The End of the World - Act of Anger ---or--- Act of Love?

The prevailing theory (mainly among our protestant brethren who seem to fixate on this sort of thing) is that God will finally bring about the End of the World because He finally gets SICK AND TIRED of mankind’s sinful ways. They imagine the end being brought about by an angry and wrathful God who has lost all patience with His Creation.

That implies that God’s act of Creation ends in failure. I don’t believe that.

There will surely be some people in the End Times who stubbornly refuse to accept God’s moral law (and they won’t fare well in the end). But I think that overall, as a species, we will have largely accepted God when the end comes.

I believe that God has a plan for the human race, and He won’t bring about the end of the world until humanity fulfills its divine destiny. I do NOT believe our destiny is to fail.

If I am right, God will end the world - NOT out of anger - but out of love. The human race will have accomplished its divine calling, and thus God will call all of humanity to Himself (though some will still resist His Will). There will simply be *nothing *left for humanity to accomplish (spiritually).

Of course, if I’m right, then the end of the world is probably thousands of years distant (which is my belief), not imminent as many believe.

Why do people have this idea that God will destroy His Creation in a fit of rage? Is there Biblical support for this notion? Do any of the Early Fathers concurr with this notion? Where did this idea come from?

Maybe it’s because they are still stuck in the Old Testament mentality where the focus is on the wrath of God? Perhaps no matter how much we preach and hear about God’s mercy we just cannot get out of our minds the image of God that destroys entire cities and biospheres and stuff.

It’s a great question. Thank you for starting this thread.

Alan

[quote=AlanFromWichita]Maybe it’s because they are still stuck in the Old Testament mentality where the focus is on the wrath of God? Perhaps no matter how much we preach and hear about God’s mercy we just cannot get out of our minds the image of God that destroys entire cities and biospheres and stuff.

It’s a great question. Thank you for starting this thread.

Alan
[/quote]

Hmmm, ironically would have to say that God would end the world out of Love. But Love is expressed in two ways, Justice and Mercy. The two go together and are not mutally exclusive. Personally, I have found that Protestant pastors preach heavily on the fire and brimstone side, and Catholic homilists preach the Mercy of God. A balance is needed as skewed either way neglects the Truth as a whole.

I forget the scripture verse, but somewhere the Bible talks about God waiting until the number is filled. Has anyone ever heard of the verse I am talking about??? Please correct me if there is not such a verse. Thanks and God Bless.

The end of the world could be looked at from either direction. Those who are attached to this life as it is may regret having things come to an end, thinking that they have lost something in the process.

My only fear about the end of the world is that my friends or loved ones may not have had enough time to straighten out their lives and be as dedicated to God as they should be. I would hate for any of them to become lost souls. On really analyzing this fear, I believe it is unwarranted. I am concerned, but I trust in the Lord that He will make things right.

The end of the world to me would be an end to death, suffering and sin. The end to evil would be the greatest gift God could possibly give to mankind. Imagine never having to be afraid of dying, being attcked by some mugger, or having a loved one die of a disease.

Imagine having the greatest most beloved ruler of all time, instead of the sleazy politicians and tyrant dictators and suspect legislators. As ironic as it may sound the end of the world would be the best thing that ever happend to this planet. It undoubtedly would be an act of love.

wc

I guess maybe I rambled on too much in my OP, but I was really wondering,

Why do people have this idea that God will destroy His Creation in a fit of rage? Is there Biblical support for this notion? Do any of the Early Fathers concurr with this notion? Where did this idea come from?

Does anyone know where this idea came from?

[quote=DavidFilmer] There will surely be some people in the End Times who stubbornly refuse to accept God’s moral law (and they won’t fare well in the end). But I think that overall, as a species, we will have largely accepted God when the end comes.

I believe that God has a plan for the human race, and He won’t bring about the end of the world until humanity fulfills its divine destiny. I do NOT believe our destiny is to fail.

If I am right, God will end the world - NOT out of anger - but out of love. The human race will have accomplished its divine calling, and thus God will call all of humanity to Himself (though some will still resist His Will). There will simply be *nothing *left for humanity to accomplish (spiritually).

Of course, if I’m right, then the end of the world is probably thousands of years distant (which is my belief), not imminent as many believe.
[/quote]

I understand that your question is about where the idea that God will destroy His creation in a fit of rage originated. I agree with you that the end will not be about God finally getting sick of us and angrily destroying us. However, I thought it necessary to respond to something you said. It seems to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, that your vision of the end of the world sees “a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy.” Perhaps I am misinterpreting what you said, but the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

[quote=CCC 677] The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.
[/quote]

[quote=DavidFilmer]If I am right, God will end the world - NOT out of anger - but out of love. The human race will have accomplished its divine calling, and thus God will call all of humanity to Himself (though some will still resist His Will). There will simply be *nothing *left for humanity to accomplish (spiritually).

Of course, if I’m right, then the end of the world is probably thousands of years distant (which is my belief), not imminent as many believe.
[/quote]

I agree with you. I don’t believe that God is (or will be) a failure.

If you’ve ever spent any significant time talking to non-believers, you’ll know that for every lukewarm Christian who comes running back to God when faced with calamities, disasters, and tragedies, there will be at least two doubters who turn away from God permanently because of those events. I just can’t see God working in so inefficient a fashion.

God’s mercy is greater than our sins.

Romans 5:20

[quote=slinky1882] I forget the scripture verse, but somewhere the Bible talks about God waiting until the number is filled. Has anyone ever heard of the verse I am talking about??? Please correct me if there is not such a verse.
[/quote]

The answer for your question is in the Book of the Apocalypse, 6: 9-11:

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.”

