Q: Do the end times have to do with the end of the world?
A: Yes and no. How can it be both? Many people picture a catastrophic “apocalypse” such as a nuclear World War III that destroys the earth. The Bible teaches that Israel will be invaded by a coalition of armies led by the Antichrist. This war will happen during the first 3 1/2 years of Christ’s millennial reign over the earth. Scripture calls this God’s vengeance against evil, and it will end with the great supper of God (Rev. 19:17), with the Antichrist’s armies destroyed.
In case you’re wondering, the Church is already seated with Christ in Heaven before all of this comes to pass. Together we execute the righteous judgment against evil. This is partly why we are raptured before the mark of the Beast and the worship of the Beast is demanded. The other reason is because Christ has promised that we will be delivered from that wrath.
As with the Old Testament Judges, Christ’s rule will be marked first by treading the enemy underfoot and then reigning (1 Cor. 15:25). What we think of as the “final judgment” comes at the end of Christ’s reign, when Jesus turns over the Kingdom to the Father.
Here’s where the plot twist happens. God creates a new earth and new heavens (the atmosphere around the earth). This is necessary because our current earth has been corrupted by the Fall of mankind when sin brought death and destruction to the earth. This “end” is a new beginning—eternity future. The Bible calls this unknown Day and hour the Perfect Day because there is no darkness in it. There is no night with this Day—for the Son of Man is its Sun!