Tim Truzy is a minister in a Christian church, and he has participated in other religions.
What Is the Apocalypse?
Current events throughout the world may suggest to some we are approaching a terminal point in our existence, or an apocalypse. An apocalypse can be thought of as inescapable doom for the planet and/or the presence of uncompromising calamities around the globe.
To deal with these sudden and drastic changes, many people turn to religious beliefs. In fact, the part of theology concerning judgment, the destiny of humanity and the soul, the end of the world, and death is called eschatology. However, if feelings of fear interfere with regular daily life, a person should find mental health professionals as well to assist with troubling perceptions of a changing world.
As a Christian minister, I’ve provided some examples of what other religions say about a coming apocalypse along with the Christian viewpoint.
Two Perspectives on the Apocalypse From Indigenous People
There are a number of perspectives on the end of time found in the beliefs of Indigenous people. One outlook, known as the Ghost Dance movement, believes the land will be renewed and power will come back to the tribes of the western United States. The movement began in 1869 in the Paiute tribe.
By contrast, the Seven Fires prophecy of the Anishinabe nation foretells of a time when humanity must make an important choice. If humankind selects materialism after spoiling the land and poisoning the water, then the Earth will die along with people.
The Apocalypse and Millenarianism
Nearly every religion in the world mentions an apocalypse. These great catastrophes are believed to be brought about by a divine being to establish a new arrangement of life. Historians and anthropologists may use the term “Millenarianism.” This word describes apocalyptic perspectives arising as a result of colonialism, or similar forces which disrupted the previous social order. Defeating enemies, obtaining wealth, and returning to power are key traits of Millenarianism.
Indeed, some of the world’s oldest religions, like Christianity and Judaism, exhibit elements of Millenarianism. For example, Jews were conquered by the Roman Empire, confident salvation would eventually come with a defeat of the oppressors. Likewise, more modern religious groups, including the Ghost Dance movement and the Bahá’í faith, are a few examples of millenarian movements.
Unquestionably, understanding religious views about the end of the world has influenced how people see the future and the present. Below I’ve provided information about what three world religions state about the end of time.
The Bahá’í Faith, Hinduism, and Islamic Apocalyptic Scenarios
- The Bahá’í Faith: Followers believe an unspecified catastrophe will be severe enough to cause humanity to unite globally. Old ways will fade away, replaced by an understanding unity is necessary for survival. People will reconnect with God and practice love. Bahá'u'lláh, the prophet in the religion, is considered the return of Jesus Christ in the form of the “Father manifestation” with no further messengers expected for thousands of years. Time is viewed as a progression of revelation.
- Hinduism: Time is cyclical in Hinduism. Hindus believe the universe is being created and destroyed simultaneously. Our current cycle is called Kali Yoga. Each cycle lasts approximately nine billion years. Nevertheless, personal deterioration, growth, and birth reflect the cosmic order with influence from the various gods in the religion. In other words, the apocalypse is ongoing with rebirth happening.
- Islam: In the Koran, the holy book of the Islamic faith, the end of the world is foretold through various events. In the Koran, after humanity has rejected God in virtually every area, the skies become blackened for a period, the world is ripped apart by tremendous earthquakes, and the dead are resurrected during the apocalypse. One of the figures who will appear at this point is believed to be Isa (Jesus), who will confirm Islamic beliefs and rule for about forty years. Isa, who is not considered divine, will die and be buried beside the Prophet Mohammed. The faithful are rewarded with dwelling in Paradise and the sinners are tossed into Hell.
The Christian Perspective on the Apocalypse
The Book of Revelation outlines the end of time from a Christian perspective in the Bible. In the last text in the Holy Book, Plagues and fires sweep across the Earth. A substantial portion of humankind is destroyed by unleashed demons and wars. In fact, four horsemen of the apocalypse bring havoc and catastrophe all over the globe. The antichrist torments Christians, and Satan is eliminated as a force at the Battle of Armageddon by Jesus Christ. Satan is thrown into a burning pit with his followers while Christians live with Jesus Christ for a thousand years when Heaven and Earth pass away.
