The End Times: Millennium, Judgment, New Jerusalem

This is the last installment in my series on the End Times. Previously, I discussed the second coming of Jesus along with events leading up to His return. I have attempted to show that the gathering, a.k.a. the Rapture, of the elect really takes place after Jesus’ return because of the four preconditions that I presented earlier.1

Interestingly, nineteen of the twenty-two chapters in the book of Revelation deal with events preceding Jesus’ return and the myriad of judgments that are prophesied against the unbelieving world. Only three chapters are dedicated to Christ’s thousand year reign, a.k.a. The Millennium; God’s final judgment; the new heaven and new earth; and the New Jerusalem.

Speaking of judgments, isn’t it peculiar that even in the midst of all the terrible judgments being inflicted upon the earth, people will still refuse to believe and repent as indicated in the following verses:

(20) The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;
(21) and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

Rev. 9:20-21

(9) Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.
(10) Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain,
(11) and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.

Rev. 16:9-11

According to Revelation chapter 16, verses 9 and 11, men clearly knew who was responsible for causing the plagues they were suffering—it was God. How much more evidence do they need? Even so, they refuse to believe; so much for the saying “seeing is believing.” Just as there were many who did not believe Jesus when He appeared the first time two-thousand years ago, there will be many who will not believe Him at His second appearance, even though they will see Him with their own eyes!

Before I get into the topics planned for this post, I’d like to clarify the statement I made in my last post where I said that I hold to a “literal interpretation” of Revelation. This is somewhat of a bold statement since most of the language in Revelation is obviously figurative. Well…maybe not so obvious. For example, in Revelation chapter 8, verse 8 it says, “The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.” I interpret “hail and fire, mixed with blood” as figurative but the results of a third of the earth, trees, and grass being burned up as literal. Another example of this type of literary device is the description of the locusts from the bottomless pit in Revelation chapter 9, verses 8 through 10:

(8) They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.
(9) They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.
(10) They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.

Rev. 9:8-10

I interpret the description of the locusts as figurative but their ability to hurt men for five months as literal. In both of these examples, as well as many others that can be found in Revelation, I believe that the means are figurative but the results are literal.

The Millennium

The Millennium refers to Christ’s thousand year reign on earth which begins after the beast and false prophet are defeated along with their armies; and Satan is bound and thrown in the abyss. (Rev. 19:17-19) (Rev. 20:1-3) For the beast and false prophet, their judgment is swift; they have the distinct privilege of being the first to be thrown alive in to the lake of fire. (Rev. 19:20) Contrary to what you may have been told, Hell, or Hades, is not the final place of torment for unbelievers, it’s really the lake of fire.

During Jesus’ thousand year reign on earth, who will He reign over and will He reign alone? I believe that those that He will reign over are those that did not take the mark of the beast for whatever reason. I derive my theory from Matthew chapter 24 and Revelation chapter 19:

Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Matt. 24:22

From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

Rev. 19:15

Jesus clearly indicates, as recorded for us by Matthew, that there will be survivors of the “tribulation” of those days. But why for the sake of the elect? Could it be that those who survive and are still alive will be those that Jesus and His elect will rule over “with a rod of iron” for a thousand years?

After the thousand years are over, Satan is unleashed and he immediately goes out to incite the nations to attack the “camp of the saints” (Rev. 20:9) but the attackers are all wiped out by fire that comes down from heaven and Satan is thrown in the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:10) As has been proven again and again, unregenerate people will never accept Jesus as their ruler as prophesied in the parable, “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’” (Luke 19:14)

The Final Judgment

The Great White Throne Judgement is where all the unbelievers will find themselves after the thousand year reign of Christ is over. Except for the elect, no else is left alive on the earth, all have died.

After death and Hades, or Hell, are emptied of their inhabitants, they are both thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:14) Another interesting fact to note here is that not only is Hades, a real place, thrown into the lake of fire but death as well. Death is certainly a reference back to the curse God pronounced on His creation as a result of Adam’s transgression. The curse that God pronounced in Genesis is removed but not eliminated in that it is assigned to the lake of fire. In the end, all those who appear at the throne of God in judgment will not have the curse removed from them; they will have to endure it in the lake of fire continuously forever. (Rev. 20:10)

The New Jerusalem

I clearly remember being taught on many occasions that the Church is the bride of Christ. Jesus’ parable of the wise virgins as recorded in Matthew chapter 25 is frequently used to teach that the wise virgins are a metaphor for the Church and since they went in with the bridegroom (Jesus) to the wedding feast, they must be the bride. The problem with this interpretation is that Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins in Matthew chapter 25 is really about being ready for His second coming, and not about the bride of Christ’s identity. However, the bride of Christ’s identity is revealed for us in Revelation chapter 21:

(9) Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, ‘Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’

(10) And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

(11) having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.

