5 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Biological Extinction? I can't say.

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: not clear on your timeline

Submitted by Michael S (United States), May 17, 2015 at 10:40

Good morning, Waz; and a happy and victorious Jerusalem Day to you!

You said,

"Are you saying there will be a biological extinction (meaning only all human life) within 1000 years - which is what you've said Hawkings said? And the Bible agrees with this? But only mass carnage in the ensuing next few years?"

That's close to what I said. I was emphasizing that there will not be a biological extinction until at least 1000 years from now, according to what I quoted from Revelation. As for Hawkings, he spoke more generally. He has been attributed as saying that humankind cannot continue to exist on this planet beyond about 1000 years; and that we need to put in place a program of colonization of outer space to compensate for this. The "1000 years" was the connecting theme between Hawkings and Revelation.

I made a second distinction, which you may not have noticed, between the first "Battle of Armageddon", coinciding with the coming of the Messianic Age, on the one hand, and the earlier "Gog, of the land of Magog" attack on Israel. The latter is spoken of in Ezekiel 38-39, and describes a purely Islamic attack on Israel by Turkey, Iran, Sudan and Libya. My emphasis here, is that this "Islamic" attack will be over with several years before the "Armageddon" attack begins.

If that isn't hard enough to follow, yet a third battle is prophesied in Revelation at the end of the 1000 years, an attack on Israel by the nations of the world against Messianic rule. The passage describing this uses the expression "Gog and Magog", to signify the farthest reaches of the earth -- leading many to confuse this "final rebellion" with the much more limited "Islamic" battle of Ezekiel 38-39.

In all this, I hope you can appreciate that most popular imaginations of "Armageddon" and "The Apocalypse" do not accord well with what the Bible actually says.

You are the one who brought up the issue of "extinction of species". I don't think the Bible directly addresses such a possibility. At the end of the Messianic age, after the final rebellion, a supernatural event called the "final judgment" takes place, wherein every human spirit is judged according to his/her works:

Rev. 20:
[12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
[13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
[14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
[15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

This passage sums up the longing of people who trust that God is just, and that He will recompense in eternity those who seem to have escaped justice on earth. Of all the world religions, only the Christian Bible, to my knowledge, speaks so explicitly about this "setting things in order". It is preceded by the verse:

[11] And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

and followed by the passage:

Rev. 21:
[1] And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
[2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

both of the above passages speak about "heaven and earth" (that is, the whole physical universe as we know it) from the point of view of culpable human spirits. By the time of the Final Judgment, all humans will have been exposed to the word of God and seen it worked out in human flesh during the Messianic Age; so all mankind will be in the "culpable" category. No mention is made, however, of animals, microbes, etc. Their fate is not described, other than to say that our new existence (in the New Jerusalem, for those judged worthy; else in the eternal Lake of Fire) will no longer be connected with what we now perceive as physical reality.

As a side-note for the doctrinally inclined, I believe the "rapture" that so many think will happen before the coming of Messiah actually describes the above, last-of-the-last-days transformation of human spirits out of the physical world.

I'd better not add to this here. It's not an easy matter to understand. I personally only feel confident describing what I have shown here.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Biological Extinction? I can't say. by Michael S

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)