The End of the World is not the End of the World

I published my first book of eschatology in 1998 (The Bible and the Future), and I’ve written several more books on the topic over the course of the next 20 years. My most recent book on the End Times is Summary of Future Events. In addition, my study of Sacred Scripture and of private revelations (Fatima, La Salette, Medjugorje, Garabandal, Akita, etc.) have contributed to my understanding of the subject. So it pains me to see so much false information on the apocalypse promoted by misguided uniformed persons, whether in books or on the internet.

As for the portrayal of the End Times in movies and TV shows, nothing could be further from the truth.

This post corrects a common misunderstanding. You see, the Apocalypse, aka the End Times or the Tribulation or the End of Days, is not literally the end of the world. Not at all.

The Apocalypse or tribulation is divided into two parts, with a long respite in-between:
1. first part of the tribulation (21st century)
2. inter-tribulation period (21st to 25th century)
3. second part of the tribulation (25th century, specifically, 2430 to 2437)

So, when the tribulation begins, with the nuclear bomb attack on New York City (probably in summer of 2022), the End Times will have begun, but the End of the End Times is not for another several hundred years.

During the first part of the tribulation, the sufferings become more and more severe, with a brief decrease in suffering after the events of the four horsemen are completed (before the Fifth Seal). Many persons will imagine that the human race could not survive these severities. But about one third of the human race will survive the first part of the tribulation, while another two-thirds perish in the sufferings.

Afterward, there will be a time of peace, holiness, and rebuilding — lasting only 25 years or so. The Church will retain peacefulness and holiness for much longer. But as the second part of the tribulation approaches, the members of the Church will become, for the most part, very prone to grave sins.

Now the second part of the tribulation will be much more severe than the first part, but also shorter. The reign of the Antichrist is less than seven years. His reign is divided into two parts, the first is 1010 days in length, and the second is 1290 days in length, for a total reign of 2300 days. The calendar of that time will have 12 months of 30 days each, So his reign is 6 years plus 140 days in length.

But after the fall of the Antichrist, there is a brief time of repentance (45 days), and then Jesus Christ returns. Next, there is more time for repentance. Then Christ strikes the world with the last afflictions of the tribulation, this time only on the unrepentant wicked. Finally, the unrepentant wicked are defeated and thrown into Hell. The First Resurrection occurs, in which only Saints and martyrs are Resurrected. Then the repentant human persons who are left on earth rebuild the world. Christ ascends to Heaven again, and the Church rules over the whole world. Everyone on earth will be Catholic Christian in that holy time.

[Revelation 20]
{20:1} And I saw an Angel, descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the abyss and a great chain.
{20:2} And he apprehended the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and he bound him for a thousand years.
{20:3} And he cast him into the abyss, and he closed and sealed it, so that he would no longer seduce the nations, until the thousand years are completed. And after these things, he must be released for a brief time.

Satan will be bound, along with his devils, so that they cannot tempt the human race.

[Isaiah]
{65:19} And I will exult in Jerusalem, and I will rejoice in my people. And neither a voice of weeping, nor a voice of outcry, will be heard in her anymore.
{65:20} There will no longer be an infant of only a few days there, nor an elder who does not complete his days. For a mere child dies at a hundred years of age, and a sinner of a hundred years will be accursed.
{65:21} And they will build houses, and will inhabit them. And they will plant vineyards, and will eat their fruits.
{65:22} They will not build, so that another may inhabit. They will not plant, so that another may eat. For according to the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people. And the works of their hands will be long-standing.

Most human persons will live very long lives of well over 100 years. The human race will still be fallen and will still sin, but the reign of sin will have ended.

[Revelation]
{20:7} And when the thousand years will have been completed, Satan shall be released from his prison, and he will go out and seduce the nations which are upon the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog. And he will gather them together for battle, those whose number is like the sand of the sea.
{20:8} And they climbed across the breadth of the earth, and they encompassed the camp of the Saints and the Beloved City.
{20:9} And fire from God descended from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who seduced them, was cast into the pool of fire and sulphur,
{20:10} where both the beast and the false prophetess shall be tortured, day and night, forever and ever.

Then, after about 1200 years or so, Satan will be released and permitted to tempt humanity. Many will fall away, and they will attack the City of Jerusalem and the Saints of the Church. Then God simply destroys them, sending the reprobate souls and fallen angels to Hell. Notice that the beast (the Antichrist) and the false prophetess were already in Hell. They were sent to Hell before the long time of peace and holiness.

Only after all of the above events does the general Resurrection occur. Then God makes a new Heaven but also a new earth.

So the world never truly ends. When God makes the new earth, He does so by radical transformation of the existing world, not by obliterating the world and making a new one from scratch. The new earth continues forever. So, in point of fact, the world never truly ends.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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3 Responses to The End of the World is not the End of the World

  1. Denis says:

    Ron, the worldwide-witnessed ‘destruction’ of the Twin Towers in NYC on 911, each 110 stories disappearing in under 10 seconds, defies a known physical explanation, the ‘official’ explanation of a ‘pancake’ effect would have taken over 90 seconds to occur. Some commentators have likened it to the opening of a ‘portal’ and (considering the direction morals have been taking ever since) it is in this context that I would like your opinion on whether there is ANY way that you could see 911 as being that initial Tribulation event in NYC?

    • Ron Conte says:

      I disagree that the destruction of the Twin Towers “defies a known physical explanation.” And, No, the initial event of the Tribulation cannot be the 911 attacks. That event did not start WW3. Also, it was not preceded by the Warning, Consolation, and Miracle. According to Fr. Gobbi, the year 2000 would be the start of a long series of events, culminating in the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So the terrorist attacks can be seen as part of the set of events leading up to the tribulation, and the tribulation eventually leads to that triumph of Mary. But the nuclear bomb attack on NYC is the formal start of the tribulation, as it is the first event of the First Seal: WW3.

  2. Denis says:

    Thanks Ron, that really helps put things in perspective.

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