How crazy is this? Here we are in the full brunt of the Christmas season, and I am writing about the end of the world! Of all things! But something must be said. I must confess I had no idea people were talking about “the end of the world” again. It came across my desk just the other morning when I received an email from a Christian ministry which I follow on Twitter and they had written about the Mayan prediction extensively. Some apparently were also expecting an epic event on 12/12/12.
It was last year when Harold Camping made his own predictions as to the end of the world and many of his followers were making headlines for their conviction that what Harold said would come true. Even many professing believers were asking the same questions: “Should we be concerned?” “Do we need to get ready?” “Is he telling the truth?” And so of course many today, are asking “Does the ancient Mayan calendar speak the truth?”
Even the scientists at NASA wanted to set the record straight. They prepared a video that was supposed to be released December 22, 2012 the day after in order to explain why the earth did not end. But they chose, for whatever reason to release it in advance... “Why the world did not end yesterday” (Science@NASA; www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012.html) But as you watch the video you notice that even their rationale is flawed because it is based upon empiricism, which is basically the belief that if you can’t see it, hear it, smell it or touch it...it is not going to happen.
(a.k.a. The Scientific Method) They base their theory on the observations that there is no planet or super asteroid currently on a collision course with earth and of course the sun always has its solar flares and there has been nothing out of the ordinary to say the earth will end. So therefore, NASA says the earth is not in danger.
But to truly answer these questions regarding the end of the world...we should be concerned wit truth, because truth is what really matters. What man says about the end of the world can easily be ignored. Man is very creative, and very imaginative. The stories that come out of Hollywood and into theatres may make for great entertainment but it is actually what God says in His Word about the coming of the end of the world that should not be ignored. Do we need to get ready? Absolutely. But God has promised hope for every believer who has placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
So the question believers should honestly pursue is...What does the Bible say about the end of the world? This will be a snapshot answer. Too many more details would make for the writing of a book. But make no mistake, God has promised through His Word that this world and the entire universe for that matter has a limited life span. “The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10 This is a fact that is hard for us...(and especially so for our friends in NASA) to humanly imagine when we think of the expanse of the universe, but with God nothing is impossible. (See also: Revelation 21:1)
But before this colossal event happens there are certain things that must occur first before it comes to pass. First of all, there will be a RAPTUREof all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is very clear that those who have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins will be taken up (literally: “snatched up”) out of this world in the blink of an eye. And of this day no one knows the day nor do they know the hour. 2 Thessalonians 4:16-18 tells us that “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
When does the rapture take place? The exciting thing is that it could happen in any second! We don’t need any more signs. In fact...it could happen before you finish reading this article. “You need to be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”(Luke 12:40) “He will come as a thief in the night.” (2 Thessalonians 5:2) By the way, in my social circle I don’t know many thieves, but even if I did...I don’t expect any of them would ever give me prior notice of their intent to break in to my house. Hey believer...if you believe Jesus is coming again, you will choose to be ready. Jesus warned us not to speculate about the “when” question...Matthew 24:36
After the rapture of believers there must be seven years of what is known as the “Great Tribulation”. It is during this time period that unbelievable horrors will take place upon the earth. You can read about this devastation in the book of Revelation. At the end of this unimaginable, horrific period known as the Tribulation, Jesus Christ Himself will literally, physically return to earth and He will set up His own righteous government and He will reign for one thousand years. (See:Revelation 19:11-20:6) This is
known as the “Millennial kingdom”. (See also Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 2:4)
After the millennial kingdom, literally, all hell will break loose, but then there will be divine judgment when Jesus Christ will completely destroy His enemies, He will vindicate His name, He will reveal His glory and His majesty and He will finally finish off His enemy Satan. (Revelation 20:7-10) Then will come the “new heaven and the new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away...” and God will be with His people for eternity. (See: Revelation 21)
So how should you and I live in light of this? As Peter writes, in 2 Peter 3:12-13 there is no need for believers who have put their trust in Jesus to be afraid or even worried for that matter. Instead, we are to be holy and godly and we are to be looking for these things, anticipating them and even hastening them. As believers we have everything to hope for and nothing to fear from our Father who loves us. “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.”
This Christmas season remember that Jesus Christ came the first time so that you can have your sins forgiven and your hope for eternity. But know this as well He will come again and this time He will come not as a baby wrapped in cuddly clothes...but instead He is coming as the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Conqueror. And we need to be ready for Him. Do you know Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord? You can have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
For an explanation how you can have peace with God through the Lord Jesus, please go to the drop down link on this website:"How to know God".