Disdaining The Culture of Fear
There are extant accounts from the tenth century - over a thousand years ago - that many Christians thought the end of the age would come with the end of the first millennium. Actually, there were dozens of times during the first thousand years from the birth of Christ that such predictions came and went. Other popular dates for the end of the world were 1666 and 1715. The year 1715 was actually conjectured by a man as brilliant as Isaac Newton himself, for it was found in one of his notebooks. (See http://www.bible.ca/pre-date-setters.htm or a copy of the text at Once Predicted End-Times Dates.) In the 19th century a certain preacher who was an early leader of the “Seventh-Day Adventist” cult made a series of predictions, based on certain interpretations of numbers found in the Bible, claiming that the return of Yahshua Christ and the end of this wicked age would transpire in 1844. Needless to say, today, a hundred and sixty-six years later, we are still waiting. Yet many other cults have made similar predictions since then, and they have all gone by the wayside, while few call the leaders of those cults into account – and those calls are almost always ignored.
Now many of us may recollect, if indeed we would admit to it, the pastors and doomsayers who were predicting the end of the world in the 2000 calendar year, at the end of the second millennium just a short decade or so ago. That year came and went, and so did the memories of those predictions: the pastors who made them continue on as if they were never made, and I personally know some of them, and never saw nor heard an apology from any of them. Surely, however, some of them also made lots of money selling books and sermons, playing on the fears of the people. Yet it never ends, and our collective curiosity and a desire to know just what it is that is in store for us, what is lurking just around the corner, is never really satiated.
There are the tales written by the jew Zechariah Sitchin about Nibiru, a word which does appear in Sumerian inscriptions, but certainly not in the contexts in which he claims it does. People who have actually read and understood the ancient Sumerian inscriptions surely know that the Nibiru of the Sumerians is not even a planet, never mind a threat to society as we know it today. Then there are the Mayan Calendar interpretations, and a New Age belief in the end of the world simply because one of the many cycles interpreted to be in that calendar is supposed to end at the winter solstice of 2012. Numbers in the Bible are feverishly reinterpreted in an attempt to match up dates that coincide with these claims. Where the numbers fail, secrets Bible codes are invented that reveal great and impending secrets, while the plain meaning of the text of The Word is totally discarded. These end-time events are anticipated not only by Christians, but for other reasons also by New Age pagans and atheists alike, or by the proponents of a myriad of “spiritual” novelties. These things and others draw Christians off into a wonder-land of New Age occultism and a failure to heed the Gospel, the actual words of Yahshua Christ.
And what does the Scripture say? Please observe the following statements from our Lord and Savior, Yahshua Christ:
Mar 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. 21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
If Yahweh would not reveal the day of His wrath to either man or angel, what makes anyone think that He would reveal it to either beast (Mayan) or devil (Sitchin)? How could the anti-Christ reveal to man the day of His wrath – or the day of His coming – when Yahweh Himself would not do it? Who are Christians to believe, Christ, or Sitchin, who is a known liar and a novelist? Christ, or the New Age freak-show proponents of some Mayan calendar interpretation which the Mayans themselves may not even have had?
Those who predict end-time dates are doing so extraneously of the Gospel. Therefore they are teaching their own vain conceits. And while it is evident that one thing is certain: that our time of distress will surely be greater in 2012 than it is today, what should Christians fear? The Gospel tells Christians to fear nothing. Here are the words of Yahshua recorded in Luke chapter 12:
Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. 3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. 4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. 8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
Likewise Paul told the Thessalonians:
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
It is clear from this and from many other Scriptures that the day of Yahweh's wrath is intended for the destruction of His enemies. If Christians act as the children of light which they are, they have nothing to fear from the wrath of Yahweh. Those who worry are probably those who have something to worry about – regardless of whether they are even conscious of that.
Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
Keep the Christian Faith, and not the faith of the so-called New Agers, of aliens, or of devils. Biblical prophecy exists not so that man can look at it, and tell the future. Rather, it exists so that man can see its fulfillment, and know that Yahweh is God and that He keeps His word.