#3 Is The End Of The World Near?
Many Christians believe that Christ is returning soon and the world is coming to an end as we know it. They are constantly watching the world events to see when the Antichrist will come into power, and the great tribulation is to begin. So, is the end truly near?
There is no doubt that world events tend to make anyone feel that all things are hopeless where humanity is at risk of extinction any day from wars, diseases, natural or unnatural disasters, and at the hands of evil men in power. However, the Bible states in Mathew 24:14 KJV that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Thus, the critical question is if the Gospel of Christ has spread as a testimony to all nations?
A case is made here that the Roman Catholic version of Christianity has dominated the world today more than the actual Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is still being evangelized globally, harvesting a faithful remanent of genuine believers who have submitted their lives to Jesus and are living witnesses.
However, the Vatican Church, known as the “Vatican,” is the wealthiest and most influential institution. In contrast, Christ said in Mathew 6:19-20 NIV: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
The Vatican City is an independent state within Rome, Italy. It has a distinct territory, approximately 121 acres of land, under full ownership, control, and jurisdiction of the “Holy See,” ruled by the standing Pope. It's the smallest nation in the world, but the Pope is the most powerful man to have high-reaching connections and influence, even above all nation’s leaders. The Vatican’s true wealth is immeasurable and likely in trillions of dollars. More than 1.4 billion Catholics have been baptized globally under its leadership.
Through its intentional mission works, the Vatican expanded its earthly kingdom across the earth. It transformed the natives of each land into its brand of Catholicism and collected tithings onto itself than the community it served. The early crusades, initiated by the Pope in 1095 A.D., did not represent Christ but the power and control over the land to ensure its place as the dominant Roman Catholic Church today. The crusades targeted the elect and murdered many to set an example for all the rest to remain in control. In 1199 A.D., the Pope began his crusades against early Christians and called them heretics. Given the deadly crusades, many people wrongfully assumed that Christianity or Jesus’ followers were responsible for the deadly massacres in history, without understanding that the true Gospel of Christ has nothing to do with expanding earthly kingdoms. His mission was simple to save our souls and deliver us from evil. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 NIV.
Alternatively, the Papacy represents itself as the “Vicar of Christ,” meaning he is deemed a divine person to represent Jesus Christ on earth. The Vicar means “instead of” or “in place of.” The beauty of the Gospel and what Christ did for all of us was that He removed any man or system “instead of” or “in place of” God Himself. He fought the powerful religious system of his day, the Sadducees and Pharisees, who dominated the Jewish people with strict rules of conduct and false doctrines. After Christ’s death, the Roman Catholic church conquered the world with its religion.
Jesus warned, “Watch out that you are not deceived. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” Luke 21:8 NIV. He predicted that many would claim the time is near, as all end-time preachers continue to do today. The false preachers’ method to salvation is through fear, not love. Genuine love knows God’s plan for redemption through faith and repentance of our sin. The Bible shows us our transgressions and provides a way out in faith and love. Those who reject the Gospel are condemned already.
Christ is the only intermediary needed directly to God with a personal relationship with Him. There is no need for anyone to stand in between God and us. He will guide and protect us even through the great tribulation, not the head of state or the coming false messiahs when that time comes.
Thus, Christ’s Gospel tells us that we are saved by faith alone in Jesus as the Son of God. The Holy Spirit who lives inside us, received by confession of faith and Baptism, will guide us to all truths and is our helper each day in all things. Believing and trusting God through the Holy Spirit is not a religion but a spiritual transformation of one’s heart and soul. This is something no man and all worldly religions can offer.
The true Word of God, written down in the Bible, is still being evangelized in all nations. The message of his Word is being spread from person to person as a witness of God to tell the good news of His salvation and gift of everlasting life. Jesus conquered death and sin at the cross, where He said His last words, “it is finished. With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 NIV.
Jesus finished his mission at the cross. He commanded His Apostles to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 NIV. Jesus also said in John 3:3 and 3:5 NIV that “no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again,” and “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”
For related articles, check out articles on Salvation and Baptism.
In conclusion, the end is near, but there is still time to hear God’s plan for us. When will Jesus return? “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Matthew 24:35 KJV.
Indeed, Jesus will not return until His true Gospel transforms as many souls as God has ordained. We are to live for Christ, not the Antichrist, and carry out our mission on earth, whether to our families or to serve others through our work. We are not to be engaging in useless talks and predictions of how and when the world will end. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3 NIV.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 NIV.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 NIV.
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