“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers” (I Peter 4:7).
What does the Apostle Peter mean by the phrase, “The end of all things is at hand”? The word end (τέλος; telos) means the end of a particular point of time or a fulfillment. The word may refer, in the immediate context of I Peter, to the then future destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D; I Peter having been written between 60-68 A.D.
However, it is more likely that Peter is making reference to the final consummation of Christ’s kingdom at His return. Peter is saying that this end is at hand (ἐγγίζω; engizo). This means that the return of Christ is drawing near or is imminent (James 5:8; Romans 13:11-12; Philippians 4:5; Hebrews 10:25, 37).
What Peter wants his readers to understand is that the entire period of time between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His second coming to judge the living and the dead is near or soon approaching. This doctrine is referred to as the “last times,” or the “latter days” (I Peter 1:20; Acts 2:17; I Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1). In effect, the church of Jesus Christ has always existed in the latter days immediately prior of the return of Christ.
Regarding the soon return of Christ, Jesus explicitly instructed His disciples that no one would know exactly when He would return. He said as such in Matthew 24:36-37: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
However, in spite of Jesus’ own words, ancient and modern man has continually attempted to predict when Jesus Christ would return thereby initiating the end of the world. Here is but a few examples of such bold predictions within recent years.
- July 29, 2016– The group End Times Prophecies once announced the world would end on July 29, 2016, because of something called a “polar flip.” It was predicted the stars would race across the sky and the atmosphere would be pulled along the ground. It turns out such a reversal is a common phenomenon occurring when iron shifts in the Earth’s core. This prediction turned out to be a bust, as did the group’s prognosis that former President Barack Obama would reveal himself to be the Antichrist.
- October 7, 2015– The eBible Fellowship, a Philadelphia-based Christian website run by Chris McCann, predicted the end of the world in correlation with the blood moon. (It also claimed the world would end on May 21, 2011.) “According to what the Bible is presenting it does appear that 7 October will be the day that God has spoken of: in which, the world will pass away,” McCann told The Guardian. “It’ll be gone forever. Annihilated.”
- September 27, 2015– The blood moon-supermoon phenomena generated several end-of-the-world predictions related to four consecutive and complete lunar eclipses occurring at six-month intervals for about two years. Mormon author Julie Rowe’s apocalyptic musings caused the Mormon Church to issue a statement to USA TODAY distancing itself from her statements. Hold onto your predictions, though: the blood moon-supermoon will next appear in 2033.
- April 15, 2014 – Some people thought it was the end; others just think it’s the beginning of the end. The blood moon marked the beginning of a tetrad — four consecutive and complete lunar eclipses occurring at six-month intervals — which some see as a prophecy. Specifically, Texas televangelist John Hagee (author of Blood Moons: Something is About to Change) says the blood moons signify a “world-shaking event” that begins to fulfill End Times prophecy.
- December 21, 2012– Remember this? Basically, the ancient Mayans, who ruled through Mexico and Central America until around 900 A.D., used three calendars, one of which ended on Dec. 21, 2012. This laid the groundwork for the Mayan calendar doomsday craze of 2012. People planned. People partied. It was debunked, over and over. Celebrities tweeted. The Mayans chuckled. Nothing happened.
- August/September 2011– NASA’s recap of the Comet Elenin fascination explains it for us: “Elenin somehow quickly became something of a ’cause célèbre’ for a few Internet bloggers, who proclaimed this minor comet could/would/should be responsible for causing any number of disasters to befall our planet. … NASA’s response to such wild speculations was then, in turn, speculated to be an attempt to hide the truth.”
- May 21, 2011– Harold Camping, a then-89-year-old televangelist and former president of the Family Radio Network, predicted the Rapture, initiating the end of the world with a series of worldwide earthquakes hitting at 6 p.m. People believed him. Some quit their jobs and nervously huddled in their home awaiting their moment with God. The Day of Judgment didn’t come. So, he pushed the date back to Oct. 21. Then, he stopped making predictions. Camping lived a long life and died at 92.
- January 1, 2000– The computers can’t handle an extra digit doomsayers predicted. So, the world braced for a computer database crash of catastrophic preparations. Rev. Jerry Falwell said Y2K would fulfill Christian prophecy. People who had never previously bought into end of the world theories were suddenly stockpiling canned goods in their basement. More than $100 billion was spent on Y2K fixes, the New York Times reported. When the clocked hit midnight, there were a few minor computer glitches but nothing major. Everyone survived.
The Return of Jesus Christ is near. It is at hand. I do not make this statement in order to be associated with the frequent false predictions by so-called end-times prophets. I make this statement because it is found in Scripture. Jesus is returning soon.
Are you ready for His return? When He comes, will He be your judge or your Savior? There are no other alternatives. No other options. No other choices.
Repent of your sin and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord this very moment (John 1:12-13). Then you will be able to say with me, “Our Lord, come!” (I Corinthians 15:22).
Soli deo Gloria!