The End of the World in the Bible

the end of the world

You often hear the expressions “it’s the end of the world” or “the world is coming to an end” when a startling event or series of events take place. Some may not be aware that the Bible literally talks about “the end of the world”. There’s a lot of misconceptions about the “end of the world” so I thought it would be a good idea to write an article about the “end of the world”. Therefore, I will attempt to provide an understanding of “the end of the world” that is consistent with the Bible in this article.

We can learn a lot about what the “the end of the world” will exactly entail by examining Matthew 24. The chapter records a lecture given by Christ on Mount Olives about the future that is commonly known as the “Olivet Discourse”. The Disciples of Christ asked Christ to provide a sign about two things: (1) His coming, (2) and of the end of the world”.

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)

The request to reveal “the sign” about two events indicates that these events are related or connected: the coming of Christ is connected/related to the end of the world.

Christ complied with His disciples’ request to provide insight about what events will transpire before His coming and the end of the world. Christ indicated that there will be a lot of startling events in the world including wars, rumors of wars, famine, earthquakes, pestilence, false messiahs etc.

“(5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (8) All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:5-8)

Christ added that people would be hated for His name’s sake worldwide. The most challenging time that people will face this difficulty will be during the great tribulation, which is described in Matthew 24:15-22. Christ mentioned twice in Matthew 24:9-22 that people will eventually be saved. Matthew 24:13 indicates that people who endure to the end (of the world) will be saved.

“(9) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved…(22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:9-12, 22)

The time period when the elect will be saved shall mark the beginning of the end of the world because the elect will have endured to the end. Matthew 24:29-31 indicates that the elect will be saved immediately after the end of the great tribulation.

“(29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31)

Thus, the end of the world will begin after the end of the great tribulation.

Christ indicated that the end of the world will bring the separation of the good from the wicked and the punishment of the wicked.

“(38) The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wickedone; (39) The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (40) As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. (41) The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (42) And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (43) Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:38-43)

“(47) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: (48) Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. (49) So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, (50) And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:47-50)

Christ provided another landmark to help us identify when the end of the world will come. Christ said that the end (of the world) will come after the “gospel of the kingdom” is preached to all the nations.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14)

Many believe the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom” to all the world is simply the preaching of the Gospel of Christ to a worldwide audience. However, Revelation 14:6-7 records the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom to the world, and its message is different than the gospel of Christ. The gospel of the kingdom is actually a message warning the inhabitants of the world to fear God and give Him glory because the time of judgment is approaching:

“(6) And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, (7) Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Revelation 14:6-7)

I hope this article clears up any misconceptions about the end of the world. The end of the world cannot come until after the conclusion of the great tribulation and the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom. The end of the world will be associated with the coming of Christ, the separation of the good from the wicked, and the punishment of the wicked.

To read more about the separation of good from the wicked, please see my article on Luke 17:37, one of the most important, yet overlooked verses in all Bible prophecy.

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Wayne Croley
Guest

I believe the separation of the wheat and tares is still several years away.

JC
Guest
JC

p.s. On Oct 15, 2013, on the day the gov’t reopened,
John Boehner commented
,”Now, it’s time to separate the chaff from the wheat.”
(See the meaning of ‘tribulum’)
Wow, prophetic, eh?

JC
Guest
JC

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Our ‘world’ as we know it-we must endure–to the end.
For He is “the Alpha and the Omega”, the beginning and the end..
And His kingdom will have no end.
So, who wants the world and who wants the kingdom?
The separation or threshing is already [being done] (tribulation) so has the gospel spread across the world.
Is the reaping and weeping that far? or do people just thinks there is more ‘time’? —We’ll know shortly.

Wayne Croley
Guest

There are some prominent cardinals who are identified as “finalists” for the job. Look up “Gianfranco Ravasi” and “Israel” in Google. He is one of the so-called “finalists”. He would be an interesting choice. Do a little bit of research on Peter Turkson and you’ll probably agree that he would also be an interesting choice…

Connie
Guest
Connie

I have no doubt you are right that St. Malachy is the source of all this. I’m wondering what the cardinals are thinking at this point about the man they will elect. I wonder if anyone is putting themselves forth, or if they are all standing back so as to not get elected.

Wayne Croley
Guest

I wonder how much of this reaction is related to the “Prophecy of Popes” given by St. Malachy several hundred years ago. The next pope is the final one according to that “prophecy” and he is supposedly going to lead the Catholic Church through the end times when the city of seven hills will be destroyed… I am suspicious about the “prophecy”, but interested to see who is going to be the next pope. I’m very focused at the moment constructing a new, comprehensive end time timeline which deals with Revelation 14 in its entirety. That’s why I’ve been quiet… Read more »

Connie
Guest
Connie

Have you seen the reaction some people are having to the pope’s resignation? People are going bonkers, declaring that the antichrist is about to sit on the throne and the tribulation is about to begin. It is across the board within a lot of different beliefs. I’ve found it on a Hebrew Roots movement who’s leader is telling people to get their sukkots ready (their RV’s) to come to the camp (where they hold the Feast of Tabernacles every year) after they celebrate the Passover meal (at home) on the Feast of Unleavened bread (they have that one week to… Read more »

Wayne Croley
Guest

I don’t think Antichrist will discriminate when it comes to his enemies. You will likely be killed if you don’t worship him. What matters is that a person believes in Christ and resists the pressure/temptation to submit to Antichrist.

tole
Guest
tole

I just found this lady Marie Casale who have the correct understanding of these 6000 years.

http://www.marieslibrary.com/PDF_Articles/SabJub.pdf
http://www.marieslibrary.com/PDF_Articles/SabJubChart.pdf

My article is here.

annon
Guest
annon

Excellent write up, I am glad to see that you are well. Christians are going to have to stand up for what they believe, reguardless of whether you are Catholic or Protestant. I have a feeling that in the future the dogmatic issues are going to be less important, what will be important is if you believe in the TRUE CHRIST!! Those that do, are going to suffer or be killed.

Wayne Croley
Guest

Thanks,

You’re right that the “end of the world” signifies the end of an age. A much better world will eventually take its place. The end of the world will not bring total annihilation as people who believed in the Mayan doomsday prophecies thought.

Roi
Guest
Roi

Hi Wayne

Very good article. You do need to expand on the phrase ‘The End of the World’ as some people think that the Earth will cease to be when it is only talking about the end of an era or age. Most serious bible scholars know that the Earth is Eternal and will be the Capital of the Universe or shall I say all dimensions.