Just What Is the End Time?

You are here

Just What Is the End Time?

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

From the time of the early New Testament Church, people have asked, "When is the time of the end?"

Jesus' disciples asked Him for the signs that would precede His return. "Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives [on the east side of Jerusalem], the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?'" (Matthew 24:3 Matthew 24:3And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?
American King James Version×
).

Jesus' disciples were familiar with Old Testament prophecies. They understood that the end of the age meant the end of human misrule on earth, replaced with the righteous divine rule of the promised Messiah.

They knew about prophecies such as the one from Daniel that foretold the coming Kingdom of God: "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Daniel 2:44 Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
American King James Version×
).

God promises to end human self-rule on earth because mankind has never produced a peaceful and lasting government. Indeed it cannot (Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×
). Human history is largely a chronicle of wars, emanating from selfish human nature and motivated by "the god of this age," Satan the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×
).

Since God has promised to remove all human governments at Christ's return, there is necessarily a "time of the end" or end of the age of man's rule on earth. This is what end time refers to—the end of this present evil age and the dawning of a new age under God.

The Bible uses various terms to refer to the end of the age of man's rule, such as "last day" (John 6:39 John 6:39And this is the Father's will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
American King James Version×
), "last days" (2 Peter 3:3 2 Peter 3:3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
American King James Version×
), "last time" (1 Peter 1:5 1 Peter 1:5Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
American King James Version×
), "last times" (1 Peter 1:20 1 Peter 1:20Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
American King James Version×
), "latter day" (Job 19:25 Job 19:25For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day on the earth:
American King James Version×
, King James Version), "latter time" (Daniel 8:23 Daniel 8:23And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
American King James Version×
), "latter times" (1 Timothy 4:1 1 Timothy 4:1Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
American King James Version×
) and "the day of the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 5:2 1 Thessalonians 5:2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
American King James Version×
). To determine what each term means, one must consider context. For example, "the time of the end" in Daniel 8:17 Daniel 8:17So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
American King James Version×
and 11:35 and verse 40 is the period at the very end of this age of man's rule and the return of Jesus Christ.

The apostle Peter spoke about the last days beginning in his time (Acts 2:17 Acts 2:17And it shall come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
American King James Version×
) and lasting all the way to Christ's return, reflecting the fact that the trends Jesus foretold shortly before His death would soon begin, continuing and intensifying up until His return.

Again, context tells us whether the expression refers to such a long stretch of time or the brief period prior to Jesus' return.

To better understand the end of the age, request or download your free copies of the booklets You Can Understand Bible Prophecy,The Book of Revelation Unveiled and Are We Living in the Time of the End? GN

You might also be interested in...