What are the Major Events of The End Times?
Last blog we took at the look of the possibility: Are we living in The End Times? I had mentioned our current chaotic world situation, Bible prophecy, and certain buzzwords are at least getting us thinking about the potential. There was also a section called “How do I know I’m going to Heaven?” Please go back to the May 9th post and take a look if you didn’t get a chance to read it.
I’m thankful that I went to an elementary school that taught the Bible almost every day. Plus, I grew up going to church ever since I can remember. However, I didn’t hear about “The End Times” until around college when people mentioned it and I had no clue about what they were talking about. In my brain – people died and then either went to heaven or hell. I started researching. That was over 30 years ago – and I’m still fascinated with the subject and discovering new things.
Maybe your situation is similar. Perhaps you’ve heard some things, read some things, and believed some things. Maybe you’ve listened to so called “experts” that seem to have all of the answers and the end of the world all figured out (you might want to avoid those people). Since the topic is overwhelming – I tried to narrow it down to five major events that will take place as we transition from our human existence on planet Earth to our eternal existence in Heaven. At face value – they almost appear to be a science fiction story. My encouragement is to please read the Bible verses listed – and the verses before and after for context. Seek out information on your own. There are dozens of resources with books, podcasts, and YouTube videos. I’ll list some of my favorites at the end. Two disclaimer verses before we begin:
“As high as the heavens are above the earth – so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.” (Isaiah 55:9) No one has it all figured out and all of the answers. Otherwise we would be like God and not need Him.
“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” (Matthew 24: 36) God would rather have us prepare for His Son’s return, serve Him, and further His Kingdom – than spend time trying to figure out the exact date of Jesus’s return.
Here we go – five huge events that are key to the complete saga of The End Times:
- The Rapture (or being caught up in the air) of all believers in Jesus – The apostle Paul describes this event that could happen at any time (even today!) in 1st Thessalonians 4: 15 – 18: We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.
- The rise of the Antichrist – The apostle John states in his book 1st John 2: 18: Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. Jesus, John, Paul, and the prophet Daniel have written/spoke extensively about this mysterious figure. Please research further on your own! In summary – he will rise from obscurity empowered by Satan during a time of calamity on the earth and be the ruler of the earth. He will establish a one world government, one world digital economic system, and a one world religion. He will promise peace and safety – but will break a peace treaty with Israel after 3 and 1/2 years. He and his followers will oppose all who follow God. At some point, he will require everyone to take some time of mark on their forehead or hand that establishes loyalty, allows buying and selling, and worship to him – or face death. However, his ultimate end is to be thrown into the hellish “Lake of Fire” (Revelation 19:20).
- The Great Tribulation – Daniel first mentions this dreadful time of seven years in his book. Jesus referred to it as he was talking with his disciples about things to come in Matthew 24: 15 – 22: “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about . . . 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.” There are basically three scholarly views on if Christians will experience the Tribulation, or will the Rapture occur before it? Some think Christians will be raptured before the Tribulation, some think in the middle, and some think at the end. My personal opinion and studies have lead me to the conclusion that we will be raptured before the Tribulation. But again, please research all of this on your own!
- The Second Coming of Jesus Christ – During his first coming – Jesus was the baby in the manger, he died on the cross for our sins, and rose from the dead to defeat Satan and give us eternal life if we believe in him. His second return to earth will look quite different as John shares his vision found in Revelation chapter 19: 11-14: Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True (Jesus), for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself . . . The armies of heaven (us), 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.
- The New Heavens and The New Earth – The happy ending to the story. Many scholars conclude that John’s vision of the future was so spectacular – that his current vocabulary was not available to describe it. Here is what he viewed recorded in Revelation chapter 21: 1 – 5: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared . . . And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. . . I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among 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!”
Conclusion: Wow! I know, that was a lot to take in. There is so much more – I only hit the surface level here. Some of this may seem scary, confusing, or cause anxiety. I refer back to what Paul said earlier:
Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4: 17,18).
Here are some additional resources you may want to take a closer look at:
- Books: Tipping Point by Jimmy Evans; Charting the End Times by Tim Lahaye & Thomas Ice; Decoding the Antichrist and The End Times by Mark Biltz; The Prophecy Pros’ Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About The End Times by Jeff Kinley & Todd Hampson, and Heaven by Randy Alcorn.
- Podcasts: Understanding the Times with Jan Markell; Tipping Point by Jimmy Evans; and Prophecy Pros Podcast.
Please let me know in the comments your thoughts, insights, agree or disagree, resources that have helped you, questions, etc. Next post will be “Reasons Why We May Not Be In The End Times” – stay tuned!