To be sure, end of the world is a frightening thought, and consequently, because of the unpleasant images associated with it, most people avoid thinking about it.
Hollywood movies portray the post-apocalyptic world peopled with survivors who have been reduced to animalistic savages. Evangelicals paint an even bleaker picture. They imagine all the Christians are to be beamed up to heaven, while the unbelievers are left behind to experience the horrors of the end of the world. Most people under the influence of churchianity have had implanted in their minds that the earth will be completely depopulated and destroyed.
But, happily, that is not what the Bible teaches.
The Bible presents the end of the world as a good thing, because the end of this world will be the beginning of a new world – a better world.
The truth is, when Jehovah God created this beautiful planet and all life on it, he then fashioned two original humans and placed them in a lovely garden called Eden and set before them the prospect of an ending life. Likely you know the story of Adam and Eve and the unhappy outcome brought on by their willful disobedience. According to the Scriptures although our rebellious parents were driven out of the garden and prevented from eating from the tree of life and living forever, God’s purpose has not changed. It is still God’s intention for people to live forever in paradise, here on this Earth. God has merely allowed humans to go their own way and live ungodly lives with no connection or relationship to him for a temporary period.
What is evident in the Bible is that God never intended for humans to have absolute autonomy – to rule themselves independently of God. God’s sovereignty was represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. That our first parents were commanded not to eat its fruit or even to touch the tree was within God’s right. Adam and Eve and all their offspring could only be successful and happy and have life if they obeyed God. These past few thousand years outside the Garden of Eden should prove beyond any doubt to reasonable persons that human rulership is a colossal failure. If it is not apparent now, it soon will be, as the entire system is poised to unravel in a little while.
Most people under the influence of the churches, and even Jehovah’s Witnesses for that matter, have this naïve notion that the end of the world is when, out of the clear blue sky, God arbitrarily destroys the world. That is not the case. As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ said that the end of the world will be initiated by the Devil. Revelation the 12th chapter provides a vision of a war that is destined to be fought in heaven between the armies of God’s angels and armies of Satan and his angels. The Devil and his demon hordes will be thrown down from heaven and confined to the earth for a short period of time. That same 12th chapter of Revelation goes on to announce ‘woe for the earth because the devil has come down to you knowing he has a short period of time.’
So Satan, whom Jesus and the apostles revealed to be the actual ruler an unseen god of this wicked world, will bring disaster upon the earth by setting the nations against each other – bringing the world to the verge of annihilation by nuclear war; yet, Jesus foretold that although this world is destined to suffer a time of trouble unlike any other time of distress that has ever occurred before or will ever occur again, the great tribulation will be cut short on account the chosen ones, otherwise no one would survive.
Unlike the fictitious Left Behind series, Christians are not going to be raptured off the earth before the time of great trouble. On the contrary, as stated above, in the 24th chapter of Matthew Jesus clearly stated that the tribulation Satan will bring upon his world will be cut short for the sake of God’s chosen ones. The seventh chapter of Revelation foretells what a great crowd of people out of all the nations will come out of the great tribulation. Although the rapturists prefer to believe the great crowd finds salvation in heaven, the 21st chapter of Revelation clearly indicates that many people will survive the end of the world and remain upon the earth, because it says very plainly that the tent of God will be with mankind and they will be his peoples and God will be with them and wipe every tear from their eyes.
God’s intention is to bring this old system to a conclusion and allow people who have demonstrated their faith and loyalty to him to survive the end of this world and to become the nucleus of a righteous new world, which the Bible calls the “new earth” – not a new planet, of course, there’s nothing wrong with this planet that cannot be repaired. The new earth is a new society of people, unlike the ungodly civilization that has lived on this earth for the past six-millennia, the new world will be composed of godly persons who obey and trust Jehovah and his son, Jesus. They will be the meek that Jesus said would inherit the earth.
Not coincidentally, for the past 60 years Jehovah’s Witnesses have also been known as the New World Society. They have been preaching in virtually every nation on earth, explaining to willing listeners God’s purpose to establish a new government over the world, known as the kingdom of God. They’re glad to share with people the good news of the coming kingdom, which Jesus said would be preached in all the earth as a prelude to the end of the world.
There’s no question that at some point, soon, the global financial system is going to collapse and Anglo-American Empire is going to launch a war that will make the previous world wars pale in comparison. (The only question is whether the collapse will precede global war or be triggered by it.) As unpleasant as it may seem the end of this world will be a good thing. It will bring an end to wars. It will bring an end to a very unjust system that enslaves and exploits the poor. The end of this world will bring an end to all sorts of human misery and even death. The passing of this world will open the way to the glorious life that God intended for humans to live.