Restoration: World Won't End in "Fire and Ice"

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Restoration

World Won't End in "Fire and Ice"

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I recently read a book that surveys the history of what it calls "the most controversial book in the Bible." The book's catchy title, A History of the End of the World, caught my eye at my local bookstore. The biblical book it describes is Revelation. Now this is just another of the many hundreds of books that have been written in recent years about Revelation. And as usual, the author, Jonathan Kirsch, does not truly understand the book and draws many faulty conclusions about its message. Notice what is said in the book's last paragraph. "On one point…we all seem to agree: somehow and someday, sooner or later, whether by the hand of God or the hand of humankind or the mindless workings of the cosmos, the earth itself and all living things upon it will pass away. Ultimately, we are compelled to decide for ourselves how to make sense of our lives as we continue to wait—as men and women have always waited—for the world to end on time" (p. 256). How depressing! Why do people misread the book and mistakenly conclude it describes the "end of the world"? Revelation does not describe the end of the world. Rather it describes the conclusion of the age of man on this planet in terms that offer the only message of hope found anywhere. Most people believe that life on this planet will one day be altered beyond anything we recognize today. People's misunderstanding leads to the catastrophic conclusion that the world just ends. Nothing. Oblivion. It all returns to darkness. No wonder people look at Bible prophecy as only a message of gloom and doom and want no part in that kind of message. I wouldn't want to read it either. What people need today more than anything else is a message of hope. Life is tough and there is a lot of bad news in the world and our personal lives. Why spend time with a message that is hopeless? Now I admit that prophecy does deal with much that is not pleasant. But a careful, unbiased study will show that much of what prophecy discusses is what man brings upon himself. And when God acts to intervene in human affairs, it is only after much warning that something must change. When God punishes, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. He always holds out hope. This is true of even the most terrifying prophecies of the Bible. Bible prophecy is anchored in the fact that God is in control of His creation. This world, and human life with it, is not going to vaporize into the cosmos. Man will not blow himself up in a nuclear war and create a "nuclear winter" unsuitable for any life-form. Your Bible shows from Genesis to Revelation that God will give every opportunity for man to achieve the utopia of the Kingdom of God. And this wonderful world of the future, long prophesied by every major prophet of God, will come to pass. And you will have your chance to enter that Kingdom as a child of God. This is God's sure prophetic promise to you! Such books, along with many misguided Bible teachers, distort the sure promise of the Bible. Revelation is the capstone of all God's prophecies of the world to come. It goes into much detail about what that world will be like. Human tradition has cast these details aside as spiritual allegory that doesn't really mean what it says. But God's Word does mean what it says—your future, mine and the future of all of humanity depends on those promises. This publication deals with prophecy and a lot of the bad news of today's world. But the larger view is the overarching prophetic promise summed up in Peter's statement in Acts 3:20-21 Acts 3:20-21 [20] And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached to you: [21] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
American King James Version×
: "Jesus Christ…whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things." This column takes its title from that promise. There are times of restoration ahead. It is when we frame our prophetic worldview in the promises and hope of that passage that we can make sense of our world and have a positive view for the future. No, the world will not end in "fire and ice," as a poet once wrote. It will not "end" at all. It will be restored to the form and shape that God intended when "the angels shouted for joy." WNP