Destruction of the World

One thing becomes very clear as you read through the Bible. God has every intention of destroying this world because of its sin. God has done this once before when he sent the Flood in the days of Noah (Genesis chapters 6 - 8).

In fact, Jesus, Peter and the other Apostles all affirmed that the destruction of this present evil world would be similar to the destruction of the old world by the flood.

The fact of the flood should be beyond doubt to all who seriously study the Bible. There is also considerable geological evidence to support its occurrence. Some examples are:

  1. Thick layers of coal and oil under sedimentary rocks. Anyone who has spent time observing nature will realise that, unless trees and animals are buried quickly they decay and disperse into the soil. The sheer volume of coal and oil deposits indicates that vast numbers of animals and trees were buried quickly.
  2. There are vast numbers of soft tissue fossils to be found in every part of the world. Upon death, soft tissue decays much faster than bones. The only way for there to be soft tissue fossils is for the animals to be buried alive.
There is also considerable cultural evidence of a world wide flood. Many cultures have stories and legends of a land or civilisation which was destroyed by water. There are more than 270 flood stories and historical records found in different parts of the world. Probably the legend which most western people would know is that of Atlantis, an advanced civilisation which was destroyed by being covered by the sea. Even the Australian Aborigines have a Dream Time story of a flood which destroyed the world. Some other interesting and noteworthy examples are:

  1. In Hawaiian Legend - Long after the death of Kuniuhonna, the first man, the world became a wicked, terrible place to live. There was one good man left. His name was Nu-u. He made a great canoe with a house on it and filled it with animals. The waters came up over all the earth and killed all the people. Only Nu-u and his family were saved.
  2. In Chinese Legend - Ancient Chinese writings refer to a violent catastrophe that happened to the earth. They report that the entire land was flooded. The water went up to the highest mountains and completely covered all the foothills. It left the country in a desolate condition for years after. One ancient Chinese classic called the "Hihking" tells the story of Fuhi, whom the Chinese consider to be the father of their civilisation. This history records that Fuhi, his wife, three sons, and three daughters escaped the great flood. He and his family were the only people left alive on earth. After the great flood they repopulated the world. An ancient temple in China has a wall painting that shows Fuhi's boat in the raging waters. Dolphins are swimming around the boat and a dove with an olive branch in its beak is flying toward it.
  3. In the Toltec Indian (Mexico) Legends - the first world lasted 1,716 years and was destroyed by a great flood that even covered the highest mountains. Their story tells of a few men who escaped the destruction in a "toplipetlocali", which means a closed chest. Following the great flood, these men began to multiply and built a very high "zacuali", (a tower) to provide a safe place if there were another flood. However, the languages became confused, so different language groups wandered to different parts of the world. The Toltecs claim they started as a family of seven friends and their wives who spoke the same language. They crossed great waters, lived in caves, and wandered for 104 years, until they came to Hue Hue Tlapalan (southern Mexico). The story reports that this was 520 years after the great flood.
(Gish, 1992)

With so many stories about a great flood in so many places around the world, it is reasonable to assume that it really did happen, and the Biblical account is true and accurate.

So, just as God destroyed the world of old by a flood, he will destroy this present world. The mechanism to destroy the world this time will be fire (2 Peter 3:6-11).

There are many things which point to the destruction of the earth by fire in the Bible. Just three examples are:

  1. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire from heaven. These are "types" of the coming destruction of the world.
  2. Many passages of scripture speak of the melting of the mountains at the Lord's return (Amos 9:5, Amos 9:13, Nahum 1:5).
  3. God's Word says many times that "heaven and earth would pass away" (Psalm 102:26-27; Isaiah 34:4; Jeremiah 31:35; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; Hebrews 1:11; 2 Peter 3:7-12; Revelation 6:14)
We should live our lives knowing that this world and everything in it will be destroyed.

From reading Matthew 24:4-51 we can see that the major events which will lead up to the final destruction of the world are:

  1. Wars and rumours of wars (Cold Wars)
  2. Famines
  3. Pestilence
  4. Earthquakes
  5. Persecution
  6. Preaching of the Gospel in every nation
  7. The abomination of desolation standing in the holy place
  8. False Christs with many powerful signs and wonders at their disposal
  9. The earth will become like in the days of Noah.

The Days of Noah

Let us consider now the state of affairs at the time Noah lived. 

Until Babel, the world was a global community - all the people lived within a close social structure, spoke the same language (Genesis 11:1) and probably lived within easy travel distance of each other. 

It is interesting that after the flood God confused the languages of the people so that they would not stay together because He saw that "nothing would be restrained from them" (Genesis 11:6). If the people stayed together as one nation, the world would have become so bad, so quickly, that God would have to destroy the wicked again that much sooner. In spite of the people belonging to one nation the situation was much worse than it is today. 