The answer for the thread is also in the Book of the Apocalypse, 1: 16:

“In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.”

Where the “sharp double-edged sword” means the salvation of the blessed and the perdition of the damned.

We pray every mass for the end of the world when we say (again Apocalypse, 22, 20): “Come, Lord Jesus”.

And remember, "…as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours…"It seems we should be looking forward to eternity with Jesus. The rapture people make it all so scary.

[quote=DavidFilmer]The prevailing theory (mainly among our protestant brethren who seem to fixate on this sort of thing) is that God will finally bring about the End of the World because He finally gets SICK AND TIRED of mankind’s sinful ways. They imagine the end being brought about by an angry and wrathful God who has lost all patience with His Creation.

That implies that God’s act of Creation ends in failure. I don’t believe that.

There will surely be some people in the End Times who stubbornly refuse to accept God’s moral law (and they won’t fare well in the end). But I think that overall, as a species, we will have largely accepted God when the end comes.

I believe that God has a plan for the human race, and He won’t bring about the end of the world until humanity fulfills its divine destiny. I do NOT believe our destiny is to fail.

If I am right, God will end the world - NOT out of anger - but out of love. The human race will have accomplished its divine calling, and thus God will call all of humanity to Himself (though some will still resist His Will). There will simply be *nothing *left for humanity to accomplish (spiritually).

Of course, if I’m right, then the end of the world is probably thousands of years distant (which is my belief), not imminent as many believe.

Why do people have this idea that God will destroy His Creation in a fit of rage? Is there Biblical support for this notion? Do any of the Early Fathers concurr with this notion? Where did this idea come from?
[/quote]

Some sorts of Protestantism emphasise the wrath of God quite strongly: and it is certainly a feature of the OT - and also of the NT.

What the systematic theologians of (say) Calvinism - people such as Louis Berkhof, for example - don’t forget, and what is easy to forget, is that this is always a righteous wrath: the righteousness of God, is one of the main ideas of the “classical” Reformation - possibly the main idea.

This wrath, is God’s holy anger against sin: it’s a Divine intolerance of it - almost a defensive reaction: and it is basically nothing but the reverse side of God’s Love. As the Judgement is one of the elements in the Christian notion of the “Last Things”, and as it involves the final getting rid of what is not holy, righteous, or obedient to God, there is plenty of room for the idea. It’s not even an invention of the Reformers: the Roman Liturgy used to include , a medieval (13th-century ?) hymnDies Irae which emphasises the wrath of God very strongly: a lot of what was in mediaeval Catholicism, was carried over into Protestantism.

What this anger is not, is a fit of rage: that implies that God has emotions, and is not pure Spirit :slight_smile: - it is the appropriate response to sin. It just needs to avoid being taken in isolation from the rest of what is known of God. The Crucifixion was an act of Love - it was also an act of God’s Wrath upon unrighteousness; largely because God’s wrath in the OT is shown in judgement on “the Day of the Lord” - which in the OT is when God manifests and vindicates His righteousness upon His enemies. The Day of Judgement is a spiritualisation of the “Day of the Lord”, and the Crucifixion is the fulfilment of it. Where there is sin, God’s Love & Wrath go together - for wrath, presupposes sin. Which is why Revelation 6 shows us “the wrath of the Lamb”. ##

[quote=DavidFilmer]The prevailing theory…
[/quote]

Here go some quick quotes from Stockholm:

“That implies that God’s act of Creation ends in failure”.

In fact, God’s act of Creation “begins” in failure due to the original sin. The Creation, the Incarnation, the Redemption, the Final Judgement, are deeply linked and all reveal the mercy of God. So there is no such thing as “get SICK AND TIRED”.

“I think that overall, as a species, we will have largely accepted God when the end comes.”

You also have to consider Luke 18:8: “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”. The answer, of course, is: No, He will not. This is why one of the signs of the end of the world is the widespread apostasy.

“I do NOT believe our destiny is to fail.”

It is not our “destiny”. It is our “present” condition.

“The human race will have accomplished its divine calling, and thus God will call all of humanity to Himself”

Redemption and Final Judgement involve ALL creation, not only mankind: St Paul in his Letter to the Romans, 8:22: “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time”.

“If I’m right, then the end of the world is probably thousands of years distant (which is my belief), not imminent as many believe”.

Mark 13:32: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”.

I really don’t know what you guys are talking about. What end of the world? Don’t we always pray: “Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, WORLD WITHOUT END, Amen” ?

Revelation 21 talks about a new earth, the quality of that earth will be changed but not the substance; there will be some resemblance between the old and the new. The world will never end.

I think that the ‘new earth’ as you put it, is a spiritual place, not a physical place. You are putting limitations on the spiritual. If I’m wrong, then I will be glad to see with physical eyes the difference. If I’m right, then you may be very disappointed.

When we are confirmed, we are taught that we are put here to love God. Love isn’t a physical attribute, it’s spiritual. We are taught as Christians that our main goal in life is re-connection with God. That’s not physical, it’s spiritual. Our physical bodies can’t connect with God, they are physical, he is spiritual. The beatific vision is spiritual, it’s not seeing with physical eyes, but knowing with spiritual knowledge.

I don’t believe that this world will be the same earth, trees, etc. But that the spiritual world will be so much more…so much that our human minds cannot conceive. Scripture speaks of the physical, yes…but only because we as humans can’t conceive of anything else, and to try to tell someone who has no control of their imagination about the spiritual world we might live in, is nearly impossible.

The End of the World…Act of Love. Why? Because it brings those who long for the beatific vision a step closer to that very thing.

I think its both. Wrath to those that still reject Him. And an act of love to those that accept Him.

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