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What will happen at the end of the world?

Q: "I would like to learn more about the end of times, like things dealing with the rapture."

Thanks for your question. The end times are a very important subject in the Bible. They are addressed in many of the Old Testament prophetic books (Isaiah through Malachi). In the New Testament, the primary passages on the end times are Matthew 24:4-44, Mark 13:5-33, Luke 17:20-37, Luke 21:8-36, 1Thessalonians 4:14-5:3, 2Thessalonians 1:6-2:12, 2Peter 3:3-12, and the Book of Revelation.

Regarding when the world will end, Jesus said that no one would know the year or the hour.

A summary of Jesus' words in Matthew 24 shows that the end times will involve the following:

  • wars and rumors of wars
  • nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
  • famines and earthquakes
  • false prophets coming in Jesus' name
  • many people being deceived by false prophets
  • false prophets performing signs and wonders
  • persecution of true believers
  • people's love of God decreasing
  • the gospel preached in the whole world
  • the "abomination of desolation" (a world leader who makes himself out to be God)
  • great tribulation
  • alterations in the sun, moon, stars
  • Jesus' true followers gathered to Him
  • Jesus' return
  • Jesus' judgment of people on earth

Regarding the "rapture," the event where Christ's true followers are caught up to meet him in the air, some main texts for that are: Matthew 24:31, Mark 13:27, 1Corinthians 15:51-52, 1Thessalonians 4:16-17, and 2Thessalonians 2:1-4.

Also, it should be pointed out how the last days will be characterized. We are told:

"There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."1

The end times basically hinge on the return of Jesus Christ and His judgment of humanity and the world. Therefore, actually knowing him is the most important thing to understand about the end times. If you would like to learn more on this subject, see How to Know God Personally or begin your investigation by reading the Bible section called John: Gospel of John free email series.

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Footnote: (1) 2Timothy 3:1-4

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