What if the World Doesn’t End?

What If The World Doesnt End

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” – Matthew 24:36 ESV

Many people seem to have a morbid fascination with the end of the world. We love fantasizing about all the ways civilization might meet its end. Christians seem to almost lead this pack, including a steady stream of end time predictions and bestselling fiction. I propose that our continual morbid craving for the apocalypse has infected our culture, our beliefs, and our actions in such a way as to rob us of our power to change the world.

In my own community, I remember noticing what was almost more disappointment than relief when we woke up on January 1st, 2000 to the same world as the day before. “What, not even a little chaos?!?” The failing of Y2K to bring even a power grid down caused some to even have a crisis of faith. How much have we handicapped ourselves, and Christ for that matter, by living in constant anticipation of oblivion?

Checking Out Early

Because we constantly view this world through the lens of looking for evidence of imminent and irreversible destruction, we are missing out on opportunities to improve it. Yes, this world has a lot of problems, but it has also come a long way. Remember that in our past we have owned slaves, had legal segregation, even killed each other by thousands in a civil war. It makes me laugh when people say, “the good old days.” What particular time period are we nostalgic for?

Related: 10 Cliches Christians Should Never Use – by Christian Piatt

The problems we face today are not evidence of our doom, they are opportunities to show Christ to the world. The problems we have overcome are not evidence of our corruption, but of our potential to change. Christians looking for the end are checking out early. The fields are vast, and the workers are few.

A Community Instead of a Cult

The power of the Gospel is for growing and building communities who can lift each other up, serve each other, and be a witness of Christ in the world. Only cults think in terms of “leaving the world behind.” We are the salt and light of the world, we don’t leave it behind, we preserve it and illuminate it.

End time theories and fantasies, such as the famous Left Behind series, have turned many of us into “tinfoil hat” paranoid conspiracy theorists. Instead of taking political movements and changes at face value, we inject them with Satanic subplots and hidden agendas. We literally demonize and demagogue those we do not agree with, accusing them of dark motives instead of allowing for reasonable dialog from different points of view.

The Problem of Prophecy

The greatest mistake humanity has always had with prophecy is that what we think is important is not necessarily what is important to God. We think nations, leaders, boundaries, and policies are important, but Heaven values ideas, cultures, and a baby born in a stable who never had any power as we define it. In the end, all the prophecy in Scripture is probably about events we may not even notice at the time.

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Also by Yaholo: What if Prayer Lists were Work Lists?

What If We Are Responsible?

Scriptures promise a new heaven and new earth, but what if it is a promise of what the Church, the Bride of Christ is working toward? We think God is just going to burn everything down and rebuild it for us. What if the Church is the method building that world? The world today is already much better than world Christ came into. What if the “end” is really just our completed work, and Christ’s completed work in us. What if the new beginning isn’t a punishment, but a reward?

Pascal’s Wager Add’l

The french philosopher, Pascal, made the point that believing in God is logical because if you’re wrong, you lose nothing. If an atheist is wrong, they have a lot to lose. I say the same about the end of the world. If I am wrong, and the world does end in an apocalypse, the pursuit of a better world would drive us to serve Christ and serve others, instead of checking out early saying “it’s all just doomed anyway.” If we thought we could build a new world, how much more motivated would we be? After all…

“Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” – Matthew 24:46 ESV


Yaholo Hoyt is a practical mystic, a passionate writer, a paltry poet, and an old-school Jesus freak. You can find him at http://yaholo.net or read his blog at http://practicalchristianmysticism.blogspot.com

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About the Author

Yaholo Hoyt

Yaholo HoytYaholo Hoyt is a practical mystic, a passionate writer, a paltry poet, and an old-school Jesus freak. You can find him at http://yaholo.net or grab his book at "What If Christians Grew Up?"View all posts by Yaholo Hoyt →

  • otrotierra

    Jesus himself didn’t know and furthermore declares that others in fact do not know either. As followers of Jesus, we are liberated from the myths of premillennial dispensationalism.

    • http://yaholo.net/ Yaholo

      “premillennial dispensationalism” – only good for Scrabble

  • Frank

    If someone thinks the world will not end they are calling every one of Gods messengers and Jesus a liar.

    That being said Yaholos point that we must still actively engage the world with the Gospel is correct.

  • Drew

    Thought this was a good post. There is some things I would add, but I wouldn’t change anything you said or subtract from it… all good stuff.

    • http://yaholo.net/ Yaholo

      Thanks Drew, with blogging there is always a little pain with what you leave out to keep it short.

  • Bill

    Now that I think about it, there may be more truth to your perspective than the one I seem to be plagued with: that of expecting imminent “judgment,” along with its plagues, retribution, and slaughter. For fifty years I have endured listening to Christian leaders saying that Jesus may return tomorrow, and warning outsiders that they’ll be sorry if they don’t “join” now. During Jesus’ life there was a Jewish expectation of a Messiah who would deliver them from Roman oppression and establish a new order with Israel as the center of power. Considering the disgust shown by his contemporaries regarding anything Gentile, they would have rejected anything involving redemption of the outside world. Judgment, punishment, and the satisfaction of some twisted notion of justice was what they wanted. That’s pretty much the way things are today, huh? Jesus did talk about judgment, but it appears that he often directed it toward those who who were quickest to judge or who were caught up in their own fantasy of righteous indignation.