Rev. 21:9-11

Besides, isn’t it true that the bride is the one who sends the wedding invitations, not the one who receives the invitation? Clearly, the Church is not the bride but the guest.

The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Rev. 22:17

©2013-2024 Gerard Sczepura. All rights reserved.


  1. Gerard Sczepura, “The End Times: Jesus’ Return According to Revelation,” Theological Ruminations (blog), July 15, 2015, http://gerardsczepura.com/?p=650

The End Times: Jesus’ Return According to Revelation

The Bible has recorded for us many teachings that Jesus gave His disciples concerning the end times and His second coming. As I’ve stated in many posts in this series on the End Times, Jesus clearly laid out four irrefutable conditions that would exist leading up to and including the time of His return. According to Jesus, His return will be:

  1. Sudden and unexpected
  2. Visible and unmistakable
  3. In a time of normalcy as in the days of Noah and Lot
  4. After the apostasy

If we are to take what Jesus said at face value, then we find ourselves in a dilemma as to how to deal with the apocalyptic events described in Revelation, the last book of the Bible. For example, in Revelation chapter 8, we read that one third of the earth will be burned up; one third of the sea life and ships destroyed; one third of the water poisoned; and one third of the sun, moon and stars darkened. And then in Revelation chapter 9, we read about the appearance of locusts who are able to sting men as a scorpion stings. Those who are stung by these creatures must endure the torment for five months without being able to die! And let’s not forget about the 100 pound hailstones that rain down upon men in Revelation chapter 16.

If all these aforementioned events take place before Jesus’ second coming, which is described in Revelation chapter 19, how could his return be sudden and unexpected? Wouldn’t everyone on the entire planet know about these things? Wouldn’t even the unbelievers be able to connect the dots? And what about the notion of normalcy? Even in our day, if a third of the sun was darkened wouldn’t it cause panic and mass hysteria on a global scale—hardly normal?

Of course, for those who interpret the entire book of Revelation figuratively, none of the four conditions mentioned earlier are an issue; however, it is a problem for those who hold to a literal interpretation. Therefore, since I do hold to a literal interpretation, I believe the only way for us to reconcile the events in Revelation with Jesus’ four preconditions is to place His actual second coming in Revelation chapter 6.

(12) I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
(13) and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
(14) The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

(15) Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
(16) and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
(17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”1

Compare Revelation chapter 6, verses 12-17 with Mark chapter 13, verses 24-26 and you will see a strong correlation between these verses.

(24) But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT,
(25) AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.

(26) Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory.2

Revelation chapter 6, verse 14 is clearly describing Jesus’ return to earth along with its parallel in Mark chapter 13, verse 26. At Jesus’ appearing, the elect will be gathered together by the angels3 but for the rest of the world it will be a time of great wrath. Apparently, no one has to council the unbelieving world on what the consequences will be for them at the time of Jesus’ return since they proclaim it right out of their own mouths! (Rev. 6:16-17)

Given that I have placed Jesus’ second coming as happening in the sixth seal of Revelation chapter 6, all the other judgements on the earth as described in the seventh seal, including the trumpet judgements and the six bowls of wrath, must take place after His return. This would also include the following:

  • The 144,000
  • The locusts from the bottomless pit
  • The 200 million man army
  • The two witnesses
  • The beast and false prophet
  • Armageddon
  • The 100 pound hailstones

Everything I’ve said up to this point probably sounds farfetched, troubling, and maybe even highly improbable, but consider that even in the middle of the discussion of Armageddon in Revelation chapter 16 we have a repeat of a familiar warning:

(Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.) (Rev. 16:15)

And again in Mark:

Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—
in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep.

What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’ (Mark 13:35-37)

What I think we need to remember is that tribulation is for believers, that is the Church, but judgement and wrath are for the unbelievers or unsaved. What believers would consider tribulation would not necessarily be considered tribulation by the unsaved. Given that Jesus said that the apostasy would precede His return, could it be that apostate Christians wouldn’t even notice they were in the tribulation? I suppose it’s possible since Jesus seems to go out of His way to warn us to be on the alert. Almost like when His apostles were in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus told them to keep watch with Him so they wouldn’t fall into temptation—still they fell asleep. (Mark 14:34-42) Did they fall asleep because they didn’t understand what was about to transpire, that Jesus was about to be taken from them that night?

