Q: Will God destroy the Earth because of violence? As we see more violence everyday—in France, the U.S., Turkey, Iraq, South Sudan and other places, I remember that violence is singled out as a main reason for God’s decision to destroy the Earth with the Flood (“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. … And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Gen. 6:11, 13, NKJV.) -A.M., from the United States
A: Certainly the rapid increase of shocking violence that we are witnessing worldwide today is a sure sign that we are nearing the very end of this Earth’s history.
We are warned in 2 Timothy 3:1-3 that “in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good …” (NKJV).
Surely this text clearly describes the world today. And yet when Jesus describes the last days as being like the days of Noah (see Matt. 24:37), He doesn’t mention pre-flood violence. Instead, He focuses on how the people were so absorbed in their own lives that they didn’t heed Noah’s repeated warnings of upcoming destruction and were unprepared for the end of their world.
In the same discourse recorded in Matthew 24, Jesus highlights the fact that while His followers will face persecution and violence, the Gospel will still be preached throughout the world and then the end will come.
“They will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. … many will betray one another, and will hate one another … false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
“And because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come (vs. 9-14).
So despite the terrible things happening, Jesus’ focus is on endurance, and that the gospel will still be preached, and then the end will come. We too then, need to keep this as our focus.
When Jesus comes to “destroy those who destroy the earth,” (Rev. 11:18), violence, suffering, death, and all evil — including Satan, the instigator of it all — will be thrown into and destroyed in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14, 15). May that day come soon!