For thousands of years people have been fascinated with predictions of the end of the world.
People who read and study the Bible are not the only ones concerned about where our world is headed. The late author Isaac Asimov, in his book The Choice of Catastrophes: The Disasters That Threaten Our World, listed and explained at least 15 dangers that could jeopardize human survival. Many of these potential global disasters, including nuclear war, have arrived at our door only in the last few decades.
At times people thought they understood when and how our age would end. But failed expectations about the end of the age have brought profound disappointment to scores of sincere religious individuals and groups. They thought they were correctly discerning the time and manner of the fulfillment of prophecy. But all have been wrong, or at least premature.
In spite of centuries of such disappointments, they haven’t put an end to attempts to associate world events and conditions with biblical prophecies concerning the end time. This is especially true in America, where books, television and radio programs focusing on biblical prophecy abound.
If we look into the inspired writings of the Old Testament prophets and Jesus Christ’s apostles, we find many prophecies that refer to the time of the end. Should we take them seriously? Should they mean anything to us? Are world conditions such that the predictions could be fulfilled in our day? Are we near the climax of the prophesied period in which the world is faced with insurmountable problems and globaldistress of holocaust proportions? Are we approaching Armageddon?
Jesus Christ Himself talked of a future time so horrendous that “if that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive”— everyone alive would die if that time was not cut short (Matthew 24:22 Matthew 24:22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×, Revised English Bible, emphasis added throughout). Was He speaking of our time?
Many Bible prophecies leave us in no doubt that increasingly cataclysmic events will occur before God’s direct intervention in human affairs. These terrifying prophetic occurrences will see their fulfillment at some future time. The crucial question is when.
Much confusion surrounds the timing of these prophecies. But this need not be so. The Bible itself reveals certain vital keys that will help us place these forewarnings in an understandable prophetic framework. We must let the Bible itself interpret its prophecies.
In this booklet we examine exactly what Jesus Christ, His apostles and the prophets of old really said about the perilous days they referred to as the time of the end.