Though believers look forward to Christ’s
return, they do not look forward to the catastrophic events described in the
Book of Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible. The “End of the Age” was
described by Christ as a time when, “there will be great tribulation such as
has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever
shall be” ( Matthew 24:21).
This time of
great punishment to befall humanity is described in the Bible as “The Day
of the Lord.” The prophet Isaiah tells us that those days of global anguish
“will come as destruction from the Almighty” and “every man’s heart will
melt and they will be afraid” (Isaiah 13: 6-8).
In the Book of
Revelation we are provided with the shocking details of that horrific time,
which will bring about the death of billions of humans and will leave the
earth in a state of total chaos and confusion.
The Day of the Lord is one more event that scoffers use to insinuate that
the Christian God is not a merciful God, but a brutal and horrible being.
Some believers might wonder why such a catastrophic climax is even
necessary. After all, they might ask, why would a God of love conclude this
age in such a traumatic way?
if God would not climax the end of the age with destruction? What if He
would conclude man’s time with a mere peaceful return of Christ without
there being all the anguish described in the book of Revelation and
First of all, let’s ask why would God show so much fury at the end of the
age? Is it simply a capricious decision on God’s part to simply dramatize
Christ’s return? Could it be that there is much more behind it all?
Let’s note, first of all, that Christ described the days preceding the time
of the end as a time when “iniquity will abound” (Matthew 24:12). In his
epistle to Timothy, Paul gave us a more detailed description of the kind of
extreme degeneracy that will prevail among humans. “For men shall be lover
of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false
accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors,
heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more that lovers of God” (II Timothy
short, the inhabitants of the earth at the end of the age will be a very
evil, cruel and fierce bunch. Wickedness will reach levels probably never
seen before, and so will the anguish and suffering that accompanies it. In
the end times, the God of righteousness who owns all things, and who has the
right to expect from humans whatever he purposes, will bear human degeneracy
no longer and will intervene to sober up all of humanity.
is critical to note that the punishments that will befall humans are not
sudden, but gradual. The intensity of God’s intervention will multiply only
because of human arrogance and its stubborn unwillingness to repent.
humanity’s reaction to the catastrophic plagues that will rain upon them and
that will kill hundreds of millions of humans: “And the rest of the men which
were not killed by those plagues yet repented not of their works of their
hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver
and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear nor walk:
neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their
fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:20-21) .
Humans, in those
days, will be so bent on evil that they will persist in their evil actions,
even though God makes His displeasure more that abundant and evident.
Though the great plagues of the last days will serve to show humanity that
God will not forebear evil, and that He will finally crush it, they will
also serve to introduce Christ to the whole world in a most memorable and
that unless He would finally intervene “there should no flesh be saved”
(Matthew 24: 22). Before the whole earth will be totally incinerated,
Christ will make His grand entrance with thousands of angels and resurrected
saints and will set up His kingdom with headquarters in Jerusalem from where
he will assert His power and will over the whole earth.
doubt the end of the age will be a horrific and traumatic time for humanity.
Yet such a dramatic conclusion is clearly merited by an exceptionally evil
and arrogant world. If God would not intervene with great punishments, human
wickedness would reach levels never before seen, as would the human anguish
that follows such levels of depravity.
God’s reestablishment of His supremacy and standards would not receive the
necessary focus, and Christ’s return would not receive the kind of dramatic
emphasis it requires.
thousands of years, humans have been left to their own devices. They have
chosen to serve The Great Deceiver, and the end result has been and will be
pain and anguish for untold millions. The great events of the last days are
God’s statement that His turn has come to rule the earth, and that He, and He
alone, is God and ruler, He alone is to be worshipped, and only His
standards of righteousness will prevail.
IS GOD CRUEL?
Michael Caputo, 2013
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