END of the WORLD: Different Views
Various Christian Views
Post-Tribulation Return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Post-Trib Rapture is also called a Pre-millennialist or Futurist view)
The early church fathers, Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Reformed, and many other Christian denominations taught that the Antichrist will persecute the church for 42 months and then the Lord Jesus Christ will return and fulfill all His promises concerning Israel and to faithful Christians and ‘gather’ them (rapture is that sense) at the LAST TRUMPET, at THAT DAY (2 Thes. 2; Zeph. 1; Jer. 46; Ezek. 30; Joel) – THE DAY – the LAST DAY (Matt. 24:36).
Christ says in Matthew 24:27-30: “For as lightning that comes from the east… so will be the coming of the Son of Man… Carcasses (see Isa. 66:24) …Immediately after the tribulation of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light… the powers of the heavens will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory…”
see also: Eschatology
Pre-Tribulation Rapture (also called Dispensationalism; as well as a Pre-millennialist and Futurist view) (see Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory) This view teaches there will be two returns of the Lord or a Second coming where Christ comes in the clouds ‘Raptures’ the Church, waits 42 months and then sets foot on earth after the Tribulation to destroy the Antichrist and judge the world. They suggest God did not appoint us to Wrath (see below mid-tribulation on explanation of Wrath). This teaching was not taught by early church fathers, or the apostles or Christ as for as ‘the Rapture’ taking the church up before the tribulation. It has been significantly pushed by the Seminary professors and book writers of the Pre-Trib Research Center at www.Pre-Trib.org.
Pre-Tribulation believers look for ‘the imminent’ return of Jesus Christ, as taught by John Darby, and afterwards Torrey, Scofield and others. They teach 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, we will be ‘caught up together to meet the Lord in the air’ as before the Tribulation. Rapture – comes from the Middle French, for Medieval Lation ‘raptura’ meaning a seizure or kidnapping or taking into the Greek New Testament and Latin Vulgate and translated to the English: ‘catch up,’ ‘caught up,’ ‘taken away,’ or ‘rushed.’
This pre-tribulation rapture is taught with dispensationalism and premillennialism. (see also: Pretribulation Rapture Theory 2 and Error of ‘any moment’ Rapture Theory)
Mid-Tribulation Rapture (also a Pre-millennialist or Futurist view): is the view that ‘the Rapture’ will happen in the middle of the seven year reign of the Antichrist. During a period of 42 months of peace and before the Great Tribulation of 42 months; Daniel 9:27: the Antichrist ‘will confirm a covenant with many for one week (7 years), but in the middle of the week he will put an end to the sacrifice and grain offering… abominations will come… even until a complete destruction…” There are no verses directly stating the church and or Christians will be raptured and taken out of the tribulation. There is the verse that Christians will not suffer THAT DAY or THE DAY OF WRATH – which is Judgment of the Lord by Jesus Christ immediately after the Tribulation (Matt. 24:29-; 25:46; Rom. 1:18). NOTE: ‘God did not appoint us to suffer (eternal) wrath, but to obtain (eternal) salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:9).”
Millennialism: comes from the Latin for ‘thousand years.’ Taken from Revelation chapter 20 stating that the Lord Jesus ‘Christ will reign for 1000 years and Satan would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while. Then the thrones… and judgment.’ And John said, “I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus, and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark… they came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. This is the first resurrection. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth… and the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven… and death will be no more… (Rev. chapters 20 and 21).”
There are different views concerning Millennialism including Dispensational Premillennialism, Postmillennialism, Historical Premillennialism, Amillennialism
Amillennialism: teaches that the ‘Kingdom of God’ began at Christ’s resurrection. They see eschatology as two main events, Christ’s first advent, ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand (near; here; Matt. 3:2).’ At the cross Christ won final victory over death and Satan. Amillennialist sees the final things already accomplished; but long for the coming of the Kingdom in which is the heavenly promise of eternal life. Note: Peter (1 Peter 5:8) said the Devil, Satan, that old serpent as John stated, still roams the earth seeking who he can devour and Paul stated that ‘the God of Peace shall soon crush Satan under our feet (Rom. 16:20).’
