What We Learn From Jesus
About “the End”
What will end?
Jesus’ disciples asked him: “What will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” (Matthew 24:3) When answering that question, Jesus did not say that the literal earth would end. Previously, he had talked about “the system of things” and had used the term to refer to the entire secular and religious system that is dominated by Satan. (Matthew 13:22, 40, 49) So that was the system he had in mind when he said: “The end will come.”—Matthew 24:14.
How did Jesus describe the end?
The end of this unjust system is “good news.” Jesus said: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” Jesus described the end of the present system of things this way: “There will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved.”—Matthew 24:14, 21, 22.
Who will be destroyed?
Only those who do not love and serve Jehovah and Jesus will be destroyed. Such people do not pay attention to God. Jesus said: “Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the flood, . . . they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away.” (Matthew 24:36-39) Jesus said that many are on a road leading to destruction. However, he gave the assurance that there is a “cramped . . . road leading off into life.”—Matthew 7:13, 14.
When will this system of things end?
When asked about the sign of his presence “and of the conclusion of the system of things,” Jesus replied: “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes . . . and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off.” (Matthew 24:3-12) Thus, all of today’s sad news has an encouraging meaning—soon God’s Kingdom government will bring peace to obedient mankind. Jesus said: “When you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near.”—Luke 21:31.
What should you do?
Jesus said that God “gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) To exercise faith in God and his Son, you need to know them well. Hence, Jesus said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”—John 17:3.
Take care that anxieties and problems do not prevent you from learning how to demonstrate your love for God. Jesus said: “Pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with . . . anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you as a snare. For it will come.” If you heed Jesus’ warning, you will “succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur.”—Luke 21:34-36.
For more information, see chapter 9, “Are We Living in ‘the Last Days’?,” of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach?*
Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.