End of the World 2012

So what have we learned?

About He is coming:

  • He promised to come – Jn. 14:1-3
  • He’s coming in the clouds – Acts. 1:9-11; Rev. 1:7
  • The time of his coming no one knows – Mt. 24:36

There are many erroneous views of the Second coming, one view is  known as “Realized Eschatology” , which states that everything in the New Testament that talks about the second coming of Christ, the judgment day and the end of the world were fulfilled at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Another view, equally erroneous, is known as “Dispensational Premillennialism.”  Dispensationalists teach that Matthew twenty-four is an end-time manual which allows one to determine the characteristic events which will signal the end of time.  Hal Lindsey in his book, The Late Grate Planet earth, argues that Matthew twenty-four indicates that the Lord will return during our life time, originally setting the date as 1988.  Later, as 1988 approached and the “signs” Lindsey felt were necessary to indicate the end of time did not appear, he changed the date.

It should be noted that attempts at setting the date totally ignore Jesus’ words.

Date setting is nothing new.  There were some who lived in the first century that thought they could set the date.  Paul wrote:

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5

2:1 ¶ Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,

2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

3 ¶ Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?

This is an important passage to remember.  The earliest date setters were wrong.  They did not know what they were talking about.  There were those in the year 999 A.D. that taught that the return would happen in the year 1,000 A.D. based upon a total misunderstanding of the so-called 1,000 year reign in Revelation chapter twenty.  It did not happen.  They did not know what they were talking about.  The 1800’s and 1900’s  witnessed a rash of date setters.  William Miller set a date in the 1840’s and even persuaded some of his followers to invest in “ascension robes” and climb mountains so that they could be the first to see the return.  Miller did not know what he was talking about.  In the 1900’s dates such as 1914, 1918, 1925, 1937, 1945, 1967, 1975, 1977, 1988, 1999, 2000,  and 2002 have been selected.  The most notable date setter of our day has been Hal Lindsey.  Lindsey does not know what he is talking about.  Jean Dixon predicted that the world would end before the turn of the century.  She did not know what she was talking about.

In Second Tessalonians Paul talks about the future of the Second Coming to his day.  In the first century, as today, there were some who were saying, “He’s already come.”  Paul says that “it will not come unless the apostasy comes first.”

Some have attempted to tie this concept of the “apostasy” and the “man of lawlessness” with the antichrist.  The context here clearly reveals that the “man of lawlessness” was not a person, per se, but a principle.  It is the principle that no longer regards the authority of the apostles, and their teachings, as the only standard in religion.  This “principle” attempts to place himself in God’s place, deciding what is right and what is wrong.  I would suggest to you that the great apostasy that Paul speakes of has already taken place.  Men have accumulated for themselves teachers according to their own desires and have turned away from the truth.

The Bible is very clear that no one knows when He will return.  Many have tried to foretell the time of his coming but all have been wrong.  Listen to what God says about false prophets:

Deut. 18:21-22

21 “You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’

22 “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

So here is what we have learned:

About He is coming:

  • He promised to come – Jn. 14:1-3
  • He’s coming in the clouds – Acts. 1:9-11; Rev. 1:7
  • The time of his coming no one knows – Mt. 24:36

What the Bible says about the Second Coming and the End of time….

II.  What He Will Accomplish When He Comes:

A.  We Will Be Transformed:

Philippians 3:20-21

20* For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

21* who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

B.  The dead will all be raised and caught up in the clouds to meet him

1 Cor. 15:51-54

51* Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,

52* in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

53* For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54* But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.

C.  The wicked will be judged:

2 Thess. 1:6-10

6* For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,

7* and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,

8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

9* These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

10* when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed–for our testimony to you was believed.

Acts 17 : 30 – 31

30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,

31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

The final Judgment presupposes the second coming.  Jesus said He would come a second time.  He also said that when he comes in all his glory (Matthew 25:31) that all the nations would stand in judgment before Him.

D.  The earth and its works will be burned up:

2  Peter  3 : 10-12

10* But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

11* Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

12* looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!

The “day of the Lord,” is the day God brings judgment on the whole world.  On that day the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

“The heavens” is a reference to space, the rest of the universe outside of our world.  The “elements” has reference to the primary substance of things.  The entire framework of the universe will be destroyed.  There will be complete destruction of the earth and everything in it.  The phrase “will be burned up” is the translation of one Greek Word used several times in the New Testament to express the idea of burning up chaff (Matt. 3:12), and tares that are to be gathered and burned (Matt. 13:40) and the burning of the bodies of animals outside the camp  of Israel (Heb. 13:11).  Here the idea must be that the earth is to be completely destroyed.

Interestingly Peter uses the word “earth” when he speaks of the destruction of our world.  Had he chosen to use the Greek Word translated as “world” there might be some merit in the argument that the “world” is going to be cleansed as a place for man to dwell in, but Peter is definite, it is the “earth” all of the “earth” that will be destroyed.  Whatever happens to one part of the earth will happen to the other.

Peter says:

2  Peter  3 : 11-12

11 ¶ Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,

In view of what is going to happen to the material universe, we ought to be serious about the kind of people we are.  We ought to be people characterized by holy conduct and godliness.

E.  All in the grave will come forth — the saved and the unsaved:

John 5:28-29

28* “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,

29* and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

F.  The living will be caught up:

1 Thess 4:16-17

16* For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

17* Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

G.  Death will be abolished:

1 Cor. 15:26

26* The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

H.  The Kingdom will be presented to the Father:

1 Cor. 15:24-38

24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.

25* For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.

26* The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

27* For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.

28* When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

This, then is the clear and plain teaching of the Scriptures without speculation.

We can safely conclude that Christ’s second coming will be the climactic point of all history.  We must not lose sight of this promise by becoming entangled in endless speculations and interpretations based on obscure passages.  Such speculations do nothing in building up the body of Christ but actually shift our focus away from the plain teaching concerning of his coming.

The teaching is clear.  He is coming, and we will be caught up in the clouds to meet him, and there we shall be with him forever in that forever land with our forever family.

Many believe that much of the book of Revelation refers to the second coming.  Most of the passages used from Revelation are taken out of their context and misapplied.  Below are the passages in Revelation that clearly talk about his second coming:

Rev. 3:11

11* ‘I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Rev. 22:12

12* “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

Rev. 1:7

7* BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

So here is what we have learned:

About He is coming:

  • He promised to come – Jn. 14:1-3
  • He’s coming in the clouds – Acts. 1:9-11; Rev. 1:7
  • The time of his coming no one knows – Mt. 24:36

What He will accomplish when he comes:

  • We’ll will be transformed
  • The dead will be raised and caught up in the clouds to meet him
  • The wicked will be judged
  • The earth and its works will be burned up
  • All in the grave will come forth — the saved and the unsaved
  • The living will be caught up
  • Death will be abolished
  • The Kingdom will be presented to the Father

The BIBLE DOES NOT teach that 2012 will be the end of the world.

In a future lesson I will discuss some misconceptions of the Second coming.

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