Historical premillennialists view the return of Christ just before the millennium and just after a time of great apostasy and tribulation. The Kingdom of God was present at Pentecost with the gift of the Holy Spirit after Christ ascended into Heaven. Most look for the ‘Rapture’ immediately preceding the millennial reign. Most believe the seals of judgment (Rev. 6) have occurred in history, but see the return of Christ as being ‘imminent.’ However, Daniel and Christ and the apostle said that the Great Tribulation will be unlike anything before it – so it did not occur already during Antiochus, Nero or any precious point in history.
Historicalist are divided in their opinions of prophecy and history. For example, Partial-preterist believe most prophecies of the last days were fulfilled in 70 AD with the destruction of the Temple.
Nevetheless, the early church fathers who believed some of this things, including Irenaeus, Justin Marty, Tertullian, Hippolytus and Lactanitus; they knew that the Antichrist must come first and persecute the church and world for 42 months.
Jewish (Mesopotamia; c. 3761 BC)
“Come and I will advise you of …the end of days… a star has gone forth from Jacob… a ruler shall come out of Jacob… (Numbers 24:14, 19).” This speaks of the coming of Moshiach or the Messiah – who the Christians called Yeshua ha-Messiah – Jesus the Christ; and whom the Jews call Melech HaMoshiach – the King Messiah. He is of the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10) and seed of David (14 generations from Abraham to David; 1 Chronicles chapter 2 and Matthew chapter 1).
God has allowed the nation of Israel, the Hebrews or Jews, to be scattered or ‘exiles’ ‘among all the nations where the Lord your God has banished you (Deut. 30:1)’ because they sinned against God and forget Him; but in the last days ‘He will once again gather (Israel) from the nations (Deut. 30:3).’ Isaiah the prophet also speaks of this (Isa. 11:11).
In the last days the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court, will be reestablish (this occurred in 2004); and soon the Temple of Jerusalem will be rebuilt (see www.templeinstitute.org). The Hebrew Talmud speaks of the ‘baal teshuvah’ or ‘master of repentance,’ which is the return of the Jews to God, Judaism, and the nation of Israel (1948).
The Jews will return to the city of David, the city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:4). According to some Jews, G-d will rebuild the third Temple; others believe it will be the Messiah and others it will happen through the Sanhedrin. Nations will come against Israel (Zech. chapter 12; Ezekiel 38; Matthew 24). And, both the Jews and Christians speak of an abomination as prophesied by Daniel being set up in this Temple, and a little king or Antichrist persecuting the world for 42 months before the return of the Messiah (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24; 2 Thessalonians 2). The Messiah will return with His angels and after He destroys the Antichrist ‘with the brightness of His coming (2 Thes. 2),’ He will reign and ‘all the nations will come’ before Him and worship (bow) (Isaiah 66).
“A day of the Lord is coming… I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured… then the Lord will go out and fight against the nations… on that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives… and it will be split in two… and there will be a great earthquake… on that day there will be no sunlight… but darkness… when evening comes there will be light and living water will flow out from Jerusalem… the Lord will be King over the whole earth… (Zechariah 14).”
Many Christians refer to the last battle as Armageddon, when “the kings or nations of the entire earth gather together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty… in the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon (Rev. 16:14-16).” This refers to Megiddo, in northern Israel.
Islam: Last Days and Final Judgment (c. 650 AD)
Islamic eschatology follows the Hebrew (Jewish) and Christian belief in ‘the Day of Judgment (Yawm ad-Din),’ and ‘the Day of Resurrection (Yawn al-Qlyamah).’ Additionally, Islam teaches of ‘the Great Tribulation’ in the hadith and other commentaries; as well as an Antichrist type called Masih ad-Dajjal (the impostor – Quran 81:1-). And they believe with the help of ‘the prophet’ Jesus (Isa) returning to earth, the Mahdi – redeemer – will come.
As taught by Christianity, Islam teaches ‘sexual immorality’ and sin will increase in the last days. Likewise, they teach there will be earthquakes and increased killing of mankind. The believe the Jews will be fighting the Muslims in the end and that nations will come against Islam. And they teach of a final battle al-Malhama al-Kubra (Armageddon).
The Quran (Sura 2:62) states that ‘those who believed and are Jews or Christians before the Prophet Muhammad… will have their reward with their Lord…’ And that the dead will stand in a grand assembly (compare to Revelation 20) and be judged for their righteous deeds and sinful acts. They believe Muhammad will be the first to be resurrected.
