Challenging Questions and Biblical Answers on End Times
A Study for Church Groups
Q1: Will there be ‘an end’?
The term ‘end-times’ (or ‘last days’) is sometimes taken to span from the time of the apostles (the gifting of the Holy Spirit) to the Second Coming of Christ. When it comes to the question “Is there really an end of things – is Christ really coming again?”, many are sceptical. They reply “What’s the problem? All things continue as they always have been” (2 Peter 3:4). The sceptics argue we are gradually ‘sorting the world’s problems’, with scientific solutions to food shortages, aging, disease, climate change, etc. But the Bible says otherwise.
Here are some common questions, together with brief biblical answers using a particular but common interpretation of Bible prophecy (the Pre-Tribulation view) . This interpretation fits the observed world scenario extremely well.
Q2: ‘End of the World’ or ‘End of the Age’?
The difference is important. Jesus’ disciples asked Him: “What are the signs of the end of the age?” (NKJV). Here “age” is a transliteration if the Greek word “aión” (Strong’s 165). It means “a space of time, an age”. Less rigorous translations (KJV, NLT) translate the Greek as “world”.
Many see the ‘end of the age’ and ‘the end of the world’ to be separated by 1,000 years. We are currently nearing the end of approximately 6,000 years of human government and the start of 1,000 years of peace on the earth – the Millennial Age when Christ rules the earth (Zechariah 14:9). After this comes the end of the world, the physical destruction of the present earth through fire (2 Peter 3:7,10). Scientists say that, eventually, the sun will expand to become a red giant and burn up the solar system, including earth. This conveys the same message as 2 Peter.
Q3: What is the purpose of the Church?
The Christian gospel message – reconciliation with God through His Son Jesus Christ – will be preached worldwide just before the end of the age (Matthew 24:14). This is the gospel (the good news) of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14) and is being preached right now! The Bible is available in whole or in part to some 98% of the world’s population in a language in which they are fluent, and modern communications enables this message to be heard by over 99% of the world’s 8 billion people (as of 2021) if they have the technology.
Although the gospel is preached worldwide, there will be a general falling away from biblical truth, a falling from the light of the gospel into deep spiritual darkness (Isaiah 60:2). The world will be deceived by the rise of a powerful false church with deceiving false prophets and cults.
Q4: What will happen to the true Church?
The true end time church will be miraculously removed from the earth to meet Christ ‘in the air’ (Matthew 24:36-42, 1 Thessalonians 4:17). Believers past and present will be raised with immortal bodies to be with God forever, whilst the false, apostate church will remain in an increasingly spiritually dark world.
In the Pre-tribulation view of prophecy, removal of the true church, the “rapture“, happens just before the worst 7 years the world has ever known.
Q5: Is it becoming more difficult to be a Christian in the World?
Jesus said there will be increasing persecution of those who choose to follow Him (Matthew 24:9). We see this today in subtle form from godless laws devised by western governments e.g. same-sex marriage. Persecution also comes from those who mistakenly think they are doing God’s will (John 16:2) – as in Islamic persecution of Christians in the 10/40 window. Christianity is now the world’s most persecuted faith.
Q6: Why has knowledge and travel increased exponentially in just 100 years?
Prophecy says that, “at the time of the end” there will be rapid increase in knowledge and travel (Daniel 12:4). In just 100 years man has advanced rapidly in science, medicine, communications, astronomy and travel. We now understand how the trillions of cells in our bodies are controlled by a beautiful double helix molecule called DNA. And we can now hop on one of the 100,000 commercial flights each day and travel round the world in 24 hours! Artificial Intelligence (AI) will greatly facilitate this increase of knowledge.
Q7: Do you think the world is going more peaceful or more Lawless?
Love between people grows cold (Matthew 24:12) as they depart from God’s spiritual laws of life. There will also be increasing lawlessness: local disputes, political corruption, greedy bankers, religious persecution, international terrorism, wars between nations. It culminates in the brief reign of the end- time ‘lawless one’ , or ‘world dictator’ (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
Q8: What do you think of Israel?
