Who Really Needs to Care About The End of the World?

Who Really Needs to Care About The End of the World? November 25, 2023

The End of Days

How many times has it happened? You know the formula don’t you? Some event, some act of violence happens clearly in public view with cameras and ensuing controversies about who did what. Whether it happens within the USA or offshore in some foreign or not so foreign land, the formula is always the same. Someone, or perhaps a large group of people are killed with massive craters in their wake. Perhaps the suffering was the result of some extremism masked as ideology as was the most recent case with Hamas & Israel. Perhaps it was just yet another “blip” or bookmark within a short chapter in our never-ending book of centuries. 


And always, the books of the prophets are unleashed upon us as if all wannabe ministers are booking odds on whether this time, this hour, this day dawns the new age or march towards Armageddon. They’re practicing “Apocalypticism. It’s yet just one more take on events related to “Eschatology” or the “End of Days”. 


It’s a great subject for headlines isn’t it? All of us are inherently primed to click on articles or videos related to the end of the world. We absolutely devour stories about “Final Judgment” or simply “Judgment Day” don’t we?


Even Hollywood follows suit. Ask yourself what’s more likely to interest the average theater goer. Would they be more inclined to watch a quasi- horror  movie about the last battle between good and evil with all its promises of fire &  finality or a movie with a more positive message (i.e.about the Genesis)? 


It speaks to our collective psychology when we’d rather see an unfathomable number of deaths suffering under the “fire and brimstone” of a movie about the Apocalypse than one of Creation or of Resurrection.   


Hollywood End of Days Movies


Apart from the hundreds of Hollywood movies made since 1916 about the final days of the Earth, it is interesting to note that the bulk of such movies tell tales of man-made “Armageddon”. They typically follow one of four formulas. 


  1. The outbreak of a global war
  2. The outbreak of a pandemic
  3. An extraterrestrial invasion
  4. A collision from another celestial body (i.e., an asteroid or meteor collision with the Earth)


In more recent years, Hollywood has been leaning more heavily towards Biblical “End of Days” themes. The Pure Flix streaming services lists the following Top Ten Rapture Movies.   


However, it’s interesting to note that even the secular IMDB site lists mainly Christian-based films with such themes among their Top End of Times Movies


Bible End of Times Prophecies


The most well-known books of the Bible which reference both the birth of the antichrist, the second coming of The Lord and the final battle in the final days are the Book of Daniel, Ezekiel, Mathew and of course, the Book of Revelation. Yet, there are others. According to OpenBible.info, there are 40 Biblical Verses that reference the End of Times. 

Hamas and Israel and Ezekiel 38


The recent weeks of terrorism and war have brought Ezekeil’s famous End of Times prophecy to the forefront. Social and mass-media has exploded with countless ministers and non-ministers citing yet another Biblical prophecy being enacted before our eyes. Specifically, in Ezekiel 38: 10-17, the verses tell of an unexpected attack on Israel which predicates the Second Coming of The Lord. 

Excerpt taken from Bible Gateway

10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. 12 I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.[d] 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages[e] will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”’

14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? 15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.

While there are similarities with these prophetic verses from Ezekiel and the aforementioned 2023 terrorist attack by Hamas, there are some issues with complete reconciliation between the two. In the complete verse, the character Gog who is depicted as the tool or pawn God uses to bring war against Israel is speculated to be the head of what is now modern-day Russia. However, the identity of Gog is still often a topic for debate.

Apocalyptical Psychology


Aside from any specific present-day event and its association with sacred text prophecy, if we take a step back, we might see that the “End of Days” interest really has less to do with any specific religion than it has to do with the egocentric nature of our existence. As humans, despite our best efforts to view our world objectively, we often revert back to including ourselves within the puzzle of existence. Many of us have trouble truly imagining the existence of a world where we no longer reside. Thus, for us to confirm that our lives and the external world have purpose and meaning, we want to believe that there is a defined path and purpose to our being in the world. 


For believers and non-believers (notwithstanding advocates of absurdism), the journey of humanity must have not only a purpose but an “end game” or final goal to be reached. Hence, most need a playbook which details how, all of us, fit into the path as well as the goal.


Another aspect of our wanting to know when the world will end has to do with the uncertainty of our mortality. Given the option of knowing when we will see our last sunrise vs not knowing, many would choose to know exactly how much time we have left. The uncertainty of life is a cause for great anxiety and fear for many people. 


The problem, however, is the contradiction between our finite life in witness on this Earth and any such “end games” outlined in both sacred texts as well as secular doctrine. Our seemingly small lifespan seldom exceeds 85 years. Per a recent CDC study, the average life expectancy of men and women in the USA alone is 73 and 79 years respectively. 


Thus, although it seems like a paradoxical anomaly, it is a rather disappointing and sometimes heartbreaking realization to accept that most of us will not see the “End of Days”. We will not see the validation of our lives or the confirmation of the “why” of existence. We will not see the culmination of the God’s plan. And maybe, just maybe, that’s by design.


About Gil Rosado
Gil Rosado, is a Writer, Musician, Composer & Polymath. His works include Visual Poems as well as traditional poems, philosophy, screenplays, stage plays, essays and fiction. Much of his eclectic works are informed and inspired by esoteric and overt religious themes. His Patheos.com articles are largely driven by his Christian beliefs and his knowledge of theology, philosophy and global religions. You can read more about the author here.

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