Hinduism (India; c. 500 to 1500 BC)
Pralaya – ‘the end of days’: The world will end by ‘destruction’ which occurs from a Great Flood (Chatur-yuga). This is at direct odds with the Lord God of Abraham saying He would not destroy the Earth by Flood again. However, Hinduism teaches of Samsara and cycles; and yugas – cosmic seasons. Last of the four cosmic seasons is Kali Yuga in which their God descends to Earth as an avatar named Lord Kalki who welds a sword. Hinduism teaches an end occurs in cycles every 4.3 million years. They believe time revolves in cycles and do not believe in the End of the World but believe in many gods and goddesses that rule. They do teach of Manu, in the same matter as the Jews and Christians speak of Noah. And they have a supreme Creator – Brahma; a Savior Preserver – Vishnu and Shiva – the Destroyer.
Buddhism (India; c. 540 BC)
After many hundreds of thousands of years, the earth will suffer a severe drought due to lack of rains. All vegetation and life forms will disappear and vanish from the planet. Seven suns will appear followed by cataclysmic events. By the third sun, great rivers like the Ganges will evaporate. After the fifth sun the oceans will dry up and after the sixth volcanic explosions. After the seventh sun the earth will explode and disappear. Buddhists believe in cycles of time and do not believe in a God. They do believe in a transcendental selfless state of Nirvana which is seen as an eternal escape from death and the pains of life. This was said to be achieved by Siddhartha Gautama – Buddha. Buddhists believe in gods and demigods; and in Karma and cycles of rebirth.
Zoroastrianism (from Persia – Iran; c. 500 to 1000 BC)
Zoroastrians look for the coming of the Saoshyant or their ‘Messiah.’ This is to occur ‘3,000 years’ from the time of their prophet Zarathushtra; or ‘a thousand two hundred and some years from the inception of the religion of the Arabian (Islam – the first Hajj of the Muslim Calendar was 632 AD).’ In the end ‘Gochihr (a comet or asteroid) falls in the celestial sphere from a moon-beam on to the earth… the fire and halo melt the metal of Shahrewar …and mountains… all men will pass into that melted metal and will become pure… Gochihr burns the serpent in the melted metal and hell becomes pure. God sets the vault into which the evil spirit fled… he brings the land of hell back for the enlargement of the world… and the world is immortal forever (Bundahishn or Knowledge from the Zand).’ ‘Soshyant comes’ and sinners endure ‘the punishment of three nights.’ ‘All men become one voice and praise Ohrmazd and the archangels.’ They believe in one god – Ahura Mazda (Being Mind).
Secular Science: A massive asteroid; end of the sun;
global warming with melting ice caps; alien invasion; etc.; see below TED Conference.
According to www.ted.com “TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics – from science to business to global issues…” TED speakers have included Julian Assange (‘Why the world needs WikiLeaks – TEDGlobal 2010); Richard Dawkins (Militant atheism TEDGlobal 2002) and others such as Bill Gates, Hans Rosling, Clay Shirky, Marco Tempest, Tom Wujec, and Al Gore.
2002 TED Conference: 10 ways the world could end by Stephen Petranek (revised to ‘8 ways the world could suddenly end’ in 2014. #8 a pandemic epidemic; #7 coronal mass ejection from the Sun; #6 we develop a new life form; #5 Robots take over; #4 a lot of volcanoes; #3 Runaway Greenhouse/Ecosystem collapse; #2 Nuclear War; #1 big asteroid hits us).
