The End of the World?

What I say to you I say to everyone: Watch for his return! (Mark 13:37, NLT).

Dear friends:

On October 30, 1938, millions of Americans tuned in to a popular radio program starring Orson Welles. The performance that evening was an adaptation of the science fiction novel “The War of the Worlds” about a Martian invasion of the earth. But in adapting the book for a radio play, Welles decided that the program should sound like an actual news broadcast about an invasion from Mars!

As the play unfolded, it was interrupted a number of times by fake news bulletins reporting that a “huge flaming object” had dropped on a farm near Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Fake news announcements described the landing of an invasion force from Mars and the destruction of the United States.

A university student turned on his radio midway through the broadcast and did not realize he was hearing a fictitious report. When the announcer vividly described fire falling upon the earth, the student recalled some sermons from his boyhood years and concluded that the end of the world had come.

He grabbed the telephone and called home, saying: “Mama, Mama, have you got your radio on? The fire is falling, the end of the world is coming, and I’m not ready to meet God!”

The next morning he was the object of jokes and teasing around the campus.

But in the chapel service a godly Bible teacher took the podium and said, “I understand that one of the boys got a lot of ribbing because he got scared listening to the radio program last night. But, young men and women, what if it had truly been the end of the world last night — would you be ready?”

That is a good question for all of us. But Jesus spoke about the end of the age, not about the end of the world or an invasion from Mars. He spoke about His return, which the Bible describes will be like a “thief in the night,” catching by surprise those not watching for Him (1 Thessalonians 5:2).

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the Flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24: 37-39, NLT).

Several times in the gospels, Jesus commanded us to “watch,” and be vigilant concerning the anticipation of His return.

May we be found watching and ready to meet Him.

Yours for helping to fulfill the Great Commission
each year until our Lord returns,

Bill Bright

About the Author
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world’s population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, “JESUS,” which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Dr. Bright recently co-founded Global Pastors Network to “Touch, Teach and Train” a group of 5 million new house churches around the world 24/7/365 at

Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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