by Matt Slick
This question is asked by those who believe in God and those who don't. We can't help but wonder what the future holds. It is obvious that our world is full of danger, potential plagues, and war. We have the ability to destroy ourselves with nuclear bombs. It would not be difficult at all to conclude that our own technology and inclination towards violence will probably lead to our own destruction. Maybe this is why religions all over the world teach that there will be a final judgment, a "last day." So when is the world going to come to an end? No one knows.
The Bible says
The Bible tells us that there will be a final day, a day of reckoning, a day of judgment.
- 2 Pet. 3:10-12, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!"
- Rev. 20:11-13, "And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds."
- Rev. 21:1, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea."
It is obvious that the Bible tells us there will be a final day, a day of judgment. But we do know when that will be?
- Matt. 24:36, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."
- 1 Thess. 5:2-3, "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
However, we can know the times and the seasons. In other words, the Bible tells us that a woman who is about to give birth experiences birth pangs. So also will be the condition of the world before it comes to an end. There will be symptoms that will increase right before the end.
- Matt. 24:4-8, "“See to it that no one misleads you. 5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 “And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs."
- 1 Thess. 5:1-3, "Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
So we can see that the Bible tells us there will be a final day, a day of judgment (Rev. 20:11-13), that the earth will come to an end (2 Pet. 3:10-12), that there will be a new heavens and earth (Rev. 21:1), and that we don't know when it's going to be (Matt. 24:36; 1 Thess. 5:2).