No. 10: We lose the will to survive: People around the world are getting better medicine — but mentally, we’re falling apart. The World Health Organization now estimates that one out of five people on the planet is clinically depressed. And the World Health Organization also says that depression is the biggest epidemic that humankind has ever faced. …Now the problem with all of this, getting older, is that people over 65 are the most likely people to commit suicide…
No. 9: Number nine — don’t laugh — aliens invade Earth. Ten years ago, you couldn’t have found an astronomer — well, very few astronomers — in the world who would’ve told you that there are any planets anywhere outside our solar system. 1995, we found three. The count now is up to 80 — we’re finding about two or three a month. All of the ones we’ve found, by the way, are in this little, teeny, tiny corner where we live, in the Milky Way. There must be millions of planets in the Milky Way, and as Carl Sagan insisted for many years, and was laughed at for it, there must be billions and billions in the universe…
No. 8: Number eight: the ecosystem collapses. Last July, in Science, the journal Science, 19 oceanographers published a very, very unusual article. It wasn’t really a research report; it was a screed. They said, we’ve been looking at the oceans for a long time now, and we want to tell you they’re not in trouble, they’re near collapse. Many other ecosystems on Earth are in real, real danger. We’re living in a time of mass extinctions that exceeds the fossil record by a factor of 10,000. We have lost 25 percent of the unique species in Hawaii in the last 20 years. California is expected to lose 25 percent of its species in the next 40 years. Somewhere in the Amazon forest is the marginal tree. You cut down that tree, the rain forest collapses as an ecosystem…
Number seven: particle accelerator mishap. You all remember Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber? One of the things he raved about was that a particle accelerator experiment could go haywire and set off a chain reaction that would destroy the world. A lot of very sober-minded physicists, believe it or not, have had exactly the same thought. This spring — there’s a collider at Brookhaven, on Long Island — this spring, it’s going to have an experiment in which it creates black holes… Other collider experiments — there’s one that’s going to take place next summer at CERN — have the possibility of creating something called strangelets, which are kind of like antimatter. Whenever they hit other matter, they destroy it and obliterate it. Most physicists say that the accelerators we have now are not really powerful enough to create black holes and strangelets that we need to worry about, and they’re probably right.
Number six: biotech disaster. It’s one of my favorite ones, because we’ve done several stories on Bt corn. Bt corn is a corn that creates its own pesticide to kill a corn borer. You may of heard of it — heard it called StarLink, especially when all those taco shells were taken out of the supermarkets about a year and a half ago. This stuff was supposed to only be feed for animals in the United States, and it got into the human food supply, and somebody should’ve figured out that it would get in the human food supply very easily. But the thing that’s alarming is a couple of months ago, in Mexico, where Bt corn and all genetically altered corn is totally illegal, they found Bt corn genes in wild corn plants. Now, corn originated, we think, in Mexico. This is the genetic biodiversity storehouse of corn. This brings back a skepticism that has gone away recently, that superweeds and superpests could spread around the world, from biotechnology, that literally could destroy the world’s food supply in very short order.
Number five, one of my favorites: reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field. Believe it or not, this happens every few hundred thousand years, and has happened many times in our history. North Pole goes to the South, South Pole goes to the North, and vice versa. But what happens, as this occurs, is that we lose our magnetic field around the Earth over the period of about 100 years, and that means that all these cosmic rays and particles that are to come streaming at us from the sun, that this field protects us from, are — well, basically, we’re gonna fry. (Laughter)
SP: So, what can we do about this? Oh, by the way, we’re overdue. It’s been 780,000 years since this happened. So, it should have happened about 480,000 years ago. Oh, and here’s one other thing. Scientists think now our magnetic field may be diminished by about five percent. So, maybe we’re in the throes of it. One of the problems of trying to figure out how healthy the Earth is, is that we have — you know, we don’t have good weather data from 60 years ago, much less data on things like the ozone layer.
Number four: giant solar flares. Solar flares are enormous magnetic outbursts from the Sun that bombard the Earth with high-speed subatomic particles. So far, our atmosphere has done, and our magnetic field has done pretty well protecting us from this. Occasionally, we get a flare from the Sun that causes havoc with communications and so forth, and electricity. But the alarming thing is that astronomers recently have been studying stars that are similar to our Sun, and they’ve found that a number of them, when they’re about the age of our Sun, brighten by a factor of as much as 20. Doesn’t last for very long. And they think these are super-flares, millions of times more powerful than any flares we’ve had from our Sun so far.
Obviously, we don’t want one of those. (Laughter) There’s a flip side to it. In studying stars like our Sun, we’ve found that they go through periods of diminishment, when their total amount of energy that’s expelled from them goes down by maybe one percent. One percent doesn’t sound like a lot, but it would cause one hell of an ice age here. So, what can we do abo
Number three — isn’t this stuff cool? (Laughter) A new global epidemic. People have been at war with germs ever since there have been people, and from time to time, the germs sure get the upper hand. In 1918, we had a flu epidemic in the United States that killed 20 million people. That was back when the population was around 100 million people. The bubonic plague in Europe, in the Middle Ages, killed one out of four Europeans. AIDS is coming back. Ebola seems to be rearing its head with much too much frequency, and old diseases like cholera are becoming resistant to antibiotics. We’ve all learned what — the kind of panic that can occur when an old disease rears its head, like anthrax. ut this?
