By Pete Rose
Well, doomsday, “the end of the world”, has come and gone and we’re still here. The world didn’t explode, the rapture didn’t happen, the poles didn’t shift, nothing out of the ordinary happened, and everything pretty much continues as it did before all the hoopla came about. We gullible humans are so quick to seize onto any little rumor or sensation and blow it up out of all proportion, like a balloon. Well, the balloon has popped and we’re back right where we were before it all started.
But there is a time of calamity coming which the Lord Jesus described as being like nothing that had ever been before and will never be again in its severity [Matthew 24:4-12]. “Birth pangs” doesn’t apply just to the pre-tribulation period, it continues all the way through the tribulation. The terrible earthquakes and tsunamis in the Pacific, hurricane Katrina and super storm Sandy, and the general increase in other calamities this new century so far are all just gathering storm clouds compared to what is coming. The tribulation starts off almost gently with the appearance of the antichrist and his supposed solution to all the earth’s problems [Revelation 6:2]. Sometime shortly before this comes the rapture, and this will doubtless create the perfect “crisis” the antichrist needs to make his grand debut.
This antichrist, the devil Satan in the flesh, will confirm a peace treaty with Israel for seven years, the temple will be rebuilt, possibly before this time, and the Jewish ritual sacrifices resumed [Daniel 9:27]. But all will not be hunky-dory during this time. God begins pouring out his wrath with wars, famines, earthquakes, asteroids crashing into the earth, and great meteor showers during this time. At the midpoint of the seven years the antichrist will break his treaty with Israel, stop the sacrifices, set up his image (the abomination of desolation) in the temple, require a mark of allegiance (666) upon all without which no one will be able to buy or sell, and turn into a tyrant who will make Antiochus Epiphanes look like a saint by comparison [Matthew 24:15-22, Revelation 13:11-18].
Meantime the plagues continue to ramp up. More, and more severe earthquakes. Malignant sores which afflict all who take the mark of the beast. Demonic hybrid scorpion locusts, with stings so severe men will want to die but will be unable to [Revelation 9:1-11]. The skies darkened, likely by volcanic eruptions, to where the sun is not visible for a third of the day and the stars likewise by night and the moon turns as red as blood [Revelation 6:12, Joel 2:31]. Angels loosed from the river Euphrates to kill a third of mankind [Revelation 16:13-14]. God’s two witnesses who have the power to bring all manner of calamities and disasters on mankind at will, and who kill by breathing fire on anyone who tries to harm them [Revelation 11:3-6]. Great Babylon is destroyed in a day [Revelation 18]. A third of the trees and all green grass are burnt up, waters are poisoned and many die, a third of ships at sea are destroyed and a third of all sea creatures die as the judgments of God ramp up. The seas and the rivers and streams turned to blood, and all mankind on the sea dies. The sun scorching men with great heat, so great they blaspheme, followed by darkness so intense they gnaw their tongues for the pain. Demonic spirits loosed to gather all men to the valley of Megiddo for battle. Angels bound in the Euphrates loosed to make way for an army of 200 million from the east to join the battle. A terrible worldwide earthquake flattening whole cities, great hailstones of a talent (70-100 pounds) weight falling from the sky and men blaspheming God for the severity of the plagues [Revelation 16].
Meantime in heaven the saints will be enjoying the marriage supper of the Lamb, the church (ekklesia) being the bride of Christ, and preparations for Jesus’ return to earth [Revelation 19:7-9].
With all the armies of the world gathered together to battle one another in the battle of Armageddon, Jesus suddenly appears in the sky with all His saints riding on white horses and clothed in fine white linen. Without even raising a physical sword, by the words of His mouth Jesus slays all of these armies right where they stand, the blood flows to the depth of a horse’s bridle for the distance of some 200 miles, and the birds feast on their remains [Revelation 19:11-20]. Jesus lands with his feet on the Mount of Olives and it splits in two leaving a great valley in its midst [Zechariah 14:1-5]. The beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire and the devil, Satan is imprisoned in the abyss for a thousand years [Revelation 19:20-20:4]. Those who remain alive on earth He will judge as sheep and goats, the sheep those who have shown their faith by their actions, the goats who have shown their lack thereof by their actions. The sheep (the righteous) will be ushered into the kingdom to repopulate the earth, the goats (the unrighteous) will be delivered into everlasting fire reserved for the devil and his angels. [Matthew 25:31-46]
This is the real, and final, doomsday, but it is not the end of the world. The world goes on for another thousand years with Jesus as King. Only those who have shown their faith in Jesus will be allowed into it. It will be a thousand years of peace and prosperity such as this world has never known from its beginning to now. We the saints will be ruling with Jesus, while the Jews and others who have survived the tribulation and received Jesus as their Messiah, will enjoy the thousand years of peace we have never seen to date [Revelation 20:4,Isaiah 11:6-9].
Which way will you go? Will you go with Jesus in the rapture to be married to Him and live for all eternity with Him, or will you be left behind to go through the great tribulation, likely lose your life and your soul and spend eternity in the flames of hell?
The decision is yours. I can’t make it for you, nor can anyone else but you. I can’t make you decide for Jesus any more than I can lead a horse to water and make him drink.
It’s your call.