The Pre-Trib Rapturists don’t have to worry about any of the concerns discussed here since the Rapture will occur at any moment; they will be taken away; then all hell will break out on earth. Clean and simple. Maybe so, but I just don’t see any of that being taught anywhere in the Bible.

©2013-2024 Gerard Sczepura. All rights reserved.


  1. Rev. 6:12-17 NASB 

  2. Mark 13:24-26 

  3. Gerard Sczepura, “The End Times: Arguments in Defense of a Post-Trib Rapture,” Theological Ruminations (blog), May 4, 2015, http://gerardsczepura.com/?p=630

The End Times: Arguments in Defense of a Post-Trib Rapture

The Pre-Tribulation rapturists have devised many unsubstantiated arguments to defend their position as I have discussed in my previous post, “The End Times: Arguments Against a Pre-Trib Rapture.” As we have discovered, the Pre-Tribulation Rapture was not taught in the Church until the doctrine was fabricated by John Nelson Darby in 1830. This fabrication has led to many other errors (some have even gone so far as to say, heresies) with the primary error being the teaching of a multi-phased second coming of Jesus. These errors persist to this day and are ubiquitous in the Church.

So, does the Bible teach a Pre or Post Tribulation Rapture? I believe Jesus gave us the answer as recorded in Mark 13:24-27.

But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT,
AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory.
And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. (Mark 13:24-27 NASB)

In Mark chapter 13, verses 5 through 23, Jesus describes the things that will happen during the tribulation and the events that will lead up to the tribulation. Then, in Mark chapter 13, verses 24 through 27, Jesus announces His second coming which is preceded by the tribulation and is immediately followed by the angels being sent forth to gather His elect. In these verses, Jesus appears to lay out a clear sequence of events: first is the tribulation; second is His appearing; and third is the gathering of His elect. Is Jesus really describing the Rapture in these verses? It would appear to be the case since he mentions the elect will be gathered not only from the earth but from heaven also. I like the logical way that Mark recorded Jesus’ account of His second coming and the end time events.

While both Mark’s and Matthew’s record of Jesus’ end time discourse are for the most part consistent, there are some facets of Luke’s account that are troubling. The verses I’m referring to are Luke chapter 13, verses 31 through 37.

In verses 26 through 30, Luke emphasizes Jesus’ description of how everything will be going on as usual at the time of His return as in the days of Noah and Lot. Then immediately He goes on to say in verse 31 (emphasis mine), “On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back.’” (Luke 17:31) If the Rapture is, in fact, going to be a sudden and unexpected snatching away of believers in the “twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:52) why in the world would Jesus warn against going back to get your stuff? In addition, Luke records a warning not to repeat the same mistake Lot’s wife did when she looked back. (Luke 17:32) None of these verses make any sense at all in the context of our understanding of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. But I’m sure some would argue that Jesus wasn’t referring to the Rapture, and they would be correct; Jesus wasn’t referring to the Rapture, He was referring to the gathering.

So, if we accept the teaching that there will first be a gathering, how do we reconcile this with what Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-52? Well, my interpretation is that the Rapture will be in two phases. The first phase will be the gathering of the elect and the second phase will be the catching up of those gathered to meet the Lord in the air. I’m sure my hypothesis may sound farfetched to some, but how else can you explain the verses we’ve just examined, particularly Luke 17:31?

So could it be that before the Rapture occurs, there will first be a gathering of the elect? Maybe we’ve had it wrong all this time—instead of Jesus’ second coming being multi-phased, maybe it’s the Rapture that is multi-phased.

Nevertheless, we are still left with a problem and that is how do we explain the strange verse that appears seemingly out of nowhere in Matthew 24:28 and the equally disturbing and bizarre answer Jesus gives to His disciples’ question in Luke 17:37? While Matthew’s account doesn’t really help us to establish a context for the verse, Luke’s account does; but it depends on whether or not you accept Luke chapter 17, verse 33 as a transitional verse.

(30) It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. (31) On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. (32) Remember Lot’s wife.

