Speaking of... Life, Hope & Truth

Preparing for the End of the World

Are you prepared for the end of the world?

Unless you’ve been out of touch with the news, you know that we only have a few more days until the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012. At least that’s what many people seem to believe the Mayan Mesoamerican “Long Count” calendar predicts. According to the news reports, various groups of people all around the world are frantically stockpiling supplies so they can survive this predicted “end of the world.”

Others view this as just another in a long list of foolish predictions by misguided zealots. Some even plan to hold “end of the world” parties so they and their friends can gather together, eat, drink and share a few laughs about the foolishness of such ideas.

In spite of the amazing accuracy of this ancient Mayan calendar across the last 3,000 years of history, responsible scientists tell us that the calendar actually makes no such predictions. Most of us will live our normal lives on Dec. 21 with little thought and even less concern about such wild-eyed warnings. 

Still, we cannot deny that the “end of the world” is an enduring topic of interest. If you were to do a quick Google search on the phrase “end of the world,” you would find there are over 241 million returns on your query. Historical sites list hundreds of such predictions, going back at least as far as the ancient Romans in 634 B.C., and we’d probably find they go back much further than that if we had the historical records.

Most of us refuse to change our lives by getting caught up in all of these “Chicken Little” scenarios. But does the fact that all of these predictions so far have been wrong justify the conclusion that no such warnings can ever be right? What if the warning came from a highly respected and trusted source? How would you respond to that kind of warning?

The Hebrew portion of the Bible—usually called the Old Testament—records several examples where God sent a warning message to humans that the world as they knew it was coming to an end. They had the choice of responding to His warning or being destroyed with those around them. Probably the most famous example is that of Noah. God sent a warning that He was going to send a flood to destroy man’s civilization because it had become so evil. Scripture tells us that no one took that warning seriously, and they all perished as a result.

Though many today consider the story of Noah little more than an ancient myth, Jesus used this example and said it is similar to what would happen at His return. He admonished His followers to make sure they were living their lives in the proper way at all times, because when that day comes, it will be too late to start preparing.

The Bible does not tell us exactly when Jesus will return to establish His Kingdom—the Kingdom of God—and bring an end to the corrupt civilization in which we live today. But it does powerfully proclaim the certainty of those events and makes it clear to those who wish to be a part of the glorious new world He will establish that there is no time to waste in examining and changing the way we live our daily lives.

It boils down to one simple concept—Christians don’t need to worry about the end of the world; they need to focus their efforts on preparing for brand-new world.

For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m David Johnson.