The End of Times is a popular subject among Christians as well as those who are outside the church. There are many who believe the End of Times is near, while there are others who are not as confident. Since this is a popular subject in the modern day, it is worthwhile to raise the debate as to whether the End of Times lives somewhere in the close future or centuries away. If you are interested in eschatology, this is the perfect subject for you.
The End of Times
The End of Times refers to the end of the world. Many individuals believe we are getting close to witnessing this event. Throughout history, there have been numerous people of different religious denominations who have tried to predict the End of Times. Despite their efforts, nobody has been able to accurately predict the world's final days. The only person who knows when the End of Times will occur is God Himself.
Concerning Jesus’ return, which is a key part of the End of Times, only the Father knows when this will happen. The Lord spoke about this during His earthly ministry as He told His followers, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark” (Matthew 24:36-38).
As the Lord tells us, nobody knows when His coming will be. Jesus’ Second Coming plays a crucial role in the End of Times events. Once Jesus returns, the End of Times will have already started. Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation, during the Battle of Armageddon. The Lord destroys all those who didn’t accept Him as well as the antichrist and the false prophet. After the Lord destroys all those who rejected Him, the Tribulation ends.
After the Tribulation will be the start of the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ. This is known as the Millenial Kingdom. During the Millenial Kingdom, Jesus will reign as King on the literal earth for one thousand years. During this time, Satan will be locked away (Revelation 20:1-3). After the thousand years, Satan will be released for a short time to test the nations. The meaning behind Satan “testing the nations” is that, unfortunately, there will be many who don’t choose to follow Jesus. Instead, they will choose to follow Satan.
This is why Satan has to be released to test the nations to test the people’s loyalty. Since there will be living believers who come out of the Tribulation, they will have children during the Millenial Kingdom. These individuals did not die during the Tribulation; therefore, they are able to have children during the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ. Those who survive the tribulation already placed faith in Christ during the terrible days of the tribulation; however, their children have not yet placed faith in Christ.
The children who have not placed faith in Christ will have to be tested to see where they place their allegiance. Despite being born during the wonderful thousand years of Christ, they still have to choose to place faith in Jesus in order to spend eternity with Him. During this time, Jesus will be literally walking the earth with everyone, yet there will still be many who don’t place faith in Him. This is a tragedy; however, each person has to make their own decision, and nobody can force anyone to accept Jesus as their Savior.
Afterward, the Millenial Kingdom will be the establishment of the New Heaven and New Earth. Within the New Heaven and New Earth, there will be no more crying, pain, or death (Revelation 21:4). This will be the final destination for all believers who placed faith in Christ whether during their earthly life, the Tribulation, or the Millenial Kingdom. Those who failed to place faith in Christ would have undergone the Great White Throne Judgment, which occurs at the end of the Millenial Kingdom. These individuals would only be those who rejected Christ, and their ultimate end is found in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
The New Heaven and New Earth will be the final destination for believers and it will be beautiful. Never again will there be any sin, and we will live in perfect harmony with God. Everything will be made new at the time of the New Heaven and New Earth. The old earth and the old heaven would have been destroyed since it has been tainted by the original fall of man. With God’s new creation of the New Heaven and New Earth, we will once again be given the opportunity and privilege to live with God, although this time, there will no longer be any fear of once again experiencing the fall.
Hope for the Believer
As we can see, there are many things that will happen as the end of time approaches. Although there will never be the end of time in the spiritual world, we know the present earth and present heaven will not last forever. The Apostle Peter tells us, “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (2 Peter 3:7). This can be sad for any of us, yet we can rest in the promise of the perfect earth and perfect heaven when God creates it.
The start of the End of Times will occur when the rapture of the church happens. The rapture is the catalyst. The event of the rapture will happen quicker than the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). Only believers will be taken up in the rapture, to which they will safely be with Christ throughout the terrible days of the Tribulation. During this time, believers will undergo the Bema Seat of Christ, to which they will be judged based on what they did for Christ. This is not a judgment of salvation, but rather, a time to reward believers for what they did for Christ and to take away what they didn’t do for Christ.
The Tribulation is a terrible event that will occur for seven years. The last three and a half years will be more severe than the first three and a half years. This will be the time of God’s final judgment upon mankind as well as His last try to cause His people to come to know Him. There will be many to accept Him during this time; however, there will also be many who will reject Him. Many people try to claim the tribulation is already ongoing today, yet this isn’t true. The tribulation will not happen until after the rapture; thus, it's not occurring in the present day.
Even though many will try to say the End of Times is right around the corner, we cannot be dogmatic. As humans, we cannot know when the End of Times will officially begin. While we are closer than we were 2000 years ago, we cannot know the exact time when this will occur. We can know that God is patient and wants to give all people time to come to know Him. Since this is true, we can trust God’s timing and accept that the End of Times might not happen during our lifetime.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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