My wife says the world is going to end soon. She expects the second coming of Christ in the next few years, certainly around the mid-century mark at the latest. And she’s not alone.
One friend, who was over yesterday, thinks it is a matter of a few years or perhaps only months.
A couple who ministers in our area feel it is imminent. They are warning people to prepare themselves for the return of Jesus.
As for myself, I don’t really know. There are certain ways to view the prophecies of Daniel, a book in the Old Testament, that would indicate their view is pretty accurate.
No matter when he comes, there are three things we need to know about the end of the world.
THE FIRST THING is, no one really knows the hour or the day of his second coming. The Bible says we can know the season, though, and that is what my wife and our friends are talking about. So, if you see a sign that says Jesus is coming at noon this Saturday, read the fine print. If there isn’t any, read the Bible.
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but the Father only.” Matthew 24:36
Jesus does tell us that we can know when his return is near. He uses the fig tree as an example of knowing the season.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you will know that He is near, right at the door.” Matthew 24: 32-33
These things include increased sin, wars, earthquakes, floods, and other disasters would indicate that the end is approaching. But what time or day remains hidden.
THE SECOND THING is that there is a difference between the rapture and the second coming of Christ. The rapture is when his people are called to meet him in the clouds.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet-call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
You see that Christ’s feet do not actually touch the earth. Rather, his believers are lifted off the earth. For a believer, this is a great day. For those left behind, it is a terrifying day.
THE THIRD THING about the second coming of Christ is that it is the most powerful and horrendous day that will ever happen. This is what happens.
“That day will be a day of wrath—
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of trouble and ruin,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness—
In the fire of his jealousy
the whole earth will be consumed,
for he will make a sudden end
of all who live on the earth.” (Zephaniah 1: 15 and 18b)
This is the day the world ends.
One day this end will come. For this is not some fairy tale. Our King saves the day by utterly destroying evil. Those of us who are his children are removed before the final end. Those who reject Jesus and continue to break his commands will face the wrath of God.
Yet this is not the end of humans. After this, children of God are in paradise. Enemies of God, those not his children, are in hell for eternity. Forever and ever.
Please don’t be left behind. Chose Jesus now, while you can.
Andy Becker is a pastor, retired counsellor and former CEO of a Hospice organization. Currently, his wife, Stella and Andy, lead both Lighthouse ministries and Bread of Life ministries in North Central Regina, one of Canada’s poorest and roughest neighborhoods. His book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.