Three Reasons Why the World Must End
A disturbing observation haunts me nearly every day: Most people seem to think that this world will never end, that they will be able to continue to go on with their lives as usual forever–this in spite of the many signs to the contrary, including that most common of all contradicters, death. Everybody dies and yet that fact is buried beneath the mind’s refusal to contemplate it, for that would mean the end of one’s world as it is presently known. It is the old human frailty of ignoring unpleasant thoughts and facts when they threaten what we want.
No wonder the wisdom of God’s Word says that “it is better to go to a funeral than a feast. For death is the destiny of every person, and the living should take this to heart” (Eccl. 7:2 NET).
We should indeed take this sobering fact to heart, but I don’t see that happening in the people I observe rushing around in their multitude of activities, busy buying, buying, buying and seeking pleasure after pleasure. This mindset and attitude is a strong indicator of the end of the world:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3:1,2,4 NIV).
“Terrible times.” It is terrible that people should be so obsessed with money and pleasure and so complacent about God. This always leads to judgment from God. Then the true meaning of terrible will be known.
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31 RSV).
“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God” (Dt. 10:17 RSV).
What is true for the individual is true for the whole world, which is the sum of those individuals. Both must end at some time. It was true in Noah’s time, when people also thought that things would continue to go on as usual in their world, and they laughed at Noah building the ark and mocked him. It is true also in these end times, when those who believe God and see the signs of approaching judgment also build themselves up in the Lord Jesus, who is their ark of safety in the coming flood and storm, while the rest of the world goes on with business as usual, completely unaware of the approaching ultimate catastrophe.
“O Lord, your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it” (Is. 26:11 NIV).
Do you think that meteor that struck Russia or others that were seen elsewhere recently were just astronomical flukes? We should expect to see more such signs in the heavens and with increasing frequency and intensity. In fact, comet ISON is expected to be spectacular later this year. The world’s economies will soon collapse; the signs are everywhere. Governments will fall, food will become scarce, water also, and many other signs of the end are upon us. God is trying to shake up the sleeping people of this world, to wake them up out of their spiritual slumber, to see that the end is much nearer than they had supposed. But few will take notice.
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Mt. 24:37-39 NIV).
Eating and drinking and marrying, etc. . . . What better description could be given of a people who expect everything to keep going on as it is?–a people wrapped up in themselves and their own little world, rather than in God and the infinite world he offers them. But God says that this present world shall not last forever.
“Things shall not remain as they are” (Ezk. 21:26 RSV).
“Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth” (Zeph. 1:18:NIV).
“And you, O unhallowed wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban, and take off the crown; things shall not remain as they are. . . . A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it; there shall not be even a trace of it until he comes whose right it is; and to him I will give it” (Ezk. 21:25-27 RSV).
This last passage of Scripture reveals two of the reasons why this world must end and hints at a third:
1. There must be a day of final punishment, to right all wrongs and punish the wrongdoers. (the time of your final punishment)
2. As witness to world that it is not its own god, nor is the evil one, but that the Lord is God and rightful ruler of this world. (Remove the turban, and take off the crown.)
3. To remake the world into a fit place for its rightful ruler, Jesus Christ, to reign when he returns to the world he created. (And to him I will give it.)
Do you think God will give his Son a ruined world? No. It will be recreated a glorious wonder. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev21:1,2 NIV).
These are three reasons brought to my attention as to why the world will end. There are no doubt others and it would be illuminating to hear from readers any others the Spirit brings to their mind.
Concerning that second reason . . . Look at what the world values and what it says about its own origin and destiny. Evolution and the world’s obsession with power and self indulgence are all clearly evident to anyone taking more than casual observance that this world thinks it is its own god.
Evolutionists think that the physical universe is self contained, that is, that it needed no outside creator to come into being, that it has always existed, in some form, if only as energy and not matter or as some substrata such as a mysterious foam-like, quantum-mechanical essence, eternally existing and thus serving as a god of creation from which all else came. Evolutionists do have a god: They worship the physical universe, which they credit as the source of all else–a key aspect of defining something as a god.
“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised” (Rom. 1:25 NIV).
Evolutionists worship a quantum mechanical god that is truly mechanical and therefore without moral essence. No wonder such a viewpoint leads to immorality and slippery morals.
“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity” (Rom. 1:28,29 NIV).
