HAVE you ever heard anyone talk about the end of the world?— Today many do talk about it. Some people think the world will end in a war in which men use nuclear bombs. Do you think God would ever let people destroy our beautiful earth?—
As we have learned, the Bible tells about the end of the world. “The world is passing away,” the Bible says. (1 John 2:17) Do you think the end of the world will mean the end of the earth?— No, the Bible says that God made the earth “to be inhabited,” yes, for people to live on it and to enjoy it. (Isaiah 45:18) Psalm 37:29 says: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” For this reason the Bible also says that the earth will last forever.—Psalm 104:5; Ecclesiastes 1:4.
So if the end of the world does not mean the end of the earth, what does it mean?— We can find out if we look carefully at what happened in the days of Noah. The Bible explains: “The world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged [or, flooded] with water.”—2 Peter 3:6.
Did anybody live through the end of the world during that Deluge, or great Flood, in Noah’s day?— The Bible says that God “kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people.”—2 Peter 2:5.
So, then, what was the world that ended? Was it the earth, or was it the bad people?— The Bible says that it was the “world of ungodly people.” And notice, Noah is called “a preacher.” What do you think he was preaching about?— Noah was warning people about the end of “the world of that time.”
When Jesus spoke about the great Flood, he told his disciples about what the people had been doing just before the end came. This is what he said to them: “In those days before the flood, [people were] eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away.” Then Jesus said that people would be acting just like that before this world ends.—Matthew 24:37-39.
Jesus’ words show us that we can learn lessons from what the people were doing before the Flood. From reading Chapter 10 of this book, do you remember what those people did?— Some men were bullies and did violent things. But many others, Jesus said, just did not listen when God sent Noah to preach to them.
So the day came when Jehovah told Noah that He was going to destroy the bad people by a flood. The water would cover the whole earth, even the mountains. Jehovah told Noah to build a big ark. It was like a big, long box, or chest, as you can see if you turn back to the picture on page 238.
God told Noah to build the ark big enough to hold him and his family and many of the animals safe inside of it. Noah and his family worked very hard. They cut down large trees, and using the wood they began putting the ark together. This took many, many years because the ark was so large.
Do you remember what else Noah was doing during all the years that he was building the ark?— He was preaching, warning the people about the coming Flood. Did any of them listen? None of them did except Noah’s family. The rest were just too busy doing other things. Do you remember what Jesus said they were doing?— They were busy eating and drinking and getting married. They did not think that they were so bad, and they did not take time to listen to Noah. So let’s see what happened to them.
After Noah and his family went inside the ark, Jehovah shut the door. People outside still did not believe that the Flood would come. But all of a sudden, water began to fall from the sky! It was not just a regular rain. It was a downpour! Soon the water was like big rivers, making a lot of noise. It pushed over big trees and rolled big stones as if they were little pebbles. And what about the people outside the ark?— Jesus says: “The flood came and swept them all away.” All the people outside the ark died. Why?— As Jesus said, “they took no note.” They did not listen!—Matthew 24:39; Genesis 6:5-7.
Now, remember, Jesus said that what happened to those people is a lesson for us today. What lesson can we learn?— Well, people were destroyed not only because they were bad but because many were just too busy to take the time to learn about God and about what he was going to do. We need to be careful that we are not like them, don’t we?—
Do you think that God will again destroy the world by a flood?— No, God promised that he wouldn’t. He said: “My rainbow I do give in the cloud, and it must serve as a sign.” Jehovah said that the rainbow would be a sign that “no more will the waters become a deluge to bring all flesh to ruin.”—Genesis 9:11-17.
So we can be sure that God will never again destroy the world by a flood. Yet, as we have seen, the Bible does tell about the end of the world. When God brings the destruction of this world, whom will he keep alive?— Will it be people who were so interested in other things that they never wanted to learn about God? Will it be those who were always too busy to study the Bible? What do you think?—
We want to be among those whom God will keep alive, don’t we?— Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our family could be like Noah’s so that God would save all of us?— If we are to survive the end of the world, we need to understand how God will destroy it and bring about his righteous new world. Let’s see how he does this.
The Bible gives us the answer at Daniel chapter 2, verse 44. This scripture is speaking about our own day when it says: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom [or, government] that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”
Do you understand that?— The Bible says that God’s government is going to destroy all earthly governments. Why?— Because they don’t obey the One whom God has made King. And who is that?— Yes, Jesus Christ!
Jehovah God has the right to decide what kind of government should rule, and he has chosen his Son, Jesus, to be King. Soon God’s Ruler, Jesus Christ, will take the lead in destroying all the governments of this world. The Bible, at Revelation chapter 19, verses 11 to 16, describes him as he does so, even as this picture shows. In the Bible, God’s war to destroy all the governments of the world is called Har–Magedon, or Armageddon.
Now, God says that his Kingdom will destroy the governments of men. But does he tell us to do that?— No, in the Bible, Armageddon is called “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” (Revelation 16:14, 16) Yes, Armageddon is God’s war, and he uses Jesus Christ to lead the heavenly armies in the fight. Is the war of Armageddon near? Let’s see how we can find out.