Ever since the world began, people have been wondering about its end.
Literature throughout the ages explores what the end of the world might be like. Blockbuster movies paint pictures of destruction from earthquakes, alien invasions, nuclear warfare and asteroid collisions. While there might be much to say about it, the end of the world is an unknown quantity to many people.
In God’s Church, we are blessed with significant and uncommon understanding of what “the end of the world” will actually be like. The Bible even comments on the end of the age within its opening pages, a passage we will turn to shortly.
Biblical prophecies about the end times do speak of dire and horrifying events in the future. In Leviticus 26:16 Leviticus 26:16I also will do this to you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
American King James Version×, God vows He will bring “sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever” to the nation which does not obey Him (New International Version). As another example, God discusses a soon-coming beast power in Revelation 13. It will have vast control over the world’s economies and brutally murder those who oppose or refuse to worship it, especially the Church of God (verses 15-18).
These and other end-time events are disturbing and troubling to many. What can you do to grow in courage and not be so afraid? How can you stop worrying about the end of the world?
Perhaps the most important thing to remember regarding the end times and prophecy in general is that God is sovereign and in control of all things. God inspired the words of the Bible, and prophecies are only going to be fulfilled as part of His schedule and His plan.
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you” (2 Chronicles 20:6 2 Chronicles 20:6And said, O LORD God of our fathers, are not you God in heaven? and rule not you over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in your hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand you?
American King James Version×; NIV). Ultimately, God reigns over all the nations we see today. Nothing happens without Him either (1) making it happen or (2) allowing it to happen. Even in humanity’s darkest hours, God is working behind the scenes.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling” (Psalms 46:1-3 Psalms 46:1-3  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea;
 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
American King James Version×). When intense natural disasters strike, like those in the end times, God is a sure protector and source of strength.
Our sovereign God is guaranteed to win and, incredibly, He is inviting you and me to join Him. We can be confident of the fact that Jesus Christ will return and that God’s faithful will get to be like Him as He is (1 John 1:1-3 1 John 1:1-3  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;)
 That which we have seen and heard declare we to you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
American King James Version×). As astounding as it sounds, this was God’s plan from the very beginning!
On the Bible’s opening pages, God says this about Satan and foretells an end to his worldwide deception: “I will put enmity between you [speaking to Satan] and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15 Genesis 3:15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
American King James Version×).
That “Seed” is Jesus Christ. He is returning to stamp out Satan’s evil from the earth and establish truth and justice. The Messiah will put an end to the violence, destruction and suffering of the end times and usher in an age of joy and peace. “Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Corinthians 15:54 1 Corinthians 15:54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
American King James Version×). This present, evil age will be replaced by the glorious Kingdom of God (Galatians 1:3-5 Galatians 1:3-5  Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,  Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:  To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
American King James Version×). We can be absolutely sure that this will happen because this is God’s plan, and He is in control.
You and I also have a role to play in this. God expects us to persevere in His truth to the end, no matter what. Note what God says about those who do so in Revelation 3:10 Revelation 3:10Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come on all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth.
American King James Version×: “I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world.” God, who is in control of everything, is certainly able to protect His Church in a time of crisis. He extends an offer of end-time protection to those who faithfully and wholeheartedly follow Him (Zephaniah 2:3 Zephaniah 2:3Seek you the LORD, all you meek of the earth, which have worked his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be you shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.
American King James Version×).
We should take action as a result of our belief that God is in control. Let’s look at just two important ways that you can take action and strengthen yourself as you persevere to the end.
Pray to develop a trusting relationship with God (1 Thessalonians 5:17 1 Thessalonians 5:17Pray without ceasing.
American King James Version×). Prayer is one way that you can get to know God and more deeply understand His Will for your life. Navigating life’s ups and downs can be difficult. Turn to Him on both the good days and the bad, talking to Him both when it’s easy and when it’s hard.
“Do not despise prophecies” (1 Thessalonians 5:20 1 Thessalonians 5:20Despise not prophesyings.
American King James Version×). Another important action we can take is to not neglect but instead become familiar with the prophetic insight God provides. Prophecies of historical events demonstrate God’s control and influence over human affairs, which can really help build our faith. Likewise, we can look to the Bible’s end-time prophecies with comfort and confidence that they will proceed just as God has planned because He is in control. Furnishing a good understanding of prophecies about “the end of the world” can help stop you from worrying or being afraid of it. If you aren’t sure where to begin or what to look for, the United Church of God has many different resources to help guide your studies. God wants us to live by His every word, and prophecy is no exception (Matthew 4:4 Matthew 4:4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
American King James Version×).
The end of this age is coming; the Bible leaves no doubt about that. But God does not want us to worry about this treacherous time. He wants us to remember that in the good times and the bad, He is still in control. God is willing to protect and comfort His people, even in the despair of the end times. We must draw near to Him in spite of these trying circumstances, with prayer and with confidence in His Word, looking forward to the time when God will establish a new age of goodness, peace and joy on earth. In that day, the entire world will recognize God’s sovereignty and take comfort in the fact that He is in control.
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:31-34 Matthew 6:31-34  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.
 But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.
American King James Version×, NIV).