The worst possibility is that a very simple germ, like staph, for which we have one antibiotic that still works, mutates. And we know staph can do amazing things. A staph cell can be next to a muscle cell in your body and borrow genes from it when antibiotics come, and change and mutate. The danger is that some germ like staph will be — will mutate into something that’s really virulent, very contagious, and will sweep through populations before we can do anything about it. That’s happened before. About 12,000 years ago, there was a massive wave of mammal extinctions in the Americas, and that is thought to have been a virulent disease.
Number two — my favorite — we meet a rogue black hole. You know, 10 years ago, or 15 years ago, really, you walk into an astronomy convention, and you say, “You know, there’s probably a black hole at the center of every galaxy,” and they’re going to hoot you off the stage. And now, if you went into one of those conventions and you said, “Well, I don’t think black holes are out there,” they’d hoot you off the stage. Our comprehension of the way the universe works is really — has just gained unbelievably in recent years.
We think that there are about 10 million dead stars in the Milky Way alone, our galaxy. And these stars have compressed down to maybe something like 12, 15 miles wide, and they are black holes. And they are gobbling up everything around them, including light, which is why we can’t see them. Most of them should be in orbit around something. But galaxies are very violent places, and things can be spun out of orbit.
And finally, number one: biggest danger to life as we know it, I think, a really big asteroid heads for Earth. The important thing to remember here — this is not a question of if, this is a question of when, and how big. In 1908, just a 200-foot piece of a comet exploded over Siberia and flattened forests for maybe 100 miles. It had the effect of about 1,000 Hiroshima bombs. Astronomers estimate that little asteroids like that come about every hundred years. In 1989, a large asteroid passed 400,000 miles away from Earth.
24:40 Nothing to worry about, right?It passed directly through Earth’s orbit. We were in that that spot six hours earlier.A small asteroid, say a half mile wide, would touch off firestormsfollowed by severe global cooling from the debris kicked up –Carl Sagan’s nuclear winter thing.An asteroid five miles wide causes major extinctions.We think the one that got the dinosaurs was about five miles wide.Where are they? There’s something called the Kuiper belt,which — some people think Pluto’s not a planet,that’s where Pluto is, it’s in the Kuiper belt.There’s also something a little farther out, called the Oort cloud.There are about 100,000 balls of ice and rock — comets, really –out there, that are 50 miles in diameter or more,and they regularly take a little spin,in towards the Sun and pass reasonably close to us.Of more concern, I think, is the asteroids that exist between Mars and Jupiter.The folks at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey told us last fall –they’re making the first map of the universe, three-dimensional map of the universe –that there are probably 700,000 asteroids between Mars and Jupiterthat are a half a mile big or bigger.So you say, yeah, well, what are really the chances of this happening?Andrew, can you put that chart up?
26:15 This is a chart that Dr. Clark Chapman at the Southwest Research Institutepresented to Congress a few years ago.You’ll notice that the chance of an asteroid-slash-comet impact killing youis about one in 20,000, according to the work they’ve done.Now look at the one right below that.Passenger aircraft crash, one in 20,000.We spend an awful lot of money trying to be sure that we don’t die in airplane accidents,and we’re not spending hardly anything on this. And yet, this is completely preventable.We finally have, just in the last year, the technology to stop this cold.Could we have the solutions?
26:55 NASA’s spending three million dollars a year, three million bucks –that is like pocket change — to search for asteroids.Because we can actually figure out every asteroid that’s out there,and if it might hit Earth, and when it might hit Earth.And they’re trying to do that.But it’s going to take them 10 years, at spending three million dollars a year,and even then, they claim they’ll only have about 80 percent of them catalogued.Comets are a tougher act.We don’t really have the technology to predict comet trajectories,or when one with our name on it might arrive.But we would have lots of time, if we see it coming.We really need a dedicated observatory.You’ll notice that a lot of comets are named after people you never heard of,amateur astronomers? That’s because nobody’s looking for them, except amateurs.We need a dedicated observatory that looks for comets.