Theology Thursday: The End of Times

A cross lays on its side with eery smoke looming in the background

The end of times is not a mere science-fiction foundation for B rated movies. It is a specific biblical teaching and knowing the end is as important as knowing our origins. The study of end times is known as the study of Eschatology. It comes from a Greek term that means the study of last things or times.

So, if there is an end what does it look like? Will it be good or bad and what is God’s role in this? The good news for the Believer is, just as God created the heavens and the earth, he is still in control when this earth, as we know it, no longer exists.

There Is an End to All Things

Christians, philosophers and scientists tend to all agree that there is a clock that is winding down on life and earth as we know it. Whether we look to the book of Revelation in the Bible or to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, there is a predicted end to all things. Our world has seen its share of wars, plagues and natural disasters, but we have always rebounded and life goes on. There will be a day when a physical and spiritual reckoning occurs and there will be an end to life as we know it.

The Apostle Peter, after walking with Jesus and knowing his teachings wrote on this in I Peter 4:7. He states:

“The end of the world is coming soon” (NLT)

The end of the world is not a new concept, even though with increased scientific education and further understanding of the fragility of the world and civilization as a whole there is a deeper understanding of how easily the end could come. The world’s structure and humanity has never been thought of to be indefinite in its present form.

We Have Limited Information, But Clear Direction

The issue is not “if” things will end, but what is the perspective one should have in all of this? For the secular community, it is a time of annihilation and destruction. Whether life becomes a dismal existence for the final survivors as they scratch out a life at the close of civilization, or spaceships carry humanity to another planet, the future tends not to be bright.

For the Christian community, suffering is understood, but there is what we call a Blessed Hope. Jesus Christ will return for the church to usher in the end of time as we know it. Hope for the Christian is not in the details of how Christ returns or the circumstances on the earth at that time. Hope is anchored in Christ’s promise to return for us.

Jesus gave us a mandate in Matthew 28:19 to make disciples in this world. He further comforted us in verse 20 when he states: 

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (NIV)

We are to focus on the mission of God with the assurance that God will sort out the future for us. Even Peter finished verse seven from above by showing our response to the end of the world should be:

“Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers” (NLT)

God Is The Final Judge

For the Christian community, even if there is some discomfort and disagreement in the details, it is also a time of comfort and confidence. The source of this is our trust in God. Knowing he is just and loving and knows all but still loves completely is a place of security that fosters our Blessed Hope.

Jesus will return for his people. God will judge Satan, creation and humankind. This judgment is a source of joy for those who know their sins have been removed by a relationship with Jesus Christ. For others, the Bible says it is a day of dread. The beauty of this is that you get to choose what the end of times will look like for you. It will be a day of rejoicing of the end of the toil of this earth and forever life in eternity with our God or it will be taking responsibility for our sinful behavior in eternal separation from God.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.