Some Reassurance on Why the World Won't End Today

Ben Cathey, pastor of the Orchard Church in Loganville gives his prediction on whether or not the world will end on the Dec. 21, 2012 Doomsday prediction.

So will the world end right before Christmas?

The Mayan’s said so!  This one is for real y’all!  The world is going to end today.  This one was not predicted by some crazy preacher or wannabe prophet seeking attention, fame, or wealth.  No, this one was predicted by something a lot less crazy than that.  The Mayan calendar is ending today. 

It’s serious.  NBC news reports that over 33 schools in Michigan’s Lapeer Community have closed two days early for Christmas break because of doomsday fears, the fresh memory of the tragedy in Newtown, CT, and rampant local twitter posts like “Friday would be a great day to go out with a bang!” 

How sad, how crazy! 

I have to admit that sometimes it does feel like the world is coming to an end.  We think gas at $2.98 a gallon is cheap, Joe Biden is in charge of interpreting the second amendment, and although we didn’t hear anything about the fiscal cliff till Nov. 7th it appears that we are about to begin stepping over it.

Seriously though, people think the Mayan prediction has credibility because:

1. Well . . . Indians are cool, right?  I mean, they are way cooler than Harold Camping, the 89-year-old polyester suit wearing “minister” who gained notoriety for predicting the last doomsday and advertising on billboards all across the American drive-time landscape.  Indians though.  They are close to the earth.  They have cool clothes.  They are more cerebral.  They don’t have an agenda.  How could they?  They are not alive.

2. It is based on an actual calendar and not some weird interpretation of a holy book or dream from a delusional "wanna-be prophet."

3. The prediction is supposedly based in science and not mere conjecture.  The Mayans have been able to accurately predict solar and lunar eclipses.

But even with all the credible evidence, I am going to make a brash and energetic prediction. The world will not end on tonight!  We will all wake up on Dec. 22nd, 2012 and drive like crazy to do our last minute Christmas shopping. 

Take heart, or laugh a little, here are some good reasons the world won’t end today:

One – NASA says so.  Because the ending of the “short” Mayan calendar has prompted scientific theories ranging from something about gravitational pull, to the alignment of the planets, to the reversal of the earth’s rotation, to unicorns running of cliffs simultaneously in both California and the Australian Outback.  The “scientific claims” as well as the success of Mayan solar and lunar eclipse predictions have even led NASA to “research” the claims and debunk them.  Look it up for yourself. 

Two – Jesus’ words in the Bible make it clear that no one can know the date or time of the end of the world. No one needs an advanced degree in biblical studies to interpret these verses.

In Matthew 25:13 Jesus said, “For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”

In Mark 13:32 Jesus said, “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” (NLT)

In Matthew 24:3 Jesus’ disciples came to him and asked about the end times. He begins a lengthy answer with “Don’t let anyone mislead you.” (NLT)

Three – Biblical Prophecy is very easy to misinterpret. The reason biblical prophecy writings are so hard to interpret is because they were written in very specific spiritual, political, social, economic, and moral environments. Very few prophecies are absolute, in the sense that they were written for all people in all places for all times. The biggest mistake when trying to make sense of them is to try to apply them directly to the year or decade that we currently live in without first applying them to the year or decade that they were first written in. Its biblical interpretation 101 and I don’t read a hint of it on Harold Camping’s website. Simple questions about historical context are never answered before huge intellectual leaps are taken by Mr. Camping.

Four – Doomsday predictions are not new.  Here are 11 of them dating back to 1806.

The Prophet Hen of Leeds, 1806

The Millerites, April 23, 1843

Mormon Armageddon, 1891 or earlier

Halley's Comet, 1910

Pat Robertson, 1982

Heaven's Gate, 1997

Nostradamus, August 1999

Y2K, Jan. 1, 2000

Richard Noone, May 5, 2000

God's Church Ministry, Fall 2008

Harold Camping, May 2011. 

Can I be bold enough to add number 12 to the list 24 hours ahead of schedule?  Mayan Calendar, Dec. 21st, 2012. 

However, there is a redemptive message in this discussion. The Bible does speak of Jesus return and it does speak of an eternity with Jesus for those who will place their trust in him. This passage gives me comfort and way more food for thought than anything and doomsday zealot has ever written. Listen to these worlds as you read them:

Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.

But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. - 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NLT)

I think I’ll sleep easy tonight.  Even if the world does end, Thessalonians tells me that my future is secure.

See also: 

The World is Not Ending on May 21

Tammy Osier December 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I had a thought this holiday season. As a Pastor, you know that everything in the natural parallels something going on in the spiritual and I believe God's messages can be found everywhere if we have our spiritual eyes open (Ephesians 3). In the Christmas story, the "wise men" from the east that followed the star to the savior of the world were astrologers (not kings). Astrologers were by no means considered a part of the line of David, but were used by God nevertheless to point to one of the signs that God had given. Today, we have the looming possibility of Israel being surrounded by other nations for attack. We have Jews in preparation for the messiah (anti-christ according to the bible). Look at the book of Daniel and the climate in which the last days groundwork would be laid. Thessalonians ( and other NT prophecies) talks about a moral climate where right will be wrong and wrong will be right, and that the hearts of the people will "willingly" follow a lie; children will be disobedient to their parents in ways unparalleled in history. We are there. Whether in the biblical sense, or from ancient prophecies - we are admonished to be alert and keep our eyes open...and be ready. So, the mayans might have had a little insight after all. :)
Tammy Osier December 21, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Just heard this- funny! "OK. Everyone can relax now. My Mayan Insurance agent just sent me my 2013 calendar".
Sharon Swanepoel December 21, 2012 at 09:21 PM
For anyone still concerned, my niece in New Zealand has just woken up to a beautiful sunny day - and on her calendar it is now Dec. 22.
Tammy Osier December 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM
I had somebody on facebook make mention of this on FB and sounded as if they were a little worried. My reply was, "Well, it's today on the other side of the world", then, "But the day ain't over yet". lol


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