It’s The End Of The World As We Know It
Coming back from lunch, my co-workers and I had an odd encounter. There was a man in sweats with a dog passing out flyers. Curious, I took one. It turns out that this man was a Christian of the far right fringe; his brochure claims that the end of the world is near, giving its date as May 21, 2011.
Folks and encounters like these both amuse and disturb me. It amuses me that they would make such brazen claims (against the clear teaching of scripture); it disturbs me because this is all that many hear or know of Christianity. For those with this or similar beliefs, I think it’s important to keep in mind a few scriptures (these are important — not just words of wisdom from Brandon).
Matthew 24:36 — “But as for that day and hour no one knows it –- not even the angels in heaven -– except the Father alone.”“ It’s parallel in Mark specifically says not even the Son — Jesus — knows. So…we have here a group claiming knowledge that Jesus didn’t even have while on earth and that it specifically says no one has. We are commanded to always be alert but there is never an expectation that we could possibly know, in fact alertness comes because it’s not something we will ever know. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 confirms this as well in Paul, specifically saying that the Day of the Lord’s return is like a thief in the night — at a time we never know.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 — “But examine all things; hold fast to what is good.” Knowing the above (the exact day isn’t something we will ever know) makes examining this and any sort of prophecy extremely important. It is a scriptural mandate after all. 1 Corinthians 14:29 tells us that we should examine all prophecy given as well. Just because someone claims a prophecy (or some sort of secret knowledge) doesn’t mean we are to buy into it hook, line and sinker; we have a responsibility to be responsible with whatever was given.
Acts 17:11 — “…they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so.” Our number one way to examine any prophecy, word, etc must be against scripture. If the two do not line up scripture always trumps. The Bereans where known for testing all things against scripture and we’d be wise to as well. If we did, we’d know that claims like this are baseless as they go against the clear words of Jesus.
Deut 18:22 — “…whenever a prophet speaks in my name and the prediction is not fulfilled, then I have not spoken it; the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.” It’s telling to look at groups that have made prophecies like this in the past. Remember the Y2K scare perhaps? There have been others too, and it’s groups like this one making the claim. Now this “word” won’t be proven true or false until May 22, 2011 but looking at past fruit I imagine would be telling.
Like I said, claims like the above disturb me. It turns people further away from Jesus. It distorts the Bible and the clear teaching of Jesus. It produces fear and madness — not the fruits of the Spirit — in peoples hearts.
I have more to say as well, but will hold off for the moment.