Recently we were reminded that the world was coming to the end on 21December 2012. That day had come and gone without any catastrophe. Some believed this “prophesy” and made preparations for it. Others dismissed it as just another fairy tale or a superstitious myth. Indeed, down through the centuries, there had been many predictions of the end of the world from sources such as the writings of Michel de Nostradame, religious and cult leaders, the Mayans and the Hopi Indians etc. However, all these predictions share one thing in common - they do not come to pass!
What should be our attitude towards such doomsday prophesies? How should we as Christians respond to them?
First, we have the Word of God, as “a more sure word of prophecy” than all the predictions of men (2 Pet. 1: 19). Isaiah warned us not to give heed to the pseudo predictions of men (Isa. 8: 19, 20). In fact, God had already forewarned us that in the last days, many false prophets and deceivers will come and will deceive many people (Matt. 24: 4, 11, 24, 25; 1Tim. 4: 1-3; 2 Pet. 2: 1-3). Instead, we must diligently study God’s Word and take comfort that as His children we are spared from the wrath to come. We must remember that the God of the Bible is the only One who knows all things. He could predict the future events and bring them to pass. On the contrary, no finite man is able to know and predict the future, much less the precise moment of Christ’s return to earth. Jesus declared, "No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don't know. Only the Father knows.” (Matt. 24: 36). Therefore, we are not to trust in men’s predictions nor be enamored by them.
Second, we are to be vigilant and alert because Christ’s return could take place at any time. His coming is like a thief breaking into a house at night. Jesus warned us not to be complacent lest we should be caught unprepared at His return.
Finally, as we live in the last days before Christ’s return, we are to live purposeful and godly lives. We are to be self-controlled; treat others justly; and love God fervently with our sights fixed on our blessed hope (Tit. 2: -14). In this way, we will always be ready and not be ashamed at His coming.
Let us encourage and challenge one another with the words of Vance Havner: “We are not just looking for something to happen; we are looking for Someone to come! And when these things begin to come to pass, we are not to drop our heads in discouragement or shake our heads in despair, but rather lift up our heads in delight.”
Rev. Mark Tay