s progeny backward from Christ, as recorded in the Bible, we know that Adam was created roughly 4,000 years before Christ was born. And a little more than 2,000 years have elapsed since Christ’s birth—totaling about 6,000 years of human civilization to date.
How awe-inspiring and significant that in our present age—in the very time that the world is threatened with the extinction of all life—6,000 years have almost elapsed. How exciting that Jesus Himself said that when we would see all the events He foretold taking place, He would come again—this time to rescue humanity from annihilation, to set up the Kingdom of God, and to bring us lasting peace!