(33) Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

(34) I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. (35) There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. (36) Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left. (37) And answering they *said to Him, “Where, Lord?” And He said to them, Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered. (Luke 17:30-37)

If we decide to interpret verse 33 in the context of the gathering of the elect in verses 30 through 31, then it becomes clear that those left behind or not gathered could be the bodies of those described in verse 37. Those who go down to get their goods or those who turn back who are out in the field would be the ones who suffer death as did Lot’s wife. However, if we interpret verse 33 as part of the context (or lack of context) in verses 34 through 37, then the ones who are taken are probably martyrs. My position is that verse 33 belongs with verses 34 through 37 because verse 33, which talks about those who lose their life, would be consistent with verse 37 which talks about vultures hovering over corpses. In addition, I don’t believe verses 34 through 37 are referring to the Rapture because Paul makes clear that when the Rapture occurs we will be changed, that is, our current bodies will not be left behind but will be transformed from mortal to immortal. (1 Cor. 15:51-53)

One last point on the persecution of Christians: isn’t it a well-known fact that Christians have been persecuted and martyred for their faith especially throughout the Church’s early history as Foxes Book of Martyrs describes in excruciating detail? And even now, in almost every corner of the globe, Christians of all denominations are being persecuted and killed for their faith. Persecution and tribulation should not be new concepts for Christians.

As in the days of Lot, God sent two angels to gather Lot, his wife, and two daughters in order to lead them out of Sodom so that they would not be destroyed along with the city and the rest of the inhabitants. We all know the story, Lot’s wife looked back towards Sodom and she was turned into a pillar of salt. Likewise, when Jesus returns to earth, will we be ready for the gathering or will we hesitate to leave as Lot did? Will we still be so enamored with this life that we will be tempted to look back as Lot’s wife did?

©2013-2024 Gerard Sczepura. All rights reserved.

The End Times: When You Least Expect It

September 11, 2001 began as just another normal day for most people. People hurrying to catch subways, trains, and buses or whatever other means of transportation they chose to get into the City. Elsewhere along the East coast of the U.S., many people were anxious to get to the airport to catch flights bound for the West coast either for business or pleasure. It was a near perfect late summer day in New York; sunny, warm without a cloud in the sky. People went about their normal routine, some maybe stopping at their favorite deli to get a bagel and coffee on the way to the office. For others, the World Trade Center was to be their ultimate destination. Everywhere on the streets that day you could see the multitudes scurrying to get to work on Wall Street and the surrounding area. Life went on as usual until 8:46 AM when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower.

Likewise, it was partly cloudy that early Sunday morning on December 7, 1941 on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. On that day, most sailors stationed on the island were enjoying a day off from duty. They were most likely resting; catching up on letters; reading newspapers; or preparing to attend worship services. Still others were having breakfast or maybe had just finished their morning chow when the calm was broken at 7:55 AM when 360 Japanese warplanes descended on the U. S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack.

No one in the World Trade Center’s North Tower that Tuesday morning on September 11 could have imagined that they would be engaged in a life and death struggle to survive that day. Nor did any of the occupants in the World Trade Center’s South Tower have any idea what was coming as United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into them at 9:03 AM. In the same way, none of the 1,117 sailors serving on the USS Arizona knew that they would be killed that Sunday morning on December 7.

The events I just described all happened in the past, so what about the future? Both of the aforementioned events happened in modern times, but, are there any analogous events described in the Bible? Can we draw any parallels with events described in the Bible? I believe there are at least two similar events we can point to and they are the destruction of Sodom and the Genesis flood.

We are told that during the days of Lot that people were going about their normal every day routine. They were eating and drinking; conducting business; farming; and working in construction. (Luke 17:28 NASB) Life went on as usual until the day God brought Lot out of Sodom. (Luke 17:29)

And what about time of Noah and the flood? Again, life went on as usual. People were going about their normal routine of eating and drinking; and getting married and raising families. (Matt. 24:38) (Luke 17:27)

Jesus made it perfectly clear to His disciples that His second coming will take the world by surprise just as the flood took the world by surprise during Noah’s time; and as the fire and burning sulfur took the city of Sodom by surprise in Lot’s time. (Luke 17:26-30) Isn’t it obvious that the times leading up to the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pearl Harbor are remarkably, if not frighteningly, similar to those events as told by Jesus and recorded for us by Matthew and Luke in the Scripture?

