1.25.2007

Fun Facts About the End of the World.

Whether it’s two billion years from now, when the Sun will no longer provide enough heat to support life on earth, or two hours from now in a nuclear holocaust, life on earth will inevitably come to an end. All religious traditions grapple [wiki] with this fact. Here’s what they’ve come up with so far.

Christianity

Things Get Bad: At least according to the Book of Revelation, things will be very bad indeed. Weeping, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, blood in the streets, etc. All of this will occur during "the Tribulation [wiki]."

And Then: the Second Coming of Christ, wherein Christ - to quote the Nicene Creed - "comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead."

Until: the Rapture [wiki], wherein all Christians (or at least good ones, depending on your particular denomination) are moved from earth directly to heaven with no dying or passing Go.

Islam

Things Get Bad: The Last Judgment in Islam is known as the Qiyamah [wiki]. At a time of God’s choosing - no one knows when - Jesus (yes, that Jesus) will come down from heaven, end all wars, and kill ad-Dajjal [wiki] (Islam’s equivalent to an Antichrist).

And Then: Each and every person who ever lived will be bodily resurrected and judged by God. Those found wanting will be sent to hell either temporarily or permanently; those who have been good and faithful go to heaven.

Until: No, that’s it, actually. For the record, most Muslims do believe that some "People of the Book," that is, Christians and Jews, will also get to heaven.

Judaism

Things Get Bad: The end of days [wiki], or acharit hayamim, will be marked by conflict and tumult. When? Well, the Talmud states that the world will only last 6,000 years - so many Orthodox Jews believe the world as we’ve always known it will end in 2240 CE.

And Then: All of Israel’s enemies will be defeated, the twice-destroyed Temple will be rebuilt [wiki], the dead will be resurrected, and the Jewish Messiah will become King of Israel.

Until: God intervenes in the Battle of Armageddon, saving the Jews, evil leaves the world, and earth becomes perfect. It’s like Belinda Carlisle song: "They say in heaven love comes first/We’ll make heaven a place on earth."

Buddhism

Things Get Bad: According to the Buddhist holy scripture, the Tipitaka, we’ll know the end of the world is coming when morality disappears and people start following the "10 Amoral Concepts." Those concepts? Theft, violence, murder, lying, evil speaking, adultery, idle talk, covetousness, greed, and perverted lust. Um, uh-oh.

And Then: Once morality disappears, things will degenerate into misery.

Until: A Buddha named Maitreya (known in English as the "future Buddha"), the successor to the Buddha we all know, will arrive on earth and begin teaching the pure Dharma.

Hinduism

Things Get Bad: Most Hindus believe that we are currently living in Kali Yuga [wiki], the Iron Age, or age of darkness. Unfortunately for us, that means that evil is on the upswing. Eventually, Vishnu will become incarnate for the 10th and final time. By then, karma will have been completely turned on its head, with good people suffering needlessly and the evil rising to ranks of power.

And Then: Shiva [wiki], "the Destroyer," will dissolve the evil and corrupt universe. And then, because all things are cyclical, the universe will simultaneously be reborn.

Until: We start getting evil again and get ourselves into another age of darkness. Most Hindus are careful not to put an exact time frame on eschatological matters. If you do, you can end up looking awfully foolish …

taken from reddit.com

1 comment:

grey squirrel said...

Very interesting to see a comparison of the main religions and their 'end times'. Understanding what people believe about that really helps you understand the people themselves. Thanks for posting this!
ttyl Hannah!