What in the World is Going to Happen?
The end of the world, as we know it, will not leave anyone feeling fine. The Bible has much to say in both the Old and New Testament, as to the end of the age. The two advents of Jesus Christ serve as climactic focal points. Old Testament prophecies speak, in advance, of both events. New Testament prophecies speak of Christ’s second coming. The scope of human history is covered from Genesis to Revelation, albeit, with divine essentials emphasized.
The fallen, sinful world is in rebellion against its Maker and Sustainer. For this reason, the creation endures God’s just judgment and wrath. The leader of this rebellion against God, and the Messiah King, is Lucifer, the adversary, who is identified as the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4).
Satan’s craft is deception, under the guise of being an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). He blinds the minds of those who do not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:4). His deceived subjects dwell in the domain of darkness, as slaves to sin (Rom 6:6; Col 1:13).
In addition to his legion of demons, the devil conscripts an army of false prophets and teachers to deceive the mass of humanity (Jn 8:44). These deceivers are many, and their work is to deceive many. Thus, the world is filled with lies, especially when it comes to the knowledge of God.
The history of the world is one of wars, famines, pestilence, and it will be the same until the end. Natural disasters and mass human tragedies serve to anticipate a future climax (Mt 24). If God had not eternally decreed salvation (Eph 1:4-5; Acts 2:23), from this disastrous world, for a select people (Rom 11:5), all would have perished in the second death, at the end of history (Rev 20:14).
The darkness and deception, by God’s chief adversary, is so great, it is only the mercy of God that has preserved a remnant of redeemed saints (Is 28:5; Rom 11:5). The deceived hear this news and call it, “foolishness (1 Cor 1:21, 25).” Even those who claim to belong to King Jesus are an impure, mixed group in the world. Christ’s sheep dwell in the sheepfold with goats belonging to another (Jn 10). The church in the world is very much the church of the world — save for this true remnant (Mt 25).
God graciously gathers his elect people, by calling them to Christ, the Lord (Rom 10:13–17). They hear the Gospel, preached by faithful men of God, who proclaim Christ, the Savior and our salvation (Mt 24:15). Before His ascension to His divine throne in heaven (Ps 110:1), the resurrected Son of God told His disciples that they would serve him, by bearing witness of Him, to the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).
The regenerated (given new life by God’s indwelling Spirit) people from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9), are set apart by the faith they have been given, as a gift of God’s grace (Eph 2:8–9 Phil 1:29). The Holy Spirit of Christ, in these born again Christians (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3), is obvious to the unclean spirits. Demons operate in the ongoing spiritual warfare (Eph 6:10–20), stirring the hatred of reprobate sinners against the children of God (1 Jn 3:1).
Persecution, suffering for the sake of Christ’s name, is the course for the children of light (Eph 5:8; Phil 2:15). All nations hate the citizens of God’s one holy nation (1 Pet 2:9), Christ’s church (Col 1:24–25), the Israel of God (Gal 6:16). This Spirit-filled royal priesthood serves Christ and suffers the wrath of men and devils, who oppose the King of glory (Ps 24).
Within the visible church, mixed with the children of God and the children of the devil (1 Jn 3:10), there is a work of preparation (Mt 25). Like a bride waiting for the arrival of her bridegroom, the pure virgins look for His glorious appearing and the trumpet declaring His arrival. True Christians remain vigilant in waiting for Christ’s glorious appearing, amidst great tribulation and persecution.
It is easy for Christian love to grow cold, under the pressures of life, in this fallen world of total depravity. May God rekindle the fire in His church, in this generation, that our light would shine brighter, before all men (Mt 5:16). May He strengthen our hope, in preparation for His blessed arrival. For we have the sure promise: He will preserve us for His namesake, until the day of glory, and forever more. Hallelujah and Amen!
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 17, 2021