(Sixth In Series on “What God is Saying to America in 2010”)
Pilgrim Reflections” (For the Week of February 3, 2010) By Tom Smith
New World Order. Conspiracy theories. The Illuminati. The Georgia Guidestones. H.A.A.R.P. technology. The Mayan calendar. The Bible Code. The DaVinci Code. The alignment of the planets. Unusually strong solar flares. Planet X. The Mark of the Beast.
Heard of any of these?
Most likely you have. And, if you buy into any or all of these you’re probably growing increasingly nervous—like the young lady in a convenient story I talked to the other day.
Her store’s credit card machine wasn’t working and I could tell she was frustrated (partly by the irate customers who gave her a piece of their mind). As we were talking about such things, she looked at me with nary a smile and said, “But, it won’t matter—it’ll all be over with in a couple of years.”
Although knowing what she probably had in mind, I asked “What do you mean? That ‘end of the world’ stuff where the world’s supposed to end on December 21, 2012 according to the Mayan calendar?”
“You got it,” she said without hesitation.
“I’m looking forward to it because I’m sick and tired of this crazy world and don’t want my two sons to have to grow up in it.”
As I listened to this young mother in her mid-20’s—probably raising those dear boys by herself on a meager, convenient store salary—my heart ached. And, I realized anew that she’s not unlike so many others out there (possibly like some of you reading this column), who are just counting the days until “the inevitable.”
You know: When the solar flares disrupt our communications for months or years. . .or when Planet X crashes into earth, fulfilling the worst-case scenarios of all those apocalyptic movies you’ve been watching recently. . .or when the “enlightened elite” finally gain control of the world, confiscating your guns and depopulate the planet by two-thirds to achieve harmony with nature and sustainable life on this planet, etc., etc., etc.
But, dear Reader, don’t be duped by the devil, who is the “god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4)—the “prince of the power of air” (Ephesians 2:2)—who even tempted Jesus with “all the power and glory of the kingdoms of the world” if He’d simply bow down to him (Luke 4:5-6).
He wants you to live in fear. He wants you to lose hope and live in total despair. He wants you to believe there is no God and, if there is, to believe He’s forgotten you, doesn’t care about you, is out for lunch or on vacation or something.
But, don’t believe him. And, don’t believe the world’s going to end on Dec. 21, 2012.
For it’s not. Who knows? It might end next week. Or possibly on Dec. 20, 2011.
Believe it or not, as far back as 2800 B.C. there were prophets of doom saying “The end is near” (as discovered on Assyrian clay tablets unearthed in an archaeological dig).
Even a cursory examination of history reveals this morbid fascination and fear of “the End,” with many even setting dates for mankind’s demise.
The Montanists believed it in 156 A.D. and even established a new Jerusalem in Pepuza in the land of Phrygia. St. Martin of Tours believed the Anti-Christ had already been born in the late 4th century A.D. Italian mystic, Joachim of Fiore, determined the Millennium would begin between 1200-1260.
Others include Czech doomsday prophet, Martinek Hausha, who warned the world would end in February, 1420. . .Mathematician Michael Stifel, who said the Day of Judgment would begin at 8:00 a.m. on Oct. 19, 1533. . .physician Helisaeus Roeslin of Alsace, who said the world would end in a firestorm in 1654. . .Joanna Southcott, who said she was pregnant with the New Messiah in 1774. . . William Miller, who said the world would end on Oct. 22, 1844. . .Edgar Whisenant of Arkansas, who wrote 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988.
And, the list goes on and on and on.
Does that mean there’ll not be a fulfillment of Bible prophecies of “end time events,” the Rapture of the Church, God’s Final Judgment, etc.?
No, it doesn’t mean that at all. It simply means no one other than God the Father knows “the hour or the day” (Matthew 24:36; 25:13). But, the key is being ready to meet Him whenever that is by placing your faith and trust in Him alone. Are you ready?
(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 582, Coushatta, LA 71019 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org).