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What Does the Bible Say About..The End of the World, the Revelation of John, and Why God Isn't Unfair?

Does the bible suggest any time how the world will end and when? I don't really understand The Revelation chapter. I think it says something like after the second coming of Jesus, the Judgment will take place and those who are saved will go to heaven, and the rest will stay on earth. Then someone who many think will be God will come on earth and act nice to everyone until a few years later, he will create chaos and then the rest will go to hell. I'm not really sure though. I also heard that after awhile, a new earth will be created and heaven will be on earth. Is this true? My final question is that I know God knows everything that will happen, but if so, why does he allow people who will go to hell to be born? It doesn't really sound fair to let people be born when he knows they will go to hell.


The Bible is very clear that nobody will know when the world will end. Jesus said in Matthew 25: 13, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes." In Matthew 24:44 he says, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes." As my mother has put it, I don't know when Jesus will come, but I know when he will not come—when somebody says he will. Anytime somebody says they know when Jesus will come again is calling Jesus a liar.

The Bible does seem to indicate how the world will end, though. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2 Peter 3:10-12) When Robert Frost said in a poem that he didn't know whether the world would end in fire or ice he was obviously not thinking of what Peter said.

The book of Revelation is hard to understand for several reasons. First, it was written in symbols that would be understood by the readers of the first century, but we may have lost the meaning of some of the symbols. Second, many people try to say the book is mostly about our future, when a careful study of the book shows clearly that most of it, if not all of it, took place almost two thousand years ago. Third, many people try to look too hard at the incidentals of the book and ignore its basic message, that Christians will overcome persecution in this world.

I like your summary of premillennialist doctrine, although some who hold that the prophecies of the Revelation are in our future would disagree with certain points of it. I think the book of Revelation teaches that the early church was about to go through a great persecution from the Roman Empire. It further teaches that God would not let Satan win, but would eventually destroy his tool, Rome. It finally teaches that God has a plan for saving His church and judging between the righteous (through the blood of Christ) and sinners who reject His son. One site that has helped me understand a lot about the Revelation and what Jesus said about the end of the world is www.christianhomesite.com/revelation.

Basically, the Bible teaches in several places, like Matthew 25:31-46, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:6 and 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, that the next coming of Jesus, the end of the world, and the judgement will all happen at the same time. Everyone will be judged at the same time and go to eternal reward or eternal punishment.

Your last question is a very good one. Why does God put people on earth, knowing that they will sin? This is the big question for the followers of the doctrines of John Calvin (most Presbyterians and many Baptists) and other believers in the doctrine of predestination. That doctrine says that everything that happens on earth was programmed by God and people only do what God says they will. If that is true, then God would indeed be unfair to have people born just to send them to hell. If, as the Calvinists say, God saves only those he chooses to save and has predetermined who they will be and who they won't be then God is truly unfair and unjust. On the other hand, the scriptures I read say that man makes his own choices. When a person is born they have a choice to sin or not. Only Jesus has lived without sin. But when we do sin we have a choice of whether we turn back to God or reject Him. By giving man choice or "free will" God limits his knowledge of the outcome of each person. We are no longer pre-programmed for hell. God may combine justice and mercy in order to save those who turn to him.