The End of the World
Is that time coming? Or is the saying just a figure of speech?
If it is real, how will it happen? When? All at once with some massive man-made disastrous global event? Nuclear war? A Pandemic? Armageddon?
Or a series of natural catastrophes—enormous earthquakes, vast (super) volcanic eruptions, terrifying tsunamis, horrific hurricanes—that render this planet uninhabitable.
Life is full of end of the world drama and trauma, or threats thereof.
When tragedy strikes, many have thought, “it’s the end of the world.”
Sometimes followed with, “What’s the use of going on?” Sorrowfully, there are too many who do not go on. They give in or give up on the living of life. Others literally quit their life (suicide).
Fortunately, some have family or friends who sincerely remind them (us) despite their woes, “It’s not the end of the world.”
For those who get to the point of doubt, disillusionment, and even despair, it invariably involves the loss of something: A job or financial setback costing an arm and a leg; actual loss of hearing or sight or a (literal) loss of a limb from disease or accident.
Even more devastating: the loss of a loved one. It can turn someone’s world upside down. And it does not have to be through death. Departure and divorce can be just as painful … just as likely to result in loss of hope for a better world. Instead, it’s “the end of my world.”
Movies have been produced, docudramas played, books published, poems penned, articles printed, sermons preached, and even songs sung about the end of the world.
For you (we) Baby Boomers out there, can you hum the tune to the lyrics of this song composed by Dee Sylvia and Kent Arthur, first sung by Skeeter Davis in 1962, entitled: The End of the World?
Why does the sun go on shining?
Why does the sea rush to shore?
Don’t they know it’s the End of the World
Cause you don’t love me any more
Why do the birds go on singing?
Why do the stars glow above?
Don’t they know it’s The End of the World
It ended when I lost your love
When someone special in a trusted, time-tested relationship doesn’t love us anymore, it can seem like the end of the world. Without trivializing the heartbreak portrayed in this song and others like it or real-life heartaches it represents, such End of the World experiences pale in comparison to global catastrophes like World War II and the Holocaust. And will pale even more to what will take place during the Great Tribulation, duration of which is just seven years.
In an ironic twist of some of the lyrics of the song, The End of the World to some of the Tribulation judgments, we read, for example:
Song: “Why does the sun go on shining?” (1st verse). “Why do the stars glow above?” (2nd verse)
Scripture: “Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and one-third of the sun was struck, and one-third of the moon, and one-third of the stars, and they became dark. And one-third of the day was dark, and also one-third of the night” (Revelation 8:12).
“Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast (Antichrist), and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. His subjects ground their teeth in anguish, and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God” (Revelation 16:10-11, parenthesis mine).
Song (third verse):
I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything’s the same as it was
I can’t understand, no I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does
It will not be long at all into the seven-year Tribulation, when earth’s inhabitants will wish that life would go on the way it does. Listen to what they will say:
Scripture: “I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood… The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all the mountains and islands were moved from their places. Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive’” (Revelation 6:12-17, italics for emphasis).
That could be an end of the world scenario if ever there was. On the other hand, it will be only the beginning of God’s wrath poured out during the seven-year Tribulation.
What Constitutes An (The) End to the World?
Will there be a detectable (definable) end to the world? Based on the authority of Scripture—through which Messiah Jesus and all Bible prophets have been proven 100% accurate in prophecies that have been fulfilled to date—the answer is an emphatic …Yes. There will be a demarcation in the destiny of mankind in which what we refer to as “the world” will come to an end. However, it will be in God’s time and on his terms.
What will trigger the end of the world? The final bowl judgment? The Battle of Armageddon?
Said Messiah Jesus about this horrendous time of death and destruction during the Great Tribulation: “For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones” (Matthew 24:21-22).
[For a more detailed description of the Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl events and Scripture-based estimation of the loss of life during the Great Tribulation, please refer to Eye of Prophecy articles: Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation (posted 6-6-15); Stunning Catastrophes of the Great Tribulation / Their Timing and Purpose (11-4-17); Sequel to Stunning Catastrophes & Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation (6-6-20), which uses more current world population figures]
Soon after the Rapture resurrection of all dead believers in Messiah Jesus plus the removal of living believers from this planet, there will be man-made carnage on a scale never seen, as portrayed by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Revelation 6:1-8). Through war, famine, and disease one-fourth of the earth’s population will be killed in just the first part of the Great Tribulation.
Because of the scope and severity of the Four Horsemen calamities it will be necessary for God to purposely permit them to happen. That is what takes place when Jesus breaks the seven seals, which is the first of three sets of seven apocalyptic events during the Tribulation. Then, beginning with the 6th Seal (the details of which we just read) followed by the seven Trumpets and seven Bowl judgments, God will judge the earth with the brunt of his wrath poured out against Antichrist and his followers during the bowl judgments.
