The phrase ‘time of the end’ is not the same as the ‘end of time.’ The ‘time of the end’ typically refers to the return of Christ after the seven year tribulation period, while the ‘end of time’ will not take place until after the millennial kingdom.
Some interpret the ‘time of the end’ to symbolically represent the end of the present church age.
It is an absolute Biblical certainty that the world as we know it will come to an end. The age of the Church is nearing completion. This age will be followed by seven years of great tribulation, ending with the return of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem.
Jesus’ disciples were very interested in the ‘time of the end’ and when He would return to establish His kingdom.
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying… ‘What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’” Matthew 24:3
‘End’ does in fact mean ‘termination.’ Interestingly ‘end’ in this context is from the Greek (aion) which is the same word used for ‘age.’ Therefore, each age has an ending, except the new heaven and new earth.
Jesus addressed the disciple’s question relative to the end of the current age.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines…and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7
Wars are to be expected during the present age, but they do not define the ‘end.’ In fact Jesus said that such things were just the beginning of sorrows. The use of ‘sorrows’ describe the pain experienced in childbirth. When such pain begins it will accelerate until the birth occurs.
Jesus continued by stating that mankind in general gives little thought or priority to the ‘time of the end.’ Life goes on as if the problems of the world will work themselves out without divine intervention.
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage…and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:37-39
The Bible reveals many ‘signs of the times’ provided for man to recognize the reality of prophetic Scripture, but skeptics were not convinced. Recall Jesus’ words to the Pharisees and Sadducees when they asked for a sign of Jesus’ authority.
“He answered and said to them, ‘When it is evening you say, “It will be fair weather for the sky is red.” And in the morning, “it will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.” Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.’” Matthew 16:2-3
After Jesus’ resurrection, and just prior to His ascension, the disciples asked Him if it was now the time to restore Israel as a nation.
“Therefore…they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.’” Acts 1:6-7
The prophet Daniel prophesied relative to significant events to occur at the mid-point of the great tribulation, i.e., three and a half years before the ‘time of the end.’
“And he (anti-Christ) shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints…and shall intend to change times and law…” Daniel 7:25
The anti-Christ, after initiating a false peace treaty between Israel and her enemies, will enter the rebuilt temple, blaspheme God, persecute Christians and Jews, attempt to change present Christian and Jewish holidays, and impose a different law.
Is there any hint of such movement in America and Israel today?