Jesus and the end of the world.

What does Jesus have to say about THE most controversial topic?

by Edward Langenback

© 9/15/00

There's a lot of talk about the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus, but what does this really mean? This question has been asked for a long time. Jesus was asked about it by his disciples, and people have been asking, thinking and studying about it since then.

Matthew 24:3, "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

The first misconception to clear up is that while the king james uses the phrase 'end of the world', the word the translators rendered 'world' is 'aion' {ahee-ohn'} , which is a Greek word meaning an age, or period of time. So, restating the question with this in mind, we have: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?" This is not talking about the world exploding or otherwise being destroyed. The end being talked about is the end of the time before Jesus returns.

Matthew 24:4-5, "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."

Simple enough here, Jesus warns that we should be aware and not allow ourselves to be deceived into believing and following liars. He warns that many people will claim to represent Him, saying that they are anointed, or that they are The Anointed One (remember, 'Christ' isn't Jesus' last name, it's Greek for: 'The Anointed One and/or His Anointing), and that many people will believe and follow these liars.

Matthew 24:6-7, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."

A lot of people read this and think 'well, this means that war, sickness, mass famine, earthquakes all over doesn't mean that we're in the last days. After all, Jesus said that these things would happen and the end would not yet be.' However, if you would read his next statement, you begin to see that these things are gauges of how far along we are.

Matthew 24:8, "All these are the beginning of sorrows."

This is more than just saying that the things in verses six and seven are really bad. The word 'sorrows' is translated from the Greek 'odin' {o-deen'} , which translated refers to the pain of childbirth, birth pangs. Now if wars and rumors of wars, kingdoms rising against kingdoms, famines, pestilences(disease), and earthquakes are the beginning of birth pangs then the fact that these things happen is not remarkable. What Jesus is telling us here is that just as birth pains get stronger and more frequent as time for birth approaches, so will these signs become more frequent and stronger as we get farther into the last days.

Matthew 24:9-12, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."

Here is where things start to get rough. People persecuted and even killed because they have faith in Jesus. The word that the king james translates 'offended' is 'skandalizo' {skan-dal-id'-zo} ("scandalize") and it means to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey. This is talking of many people turning away from faith in Jesus. False prophets deceiving many. Preaching and teaching anything and everything that will get people to follow them. Iniquity, simply put, is lawlessness. Because lawlessness abounds, the love of many grows cold. People become more concerned with themselves and less caring of the needs and feelings of others.

Matthew 24:13, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

In the midst of all this trouble, there is a promise. Those of us who keep our faith in Jesus, and remain followers of God, will be saved from all that satan and his deceptions can throw at us. It is only by faith in Jesus, and receiving all that He wants to give us, that any of us can hope. Only God can keep us safe and provided for in the days that are fast coming upon us. Only those who trust in God can enter into His kingdom.

Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

This is something that until the last few decades, would not have even been possible. Yet now we have satellite television covering the entire planet. We have the Internet, which allows people from all over the world to communicate freely. The gospel is being preached in more nations all the time. Places that would never have allowed Jesus to be preached now have people learning about Him on satellite T.V. and millions of world wide web pages on the Internet.

The time is indeed growing close. The important questions to ask yourself are: have you accepted Jesus? Are you living your life for God? Are you telling others about Jesus? Are you praying and studying the bible? If you haven't made Jesus the lord of your life, now is the time more than ever before.