4th March 2012

Armageddon Blues

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Mark 13:32 (NIV UK) 

The popular film 2012 has stirred renewed interest as well as fear about the end of the world. Doomsday predictions always gather a following, and there seems to be no end to new ones. 

Since the earliest days of Christianity, history records a continual parade of failed predictions. More recent ones would include the prophetic hen of Leeds. It seems that in 1806 in the UK city, a hen began laying eggs that had the words ‘Christ is coming’ clearly visible on the shells. Fear of doomsday spread rapidly until it was discovered that the ominous eggs were a hoax. 

In 1844 thousands of followers of preacher William Miller believed that the world would end by March 21 of that year. It didn’t happen but the faithful didn’t give up. A new date was calculated followed by more disappointment. Even that wasn’t enough. Further Bible study revealed that the date should have been October 22, 1844. What became known as ‘The Great Disappointment’ of 1844 is now history but the lesson is yet to be learned. 

In 1980 Tele-evangelist Pat Robertson declared “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there’s going to be a judgment on the world.” 

1999 was a nail-biter for those who believed that one of Nostradamus’ quatrains predicted the end of the world for August of that year. 

Millions were uneasy as the year 2000 approached, worrying that even if the world didn’t end that year, aeroplanes would be falling out of the sky as their on-board electronics would stop working. It was another needless fright-fest. 

Tele-evangelist Jack van Impe declared that the Great Tribulation would begin in 2001, and that political chaos, natural disasters, nuclear war and the world-wide rise of Islam would usher in mankind’s final hour. And these are just a few of many. 

And now we have 2012 taking centre stage at the doomsday circus. Maybe we should take comfort in what Jesus said: “Of that day and hour no one knows only the Father” (Matthew 24:36). So according to our Saviour, if we think we know when the end is, we don’t. So there is nothing to predict and nothing to panic about. We can trust our safety and care to him, because we are always safe in his hands. The bottom line about the Mayan calendar in the year 2012 and all other doomsday scenarios is this: Our job is to live faithfully not make predictions. 

Phew! Holy Father, thank you that we don’t have to worry about the end of the world. Yes, it will come, just at the right moment, in your own good time, but as long as we continue to live faithfully, trusting in you, we don’t have to be concerned. In Jesus’ name we pray, thanking you that this truth makes us free.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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