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HAVE you ever watched the news and thought, ‘Can things get any worse?’ There is so much tragedy and cruelty that some people believe we must be close to the end of the world. Is that true? Is there a way to know what will happen in the future? Yes. Although humans cannot predict what will happen, Jehovah God can. He tells us in the Bible about our future and the earth’s future. Isaiah 46:10(From the beginning I foretell the outcome,And from long ago the things that have not yet been done.I say, ‘My decision will stand, And I will do whatever I please.James 4:14(whereas you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears.)
2, 3. What did Jesus’ disciples want to know, and how did Jesus answer them?
2 When we read in the Bible about the end of the world, it means, not the end of planet Earth, but the end of wickedness. Jesus taught people that the Kingdom of God would rule over the earth. Luke 4:43But he said to them: “I must also declare the good news of the Kingdom of God to other cities, because for this I was sent.” His disciples wanted to know when God’s Kingdom would come, and they asked Jesus: “When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?”Matthew 24:3While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives,b the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presencec and of the conclusion of the system of things? Jesus did not give them the exact date, but he told them what would happen just before the end of this world. What Jesus said would happen is happening right now.
3 In this chapter we will discuss evidence that we are living in the time just before the end of the world. First, we need to learn about a war that took place in heaven so that we can understand why things are so bad here on earth.
A WAR IN HEAVEN
4, 5. (a) What happened in heaven soon after Jesus became King? (b) According to Revelation 12:12On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea,w because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”, what would happen on earth after Satan was thrown down?
4 In Chapter 8 we learned that Jesus became King in heaven in 1914.Daniel 7:13, 14“I kept watching in the visions of the night, and look! with the clouds of the heavens, someone like a son of man was coming; and he gained access to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him up close before that One. And to him there were given rulership, honor, and a kingdom, that the peoples, nations, and language groups should all serve him. His rulership is an everlasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom will not be destroyed. The book of Revelation tells us what happened: “War broke out in heaven: Michael [meaning, Jesus] and his angels battled with the dragon [Satan], and the dragon and its angels battled.” (*Michael the Archangel) Satan and his demons lost the war and were thrown down to the earth. Imagine the joy that the angels felt! But what about the people on earth? The Bible says that it would be a time of trouble for mankind. Why? Because the Devil is very angry, “knowing that he has a short period of time.”Revelation 12:7And war broke out in heaven: Miʹcha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 9 So down the great dragonj was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him 12On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea,w because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”.
5 The Devil is causing as much trouble as he can on earth. He’s furious because he has a short time left before God removes him. Let us examine what Jesus said would happen during the last days.—See Endnote 24The Last Days.
THE LAST DAYS
6, 7. What can be said about war and hunger today?
6 War. Jesus said: “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” Matthew 24:7For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another.More people have been killed in wars in our time than at any other time in history. One report from the Worldwatch Institute shows that since 1914, wars have killed more than 100 million people. More than three times as many people were killed in wars during the 100 years between 1900 and 2000 as were killed during the previous 1,900 years. Just imagine the misery and pain that millions of people have felt because of war!
8, 9. What shows that Jesus’ prophecies about earthquakes and disease have come true?
8 Earthquakes. Jesus prophesied: “There will be great earthquakes.” Luke 21:11 Many powerful earthquakes are now expected every year. Since the year 1900, over two million people have died because of earthquakes. And although technology has helped to detect earthquakes earlier than before, many people still die.
9 Disease. Jesus foretold that there would be “pestilences.” Dangerous diseases would spread quickly and kill many. Luke 21:11There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs. Even though doctors have learned how to treat many sicknesses, there are still sicknesses that cannot be cured. In fact, one report explains that each year, millions of people die from diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, and cholera. Not only that, but doctors have found 30 new diseases, and some of them have no cure.
WHAT PEOPLE WOULD BE LIKE IN THE LAST DAYS
(But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power;b and from these turn away.)
10 At 2 Timothy 3:1-5, the Bible says: “In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.” The apostle Paul described how many people would behave during the last days. He said people would
disobey their parents
not be loyal
lack affection for their family
have no self-control
be violent and aggressive
love pleasures more than God
pretend to love God but refuse to obey him
11. According to Psalm 92:7, what will happen to wicked people?
11 Do many people behave like this where you live? All over the world, many do. But God will soon do something about it. He promises: “When the wicked sprout like weeds and all the wrongdoers flourish, it is that they may be annihilated [or, destroyed] forever.”—Psalm 92:7When the wicked sprout like weeds, And all the wrongdoers flourish,It is that they may be annihilated forever.