    Your quote from Matthew 24:46 clears the air for me, what we should be focused on is the preparation of the Master’s house for his return, not building walls around it. And it also appears that the harvest is still plentiful, as when Jesus saw it, particularly when we look outside of this spiritually bogged down country. If I understand you correctly, if the followers of Christ are busy about building his eternal kingdom then they need not be overly concerned with the time of his return. They won’t miss it when he comes: they won’t be left behind.

    • http://yaholo.net/ Yaholo

      Bill,

      You couldn’t have nailed the spirit of the article better, and it means a lot to me for you to take the time to leave such a thoughtful comment.

      Debating eschatology can be about as productive as arguing Apple vs. PC or whether Star Trek is better than Star Wars. Everyone has a theory, and they will likely defend it unwaveringly. Instead, it is more productive to focus on how our beliefs effect our actions.

      Thanks!

  • jmr

    “The world today is already much better than world Christ came into.” I have to disagree with this statement. I might live in a part of the world where life is easy, people are free, and we haven’t had to worry about a war for several generations, but there are so many parts of the world that are worse or just as bad off as they were two thousand years ago, or ten thousand years ago. This article assumes the Darwinian idea of progress over time. True, our techonology is progressing, but our society is not. The world isn’t getting any better. There are still huge problems with slavery (sex traficking is a huge problem) poverty (how many millions of people don’t have access to adequate nutrition or clean drinking water?) war (we keep coming up with more horrific ways to kill each other) and disease (sure we can cure things that use to be killers, but new diseases like AIDS keep popping up to take their place). God doesn’t want us arguing over interpretations of the end times, but I don’t think that there is any indication in the Bible or human history that things are improving on a world-wide scale. We still face the exact same problems people in Jesus day faced–greed, hatred, injustice, etc. None of these have been reduced or elimintated in the 2,000 years the church has existed.

    • http://yaholo.net/ Yaholo

      There are parts of the world which are very much like the times Jesus lived in. However, I would argue that those examples simply support the idea of progress. We help those people and countries in the hopes of progressing them to a standard which we are now familiar with. In the time of of Christ, we would have nothing to compare them to.

      In that same light, St. Augustine does a great comparison of how even warfare and politics changed in just a few centuries after Christ in the book “The City of God.” He pointed out how the “spoils of war” became seen as barbaric among nations. Progress in one nation is not invalidated by lack of progress in another, and different nations have made progress in different areas.

      Also, through the leadership of the church, society has learned to run hospitals and schools. Churches are still establishing hospitals and schools. That seems like pretty clear progress. I would encourage to stop and think through what the average person’s life was like in the time Christ and compare it to your own.

  • jmr

    “The world today is already much better than world Christ came into.” I have to disagree with this statement. I might live in a part of the world where life is easy, people are free, and we haven’t had to worry about a war for several generations, but there are so many parts of the world that are worse or just as bad off as they were two thousand years ago, or ten thousand years ago. This article assumes the Darwinian idea of progress over time. True, our techonology is progressing, but our society is not. The world isn’t getting any better. There are still huge problems with slavery (sex traficking is a huge problem) poverty (how many millions of people don’t have access to adequate nutrition or clean drinking water?) war (we keep coming up with more horrific ways to kill each other) and disease (sure we can cure things that use to be killers, but new diseases like AIDS keep popping up to take their place). God doesn’t want us arguing over interpretations of the end times, but I don’t think that there is any indication in the Bible or human history that things are improving on a world-wide scale. We still face the exact same problems people in Jesus day faced–greed, hatred, injustice, etc. None of these have been reduced or elimintated in the 2,000 years the church has existed.

  • bgilman45

    Wait… im confused. Are there any Christians out there who are saying that we should not bother trying to make the world a better place and should not bother pursuing social justice because the rapture and apocolypse are coming soon?
    I’ll be honest. I have NEVER heard that argument by any Christian.

    • Kai

      My uncle has completely given up on holding down a job, or taking care of himself, all because he believes the rapture is any day now.

  • Vince

    A lot of what if’s in this paragraph. Do you have any bible verses that back any of this up?
    Scriptures promise a new heaven and new earth, but what if it is a promise of what the Church, the Bride of Christ is working toward? We think God is just going to burn everything down and rebuild it for us. What if the Church is the method building that world? The world today is already much better than world Christ came into. What if the “end” is really just our completed work, and Christ’s completed work in us. What if the new beginning isn’t a punishment, but a reward?

  • Jesus Jones

    Why would you speak this word, “morbid” for about having a fixation with our planets end? I have heard about morbid obsession with death but never with an armaggedon and apocolypse. Does anybody here no its wrong to twist the words of an Old Testament verse of scripture, make a man an offender for a word to justify demonizing,incriminating men who compliment ladies bosoms,cleavages and rears? The Bible never spoke this lie into being and said disrespect men and their compliments call it “sexual” “hassling”. Those who act like immature ten year old girls tattling to the cops will burn in hell for lying about mens compliments as will everyone else who believes this folly. God does not love us now to set us free from our earthly prisons.

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