Some years ago, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LeHaye released a series of books called Left Behind. The movie eventually followed, and it scared the hell out of some people. The movie portrays a world thrown into chaos by the instant disappearance of a large part of its population.
The story works because it's intriguing to imagine the chaos that would occur if that many people, all over the world, instantly ceased to exist. It's only a story, of course. A preposterous one. We shake our heads at the gullibility of movie-goers, but people who saw the movie were shaking in their boots.
There have always been naysayers--those who question the-end-of-the-world-as we-know-it. They say, "Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
II Peter 3:4
So far the questioners have been right. The world has not ended. Yes, there have been frightening events. But every time a catastrophe happens the world hiccups, rights itself, and goes on as before. So why should we fear the end of the whole world?
Christians say we should fear the end of the world because God says it will end. The end is not yet, but it's still predicted, and, according to the Bible, it will literally be earth-shattering when it does come:
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. 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."
II Peter 3:10
A Warning to be Heeded?
It's beginning to look like this warning should not be taken lightly. Yes, the world has survived, for millennia, but there's no natural law that says it will go on forever. In fact there are serious indications that it might not.
For the first time in recorded history, we have the technological capability to destroy the whole global community. We are no longer dealing with hiccups. Disasters that used to spread out in gentle ripples now hit us more like tidal waves that wash up on the shores of our own beachfront properties. The bad things that happen in our world happen to us, individually and collectively as a human race, and those bad things continue to happen.
Any one of them could be the last of the world as we know it.
So should we fear the end of the world as we know it? It's a question the questioners question. But maybe it's time we started questioning the questioners.
Thankfully, there is one good reason why we don't have to worry about the end of the world as we know it. God's amazing grace gives us a warning. There are reasons to fear, of course. That's why John Newton says, in his famous hymn: "Twas grace that caused my heart to fear." It's God's grace that causes our hearts to fear, because that fear, if we confront the reality of it, can lead us to the only One who has the power and authority to relieve those fears.
For God loved the world so much that He gave us His Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.