GOOD NEWS IN THE LAST DAYS
12, 13. What has Jehovah taught us during the last days?
12 The Bible foretold that during the last days, the world would be full of pain and suffering. But the Bible also says that good things will happen.
13 Understanding the Bible. The prophet Daniel wrote about the last days. He said: “The true knowledge will become abundant.” Daniel 12:4As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant. God would give his people the ability to understand the Bible more clearly than ever before. Jehovah has done this especially since 1914. For example, he has taught us the importance of his name and his purpose for the earth as well as the truth about the ransom, what happens when we die, and the resurrection. We have learned that only God’s Kingdom can solve all our problems. We have also learned how to be happy and how to live in a way that pleases God. But what do God’s servants do with what they’ve learned? Another prophecy gives us the answer.—See Endnotes 21The Ransom and 25Resurrection.
14. Where is the good news of the Kingdom being preached, and who are preaching it?
14 The global preaching work. Speaking about the last days, Jesus said: “This good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth.” Matthew 24:3While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” 14And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. The good news of the Kingdom is being preached in over 230 lands and in more than 700 languages. Yes, all over the earth, Jehovah’s Witnesses from “all nations and tribes” are helping people to understand what the Kingdom is and what it will do for mankind. Revelation 7:9 After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands. And they do this free of charge. Although they are hated and persecuted by many, nothing can stop the preaching work, just as Jesus prophesied.—Luke 21:17and you will be hated by all people because of my name.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
15. (a) Do you believe that we are living in the last days, and why? (b) What will happen to those who obey Jehovah and to those who don’t?
15 Do you believe that we are living in the last days? Many Bible prophecies about the last days are coming true. Soon Jehovah will decide to stop the preaching of the good news and “the end” will come. Matthew 24:14And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations,q and then the end will come.What is the end? It is Armageddon, when God will remove all wickedness. Jehovah will use Jesus and his powerful angels to destroy anyone who refuses to obey Him and his Son. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9This takes into account that it is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for you. But you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength,After that, Satan and his demons will not mislead people. And all those who want to obey God and accept his Kingdom will see every promise of God come true.—Revelation 20:1-3“As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end.Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.” 21:3-5With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” And the One seated on the thronej said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
16. Since the end is so close, what do you need to do?
16 This world ruled by Satan will soon come to its end. So it is very important that we ask ourselves, ‘What do I need to do?’ Jehovah wants you to learn as much as you can from the Bible. You need to take your study seriously. John 17:3After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands. Jehovah’s Witnesses have meetings every week to help people understand the Bible. Try to attend those meetings regularly. Read Hebrews 10:24, 25And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near.If you learn that you need to make changes, don’t be afraid to make them. As you make them, your friendship with Jehovah will become stronger.James 4:8Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you indecisive ones
17. Why will most people be surprised when the end comes?
17 The apostle Paul explained that the destruction of the wicked will come when most people don’t expect it, “as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2For you yourselves know very well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. Jesus prophesied that many would choose to ignore the evidence that we’re living in the last days. He said: “Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man [or, the last days] will be. For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.”—Matthew 24:37-39For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.
18. What warning did Jesus give us?
18 Jesus warned that we should not become distracted “with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life.” He said that the end will come suddenly, “as a snare.” He also said that it “will come upon all those dwelling on the face of the whole earth.” Then he added: “Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication [or, praying very sincerely] that you may succeed in escaping all these things that must occur and in standing before the Son of man.”Luke 21:34-36“But pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you as a snare. For it will come upon all those dwelling on the face of the whole earth. Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that must occur and in standing before the Son of man.” Why is it so important to listen to Jesus’ warning? Because very soon Satan’s wicked world will be destroyed. Only those who are approved by Jehovah and Jesus will survive the end and live forever in the new world.John 3:16“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. 2 Peter 3:13But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.
Creation date: Oct 14, 2020 4:49pm Last modified date: Oct 30, 2020 10:23pm Last visit date: Oct 30, 2020 3:53pm
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