Without doubt, Christians accept Jesus Christ as divine. Furthermore, Jesus Christ delivers mortals from sin. There has been no other manifestation sent forth from Heaven, according to the New Testament in John 3:16. Coincidentally, time is linear to Christians, having a starting point and a conclusion. The apocalypse terminates wickedness, allowing believers to be with God for infinity.
Problems With Focusing on the Apocalypse
There are several problems associated with end of the world scenarios related to religion. Primarily, fanatical individuals may engage in activities to hasten what they perceive to be inevitable. Thusly, wars and deadly actions may commence under a misinterpretation of religious beliefs. In addition, doomsday cults can come into existence with fatal consequences. For these reasons, applying rational thinking along with religious knowledge is critical in determining current and future outlooks.
For instance, In Mathew 24:6 in the Bible, Christians understand there will be wars, diseases, and famine on the planet but not to be alarmed because these things must “come to pass.” In addition, not even the angels know when the final judgment will happen or when Jesus will return, noted in Mathew 24:36. Incidentally, Satan is called a relentless liar and deceiver (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:14; Revelation 12:9). Therefore, events may appear as if the apocalypse is near, but we are probably being deceived. In short, Christians should focus time on Earth in preparation to spend eternity with God. Following the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Bible assures a place in Heaven for Christians regardless of earthly occurrences.
More Considerations Concerning the Apocalypse
Truthfully, investing too much energy in apocalyptic views can keep people from dealing with real world concerns. Also, people may wish to examine apocalyptic texts metaphorically. Symbolism in such writings can have various meanings. Literal interpretations may be faulty. In fact, biblical scholars usually recognize the Book of Revelation as depicting the demise of systems of corruption. Finally, examples of catastrophes which can create a sense of doom are below:
- Huge wildfires torch sections of continents.
- Destructive and frequent storms pummel nations around the globe, devastating communities.
- Countries wage war with potential consequences for the planet.
- Floods and high sea levels threaten cities as the climate rises.
- Uncountable swarms of insects devour crops on different continents.
- Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions devastate surrounding areas.
- Sicknesses emerge daily with deadly results.
- Pollution poison the land, oceans, and air.
- Esselmont, J. E. (1980). Bahaullah and the new era: An introduction to the Bahai faith. Bahai Publishing Trust London.
- Filiu, J. (2012). Apocalypse in Islam. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
- Sullivan, L. E. (1989). Native American religions. New York: Macmillan Pub.
- Walters, J. D. (1999). The Hindu way of awakening: Its revelation, its symbols. New Delhi: Jaico Pub. House.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 02, 2021:
One doomsday scenario views the U.S. as the “great Babylon” mentioned in the Book of Revelation. However, destructive empires have risen and fallen over the centuries. These expansive empires were also seen as the final evil kingdom. Many Americans would dispute the claim of being the apocalyptic empire which dominates and destroys the world. Wemust remember: vague symbols can apply to different times and situations. Thanks for reading.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on July 19, 2020:
As Christians, we should help those who may be thinking the end is near. Find Scripture to comfort such individuals who share the faith and/or help people find good supportive nonreligious based counseling if a person’s apocalyptic views may border on something dangerous. The headlines are filled with stories of people who saw impending doom and took drastic actions when it could have been avoided. Thanks for visiting.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on July 19, 2020:
A visit from you is always a treat, Ms. Dora. God bless you, and thanks for your kind thoughtful response.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 14, 2020:
Tim, I appreciate your research and presentation of varying views on the apocalypse. Your warning on where our focus should be is a wise call. We have work to do (Luke 19:13) so these last day events should keep us awake and alert, not distracted. Thanks for the message.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on July 12, 2020:
Many people don't realize the Book of Revelation was originally rejected by the church because of its association with zealots. However, it has become an accepted book of the Bible in most Christian denominations. I appreciate your stopping by and reading.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on July 08, 2020:
Hi, Doug, thanks. Your comment means a lot. I truly enjoy your even-handed perspectives on history and other topics. Stay safe, and God bless you.
Doug West from Missouri on July 08, 2020:
Good article. I learned a lot more about the subject than I knew.