Hey… Did you hear that the world is going to end on December 21, 2012 as the Mayan Calendar is predicting? Well, before you go out and sell all your belongings and get ready for Armageddon, I invite you to do a little research to see how many false end-of-times predictions have occurred over the last few decades. Quite honestly, the list will astound you. From the infamous Y2K scare to the most recent Harold Camping failed numerology chart, the media seems more than eager to take a theory or anyone’s personal opinion and run with it in an effort to make headlines and keep people living in fear.
Which brings me to the topic of one of the most asked biblical questions I’m faced with, “How Should Christians View World Events in Regards to Prophesy Being Fulfilled?” As a veteran at answering this question, let me cut right to the heart of the matter. For me, I feel that too much emphasis is placed on trying to view events in the world as prophesy being fulfilled. Yes, it is good to be aware of things that seem to align with scripture, however it is a completely different idea to use apocalyptic literature to base one’s life decisions upon. To make personal, social, and governmental decisions based on apocalyptic literature, in my opinion, is completely irrelevant to the decision process. For instance, in the ancient church, Christian leaders used the Book of Revelations to try and predict the second coming of Christ. They sold everything and lived their lives as if it were the last days. It is interesting when you look at it. They saw symbolism of earthquakes, economic strife, and health scares as we do today; thus, they felt they were living in the end times. Sound Familiar?
One of my favorite authors, Don Thorsen, wrote a great book in 2010 entitled, An Exploration of Christian Theology. In his book, Thorsen brings up a significant point to this discussion. As Thorsen states, “Jesus promised to return, physically and with the full manifestation of His kingdom. Until then, He is more concerned about how we live our lives than with our speculating when He will come for the second time” (Thorsen 375). As Christians, we should not become distracted by End Times speculation. Look, I despise the way the world is currently going as much as the next guy. Issues with political and social matters can make you feel like crawling under a rock. And I pray Christ will return as soon as possible. But the reality is, some of the major evangelical leaders of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s have preached upon the same view we hear today, “We’re in the last days.” And it’s true, each day we are one day closer to Christ’s return. However, if we believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of God, then we must hold true to its promises.
In truth, Jesus Himself stated, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36). In my opinion, when a believer allows himself or herself to be distracted by trying to predict the End Times, it is Satan’s way of separating us from what Christ called us to do. As Thorsen confirms, “Christians should not spend their time speculating. Instead, they should prepare for the end times, faithfully loving God and others without being distracted by unhelpful conjecture” (Thorsen 376). Jesus called us to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19); not live in fear of what will come. Not to do so, in my opinion, is biblically irresponsible.
Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…
Thorsen, Don. An Exploration of Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2010. Print.