The Mayan Apocalypse!
Will Christ Return on December 21, 2012?
Personally, I dont know when the Lord Jesus will come back. However, there are many people around the world who are convinced that the world will come to an end in a few short days!
Most of us have now heard of the Mayan calendar and the supposed link to the destruction of the world. The whole theory is fallacious, but thousands believe it. According to reports, December will mark the end of this Mayan calendar. A 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count in the Mayan calendar supposedly comes to a close (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 2, 2012).
The cycle itself is problematic. Biblical chronologists claim that Noahs flood occurred between 2400 and 2500 BC, some 4,500 years ago, thus the 5,125 years is off by a great many years. (We must also remember that it must have taken centuries for people groups to reach the Central American region from the Ararat mountains, especially in view of the ice age immediately after the flood.)
Thus, the Mayan chronology is defective. But even if there were something to the calendar, the Indians never said that the end of the world will actually happen. This comes from the fertile imaginations of those who have taken a few facts and blown them up to great proportions. It is like adding two and two and arriving at five!
Thousands of people, however, believe that the world will come to an end since the Mayan calendar ends abruptly in the year 2012, without any explanation of which I am aware. The 2009 movie, 2012, served to stimulate the imaginations of many viewers and this fueled the fire of apocalyptic speculations. The clock is ticking down to Dec. 21, the supposed end of the Mayan calendar, and from China to California to Mexico, thousands are getting ready for what they think is going to be a fateful day (Star-Telegram, Dec. 12, 2012).
In view of this, occult writers, bloggers and New Age visionaries are foreseeing all manner of monumental change that they think will occur very shortly. There is even a rumor that an alien spaceship is hidden in the French Pyrenees that will be the only way to escape the earth on that climactic day! (Ibid.).
Two men in China speculate that there will be a flood that will destroy the world. Lu Zhenghai has spent his whole lifes savings of $160,000 to construct an ark (measuring 70 feet by 50 feet), with three diesel engines. He says, I am afraid that when the end of the world comes, the flood will submerge my house. (Ibid.).
In Russia, the minister of emergency situations said that his people were vulnerable to blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply, but, he added, the world will not come to an end! (Russians Prepare for End of World, Star-Telegram, Dec. 2, 2012).
Some say that an asteroid will slam into the earth. Others say that an imaginary planet by the name of Nibiru will collide with the earth, despite NASAs assurances to the contrary. NASA said that an asteroid en route to earth would have been spotted by telescopes long ago and that NIBIRU, if it existed, would now be the brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon (Time, Dec. 14, 2012). A scientist with the SETI Institute says that some 10% of people now believe that there is something to the Mayan calendar and the end of the world (Ibid.)
Does the Bible say anything about the current crisis? Not a word! Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away, declared Jesus. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone (Matthew 24:35-36). He goes on to warn, Be on the alert, but you do not know which day your Lord is coming (v. 42). What about predicting the end of the age? Jesus issues this warning, The Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will (v. 44). If no one knows when the end will come and if Jesus urges us to be on the alert since we dont know the precise time the Lord will return, how can many people conclude that the end will be on December 21?
Paul the apostle likewise says that we wont know the exact time of Christs return in judgment: You yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Does a thief announce his coming to break into a house? No, he will come when the house owner doesnt think he will. But for the Christian who knows that Jesus will come (yet does not know the timing of this climactic event), Christs coming will not be a complete surprise. Jesus promised, I will come again and receive you to Myself (John 14:3).
Paul continued, But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief (v. 4). In view of this, the apostle warns, . . . for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober (vv. 5-6). In other words, even though we dont know the exact day or hour or the precise time of the Lords return, we do know that He is coming and we should be spiritually alert!
Think about it. Why would God reveal His plans for the earth to a group of pagan Indians? Why would He give the time of the end of the world to those who didnt even know Him? And why would He do this when Jesus Himself didnt even know the time when He would return (Matthew 24:36)? Presumably today Christ knows when He will return but He didnt know when He was walking among men. Remember too that Scripture says, Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). Does it seem logical that God didnt reveal the time of Christs return to His servants the prophets but did reveal the time to heathen idolaters?
Further, we get the impression that many thousands think that the earth will end through some event or catastrophe that is separate and apart from Christs return. This is not the scenario we receive from Scripture. Paul states:
The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believedfor our testimony to you was believed (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
The end of the world, as we know it, will not be a natural cataclysm or some New Age event, but it will be brought about by the glorious and powerful Christ of glory! Peter says that by His [Gods] word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7). Whereas the earth was destroyed and every person in it was lost (except for Noah and his family) about 4,400 to 4,500 years ago, God promises that He will not again bring a worldwide flood on an ungodly world (Genesis 9:9-17) but He will use fire for the final destruction.
The description is quite graphic: The day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. . . . The heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! (2 Peter 3:10-12). The faithful follower of Christ, however, will be rescued from this disaster, for we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells (v. 13). The end of the world will not occur the way that modern speculators claim. Rather, God will bring this about at His own proper and planned time. Our future is bound up with Christs glorious return to rescue usthose faithful followers of His!
Lets not become disturbed or filled with anxiety as December 21 approaches. If one is in Christ and living faithfully for Him, there is no need to worry. On the contrary, there is much reason to look forward in hope and anticipation! We are to look for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:13-14). Prepare now to be found in Christ, blameless and spotless, patiently awaiting that approaching Day of the Lord! There will be no doubt when the conflagration of that universe-shaking Day will come!