But God is good and eternal and his moral nature is good and eternal. Everything else is temporary or mortal and must die. That this material world and cosmos must cease is proof that it is not God. This is something the world does not understand, nor does it want to understand. That is why the people of this world pretend that they will be able to keep going on with their lives as usual, unhindered. But God says:
“They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler” (Ps. 82:5-7 NIV).
The “gods” of this world–human beings with godlike qualities of consciousness and intelligence–are only like God, made in his image; but they are not God. Therefore, they will die. For only God has the power to keep himself alive eternally.
“No man can . . . live on forever and not see decay. For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves. But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions” (Ps. 49:7,9,1014 NIV).
Notice the many references to people’s desire for and trust in wealth and the things of this life. People of this world are focused only on this current world and what it has to offer. They do indeed have things in this world, but they do not have any appreciation for the things of the next. Therefore, God will end this fascination of theirs with this world instead of with him.
“Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (Mt. 25:29 NIV).
People are led astray from the truth, including the truth that this world will end, because they would rather live a lie than die to self and find life and truth in Jesus. They seek peace by listening to what soothing preachers and others tell them about life and this world. But God says:
“Because they lead my people astray, saying,’Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, ‘Where is the whitewash you covered it with?’ Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord. 15 So I will spend my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, ‘The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it,16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezk. 13:10-16 NIV).
This passage is not just a word of warning to the people of Jerusalem long ago about the coming end of their world; it is also a very relevant warning to us in our own time: a terrifying description of the fast-approaching end of the world. Verse 14 is the crux of the whole passage. There, we see the ultimate reason for everything that exists: from the creation of the world to the end of that same world. That reason is stated clearly: “And you will know that I am the Lord.
God created this world–but not everyone believes that. When God destroys this world, there will no longer be any doubt. The destruction of the world will expose the false foundation the world has built upon, and also reveal the true foundation of that world, the One who created it. God says that he will “tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare.” The world must be destroyed so that the true foundation of all that exists will be known to all.
What is the “wall” that this world has erected that God will tear down? It is the wall of pretense and unreality and fantasy that the world clings to, that there is no God and that we have come to be by evolution out of nothing or else from an eternal, physical cosmos. This is the wall the world has erected to keep God out. That wall will be torn down by God. When the world is destroyed, it will be undeniable evidence that it is not God. For God is indestructible, eternal, therefore a dying world cannot be God.
This wall was not only built by the world but also whitewashed by the world. It has tried to cover up its false worldview or view of reality, that there is no God but that it itself is God, with all kinds of philosophies and false religions. These teachings may sound good and satisfy the pride of man, but they are built on the lie that man is God, or that God is not the God of the bible, or that there is no God at all. That is the foundation for all that the world has built. But when that world is destroyed, that foundation will be exposed for the lie that it is. God will “tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare.”
“Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:13 NIV).
At the coming of Jesus to receive his kingdom, the foundations of all things will be exposed. The whitewash of this world will be removed and its true nature exposed–a nature of refusal to believe and accept the reality God has created for himself and the world’s substitution of a mirage that will disappear at Christ’s coming as quickly as whitewash washing away in a flood–or as smoke in the wind.
“But the wicked perish . . . they vanish–like smoke they vanish away” (Ps. 37:20 NIV).
“The heavens will vanish like smoke” (Is. 51:6 NIV).
Like whitewash or smoke, Scripture contains many descriptions of the end of this world vanishing as quickly as these unsubstantial things. Thus shall the flimsy foundation upon which all that this world touts as sturdy and reliable vanish away in an instant at the end.
“He will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth” (Zeph. 1:18 NIV).
The world considers to be a rock-solid foundation for all that exists the physical, material cosmos, and even man’s intellect and abilities. It is upon these things that the world trusts for its continued existence: world and man, instead of Him who created both. But God says:
“They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?” (Is. 2:21 NIV).
Because man trusts in himself–he who is but a breath–God will use mere breath to destroy man.
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming” (2 Ths. 2:8 NIV).
“He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked” (Is. 11:4 NIV).
We are called upon not to trust in the whitewashed walls of this world, not to trust in man in whose nostrils is but a breath that vanishes in an instant, nor in anything else than the sure rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ. He is the one who warns us:
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Mt. 7:26,27 NIV).
The great crash of this world is near. It and all that it worships is about to come to an end.
“The Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.'” (Jer. 10:10,11 NIV).
I have told them, Lord. I have told them.