Summary: How will it end? Can we know? Yes, we can. The Bible gives a very clear, direct answer. The world as know it will end with the return of Jesus Christ. The history of the will climax in His literal, bodily return to the earth.
Introduction: Scripture is neither vague nor equivocal on the promise of Christ’s return. A large proportion (as much as one-fifth) of Scripture is prophetic, and perhaps a third or more of the prophetic passages refer to the Second Coming of Christ or events related to it. It is a major theme of Old Testament and New Testament Prophecy.
Regardless of what the scoffers say, Jesus is coming. World history is barreling toward a conclusion, and the conclusion has already been ordained by God and foretold in Scripture. It could be soon or it could be another thousand years away. Either way, God is not slack concerning His promise. Christ will return!
Why I believe in a pre-tribulational Rapture of the church–
A. The Lord promised to deliver us - 1. Revelation 3:10 says, “Because you have kept My
command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
2. The Greek word ek, which literally means “out of,” is
translated in this passage as “from.” In other words, it is the Lord’s intention to keep the church out of the tribulation. Therefore, the rapture must occur before the tribulation begins.
B. The church is to be delivered from the wrath to come -
1. The apostle Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 1:10 that we
should “wait for His from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
2. The context of this particular passage is the rapture. The church must therefore be removed from the earth before the tribulation begins in order to be delivered from the wrath to come.
C. The church is not appointed to wrath - 1. According to IThessalonians 5:9 the Bible tells us, “For God
did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2. Likewise, as Jesus Himself promises in Revelation 3:10 to “keep [the church] from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world.”
3. Once again, the context of these passages is the rapture. Since the tribulation is prophesied as a time of God’s wrath, and since Christians are appointed to wrath, it follows that the church must be raptured out of the way before the tribulation begins.
D. The church is absent in Revelation 4-18 - 1. Revelation chapters 4-18 detail the events of the tribulation.
The church is mentioned 17 times in the first three chapters of Revelation.
2. After John (who is a member of the church) is taken up to heaven at the beginning of chapter 4, the church is not mentioned or seen again until chapter 19 when she appears at the marriage with Christ in heaven and then returns to earth with Jesus at His glorious appearing.
3. Why is the church missing from those chapters? Because the church isn’t in the tribulation. The church will be raptured out before it begins.
E. If the church is raptured at the end of the tribulation, there will be no one left to re-populate the Earth during the Millennium - 1. Just before the Millennium begins, all sinners (those who
reject Jesus Christ as Savior) who have survived the tribulation will be cast into hell, according to Matthew
2. Should the rapture occur at the end of the tribulation, as some believe, all Christians would be taken from the earth as well, leaving no one on earth with a natural body to re-populate the planet during the Millennium.
3. The problem here is that we know from numerous Old Testament passages, as well as Revelation 20:7-10, that there will a huge population explosion during the
Millennium. Where do these people come from? The answer is that those who miss the rapture and become believers during the tribulation (thanks to the preaching of the 144,000 Jews and the two witnesses) and survive to the end will re-populate the earth.
4. These people will not be raptured at the end of the tribulation in some sort of post-tribulational rapture, but rather, will enter Christ’s Millennial kingdom with their natural bodies to populate that kingdom. In order for this to be possible, the rapture must take place prior to the tribulation instead of at the end of it.