As we learned in the preceding article, when the Bible speaks about the end of the world, it does not mean the end of the earth or mankind. Rather, it means the end of the present corrupt system of things and all those who support it. But does the Bible say when the end of this wicked system of things will take place?
CONSIDER TWO STATEMENTS JESUS MADE ABOUT THE END:
“Keep on the watch, therefore, because you know neither the day nor the hour.”—MATTHEW 25:13.
“Keep looking, keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is.”—MARK 13:33.
So no one on earth knows exactly when this system of things will come to an end. However, God has set an “appointed time”—a definite “day and hour”—for the end to come. (Matthew 24:36) Does this mean that there is absolutely no way of knowing when the end is near? Not at all. Jesus told his disciples to look for a number of events that would indicate that the end was close at hand.
These events would be the sign of “the conclusion of the system of things.” Jesus said: “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another.” (Matthew 24:3, 7) He also said that there would be “pestilences”—epidemic diseases. (Luke 21:11) Are you seeing the events that Jesus prophesied?
Devastating wars, famines, and earthquakes as well as relentless diseases have ravaged the earth in our day. In 2004, for example, a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami that killed some 225,000 people. In over one year, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in some 2.6 million deaths worldwide. Jesus said that events like these would indicate that the end of this system of things is near.
“THE LAST DAYS”
The Bible describes the time period just before the end as “the last days.” (2 Peter 3:3, 4) Second Timothy 3:1-5 states that the last days would be marked by a steep moral decline. (See the box “Just Before the End of the World.”) Do you see people who exhibit selfish, greedy, fierce, and unloving traits today? This too is evidence that we are living very near the end of the world.
THE PARADISE EARTH IS NEAR!
God has already set the day and hour when he will bring an end to this present wicked system of things. (Matthew 24:36) Yet, there is more good news—God “does not desire anyone to be destroyed.” (2 Peter 3:9) He is giving mankind the opportunity to conform to his standards. Why? Because he wants us to survive the end of this world and live in his new world, when the earth will be a paradise.
God has organized a global teaching program to help people learn how to become part of the new world under his Kingdom. Jesus said that the good news about God’s Kingdom would be preached “in all the inhabited earth.” (Matthew 24:14) Worldwide, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent over two billion hours in 2019 preaching and teaching people the Bible’s message of hope. Jesus said that this preaching campaign would be done throughout the earth before the end would come.
The time for human rule is almost over. But the good news is that you can survive the end of the world and be part of the Paradise earth that God has promised. The following article will discuss how you can live in that new world.
Jesus’ prophecy about “the last days” gives us reason for hope