"God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6: 5) and "the earth was filled with violence" (Genesis 6:11). 

Many people today think that the wars between the nations are the worst type of evil there could be, but God in his wisdom formed the nations and "allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live" (Acts 17:26).

Another very important fact about the days of Noah was the presence of the Nephilim - children of fallen angels who corrupted human society.

What about now ?

As we look around in the world today we see influences which are breaking down national barriers. There are single companies in existence today who exist in hundreds of nations. Some have an annual turn over which is greater than many whole nations. Global communication systems such as the Internet regularly transport information and trade across national boundaries. It is getting to the stage when nations are going to become a hindrance to organisations such as these. It will be economically unviable to maintain national units. At this stage, the world will "logically" remove national boundaries and become a true global community.

When that happens, there will be no restraint on what "men of power" will do. God separated the nations originally to restrain such evil activities. The way will be open for a new Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-10) to rise up over the whole earth. We must remember in our fallen state that "absolute power corrupts absolutely".

I think this will ultimately allow Satan to take complete control, either directly, or through his son. For the end will not come "except there be a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

When Will These Things Be ?

Chuck Missler provides some very useful insights into the end times. Consider:

The Bible is filled with admonitions in regards to date setting. The Bible indicates that everything will be established by two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15; Numbers 35:30; Matthew 18:16; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19). One would think that these references would be enough, and yet the fascination with date setting continues. 

There are a number of provocative conjectures that are interesting to explore casually, such as the Feasts of Moses, but there seems to be a strange virus in the air that frequently converts a colorful possibility into a consuming obsession for specific dates. 

Our Blessed Expectation 

There are several passages that do suggest that the faithful believer will not be caught by surprise (Luke 21:28; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Thessalonians 5:4). Let us remember that the Lord has called us to be alert (Matthew 24:42; Mark 13:35-37).
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch and to ready. ( Mark 13:35-37) 
The Bible teaches that Christ can come at any moment. We are to live in the expectation of His any moment appearance for us. 

The Signs of the Times

The Bible does, however, describe in surprising detail the scenario of events that will be climaxed by the Second Coming of Christ. Most of these are directly linked to the seven year period known as the "Seventieth Week of Daniel." In fact, this unique period is the most documented period in the Bible. Many of us are convinced that it involves events that occur after the Rapture of the Church. It is because of the ostensible preparations for these events, which are appearing on our horizon, that we can recognize the approach of the end of the church age and the threshold of the New World. 

In fact, it is the convergence of so many of these major prophetic themes that creates this atmosphere of anticipation.

The Times of the Signs

We seem to be plunging into a period of time about which the Bible says more than any other period of time in history -- including the time when Jesus walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee and climbed the mountains of Judea. Some of the major themes emerging before us include: 

  • The Rebuilding of Babylon. The literal destruction of Babylon as a major world center is described in Isaiah 13-14 and Jeremiah 50-51. Since this has not happened yet (as detailed in these passages), it is interesting that Saddam Hussein has now begun what would appear to be a key element in the final climax.
  • The Preparations to Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Three times in the New Testament (Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 11:1,2) there are allusions to the presence of the Temple at the Second Coming. The very presence of Israel in the Land, the regaining of Biblical Jerusalem (the Old City), and now the preparations to rebuild, are all clear, specific indications that the final climax is on the horizon.
  • The Rise of the European Superstate. Daniel 2 and 7 describe the final reemergence of the fourth world empire during the end times, so for centuries scholars have looked for a "Revived Roman Empire." This quaint nomenclature nevertheless describes the setting for the establishment of a final world dictator that appears on our horizon with the emergence of the European Superstate and the widespread movement toward a one world government. 
  • The Magog Invasion. Perhaps the most provocative -- and most imminent -- event is the impending military incursion into Israel by Russia and an alliance of Islamic nations that is described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The more one examines this passage and compares it with current intelligence estimates, the more it would appear that it could happen at any moment. 
  • It is exciting, indeed, to see these things begin to take shape on our immediate horizon and to come to grips with the impending reality of Christ's return. But there is a difference between "being ready" and setting dates. One we are strongly and repeatedly admonished to do; the other is expressly prohibited. 

    We need to continue to be responsible stewards of His blessings and also prepare for an uncertain future until He does return for us. There is a tragic and unhealthy tendency for many of us to sit back and assume that the church will be snatched out before the real turmoil begins. The apparent exclusion of the church from that specific period specified as "the" tribulation does not exempt any of us from experiencing the kind of persecution that has burdened most of the body of Christ in most of the world for most of the past two thousand years! "

    (Missler, 1996)

    Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.
    Last modified: 18 - Sept - 1998.
    Copyright © 1998, Graham Brodie.

    Maintainer: Graham Brodie, Email