It is not the End of the World

[Matthew 24]
{24:3} Then, when he was seated at the Mount of Olives, the disciples drew near to him privately, saying: “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your advent and of the consummation of the age?”
{24:4} And answering, Jesus said to them: “Pay attention, lest someone lead you astray.
{24:5} For many will come in my name saying, ‘I am the Christ.’ And they will lead many astray.
{24:6} For you will hear of battles and rumors of battles. Take care not to be disturbed. For these things must be, but the end is not so soon.
{24:7} For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places.
{24:8} But all these things are just the beginning of the sorrows.

Many Christians — including Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant — are discussing whether we are now at the start of the End Times. As my longtime readers know, my view is that the tribulation (a.k.a. the End Times) has not yet begun, but will begin soon. The point that I would like to make in this post is that the start of the End Times is not the end of the world. It is only the beginning of a long period of increased sufferings for the Church and the world.

And then what happens? Well, it is still not the end. The tribulation or end times is divided into two parts, the so-called “lesser” or first part of the tribulation is for this present-day generation. Then there is a short time of peace and holiness. Then a long time of gradual increase in sins and sufferings in the world, spanning a few hundred years. Finally, the “greater” or second part of the tribulation unfolds. And only this second part of the sufferings includes the Antichrist and later the return of Jesus Christ.

Does the end happen when Jesus returns several hundred years from now? Well, it is the end of the reign of sin, but not the end of the world. In my view, there is no literal end of the world. Always the world continues, in some form. After the second part of the tribulation, the world experiences a long time of peace and holiness, followed at last by the general resurrection and general judgment. Then God makes a new heaven and a new earth.

{21:1} I saw the new heaven and the new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more.
{21:2} And I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
{21:3} And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: “Behold the tabernacle of God with men. And he will dwell with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be their God with them.
{21:4} And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no more. And neither mourning, nor crying out, nor grief shall be anymore. For the first things have passed away.”
{21:5} And the One who was sitting upon the throne, said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And he said to me, “Write, for these words are entirely faithful and true.”

So the world never really ends. The end times is the end of the reign of sin and the last of the great sufferings that the world will see, but it is not the end of the world.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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2 Responses to It is not the End of the World

  1. Sunimal Fernando says:

    1.Last pope in the St.Malachi List,? Then no popes until Jesus 2nd coming for another 400
    2.Fatima 3rd secret= description of the Last pope in the St.Malachi List

    • Ron Conte says:

      The last Pope on the list is not the last Pope ever, just the end of the list. I think that last Pope figuratively represents all the many Popes from now until the Return hundreds of years later. Fatima describes the next Pope after Francis, I think.

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