I’m amazed at how many people were talking about the prediction that the world was going to end May 21, 2011 just because one man said so. All of the news channels were covering it. Maybe even more amazing was how many of his followers not only believed this prophecy but spent thousands of dollars of their own money trying to get the message out to others. Well, as we all know by now, May 21 has come and gone and nothing happened. The prophecy of ‘the end of the world as we know it’ has now been set for Oct 21, 2011, and, as the song goes, “I feel fine.”
Of course it is unsettling to think of our life being turned upside down, to have all of our security taken away and to be put in judgment before God. I understand why this is unnerving. I noticed a certain unsettledness with my own children and thought it might be a good opportunity to share with them why I was certain this “doomsday prophecy” wasn’t going to happen.
Many people familiar with the Bible quote the fact that Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 ‘No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.’(NIV) That makes it pretty clear that no one knows when Jesus will return which may be both good news and bad. The good news is that if someone is saying Jesus will return on such and such a date…we can know right away they are wrong. The bad news is the return of Christ will be unannounced and unexpected. The point here is we always need to be ready because He could come at any time.
I believe there is even a more clear biblical reason why we don’t need to worry about the ‘end of the world’ on whatever date this ‘prophet’ in the news says. Here it is. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 18:21-22 ‘You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.’(NIV) This will now be at least the third time this same man has set a date. Each time he has claimed to have ‘inside’ information on God’s plans for the world. None of his previous ‘prophecies’ have come true, nor will this next ‘prophecy’ come true. You do not need to be afraid; he is no prophet, nor is he of God. He is simply a man making up arbitrary dates.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe wholeheartedly that God will one day bring an end to this world as we know it. However, it will not be at a preset time known to us. Only He knows when it will happen and, when it does, most people will be completely taken off guard. The point is not to be concerned when some arbitrary guy sets a date, but to live in relationship with God each day so that you are always prepared no matter what happens.