The Final Sign

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, February 2, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” ~Habakkuk 2:3

Many of the fictional movies of our day revolve around the plot element of good guys and bad guys battling for the fate of the world. If the good guys win, the world will survive in peace. If the bad guys win, the world will end. The funny thing about the Bible is that the end of the world (as we know it) is the final sign that God has triumphed over the forces of evil.

Think about how poorly Hollywood understands the end of the world. One of my favorite apocalyptic movies is Hellboy. It is the story about the son of the devil, who slips through a portal in his infancy, is adopted by a human father, and is taught to fight the forces of evil with his supernatural abilities. Towards the end of the movie, you learn that Hellboy, which is the name of this demon, literally holds the key to the apocalypse in his hand and he must make a choice to either bring destruction or salvation upon the earth. Ultimately, he chooses to spare the earth, although it is foretold that one day he would give in and bring about the destruction of the world. Before pointing out everything wrong with this premise (even though it made for an extremely fun and entertaining movie that effectively taught about what it means to have free will), let me first describe the nature of end times prophecy.

THE prophetic book of the New Testament is the Book of Revelation. Revelation basically means to reveal something in a fairly clear manner. Now, end times prophecies are almost never clear, because mankind is not supposed to be prepared for the day when the end comes. If people knew when it was to come, they would make special preparations that remove the element of integrity from the faith-driven life. Revelation is a very cryptic book, and many scholars disagree concerning its interpretation and I will therefore not make the claim that any of its prophecies are clear concerning when or how the end will take place. But there is one point that is as clear as day light in the book of Revelation: the end will come.

The first thing to take note of is that the end has been appointed, as it is mentioned in Habakkuk’s prophecy. There have been many date-setters throughout the years, but thus far every single one of them has been incorrect. A date-setter, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, is typically someone who claims they have special insight into God’s plan either through his Word or through a special prophecy they have been personally given. The end has not yet occurred, therefore every one of them has been wrong.

That is not to say that it is wrong to anticipate the end or to have an idea as to when you think the end will occur. The Bible tells us to always be expectant and ready for the end so that we will not be caught unprepared. Years back, I remember that the authors of the Left Behind series (books that enact the events of the end times in a real life scenario) stated that they thought that the end was within 20 or so years. They did not say that it would end. They said that they believed it would end. I have my own personal bias concerning when the end will happen. The point is, we as humans can’t help but to speculate when the End Times will come. The reality is that nobody knows. And if anyone tells you that they do know, they are lying.

In the movie Hellboy, there is this underlying hope that the character has become a good enough person (or whatever you want to call him) that he will not choose to bring about the end of the world. But in Habakkuk’s prophecy, the end is inevitable. The end will not be brought about by mortals, angels, or even demons. God himself will bring about the end. Back in the 80’s there were some intense end of the world movies. As you watch these movies, you feel hopeless toward the main characters because they are facing the apocalypse as God is the one who ushers it in. In most cases they appease God and evade destruction, but in some cases, God fulfills his wrath.

I think that Habakkuk’s warning within his prophecy is directed toward those who are unjust: wicked Israelites and Babylonian oppressors. They sin and abuse people as though no one will hold them accountable. It is funny to think that one of the most twisted (although cool) end times movies has one of the most accurate titles concerning the ramifications of the end: Terminator 2: Judgment Day. That is what the end is truly about: judgment day. In every end times prophecy, that is the most evident of the themes. Not only will there be a conclusion to life as we know it, but God will judge between the wicked and the righteous. In the end, the good will reside forever in paradise and the wicked will suffer forever in hell.

Although I appreciate movies that portray the struggle between good and evil (with the good always winning, of course), the Bible brings a sobering dimension to the ultimate fate of the world and all that live on it. We do not control when the end will happen or how it will happen. All we are really told about the end is that it will come and we are expected to be ready when it does.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.