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Q&A: Will Life on Earth End?

Question: There has been a lot in the news lately about a possible nuclear war in Ukraine that might spread to Europe and America. My question is, will God stop this or is this the end of the age or something else? Also, I read in the Bible that God will destroy the earth. Is this true and if so why?

First, there are literally dozens of passages in the Bible where God specifically states that the world will never end and that life on earth will never end. That said, Jesus prophesied that the world will experience a series of dreadful events during the final 3.5 years of the rule of mankind on earth known as the Great Tribulation or Jacob's Trouble (Matthew 24:21; Jeremiah 30:7). The Book of Revelation also speaks of a world war during this time period that initially kills one third of mankind (Revelation 9:15-16). Another third of mankind is killed over a seven year period from starvation, plagues, genocide and ongoing tribal feuds. The last 3.5 years will be horrific as the entire earth will simultaneously experience both the wrath of God, the wrath of Satan and the wrath of the Antichrist. It is not clear if these deaths are due to weapons of mass destruction or conventional warfare by way of a two million man army (Revelation 9:16). But, before the Antichrist can destroy all of God’s chosen people the Jews, Christ returns with His saints, destroys the wicked armies and peoples of the world, then ushers in a one thousand year reign of peace and harmony (Matthew 24:29-31;  37-42; Revelation 19:15, 20:6).

So, you have God’s word that the earth and life on earth will never be destroyed. As for the coming tribulation period, the vast majority of Biblical scholars believe that those deemed righteous by God through faith in Christ will be raptured off the earth and into heaven just before the tribulation. In fact, the seven year tribulation period ending in the Great Tribulation Period is triggered by this rapture. Here is why.

Approximately 2.5 billion people worldwide identify themselves as Christians. There is another 2.5 billion people living on earth who are under the age of 19 which is the Biblical Age of Accountability (Numbers 32:11; Deuteronomy 1:39). So, if the Christians along with the children of the earth are all raptured off the earth at one time, five billion people will instantly go missing. The three billion people left behind will suddenly find themselves in a societal and economical freefall. Governmental breakdowns will cause mass chaos that will in turn trigger starvation, diseases and wars of aggression. This in turn will cause the rise of the Antichrist who will attempt to take control of the earth and bring peace by way of a coalition of armies provided by the ten founding nations of the U.N. also known as the ten horned beast (Daniel 7:20-21; Revelation 13;1; Revelation 17:12).

Unfortunately, there are many bad scriptural translations concerning if and how the earth survives these terrible times. And, there are literally tens of thousands of people who have written books and articles based on these bad translations. The issue is, are these verses talking about the annihilation of the earth or a transformation of the earth? For example, let’s say you take the current fallen corrupted earth and completely transform it back to its original pristine state. One could say you destroyed the current world, but another could say have you regenerated a new better world from the old fallen world. So, while we could truly state that the earth we now know was destroyed, the full truth is that the current corrupted world was in essence destroyed in order to be transformed into a new better world. However, the planet was at no point destroyed as in annihilated. We can absolutely know for sure this is the case because verses following those concerning a destruction or regeneration of the earth go on to speak of people, places and things still continuing to exist on the planet. In fact, after the thousand year earthly reign of Christ, the New Jerusalem comes down from Heaven containing the Throne of God who then reigns from the earth eternally (Revelation 21:1-5). So, it is crystal clear that the earth is never destroyed.

Last, the prophets earnestly tried to explain in writing what they saw concerning the process of the regeneration of the old earth (Matthew 19:28-30). For example, one prophet wrote that he saw the earth's sky rolled up like a scroll. So it would seem at first glance that the earth’s atmosphere is destroyed. But this is not the case. A first century scroll was many feet long. As you finished reading a page, you would then roll up that page while unrolling the next page to be revealed and read. So the old page is not destroyed or ceases to exist, but only put aside to make room for the new page. The scroll still exist. The prophets Isaiah, Peter and John all saw the old atmosphere rolled away to make room for the new ( Isaiah 34:4; II Peter 3:10; Revelation 6:14). John also saw the sun, moon and stars fall away from their places but they were not destroyed. What he was actually seeing was what is called a Polar Shift in which the earth’s rotation on its axis was doubled in speed. This was necessary in order to speed up the prophesied time of the rule of the Antichrist and quickly bring it to an end (Matthew 24:22). This in turn allowed two groups of people to survive the tribulation and repopulate the earth. The first group were those gentiles who, during the tribulation, came to recognize Christ as their Savior. Thus, they were literally saved from death by the arrival of Christ. The second group consist of a small remnant of Jews representing the 12 tribes of Jacob. They prayed to God to send them the long awaited Messiah or Savior and Christ literally appeared and saved them from certain death. The gentiles will repopulate the earth and the Jews will repopulate Israel. The people of the earth will regularly sojourn to the Third Temple in Jerusalem to worship their Creator in the personage of Jesus. And the Jews will at long last become the nation and people God always intended them to be. They will serve as a kingdom of priests in a Holy nation (Exodus 19:6).

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