The subject of this article is one that is not attraction to most people. Mankind does not like to think of the judgement that will surely come upon the world. It’s topic that is not pleasant to think about. As the year 2000 loomed ever closer, nearly everyone was wondering what would happen to the earth. Many different ideas were pouring out of the present Theologists and Religionists of what was to happen to the earth at the second coming of Christ – such as the Anti-Christ theory, Rapture theory, Pre-Tribulation theory, and so on. Perhaps, many don’t believe in Christ’s second coming at all. The arrival of the year 2000 came and went – nothing out of the ordinary happened. The theories increasingly fall silent into millennial peacefulness without any seeming disturbance to present society.
In the Bible, God foretells that the coming troubles on the earth are to herald and prepare the way for the manifestation of Jesus Christ on the Earth in great glory and power. The foretold troubles are to be expected if one has a practical faith in the Bible as the revealed will of God. We need to ask ourselves the question: Does it matter if we know what Jesus Christ will do at his soon return to the Earth?
Yes! Almost 2,000 years ago, the apostles asked Jesus at the event of his ascent into heaven, “Lord, will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) This tells us that a major part of Christ’s mission is to restore the Kingdom to Israel. He is to be the King of the Jews and of the all nations, reigning from Jerusalem, the future capital city of the world. (Jeremiah 3:17; Ezekiel 37:21-24) Mankind will be taught not wage war anymore during the Millennial period following the return of Christ, and will gather together in Jerusalem annually to worship one true God as one true religion. (Isaiah 2:2-4; Zechariah 14:16)
This must be shocking to read, but it calls for serious consideration – there is a difference between outlandish fancy, and intelligent conviction arising from acceptance of the authority of God’s Word.
Again we need to ask ourselves more questions: “Will the restoration take place (the kingdom of men replaced by the kingdom of God) be quick, or the slow result of a universal process?” ” Will Christ steal upon the earth in a time of peace, and quietly destroy the powers of the earth, with their armies, in a single night? Or, will Christ be revealed when wars are in advance, and trouble everywhere in the whole world?”
The following passages explicitly address these questions: “There shall be a time of trouble, SUCH AS NEVER WAS SINCE THERE WAS A NATION EVEN TO THAT SAME TIME” (Dan. 12: 1). “Upon the earth shall be distress of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming upon the earth” (Luke 21: 25,26).
History provides no record of such worldwide disaster all occurring at the same time. These passages answer the questions. The Bible show that the change, which will usher in the restoration of the Kingdom of God on earth, will be followed by troubles on a scale without parallel in history. The whole world will be overwhelmed by political difficulties, and suffer from the many evils incident to such a condition. The world will never suspect that the hand of God is guiding the development of events, or that “the judge is near, even at the door.” They would never dream that the world is on the verge of the most awful crisis that has ever occurred in its history. Divine indignation, long restrained, is about to visit the world in destroying judgment, which will break up the entire system of human society as it is organized today – politically, ecclesiastically, and socially.
When natural trouble has advanced to a certain point, the Lord Jesus will be revealed no longer as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” and “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” but as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” taking vengeance on this unbelieving generation. The vengeance in relation to people as a whole will be destruction to the majority, and discipline to the remnant. The majority of the populations will perish by war and pestilence. Many more people will fall victims to the fire which will descend, after the manner of the judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah, as “the slain of the Lord will be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth.”
The governments of the earth will struggle with desperation to preserve the human authority from threatened annihilation. They will fight to the bitter end. They will cling hope until it weakens and finally is extinguished altogether in the face of the complete triumph of the Lamb, “who shall overcome them.” The earth’s population will be greatly reduced.
All that will be left are the humble and the humbled, which will settle and be established as the willing subjects of Messiah’s kingdom. These will be the nations that will go up “to the house of the God of Jacob,” at Jerusalem, to learn of His ways, and walk in His paths, walking no more after the imagination of their evil hearts. This remnant will rejoice, as they recognize the startup of the new government, which will be universally established upon the ruins of “the kingdoms of this world.” (Isaiah 26:9) After a time, the remaining faithful will finally subject themselves wholly to the Lord Jesus Christ. The earth will be given a new look with Universal peace, justice, equity, and joy throughout a millennium. That is the Gospel!