Televangelist Jack Van Impe, whose broadcasts focus on the fulfillment of end times prophecies in the news, has stated several times this year that those who believe the world will end one day are misinterpreting scripture. He has then gone on to say he knows at least 120 verses in the Bible that prove the world will never end. His teaching was to address the belief by some that the Mayan calendar predicts the world will end on December 21, 2012.
To conform the Bible to his teaching that the world will never end, Van Impe gives the line that is ever popular today about the translators (in this case the KJV translators) mistranslating the phrase “the end of the world” in Matthew and then gives his “proper translation” that wherever the “incorrect” phrase appears, it should be translated “end of the church age.” He then explains his translation is in keeping with the Catholic Catechism, as if the Catholic Catechism is the standard for truth.
You can see his explanation in this YouTube video of his broadcast at about 8:28 to 12:20.
Among the verses he quotes are Ephesians 3:21 which says “world without end;” Ecclesiastes 1:4 which says “the earth abideth forever;” Psalm 37:29 which says “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever;” and Psalm 104:5 which says “Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.”
If Van Impe is correct, then what are we to make of the following scriptures?
- 25Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. 26They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: Psalm 102
- 17For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isaiah 65
- 31Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. Mark 13
- 10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3
- 1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. Revelation 21
Is this a case of the Bible contradicting itself? That isn’t possible, so another explanation is in play here. I’ll admit, I’m stumped on the comparison between the scriptures Van Impe highlighted and the ones I highlighted. However, of this I’m sure–the present Earth will indeed end after the Millenial reign, just as Revelation says. I also know this–when Van Impe talks about the “end of the church age” that’s not possible because the church age will never end, for the church is God’s kingdom which stands forever (Daniel 2:44) and we will rule and reign with Christ forever, according to the scriptures.
–Harry A. Gaylord–