Summary: A time is coming when it will all be gone! When all the earth’s inhabitants will disappear, This is the end of the end, how will this happen?
Cyrus L. Lundell was just out looking for gum. What he found was far more interesting.
The year was 1931. Thanks to Chicago’s Wrigley Company, the world had an enormous appetite for a new confection called chewing gum, made from the sticky sap of the tropical tree Manilkara chicle. The problem: the tree can only be tapped a limited number of times. Lundell, a biologist and pilot for the Mexican Exploitation Chicle Company, was flying around an uncharted area of southern Mexico in search of new chicle reserves when he noticed what looked like several small hills poking up out of the dense jungle. Flying closer, he realized that what had looked like a rocky peak on the highest of them was, in fact, dressed stone. It wasn’t a hill—but a massive pyramid. He reported his find (which he named Calakmul) to an archaeologist friend.
Later investigations at the site showed that Calakmul had been occupied for about 400 years, until roughly A.D. 900. A Mayan superpower whose dominion had extended as far as a hundred miles away, Calakmul had, at its peak, 50,000 inhabitants, who left behind ruins of 6,750 ancient structures.
But until it was rediscovered by Cyrus Lundell, Calakmul had been lost to the world for almost a thousand years. Its inhabitants gone, the jungle had reclaimed it. Everything was obscured by the rain forest except for the tallest 180-foot pyramid. Where once massive buildings lined noisy, crowded streets, there remained only silent, half-buried, vine-choked ruins.
The empty planet
We human beings are this planet’s most aggressive builders. We construct cities, highways, buildings, and machinery. Nearly 7 billion of us occupy this globe, and we’re always busy. We dam up rivers and tunnel through mountains, erect skyscrapers and stadiums, farm millions of square miles, and extract minerals from thousands of feet beneath the surface of the earth. We travel through the air, over and under water, and even into space, from which we can see our cities by the brilliance of their never-extinguished lights. The signs of our presence on this earth seem permanent and enduring.
Yet a time is coming when it will all be gone! When all the earth’s inhabitants will disappear, the great works of humankind will succumb like Calakmul, not to intentional destruction, but to neglect.
This story begins with the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. Scripture promises that when Jesus comes back, “every eye will see him” (Revelation 1:7). And that will include some who had been dead, for Scripture says that when He appears, “the dead in Christ” (faithful believers who have passed to their rest) will come fully alive and ascend into heaven to meet Jesus. As for those of us who are still alive, we “will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
Picture the scene: all around the globe graves will gape open. Jesus will reassemble the molecules of every believer who has ever lived, forming them into billions of living beings who, with the righteous living, will accompany Him to heaven.