God’s chosen people, Israel, will be drawn back to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants (Isaiah 11:12, Ezekiel 37:21). The population of Israel has rapidly grown from 0.5m in 1900 to over 9m in 2023. After years of being scattered amongst the nations, national Israel will become prosperous as God blesses His people and makes them a key witness and servant of Himself amongst the nations (Isaiah 43:10, 49:3). Although the nations will initially hate Israel, in the Millennial age they will honour Israel (Zechariah 14:2, 14:16).
Q9: What do You think will happen in the Middle East?
The long-standing Arab-Israeli tension will soon erupt into another middle east war involving mainly Islamic nations. As before, the objective is to “wipe Israel off the map” (Psalm 83:4). According to prophecy, the attacking nations come “out of the north” and are defeated by the God of Israel (Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39). Not all nations are involved. Right at the end of this age, all nations will come up against Israel in a place called Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). This is the last war before the Millennial Age. But, as in Ezekiel’s war, the invaders will be defeated as Christ returns to rule the earth (Zechariah 14:3).
Q10: Can man control Climate Change?
Probably not – it’s God’s weather! There is clear biblical support for God’s control of past and future extreme weather (short-term weather events). Moreover, many scientists doubt that man can control the weather/climate by controlling anthropogenic CO2. So, despite man, prophecy says there will be extreme weather events such as severe heat and drought, severe storms, torrential rain, large hail and heavy snow (Isaiah 24 and Luke 21:25). These, together with cosmic disturbances (Luke 21:11, Revelation 6:12) and possible asteroid impact (Revelation 8:8) are part of God’s judgement on the rebellious nations (Revelation 16).
Q11: What do You think of the World Economic Situation?
As part of God’s judgement of the nations, there will be a sudden global financial crash and collapse of the world trading system (Revelation 18:9-24). The world economy is based upon highly-interconnected global supply chains which are vulnerable to even a single major shock – such as a major bank failure or a cyber attack. Contagion could then spread rapidly through the tightly-linked global financial network. Note that global government debt is rapidly increasing.
Q12: Do you feel ‘Big Brother’ is out there watching us?
World leaders have called for a ‘New World Order’ (NWO) or a World Government, and this is currently being formed through the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Club of Rome, the Illuminati, NATO and the WCC. This government is seen as the terrible fourth beast of Daniels’ prophecy (Daniel 2 and 7). Many believe this prophecy points to a ruthless world government having the tyranny of the historic Roman Empire. It is probably based in Europe and headed by a world dictator (Revelation 13:1) and the Antichrist (Revelation 13:11).
Q13: Can you see a form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Revelation 13?
This prophecy appears to be referring to a human designed machine (an image to some beast, verse 14) that is given power to speak, to reason, and to kill. In the near future, human beings will be told to make some machine which both speaks and then condemns some to death – seemingly without human intervention. Already, lethal autonomous weapons systems use AI to identify, select, and kill human targets without human intervention! Already there are warnings: “Artificial intelligence advances could put human lives at risk.” [E&T: Engineering Technology, June 2023].
Q14: Do you still use cash to shop?
Yes? Not for long! In the future, shopping will be controlled by governments. This will be via electronic ID and cashless trading. Extensive computer networks and large databases will make it easy for governments to monitor and control individual spending. To this end, banks are now planning Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) with the objective of eliminating cash. This will enable Central Banks to take complete control of all personal spending – leading to an end to freedom of buying and selling. There is now just a short technological step to the ultimate electronic ID and it’s forced imposition upon individuals – the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16,17).
Q15: After all that – what then?
Jesus Christ returns to this earth at the very end of the present age. He will destroy the final form of corrupt World Government (Daniel 2:35) and usher in a peaceful age where there is no war (Isaiah 2:4) and “the lion eats straw like the ox” (Isaiah 66:20-25). Christ will reign from Jerusalem as “King over all the earth” for 1,000 years (Zechariah 14:9).