THE END OF TIME
by Kevin V. Rutherford
Many religious people stir up excitement in gullible followers by telling them “the end is near.” Books are sold and false prophets are made rich from such bold proclamations. The end of time may come soon. However, we do not know when that day will be (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44; 25:13). Paul said, “…the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night”. (1 Thessalonians 5:2) A thief does not tell you when he is coming. The thief does not give you warning signs and say “when you see the signs, know that I am coming.” The thief comes unexpectedly and so too shall the Lord.
While we cannot know the time when the Lord shall return, we can know that He is coming. When He ascended into heaven two men in white clothing told the disciples Jesus would come again (Acts ). Before Jesus left this earth He promised His disciples He would come back (John 14:3). Paul wanted Christians to know that Jesus Christ would return (1 Thessalonians 4:13ff; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). These clear affirmations establish the second coming of Christ as a fundamental fact of the faith. Jesus will return.
When Jesus Christ does return He will “descend from heaven will a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God:” (1 Thessalonians ). With this shout the wicked and righteous dead shall be raised (John , 29). At the resurrection our bodies will be changed into bodies that cannot physically die (1 Corinthians -54). Paul tells us that our knowledge of the coming resurrection can give us comfort (1 Thessalonians , 18).
At the end of time Jesus Christ will also judge mankind. We are told that we must repent because Jesus is coming to judge the earth (Acts , 31). The Son of Man will be coming with His holy angels for the purpose of separating the righteous from the unrighteous (Matthew 25:31-33). The righteous shall be given eternal life in heaven (Matthew 25:34, 46). The wicked shall be sent to “the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41, 46). Paul said, “...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power...” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Mankind will not always be on this earth. Things will change (2 Peter 3:4ff.). They will change when Jesus Christ returns. At His coming there will be a resurrection and a judgment. In addition the earth will be destroyed (2 Peter 3). We cannot know when that day will come so must simply make sure we are ready (Matthew 25:1-13). Are you ready for the end of time?