Hollywood has been trying to tell us all along that there will be various apocalyptic conditions that will lead up to the so-called end of the world. If this were true, how then could Jesus say that the world would be going about its normal business at time of His second coming? Hollywood has portrayed the end of the world in terms of a nuclear holocaust; zombie outbreak; alien invasion; climate change; and other unnatural disasters. Do you really think people would be going about their normal routines if a worldwide nuclear exchange were to transpire? I don’t think so. And we all know that life wouldn’t go on as usual if there were to be a global zombie outbreak—okay, seriously…how about a deadly worldwide influenza pandemic.

So how do we reconcile Jesus’ second coming prediction of “just as it happened in the days of Noah” (Luke 17:26) and “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot” (Luke 17:28) with the apocalyptic events described in the Book of Revelation? Of course the answer is pervasive throughout the modern day Church and that is the doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. This doctrine teaches that Jesus’ return to earth will be in two phases or stages; the first phase is His secret unexpected return in the air and the second phase is His return where every eye will see Him.1

There are many problems with the 2-stage return of Jesus not the least of which is that Jesus never taught that His return to earth would be in multiple stages. Another troubling fact is that the Rapture or Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church is not mentioned in the Book of Revelation either. I would have expected that such an important event as the sudden removal of all believers from the earth would have been communicated by Jesus in His Revelation to the Apostle John for inclusion in the Bible. Why would such critical information be withheld?

The doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church teaches that all believers who are alive during Jesus’ first phase return to earth will be caught up (raptured) to meet Him in the air. Since it is a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, believers can expect be rescued from all the horrors that will be unleashed upon the earth during the seven year tribulation period.

The entire premise for the seven year tribulation period is derived from the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 weeks. There are two schools of thought; one is that the prophecy has already been fulfilled and the other is that it is future fulfilled. The following URLs present a case for each interpretation:

Already fulfilled: http://www.daniels70weeks.com/

Future fulfilled: http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/pages/rapture/daniels-70th-week-explained.htm

On the sites I’ve just provided, you will be able to get some background information on where the Rapture doctrine originated. Since I plan to base my arguments primarily on Matthew 24 and Luke 17 and not on Daniel, I leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide which interpretation of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy is more plausible.

I’m sure Jesus’ disciples were troubled by His teaching on His second coming and it would be for us also were it not for the Rapture. But is the notion of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture really taught in Scripture? I plan to explore this question further in the next entry in my series on the End Times.

©2013-2024 Gerard Sczepura. All rights reserved.


  1. Hal Lindsey, There’s a New World Coming: A Prophetic Odyssey, (Santa Ana, Vision House Publishers, 1973), 77-78. 

The End Times: Hollywood’s Take

It’s undeniable that the concept of the end of the world holds a strange fascination for many people. This fact has not been overlooked by the film industry as evidenced by the number of recent apocalyptic movies released such as: Knowing (2009), 2012 (2009), The Book of Eli (2010), and many others. There were, of course, even earlier films which attempted to portray the end times such as: On the Beach (1959), The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omen (1976), Mad Max (1981) The Terminator (1984), Armageddon (1998), and End of Days (1999). The premise being depicted in most of these films is that the world can or will end through natural means such as war, disease, climate change or some other natural disaster. Some films even go so far as to suggest extraterrestrials as the antagonists.

While some movies about the end times are entertaining and even plausible, others are just totally ludicrous such as the zombie apocalypse in the anti-Israeli World War Z or the laughable climate change disaster as portrayed in the anti-American 2012. Those who don’t believe in what the Bible teaches about the end of this age are left with nothing else but to fantasize about how man can prevent or even ride out the coming apocalypse. On the other hand, the Bible presents a totally different explanation for how and why these events will come to pass.

While war and disease are certainly strong possibilities, the notion of climate change bringing about the apocalypse is ridiculous from a biblical perspective. The Bible teaches that the laws of nature won’t be changed while the earth exists as recorded in Genesis, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22 NASB)

Even though it is certain that there will be severe storms; extremes in temperature; floods and droughts; earthquakes; and volcanic eruptions, another certainty is that God is in control of the weather and He has determined that the current order of things won’t be changed.

