End Time In The Bible

 The Bible describes events, conditions, and attitudes that would mark “the conclusion of the [current] system of things,” or “the end of the world.” (Matthew 24:3; King James Version) The Bible calls this time period “the last days” and the “time of the end,” or “end times.”—2 Timothy 3:1; Daniel 8:19; Easy-to-Read Version.

End Time In The Bible

 The Bible foretold many things that together would be “the sign” to identify the last days. (Luke 21:7) Consider some examples:

 War on a large scale. Jesus foretold: “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” (Matthew 24:7) Similarly, Revelation 6:4 foretold a symbolic horseman representing warfare that would “take peace away from the earth.”

 Famine. Jesus foretold: “There will be food shortages.” (Matthew 24:7) The book of Revelation foretold an additional symbolic horseman, whose ride would result in famine on a large scale.—Revelation 6:5, 6.

 Great earthquakes. Jesus said that there would be “earthquakes in one place after another.” (Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11) These great earthquakes around the world would cause suffering and loss of life on an unprecedented scale.

 Disease. According to Jesus, there would be pestilences, or epidemics of “terrible diseases.”—Luke 21:11, Contemporary English Version.

 Crime. Although crime has existed for centuries, Jesus foretold that in the last days, there would be an “increasing of lawlessness.”—Matthew 24:12.

 Ruining of the earth. Revelation 11:18 foretold that mankind would be “ruining the earth.” They would do so in many ways, not only through violent and corrupt actions but also by bringing harm to the environment.

 Deteriorating attitudes. At 2 Timothy 3:1-4, the Bible foretold that people in general would be “unthankful, disloyal, . . . not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride.” These attitudes would reach such extremes that the era could rightly be described as “critical times hard to deal with.”

 Breakdown of the family. At 2 Timothy 3:2, 3, the Bible foretold that many people would have “no natural affection” for their family and that children would be “disobedient to parents.”

 Diminished love of God. Jesus foretold: “The love of the greater number will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12) Jesus meant that love for God would grow cold in most people. Likewise, 2 Timothy 3:4 says that in the last days, such ones would be “lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.”

 Religious hypocrisy. At 2 Timothy 3:5, the Bible foretold that people would appear to worship God but would not truly live by his standards.

 Increased understanding of Bible prophecies. The book of Daniel foretold that in “the time of the end,” many would gain increased knowledge of Bible truth, including accurate understanding of these prophecies.—Daniel 12:4, footnote.

 A global preaching work. Jesus foretold: “This good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth.”—Matthew 24:14.

 Widespread apathy and ridicule. Jesus foretold that people in general would ignore the overwhelming evidence of the approaching end. (Matthew 24:37-39) More than that, 2 Peter 3:3, 4 foretold that some would ridicule the evidence, dismissing it completely.

 All prophecies fulfilled. Jesus said that the last days would be marked by the simultaneous fulfillment of all these prophecies, not just a few or even most of them.—Matthew 24:33.

End Time In The Bible

1. The rapture of the church. Christ comes in the clouds to “snatch away” all those who trust in Him (1 Corinthians 15:52). At this same time, the “dead in Christ” will be resurrected and taken to heaven, too. From our perspective today, this is the next event in the eschatological timeline. The rapture is imminent; no other biblical prophecy needs to be fulfilled before the rapture happens.

2. The rise of the Antichrist. After the church is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7–8), a satanically empowered man will gain worldwide control with promises of peace (Revelation 13:1; Daniel 9:27). He will be aided by another man, called the false prophet, who heads up a religious system that requires worship of the Antichrist (Revelation 19:20).

3. The tribulation. A period of seven years in which God’s judgment is poured out on sinful humanity (Revelation 6–16). The Antichrist’s rise to power is associated with this time period. During the tribulation on earth, the Church will be in heaven. It is thought that at this time the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will occur in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 19:6–10).

4. The Battle of Gog and Magog. In the first part of the tribulation, a great army from the north, in alliance with several other countries from the Middle East and Africa, attacks Israel and is defeated by God’s supernatural intervention (Ezekiel 38–39). (Some commentators place this battle just before the start of the tribulation.)

5. The abomination of desolation. At the midway point of the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel and shows his true colors. The Jews are scattered, and many of them turn to the Lord, realizing that Jesus is their Savior. A great persecution breaks out against all those who believe in Christ (Daniel 12:11; Mark 13:14; Revelation 12:17).

6. The Battle of Armageddon. At the end of the tribulation, Jesus returns with the armies of heaven (Mark 14:62). He saves Jerusalem from annihilation and defeats the armies of the nations fighting under the banner of the Antichrist (Revelation 19:11–21). The Antichrist and the false prophet are captured and thrown alive into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).

7. The judgment of the nations. Christ will judge the survivors of the tribulation, separating the righteous from the wicked as “sheep” and “goats” (Matthew 25:31–46). (It is thought that at this time the Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead.) The righteous will enter the Millennial Kingdom; the wicked will be cast into hell.

8. The binding of Satan. Satan will be bound and held in a bottomless pit for the next 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1–3).

9. The Millennial Kingdom. Jesus Himself will rule the world, and Jerusalem will be the capital. This will be a 1,000-year period of peace and prosperity on earth (Revelation 20; Isaiah 60–62). Memorial sacrifices will be offered in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40–48).

10. The last battle. At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will be released from his prison for a short time. He will deceive the nations once again, and there will be a rebellion against the Lord that will be quickly defeated (Revelation 20:7–10). Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, never to reappear.

11. The Great White Throne Judgment. All those in hell will be brought forth, and all the wicked from all eras of history will be resurrected to stand before God in a final judgment (Revelation 20:11–15). The verdicts are read, and all of sinful humanity is cast into the lake of fire.

12. The new creation. God completely remakes the heavens and the earth. It is at this time that God wipes away all tears and there will be no more pain, death, or sorrow. The New Jerusalem descends from heaven, and the children of God will enjoy eternity with Him (Revelation 21–22).

Other views of eschatology, such as midtribulationism, amillennialism, and partial preterism, will have different timelines of the end times, of course.

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