7th January 2013

Welcome to baktun 14

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”
2 Peter 3:10-12 (NKJV)

I’m writing this on December 21, 2012, at precisely 12 minutes past 11 in the morning gmt. According to the 5,000-year-old Mayan calendar, that’s when baktun 13 runs out and, say some, the end of the world will occur. Only it didn’t. At least, not yet. As the present-day Mayans in Guatamalia kept on telling anyone who would listen, one baktun ends and another begins. Just as December 31, 2012, was followed by January 1, 2013 without a break. And so it has turned out to be.

Now, I’m not poking fun at those who are looking for, and preparing for, the end of the world. It has to come some time in the normal course of affairs. Only for Christians it means rather something different. Not a catastrophic destruction of the world as depicted so graphically in the highly-successful disaster film 2012. For Christians the end of this world heralds another, and a better, world headed and governed by Jesus Christ. The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Christ (Revelation 11:15). People sing that with gusto in Handel’s Messiah, but it doesn’t seem to register as a reality with them. As the famous dictum is, “It does exactly what it says on the tin.”

For Christians, looking for and hasting the day of Christ’s return, we know that rather than the end of all things, Christ’s return heralds a new beginning of all things. And that’s why the emphasis for Christians on the end of all things begins now, with conduct, outlook and way of life to be lived now in developing godliness.

It’s only much, much later, that the earth will end (as finally noted above), and even that is yet another beginning rather than a final end, as the last two chapters of the book of Revelation detail for us. Peter concludes in 2 Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

Quite so; God speed that day!

Heavenly Father, people fear the end of the world, but when rightly understood—and we only have an outline as to those ends—it is not something to fear, but to rejoice in. Help us, heavenly Father, to embrace your understanding in faith on things we don’t understand in full. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford

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