For example: “Then I heard a mighty voice from the Temple say to the seven angels. ‘Go your ways and pour out on the earth the seven bowls containing God’s wrath.’ So the first angel left the Temple and poured out his bowl on the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue” (Revelation 16:1-2).
So, too, could an argument be made that the 7th bowl (God’s final judgment) near the end of the seven-year Tribulation is the end of the world. At the very least it will change the face (landscape) of the earth on a scale of Biblical proportions.
Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, Stunning Catastrophes of the Great Tribulation / Their Timing and Purpose, which, in turn, quotes from a prior article:
Now the end has come with inconceivable devastation that will dwarf all the disasters before it. Here, I would like to defer to an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation:
Although all the apocalyptic events allowed or caused by God are exceptional, none more so than the final earth-shattering demonstration of God’s power. Every time I read it, I shake my head in disbelief. I repeat the words, but they still do not compute. My imagination lags far behind the stunning reality of it all. A comparative image comes to mind; however, I realize that it is a fully inadequate analogy. I’ll mention it anyway—in order to gain a partial perspective and picture of how the final bowl judgment of God will surpass of all the catastrophes preceding it. The imagery that comes to mind is that of a lengthy firework display that culminates in the greatest, most magnificent grand finale ever seen. But the resemblance is similar only in form, certainly not in substance. Here is God’s final Tribulation judgment:
“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple saying, ‘It is finished!’ Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And a great earthquake struck—the worst since people were placed on the earth. The great city of Babylon (Rome) split into three sections, and the cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble … And every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled. There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the terrible plague of the hailstorm” (Revelation 16:17-21).
Once again, absolutely incredible! Not just cities all over the earth crumbling into rubble, or every single island—think of the Hawaiian Islands—completely disappearing (giant tsunamis that not only inundate but sink the islands), and all the earth’s mountains flattened into level plains. No, that isn’t what causes the unrepentant who are left on the earth to curse God once again. It was the giant hailstones that obviously were even more devastating than the other colossal calamities. The disaster depicted in the recently released movie, San Andreas, is nothing more than a tiny dot on a Seismograph compared to this unbelievably powerful world-wide earthquake, its aftermath, and the hailstorm to follow in this final and most fearsome judgment of all.
As we read earlier, the (unbelieving, unsaved) world’s reaction to God’s 1st judgment (6th seal earthquake) was one of at least partial reflection and acknowledgement, albeit with shock and awe. But not one of repentance and, therefore, redemption. Although there will be many who turn to Christ for salvation, in each successive judgment (fourteen in all between the 6th Seal and the 7th Bowl) the hearts of most survivors will become harder and harder.
Accordingly, God’s wrath will get harsher and harsher, to the extent that Planet Earth will hardly be recognizable after the final bowl judgment.
And there is still Armageddon to go, the battle of the ages! A series of battles that begin primarily in Israel, especially Jerusalem (Zechariah 12 & 14). That is when Christ will return to Planet Earth and first step foot on the Mount of Olives; to do battle against Antichrist and his ten-nation confederacy that culminates in the valley of Megiddo, Israel.
After his spectacular appearance to/in Israel, Messiah Jesus will rally the Israeli soldiers and they will turn the tide for the Battle of Jerusalem. Then Christ will return to heaven to lead his army (we believers taken in the Rapture some 7 years earlier) against the now aligned forces of Antichrist’s coalition and the Kings of the East.
(See Eye of Prophecy article, Armageddon and Messiah’s Return … An Amazing Sequence of Events posted 2-3-18).
Here is the graphic description of Armageddon:
“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war … and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky, ‘Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great.’
“Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and worshipped his statue. Both the beast and the false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies” (Revelation 19:11-21).
For all who have died before the finale comes, their world has ended … through war, murder, disease, famine, accidents, natural death. The rest of the world goes on.
But for how long?
And what is that world? Is it everything that makes life what it is on earth? Is it the earth itself? What about our sun and moon and the galaxies of stars and planets? Or is it the end of an era?
God’s Word (the Bible) is clear that death is the end of life in our earthly bodies, but not final cessation of life itself. All who die will be resurrected: believers at the Rapture and end of the Tribulation with transformed immortal bodies (I Thessalonians 4; I Corinthians 15 & Revelation 20). Unbelievers at the conclusion of the Millennial Reign of Christ (Revelation 20).
What Does Jesus Say About the End of the World?
What better authority than the Messiah himself to tell us definitively what “The End of the World” is … when it will come; and what (when) it is not.
