It is 12/12/12, and only nine days until 12/21/12! Is doomsday approaching? People around the world are talking about the Mayan Apocalypse. With the end of the Mayan calendar approaching on 12/21, people are asking if this is the “End of Days.” My students have been asking me at the University. There is evidently a lot of fear about it here in Korea, and around the world.
* Fox News: “With mere days to ‘doomsday,’ scientists call for calm.”
* Detroit: “Mayan doomsday or not, all eyes on Dec. 21.”
* London: “Doomsayers await the end of the world: But governments try to reassure their citizens not to panic.”
* Korea: “End of the world: There are only nine days left.”
* Taiwan: “Doomsday phobia hits China.”
What the Bible Says
The Bible says nothing about 12/21/12, or anything about the Mayan calendar. The Bible does say that we need to BE READY!
Scriptures speak a great deal about the End Times. According to the Bible, the Earth is not literally coming to an end this month. The Apostle Peter wrote, “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.” 2 Peter 3:10. But four major prophetic events must happen before the literal destruction of the planet: 1) the great end-time outpouring; 2) the Tribulation, a seven year period of God’s judgment; 3) the Second Coming of Christ; and 4) the “Millennial Kingdom,” a thousand year period in which Christ reigns over the entire earth.
But are there any signs that will indicate that the end of Days and the return of Jesus Christ are close at hand? In Matthew 24 and Luke 21 Jesus himself tells us what we need to know. Jesus tells us that the signs will be:
Revolutions (Luke 21:9, NIV)
The rise of false prophets and false messiahs (Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 23-27)
Wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6)
Nation rising against nation (Matthew 24:7)
Kingdom rising against kingdom (Matthew 24:7)
Famines (Matthew 24:7)
Plagues (Luke 21:11)
Earthquakes (Matthew 24:7) and “great earthquakes” (Luke 21:11)
“Terrors” that lead to “men fainting from fear” (Luke 21:11, 26)
Persecution of the believers (Matthew 24:9)
Apostasy and betrayal of one another (Matthew 24:10)
Increasing lawlessness (Matthew 24:12)
People’s love for one another growing cold (Matthew 24:12)
“The roaring of the sea and the waves” (Luke 21:25)
The good news will be preached “in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations”—even to Muslims, even in totalitarian nations, even to unreached people groups—“and then the end will come” Matthew 24:14.
Do Not Fear
Jesus cautioned us not to speculate on the time when the end would be coming. In Matthew 24:36, He said: “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” So we are not to speculate and cultivate fear, we are simply to live our lives in a way that we will be ready for His return. “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will” Matthew 24:44. However, bowever,Hy giving us so many specific signs of what would be happening in the last days, Jesus clearly wanted us to know when the time of His return was rapidly approaching.
Are These The Last Days?
Followers of Jesus who study these signs are coming to the conclusion that they are being fulfilled today and that we are, in fact, living in the last days. We are, after all, living in a day of revolutions, wars and rumors of wars, and horrifying persecution. Given how closely world events are tracking with Bible prophecy, we should find ourselves increasingly motivated to “be ready” by living lives of holiness, by sharing the gospel with our neighbors, by making disciples of all nations, and by planting end-time works that God is directing.
It is possible that the end could come at any time. Jesus said that it would be a time when we least expect it. We should, therefore, be ready at any moment. We should be cultivating a close relationship of intimacy in the secret place with Jesus. We should let that love compel us out into the streets. We must be praying and putting action behind our faith in order to live the life that God has called us to. The end of the age is rapidly approaching. Are you ready?