Recently the self made prophet and evangelist Herald Camping and his campaign spent, rather wasted $100 million dollars on advertising spreading a false prediction of the end of the world. Is it justified, during these economically hard times? I wonder do we stop crying wolf! Wolf? In the midst of such failed predictions and controversies about the end of the world whose words should we believe? Is the end of the world really going to happen? What does the Bible have to say about the end of the world and how are we to live our lives in light of it?
I. BIBLICAL PROPHECIES:
God has not left us without any prophecies and signs to look for the end of the age or the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, among them are two clear cut prophecies by Isaiah and Daniel. They both prophesied during 680-605 B.C. Isaiah 26:19, “Your dead will live; their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy,…and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.” Daniel 12:1-3, “At that time Michael the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people everyone whose name is found written in the book will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Though these two prophets were separated by span of 75 years they both said the same.
II. WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?
History tells us that time and again man has gotten it wrong when it comes to predicting the end of the world. In recent years from 1990-1994 alone there were twelve failed predictions not to mention the one we have just experienced. Why is it man so fixated with end times? Well this is not a new phenomenon but goes back to 2000 years. Jesus’ disciples wanted to know when would the present evil world end and Jesus establish his kingdom on earth, so they asked, “Tell us when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head? Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming I am the one.” They will deceive a lot of people….Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere… But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father. So keep a sharp lookout, for you don’t know the time table. (Mk 13 The Message)
From the time Jesus was taken up to heaven over two thousand years have passed, many of God’s children beginning with his disciples have eagerly awaited his return. But he hasn’t yet come back. Don’t you think that would give room for scoffers and skeptics to scorn at his second coming? Of course it does; God knew that it would happen so he inspired Peter to write these words, “In the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation…With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting any one to perish but everyone to come to repentance.” His patience means our salvation.
A friend of mine once said, “thank God Jesus did not come back last year otherwise I wouldn’t have been saved.” Christ is delaying in returning to earth in order to give many a chance to repent and accept him as His savior and Lord. Sooner than later Christ will come back to judge this world, in that light how are we to live our lives?
Several scriptures in the Bible allude to the fact that Christ’s return is imminent and it could happen at any time. All could change in the twinkling of an eye and Christ could make his return. Therefore since we do not know the date of his return we want be prepared and get ourselves ready. If you are a born again Christian you have nothing to be afraid of, only those who do not know Christ will have to worry. In the light of Christ’s imminent return Peter gives us some pointers for us to live by, 2 Pet 3:11-14, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming…..make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”