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Timeline for the end of the world?

When will the world as we know it end? Will there be a rapture? Must we first leave the church?

Thank you for asking a question on This is your Bible.

According to Christ it is not possible for us to know, or work out from scripture, the date when Christ will return to judge this world in righteousness.

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

If it was possible to work out the date from scripture, Christ would have known when it was. He warns us not to take any notice of those who claim knowledge of the ‘time’.

NRSV Luke 21:8 And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.

What we are told is to keep an eye on the ‘signs of the times’.

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

What we understand as the ‘signs of the times’ depends on how well we know what is prophesied in the Bible.

The Gregorian calendar is so unreliable that we don’t even know the year of Christ’s birth, much less the date of his return. We should be ready for his return each day of our life in Christ.

Mark 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

My advice is to stay clear of any who claim to have ‘worked out’ the date of Christ’s return from scripture.

The history of Christianity is full of ‘end dates’ which came and went without Christ’s return and I doubt that 2011 will be different. The scripture which tells believers to ‘get out of the church’ comes in Revelation 18.

Revelation 18:2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

‘Babylon’ refers back to Revelation 17.

Revelation 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Described in verse 6:

6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus

And in verse 18:

18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

The woman, without doubt, represents the apostate Christian Church with its headquarters in Rome. This Christian church was responsible for the deaths of those she deemed ‘heretics’ from the end of the fourth century onwards. This Christian church ruled over kings in the days of the Holy Roman Empire. The Church of England exists as a witness to the throwing off of the Papal yoke by Henry VIII. Napoleon crowned himself to show that the church no longer ruled over him. What we should note is that the Mother is said to have ‘harlot’ daughters. I believe this to refer to the churches that came into being at the reformation (of which the Church of England is but one) which kept the false doctrines of their apostate Mother.

Those doctrines include the trinity, immortality of the soul, heaven going at death, hell as a place of eternal torment etc. When we are told to ‘Come out of her, my people’ we need to make sure that in doing so we don’t join one of her daughters which teaches the same doctrines.

There are many churches but just one Bible. The vast majority must therefore be astray from the Bible. Choice must be made with care.

The word ‘church’ in the New Testament is the word ‘ecclesia’ which does not refer to a building but a ‘congregation’.

Acts 14:27... when they were come, and had gathered the church together...

Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ...

Church in the New Testament never means a building. The use of the word ‘church’ to mean a building is just another piece of apostasy. Because of the misuse of the word, Christadelphians use the word ‘ecclesia’ to describe the congregation and ‘meeting room’ to describe where they congregate.

I hope this helps.

God bless,
Glenn Smith

 
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