The Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world: Bible interpretation

Here we present one of religious views of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which is based on interpretation of the Holy Bible. We have found this article on the web and considered it appropriate to publish it in our Christianity section with certain amendments. Since we believe our approach to such a significant event as the Second Coming must be as versatile as possible, a different opinion, even from a narrow religious perspective, is always welcome on our portal. Hopefully, the author of these lines truly believes in the advent of Christ and not just uses this “fashionable sacred legend” as a habitual tool to strengthen his or her local earthly power, although to be more precise holy Christian texts tell about the advent of the Holy Spirit or Comforter rather than the return of Jesus Christ. After all, Christ himself said so to the apostles in the Gospel of John 14:15. Therefore, let’s try to treat the information given herein indulgently.

 

The Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world

Второе пришествие Христа“In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.” (Book of Daniel 2:44)

Many researchers of the Bible believe this will take place upon the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to our earth. In other words, is something supposed to destroy all kingdoms or states and remain standing forever?

Over the last two thousand years many people have been impatiently waiting for this event. Some of them tried to determine the exact date. Yet, what does the Bible say on the matter? Can we find out the exact time of the Saviour’s advent?

“Therefore keep watch, because you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Gospel of Matthew 25:13)

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, but only the Father.” (Gospel of Matthew 24:36).

These verses bring us to the conclusion that no one except God can know the exact time when Christ will come. Nonetheless, we do have certain indications of the proximity of such a glorious event. The Saviour’s disciples were, just like we are today, interested to know when the Lord will definitively destroy evil and establish His Kingdom on the earth. As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?” (Gospel of Matthew 24:3).

Although in response the Lord did not tell them the exact hour, He drew the disciples’ attention to the fact there were certain indications of His near return. Now learn this lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you know He is near, right at the door.” (Gospel of Matthew 24:32-33).

 

WHEN WILL CHRIST COME?

The approach of the Second Coming is determined by special signs in nature, society, politics, and religion.

Иисус Христос

1. NATURAL CATACLYSMS. MASS HUMAN MORTALITY

Jesus predicted that prior to His advent numerous natural cataclysms, epidemics and famine will take place on the earth:

“...There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” (Gospel of Matthew 24:7)

“...On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” (Gospel of Luke 21:25)

The British Science Association (BSA) notes that every century AD has been marked by a stable increase in the number of destructive earthquakes. The Lisbon earthquake in 1755 caused death of about 60 thousand people. Then the sea was “roaring and tossing”, and a 10-metre wave washed away everyone who tried to save themselves in the harbour. A major earthquake that took place in 1976 in the Chinese city of Tangshan killed more than 200 thousand people. A terrible 9-point earthquake that reached a record in terms of the number of victims occurred in the morning of 26 December 2004 not far from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. As a result of underground shaking, a 11-metre tsunami wave formed and attacked the coast of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Maldives, Myanmar, and Somalia at a speed of about 800 kilometres per hour. The Indonesian Ministry of Healthcare estimated that the earthquake caused death or disappearance of at least 242,530 people in the said countries of Southeast Asia. Thousands of people die of famine in Central Africa every year due to long droughts and floods, and most of them are children. The last century has been characterised by the emergence of new viruses causing dangerous, intractable and rapidly spreading diseases. For instance, a flu epidemic in the early 20th century caused death of about 20 million people. The emergence of HIV, atypical pneumonia and other infectious diseases is also a sign of the Second Coming approach.

Jesus described other signs as well. “Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Gospel of Matthew 24:29)

Has this prophecy by Jesus come true? Stories by eyewitnesses say that on 19 May 1780 the sun indeed got darkened. In broad daylight the darkness suddenly fell on North America and lasted for about 14 hours. The darkness was so dense that people could not do their everyday work. Birds crowded together in fear. Nothing could be discerned at a small distance. Everything looked as if a deep moonless and starless night set in. The reasons of such a phenomenon are still unknown, but one thing is obvious: it wasn’t an ordinary solar eclipse. People who found themselves in the darkness by day expected for the moon to rise. At that, although it was the full moon time, they failed to see lunar radiance. Only at 2 a.m. a hazy bloody glow became visible as a fulfilment of the prediction by Prophet Joel in the Old Testament: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord will come.” (Joel 2:31)

Half a century later, on 13 November 1833 the stars “fell from the sky” just like Jesus had predicted. Even today the meteor shower then observed in the United States is considered to be one of the most grandiose events that have ever taken place in the sky. In a vast territory people could see a unique phenomenon: the whole sky was covered with meteorites that left glowing paths after themselves. The speed, size and abundance of heavenly bodies falling were striking. Myriads of bright sparkling balls flitted across the majestic cloudless firmament. Only the daylight could put out the charming fireworks that lasted more than four hours. The falling meteorites were so bright that people could read newspapers. The world had never seen anything like that before, and all attentive readers of the Bible regarded this event as the prophecy fulfilment. Please, note that the signs of Jesus’ advent should have appeared after the anguish of those days” (Gospel of Matthew 24:29). Which days? 500 years before Christ Prophet Daniel predicted persecutions of God’s people by religious authorities: “And he shall speak great words against the Lord in the Highest, and shall wear out the saints of the Lord in the Highest” (Daniel 7:25). This prophecycame true in the dark Middle Ages when millions of people who were unwilling to give up their faith were tortured by the Inquisition to death. By the mid 18th century persecutions were stopped and, according to Jesus’ prophecy, right after “the anguish of those days” the signs appeared in the sky as described above.

