“WHEN WILL THE END COME? A biblical explanation
This question seems to interest everyone, believers and nonbelievers alike. This passage from chapter 24 of the Gospel of Matthew is one of the favorite scriptures for those who are seeking information on the end times. It speaks of wars and rumors of wars, famine, earthquakes, false prophets, tribulation, hardship, and the increase “of evil in the earth. Many preachers and teachers cite these events and point to current-day examples, and then proclaim, “The end is near! Do you see all these things happening around us?”
We need to be cautious and discerning when it comes to prophecies such as these and the people who proclaim them. Our generation is not unique; prophecy teachers have been around for centuries. Many of them are legitimate and are careful students of the Scriptures, but many others study the Word of God just enough to be frightening. They see “signs of the times” in every event, large or small. You hear them say: “Do you remember that earthquake in India? That means Christ is returning soon!” “The Lord said there would be pestilence and epidemics in the last days. With the scourge of AIDS spreading to so many people around the world, we know that Jesus’ return is just around the corner.”
What these teachers often fail to mention “and many believers fail to see are Jesus’ cautionary words in these verses. He says there will be “wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” Famines and earthquakes are merely “the beginning of birth pains.”
The real key to understanding the timing of the return of Christ and the end of all things is verse 14: “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 (Matt. 24:14).
The sign of the end of the age will be this: the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom throughout the world. This verse reveals the timing of Jesus’ return, but not the hour. It is quite clear that the “hour” is known only by the Father. Jesus Himself said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matt. 24:36). The end will come when the gospel of the Kingdom is “preached “in the whole world as a testimony to all nations.” The Greek word ethnos (nations) refers to every people group, every culture, every race, every tribe, every tongue, every political system, and every national state. After the gospel of the Kingdom is preached to all of these, then the end will come.”
vision, purpose, destiny,