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Do we know the year when the world will end?

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Philip Kosloski - published on 05/12/24

Jesus said we won't know the day nor the hour when he will come again. What about the year?

Sometimes various people, even priests, will claim that the world will end during a specific year.

One Catholic priest even said that while Jesus said we wouldn’t know the “day” or “hour” when he would come again, he didn’t say anything about the “year.”

What did Jesus say?

When addressing his disciples, Jesus spoke about the many signs of the end times, but made sure to let them know that they wouldn’t know when he would come again:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man.

Matthew 24:35-37

Does this mean that we know the year when the world will end?

Unfortunately, we do not know the year.

The only way we could positively know the exact year is if Jesus told his disciples, “The world will end in 2030.

Catholics believe that public, divine revelation ended with the New Testament. Since then there may be private revelation, but we are not required to believe all that it contains.

As a result, if someone claims to have received from God the exact year that Jesus will come again, nobody is obliged to believe it.

Why Jesus didn’t tell us the details

St. Ephrem provides a possible reason as to why Jesus didn’t tell us the exact day or year in a commentary on the Diatessaron that is featured in the Office of Readings during Advent:

To prevent his disciples from asking the time of his coming, Christ said: “About that hour no one knows, neither the angels nor the Son. It is not for you to know times or moments.” He has kept those things hidden so that we may keep watch, each of us thinking that he will come in our own day. 

If Jesus told his disciples that he wouldn’t come again until 2,000 years later, they might have slacked off and been tempted to be lazy.

In a similar way, if we knew that same information, we would likely put off our holiness until 2029.

It is a good thing that we do not know the day, hour or year when the world will end. Jesus likes to keep us on our toes, always ready to receive him into our hearts.

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