 

2. SIGNS IN THE POLITICAL FIELD

Describing the signs of the Second Coming, Jesus continued, “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars... For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” (Gospel of Matthew 24:6-7)

Following the World War II humanity has witnessed military conflicts in the Middle and Near East, Africa and Southeast Asia. The political horizon is further more often covered with clouds, and government officials peer at it with permanent anxiety, trying to guess where the next black cloud will come from. The nuclear war threat still remains a major hazard for humanity, whereas the main human hope is the hope of peace. For many ages people knew no world wars. In the 20th century there were two of those. One of the biblical prophecies says the Lord will come “to destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18). Indeed, over the last years the environmental crisis has become especially tangible, and it inevitably leads to irreversible global disasters. The Holy Writ provides an accurate picture of the last days. Jesus says, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” (Gospel of Luke 21:25-26).

Before Christ returns, politicians will try to find peaceful ways to resolve conflicts. However, as we can unfortunately observe, all efforts of the global community prove to be vain. We can read about this in the Bible: “They have healed the wound of My people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace’, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14). “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety’, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Not only government officials are concerned about global safety. The word peace has become a watchword for the young generation. We read it on cars, clothes, buildings. People have found themselves in a strange situation: they permanently dream of peace, but live in the society full of violence and incessant wars. The Bible has predicted such condition of the sinful mankind, having disclosed to us that eternal peace will be established on the earth only after the Second Coming of Christ. Hence, political development of the human community has come to an extreme point when the Lord’s prompt return is actually the only way out and hope.

 

3. MORAL STATE OF THE SOCIETY

Jesus told His disciples that lawlessness would multiply in the last days. Indeed, in the modern society shadow business prospers, state and criminal structures merge, while crimes permanently spread and increase, assuming further more brutal forms. Alcoholism already seems to be not that terrible compared to the growing scale of drug addiction. Most drug addicts are teenagers. Drugs have penetrated into families and schools. An enormous network that ruins moral foundations in society works with dreadful sophistication. Jesus compared the level of present-day moral degradation in the world with the state of inhabitants of the sinful city of Sodom destroyed by the Lord.

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built. But the same day that Lord went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” (Gospel of Luke 17:28-30)

Today we already observe pornography to be quite a common thing. Nobody is anymore surprised to see erotic photographs even on billboards and magazine covers. Abundant sex on cinema and TV screens is considered to be normal. Demonstration of intimacy becomes a well-sold commodity. Sexual perversions cause the spread of AIDS and other dangerous diseases. Violence, sadism and prostitution, including child prostitution, rapidly increase. Homosexual marriages are already legalised in some countries. In many countries such relationships are widely encouraged on TV screens and in the press. Could Sodom and Gomorrah compete with the present-day society? It looks like modern humanity has left those two cities far behind in terms of lechery. The only thing that can actually save the world from ultimate degradation is the return of Christ. Although aid provided to poor people, overall increase of welfare and advocacy of moral foundations bring a certain relief, they cannot majorly improve the moral state of the society. At that, the main reason of human degradation is that people have rejected God and His law. Sinfulness makes whole races and nations hate and kill each other. It is the cause of diseases, poverty and decline of morality. Yet, since despite all calls most people reject the Saviour, the only way out is Jesus’ return and destruction of human sinfulness by the Divine power.

“This is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” (Gospel of John 3:19-20)

Apostle Paul also told about the state of the human society on the eve of the Second Coming. He predicted that the time before the Lord’s advent would be very difficult and marked with extreme human egoism, materialism and moral lapse.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be selfish, money-loving, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unfriendly, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Иисус Христос

 

DESCRIPTION OF PRESENT-DAY HUMANITY

Selfish

Nowadays human pride, vanity, egoistic needs and desires become further more important than interests of other people around. Everyone wants to have the blanket on their side and occupy the best place under the sun. At that, people are often not ashamed to build their happiness on other people’s misfortune. “I want” has become the motto of contemporary mankind.

Money-loving

People’s unrestrained aspiration to live better than their neighbours causes a true pursuit of more and more fancy stuff. Providing social status and power, money enslaves people and turns into a golden idol for many, which idol requires from them to sacrifice conscience, kindness, pure and unselfish principles. Everything is bought and sold, even the priceless human life.

Disobedient to parents

Statistics shows that every year thousands of teenagers leave their homes due to a desire to start an early independent life. Values and ideals of elder generations are considered to be obsolete, and the parents’ authority is very low-rated.

Unfriendly

Natural relations between people have deteriorated. Everyone retreats into his or her own joys and troubles and does not want to interfere in other peoples affairs. Strangers are perceived, first and foremost, as a potential hazard. People can indifferently observe someone being beaten in the street and do nothing about that.

