What Will Happen When the World Ends?

There are countless movies and books about the end of the world, and what might happen when the earth succumbs to nuclear conflict, apocalyptic natural disasters, or it’s swallowed up by a zombie infection or an alien invasion. We’ve seen it in War of the Worlds, A Quiet Place, I Am Legend, Mad Max, Snowpiercer, Birdbox, and countless others. And in general, most of them approach the end of the world as we know it with a similar vision: dystopia. After all, conflict is what breeds interesting stories.

But in reality, they’re not quite accurate. And while that may sound obvious, because they’re works of fiction created for entertainment purposes, we know that at the end of the world, the earth will not continue to spin, nor will it be occupied by any surviving inhabitants. After all, that wouldn’t quite be the end of the world then, would it?

9-year-old Olivia called into The Patrick Madrid Show to ask about the end of the world and what would happen to Purgatory when there’s nobody left on earth at the real end of the world.

“At the end of the world, when earth’s not here anymore, how do the souls in purgatory go to heaven when there are no people on earth to pray for them?”

“That is such a good question,” Patrick marveled.

But thankfully, the answer is quite simple. As little as we know about the Second Coming or in what physical ways Jesus’s return will manifest, we do know a few things. Firstly, Jesus will take all the souls who are going to go to heaven, and He will bring them to heaven. Secondly, all the souls of those who led wicked lives without repentance will go to hell. And thirdly, all those who are in purgatory will be brought to heaven, and purgatory (along with earth) will cease to exist.

Because purgatory is a temporary plane of the afterlife intended for those who are not yet ready for heaven, it was never intended to exist for eternity. All those who occupy purgatory are guaranteed salvation as soon as the debt of their temporal punishment has been paid. Once Jesus Christ returns for the General Judgment of the world, purgatory will no longer serve a purpose, and nor will this world. The only two places that will exist and will be occupied by souls are heaven and hell.

The earth will not continue to exist in some altered, barren state, nor will any survive the apocalypse.

“So the time will come when there will be no more purgatory and no more need to pray for those people because everything will be all wrapped up and those who are going to heaven will be happy with the Lord in heaven. I’m sure you’ll be there.”

Tune in to The Patrick Madrid Show weekdays 8am – 11am CT

John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.