- Religion and Philosophy
Christianity: When is the End?
With all the hype about end of the world prophesies that seem to make the rounds along with many seeminly new ones, many are asking; what does the Bible say about all this? Does it tell an exact time when the world will end? What is the church’s stance on secular prophesies?
According to Jesus
Any scholar of the Bible will tell you that Jesus in the New Testament told of the end of the age. He told his disciples that there would be certain signs for them to look for that would signal his return and end of the age, as they knew it. However, he also stated that he himself did not know exactly when this would happen and that only God knew this exact time. Jesus did tell of a time when there would be wars and rumor of wars, family members would turn against each other, there would be earthquakes in places that have never seen them before and evil would run rampant like the world has ever seen.
According to the Apostles
The Apostle Paul wrote from the perspective that the return of Christ was an imminent event. His writings to various churches told them to be awake and to watch for this coming. Paul warned them to live as if there was no tomorrow. Apostle Peter spoke of the whole of creation groaning and waiting for its redemption from evil. John foretold in the Book of Revelation of how the end would come. Yet, nowhere is it stated when that time would be. These and others taught from the saying of Jesus for all to “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
An Old Testament Example
It is similar as to how God told Jonah to tell the people of Nineveh that He would destroy their city. God did not say He “might” destroy their city, rather that he would. After a detour toward Joppa and an encounter with a large fish Jonah proclaims this to the people of Nineveh who repent. God relented and did not destroy the city and Jonah even told God that he knew that He would not destroy the evil Ninevites and that was why he didn’t want to tell them about what God said. Jonah wanted them to get what he felt they deserved. What about God and his proclamation? Either God lied about destroying Nineveh or he had to destroy it. About 100 years later God did destroy Nineveh because of their evil. So it is with the world. God is true to His word He said He would destroy Nineveh because of their sins, however He held back due to their repentance.
According to Modern Interpretation
In his book Approaching Hoofbeats, Rev. Billy Graham states that he believes that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are on their way. In fact, spiritually tuned Christians can hear the horse’s hooves by looking at world events. However, when they arrive will be up to mankind. God did say He would judge the world; He did not say when. How sinful this world becomes will determine when God will judge it.
The Conclusion of the Matter
If you line up Biblical prophesy and secular prophesy you will find the Bible is much more clear and concise. The end of the Mayan Calendar, the prophesy of the Hopi Indians, and the galactic alignment of the sun and the middle of the galaxy are vague compared to the Bible. Once again, God will not let himself be bound to a specific time in space since He created them both and He alone knows when these times shall be.