Unforgiving

Nowadays a quarter of all marriages in the world end in divorce, and this number tends to increase. In some regions the number of divorces reaches 70 per 100 marriages. Sociologists believe such a tendency is dangerous and draw parallels with the ancient Roman Empire on the eve of its collapse. In that empire the family institution was in deep crisis as well. One of researchers once said, “No society can survive when families collapse.”

Brutal, not lovers of the good

Crime steadily increases all over the world. Many people no longer dare to go out in the evening. We install iron doors and super-reliable locks to protect ourselves from robbers. Television has played a major role in the crime spread. It’s a very powerful means to influence people, both in the good and bad sense. Researchers say the number of murders has increased two times lately. Scenes of brutality and violence attract viewers, decreasing the value of human life in their eyes. Many crimes and criminal tricks shown on TV are successfully implemented in everyday reality.

According to the Bible, the end times will be marked by further increasing lawlessness. “Evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13) Take any newspaper, listen to any news on TV, and you will be overwhelmed by a flow of information on brutal crimes and acts of terror. Today government authorities are unable to cope with increasing crime. Seeing biblical prophecies coming true in the present-day society, we cannot doubt that Jesus’ advent is to take place very soon.

 

4. SIGNS IN THE RELIGIOUS FIELD

“…having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5) Superficial piety is also a sign of the end time. It has become fashionable to call oneself faithful, decorate one’s home with icons, attend church on big holidays, and demonstrate generosity and charity. Yet, is all this really a manifestation of true Christianity? Honesty, an open and loving heart, as well as unselfish care for other people are much more important for the Lord than external piety. God’s Word reveals to us that in the last days the religious community will noticeably deviate from the biblical truths. Still preserving its outer form, religion will lose most of its spiritual content. Apostle Paul preached, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1)

For many centuries Christianity has been experiencing severe pressure from the secular world. However, no persecutions have brought as much harm to it as its own internal delusions. The Bible tells about the time when Christians will no longer want to hear the words of truth. “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Nowadays there are plenty of religious teachings where biblical truths are replaced by farfetched human theories. Thus, the question once asked by the Lord sounds totally reasonably today: “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Gospel of Luke 18:8)

Furthermore, Jesus pointed to another sign of His near advent. “And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Gospel of Matthew 24:14)

Before the end of the history of the sinful earth, the entire world will get a blessed opportunity to hear the Gospel of Salvation. An invitation to join God and the news of Christ’s near advent will be communicated to every human being. Are we not witnessing the fulfilment of this prophecy today? Active development of technical means favours rapid spread of the Good Tidings. There is no longer a single corner on the earth where they cannot reach. Nowadays people immediately know about events that have just occurred. Satellites help us see what happens in the other hemisphere, on the moon or in the depths of outer space. Until recently, it was hard to imagine the Gospel words would simultaneously sound in various parts of our planet, while today there is such an opportunity owing to satellite TV, radio, internet and mobile communications. Moreover, modern equipment and devices make it possible to translate a person’s speech into many languages at once. According to God’s Word, in the last days the most important biblical prophecies will be disclosed to people. The Lord said to Daniel:

“…conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time. Many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” (Daniel 12:4)

Knowledge is increasing in all fields of science and technology. People who were born in the times of horse pulling force reached the age of cosmic studies! Some 150 years ago human lifestyle did not differ much from that of people in biblical times. A horse was the fastest vehicle, a car was to appear only 50 years later, and the emergence of airplanes took place after even a longer period of time. There was neither photography nor radio nor television. Telephone and telegraph were also unknown yet. Over the last 75 years the level of knowledge has increased many times more than throughout all previous centuries. Ninety percent of scientists who have ever worked on our planet are living nowadays. The divine plan regarding such an increase in knowledge ensures that the technical level of development of humanity should make it possible to bring the Gospel to every person living in the modern world. The news of Salvation via Christ’s blood and of His near coming is now preached in 206 countries, i.e. reach 99 percent of the global population. The time is very close when “this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Gospel of Matthew 24:14).

Иисус Христос

 

MAY WE BE SURE?

May we be absolutely sure that we live in the last days of the world? The Bible has predicted people’s sceptical attitude to this point. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4)

However, today we cannot say “all things continue” in the same way. Humanity has never had such a terrible chance to destroy the earth as there is now. The earthly environment has never been in such a precarious state as today, and people have never observed such a complete fulfilment of biblical prophecies around. Given the current state of human society, the final destruction of evil and the establishment of God’s Kingdom on our planet become further more urgent. The Divine Clock shows that very little time remains until the appointed hour.

“For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed.” (Acts 17:31)

Today, when we use modern means of transportation for travelling, not always we reach our destination on time. But God is never late. Jesus’ coming is approaching and will take place at the set hour. The darkness into which our sinful world has submerged cannot stop the Saviour. On the contrary, the stronger the darkness the faster He will come to liberate us from the devilish yoke. Are you ready to be among those who are joyfully waiting for His return?

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