Will the Earth Come to an End?
“THE end of the world never goes out of style, at least as far as film is concerned.” So stated columnist John Scalzi. Why are audiences captivated by movies depicting the end of the world? “Because they speak to our fears,” reasoned Scalzi. Would you agree? Do we have legitimate reasons to be fearful about how and when the earth—and all life upon it—might come to an end?
Almost daily, we hear of natural disasters wreaking havoc around the globe. Terrifying footage of such destruction is replayed over and over on TV and on the Internet. When we are bombarded with images of real people and real places being destroyed, it is easy to view the end of the world as an actual threat and not just the stuff of movies.
Fueling such fears, scientists theorize about how the earth might end. Some even predict what might be called earth’s expiration date. In March 2008, the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society reported that a pair of astronomers forecast that in approximately 7.59 billion years, the sun will engulf and vaporize our planet.
Will the earth really expire someday?
Does Our Planet Have an Expiration Date?
The Bible assures us: “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” (Ecclesiastes 1:4, New International Version) Jehovah God securely “founded the earth upon its established places” and designed it to last “to time indefinite, or forever.” (Psalm 104:5) Do these inspired words of God sound too good to be true? Why should you believe that our earth will not expire, when some scientists claim otherwise?
Well, think for a moment about products on the shelf at a store. Some are labeled with an expiration date. Who set that date? Was it just an educated guess by the store manager? Of course not! The manufacturer determined the expiration date. We trust that date because the manufacturer knows his products better than anyone else. How much more so should we trust the Maker of our planet! His Word clearly states that he “solidly fixed the earth” to last forever. There is no expiration date—ever!—Psalm 119:90.
Is it possible, though, that irresponsible humans might spoil the planet beyond recovery? Absolutely not! Unlike human manufacturers, Jehovah is “able to do all things.” (Job 42:2) That is why he can confidently guarantee: “My word that goes forth from my mouth will . . . have certain success.” (Isaiah 55:11) We can be sure that “our Maker” will not allow anything to stop him from carrying out his purpose for the earth. (Psalm 95:6) What is that purpose, and how will God fulfill it?
God’s Kingdom Will Carry Out His Purpose
In addition to guaranteeing that the earth will never expire, God’s Word also tells us that he “formed it even to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 45:18) Although our earth has been inhabited for thousands of years, that in itself has not fulfilled God’s purpose.
Jehovah is a “happy God” and “a lover of justice.” (1 Timothy 1:11; Psalm 37:28) His purpose is for all humans to live happily and free from injustice. In order to carry out his purpose, God foretold that he would set up one Kingdom in the heavens that will rule over the entire earth. (Daniel 2:44) While on earth, Jesus regularly spoke about God’s Kingdom government. He encouraged his disciples to pray for it because he knew of all the blessings that were in store for the earth under the reign of that Kingdom. (Matthew 6:9, 10; 24:14) What are some of those blessings?
▪ Peace and security will prevail because God promises to end all wars.—Psalm 46:9.
▪ There will be ample food for all.—Psalm 72:16.
▪ Health care will not be an issue because “no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’”—Isaiah 33:24.
▪ Grieving will not be necessary, for “death will be no more.”—Revelation 21:4.
▪ God promises that his people will build their own houses, live in security, and “be joyful forever.”—Isaiah 65:17-24.
No doubt you long to enjoy conditions like those outlined above. Jehovah has a fiery zeal—a burning desire—to carry out all that he has foretold. (Isaiah 9:6, 7) Yet, you may wonder: ‘It has been thousands of years since God’s promises were recorded in the Bible. Why have they not yet been fulfilled?’
God’s Patience Leads to Our Salvation
Rest assured that “Jehovah is not slow respecting his promise.” The Bible explains that God has been lovingly demonstrating patience with us. Thus, we are encouraged to “consider the patience of our Lord as salvation.” (2 Peter 3:9, 15) But why has God’s patience been necessary for salvation?
First of all, God knows that before he can provide righteous humans with a secure and prosperous home, he will have to “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” (Revelation 11:18) However, because he loves humans, Jehovah “does not desire any to be destroyed.” Consequently, our heavenly Father has been patiently trying “to warn the wicked one from his wicked way.” To that end, Jehovah is having the message about his Kingdom preached worldwide. * (Ezekiel 3:17, 18) All who respond favorably to God’s warning and bring their life into harmony with his righteous principles will be granted salvation and enjoy everlasting life on a paradise earth.
Turn to God and Be Saved
For a certainty, the Bible has “good news” for us. (Matthew 24:14) It gives us God’s unfailing word that our earth will never come to an end! Moreover, according to Bible prophecies, we can have faith that “just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more.” Soon, only those righteous in God’s eyes “will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:9-11, 29; Matthew 5:5; Revelation 21:3, 4) Until then, God will continue to call out patiently: “Turn to me and be saved, all you at the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 45:22) How will you respond?
Why not make it your determination to turn to God? Psalm 37:34 exhorts us: “Hope in Jehovah and keep his way, and he will exalt you to take possession of the earth.” Jehovah’s Witnesses will be happy to assist you in learning more about God’s eternal purpose for the earth and how you can live to see that purpose become a reality.
^ par. 21 In obedience to Jesus’ command at Matthew 28:19, 20, over seven million of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 236 lands spend about one and a half billion hours each year teaching people about God’s grand purpose for this earth.
[Picture Credit Line on page 22]