*Note: You may also want to refer to Eye of Prophecy article: End of the World Events … In Chronological Order (posted 2-25-17). It is a panoramic view in summary form of all 21 major events that comprise the end times. Beginning with (1) The Rapture and finishing with (21) Eternity. This week’s article is geared more to identifying what constitutes The End of the World.
What The End of The World Is Not
Do you recall what his disciples asked Jesus not long after he had told them the 2nd Temple would be destroyed (which happened about 40 years later … A.D. 70)?
Jesus then presented them with an array of actions that included the sack of Jerusalem and destruction of the 2nd Temple, but mainly the somber signs that would be harbingers of his return. Early on in this lengthy conversation, Jesus provided the pivotal point in his comprehensive response to their question. He said: “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14, italics for emphasis).
To what end did Jesus refer? The end of the world as posed in the disciples’ question?
Notice that Jesus did not say, end of the world. Rather he said, “…then the end will come.”
Putting this into the complete context of the Mt. Olivet Discourse and all the activities that would take place preceding his return to earth, Jesus is referring to the Great Tribulation which Daniel prophesied would (beginning with a treaty) last seven years (Daniel 9:27). He even mentions Daniel by name in this remarkable revelation to his disciples.
Jesus focused on the first question posed by the disciples, regarding his physical return to earth. In doing so, he covers global conditions during the generation before the Tribulation (triggered by the first phase of his Second Advent … The Rapture) begins. Then the cataclysmic circumstances and consequences of the Tribulation—of which he provides even more dramatic details as recorded in the Book of Revelation a few decades after his resurrection and ascension to heaven.
Thus, when Jesus said and then the end will come, he was referring directly to his Second Coming. Although Christ had more to say, he summarized his return to earth with these words:
“And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angles with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven” (Matthew 24:30-31).
Consequently, the Lord was NOT referring to the end of the world. Rather, his answer was directed to the question of when (the signs of) he would return to earth. We later learn from the Book of Revelation that the earth will be decimated (both landscape and life) by the time Jesus returns, but the earth will still be the earth. The end referred to by Jesus was the termination of the Great Tribulation which also ends the global rebellion against God and Messiah Jesus spearheaded by Antichrist.
Upon his return and just before Messiah Jesus judges the nations for their treatment of Israel and the Jews (Sheep/Goat separation that concludes the Olivet Discourse) and begins his 1,000-year reign on earth, the angels gather his chosen ones—Jews from all over the earth who will be transported to Israel and be part of Israel’s remnant who will be saved … physically and spiritually (Zechariah 12-14 & Romans 9-11).
Though there will be some startling changes to/on the earth during the Millennium, it will still be the earth as we know it. The world will continue with one huge difference: Messiah Jesus will personally rule and reign (believers granted authority to rule with him) over the entire earth from Jerusalem!
See Eye of Prophecy article: Messiah’s Millennial Reign … Incredible Changes on Earth, posted 12-30-17.
What the End of the World Is
Once again, we will refer and defer to the prophetic power and absolute authority of Messiah Jesus, who is the very essence (subject, purpose) of prophecy … Revelation 19:10. With his resurrection from the dead, he proved that he is the Son of God and God the Son. Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled dozens of Old Testament predictions of the coming Messiah and will fulfill many more upon his remarkable return.
He even predicted the details of his arrest and death. Unless Jesus was God (he is) there is no way he could have known in such detail what would happen.
Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said: “Listen… we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead” (Matthew 20:18-19).
(Jesus also knew which of his disciples would betray him)
Prior to the Mount Olivet Discourse, Jesus had already announced that there would be an end to the world (as they and we know it). Apparently, his disciples forgot (some of the things Jesus said) during the series of seven parables Jesus used to explain what the Kingdom of Heaven would be like … Matthew Chapter 13. In two of these parables, Jesus refers to, “the end of the world.”
The first of these is categorized as the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds (tares) found in Matthew 13:24-30 & 36-43. Time/space in this week’s article only allows commentary on the 2nd story, known as the Parable of the Fishing Net.
Said Jesus: “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind. When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away. That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:47-50, emphasis added).
Biblical Salvation: Just a short pause to make sure we’re all on the same page as to who the righteous and wicked are in this illustration and others like it. To that end, the Bible is crystal clear what makes a person righteous … right standing with God.
Beginning with the fact that, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s righteous standard” (Romans 3:23).
But God has provided a remedy. In the very next verse we read, “Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood…
“Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith (in Jesus Christ) and not by obeying the law” (Romans 3:24-25 & 27-28, parenthesis mine).
