Like the length of the creation days and soteriology, there are a lot of different positions people take on the end times. Some believe in a pre-tribulation rapture (i.e the event that all believers will disappear from planet Earth prior to 7 years of horrible reign from the anti-Christ) while some believe in a post-tribulation rapture (all believers will be taken up to Heaven after the anti-Christ reigns for 7 years). Other Christians don’t believe in rapture at all. Some believe most of the book of Revelation is prophesying the persecution of Christians by the Emperor Nero in the mid 60s A.D (except for the last few chapters) while others believe that all of Revelation is referring to future events.
But no matter what eschatological position you take, there are a few facts about the end times that no Christian disputes. These are the following:
1: Immorality Will Be At Its Worst Level
It’s hard to believe how evil the world is. All of the rape, murder, violence, theft, jealousy, sexual immorality. Society is drenched in moral evil. I think society is morally degenerating. One potent example is the amount of mass shootings that have been happening over the past few years, the most recent one being the shooting at a church in Charleston South Carolina, where a man named Dillon Roof murdered several people during a Bible study. It used to be that a Columbine type of event was an anomaly, but it seems like we’re getting at least 4 or 5 per year for the last 3 years! I can flip on the national news and hear about like 10 different rapes that occurred that day.
Not to mention high divorce rates, the statistics of people (even in the Christian church) who are addicted to pornography, terrorism, and abortion (perhaps the most common form of murder taking place in the united states). Our world is drowning in an ocean of sin!
But The Bible warns us that when we’re living in the last days, immorality will be at its lowest level in history.
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." - 2 Timothy 3:1-7
The apostle Paul warned that the last days would bring a marked increase in false teaching. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). The last days are described as “perilous times” because of the increasingly evil character of man and people who actively “resist the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-9; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Now, I don’t want to sound like a sensationalist, but I have to say, that kind of sounds like our society today. Perhaps the unending slide into immorality (2 Timothy 3:1-9), and the amount of people abandoning the Christian faith due to false teachings like atheism and Islam (1 Timothy 4:1), are signs that the end is near. Maybe. Maybe not.
But regardless of whether Jesus is coming back in the next century or two, one things for sure; evil will be severely rampant by the time He returns. In fact, as I pointed out in “Is God Evil For Ordering The Destruction Of Nations In The Old Testament?” God always waits until depravity hits its lowest level before unleashing mass judgment on large groups of people. For example, in the case of Noah’s contemporaries, He waited until “Their thoughts were only evil all the time”. (Genesis 6:9) and waited centuries even after that before He destroyed them. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, He didn’t destroy the people until not even 10 righteous people were left (see Genesis 18:17-32). In the case of the Canaanites, He waited 400 years before He wiped them out (Genesis 15:13-16)! The biblical pattern is that God always waits until the depravity hits its lowest level before He destroys the evil doers. Why? Two reasons 1: He loves them (John 3:16) and does not want anyone to have to suffer His judgments, but would rather everyone be saved (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4), and number 2: Because God doesn’t want the righteous to suffer along with the wicked. He waits because of His ocean of love and compassion for guilty sinners.
But my point is; given that biblical pattern is that God waits until the depravity hits the lowest level, just look at how bad the world is…and know that It’s going to get much worse than it already is before the angels pour out God’s bowls of wrath on humanity, and before Jesus comes to strike everyone down with a sword from His mouth (Revelation 19:15)
The Bible also tells us that God is waiting for the full number of the elect to get saved (Revelation 16:11).
2: Jesus Will Return
After Jesus ascended into heaven, the angels declared to the apostles, “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:11). Zechariah 14:4 tells us that the location of the second coming will be the Mount of Olives. The Bible says “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30). Moreover, Titus 2:13 describes the second coming as a “glorious appearing.”
The second coming is spoken of in greatest detail in Revelation 19:11-16, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
3: God Will Replace This Universe With A New One
The way that God created this universe, it cannot and will not last forever. The universe is governed by a pervasive law of decay (Romans 8:20) which has been dubbed by scientists as The Second Law Of Thermodynamics. The Second Law Of Thermodynamics causes disorder to come from order, and it causes heat to travel from hot bodies to cold bodies. Eventually, given enough time, the universe will run out of usable energy. All of the stars in the universe will die out. There will be no more heat, no more light, and therefore, no more life. Science has shown us that the second law of thermodynamics has been in effect since the very beginning of the universe.
I wrote in “God’s 2 Universe Creation Plan” why God created a decaying universe, but astrophysicist and Christian Apologist Hugh Ross goes into even greater detail in his book “Why The Universe Is The Way It Is”. But put shortly, the reason why God created a decaying universe is because He never intended for this universe to be our permanent dwelling place. God’s creation plan was a 2 parter from the very beginning. God intended for this universe to be temporary, but He intends for the next universe to be eternal.
The Bible also tells us that the universe will die out eventually.
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.” – Psalms 102:25-26
“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” – Isaiah 65:17
"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished." - Matthew 5:18
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." - Mark 13:31
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." - Luke 21:33
“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” – Revelation 21:1
The characteristics of the new universe will need to be vastly different though in order for it to be able to last forever. Moreover, several features of the next universe God will create as described by The Bible tell us that it’s natural laws will be vastly different from the ones we have now. The one that sticks out to me the most is the lack of a gravitational constant. Why do I say that the next universe won’t have a gravitational constant? Because the New Jerusalem is described as a 1,500 mile cube (Revelation 21:2, 16). Gravity, if it were present, would force a structure such as this one into a large sphere, because that’s what gravity does. That’s why all of the planets and stars in the universe are spheres. Therefore gravity will either be absent or at the very least be significantly reduced in the new creation.
The Bible tells us that the next universe won’t have either a sun or a moon. This makes sense when you think about it. Given the lack of gravity, the new creation would not be bound to its source of heat and light. The lack of the Sun is not a problem for the new creation, since the Bible tells us that the glory of God Himself will give us illumination. (see Revelation 21:23). There will be no oceans (see Revelation 21:1), which means that there will be no water cycle. It would be difficult for a water cycle to operate without gravity. There will be the river of the water of life, which flows from the throne of God (Revelation 22:1, Jeremiah 17:13, John 7:38). Given its source, it seems probable that it may not be liquid water as we know it.
All of this is very hard for us to imagine. We can’t conceive of a universe without gravity, a sun, moon, or a planet that’s in the shape of a square, and that lacks oceans. Some might even call this idea of a new universe absurd. But we need to keep in mind that God is omnipotent. This is shown not only as part of the conclusion of The Ontological Argument For God’s Existence, but also in several passages of scripture. For example, Job spoke of God’s power in Job 42:2 where he said “I know that you can do all things and that no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Jesus said “…with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). Given that God is all powerful, He can do anything…as long its not logically impossible. He can certainly create a universe such as what I’ve described above. Nothing seems incoherent about the universe I described above.
This reminds of a passage from 1 Corinthians:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him—“ – 1 Corinthians 2:9
There you have it; 3 facts about the end times that no Christian disagrees with. 1: Immorality will be at its lowest level around the time of the apocalypse, 2: Jesus will return just as He said, and 3: That God will destroy this universe and replace it with a new one.