The universe has always existed. There is no time when it did not exist, because if there was a ‘time’ or ‘place’ where you could say that there was nothing, then that has qualified with a comparison. If there is nothing, what is it nothing compared to? Darkness is defined as the lack of light. If there never was any light, the concept of darkness would not have existed. Vision would not have existed. Similarly, nothing is essentially the absence of something. If there was no ‘something’ (the universe), then what could be called nothing? Also, if there was nothing, then ‘when’ was this nothing? With no consciousness to keep track of time, as nothing existed, how can you say nothing existed? (If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear it, did it really make a sound?) Who can say nothing existed? What is the opposite of existence?
If we’re keeping track, then there is only the existence of time, space and matter that can be counted. Before that cannot exist.
Let’s reverse that: After the universe ‘ends’, what will happen? Will time stop? Will everything become one? Will all matter converge to a single point? If so, it’s still there, it won’t simply disappear.
Counter question – What is ‘always’? is it linear or a loop?