Climate change is the least of man’s concerns; there are many other things to worry about. We can see in our day the constant threat of war including terrorism—which is still a war whether you want to accept it or not. Jesus himself predicted there would be “wars and rumors of wars” (Matt. 24:6) (Mark 13:7) before the end comes. Wars have always been with us; as the poet has said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

More troubling than wars, if that’s possible, are pandemics. Infectious disease outbreaks are becoming more frequent and deadly than they have been in the past. Worse yet, some diseases are difficult or near impossible to treat effectively including antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA, VRE, and MDR-TB. The Bible predicts such things will exist in the end times. (Rev. 6:8)

So, how does Hollywood’s take on the end times stack up against Scripture? Let’s look at a few examples:

On the Beach

This film presents a post-apocalyptic scenario which depicts the end of the world brought about by nuclear war. In the movie, almost everyone has died from radioactive fallout except for those living in Australia and those serving on an American submarine. The end of the movie depicts the death of every human being. The movie closes with a warning to the viewer that “There is still time…brother.”1 implying that man can prevent the apocalypse whereas the Bible teaches that God is going to bring it about and no one will be able to stop it.

The Last Man on Earth

This is a creepy movie about a plague that turns those affected into vampire-like creatures. There appears to be only one survivor who is immune to the disease. You can almost make a case for this scenario from a verse in Revelation which states, “And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.” (Rev. 9:6) Of course, in order to accept this possibility would take a stretch of the imagination and would certainly require reading more information into the verse than is given.

The Omen

This film is about the birth and early childhood of the antichrist or beast which is mentioned in Revelation. Most people use the terms antichrist and beast interchangeably. The apostle John refers to the antichrist or spirit of antichrist as being anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ. (1 John 4:3) (2 John 1:7) On the other hand, the references to the beast in Revelation seem to indicate that he is a specific person. (Rev. 19:20) Since the Bible doesn’t give any information about where the beast comes from; his background; or his childhood, the events depicted in the movie are pure speculation.

Armageddon

Unlike what the title implies, this movie is really about an asteroid hitting the earth and has nothing to do with the biblical references to a major battle to be fought in the Valley of Megiddo. The movie is entertaining even though it’s one or two references to the Bible are inaccurate such as the quote made by the President, “The Bible calls this day ‘Armageddon’ – the end of all things.”2 If you read the book of Revelation in the Bible, you’ll find that the battle of Armageddon is not the end of all things; there will be survivors on earth who enter into the 1000 year reign of Christ. (Rev. 19:15) (Rev. 20:7-10)

End of Days

This film was obviously inspired by the Y2K (Year 2000) hysteria that was going around during the 1990s. The movie was released in 1999 in order to take full advantage of the uncertainty surrounding what would happen if all the computer software in the world couldn’t handle four-digit dates. The movie’s premise is based on a misinterpretation of the 1000 years mentioned in the book of Revelation. Again the premise of this movie is based on an amillennial interpretation of Revelation Chapter 20, verses 7 through 8. The term “amillennial” or “amillennialism” refers to a theological belief that teaches there is no literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. Hence, the year 1999 is the last year of a 1000 years, (1999 – 1000) +1 = 1000 years, so Satan is released to wreak havoc on the earth. The movie proposes that if Satan can find a bride before the Year 2000 arrives he wins; and if one man can stop him, it would be Arnold.

The Terminator

The antagonists in The Terminator are the infernal machines developed by Cyberdyne Systems Corporation and adopted by the U.S. Air Force in a global defense network called Skynet. Skynet becomes self-aware and through a bug in programming decides that all humans are a threat. This movie capitalizes upon President Eisenhower’s fear of the “Military-Industrial Complex” and its consequences. Obviously, the movie takes these concerns to an extreme. And it’s not surprising that almost every issue of the Journal of the ACM in the 1980s contained at least one article in opposition to the development of Skynet…I mean, the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). In this film, the antagonists are corporations and the military.

Most all the other films have themes that are similar to those I’ve just described. I won’t even mention World War Z and 2012 since they are just beyond ridiculous in my opinion.

It’s clear that Hollywood is convinced that the end of the world will be brought about by man’s actions, either through war or climate change or by some natural calamity such as disease or by some extraterrestrial event. In many of the movies listed above, there is always some individual or group of heroes that steps in to save mankind from himself; in The Terminator it was Sarah Connor; in End of Days it was Jericho Cane; in Armageddon it was NASA. But according to the Bible, there won’t be a superhero that comes along to save the world; neither will man’s attempts to reduce his carbon footprint prevent the end from coming. The only hope for mankind is the King of kings and Lord of lords. (1 Tim. 6:15)

©2013-2024 Gerard Sczepura. All rights reserved.


  1. “Synopsis for On the Beach (1959),” IMDb, accessed March 3, 2015, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053137/synopsis

  2. “Armageddon (1998) Quotes,” IMDb, accessed March 3, 2015, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/quotes