DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: How will the world end? Will it gradually get colder and colder until life finally flickers out and dies, or will Earth suddenly come to an end because of some catastrophe (such as an asteroid hitting it)? Or maybe we’ll destroy ourselves. Does the Bible say anything about this? — Z.D.
DEAR Z.D.: I want to assure you that the world’s future is firmly in God’s hands, and the world as we know it will pass away only when God intervenes to bring it to an end.
Does that mean we’ll never experience wars, plagues or natural disasters that look like they might bring life to an end (just as they have in the past)? It’s certainly possible; God hasn’t promised to deliver us from such tragedies. But they aren’t the end, and even in the midst of these we can trust God’s promise to be with us. Jesus said, “Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (Matthew 24:6).
What will the end be like? For one thing, it will be sudden and unexpected, and most people will be unprepared. Just as in the days of Noah’s flood, a catastrophe will suddenly overtake the Earth, and then it will be too late to turn to God. The Bible also hints at total, fiery destruction. “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything … in it will be laid bare” (2 Peter 3:10).
The good news is, we need not fear that day if we know Christ. Is your faith and hope in him, and are you seeking to live for him every day? “Since everything will be destroyed … live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God” (2 Peter 3:11-12).
Tribune Media Services 9/12