January 6, 2009 on 9:06 pm | In REVELATION AND CURRENT EVENTS | Comments Off on END OF THE WORLD?

Today (1-6-09) on Foxnews.com there was an article about five ways the world can end. It listed them as follows:

1. Massive asteroid impact
2. Massive volcanic eruptions
3. Nuclear war
4. Black hole
5. The expanding sun

What should we make of this? Does Revelation have any insight into these conjectures?

We can run into all kinds of difficulties if we try to interpret Revelation by the latest news headline. We end up with constantly changing interpretations and extremely unreliable conclusions. In actuality we should be doing just the reverse—interpreting the headlines by an enlightened understanding of the book of Revelation. That’s why we’re trying to do a thorough job of studying the book of Revelation on this website.

So what do we do about the above news item? Does Revelation have anything to say about how the world ends? Yes, it does. But it doesn’t mention any of the scenarios listed at the beginning of this article, as plausible as some of them may seem. In chapter 19 Jesus is portrayed as leading the armies of heaven on an earthly invasion and making war against the oppressors of His people. In chapter 6, at the end, in describing that event it has people calling for the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from that coming of Christ. Chapter 16 pictures a great earthquake and violent hailstorm. These all take place at the coming of Jesus. There will be more about all that as we study the book in the original category of this website (revelation for beginners). But note in passing that, if we tried to interpret Revelation by the headlines, we would likely have discovered some verse that appeared to be similar to the news story—and we would have totally missed what Revelation was really telling us about the end. The news conjectures, if true, would leave this planet depopulated, and yet Revelation, as well as other scriptures, clearly indicates there will be two classes of people alive when Jesus comes—the saved and the lost. That means the earth will not have been destroyed before Jesus comes, though that does not mean there will be no major natural disasters or loss of life in the meantime.

The important thing right now is for us to know Jesus savingly, then it won’t matter, as far as our salvation is concerned, when He comes or how. The Biblical counsel is “Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.”


January 31, 2009 on 6:52 pm | In REVELATION AND CURRENT EVENTS | Comments Off on REVELATION AND 2012

A recent article on CNN.com referred to a lot of speculation regarding December 21, 2012. It seems that an ancient Mayan calendar sees significance in this date and that the sun will be lined up with the center of the galaxy, among other things. Some are predicting that this is the expiration date for good old earth—the end of the world. Still others question the interpretation. But apparently much is being hyped about it, books are being written, a movie is in the works, souvenirs are being produced, etc. But is there any validity to it all? Does Revelation have anything to say about such a date or event?

Revelation certainly has something to say about the end of the world, but it knows nothing about a specific date. You will not find any specific dates for the end of the world anywhere else in Scripture, for that matter. In fact, Jesus Himself said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Mt. 24:36. But, someone says, we can know about the time of the year. One time, just before He left to go back to heaven, the disciples asked Jesus if He was going to set up His earthly kingdom at that time. His response was, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:7. So as far as the Bible is concerned, forget trying to figure out the exact date of Christ’s return. I have watched this happen many times as various individuals or groups have proclaimed a specific date or season, and they have all passed by. In one sense, if they keep doing it, they are bound to get it right eventually!

Jesus’ advice regarding these things was consistently, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” Matthew 24:44 (see also verses 42 and 25:13). The idea is we are to always be ready—none of us have a guarantee of tomorrow. The time to be ready is today, tomorrow, the next day, etc., until we die or Jesus comes, whichever comes first.

Does Revelation, then, have nothing to say about the end of the world? It does, but it does not happen till Jesus comes in the clouds of glory, not before. Revelation 1:7 says “every eye will see Him” when this happens. It will not be done secretly or stealthily. Jesus words in Matthew 24:27 say His coming will be like lightning shining from east to west. But doesn’t the Bible describe His coming like “a thief in the night”? Yes. But note how the apostle Peter describes the scene: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which 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. Notice the violence of the scene—it is noisy, hot, and disintegrating. Revelation 16:18-21 also portrays a great earthquake and violent hailstorm. When the apostle Paul talks of Jesus’ coming, he says Jesus comes “with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God . 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.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. The ideas here are that His coming is a surprise as to the exact time, not that it is a secret or stealthy coming.

This is all quite dramatic, to say the least. Hardly something that no one is aware of until after the fact. Then again, if I should die tonight, the time of His coming is not really too relevant, is it? Perhaps that’s why Jesus emphasized the idea of being ready all the time. If you have any questions, you are free to contact me (at the about tab)or leave a comment. May God bless as you continue to study His Word.

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