The Apostle Paul was reinforcing what Jesus said to Nicodemus and others. That salvation and eternal life are gifts given by God—to be believed and received. They are not earned.
“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment” (John 3:36). Everyone is in the camp or category of “wicked” until or unless they are made “righteous” (right standing with God) by believing and receiving Messiah Jesus as Personal Savior.
That’s why the above passage says, “they remain under God’s angry judgment.” Because that is where we all are (begin in life) and will remain until and unless we receive God’s pardon by accepting His Son.
Receiving such a pardon is no different than walking out of a prison cell if the State has pardoned (released) us from a sentence of death. If we disbelieve the warden that our sentence has been commuted and remain there, then we will die in that prison (our sins).
Back to the End of the World
Repeating what Jesus said: “that is the way it will be at the end of the world.”
Answer: “The angels will come and separate the wicked people (unsaved) from the righteous (saved), throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace…” (Matthew 13:49-50, parenthesis mine).
Now let’s match those words with what Jesus said (himself or through angels) in his final revelation to humanity, as recorded by John in the Book of Revelation just a few decades after Jesus had ascended back to heaven. Even Christians sometimes forget that the Book of Revelation is, “…a revelation from Jesus Christ which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place…” (Revelation 1:1, emphasis added).
In Revelation Chapter 20 we are told about the marvelous 1,000-year (Millennium) reign of Messiah Jesus on the earth. Which undoubtedly will commence with a massive restoration (clean-up) of this planet that has been rocked off its axis by the earth-shattering events of the Great Tribulation. We also read about Satan’s imprisonment during this (literal) period; his release to lead one last rebellion against God; then God’s rapid rout of this insurrection.
Followed by the final verses of this chapter:
“And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave (Hades … hell) gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15, emphasis added, parenthesis mine).
(Depiction of the Great White Throne Judgment)
The lake of fire is not the same place as hell—which is where the soul/spirit of unbelievers go when they die, waiting for the final judgment. We don’t know what this lake will entail, but it is one and the same as the “fiery furnace” imagery (reality) used by Jesus in his depiction of the end of the world.
Those standing before God’s throne are the unsaved brought back to life (Revelation 20:5) at the end of the Millennium, alongside all the living unbelievers at that time who may have survived the final revolt against the Lord (Revelation 20:7-9).
Believers in Christ are not included in this final judgment. That is what Jesus meant when he said the wicked will be separated from the righteous at the end of the world. In fact, believers are not judged at all for the wrong things (sin) we did on earth. The reason is extraordinarily evident: We accepted Jesus as our Personal Savior whom God judged on the cross in our place.
Speaking of/to believers, Paul writes: “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of underserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory” (Romans 5:1-2, emphasis added).
Believers have been given the awesome privilege of standing in God’s presence to share his glory, which includes Christ sharing his inheritance with us; including, but not limited to, ruling and reigning with him during the Millennium. We will not be among those standing before God during this final time of judgment.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Ephesians 2:8-9 and other similar passages clearly convey that salvation is by faith in Messiah Jesus—the Mediator of the New Covenant of God’s Grace—not by good deeds or by keeping the Law of Moses. There is no such thing as good deeds outweighing bad deeds that will make us right with God or of earning/meriting redemption.
Is there, then, a contradiction of that concept (truth) when Revelation 20 states that the unsaved will be “judged according to their deeds?”
Not at all.
At this final judgement, God is giving unbelievers (any among them who may now want to “get into heaven” … there will be those who still want nothing to do with God, Christ, or believers) a final chance to boast about their good deeds. To convince him why more good deeds than bad deeds should tip the scale in their favor, without considering God’s clear truth that any sin (no matter how small or great) requires the remedy of redemption. Which was accomplished by the perfect man, Jesus Christ. If any degree of human self-righteousness, good behavior, or achievements could impart or impute a right-standing with God, then the Son of God died for no reason at all.
(Amen! Because, innately, we have no righteousness of our own)
Another reason that God judges the unsaved according to their deeds does relate to the severity of the bad things they did while on the earth. Time/space does not permit elaboration, but Scripture discloses that there will be various levels of punishment for unbelievers. God’s justice is just as perfect as He and His other attributes are.
Don’t forget about the Book of Life mentioned in this passage. The books that contain the deeds of those (the wicked as Christ calls them) standing at God’s judgment throne will be the basis for the nature/extent of punishment. Yet, they are ultimately found guilty and sentenced for one thing only: They are not in the Lamb’s Book of Life. They are not there because they chose not to accept Messiah Jesus as their Lord and Savior while on this earth.
Is It The End of the Age or The End of the World?
