Perhaps you are aware that the Bible speaks of the end of the world. (1 John 2:17) Is it referring to the end of the human race? Will planet Earth become a lifeless wasteland or be destroyed completely?
THE BIBLE’S ANSWER TO BOTH OF THESE QUESTIONS IS NO!
What Will Not End?
What the Bible says: God “did not create [the earth] simply for nothing, but formed it to be inhabited.”—ISAIAH 45:18.
What the Bible says: “A generation is going, and a generation is coming, but the earth remains forever.”—ECCLESIASTES 1:4.
WHAT IT MEANS: According to the Bible, the earth will never be destroyed and it will always be inhabited. So, what is meant by the end of the world?
CONSIDER: The Bible compares the coming end of this world to what happened in the days of Noah. At that time, the earth was “full of violence.” (Genesis 6:13) However, Noah was righteous. So God preserved Noah and his family, but He destroyed the wicked people by means of a flood. Referring to what happened back then, the Bible says: “The world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with water.” (2 Peter 3:6) That was the end of a world. Yet, what was destroyed? Not the earth, but the wicked people on the earth. Thus, when the Bible speaks of the end of the world, it is not referring to the destruction of the planet. Instead, it is referring to the end of wicked people on the earth and to the system of things they have put together.
What Will End?
PROBLEMS AND WICKEDNESS
What the Bible says: “Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more; you will look at where they were, and they will not be there. But the meek will possess the earth, and they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—PSALM 37:10, 11.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Flood of Noah’s day did not wipe out wickedness once and for all. After the Flood, wicked people once again made life miserable for everyone. Soon, though, God will bring an end to wickedness. As the psalmist said: “The wicked will be no more.” God will put an end to wickedness by means of his Kingdom—a world government that rules from heaven over a righteous human society.
CONSIDER: Will those presently ruling the earth welcome rule by God’s Kingdom? The Bible indicates that they will not. Foolishly, they will oppose God’s Kingdom. (Psalm 2:2) What will be the result? God’s Kingdom will replace all human governments, and “it alone will stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44) But why does human rulership need to end?
WANTED—An End to Human Rulership
What the Bible says: “It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”—JEREMIAH 10:23.
WHAT IT MEANS: Humans were not created to rule themselves. They do a poor job of governing other people and solving their problems.
CONSIDER: Britannica Academic notes that individual governments seem unable to “handle the universal enemies of poverty, hunger, disease, natural disaster, and war or other violence.” It then continues: “Some . . . believe that only a form of world government can make decisive headway against those evils.” However, even if all human governments united, the world would still be ruled by imperfect humans who are unable to overcome the difficulties mentioned above. God’s Kingdom is the only government that has the power to solve all global problems permanently.
Therefore, according to the Bible, the end of the world—the present wicked system of things—is not something that good people should fear. Instead, it is something to look forward to because this ruined old world will be replaced by God’s magnificent new world!
When will this all happen? The next article will explain the Bible’s answer.