TITLE: THE END OF THE WORLD
Subtitle: (After learning of a news article announcing his death, the author Samuel Clemens [Mark Twain] reportedly remarked:) "The accounts of my demise have been greatly exxagerated!"
We "gloom and doomers" are legion, but although God’s impending judgment is still very much on our hearts, let us reassure you that "the end of the world is not near!" It is amazing how much misunderstanding there is about this biblical subject. When the term "Armageddon" is mentioned today, people immediately associate it with the end of all things. But this is a common misconception. According to Bible teaching—relative to this time in which we are now living—at any given point we can expect at least one thousand and seven more years before God will destroy the universe and create a new one. The Tribulation Period (A seven year period primarily related to the judgment of Israel) and the Millennium (The thousand year reign of Jesus Christ upon earth) must both occur before God winds it all up. The battle of Armageddon occurs at the end of the tribulation period, preceeds the Millennial reign of Christ, and is not the all-incompassing event it is so widely perceived to be. As a matter of fact, it is not even the last battle recorded in the Bible! That future battle occurs after the millennium when God allows Satan to raise an army from among the peoples of the world in one last attempt to overthrow His rule and reign (Rev.20:7-10). The entire army will be destroyed by fire descending from heaven (vs.9) and Satan will finally be thrown into the lake of fire forever (vs.10).
When the subject of God’s judgment upon sin is brought up and discussed, very often people have a mental image of a little cartoon prophet dressed in animal skins, wearing sandals, and carring a sign reading: "Repent for the end is near!" This frivilous characterization—the product of some cartoonist’s desire to create a few chuckles—along with other things, have been utilized for many years by those who would make light of this tremendously serious theme. Beware lest you come under the influence of such levity because God hates sin and has devoted most of the prophetic content of the Bible both to His coming judgment upon it and those who practice it. Sin is not funny! All of us had better wake up to the realization that we are going to give an account to God for all of our actions. Even as Christians, we must prepare ourselves to stand before the "Judgment Seat" of Christ where we will receive our reward based upon what we have done or not done. We find this fact recorded in 2 Corinthians 5:10:
"For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with and given himself and his attention to accomplishing]" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).
Each and every human who has ever been, or will be, born into this world will someday stand before the Sovereign God of the universe and give an account for their lives and receive the consequences appropriate to their relationship with Him. In the meantime, God’s hatred for sin is going to be graphically demonstrated by His judgment upon the nation of Israel (along with the rest of the world) during the Tribulation Period. As I have indicated before, I sincerely believe that this time of judgment is "knocking at the door" and soon to take place! Israel is, at this very hour, engaged in that which they hope will be the final stages of what has been a long and agonizing process of seeking peace with their traditional enemies—the Moslems around them, known today as "Palestinians". This peace process is very significant where prophecy is concerned, because the antichrist will soon arrive on the scene to "confirm" it—to strengthen it, or personally guarantee it for a period of seven years. According to the Word of God, the nation of Israel is going to accept this satanic "superman" (the antichrist) as their long awaited Messiah. Because they rejected their genuine Messiah, Jesus Christ—the Son of God—their judgment as a nation is going to bring a series of the most cataclysmic events to ever strike this earth! Even as I write this article, one of the largest hurricanes on record ("Floyd") is poised to strike the East coast of the United States. Those who try to predict where these gigantic weather systems will strike and what damage they are likely to inflict, are saying that this one could be catastrophic—perhaps the worst ever! Yet, no matter how much damage it does and no matter how many lives it takes—it still will not compare with the judgments yet to befall this earth! The Lord Himself said of that future day, in Matthew 24:21, that there has never been anything like it before or will there be afterward. The sheer enormity of God’s future judgment should cause us to repent of our wickedness and seek Him as a Refuge for our souls.
Interestingly enough, once God judges Israel and sets His Son Jesus Christ over them (and the rest of the earth) as King of kings and Lord of lords, there will ensue a thousand years of near perfection on earth. I say near perfection, because sin itself will still be a daily fact of life and will not be done away with until the thousand years are ended. Fallen man—unregenerate man—has since the days of Adam expressed in various ways the excuse that there is nothing wrong with him that a change in environment, education, and financial circumstances would not cure. In other words he has maintained that he sins because his environment is not conducive to right living, or that he is poverty stricken, or educationally challenged, etc., etc. Surely you have heard such alibis—more often than not by highly educated morons with impressive initials and abbreviations after their names? Well, God is going to forevermore dispel that notion—that persistent myth—by the millennial reign of Christ! The earth itself is going to be renovated by the Lord back into what some see as a restored "Garden of Eden", transforming it into a literal environmental paradise (wouldn’t Al Gore and his "tree-hugging" crowd be pleased?!) The Bible speaks of such things as every mountain being removed and the valleys leveled during this process—perhaps bringing the earth back to its original configuration prior to the flood of Noah (Isaiah 54:10; Rev.16:20, et al). Under the perfect rule of Jesus Christ, peace will finally become a reality and all men everywhere will live together in harmony. Unshackled from the tremendous financial burden of providing for national defenses, the nations’ economies will flourish as never before. It will be characterized as a time of joy and holiness, and the glory of God will be manifested from one end of creation to the other. It will be a time during which perfect justice will prevail and every personal need will be met. Knowledge will be ensured such that no one will be ignorant of necessary information—particularly the knowledge of the Lord (Isaiah 11:1-9). The original curse that was placed upon creation at the fall of Adam will be removed. The roses will no longer have thorns and weeds will not choke out vital vegetation. The snake will no longer have venom and the "lion shall eat straw like the ox" (Isa.11:7b). Sickness will be removed and the physically deformed healed at the onset of the millennium. Life itself will be supernaturally protected and some men entering that time will probably live the entire thousand years! (Remember that longevity of life was characteristic of the antediluvian (pre-flood) period). There will be no social, political, economic, or religious oppression allowed and the Lord "will rule them with a rod of iron" (Rev.2:27). Try to imagine, if you can, what it will be like to live during those days. The Lord Jesus Christ will be ruling the entire world from Jerusalem and will be the Supreme Judge in all matters requiring His attention. Gone will be the days when someone could commit a crime and remain undetected or lie and escape punishment! Retribution will be sure and certain and it probably will not take very long before men around the world will realize that "crime does not pay". I think that it will be very difficult to find anyone "J-walking" or "spitting on the sidewalk." (For those of you who are under the age of 40, these minor offences of crossing the street between traffic lights, or unsanitary expectoration on city sidewalks were often ticketed by police years ago). Blatant sin will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly. There will be no more waiting for several years for the appeals process to lapse before justice is served. Those committing crimes punishable by death will be caught, sentenced, and executed within a short time. Because of sin within the human heart, crimes will still be committed during this time—but I believe that they will be few and far between, compared with what we experience today—thereby proving once and for all that swift and appropriate punishment is definitely a deterrent to crime.
