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End Times

Christian, tell me why do you talk about all of those "End Times" topics? What do you mean by "Rapture", "Tribulation", or "Millenium"? What makes you think such things are real, or matter in the real world?

Because…History is coming to an end point where everything will be overhauled. The Bible gives us the information we need to prepare for that in advance.

This is the first post of a seven-part series. The other posts can be reached via the links below.

The History

The Bible gives us the history of God’s relationship with mankind. The very short version is:

  • God created mankind for relationship with Him. (Genesis 1 and 2)
  • Mankind rebelled and broke that relationship, causing alienation from God that affects the entire world. (Genesis 3)
  • God is fixing His broken world, in three steps:
    • He built a nation (Israel) to be His focal point.
      • Genesis 12 through the rest of the Old Testament
    • He came in person, born into that nation as the man Jesus Christ, who gave His life to pay the penalty for our rebellion, the cost required in order for justice to be satisfied and the relationship reconciled.
      • Gospels, and the rest of the New Testament up to Revelation
    • He will finish by completely overhauling His creation, purging the broken parts and remaking them into brand-new unbreakable ones.
      • Revelation, in addition to some Old Testament prophecies like Daniel, Ezekiel and Zechariah and some New Testament ones like Paul’s letter to Thessalonica

The Overhaul

That last point, the overhaul, is what is commonly known as the End Times, or maybe Apocalypse (meaning “Revelation” or disclosure of those end times). The Bible gives very specific predictions of what that process will be like, and how it will end. But those predictions are so huge that we have trouble comprehending them. And some parts are in poetic language with metaphors and imagery that could be interpreted in more than one way. This has caused, shall we say, a great deal of discussion!

Note: For this series of posts, I’m using a literal/historical interpretation. The Scripture seems to be showing a pretty straightforward series of events. Generally, metaphors are clearly that (dragons, beasts, etc) and are often actually defined in the text. Other writers have interpreted more as allegory rather than actual, or the reverse, very actual for even what (to me) are obvious metaphors. Take these posts at only face value, and do your own research to verify anything I’ve said and make your own judgments.

The Events

Here, in approximate sequence of events, are the major points of that overhaul:

  • Rapture: Removing His followers from the earth, taking them to heaven to be with Him forever.
  • Tribulation: A time of increasingly-severe warnings (similar to the plagues in Egypt described in Exodus but on a much larger scale), overlapping with increasingly-defiant rebellion by unrepentant mankind. Within the Tribulation are several events:
    • Warnings: God trying to get people’s attention before it is too late
      • Physical catastrophes: Plagues, earthquakes, drought, famine
      • Two Witnesses: Special messengers with a stern warning (which is rejected)
    • Anti-Christ: The human face of the rebellion, actually a puppet dictator under Satan.
      • Mark of the Beast: Identification with the Anti-Christ and his rebellion, required in order to participate in society and commerce but resulting in final permanent separation from God, the ultimate in choosing sides.
      • Babylon: A name for the anti-God world system of commerce
    • Armageddon: A physical conflict started by forces of Satan/Anti-Christ gathering to destroy Israel, and ended by Jesus coming to the rescue.
  • Second Coming: Jesus returning in power to defeat Satan/Anti-Christ and completely squash the rebellion of Armageddon.
    • Millennium: A time of Jesus physically reigning as King on the current Earth in the current Jerusalem as His capital, with Satan temporarily restrained from influencing the world.
    • Final Battle: One more battle, with Satan released and still able to find followers despite everything…followed by his final defeat.
  • Judgment: Each person answering to God for their choices, with greatly differing results depending on that person’s prior acceptance of Jesus as their substitute.
    • Judgment Seat of Christ: An accounting of Christians, with the results being rewards (or lack thereof) for their faithful service rather than a life-or-death judgment.
    • Great White Throne Judgment: An accounting of all the remaining dead, resulting in final banishment to Hell for anyone not covered by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
    • Hell: The final, eternal, non-resting-place of all who have rejected God.
    • Heaven: God’s home 1, both now and in the final, eternal, re-made Earth, which will be filled with His redeemed people, and will have all sin and rebellion permanently removed.

The Scriptures

Here are links to several of the major Scripture passages concerning these events. These and other passages will be discussed in more detail in later posts.

The Point

So, why the focus on all of this future stuff? Because each person will experience it differently, depending on choices they make ahead of time. Will I accept that I’m a sinner helpless against these events, and trust Jesus to carry me instead of trying to take care of myself? Will I wait until after the Rapture has carried away Jesus’ followers, and then make a late decision to trust Him while being persecuted by the Anti-Christ and probably martyred for that decision? Will I never trust Jesus, and share in the Anti-Christ’s fate instead?

Keep in mind also, that for many, many people the decision can’t wait until these things happen. They will die a natural death before then, and wait with their choice already sealed until time for that final judgment. Instead of having “til the end of time”, I may not have until tomorrow. Either way, God wants me to end with the choice that gives me eternal life with Him in His redeemed, sin-free world. All of the warnings and prophecies are there to encourage me to choose Jesus now!

Footnotes and Scripture References

  1. where His presence is most evident, although He is really omni-present, always there everywhere

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture reference links go to, which defaults to another good translation, the New International Version (NIV).  The site has 20 or more translations available for reference.