As you probably know, the New Testament books were originally written in the Greek language of the 1st Century AD. Occasionally, we need to examine some Greek words more closely. Especially when different translations of the Bible use different English (or whatever language) words to determine through context, correlation, and comparison with other passages which is the best word choice.
In the New Living Translation passages quoted earlier in this week’s article, the Greek word translated world (as in end of the world) is Aion (pronounced ahee-ohn). Meaning of which is, “an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, period of time, forever, age, world.” The transliterated English word aeon is defined in Webster’s Dictionary: “an immeasurably or indefinitely long period of time.”
Some Bible translators and commentators prefer the rendering of the Greek word aion to/with the English word, age. Which is the translation found, for example, in the New American Standard Bible in several verses, including Matthew 13:40 & 49 and Matthew 24:3. Thus, we read, “the end of the age.”
Some definitions for age as found in Webster’s Dictionary: “generation, a long time, a period in history or human progress, a cultural period marked by the prominence of a particular item, division of geological time that is usually shorter than an epoch…”
So we hear such terms as, the Atomic Age, the Age of Pericles (Greek philosopher), the Stone Age, The Industrial Age, etc. In the context of the Bible, we refer, for example, to the Age of Innocence or the Church Age. Which are specified times (sometimes called dispensations) of God’s various covenants with the Jews and/or Gentiles (the world). When Messiah Jesus arose from the dead, he sealed the New Covenant of Grace and we are still in that Age of Grace.
For that matter, the Millennium (Millennial Reign of Messiah Jesus) will be an age, albeit one with a specified duration … 1000 years.
Also, you have probably heard the term/word: Cosmos. Which is a transliteration from the Greek word, Kosmos. Meaning of which is: “the world, the universe, the earth, the inhabitants of the earth, world systems or affairs.”
Although the terms age and world can be (often are) used interchangeably, the intrinsic difference is that aion (age) refers primarily to a period marked distinctively by a person (such as Jesus Christ when he changed the very measurement and keeping of time from B.C. to A.D.) or an event or series of events (culturally, scientifically, economically, politically, geologically). Overall, it is more of an intangible (spiritual) phenomenon.
Whereas the Kosmos applies primarily to the tangible (physical) world … universe, earth, governmental entities, and the like. Nevertheless, there is still significant overlap between these two Greek words.
Interestingly, The King James Version mostly translates aion to world (end of the world) in the Matthew verses and other passages. With the NASB translating aion to age more often than world.
(The universe is the largest definition or expression of Cosmos)
Final Summary Proof
For purpose of definition, delineation, and demarcation of the end of the world or end of the age, what we are about to read next will demonstrate that it is the Great White Throne Judgment (final separation of the wicked from the righteous … Jesus’s own words) that will be the signal of and catalyst to the end of an age PLUS the end of the cosmos … as we know or recognize it.
Immediately succeeding the sentencing of all unbelievers to the Lake of Fire where Antichrist, the False Prophet, and Satan (bodily) himself have already been deposited (Revelation 19 & 20), we shift to this stunning scene described by John:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2).
Whether the current heavens and earth will undergo an extreme makeover by the Lord or whether He will create a completely new earth is not for us to know this side of heaven. Based on other passages in Scripture, I believe the preponderance of evidence is that of an extreme makeover of the existing Earth.
But for believers, we can rest assured: The end of the world is not the end of the world!
Nor is death the end of life, knowing that we will be raised from the dead and given immortal bodies equipped to live forever in heaven, on the New Earth. and in the New Jerusalem.
That will be the Age of Eternity. A New World. That Age and World will never end!
And it will give a whole new meaning to: A New Beginning.
With us will be our glorious Triune God … Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
“…Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:3-5)
Sadly, not so with the “wicked” … Jesus’s description of not just especially evil people, but of all unbelievers.
“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshippers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8, emphasis added).
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world … it ended when you (God) said goodbye.
If only they had said, Hello (Yes) to Jesus during their lifetime on earth.
Things to Ponder
Yesterday was the 8th and final day of the Jewish celebration of Hannukah with the lights of the Menorah as centerpiece. This coming Friday, people the world over will commemorate the birth of the Jewish Messiah, the Light of the World—Savior to all who put their trust in his once-for-all sacrifice for sin and the penalty thereof.
Jesus of Nazareth goes by many precious and powerful names and designations including but not limited to: Lamb of God, Lion of Judah, The Lord, The Great Shepard, Alpha and Omega, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Son of David, Son of Man.
Next to his most prominent position and title (Son of God), my personal favorite name is Immanuel.
Also spelled, Emmanuel … God with us!
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us (believers in Christ) from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, parenthesis mine).
Not even the end of the world!