The Bible also has much to say about man’s labor during this "Golden Age" and the economic prosperity that everyone will enjoy. Perfect equity will prevail in every aspect of life and no one will have a legitimate gripe about anything! Labor and management will toil together toward necessary goals and their present adversarial relationship will be a thing of the past. Disputes will be settled quickly and harmony will be preserved because of the perfect administration of rules and regulations—without any trace of prejudice or underhanded practices. Sinful hearts will no doubt be tempted to revert back to these practices, but the knowledge that it cannot possibly be hidden will squelch these temptations. It is an amazing thing to consider just how much better life and society could be right now if sin could not be covered up! In that day it will be a blessed reality.
The tremendous barrier of language will be removed, thereby enabling men of all races and nationalities to converse freely and share ideas and ideals (Zeph.3:9). Religion with all of its humanistic emphasis upon works as a basis for pleasing God will be conspicuously absent. All men will be truly unified in their access to God and their worship of Him. The supernatural powers and manifestations of the Holy Spirit will be unparalleled in that day and His presence will be enjoyed by all and restricted to none. Words literally fail me to adequately describe the near-perfection of that time yet future. The one and only thing to mar complete perfection will be the sinful human heart. For all that God will do for man in that day, sin will still rear its ugly head and some will refuse to come to Jerusalem and worship (Zech.14:17-19). Rain will be withheld and plagues unleashed to punish the wicked, because of their disrespect and impenitent hearts. For one thousand years God will have once again tolerated man’s stupidity and wickedness, but this final time from within a system of perfect peace and justice. When the terminal millennium is over, God will give the order to release Satan from his prison, where he will have been bound for the duration (Rev.20:7). Not once during all that time will anyone be able to legitimately claim that "the devil made me do it," as the comedian Flip Wilson used to say.
Why is God going to release the devil? We are not told the specific reason(s), but it is pretty apparent that it is to forever silence those critics who insist that man is merely the product of his environment. They insist that sin is relative and caused by external factors which degrade man and cause him to act contrary to the norms of civilized society. To counter those ridiculous claims in a way that is totally beyond legitimate dispute, Jesus Christ’s millennial reign will remove each and every one of the supposedly hostile external problems! Then as a supernatural "exclamation point," the devil will be released to do what he does best—deceive the nations. In what appears from the description in the Book of Revelation to be a relatively short time, he will gather together the malcontents of the world into an army to fight against God! (Rev.20:8-9). They will once again attempt to lay siege to the city of Jerusalem, as did the antichrist and armies of the world prior to the millennium. God will deal with them swiftly and consume them with fire from heaven. Contrary to the popular notion held by so many today, then and only then will the devil’s location be in the "lake of fire". At that future time, Satan along with "death" and "hell," will be cast into the lake of fire where the "beast and the false prophet" (of the tribulation period) await them. Death itself and the spiritual abode of the dead known as "hell"(English), "hades"(Greek), or "sheol" (Hebrew) will be forever divorced from the people of God. Halleluja!
Our immediate future appears to be getting darker by the minute, but praise the Lord our eternal prospects have not dimmed one bit! Are you personally ready to face the uncertainty of tomorrow? If you name the name of Jesus Christ and claim to be one of His sheep, I challenge you to not expect a "bed of roses." Some Christian commentators have lamented that the church is suffering from what they call "rapture-itis," the smug and self-confident position that the rapture of the church will occur before hard times come. As I understand the Word of God, all He has promised the church is that we will be delivered from His wrath (the "day of the Lord"—1 Thess.5:9). Antecedent persecution, natural disasters, man-made disasters, etc., are not necessarily included! I honestly believe that because of our nation’s long-time prosperity, we have lost sight of the fact that Christians are being severely persecuted and even martyred in other countries. In purely spiritual terms, "that’s where the action is"—the front lines of the warfare against Satan. Although our flesh recoils from the very thought of suffering and dying for the Lord, we may be called upon to do so very soon. Now is the time for sitting in judgment upon self, repentance from dead works, and re-committing to the cause of Christ. Don’t wait until you find yourself in the middle of the battle to try to put on your armor.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order -- Kingdom of Antichrist -- in their daily news.
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