World = Heavens + Earth
The first “heavens and earth” are referred to as “the world (kosmos: orderly arrangement) that then was.” This first world was destroyed by the flood. 2 Peter 3:5-6 When will the present heavens and earth of our “world,” or orderly arrangement, come to an end?
“…the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements (something orderly in arrangement) will be destroyed (loosened) with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up (or wholly consumed).” 2 Peter 3:10
We are certainly in this day as we see the elements of our earth-society and decent principles “melting down” before our eyes. We also see the heavens, the spiritual powers of religious organization and power “pass away” as they have less and less influence. 2 Peter 3:12
Jesus spoke about his return and “the end of the age” or the “end of the world” in Matthew 24:3 One of the signs that we are at the door of this final collapse is the fig tree, the nation of Israel, putting forth its leaves or showing signs of life as a nation. Matthew 24:32-33 He states that “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” So we are definitely “at the doors” of the end of the age.
The faithful Christians will receive their heavenly reward before the full ‘end of the world.’
The elect, or church of God in heavenly glory, and Christ will cut short this final “tribulation”, so that people will continue living on this earth. “For then will be great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake (the channel of an act) of the elect those days shall be cut short.” Matthew 24:21-22 See also Revelation 19:8, 11-15 A final part of this trouble will be all nations gathering against Israel, and divine intervention on behalf of Israel. Daniel 12:1; Zechariah 14:1-3
So how long do we have as Christians until the end of the world? This time is ‘near’ and ‘at the doors’ but no one knows exactly when this full end will be. But here is what we do know.
Our Heavenly Father knows the timing.
“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure…’ Isaiah 46:9-10
Our times are in His hand and under His power. Psalm 31:14-15; 139:16
Our redemption is near. Luke 21:28
This climatic end brings a climatic beginning. He will use Faithful Christians to reign with Christ and bless all the families of the earth, for this end of the world is the beginning of a new world in which the whole groaning creation will be set free from sin and death and all things will be made new. Revelation 1:6; Romans 8:18-21; Revelation 21:1-5 ; Zechariah 14:9